Refreshing Pauses: Coca-Cola and Human Rights in Guatemala

Refreshing Pauses: Coca-Cola and Human Rights in Guatemala

Refreshing Pauses: Coca-Cola and Human Rights in Guatemala

Refreshing Pauses: Coca-Cola and Human Rights in Guatemala

Synopsis

Introduction The Lockout/Strike Subdivision The Church Takes Stock First Settlement Repression The Corporate Forum An International Front Boycott! The Spring Offensive Negotiations Begin Abduction A Contract ! An Oasis Runs Dry Occupation The Third Campaign Echoes of Victory Concluding Reflections Notes Bibliography Index About the Author

Excerpt

Ricardo Boche Morales ran his hand through the strands of black hair that perspiration had glued to his forehead. He had so looked forward to his new job at Coca-Cola, but after only two months the job had become unbearable. the task of picking up crates of bottles coming off the line and stacking them on pallets for transfer to the warehouse was not the problem: Although the work was hard, he felt a sense of accomplishment in setting the crates in perfect line so the bottles would not slide when the pallets were moved. He had made friends with Santos, another packer's helper from the country, and Mercedes, who sought warehouse overtime to support his family. He also enjoyed the way the workers of pure Indian descent described life in the mountains, the same mountains that could be seen from the courtyard that surrounded the plant.

Rather, Ricardo's problem was the managers. He thought about each of them, beginning with the line supervisor; Aparecio, in charge of sales; Fong, who ran the office; Uriguen Zuazaga; the head of the plant, and finally Mejicano, chief of personnel. Why did they have to make life so difficult? Ricardo's first run-in occurred when he was denied permission to go to the bathroom. Santos was willing to take over his job for a few minutes, so Ricardo waited until the line supervisor disappeared, and walked to the bathroom. But Mejicano saw him and docked Ricardo an hour's pay.

Ricardo soon learned that he was not the only one with problems at Embotelladora Guatemalteca S.A. (EGSA), the official name of Coca-Cola's franchise in the capital city. Sales Chief Federico Aparecio had a reputation for corruption: he . . .

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