Why should I care about locked out Coke workers?

A lot of people think union negotiations don’t affect them.  They don’t belong to unions.  They think it’s unfair that union workers get so much more from employers than they do.  That may be true. But that’s because collective bargaining gives workers a voice they would otherwise not have.  The real issue isn’t that unions get so much, but that the rest of us get so little.  Corporations are declaring record profits, and yet continue to erode worker benefits and compensation, all while exploiting tax loopholes to avoid paying their fair share into the social framework that helps them function.  Think unions don’t have an effect?  Look at when the middle class emerged.  Look at when it flourished.  Now look at where it starts to erode.  Help keep the middle class from being a flash in the economic pan.  Locked out Coke workers are holding a line.  Like all unions do.  Without them, corporations will steamroll right over the working class.  Even our legislators are bought and paid for by big business, and can no longer be counted upon to protect the interests of working Canadians.

Coke in particular has a brutal history when it comes to dealing with labour in its operations around the globe.  You can read more about it here.  Support locked out Coke workers, boycott Coke until they deal fairly, and follow along at #cokestrike.

Unions and eqality

8 thoughts on “Why should I care about locked out Coke workers?

  1. Garran Smyth

    If you are a Canadian who believes in our Canadian values you should care about what coke is trying to do. Coke is run by people who feel no compassion, no responsibility to the communities they operate in and are completely unable to feel anything except the burning greed that has infected the very core of their being.The CEO of coke is exactly the same as the wall street piggies that nearly brought down the world economy.The only thing Muhtar Kent, the CEO of coke, knows is that all the millions he takes from the company every year is not enough. Our Canadian values are standing in his way of making even more millions.Why should you care about locked out coke workers? Because we, as Canadians, believe in being fair, we believe a company that made 9 billion $ last year should not be eliminating good paying jobs and replacing them with minimum wage jobs.You should care because we don’t want to be America. we don’t believe in the American “more profit at any cost” business model.If coke is successful which company will be next to eliminate good jobs and destroy families just to satisfy their out of control greed.This fight is not about us wanting more money. It is about protecting the jobs of people that need to support their family. It is about protecting the country we love. It is about looking south and saying ” keep you sickness in your own country”. This is Canada and we will not be turned in to America. Thanks to all that support us.and please stop buying coke product.

  2. OBS

    I think the author forgot to mention the fact the companies are required by law to try to make as much profit as possible. This can be seen by manufacturing jobs being outsourced, and now salaries and benefits being cut. You can only streamline production and distribution before you have to find other methods to cut costs. One of my professors discussed the fact that the amount of union membership in an industry is directly correlated to the wages in that industry. The previous poster is correct in saying that this is Canada, and not the US. The main problem with the US is inequality, as the middle class has slowly been eroded over the years. A thriving middle class is important to political stability, without it we would literally have the bourgeoisie vs the proletariat. This seems to be happening if the 99% movement is any indication. If you look at China, one of the factors that has come out of their recent economic growth is the creation of a burgeoning middle class. Middle classes are important, and in north america unions are one of the few things that keep them around.

    1. Jenn B Post author

      Actually, there is no legal obligation to maximize profit an any ethical cost. It is usually demanded by shareholders, who have the ability to replace management if their returns are not great enough. This often translates to that directive, however it is not a legal obligation, only a shareholder directive. A company once registered, is expected to make an effort to be create a reasonable and sustainable profit, and years of corporate losses might attract attention from either a Canadian or American tax department. They are not legally obliged to maximize anything, as ‘maximization’ would be purely subjective.

  3. Garran Smyth

    If companies were required by law to maximize profit Muhtar Kent and his evil minions would be fire because their compensation added together is more than the total payed to the 750 brampton workers.

  4. Pingback: Labour Herald – Issue No. 36 |

  5. Bert Debenham for a

    These jobs are hard work & takes time to be good at. Employees need to like their jobs in order to do it day in & day out. This is being found out by management now & more importantly the fact that they couldn’t / can’t do the job! I’m sure they are hoping for the lock out/strike to end as much if not more than the regular full time workers. I’d like to see some of these people that gripe about unions try to do it. It takes a toll on a person & without a union you getting hurt would mean you got fired. I’m sure that half of the workers have a minimum of 25 to 35 years of service & that being the reason for such a tough stance by Coca-Cola. It’s disturbing to think that Coca-Cola would do that to such loyal employees.

  6. Adrianna

    When the Government started bringing in hundreds of thousands of new immigrants per month, that should have been everyone’s first clue that the eradication of living life as we know it, was coming to an end.
    The Government and companies profit from slave labor (which is what minimum wage is). Coca Cola just joins GM, Ford, Airlines, and other areas where people are paid for the work they do, not just paid to have a job.
    It won’t be long until housing starts to fold, and drop instantly, and the banks start taking over the houses, and reselling them at a lower cost. In the end, they still make back their original mortgage for most of the homes that have already been owned a few years.

    1. Jenn B Post author

      I believe in regulated immigration actually. But I think all people working in Canada deserve a living wage. Regardless of country of origin. You’re right. As the middle class collapses, and mortgage rates creep up, we’ll be back in the Victorian age of Workers and Wealthy with nothing in between. In the US there are already 24 EMPTY houses for every homeless person. Detroit is bankrupt. Companies now answer to shareholders (Wall St.) vs their customers or employees. We are on a precipice right now. That’s why this fight matters.


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