Guatemala: A Coca-Cola bottling company called Alimentos y Bebibas Atlantida SA in Puerto Barrios in 1991-1994, whether the company was unionized and whether the company experienced labor unrest when employees attempted to unionize in 1992-1993
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||1 March 1998|
|Citation / Document Symbol||GTM29085.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Guatemala: A Coca-Cola bottling company called Alimentos y Bebibas Atlantida SA in Puerto Barrios in 1991-1994, whether the company was unionized and whether the company experienced labor unrest when employees attempted to unionize in 1992-1993, 1 March 1998, GTM29085.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ac6f64.html [accessed 24 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
The International Confederation of Free Trade Union Rights (ICFTU)'s Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights 1994 (covering 1993) states that workers at Alimentos y Bebidas Atlantida SA (ABASA), which produces Coca-Cola in Puerto Barrios, applied for a third time to have its legal status recognized by the Labor Ministry (1994, 42). The company then dismissed eight union leaders (ibid.). Authorities were not able to force the company to reinstate the employees, and in return, the company established a solidarist association instead (ibid.).
Country Reports 1993 states that Coca-Cola workers in Puerto Barrios had their union application approved in the latter part of 1993 (1994, 457).
However, the Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights 1995 states that ABASA management refused to reinstate the 29 union executive committee members it dismissed in 1993 for striking even though it had received an order from the Labor Ministry to do so (1995, 58). Like Country Reports 1993, the survey also states that the ABASA union was registered with the authorities, but the company's management immediately lodged an appeal claiming that the union did not have the required number of employees to form a legitimate union (ibid., 59).
The same source states that on 15 February 1994 a bomb exploded outside ABASA's bottling plant and that the authorities issued arrest warrants for union members despite the lack of evidence linking them to the crime. However, three years after the dispute began, ABASA and the union finally reached an agreement in August 1994 to recognize the legitimacy of the union (ibid.).
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1993. 1994. United States Department of State. Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office.
International Confederation of Free Trade Union Rights (ICFTU). 1995. Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights 1995. Brussels: ICFTU.
International Confederation of Free Trade Union Rights (ICFTU). 1994. Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights 1994. Brussels: ICFTU.
Additional Sources Consulted
Amnesty International Report. 1991-1997.
Central America NewsPak [Austin, Tex.]. 1992-1994.
Central America Report [Guatemala City]. 1992-1994.
Critique: Review of the U.S. Department of State's Country Reports of Human Rights Practices. 1991-1996.
The Europa World Year Book 1997. 1997.
Guatemala Bulletin [Washington]. 1992-1997.
Guatemala Human Rights Update [Washington]. 1992-1994.
Human Rights Watch World Report. 1991-1998.
INS Resource Information Center. September 1994. Guatemala: Trade Unions.
Latinamerica Press [Lima]. 1991-1998.
News from Americas Watch [New York]. 1991-1997.
World Labour Report 1993.
Electronic sources: IRB Databases, Global News Bank, Internet, REFWORLD (UNHCR database), World News Connection (WNC).