URGENT: Solidarity With Coca Cola workers on hunger strike

Submitted by Janine on 26 March, 2004 - 9:47

IN LONDON

Vigil 7.30 p.m. Friday 26 March onwards to coincide with negotiations between union and senior managers in Bogot谩

Picket 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday 27 March

Both outside Coca Cola Great Britain and Ireland HQ headquarters, 1 Queen Charlotte Street, Hammersmith, London W6 (adjacent to Hammersmith tube).

more information below
STATEMENT FROM SINALTRAINAL

Thirty workers at the US multinational have for 11 days been on hunger strike, in rejection of the corporation's collective sackings, in defence of their jobs and for the survival of their union SINALTRAINAL.

After 264 hours of fasting, the hunger strikers present a progressively more serious deterioration: emaciation (accelerated loss of weight) and profound dehydration. Some hunger strikers show less and less tolerance to the loss of liquids, in spite of periodic hydration, and are permanently on drips. Signs of depression are common amongst the participants. Symptoms such as dizziness, head aches, fainting, palpitations, chest pains, lack of sleep have become constant.

We are deeply worried by the threats against the hunger strikers launched by paramilitary groups in the Valle del Cauca department.

We make FEMSA COCA COLA, PANAMCO COLOMBIA S.A., COCA COLA COMPANY, EMBOTELLADORAS DE SANTANDER S.A. y EMBOTELLADORAS ROMAN S.A. [Coke's bottling companies in Colombia] responsible for the serious risks being run by the hunger strikers, for their brittle health and for the paramilitary threats.

We ask the general population to demand from the multinational a prompt solution to the problems that generated the hunger strike. Relocation [to other posts], the immediate end to the sackings, and respect for the human rights of the workers will all contribute to achieving labour peace in the bottling companies at a national level.

As a result of the protest that we have taken in defence of our jobs, labour stability and the existence of SINALTRAINAL inside the multinational, as well as other actions, we have agreed a meeting with the company's President and its top managers at 2p.m. next Friday 26 March at their main site in Bogot谩.

We invite all social oraganisations to accompany us outside the Coca Cola plant a (No 42-94, 94th Avenue) during the meeting in order to pressure for a prompt solution to this serious situation.

Cordially,

SINALTRAINAL
24 March 2004

We ask you to send letters of protest to:

COCA COLA FEMSA
Juan Manuel Arbel谩ez (Director de Recursos Humanos)
Armando G贸mez (Jefe de Relaciones Laborales
Tel茅fonos 2942800 y 4011413 fax. 4011687
agomari@femsa.com.mx y cocacola@hotmail.com

With a copy to: SINALTRAINAL, fax (00571) 2455325 and to electronic mail:
sinaltrainal@sinaltrainal.org, areainternacional@sinaltrainal.org

and in the UK and Europe to Jose Nunez Cervera, Director Coca Cola European Public Affairs e-mail jnunezcervera@eur.ko.com and to Martin Norris, Communications Director, Coca-Cola, UK mnorris@eur.ko.com.
With copies to: colombia_sc@hotmail.com

THERE WILL BE AN EMERGENCY MEETING OF THE COLOMBIA SOLIDARITY CAMPAIGN open to all those who want to help with Solidarity Action in support of the Coca Cola Hunger Strikers.

From 6.30pm Thursday 25th March at CORAS, 161 Lambeth Walk, SE11 (nearest tubes Vauxhall and North Lambeth)

SOLIDARIDAD URGENTE CON LOS TRABAJADORES DE COCA COLA EN HUELGA DE HAMBRE

Treinta trabajadores de la multinacional estadounidense nos mantenemos en esta justa jornada desde hace 11 d铆as, en rechazo a los despidos colectivos que la empresa viene ejecutando, en defensa de nuestros puestos de trabajo y por la subsistencia de SINALTRAINAL.

Transcurridas 264 horas de ayuno, los huelguistas presentan deterioro progresivo grave, emaciaci贸n (p茅rdida acelerada de peso) y deshidrataci贸n profunda. Algunos de ellos presentan una tolerancia cada vez menor a la perdida de l铆quidos a pesar de mantener hidrataci贸n peri贸dica y a estar permanentemente con venoclisis. Los signos de depresi贸n est谩n siendo comunes en los participantes. S铆ntomas como el mareo, dolor de cabeza, desvanecimiento, palpitaciones, dolor de pecho, falta de sue帽o, vienen siendo una constante entre los participantes.

Nos preocupan profundamente las amenazazas que contra los huelguistas han lanzado grupos paramilitares desde el Valle del Cauca.

Responsabilizamos a FEMSA COCA COLA, PANAMCO COLOMBIA S.A., COCA COLA COMPANY, EMBOTELLADORAS DE SANTANDER S.A. y EMBOTELLADORAS ROMAN S.A. por los graves riesgos que est谩n corriendo los huelguistas, por los quebrantos de salud y por las amenazas paramilitares.

Solicitamos de la poblaci贸n en general se exija a la multinacional una pronta soluci贸n a los problemas que generaron la huelga de hambre. La reubicaci贸n, el cese inmediato de despidos y el respeto de los derechos humanos de los trabajadores, contribuir谩n al logro de una paz laboral en las embotelladoras a nivel nacional.

Producto de la jornada que nos encontramos desarrollado en defensa de nuestros puestos de trabajo, la estabilidad laboral y la existencia de SINALTRAINAL al interior de la multinacional, al igual que de las gestiones cumplidas, hemos acordado realizar una reuni贸n con la Presidencia de la compa帽铆a y sus mandos gerenciales el pr贸ximo viernes 26 de marzo a las 2 p.m. en la desde principal en Bogot谩.

Invitamos a todos las organizaciones sociales a que nos acompa帽en frente a las instalaciones de la planta de Coca Cola en Bogot谩 (carrera 94 No 42-94) durante el tiempo que dure la reuni贸n con la presidencia de la compa帽铆a, con el prop贸sito de presionar una salida pronta a la grave situaci贸n que estamos viviendo.

Cordialmente,

SINALTRAINAL

Marzo 24 de 2004

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