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 a.m.
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
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
"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."
SOURCE: Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)
For further information:
Plant Chairperson Ryan Parsons (647) 407-0973; CAW Local 973 President Norm Chow (647-618-9730); or CAW Communications Representative Angelo DiCaro (416) 606-6311