Coca-Cola dispute could spread across the company, warns Unite

The Unite union has warned Coca-Cola management to return to the negotiating table and resolve a pay dispute, or risk spreading unrest across the company.

The threat came ahead of the latest two-day strike at Coca-Cola Enterprises’ bottling plant in Edmonton, north London, which begins at 3pm today (22 September).

Workers, who downed tools for the first time last week, are planning further action on 29 and 30 September, unless the drinks giant – which reported profits of £618 million last year – improves its 2% pay offer.

Jennie Formby, national officer for food and drink at Unite, said: “Coca-Cola is a licence to print money yet the company is determined to hold down its workers’ pay. All the workers want is a fair deal and something which helps them make ends meet.

“There was superb support for the strike action last week and our fight will continue until Coca-Cola does the right thing.

“But we are very concerned by the lack of commitment from Coca-Cola Enterprises to settling this dispute – the company should resume talks with us to get this plant working again.”

In a statement, Coca-Cola Enterprises said: “We are expecting industrial action to take place at our Edmonton site today. This is disappointing as we remain open to further dialogue with all our employees and the union. We continue to believe this offers the prospect of a constructive outcome, and that the pay offer we have made is fair in the current climate.”

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