Unite press release

For immediate release: Thursday 25 May 2023

Strike to hit supplies of Coca Cola, Sprite & Fanta this summer

Workers announce strikes at Europe’s biggest soft drinks plant.

Coca Cola Europacific Partner’s offers a real terms pay cut whilst profits rise 37% to £1.85 billion

Offering workers a real terms pay cut when business is booming is nothing short of corporate greed.

A series of strikes will hit supplies of Britain’s favourite soft drinks this summer because the hugely profitable Coca Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) won’t pay workers a fair wage which matches inflation.

The workers are planning 14 days of strikes between Thursday 8 June and Thursday 22 June.

Hundreds of workers at the largest soft drinks plant in Europe, in Wakefield, have 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. That’s gone ‘flat’ with the workers when inflation (RPI) is still booming.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham said: “Coca Cola Europacific Partners is making profits in the billions but it's delivering a pay cut to the very workers who are making them.

“Its profits are up 37% to an astronomical £1.85 billion.  Offering workers a real terms pay cut when business is booming is nothing short of corporate greed. The workforce are rightly furious at the company’s profiteering.”

“The workers at Wakefield have Unite’s total support.”

CCEP Wakefield can produce 360,000 cans per hour, and 132,000 bottles per hour.

CCEP’s products include; Coca Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Dr Pepper, Fanta, Fanta Lemon, Fanta Fruit Twist, Sprite, Monster and Relentless. The plant also produces Schweppes: Tonic, Diet Tonic, Bitter Lemon, Ginger Ale and Lemonade.

Unite regional officer Chris Rawlinson said: “Coco Cola’s pay offer has fallen flat. The vast majority of the workforce have joined Unite to fight for fair pay. Now a series of strikes will inevitably shut down the production of Britain’s favourite soft drinks, including Coca-Cola. But Industrial action can still be avoided at Europe’s biggest soft drinks plant if bosses realise that they must  pay workers a fair wage from the company’s enormous profits.”


Contact: Ciaran Naidoo on 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.