Multi-billion dollar Coke pushes precarious work on Canadian employees, forces labour dispute

Multi-billion dollar Coke pushes precarious work on Canadian employees, forces 
labour dispute 
TORONTO, June 27, 2013 /CNW/ - Workers at the Coca-Cola bottling facility in 
Brampton, Ontario were forced into a labour dispute early this morning after 
collective bargaining negotiations broke down between the company and the CAW. 
Pickets were set up near the facility (located at 15 Westcreek Blvd) at 12:01 
CAW Local 973 Plant Chairperson Ryan Parson said the labour dispute is an 
unfortunate and frustrating turn of events, in what has been an unnecessarily 
difficult round of bargaining. 
"Our members came to the bargaining table looking for modest improvements to 
our standard of living and work practices, and with every intention of signing 
a deal," Parson said. "Coke management has clearly not come to the table with 
those same objectives. They've consistently stalled the process and have made 
it clear to us that it's their way or the highway." 
Parson said the company refuses to back off a slate of concessionary demands 
that would create more instability and insecurity for Coke workers in Brampton. 
The company wants to remove all new hires from the existing pension plan; make 
it impossible for "temporary" employees to transfer to full-time; outsource 
skilled trades work; and weaken employee transfer rights in the event of 
layoff, among other demands. 
The work standards in Brampton, the company's largest facility in Canada, 
typically set the benchmark for Coke workers across the country. 
CAW Local 973 President Norm Chow said this dispute has nothing to do with 
money, since the two sides have not exchanged any monetary proposals 
(including over wages, benefits or pensions) over months of fruitless 
"Coke's global profits topped $9 billion in 2012. Their revenues are higher 
than the GDP of many nations. And they're fighting to undermine the working 
conditions of 700 workers. This is infuriating," Chow said. 
Parson said the company is taking a noticeably combative approach with the 
workers, which is fuelling frustration. 
"As the strike deadline neared, Coke management forced our members to leave 
the plant, locking them out and is now refusing to pay them for the remainder 
of their shifts," Parson said. "The company is also withholding the paycheques 
of temporary employees in the facility." 
Plant Chairperson Ryan Parsons (647) 407-0973; CAW Local 973 President  Norm 
Chow (647-618-9730); or CAW Communications Representative Angelo  DiCaro (416) 
SOURCE: Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) 
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CO: Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)
ST: Ontario
-0- Jun/27/2013 19:27 GMT
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