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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, June 16, 2012
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Coke union to strike

The Bacolod Sales Force Employees Union filed a notice of strike before the National Conciliation and Mediation Board in Bacolod City yesterday when no settlement was reached on their collective bargaining agreement with Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Cyrus Javelosa, its president, said yesterday.

Javelosa, at a press conference in Bacolod City, said that no agreement was made between them and the management in Bacolod City because the company is pushing for the individual performance evaluation scheme for wage increases in their CBA, which they are opposing.

The evaluation scheme is a threat to their security of tenure, labor rights, and other economic benefits, he said.

In a statement sent to the DAILY STAR, Cat Avelino, corporate communications director of Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, said that “Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines has a pay-for-performance policy in place in accordance with industry practice which is meant to motivate associates to always be the best that they can be.

It said that, traditionally, negotiated wage increases have been across the board but, business realities have led a lot of progressive companies and labor unions to partner with each other and bring about more performance and productivity-based wage increases.

It also said the scheme is not a new concept and something that the government supports.

It is important to equate rewards (wage increases) to performance and overall productivity because this helps ensure a just return on investment that in turn improves the company’s ability to sustain just and fair wages, it added.

Maui Bandola, president of the rank-and-file workers of Coca-Cola Bacolod, said the scheme will only reduce their benefits and replace the guaranteed wage increase of the workers.

Bandola said Coca-Cola is celebrating its 100 Years of Open Happiness but for them it becomes an “open misery” because of the new policy.

Danny Fuentes, national coordinator of Coca-Cola Alliance Unions, said all workers will be evaluated based on their performance, participation, and presence, that will be the basis of their wage increase.

He claimed that Coca-Cola is pushing for the 3Ps because it is losing, which Avelino denied.

He also said they will repeal CBAs of unions that have already been signed while those that have not been signed yet are encouraged to stop the negotiations.

Avelino also said they have already ratified 31 CBAs that include the performance-based wage increase where workers were quite happy with the packages they received.

Mel Segovia, union president of Coca-Cola Tagbiliaran, said their union already signed the CBA on Nov. 24, 2011, but it states that 3Ps will only apply on the third year, so the scheme is not yet fully implemented.

He said their jobs and the relationship of the workers and the management have been smooth sailing but their performance this year will be the basis of the 3Ps that will be implemented next year. *LTG

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