Workers picket Coke main office, call for junking anti-worker scheme
Almost 100 workers of Coca-Cola Philippines held a picket today in front of the multinational company’s main office in Makati City to call for the junking of an anti-worker scheme which is being forced upon unions in current negotiations for a Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Coke is forcing unions to accept a scheme in which workers’ wage increase will depend on individual evaluations conducted every two months. Workers call the scheme “3P,” after the criteria for the evaluation – presence, performance, and participation.
The standard practice in CBAs is to grant all workers an across-the-board wage hike, the amount of which is fixed upon the closure of negotiations.
“Because of the company’s inaction, we have decided to bring our calls before Coke’s main office. We will not stop until we force the management to heed our demand to junk the 3P scheme,” said Alfredo Marañon, president of the San Fernando Coca-Cola Rank and File Union (SACORU) based in San Fernando, Pampanga.
“Our resolve to fight for workers’ wage, job, and union security is firm. We will not be forced to accept a CBA that contains severe attacks on our basic rights as workers,” said Faustino Aguillon, Jr, president of the United Coca-Cola Workers’ Union (UCCWU) based in Imus, Cavite.
The picket was preceded by a propaganda campaign which features a video showing the leaders making an appeal to the public and a press conference.
“We are calling on the public to support our fight by sharing our video and online statements. Help us spread the news that Coke is not spreading happiness among workers, we who create its wealth,” Marañon said.
“Our fight is a fight of the Filipino workers and people. Coke’s 3P scheme is a bad precedent which other companies may also implement if we fail to condemn it strongly,” Aguillon said.
The workers also condemned the layoff of two union officers in Coke’s Isabela and Ilocos plants after the said officers’ unions approved the CBA with the 3P scheme.
“Their retrenchment from work is a clear illustration of what unions will become the moment they sign the CBA with the 3P scheme: weak and powerless. We call on Coke workers across the country to oppose the management’s anti-worker and anti-union scheme,” said Lito Fadriquelan, president of the Ilaw at Buklod ng Manggagawa, a federation of which the UCCWU is an affiliate.
“The 3P scheme means anything goes for the Coke management and severe repression for workers. Workers and poor people should help us oppose this scheme,” he added.
Alfredo Marañon, president, San Fernando Coca-Cola Rank and File Union (SACORU), 0928-7282565
Faustino Aguillon, Jr, president, United Coca-Cola Workers’ Union (UCCWU), 0947-1957004
Yolito Fadriquelan, president, Ilaw at Buklod ng Manggagawa (IBM-KMU)