The Alliance of Coca-Cola Unions-Philippines (ACCUP), an affiliate of the Labor Education and Research Network, continues to hold massive protests against the management of Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines Inc (CCBPI), 100% owned by The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC), over attempts to replace annual wage increases determined through Collective Agreements and received by all union members with a new scheme of individual performance-based wage increments that could result in union members receiving no wage increase at all.
In an article submitted to the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF), is an international federation of trade unions representing workers employed in agriculture and plantations; the preparation and manufacture of food and beverages; hotels, restaurants and catering services; all stages of tobacco processing; ACCUP coordinator Danny Fuentes revealed that under the new 3P (Presence, Performance, Participation) system, the annual wage increases currently negotiated in three-year Collective Agreements and Operational Performance Incentives (OPI) paid in addition to wage increases will be abolished, effectively removing the right to wage bargaining. Instead workers will be paid wage increases only in accordance to an Individual Performance Evaluation that has 4 rankings: EP (Excellent Performance); SP (Satisfactory Performance); DP (Developmental Performance); and NP (No Performance).
Workers ranked NP in the first year of the Collective Agreement period will receive no wage increase or a minimal “lump sum” fixed by the management, but in the second year and third year of the Agreement will inflation, it would mean their wages will decline each year.
3P also threatens job security because under “periodic performance reviews” conducted every 2 months, workers ranked NP three times in a row will be terminated without warning. The new rule reads:
“Section 1: Failure to meet the required level of performance for three (3) periodic reviews within a twelve month period. First Offense – Discharge”
ACCUP argues that such a system is open to abuse and would allow unfair discrimination against union members by the supervisors who “evaluate” them subjectively: “… under P3 wage increases will just depend on the mercy of CCBPI management because the CCBPI management is the one who dictates and formulates the performance parameters. Every now and then they increase these parameters until it is no longer reasonable or attainable. So the performance ranking of workers will fall and they will get no wage increases and they can therefore be easily terminated.”
On June 14, the IUF-affiliated ACCUP expressed its opposition to the new wage system during a meeting with CCBPI management and on the same day submitted a letter signed by 20 union presidents demanding that the introduction of P3 be stopped. With complete and utter disregard for this opposition, CCBPI management proceeded to force through the P3 resulting in one CBA deadlock after another.
Collective Agreement negotiations with the San Fernando Coca-Cola Rank and File Union went to a deadlock on June 28. A day after, CBA negotiations with both the Kasamma CCO (CCCBPI Meycauayan dailies union) and the Coca-Cola Sales Force Union-Meycauayan also reached an impasse on the same issue.
On July 7 the San Fernando Coca-Cola Rank & File Union (SACORU), the San Fernando Coca-Cola Professional, Technical, Clerical and Supervisory Union and the Coca-Cola Sale Force Union (CCSU) picketed the Coca-Cola bottling plant in San Fernando. This is the first in a series of protest actions against the attempts by the management to impose the P3 wage scheme, which strips unions of wage bargaining rights and undermines their job security.