Salvador Galán

Mass layoffs in La Constancia

Yesterday, April 27, early morning, La Constancia, a subsidiary of the giant brewer AB InBev, and Coca Cola bottler and merchandiser in El Salvador, launched an attack against dozens of organized workers.

So far, the number of dismissed members of La Constancia Workers’ Union (Sitraconsta) is about 30.

All dismissed workers are union members, including a union leader protected by trade union immunity.

“This has been a brutal attack. Workers were fired alleging different reasons, including the crisis caused by the pandemic, but we know that the purpose of the company is to weaken our union”, Sitraconsta General Secretary Salvador Galán said when interviewed by Rel-UITA.

Most layoffs took place at the Coca Cola Nixapa site, however in the next few hours dismissals could extend to other water, soft drink, and beer bottling plants, as well as distribution centers.

The dismissed workers are being offered by the company 100 percent payment of their wages and compensations owed to them, as established by national legislation, plus a bonus.
«We met with the labor authorities and requested an urgent inspection to investigate what is happening, particularly the case of the union leader who is protected by law,» said Galán.

Anti-union harassment

For several months, Sitraconsta has been demanding to be recognized by La Constancia (AB InBev) as a legitimate representative of workers and stressing the urgent need to open a dialogue.

On multiple occasions, the union has reported consistent anti-union practices and harassment of its members.

Workers are subject to changes in the sales routes to damage their routines, they suffer abuse, discipline without just cause, imposition of unattainable goals and unfair metrics as part of the fierce harassment of the company.

So far, the company has refused to dialogue.

Yesterday’s dismissals could be the beginning of a new and more brutal anti-worker attack by the Belgian-Brazilian parent company.

“Management wants to instill fear to deter union membership and stop workers from organizing to defend their rights.

“From now on we are starting a massive campaign to report this new attack against the union movement,” explained Galán.

«We know that we can count on the support and solidarity of the Salvadoran trade union movement, the Sugar and Beverage Worker Union Federation of El Salvador and the IUF through Rel-UITA» he said.

Finally, Sitraconsta General Secretary called on the IUF Beverage Sector unions to report this new anti-union offensive by AB InBev internationally.

La Constancia

In addition to producing national beer brands such as Pilsener and Golden, La Constancia (AB InBev) merchandises international brands such as Corona, Modelo, Budweiser and Stella Artois.

This transnational company is also a producer and bottler of Coca Cola products such as Cristal water, Del Valle juice, Powerade energy drink and Fuze Tea.