Canadian Soft Drink Workers Council
October 3, 2018
The Canadian Soft Drink Workers Council (CSDWC) conference was held in Halifax on September 27 & 28, 2018. There were 65 delegates in attendance from various workplaces including Minute Maid, Coke and Pepsi. Most provinces across Canada were represented and 15 of the delegates are members of your Local Union.
The IUF (International Union of food, agricultural, hotel, restaurant, catering, tobacco, allied workers association) was invited to speak at the conference. They had representatives from Coca Cola in Indonesia and the Philippines in attendance who told us they currently have a “Coca Cola workers Alliance”. They spoke about equal pay for equal work told a story about a successful organizing campaign in Pakistan. Because they unionized, the highest paid job in the plant of forklift driver was awarded to a female worker. This was unheard of prior to organizing.
The IUF representatives also spoke about the “Zero Rights” International Campaign. The campaign was created to deliver a message to Coca-Cola that they must put an end to the ongoing violations of human rights in Haiti, Indonesia, Ireland, The Philippines and the United States. Campaign materials were distributed to the delegates.
During the regular conference, some of the issues raised were:
- A request was made to the council to allow Local Unions to electronically send their CBA’s to the council. Also, that all locals negotiate to allow for the soft drink council logo to appear on the cover of CBAs covered by council as a show of solidarity. The council spoke to setting up a password protected website with all of the CBAs they receive from the Unions.
- A popular topic of discussion among the delegation was young managers who do not understand the business.
- Upcoming negotiations and current wages.
- Pepsi Sudbury discussed 15 warehouse members being laid off and the severance packages negotiated for our members by the Union.
- Discussion were held on new owner of Coke: Todd Parsons, the new President and CEO of Coca-Cola Canada Bottling Limited.
- The Council is looking to build a fund to assist members in the event of a labour dispute.
- Coca-Cola has implemented a new payroll/dispatch system across Canada that has many problems.
Elections were held for the Soft Drink Council and Joe Tenn, Ryan Parson and Guy Poirier were all acclaimed for another term.
In the afternoon of the second day, the delegates divided into Pepsi and Coca Cola sectors to discuss issues specific to their units.
Other unions present at the conference were, UFCW, Teamsters, Unifor and RWDSU.
Our UFCW members expressed how much they will benefit from the information they received.
Our members attended other sector specific conferences this year including the NDF. You can read that story here: https://ufcw175.com/2018/07/12/strength-and-unity-at-the-n-d-f/ or in our most recent edition of checkout magazine https://issuu.com/checkoutmagazine_locals175633