Teamsters Local 170 is boycotting Coca-Cola. Over the last week, 80 Teamster truck drivers, warehouse employees and merchandisers have gone on strike against Coca-Cola Northeast in Westborough, Massachusetts. Members began picketing Monday after rejecting the company's final offer that would have stripped the employees of their seniority rights.
They were joined by Teamsters Local 25 Futures Committee, who, after having protested at St. Vincent's Hospital in Worcester in support of the nurses on strike, moved down to Westborough to support Local 170.
This is the second of two notable strikes against Coca-Cola that have occurred recently. The first began in Calgary on March 15, after some 268 workers at the Coca-Cola Refreshments Calgary plant struck over a dispute that involved members of Teamsters Local Union 987 of Alberta. Teamsters 987 has demanded "access to job security and protection from unnecessary third-party outsourcing as part of their collective agreement," reports Teamsters Canada.
"Plant workers have steadily been losing job hours to third-party contractors, reducing their ability to earn a suitable livelihood for themselves and their families. Coca-Cola’s actions are limiting employees’ ability to fulfill their hours on good paying jobs, creating an insecure and worrying work environment while some of their work is fulfilled by non-union contractors," Teamsters Canada continues.
The vast majority of affected union workers - 94% - voted to strike on March 4. The strike has affected the delivery of Coca-Cola products to Alberta customers.
“These workers have dedicated themselves to keeping product moving to Albertans during a difficult time. Over the past year, these workers were deemed an essential service and have been there for Albertans. Now it’s time that Albertans stand with them as they fight for job security during uncertain times,” said Brock Penner, Business Agent for 987.
“Coca-Cola employees simply want to do their jobs with some level of predictability from their employer,” he continued. “We believe that everyone is entitled to dignity and security in the workplace. These have not been easy times for warehouse and delivery roles, and these hard-working Albertans deserve better. They have used their voices to speak up about their concerns, and we will always stand up for our workers."