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Press Room  |  Top Story of The Day

Last updated: 13 October 2017

FAWU Statement On National Strike Action By FAWU Members At Coca Cola

About 1800 members of the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU), employed by Coca Cola Fortune (CCF), one of the four bottling companies consolidated into the Coca Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) Pty Ltd, have started their strike action on Thursday, 12 October 2017.

Our members do not want the restructuring program (otherwise referred to as ‘logistics optimization process for productivity improvement), to be made a condition to the wage increase of 7% (across the board) and closure of wage gaps. Workers have accepted the wage increase and the closure of gaps but have vehemently rejected the company’s condition attached to it.

Workers have noted that, over the medium and long-term, gains made over three decades of struggle will be reversed by this restructuring program in the following ways:

  • Permanent 6-day work shift, regarded as flexible and needed, with no guaranteed release for traditional and other rituals and events, such as weddings and funerals;
  • Permanent night-shift with workers on this shift having only 4 opportunities a year to off-load and with no guarantees that they will be accepted for days shifts;
  • Round-trips of up to 36 hours by two drivers for delivery of stock in far-flung areas and this posing a risk to road safety;
  • Eradication of a category of workers, called packers and sorters, with a fear of job security despite the company proposed skills development program to prepare those workers to be absorbed in other job categories;
  • Overtime pay; on one-and-half rate for Saturday afternoon, double pay for Sunday and treble rate of pay for Holiday, will disappear due to these shift systems.

We hope that CCF and CCBSA management would come to the party and negotiate with FAWU on the best way towards improving productivity. This has to happen without reversing gains workers have made over the decades, including multiple strike actions, in order to reach an agreement on dispute that gave rise to the strike.

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