Spain’s national labour court has thrown out Coca Cola’s collective dismissal of 1,190 workers in Spain in a major lift for the union-led campaign against four factory closures in the jobless-hit country.
The Audiencia Nacional also called for the workers’ reinstatement and payment of lost wages.
Coca-Cola Iberian Partners, a new Spanish subsidiary of the US multinational formed from the merger of eight bottling plants, had shown ‘a complete and manifest breach of the obligations’ on providing information, and on consultation and negotiation procedures, the court found. The court also agreed with the unions that the company had unlawfully tried to break the strike at the Fuenlabrada plant in a bid to undermine the workers’ “constitutional rights”.
The decision is open to appeal at the Supreme Court.
In February the UGT, CCOO and CSIF unions launched a legal challenge after the company decided to plough on with its plans to shut down plants in order to cut costs.
CCOO has blamed the dispute on the Spanish government’s 2012 labour reform, which made it easier to hire and fire workers.
A double recession fuelled by austerity policies over the past five years has pushed Spain’s unemployment rate up to 26 percent.
The strike has also won plenty of popular support with some consumers boycotting the popular beverage.
Coca-Cola’s fourth-quarter profits totalled $1.7bn. El Publico