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Coca-Cola Bottler Workers Strike Against Two-Tier Contract

MOBILE, Ala.—Workers at a Coca-Cola bottler and distributor in Alabama went on strike Aug. 9, demanding better pay for newly hired workers. About 275 members of Teamsters Local 991 at Coca-Cola Bottling Company United walked out after a three-week contract extension expired. “It’s not with the older guys here, but the new ones coming in,” David Stephens, a shop steward at a facility in the southeast Alabama town of Robertsdale, told AL.com. The company, he said, had proposed that some new employees would make $6 to $8 an hour less than what they currently do, and “we didn’t think it was a fair deal.” The Birmingham-based company, the third-largest Coke bottler in the U.S., took over a Mobile bottling plant and sales territories in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida last fall, and is the exclusive beverage provider for the University of Alabama. It said it would continue deliveries and had four facilities still open, including those in Mobile and Robertsdale. Stephens said the talks had “made no headway” despite a federal mediator, and there was no timetable for them to resume.  Read more

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