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Coca-Cola Consolidated to furlough 700 employees

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Coca-Cola Consolidated, the largest independent Coca-Cola bottler in the US, is to put 700 staff on temporary leave.

Coca-Cola Consolidated said the staff should be eligible for US Government assistance

Coca-Cola Consolidated said the staff should be eligible for US Government assistance

The move, which affects about 4% of CCC's 17,000 staff, is part of cost-saving measures caused by "uncertainty" around the coronavirus pandemic, the bottler said yesterday. The staff are expected to remain away from work from today until 21 June and will receive health care benefits but not their salary.

The staff should be eligible for US Government unemployment compensation under a "furloughing" programme, CCC said.

The announcement, made to the US Securities & Exchange Commission, is one of the first official statements from a soft drinks company to warn of furloughed staff. Last month, The Coca-Cola Co CEO James Quincey told CNBC News he has no plans to lay off employees because of the coronavirus.

Elsewhere in the drinks industry, staffing cuts have mainly happened in companies with an on-premise focus. In the UK, brewery & pub landlords Fuller, Smith & Turner and Shepherd Neame have furloughed the majority of their employees.

Heineken, which is one of the biggest pub landlords in the UK, pledged last month to retain all of its employees until at least the end of this year.

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