Union strike planned at Coca-Cola Enterprises in Europe

By Helen Glaberson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Trade union

European trade unions at Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) are planning coordinated action on 27 October in opposition to restructuring plans that Unite claims could involve over 400 job cuts.

Trade union Unite alleges that plans by the bottling giant are being pushed through without proper consultation with its staff.

CCE trade unions met in Brussels on 5 October to attempt to devise a strategy to force CCE to fully engage with its workers over the company’s expansion. The trade unions fear that CCE will force through the measures with little or no changes to its original plans.

CCE Changes

A CCE spokesperson said that no decisions had been made and that CCE is in consultation with employee representatives across Europe.

"Should the proposals go ahead, in Europe approximately 400 roles could potentially be made redundant across four countries, however approximately 440 new roles and development opportunities would also be created. If the proposals go ahead, we would seek to manage and mitigate the impact on our people wherever possible,"​ said the spokesperson.

Union action

The joint trade unions are demanding as a minimum that there should be meaningful consultations, no forced redundancies and the company should find suitable alternative jobs for those who are displaced.

European unions across CCE are planning coordinated action beginning with demonstrations at the end of October.

“The unions will not allow CCE to push through changes without the unions being fully involved and they expect a commitment to no forced redundancies," ​said Unite national officer Jennie Formby.

On 6 October Coca-Cola workers at a bottling plant in Edmonton, north London took strike action in a dispute over pay. The 110 Unite members at the plant voted by an eight to one majority to reject the company’s two per cent pay offer.

"The company's refusal to enter into meaningful negotiations to end the strike at Edmonton sends a clear message that CCE wants to dictate rather than negotiate,”​ said Formby.

The European arm of CCE expanded recently when the Coca-Cola Company (CCC) completed the sale of its bottling operations in Norway and Sweden to CCE. The acquisition formed part of a $12.3bn deal in which the North American arm of CCE was bought by CCC.

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