AP2011

Christmas Coca Cola shortage in Belgium?

Staff at Belgium’s five Coca Cola plants have downed tools.  Union delegations are blockading plants in Ghent, Antwerp, Hasselt, Heppignies and Chaudfontaine in protest against the poor headway being made in reorganisation talks.

 

Earlier this year Coca Cola management announced the closure of two distribution plants in Hasselt and Heppignies.  Unions are now demanding greater clarity, especially with regard to job losses. Workers in other plants also fear for their future.

Bjorn Desmet of the socialist union: “This is the 27th reorganisation at the company.  Workers are fed up.  They’ve been living with uncertainty for ages.”

The unions fear that the company wants to reduce remuneration for some of the workforce.  Bjorn Desmet: “We see that Coca Cola is regrouping activities.  They want to create two types of worker.  Some people would lose hundreds of euros a month.”

It’s unclear how long the protests will go on for.  Bjorn Desmet suggested the blockade could last longer than Thursday: “There is great willingness among staff to pursue the protest.  At present no talks are planned with management.  It’s up to them to take the initiative!”

It’s unclear whether the present protests will hit availability of the company’s products across the country.

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