Wednesday, June 23, 2010



Coca-Cola is, not surprisingly, one of the corporate sponsors of this year's World Cup in South Africa. Yet they steadfastly refuse to play fair in their bottling plants across the world. Here's a story and appeal from the international union federation the IUF about the struggle for a real union amongst Coke workers in Pakistan.

Coca-Cola Pakistan Greets New Union with Death Threats, Abduction, Extortion and Dismissals
Since forming a union at Coca-Cola's bottling plant in the southern Pakistan city of Multan in June 2009, members have met with death threats, abduction, firings, extortion, forgery and fraud. It's been a long wait for rights and recognition - and not exactly refreshing.

In addition to the threats and dismissals, management has manipulated the relevant authorities to stop the legal registration of the union. Workers' social security documents have been massively falsified to “transfer” regular workers to a fictitious labour contractor in order to 'prove' that they don't work for Coca-Cola, and can't join a union of Coca-Cola workers! Management created a yellow union – but even the alleged president of that union testified that he had never attended the founding meeting, was not the president and had never applied for registration!

The Multan plant is part of Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan Limited (CCBPL), jointly owned by Turkish bottler Coca-Cola Icecek (CCI) and The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) based in Atlanta, which sits atop the global Coca-Cola system.

The Multan workers need your support. Despite all these illegal acts the union officers and their supporters remain steadfast in their determination to win union recognition and become the IUF’s newest members in the Coca-Cola system.
Please go to this link to send the following message to the Coca Cola company telling them that you support their Pakistani workers.

To Ed Potter, Director Global Labor Relations, The Coca-Cola Company
Hüseyin Akin, President, International Operations CCI
Aliye Alptekin, Human Resources Director CCI
Ronald Jones, President, Middle East & Pakistan Region CCI

Dear Madam/Sirs

I am shocked and outraged to learn that management of your bottling plant in Multan, Pakistan, has committed an escalating series of illegal and criminal actions in an effort to block the establishment of the new union at the plant. According to reliable information these acts have included death threats, abduction, transfers, dismissals and the fraudulent falsification of employment records in a campaign to destroy the union.

These acts are in flagrant violation of international human rights norms and Conventions. I therefore call on you to ensure that: all acts of intimidation against members and supporters of the People's Employees Union at the Multan plant cease immediately; that the company cease its efforts to block the union's legal registration: that managers and other company employees who organized or committed such actions are identified and all those implicated in violence or threats of violence are removed; and that trade union rights are fully respected at the plant.

Yours sincerely,

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