Coca-cola supplies at risk as British soft drink plant workers plan strike which will ‘inevitably shut down production’
- Unite said hundreds in Wakefield, Yorkshire would walk out for series of strikes
- Set to be two weeks of strike action, with three 48-hour and two 96-hour strikes
Coca-cola supplies are under threat as workers prepare to walk out over a pay dispute in a move union bosses say will ‘inevitably shut down production.’
Unite said hundreds of its members at the Coca Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) site in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, would walk out for a series of strikes over two weeks from June 8.
The workers voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action over a pay offer which the union said was worth an average of 6 per cent, which they claim did nothing to address the cost-of-living crisis.
Unite regional officer Chris Rawlinson said: ‘Coca-cola’s pay offer has fallen flat. The vast majority of the workforce have joined Unite to fight for fair pay.
‘Now a series of strikes will inevitably shut down the production of Britain’s favourite soft drinks, including Coca-Cola.
The plant can turn out up to 360,000 cans and 132,000 bottles every hour
Unite said hundreds of its members at the Coca Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) site (pictured) in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, would walk out for a series of strikes over two weeks from June 8
Former Prime Minister David Cameron held a question and answer session with staff at a Coca Cola during his visit to Wakefield, West Yorkshire when he was Conservative Party leader in 2010
‘But Industrial action can still be avoided at Europe’s biggest soft drinks plant if bosses realise that they must pay workers a fair wage from the company’s enormous profits.’
The plant say they have ‘robust contingency measures in place’ and their customers will not be disrupted.
There are set to be 14 days of strike action, comprising three 48-hour strikes and two 96-hour strikes, spaced over a two-week period.
The plant can turn out up to 360,000 cans and 132,000 bottles every hour.
Workers voted in favour of the strikes by a margin of 87 per cent.
Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham said: ‘Coca Cola Europacific Partners is making profits in the billions but it’s delivering a pay cut to the very workers who are making them.
‘The workers at Wakefield have Unite’s total support.’
A spokesperson for Coca Cola Europacific Partners said: ‘In the current economic climate, we believe the pay rises that we are offering are very competitive within the market place.
There are set to be 14 days of strike action, comprising three 48-hour strikes and two 96-hour strikes, spaced over a two-week period
The plant say they have ‘robust contingency measures in place’ and their customers will not be disrupted
‘We also provide substantial additional benefits and bonuses to our colleagues, altogether this is an average total package of £46,900 for a colleague at Wakefield.
‘We have also made a £1,000 payment to all frontline colleagues in the past twelve months to support the current cost of living challenges.
‘We have a strong track record of supporting colleagues at our Wakefield site, allowing them to build their skills and develop their careers in a hi-tech, modern manufacturing operation, where we have invested more than £100m in the past five years alone.
‘While Unite has chosen to proceed with industrial action, we remain fully committed to maintaining talks with our colleagues at our Wakefield site and their representatives to secure a constructive outcome.
‘We have robust contingency measures in place and are confident that there will be no disruption to our trade customers.’
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