coca-cola: it’s the real sting…

From Practical Solidarity (info@practical-solidarity.org.uk)

Workers at Coca-Cola bottling plant in Edmonton, London N18 came out on strike on 15 & 16 Sept. They have been offered an absurd, below-inflation 2 per cent pay rise, while conditions have generally been eroded in the factory. The pension scheme has also become a lot worse – despite the fact the company made £620m last year! Workers are bitter about the non negotiating management, saying this is a dictatorship.

Coca Cola workers on strike last month in Bremerton, Washington State

On both days there has been a noisy picket with around 35 workers present, one half outside the factory, the other under the flyover opposite. There were flags aplenty and placards too – also saying “Fair play, not foul play for Coca Cola workers”. Chants and shouts echo the site. Section reps and senior stewards were on the picket, with most workers coming off shift onto the line. It’s always a full picket.

The strike involves cutting hours off shifts, at the start or end, and that results in a picket line being mounted from 3pm to 9pm. Next planned strike dates are: Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd September and Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th September, after which the action will be intensified.

Although the present action is unfortunately limited to Edmonton, Coca Cola has many plants in the UK – manufacturing, distribution, head and regional offices, etc… These are at Uxbridge, Hammersmith, Sidcup and Poyle, Milton Keynes, Coventry, Coleshill, Northampton, Peterborough and Nottingham, Cardiff, Bridgend, Colwall and Bristol, Wakefield, Warrington, Peterlee, Morpeth, East Kilbride and Aberdeen.  (See location map and addresses here.)

Some of these will be unionised, ALL COULD BE VISITED by workers or supporters. Managers would be upset to see solidarity pickets outside the gates but the workers’ negotiating position would be greatly increased.

Try to get to Nobel Road, N18, for future strikes. It’s just off the roundabout, on Meridian Way, north of Tesco. Tube to Tottenham Hale then bus up to IKEA/Tesco. Or come to nearby Angel Road overhead station. It’s under the North Circular motorway, not far from the now demolished Visteon site.

You’ll be among friends if you can make it.