UK: Coca-Cola Enterprises pay dispute continues
Coca-Cola Enterprises is disappointed over planned strike action
Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) said it is "disappointing" that industrial action will take place in the UK this week, as the pay dispute with staff in the country continues.
A strike took place at the firm's Edmonton bottling plant earlier this month when workers downed tools in a 24-hour protest at CCE's offer of a 2% pay rise.
In the ongoing protest, trade union Unite has planned two further two-day strikes, the first beginning today (23 September), with the second scheduled for 29 September.
Unite's national officer for food and drink, Jennie Formby, said on Tuesday: "Coca-Cola is a licence to print money yet the company is determined to hold down its workers' pay. All the workers want is a fair deal and something which helps them make ends meet.
"There was superb support for the strike action last week and our fight will continue until Coca-Cola does the right thing," Formby said.
The union added that Coca-Cola should "get back round the negotiating table" with its workforce to resolve the dispute or it could see the unrest spread elsewhere in the company.
However, a spokesperson for CCE said today: "Short stoppage industrial action is taking place at our Edmonton site today. This is disappointing as we remain open to further dialogue with all our employees and the union. We continue to believe this offers the prospect of a constructive outcome, and that the pay offer we have made is fair in the current climate.
"CCE has plans in place to ensure that any industrial action does not disrupt the high quality of service we always aim to deliver for our customers," the spokesperson added.
Unite members at the plant have voted eight to one to reject the company's 2% pay offer. Inflation in the UK has been hovering between 3% and 5%, which has led to Unite accusing CCE of proposing a real terms pay cut.
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