Coca-Cola supplies to take a hit as hundreds of staff at Wakefield factory vote to go on strike

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Hundreds of workers at the Coca-Cola plant in Wakefield are set to go on strike over pay.

Unite the Union said workers at Coca-Cola Europacific Partner were offered a real terms pay cut and staff would walk out in June.

The union said CCEP workers were offered 6 per cent while the company’s profits rose 37 per cent to £1.85 billion

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The workers are planning 14 days of strikes between Thursday, June 8 and Thursday, June 22.

Workers are Coca-Cola Europacific Partners are planning to go on strike.Workers are Coca-Cola Europacific Partners are planning to go on strike.
Workers are Coca-Cola Europacific Partners are planning to go on strike.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham said: “Coca-Cola Europacific Partners is making profits in the billions but it's delivering a pay cut to the very workers who are making them.

“Its profits are up 37 per cent to an astronomical £1.85 billion. The workers at Wakefield have Unite’s total support.”

CCEP Wakefield can produce 360,000 cans per hour, and 132,000 bottles per hour.

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The firm’s products include Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Dr Pepper, Fanta, Fanta Lemon, Fanta Fruit Twist, Sprite, Monster and Relentless.

The plant also produces Schweppes Tonic, Diet Tonic, Bitter Lemon, Ginger Ale and Lemonade.

Staff at the plant voted for industrial action by a margin of 87 per cent.

Unite regional officer Chris Rawlinson said: “Coca-Cola’s pay offer has fallen flat.

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“The vast majority of the workforce have joined Unite to fight for fair pay.

"Now a series of strikes will inevitably shut down the production of Britain’s favourite soft drinks, including Coca-Cola.

"But industrial action can still be avoided at Europe’s biggest soft drinks plant if bosses realise that they must pay workers a fair wage from the company’s enormous profits.”

A Coca-Cola Europacific Partners spokesperson said: “In the current economic climate, we believe the pay rises that we are offering are very competitive within the marketplace.

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“We also provide substantial additional benefits and bonuses to our colleagues, altogether this is an average total package of £46,900 for a colleague at Wakefield.

“We have also made a £1,000 payment to all frontline colleagues in the past 12 months to support the current cost-of-living challenges.

“Our competitive rewards package includes our share-save scheme and almost 80% of our Wakefield colleagues invest in that scheme and benefit from our ongoing success as a business.”