Day 4: Coca-Cola strike continues as workers await a deal
Mobile, AL (WALA) — For the fourth straight day, some workers from four Coca-Cola bottling plants are on strike.
They walked off the job on Thursday over a contract that would affect their pay and benefits.
No deal has been reached yet, but employees involved in this strike are holding out hope that one is close.
On the picket line on Saturday, those on strike held firm they want a fair deal and they are poised to wait it out.
They have set up camp at a closed gas station near U.S. 90 and Coca-Cola Road. The union, Teamster Local 991 brought out a grill to keep everyone fed.
“I’ve been cooking for the membership today and we’ll cook for the other locations as well, just to show our support,” said Lavon Lindsey, President of Teamsters Local 991.
Lindsey said the membership wants to wait it out.
“I think the membership is willing to stay until they get a deal they can accept,” he said.
One employee, who did not want to be identified said since the strike began, they have gotten some support from the local community with some people dropping off cases of water to keep them hydrated.
“Every day there has been about 4 or 5 people who’ve bringing cases of water, drinks, they see us and you know trying to support and do what they can to help out,” he said.
Lindsey said benefits and pay are at the center of this strike.
“People make this job their career and what the company’s asking the members to accept is it’s not a career job anymore,” he said.
On Thursday, Coca-Cola United, the organization that owns the bottling plant sent us a statement about the local strikes.
“Our associates are our priority and we’ll continue to negotiate in good faith until we can reach an agreement – that’s our goal. We’re hoping to find a good resolution to this,” wrote Linda Sewell, Coca-Cola United’s Director of Communications.
The union president said they have not heard from the company since Wednesday.
Sewell said in an email Saturday when asked about the progress, “Our discussions with the Teamsters are continuing through the mediator.”