Coca Cola workers on strike

27-07-2007

Coca Cola workers on strike
Coca Cola workers have begun a two-day strike at a bottling plant in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

The workers, who began the strike at 07:00 BST today and will finish at the same time on Saturday, are staging the walkout in response to a below inflation pay offer from the drinks company.

A further 24-hour strike has been scheduled to begin tomorrow morning at a distribution centre in Milton Keynes.

According to the Unite union Coca Cola will lose 1,000 working hours as a result of the industrial action after 82 per cent of workers voted in favour of the strike.

Unite regional secretary Davy Hall commented: "Given that Coca Cola Enterprises make significant profits, we are not prepared to see our members' wages cut. Their hard work has delivered the profits for Coca Cola Enterprises. Their mortgages, gas bills and council tax have all increased but their pay has fallen flat.

"This is the first two days of strike action. We are prepared to reopen negotiations to help resolve the dispute but our members are also adamant that the dispute could well escalate."

Coca Cola has insisted however that despite the disruption it has manufactured and distributed a "typical Thursday's quantity" of soft drinks across the UK.

Stephen Moorhouse, the firm's head of operations, said: "We have designed a highly-efficient supply system to flex according to normal fluctuations in demand.

"Our priority is to ensure our customers always get the soft drinks they want in the volumes, places and mix of products they need for their consumers, from our network. It's why our customers continually vote us number one for customer service."

Two further strikes at the Wakefield plant have been scheduled for August 13th and 14th.


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