Union suspends strike at Coca-Cola Edmonton as ACAS is called in

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Unite regional officer Strike action Trade union

Coke Zero
Coke Zero
A wave of strikes at Coca-Cola’s Edmonton plant that was scheduled to begin today has been suspended after members of the Unite union and company bosses agreed to return to the negotiating table.

Talks via ACAS (the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service), will start tomorrow, said Unite regional officer Wayne King.

“Unite is pleased that management are prepared to have a rethink on this dispute. We hope that this will now lead to meaningful discussions and a fairer deal for our members, one which both reflects our members' contribution to the immense profitability of Coca-Cola Enterprises and the punishing rise in the cost of living.”

110 union members at the plant had been planning to go on strike today in the first of a series of six-hour stoppages after rejecting the soft drinks giant's recent offer of a 2% rise in basic pay as "stingy".

Members were looking at something "more akin to the real cost of living"​, not least because Edmonton was a particularly successful plant in the Coca-Cola empire, King told FoodManufacture.co.uk earlier this week.

“Edmonton is historically a very high-performing plant and staff feel that their achievements are not being reflected through this pay offer," ​he said.

“We're obviously looking at the RPI (retail price index), which is much higher than 2%, and there is the fact that VAT is going up in January, which will also have a big impact."

In a recent ballot of union members at the plant, 82% voted in favour of strike action and 91% supported action short of a strike, claimed King.

Unite represents more than 110 members of the 150-strong workforce at the plant, which produces around 2m bottles every day.

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