News World Coke ordered to reinstate workers

Coke ordered to reinstate workers

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A Spanish court has ordered US drinks giant Coca-Cola to reinstate more than 800 workers it had laid off as it closed down four bottling plants.

The planned closure of the Spanish plants has sparked months of strikes by workers, who say the company has no right to cut jobs when it is making a profit.

Coca-Cola Iberian Partners, the regional branch of the US company, had planned 1,190 layoffs of which 821 had been carried out.

The National Court in Madrid on Friday said in a statement it had “declared void” that plan.

It said the company had not adequately informed or negotiated with workers about the restructuring and had undermined their right to strike by hiring outside workers.

It ordered the company to reinstate the 821 and pay them their outstanding salaries.

Spain’s leading labour union UGT hailed the ruling against the “unjustifiable” layoffs.

“We demand that Coca-Cola take on board the National Court’s ruling and solve the business problems by opening negotiations with the unions that will not see jobs affected,” it said in a statement.

Spain emerged last year from its second recession in five years but the unemployment rate remains extremely high at close to 26 per cent.