Workers reach agreement with Coca-Cola – Venezuelan conglomerate continues beer production

 This week, Polar, the beverage and food conglomerate in Venezuela, has officially confirmed that the production of malt and beer will be continued until the end of this year. As we already reported, over a month ago Lorenzo Mendoza, the president of the Venezuelan conglomerate, announced that they will stop production due to lack of US Dollars influx, and the inability to buy raw materials.



However, the situation has changed, and last week Mendoza gave a statement, saying: “Because of the current situation, we have been trying to find a way to restart the production of malt and beer, and luckily, a temporary solution has been found and it will allow the production until the end of this year”.

Next month, as collateral, the conglomerate will will use their shares in “Inversiones Banpro International Inc. N.V. Curacao”, and a loan of USD$35 million, from BBVA Provincial Bank.

They also said: “This solution will allow us to buy raw materials that are essential for production…”

The loan the company will take, will start being paid off after 6 months, and as their officials stated, it is extremely important that the government of Venezuela offers a system that will allow foreign currency to access the state, so that they can pay out their loan.

Exactly 80% of the beer market in Venezuela is being supplied by Polar, who closed four of their facilities in April, leaving around 10,000 workers without a job.

Regarding the Mendoza’s statements about the lack of US Dollar influx, President Maduro stated: “Don’t worry about dollars, there are none”, and he also added that Mendoza can use his personal capital to solve the company’s productivity.

At the same time, in the Venezuelan-Colombian border state Maracaibo, Zulia, workers of Coca-Cola’s Femsa Maracaibo-Sur plant (Which was closed down in May) have reached an agreement with the company, which will allow over 800 workers to continue their work, with all the benefits that come with their job.

Benito José Mambel, the union workers’ general secretary, explained: “This is a great achievement for the Coca-Cola workers, but we have not won yet. We believe that our place is in the plant”.

This agreement will be active for one month from signing, and if the facility manages to fulfill the production quota, the agreement will be renewed for one more month. Furthermore, the plant’s condition will be reviewed every 48 hours, by a committee that consists of Coca-Cola’s officials, Union representatives, and representatives of the plant’s workers.

Ana Vugrinec

Based in Serbia, journalist, writer, and a proud mother. Ana has a BA in Journalism, a wide experience in news agencies, but also loves writing short stories for children, as well as fashion and music articles, and DIY home tutorials on her blog.