GMB – one of Britain’s largest trade unions – has slammed the Coca-Cola company for “corporate greed” and “complete lack of respect for the human rights of workers at its factories and bottling plants all around the world.”
The Coca-Cola Company have received warnings from the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF) regarding several rights violations in Haiti, Indonesia and the Philippines.
These include: failure to recognise workplace unions in Haiti to resolve issues around poor working conditions, preventing an Indonesian branch from retaining the Collective Bargaining Agreements and trying to stop Coca-Cola FEMSA in the Philippines from presenting a package of job destruction, labour law violations and systematic rights abuses as its new ‘business model’.
GMB London added that the company is also violating rights of workers in the UK. In the UK, the Coca-Cola Company announced the closure of plants in Milton Keynes and Northampton, affecting around 300 jobs. The decision to close the factory and warehouse was to save around £12 million a year.
"Our members are being victimised as a result of Coca-Cola's virulent anti-Union views,"
Richard Owen, GMB Regional Officer said. "Corporate greed is now the guiding principle behind Coca-Cola's actions, not just in the UK and much of Europe, but it is evident across the globe in their factories, and those of its ‘partners’ in the bottling plants, over whom Coca-Cola has almost complete control.
"It is not enough for the company to make huge profits,” Owen added, stating that “every last cent has to be screwed out of every plant, and if that means denying basic human rights to workers in Indonesia, the Philippines and elsewhere, or laying off hard-working and productive staff all across Europe, as part of the re-structuring process, then Coca-Cola will not be inhibited by any concerns for basic fairness or for that matter.
He said that GMB members working for the company “are expected to deliver maximum effort to boost production and maintain profits, while the senior management team thrash around, cobbling together a plan to re-locate machinery and plant into other sites which are ill-equipped to deal with the additional workloads.”