Staff at Coca-Cola Enterprise’s Wakefield bottling and distribution centre to stage two 48-hour strikes

Workers at Coca-Cola Enterprise’s (CCE) largest bottling and distribution centre will stage a series of 48-hour strikes on 26 and 27 July and 13 and 14 August.

The move comes after CCE offered workers at the Wakefield plant in Yorkshire a 2.5% pay cut earlier this year, and then asked them to sacrifice parts of their overtime rates and bonuses to improve the original offer.

Super-union Unite balloted
more than 500 staff on a strike in June
, in response to CCE’s below-inflation pay offer to workers.

Eighty-two per cent of the workers who voted favoured strike action, which will also see staff ban working continuous overtime from 23 July, estimated to lose the company 1,000 working hours.

The Wakefield manufacturing plant produces up to 6,000 cans and 1,650 bottles of soft drink every minute. Unite said industrial action could have a devastating effect on supplies of Coca-Cola, Oasis and Dr Pepper, with shops, supermarkets, vending machines, pubs and hotels across the UK being affected.

Unite regional officer, Kelvin Mawer said: “It’s unacceptable that one of the world’s most famous brands is offering workers a pay cut this year for their hard work. Shops, supermarkets, pubs and hotels now face the prospect of shortages of Coca-Cola during the height of the summer.”

Unite said it will continue to negotiate with CCE to resolve the dispute over workers’ pay, and to avoid the proposed industrial action.

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