Even before contract negotiations resumed on Thursday, November 5, Coca-Cola representatives made it clear to Teamsters Local 727 they had to cut the day short.
Management kicked off the morning by addressing just one lone provision among its dense and varied contract proposals. The company initially offered no movement or other specifics regarding the remaining proposals on the table.
Following hours of negotiations on Wednesday, November 4, the Local 727 Bargaining Committee and union attorneys reorganized all outstanding proposals in a single report to streamline future talks.
Following Coca-Cola’s pronouncement to end the day early on Thursday, Local 727 comprehensively addressed the outstanding proposals across the bargaining table. The Committee took advantage of limited bargaining time Thursday to try to reach as much common-ground as possible.
Throughout its response to management, the union offered new movement regarding bidding for shift preferences, adjustments to the grievance procedure, mechanics testing, scheduling and start times. Local 727 held strong on other key proposals, including the guarantee of 40-hour workweeks that Coca-Cola wants to eliminate.
Following the Bargaining Committee’s comprehensive summary, the company resubmitted all of its own regressive offers without any compromise or movement. Management still has not submitted an economics proposal for wages and benefits, nor have they responded to outstanding information requests.
“Day after day, Coca-Cola management returns to the bargaining table with nothing of any real substance to offer its workers,” said John Coli Jr., President of Local 727. “We are rapidly approaching the expiration of our union contract and the company seems altogether unwilling to negotiate responsibly or meaningfully. The Bargaining Committee refuses to be intimidated by Coca-Cola’s delay tactics, and we will continue to demand a fair contract.”
The final session for negotiations is currently scheduled for November 18.
“If Coca-Cola wants to play chicken with the Teamsters, we’re not going to blink,” Coli added. “Barring no additional movement from the company, Local 727 will do what is necessary to protect our members and get a final contract that honors the hard work they put in every day.”