Workers at Coca-Cola's Dasna and Varanasi plants express concerns about job security

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on December 08, 2019 Published on December 08, 2019
File photo - KSL

The company is divesting these plants to franchise bottling partners

Workers employed at Coca-Cola’s plants at Varanasi and Dasna in Uttar Pradesh are protesting against the company’s decision to divest these plants to its franchise bottling partners.

Last week, the beverage major had announced that it is divesting bottling operations of Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt Ltd (HCCB) in four territories in North India to existing franchise bottling partners. Under this agreement, the plant at Dasna is being divested to Moon Beverages, while the plant at Mehdiganj in Varanasi will be transferred to Ladhani Group entity, SLMG Beverages.

In a letter sent to various local government officials, the Coca-Cola Workers Union of the Varanasi plant has stated that the company’s decision to sell the plant to the Ladhani Group’s SLMG has put the job security and future prospects of hundreds of permanent and temporary workers at risk.

Protesting against the sale of the plant, the workers union in its letters to various authorities, has said that there is no guarantee that the new management of the plant will continue to employ HCCB workers in the long-term. The worker union has also demanded that payments, in-line with the LTS (Long-Term Wage Settlement), should be given.

One of the key members of the Coca-Cola Workers Union at the Varanasi plant told BusinessLine, “We have been working at this plant for the past two decades and now we are seriously concerned about our future prospects and job security. We are not sure the new management will continue to employ us."

According to local media reports, similar protests have been staged and concerns expressed by the workers at the Dasna plant.

When contacted, a spokesperson for Coca-Cola India said, “The workers remain valued members of the Coca-Cola family, and the local bottlers have committed to ensuring their pay and benefits remain unchanged.”

“This is an internal realignment exercise for our bottling operations in North India, as Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd (HCCB) – the company-owned bottler for the majority of India, is transferring its business operations to the existing bottling partners in North India. Our Franchise model of bottling operations with local and indigenous partners is consistent across the world. The Franchise Bottling Partners have been an integral part of the Coca-Cola systems and have operated our businesses in India since 1993,” the company added.

Published on December 08, 2019

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.