ST. ALBANS, WV (WOWK) – Coca-Cola employees picketed outside the St. Albans, West Virginia bottling building around the clock on Tuesday.
Representatives from Teamsters Union 175 say employees have been on strike since 2 a.m. and rotated shifts along Winfield Road throughout the day.
Workers say the union’s contract with Coca-Cola expired on April 25, but Teamsters unanimously rejected the company’s last contract proposal before the strike. Employees tell 13 News the offer included lower wages and fewer benefits than non-unionized workers.
One of the union’s biggest concerns is Coca-Cola’s agreement with Sheetz. The deal will outsource employees by having Coca-Cola products shipped directly to Sheetz in an out-of-state warehouse.
Employees including Bobby Catlett say they’re concerned that this deal will put them out of a job.
“[Coca-Cola] Consolidated really needs to look at the people that have made them their profits over the last three years and it’s their employees,” Catlett said. “They’re making this deal with Sheetz, and we cannot and will not allow jobs to be lost when it’s just unnecessary.”
Coca-Cola Consolidated released a statement after the strike became official, saying:
“We’re disappointed the union decided to take our teammates out on strike but remain committed to working with them on an equitable resolution. We have a solid plan in place to continue serving our customers.”
KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – After voting to reject the company’s latest contract proposal, Coca-Cola Consolidated workers are on strike.
Last week, according to Teamsters Local 175, the union that represents Coca-Cola workers, Coca-Cola entered an agreement with Sheetz convenience stores without discussing the agreement with the union. Teamsters protested at Sheetz in South Charleston Friday.
Coca-Cola Consolidated released a statement regarding the strike Tuesday:
We’re disappointed the union decided to take our teammates out on strike but remain committed to working with them on an equitable resolution. We have a solid plan in place to continue serving our customers.Coca-Cola Consolidated
In April, Teamsters voted to reject the latest contract proposal but had delayed joining the picket lines. The strike affects sites in St. Albans, Parkersburg, Logan, Clarksburg and Bluefield.