UK: Cola-Cola Enterprises faces Europe-wide union action
Trade unions are planning strike action against Coca-Cola Enterprise's restructuring plans
European trade unions for Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) are planning coordinated action against the firm's restructuring plans for the continent.
On 5 October, CCE trade unions met in Brussels to discuss a strategy to "force" the bottler to "fully engage with its workforces" over restructuring, which the Unite union in the UK believes will include over 400 job cuts.
"European unions across CCE are planning coordinated action beginning with demonstrations at the end of October," said Unite's national officer Jennie Formby. "The unions will not allow CCE to push through changes without the unions being fully involved and they expect a commitment to no forced redundancies."
The joint trade unions are demanding "meaningful consultations, no forced redundancies and ... suitable alternative jobs for those who are displaced". Strike action is expected to take place on 27 October.
A CCE spokesperson said: "Coca-Cola Enterprises is proposing to make changes at our manufacturing and distribution sites across Europe; these changes target a single, consistent way of working across our plants so that we can remain competitive and grow our business for the future.
"No decisions have yet been made, and we are now in consultation with employee representatives. If implemented, the changes would impact seven sites in GB. The proposed changes could result in up to 120 roles being at risk of redundancy in GB, however 130 GB vacancies and new roles would be made available. We will seek to manage and mitigate the impact on our people wherever possible," the spokesperson added.
Strikes have already taken place at the firm's Edmonton bottling plant in the UK last month when workers downed tools in a 24-hour protest at CCE's offer of a 2% pay rise.
Trade unions representing CCE employees in the UK said today (11 October), that the company's refusal to enter into "meaningful negotiations" to end the strike at Edmonton sends a clear message that CCE wants to "dictate rather than negotiate".
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