Coca-Cola management made no significant movement on non-economic proposals as contract negotiations resumed with the union on Tuesday, November 3.
Company representatives failed to address economic proposals offered by the Local 727 Bargaining Committee last week and continues to go back and forth on non-economic issues. Coca-Cola said discussing wages and benefits would be “premature” until tentative agreements can be reached on non-economics — despite management’s own unwillingness to move on such proposals.
On Tuesday, the company couldn’t offer clear definitions of safety shoe policies — a failure that followed Coca-Cola’s previous inability to defend shift schedule changes related to meetings it says are voluntary.
Management attempted to chastise the Bargaining Committee for presenting too many proposals throughout negotiations. Among several key issues, the company is asking to reduce seniority for Teamster members because such rights create “too much dialogue” among workers and company personnel.
“Local 727 is not going to apologize for making proposals that demand strong rights and benefits for our members,” said John Coli Jr., President of Local 727. “The union made plans to negotiate in July and August, and consistently requested to meet with Coca-Cola earlier this year. But time and again, management cancelled previously scheduled dates and ignored our requests. Now that they’ve come to the table, it’s time for Coca-Cola to make responsible, substantive movement for its workforce.”
Coca-Cola is maintaining its preference to negotiate one agreement for mechanics and production and warehouse Teamsters and a separate contract for Local 727 transport workers. Both offers currently propose eliminating workweek guarantees and limiting schedule and bidding flexibility.
“Our Bargaining Committee will not recommend a contract to the membership that doesn’t include work guarantees and other strong benefits,” Coli said.
Negotiations continue November 4-5. Members will be kept up-to-date as bargaining progresses.
Members should be on the lookout for new red Teamsters Local 727 T-shirts. If you have questions, or if you do not receive a shirt, contact your business representative, Aisha Hurston, at (847) 696-7500 or by email at [email protected]