On Wednesday the business put 1250 workers under ERE (notification of termination). Three other sites (in Asturias, Alicante and Palma) debate how to respond to the stoppage.
The Coca-Cola bottling company in Spain has presented an Expediente de Regulación de Empleo (ERE, notice of intention to make redundancies) covering 1250 workers and to close a quarter of its plants. The workers of at these plants - Fuenlabrada (Madrid), Colloto (Asturias), Palma and Alicante - are planning demonstrations in response. In advance of the first ERE negotiation meeting due next Tuesday, the Fuenlabrada workers have announced an indefinite stoppage beginning on Monday 27th. At least two of the other affected plants, Colloto and Palma, will hold mass meetings beginning at noon on Thursday to decide how to respond. Speaking to DIAGONAL, the CCOO delegate at the Asturias plant Federico Álvarez, said that an indefinite strike was on the table there. The workers' decision will be announced at 6pm that Thursday.
Workers at Fuenlabrada have taken things further, announcing strikes to coincide with the beginning of the ERE consultation - in which the business and the workers' representatives attempt to reach an agreement. From the 3rd of February the workers have called a series of strikes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. These stoppages will be partial - two hours per shift - for the first two weeks, becoming a complete stoppage from the third week.
The ERE will leave[? dejará] 3063 workers in seven bottling plants after the closure of Madrid, Alicante, Palma de Mallorca and Asturias. The site at most risk is Fuenlabrada with 404 affected out of 749 permanent posts. Next is the Alicante plant where, according to the business's plan 111 out of 153 employees are at risk; in Palma there will be 64 out of a total 138 and in Asturias, 87 of 102.
Speaking to DIAGONAL, José Vicente Canet, secretary of the food and agriculture section of CCOO said that the ERE can't be justified by the company because of the level of profit - €900 million - and its €3 billion turnover. The national union is currently studying the documentation supplied by the business - helped in this path by the known pro-corporate law firm Sagardoy - to learn in detail the justification for the reductions. At the moment, Canet says "they don't have economic reasons" for the measures; whether they can claim the productivity and organizational reasons as introduced in the Rajoy government's labour reforms, "is completely subjective and the business can use those excuses to say they [ the ERE] will improve their competitiveness."
The workers feared this news after the change of ownership in the way the structure of the bottling companies in Spain. In 2012 the 7 companies that for 60 years covered bottling and distribution in different areas were merged into a single company, Iberian Partners, controlled by the Daurella family, owners of the Cobega bottlers. Finally, in December the company announced that now it had completed its new structure it would be announcing measures that would affect 20% of the workforce. On Wednesday 22nd the company completed its plan with the presentation of the ERE.
Translation of this article in Periodico Diagonal.