Refreshing Pauses: Coca-Cola and Human Rights in Guatemala

By Henry J. Frundt | Go to book overview

2
Subdivision

STEGAC had won a major battle--the legal right to exist. By May, the union even included many who had signed the company's pliego de peticiones. "They explained how Fong and Mejicano had threatened their jobs, telling them that others were waiting just outside the gates, but also offering them higher wages, and even promising uniforms for the company soccer team if they would sign!" ( Márquez int. 1983).

Trotter finally agreed to negotiate the draft contract, which now listed 98 articles, "but only if the workers would rent space in a hotel away from the plant. When the meeting opened, Fong accused Ernesto González of having cut phone wires and destroyed EGSA property during the strike. The police then arrived and took Ernesto away. The workers denounced such "delaying tactics," demanding Ernesto's release or they would renew the strike. He was let go two days later ( T 5-25-76).

As soon as the meetings got under way again, the police came with warrants for the union executive committee: "A plant watchman was reported shot." Then a young woman named Clemencia appeared at the hotel and EGSA's management claimed that the union had paid her to lure the guard to lunch across the street. As he returned, he was shot and killed.

Forewarned, the executive committee did not arrive, so the police arbitrarily arrested three other workers. "Come along, Clemencia," they said. "You want to go free, don't you? We have some pictures to show you" ( N 5-28-76). They went to a military prosecuter who stepped beyond his jurisdiction to accept Clemencia's "confession" about being hired by the three. She was duly set free, but the prosecuter ordered

-17-

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Refreshing Pauses: Coca-Cola and Human Rights in Guatemala
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction ix
  • 1 - The Lockout/Strike 1
  • 2 - Subdivision 17
  • 3 - The Church Takes Stock 28
  • 4 - First Settlement 42
  • 5 - Repression 56
  • 6 - The Corporate Forum 72
  • 7 91
  • 8 - Boycott! 105
  • 9 - The Spring Offensive 123
  • 10 - Negotiations Begin 135
  • 11 - Abduction 153
  • 12 - A Contract! 163
  • 13 - An Oasis Runs Dry 173
  • 14 - Occupation 187
  • 15 - The Third Campaign 200
  • 16 - Echoes of Victory 213
  • Concluding Reflections 222
  • Notes 233
  • Bibliography 245
  • Index 262
  • About the Author 269
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