Teamsters go on strike against Coca-Cola
Jul 21, 2004 1:44 PM, from staff and wire reports
Teamsters in San Diego CA who produce and distribute Coca-Cola products for Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) have gone on strike to protest the company’s demand to increase workers’ health care costs.
CCE nearly quadrupled profits during the first quarter of 2004 and reported a 16% increase in revenues during the same period. Coca-Cola Co, majority shareholder of CCE, recently awarded $24 million to its departing president, Steven Heyer, who served three years with the firm.
“Rather than lavishing departing executives with millions of dollars, the company should address the health care needs of workers,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters general president. “Heyer’s payout alone could have covered health care costs for thousands of Coca-Cola Teamster families.”
The contract between Coca-Cola and Teamsters Local 683 expired May 2, but employees were working under an extension, said Bob Phillips, a spokesman for Coca-Cola.
“We believe that Coca-Cola provides excellent and competitive wages and benefits to all our employees,” Phillips said. “We are committed to an open and honest dialogue in all these discussions, and we’re hopeful for a resolution in the near future. We’ve bargained in good faith so far, and we will continue to do so.”
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