Pepsi Cola in Mexico, particularly its union, union-management relations, and mistreatment of its unionists by company personnel or government officials (2001-2002) [MEX39776.E]

A 1998 report by the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF), states that in Mexico, approximately 87,000 workers are employed at 95 bottling plants of Coca-Cola, 44 Pepsi-Cola bottling plants, and 44 independent plants, with most workers being represented by the Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Industria Embotelladora de Aguas Gaseosas, Refrescos, Aguas Naturales, Cervezas y de las Bebidas Envasadas en General, Similares y Conexos (CTM-STIE) (IUF 1998a). The same year, the organization reported that "in Mexico the major Pepsi bottler is Gemex" adding that "these arrangements are not fully satisfactory for PepsiCo, since strong independent bottlers are less dependent on PepsiCo and not single-mindedly dedicated to promoting PepsiCo products" (ibid. 1998b).

In mid-2002 the Mexican Pepsi-Gemex group, owner corporation of the Pepsi bottling plants in Mexico led by Enrique Molina, had reached an agreement with Pepsi Co. to sell the stock of Pepsi-Gemex in Mexico and the United States to the Pepsi Bottling Group, in a deal worth some US$254 million (UAN 8 May 2002; PBG 13 Aug. 2002). Pepsi Bottling was reportedly created by PepsiCo in late 1998 "to run its bottling operations in North America" (IUF 1998b; PepsiCo 13 Aug. 2002).

The Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG) reported on 7 May 2002 that "Pepsi-Gemex, S.A. de C.V....headquartered in Mexico City, is the second largest bottler of Pepsi-Cola beverages outside of the United States and owns Mexico's largest purified water company, Electropura," adding that "the Pepsi brands hold a strong market share position in Mexico and the Electropura water brand is the market leader."

No references to labour conflicts affecting Mexican Pepsi-Cola employees in general in 2001 or 2002 could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

Within the research constraints of this Response, the only references on labour conflicts involving employees and a Pepsi-Cola company in Mexico during this period were two cases of individual employees scheduled for hearings of the State Labour Board (Junta Laboral) in Mexico State. These refer to cases filed in 2001, each involving a specific individual vs. the Embotelladora Metropolitana S.A. de C.V. (Metropolitan Bottling Company) (Gobierno del Estado de México 1 Feb. 2002; ibid. 13 Feb. 2002; ibid. 19 Sept. 2001; ibid. 7 Aug. 2001). The Embotelladora Metropolitana is described as a Pepsi-Cola bottling company (Videsa 2002), part of the Grupo Gemex (CEMEFI 2002).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Centro Mexicano para la Filantropia (CEMEFI), Mexico City. 2002. "Grupo Operativo." [Accessed 30 Aug. 2002]

Gobierno del Estado de México. 13 February 2002. "Junta Especial Número Tres." [Accessed 30 Aug. 2002]

_____. 1 February 2002. "Junta Especial Número Tres." [Accesed 30 Aug. 2002]

_____. 19 September 2001. "Junta Especial Número Uno." [Accessed 30 Aug. 2002]

_____. 7 August 2001. "Junta Especial Número Dos." [Accessed 30 Aug. 2002]

International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF), Switzerland. 1998a. Beverages Bulletin No. 3. Latin American Beverages Conference. "Mexico." [Accessed 30 Aug. 2002]

_____. 1998b. "PepsiCo." [Accessed 30 Aug. 2002]

Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG) [Somers, New York]. 13 August 2002. "The Pepsi Bottling Group Announces Agreement On Enterprise Value of Pepsi-Gemex." [Accessed 30 Aug. 2002]

_____. 7 May 2002. "The Pepsi Bottling Group Announces Non-Binding Agreement To Acquire Pepsi-Gemex." [Accessed 30 Aug. 2002]

PepsiCo [Purchase, New Jersey]. 13 August 2002. "PepsiCo Applauds Deal Between Pepsi Bottling Group and Gemex." [Accessed 30 Aug. 2002]

Universidad Autonoma de Nayarit (UAN), Mexico. 8 May 2002. Síntesis informativa nacional. "Acuerda Pepsi México venta a empresa de EU." nacional/listnotas.php?173 [Accessed 30 Aug. 2002]

Videsa, Mexico City. 2002. "Nuestros Clientes." [Accessed 30 Aug. 2002]

Additional Sources Consulted

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2000-2001. 2001-2002.

Entorno Laboral [Mexico City[. Nov. 2001-Feb. 2002.

International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), Brussels. Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights 2000-2002. 2000-2002.

IRB Databases.

La Jornada [Mexico City]. Searchable archives.

Mexican Labor News and Analysis [Cincinnati]. Dec. 2000-Aug. 2002.