Coca-Cola workers at the company’s plant in Wakefield, UK, are to vote on strike action following a pay offer that “does nothing to address the cost-of-living crisis”.
Hundreds of Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) staff are taking part in the ballot after the soft drinks business proposed a wage deal equating to an average 6% rise across different pay grades, which fails to match the 13.5% retail price index rate of inflation.
According to Unite, the company should come up with a better offer since its profits recently grew by 37% to £1.85 billion.
The union’s general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Coca Cola Europacific Partners is making profits in the billions so it can easily afford to give its workers a proper pay rise.
“It’s profits are up 37% to an eye watering £1.85 billion but bosses refuse to pay workers a decent wage increase which keeps up with rising prices. This is nothing short of corporate greed. The workforce are fizzing at the company’s profiteering.”
“The workers at Wakefield have Unite’s total support.”
CCEP products include Diet Coke, Coca-Cola and Coke Zero, as well as range of Fanta flavours, Dr Pepper, Sprite, Relentless and Monster. The Wakefield plant is able to produce 360,000 cans and 132,000 bottles per hour, and also make Schweppes products.
Unite regional officer Chris Rawlinson said: “A strike will inevitably put supplies of Britain’s favourite soft drinks, including Coca-Cola, at risk this summer. But industrial action can be avoided at Europe’s biggest soft drinks plant if bosses agree to pay workers a fair wage from the company’s mammoth profits. They ought to do that now.”
The ballot closes on 24 May.