Crunch talks get underway to avoid strikes at Europe’s biggest soft drinks plant
- Thursday 8 June 2023
Coca Cola Europacific Partner’s (CCEP) offers a real terms pay cut whilst profits rise 37% to £1.85 billion.
Crippling strikes are due to begin next week
Union leaders will meet with Coca Cola bosses today (Thursday 8 June) to demand a fairer share of the company’s mammoth profits.
The union is warning that a failure to improve the company’s pay offer will mean a crippling two week strike at the largest soft drinks plant in Europe as summer gets underway and demand increases.
Unite is planning 14 days of strikes beginning on 14 June. But the union is not ruling out calling further strikes.
The workers voted for industrial action by a margin of 87% in protest over a pay offer which does nothing to address the cost of living crisis. This is after CCEP generated revenues over £15 billion (17 billion Euros) combined with an operating profit of £1.85 billion (2.1 billion Euros). The CCEP wage deal across different grades amounts to an average 6% increase.
Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham said: “Coca Cola Europacific Partners made an astronomical £1.85 billion in profits but the company is delivering a real terms pay cut to the workers in Wakefield. It’s nothing short of corporate greed.”
CCEP Wakefield can produce 360,000 cans per hour, and 132,000 bottles per hour.
One of Britain’s favourite energy drinks is also at risk. A strike could also Monster Monster.
Monster energy drinks is a client of CCEP. The Wakefield plant can produce 525,000 cases a week.
CCEP’s products include; Coca Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Dr Pepper, Fanta, Fanta Lemon, Fanta Fruit Twist, Sprite. The plant also produces Schweppes: Tonic, Diet Tonic, Bitter Lemon, Ginger Ale and Lemonade.
Unite regional officer, Chris Rawlinson: “Unite reps are meeting the company today to demand a fairer share the soft drink maker’s profits. A refusal to use those mammoth profits to ease the cost of living pressure weighing down on workers will mean severe shortages of the UK’s favourite soft drinks.”
Contact: Ciaran Naidoo 07768 931 315
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Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.