What happens to unions when a company is sold? Ricolino’s case

Last September, Ricolino staff achieved a salary increase 6% and 15% in benefits when he still belonged to Grupo Bimbo. As of 2023, Mondelēz, the new owner of the confectionery, will be the one who negotiates with the National Food and Commerce Union (SNAC), adhered to the Confederation of Workers of Mexico (CTM), one of the workers’ unions largest in the country despite losing representation.

According to article 41 of the Federal Labor Law (LFT), “the substitution of the employer” or the sale of the company “will not affect labor relations”. The organization that bought the company “will be jointly responsible” for the obligations contracted by the previous one, but only for six months.

At the end of that period, “only the responsibility of the new employer will subsist”. Notice must be given of the employer change the staff or the unionin case you have one.

The production staff that the American multinational Mondelēz has acquired consists of more than 6,000 employees in three plants. The transaction was for 1,329 million dollars and once it is approved by the Federal Economic Competition Commission (Cofece), it will be able to take part in the annual review of the contract with the SNAC.

The administrative process of the purchase-sale could conclude until October, one month after the date stipulated for negotiate the TCA. For this reason, it will be until 2023 when it is time to do this procedure.

First SNAC-Mondelēz meeting

“Even if the companies are sold, the cocollective bargaining agreements (CCT) are not for sale. That our colleagues at Ricolino are sure that their working conditions will improve,” says Alejandro Martínez Araiza, general secretary of the (SNAC). Seniority is one of the important points to protect, since some people have been working for that company for more than 30 years.

The SNAC is the owner of the Ricolino CCT, as well as El Globo, Hershey’s, Turin, Comex and more, in total there are 32 companies and 50 collective contracts.

A few days ago the union leader met with directors of Mondelēz. “The first meeting was very cordial. I carried the message that the contract was not for negotiation and was not touched, ”says Alejandro Martínez in an interview.

Oriol Bonaclocha, CEO of Mondelēz in Mexico, and his team were receptive, he says. “We will all embrace this new chapter for improve the workforce and the same company. If the company does well, so do we,” he said.

Mondelēz, like Grupo Bimbo, is listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV). Some of the benefits they have its workers and that were improved last year are food vouchers, aid for culture and sports, marriage and birth bonuses, per diems and work boots for vendors. They also have a savings account and 60% scholarships with the Universidad del Valle de México.

The background of the Telmex case

Ricolino’s will not be the first company sold whose staff has a collective labor agreement. Perhaps one of the most important in recent decades has been Telephones of Mexico, Telmexwhich in 1990 was sold to Grupo Carso, owned by Carlos Slim.

Its workforce currently totals more than 55,000 workers and workers and it is affiliated with the Telephone Operators Union of the Mexican Republic (STRM), founded in 1950. This organization, in turn, is integrated into the National Union of Workers (UNT), a labor union formed in 1997.

This Friday said union could launch a strike, the first since 1985. That is, before Slim acquired Telmex. The company has rejected the 7.5% increase in salary and 3% in benefits requested by the union, nor has it accepted to fill the almost 2,000 vacancies.

The location of the STRM is also by CCT violationsbecause he assures that the company has taken away work material, transferring functions to other of his companies in which the personnel is not unionized.

Some of the benefits of your contract are 63-day bonus and savings fund. Their vacation periods range from 11 days from the first year, up to 31 days upon completion of 21 years of service, and a payment of 170% of the corresponding salaries. They have 17 mandatory rest days per year, and not 9, as it is for the rest of the working population.

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