Coca-Cola’s Lies Continue in Second Letter, Management Submits Regressive Economic Proposal During Mediation
Management for Coca-Cola Refreshments continued playing games on December 14, wasting the time of Teamsters Local 727 members as federal mediation began.
Prior to Monday’s meeting, the company sent a second letter to union members, blatantly lying about its own intentions and the status of contract negotiations. Coca-Cola Refreshments has told workers its sole focus is to reach a fair agreement, but after at least six hours of mediation, management only presented one new proposal — to regressively slash its previous offers.
The company’s revised economic package proposed a mere 40-cent wage increase each year of a new contract, progressing 5 cents over the length of a five-year agreement. Additionally, Coca-Cola Refreshments proposed raising workers’ health care premiums by more than $5 from its last economic offer.
The previous company proposal submitted on December 2 included higher percentage-based wage increases but health care hikes that would have doubled workers’ premiums over time. The unfair and unreasonable offer management carried into mediation went a step further toward weakening Local 727 members’ benefits.
“Coca-Cola has no respect for its own employees, and the company is proving it every minute of federal mediation,” said John Coli, Jr., President of Local 727. “Throughout negotiations, Coca-Cola repetitively talks about wanting to be the top company in the beverage industry. But the way they treat workers will guarantee that never happens. They make movement at the bargaining table, but it’s always in the wrong direction. For as gigantic as Coca-Cola is, this company should be setting the precedent for fair labor relations, not trying its absolute hardest to strip away rights.”
Mediation is continuing as Monday stretches into the late night hours. Local 727 has informed Coca-Cola Refreshments and federal mediators that the union is ready to negotiate all night.
Meanwhile, the National Labor Relations Board is continuing to investigate the numerous unfair labor practice charges against the company. Recently, Local 727 filed an additional charge against the company contesting the employer’s unilateral termination of employees’ health care coverage. All Teamster members will be updated as negotiations continue.