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Coca-Cola Workers—75 Hours of Hunger Strike

Given the seriousness of the problem that the workers of the multinational Coca Cola – INDEGA SA – COCA COLA FEMSA are going through, on October 31, 2016, four (4) workers began a hunger strike in response to the permanent violation of our Rights. On the same date, a memorial with sixty (60) violations committed by Coca-Cola to the law and to the collective labor agreement was delivered to the company and the Ministry of Labor.

The Hunger Strike took place until November 4, 2016 and was lifted after an agreement between the company and Sinaltrainal with the Ministry of Labor as guarantor. The company suspends two (2) calls for disciplinary discharges, work groups are set up to resolve the problem and there will be no reprisals against the workers.

Once the hunger strike was lifted, the company suspended the two calls for discharges, but instead called for discharges from FOUR (4) union leaders as retaliation for the protest carried out (ALVARO NAVARRO, LUIS JAVIER CORREA SUÁREZ, ALEXANDER RINCÓN AND JUAN MANUEL SHELL). ALVARO NAVARRO has already been fired, it is waiting for the Ministry of Labor to authorize the lifting of the jurisdiction for reinforced job stability.

The foregoing led SINALTRAINAL to summarize the day of enforceability of workers’ rights, of which TWO (2) union leaders, LUIS JAVIER CORREA SUÁREZ and ALEXANDER RINCÓN, summarized the hunger strike on November 21 from 5:30 am at the entrance of the Bucaramanga Plant, to date they have been without food for more than 75 hours, seriously compromising their health.

In the early hours of November 23, other workers from the Cúcuta plant joined the Hunger Strike and today, Thursday, November 24, workers from the Medellín plant joined.

In the other Coca Cola bottlers, the workers of the multinational affiliated with Sinaltrainal held support rallies and other colleagues prepared to join in this important task.

To the problems that the company is experiencing, now we must add the revocation of the dismissal, the suspension of the calls for discharges and the fulfillment of the agreement that we reached in the Ministry of Labor.

At 10:40 am on November 22, at the request of the Coca Cola company, a group of police officers led by Subintendent Julio Sánchez and Lieutenant Harry Serrano were present at the site where the hunger strike is taking place in Bucaramanga to proceed to seize the tents, the sound and other implements, intimidating the strikers by calling the ESMAD to evict us. Coca Cola uses all its power so that the state represses our claims.

Since the declaration of the hunger strike, two (2) meetings have been held with the Vice Minister of Labor, Dr. Mariela Barragán, who is looking for the company to sit down again and to find solutions to the serious labor situation.

We have communicated to the national authorities, embassies of the United States and Mexico our request for them to intervene so that Coca Cola does not continue to attack the workers and people of Colombia.

We request immediate solidarity by sending notes to: Mr. CARLOS DUEÑAS, Vice President of Human Resources of Coca Cola FEMSA, [email protected] – Ms. LINA MARÍA SENDOYA, National Manager of Labor Relations, [email protected]. mx With a copy to Sinaltrainal, [email protected]

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