Spain forces Coke to rehire wronged workers
Alex Dunham/The Local/AFP · 13 Jun 2014, 16:06
Published: 13 Jun 2014 16:06 GMT+02:00
- Coke staff stage protest over plant closures (15 Feb 14)
- Zero tolerance to Coke plant closures (03 Feb 14)
The sudden lay-off of 1,190 (finally 821) Coca-Cola employees from its bottling plants in Madrid, Mallorca, Alicante and Asturias were, according to holding company Iberian Partners, needed to improve efficiency.
But Spain’s High Court ruled on Friday that the fizzy drinks giants had not carried out the merging of all of their eight bottling plants in Spain appropriately.
They also blamed them for not informing unions representing the workers of their imminent lay-offs and the restructuring of the plants.
According to the sentence, all 821 laid-off employees will now have to be hired again by Coca-Cola and remunerated with all the salaries they missed out since the plant closures last April.
The main problem they face now is that the bottling plants have been closed down for several months, Spanish daily El País reported.
Numerous demonstrations were held outside the plants in the lead up to the verdict by Spain’s High Court on Friday.
In February, around 2,000 protesters marched to central Madrid from the closed down plant in Fuenlabrada during a five-hour protest.
They waved signs reading: "Boycott, they are destroying jobs" and "No to the lay-offs".
"The plants are profitable but they are throwing us into the street," said Francisco, 51, who had worked at Coca-Cola for 17 years.
"It is a modern plant but they are shutting it just so they can make more profits" he added. "The 'happiness' of Coca-Cola is a sham."