Spanish court backs Coca Cola

Madrid, October 10

A Spanish court on Friday ruled Coca Cola does not have to give workers from a shut-down factory their bottling jobs back as long as it maintains their pay and conditions.

Workers who were laid off when the US drinks giant shut down several bottling plants in Spain had sued to get their original jobs back. Earlier court rulings had forced the company to cancel 1,000 layoffs and reinstate over 200 workers who had already been dismissed. The plan to shut the plants sparked a strike for months last year.

Eighty-five employees returned to work last month at a new logistics centre on the site of one of old bottling plants, in Fuenlabrada district of southern Madrid.

In the case of another 130 workers, the court had to rule whether they could be appointed to new posts in logistics centre or whether the firm had to give them back their old jobs despite the firm’s plans to wind down those operations. The National Court in Madrid in a written ruling on Friday upheld Coca Cola’s decision to keep the Fuenlabrada plant running as a logistics centre.