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Coca-Cola workers in B.C. Lower Mainland on strike, company says 'contingency plans in place'

Why is it called Coca-Cola?

Unionized workers at Coca-Cola manufacturing and distribution centres in B.C.'s Lower Mainland walked off the job Thursday to demand better wages from their employer.

Teamsters Local 213 business representative Jim Loyst told CTV News the decision to strike comes after 22 days of negotiations and two days of mediation, during which the workers turned down two offers from the company.

"We feel the monetary packages that have been offered do not address the high cost of living members are experiencing," Loyst said in an email.

"Coca-Cola has made record profits since 2018," he continued. "We feel the company needs to acknowledge the workers helped to achieve such record profits, so they can reinvest in their business."

The Local has 420 members across five locations, Loyst said.

Coca-Cola Canada Bottling Limited, a privately-held company that is the direct employer of the unionized workers, called the strike "unnecessary and unfortunate" in its own statement.

"We have offered wage increases, new training and apprenticeship programs and more opportunities for overtime among other improvements," the company said. "The union is seeking a magnitude of increases that go beyond what is offered in the industry, across our business and that we simply cannot accept."

Coke Canada said it's "committed to the collective bargaining process" and ready to return to negotiations "as soon as possible."

Loyt said the company told the union its last offer was its "best and final," which members take to mean the company is unwilling to negotiate further.

Regarding potential effects of the strike on consumers, Coke Canada said it has "contingency plans in place."

"We are supplying our customers from our other plants across Canada," the company said. "We are making every effort to avoid disruptions to our service." Top Stories

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