Striking Coca-Cola workers bring protests to Kitchener – Kitchener-Waterloo – CBC News #cokestrike

Striking Coca-Cola workers bring protests to Kitchener – Kitchener-Waterloo – CBC News.

A number of employees from the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Brampton who live in Waterloo Region have set up picket lines in various parts of Kitchener.

On June 27, over 700 members of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) Local 973 employed at the Brampton facility went on strike. The union says that the company is asking for a large list of concessions from workers, meanwhile its net profit for 2012 was $9 billion.

About 40 workers commute to the plant from Kitchener and Cambridge.

Jim Saunders, a strike captain leading a demonstration outside Kitchener City Hall, says the list of concessions Coca-Cola is asking for include the elimination of pensions for all new hires and the outsourcing of certain jobs.

“We’re trying to protect those things that were agreed on in past contracts that they want to rip apart,” said Saunders.

Erika Mozes, the director of public affairs and communications with Coca-Cola, could not comment on the specifics of what is being negotiated between the company and the union.

However, she said that while Coca-Cola respects the union’s decision to strike, the company feels the action was unfortunate and unnecessary.

“We recognize the importance of offering competitive compensation and benefits to our employees and their families, we know that’s the right thing to do,” said Mozes. “But we also have to look at our operations, and how we can insure that they are in line with what our shareholders are looking for as well.”

Mozes added that any disruptions to Coca-Cola product distribution is expected to be limited by the strike action.

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