Coca-Cola Enterprises faces Teamsters dispute

Coca-Cola Enterprises faces Teamsters dispute

Coca-Cola Enterprises has said that it is confident of maintaining drinks supplies after workers in the US state of Washington went on strike over contract talks. 

Around 500 Coca-Cola workers in Western Washington have downed tools in protest at poor progress on contract talks, according to the Teamsters trade union. It also said that the National Labor Relations Board, an independent federal body in the US, is to investigate Teamsters' allegations that local Coca-Cola representatives have breached employment laws.

A spokesperson for Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) rejected any suggestion that its affiliate company, The Coca-Cola Bottling Co of Washington, has broken labour laws.

"The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Washington has been negotiating in good faith and we expect to reach a fair and equitable agreement with the union," CCE told just-drinks in a statement today (24 August). 

It said it was confident of maintaining drinks supplies. "We continue to make every effort to produce, distribute and sell our products in the marketplace and have a strong contingency plan in place to continue servicing our customers’ needs."

The firm added: "The company absolutely does not engage in intimidation of or retaliation against employees in any way, shape or form, nor do we tolerate these actions by any of our employees. We always have and will continue to treat all employees with fairness, dignity and respect."

Separately, The National Labor Relations Board yesterday announced that it had secured a temporary court injunction against Sacramento Coca-Cola Bottling Co in California. The injunction forces the company to recognise a merger between Teamsters and the Sacramento Coca-Cola Bottlers Employees Union.