The General Executive Board of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters today approved strike assistance benefits for more than 300 Chicago-area workers who could initiate an unfair labor practice strike at any time against Coca-Cola Refreshments.
Teamsters Local 727 represents 319 production and warehouse workers and transport drivers at Coca-Cola Refreshments facilities in Niles and Alsip, Ill. The union’s bargaining committee and company managers met 12 times since Oct. 28 to try to reach an agreement. During the process, Coca-Cola Refreshments committed numerous unfair labor practices, forcing workers to nearly unanimously vote to authorize an unfair labor practice strike.
Local 727 members were ready to take to the picket line on Tuesday, but management in a last-ditch effort asked for a 24-hour delay to the start of the ULP strike. To try to resolve those differences, the union granted Coca-Cola Refreshments’ request.
“With confirmation from the Teamsters International that our members will receive strike assistance benefits, we’re fully prepared to stand up to Coca-Cola in every way,” said John Coli Jr., President of Local 727. “Into the midnight hours for the past several days, Coca-Cola has shown no effort to negotiate a fair contract with the Teamsters. The company’s unfair labor practices have continued for weeks, and our members are ready to strike to protect their rights.”
Teamsters Local 727 is an affiliate of Teamsters Joint Council 25, America’s premier labor union for Chicago, Illinois and northwest Indiana.