First off, this is not a strike. It’s a lockout. When the deadline for bargaining passed, and the workers refused Coke’s demand for major concessions in hard earned pensions and benefits, Coke LOCKED THEM OUT. With a fence they began building long before negotiations had ended. Coke had no intention of bargaining in good faith. Wages were never even discussed. In spite of what Coke has released publicly, bringing up wages in their media release was a red herring to distract attention from Coke’s attempt to claw back the benefits and pensions that Coke employees ALREADY HAVE. And to make the deal worse for new hires, who will never enjoy the same benefits, and never see a pension. In a move that ensures its place among the ranks of the poster children for corporate greed, Coke’s Canadian operations, in spite of a declared profit of 9 BILLION have decided they need more. Citing ‘tough economic times’, (Tough for WHOM? That number again is $9 000 000 000.00!) Coke has decided that in no longer wants to extend benefits and pensions as part of its agreed upon compensation packages, because other companies in the private sector are getting away with offering less. It doesn’t take an economist to figure out that this is a formula for a quick race to the bottom, as everyone struggles to offer as little as the law will allow. Coke doesn’t need workers to tighten their belts. They’re not going broke. They’re enormously profitable. They are profitable because of the hard working men and women, from the line on up, who make the product. A supply chain is called a chain for a reason. EVERY LINK MATTERS.
This is where the union comes in. Only in solidarity do workers have a voice loud enough to make themselves heard. Not just by Coke, but by the consuming public as well. When we hold the line for Coke workers, we’re holding up the bar for ALL workers. Temporary, precarious work hurts ALL Canadians, and harms the economy for ALL of us. Without organized labour, the bar slips lower and lower for all workers, not just unionized ones. Push back against #corporategreed . Support #cokestrike . #boycottcoke and help #holdtheline for workers everywhere.