Coca Cola FEMSA workers: ‘Union busting real reason for lay-off’

Aika Rey
Coca Cola FEMSA workers: ‘Union busting real reason for lay-off’
Alfredo Marañon, national leader for Federation and Cooperation of Cola, Beverage, and Allied Industry Unions, says that the reason for the lay-off was not discussed properly with union leaders

MANILA, Philippines – Workers of beverage company Coca-Cola Femsa Philippines Inc (CCFPI) decried the massive laying off of employees, saying it is an attempt by the management to bust unions.

In a press briefing on Friday, February 16, Alfredo Marañon, national president of the Federation and Cooperation of Cola, Beverage, and Allied Industry Unions (FCCU), said that 606 employees across the country have been issued termination papers by Coca-Cola – 4 of whom are union presidents.

“Isang malaking paglabag sa karapatan ang ginawang malawakang tanggalan. Ang tinamaan dito ay maraming mga officers at union presidents. Ito ay union busting,” Marañon said on Friday.

(The mass layoff is a gross violation of rights. Those who were removed are many officers and union presidents. This is union busting.)

Marañon also said that the reasons for the layoff were not discussed properly with union leaders. He added that they only knew about it when the Coco-Cola management has issued the papers.

“What we are saying is that this is an injustice on the part of the management because there were no proper consultation with the unions. No transparent reasons were provided. They only told us they were changing business models and that those were laid off were ‘redundant’ employees,” Marañon said in Filipino.

Marañon also said most of those who will be laid off by March 2 are sales employees and will be replaced by 3rd party contractors. He also said that this is only the first wave and more will be issued termination papers soon, alleging that those working in bottling plants will be affected as well.

Earlier this February, Coca-Cola announced that it will be downsizing its workforce due to an “organizational structure assessment.” The decision came after the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law was passed in December.

Under the TRAIN law, sugary and sweet beverages will be imposed a P6-per-liter tax using sugar and artificial sweeteners. Drinks using high fructose corn syrup will be imposed a P12-per-liter tax. (READ: EXPLAINER: How the tax reform law affects Filipino consumers)


On Friday, the local union groups formed the coalition “All Coke Unions” and issued a statement demanding Coca-Cola to show concrete evidence on how TRAIN law would affect the beverage company.

They said that the implementation of the TRAIN law is a “facade” for union busting despite the lack of evidence in decline of sales due to the excise tax on sugary and sweet beverages.

“We demand that the CCFPI management release a concrete evidence for the need to restructure and let the workers be consulted in any action related to this. We demand them to show us sufficient and reliable data that will prove the need for restructuring,” the statement said.

All Coke Unions also demanded to reach an agreement with Coca-Cola that there will be no restructuring without further negotiation with the unions.–

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at