Last August 22,
the 3rd Meeting of the Latin American Federation of Coca Cola Workers (FELATRAC)
was held in Tegucigalpa. Sirel discussed with Pablo Quiroga, leader of the
Argentinean Federation of Carbonated Beverages and Related Industry Workers (FATAGA)
and General Secretary of the FELATRAC
-How and why was the FELATRAC born?
-It was created in 2008 in view of the concern of many brothers who witnessed
how large transnational corporations were globally organized.
We, as workers, decided to face this fact with the same strategy, and so the
need to build an organization of Coca
Cola workers within the IUF
From that moment on, unions from several Latin
American countries began to join
this new union organization. At present, FELATRAC represents
64 unions from eleven countries of the region.
-What have been the main achievements of the FELATRAC during its two years of
-We have reached several goals, mainly in relation to
is almost everywhere in this region.
We have developed several very concrete actions in defense of the member unions
of FELATRAC, and
some others have been in support of negotiation and collaborative actions.
We have also become a part of the dialogue process of the
Cola Company in
Atlanta, United States, where
broad and deep problems of Latin
American countries are dealt with.
-What has been the reaction of Coca Cola faced with this important organizing
effort by workers?
-At first the reaction was of concern, but later they could tell that ours is a
serious work. Mainly FEMSA
could realize that our purpose is not to create problems but to solve them.
-Why was there a decision to hold this 3rd Meeting of the Executive Committee
-The meeting was going to be held in Panama.
But faced with the facts in Honduras
one year ago, there was a decision to move this event to this country, also in
solidarity with our brothers of STIBYS, who
have been subject to very strong repressive actions.
-What were the contents of this meeting?
-The development of the meeting was very fraternal, with a great sense of
solidarity. We were joined by brothers from new countries, from unions that were
not a part in the beginning, such is the case of
El Salvador and Paraguay.
Our discussions included several issues, including the situation in each
country, our agenda for the global meeting with the Coca
Cola Company in Atlanta in
October and, eventually, the resolution on the final membership of the
FELATRAC Executive Committee.
-What is your evaluation of this 3rd Executive Committee meeting?
-It was a very positive event. We have been asserting for a long time that we
need to come together and share views more frequently in order to build trust
and go on making progress.
-During the 6th Regional Meeting of Beverage Unions flexibility and employment
precarization was considered at large, the FELATRAC could be an effort to
counteract against this strategy?
-The presentation of our brother Gerardo
Castillo was spectacular. We
consider that it was an important tool to "open our minds" and trigger our
Several concrete issues, very real, being experienced in all countries, were
tackled. All of this is very useful to continue developing our work.
Tegucigalpa, Giorgio Trucchi