||Issue No. 145||19 July 2002|
Two Wings Flapping
Interview: In The Tent
Bad Boss: The Desk Nazi
Media: Hold the Presses
Workplace: Putting Bullies In Their Place
Industrial: Women and Work
International: Whine and Dine
History: Black Adder
Review: Bad Movie
Poetry: I Remember
The Locker Room
Week in Review
Hooray for Frank!
Reform or Die
Coca Cola Action Bubbles Globally
Coca-Cola workers in Melbourne this week heard a report from a Colombian Coca-Cola union official, about the murder of workers in Colombia, and the use of the paramilitary to intimidate Coca-Cola workers in that country and in nearby Guatemala.
The Melbourne workforce at Coca-Cola will take solidarity action on Monday to show their commitment to a global Coca-Cola agreement, and to support sister and brother unionists in Colombia and Guatemala.
Colombian unionists will hold a national day of action on Monday demanding union rights
"Our members got upset last week about the silly behaviour of Coca-Cola in taking away our free tea, coffee and milk," the LHMU Victorian Branch Secretary, Brian Daley, said.
"But these allegations of murder, and the use of the paramilitary as an industrial tactic in Colombia makes our problems with the company almost insignificant."
Coca-Cola LHMU members in Melbourne on Monday will wear badges and black armbands to work as a small act of solidarity.
"We'll be asking Coca-Cola management, here in Australia, what action they will take to defend the human rights of Coca-Cola workers in Colombia and Guatemala," Brian Daley said.
Coca-Cola LHMU members heard the report from Carlos Olaya of the Food Industry Union of Columbia about the way the Coca-Cola Company in Colombia deals with its workforce.
Carlos informed LHMU members about :
- the way the armed paramilitary forces pressure union members to renounce their union membership;
- how the company directly or indirectly engaged in intimidation, persecution and allowed falsified testimony into Court proceedings against Coke union leaders and members;
- how the company directly or indirectly helped organise the intimidation of Food Industry Union officials who organise Coke sites;
- the arrangements the local Coca-Cola franchisees use to avoid employment obligations by setting up bogus labour hire companies who Coke then employs labour through.
At the end of the meeting Coca-Cola LHMU members passed a motion condemning the activities of the Coca-Cola bottling company in Colombia, and calling on the Australian Coca-Cola bottler to pressure their Atlanta head office to ensure the human rights of Coca-Cola workers in Colombia and Guatemala.
"Our membership is convinced that workers in Coca-Cola Colombia and Guatemala should be able to organise themselves into a union of their choice freely and without threats, intimidation and violence," Brian Daley said.
"We have called upon the Board of Coca-Cola Amatil here in Australia to provide a report back to its workforce, within a month, about what the Board has done to meet our demands and what changes if any, the Coke Boards' actions have led to at the Coca-Cola plants in Colombia and Guatemala.
"In support of workers at the facilities in Colombia and Guatemala, the meeting of LHMU Coke members resolved to engage in a day of solidarity action on Monday 22 July 2002 when Colombian workers will be in the streets demanding union rights.
"The LHMU Coke members resolved to take all possible action in support of the above demands as an act of continuing solidarity with the workers at Panamco Coke in Colombia and Guatemala."
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