Under attack by the media, health crusading politicians and other social activists, in recent years Coca-cola has been struggling to maintain its positive reputation. To this end, it has developed an “ambassadors program” that aims to turn each of its employees into its primary supporters – if not promoters. The program focuses on giving employees the tools to defend the company and its brands against accusations of being a superfluous product that is unhealthy for consumers, unfriendly to the environment and disrespectful of human rights.
While many European employees welcome this initiative, they challenge its credibility.
“How can Coke expect us to be their ambassadors in good faith, while axing jobs on an ongoing basis?” they wonder.
“Why should we show our passion to the brands and business, when this same passion of many years is being washed away by the many cost-cutting initiatives that compromise our worklife balance? Or when we don’t know if and for how long we’ll have a job with Coca-Cola?”
These and other issues have arisen but remain unanswered.
Thus, on 5 May 2014, many of these “ambassadors” will unite under the flag of EFFAT and national trade unions to demand one thing: They want to remain Coca-Cola employees!
They demand that Coke remains loyal to them, as Coke wants them to be loyal to the business and its brands in return! They want to hear about commitment to those who work for Coke and not only about the strong interest that Coca-cola is taking in improving its environmental footprint and encouraging communities to be more active and healthy!
Coca-Cola: Stop axing jobs! Stop degrading the workplace through precarisation and outsourcing initiatives! Stop ruining our work-life balance through ever-increasing requests for labour flexibility!
Coca-Cola: If you want us as your ambassadors, treat us as an asset, not as a cost that needs to be cut!