Union enters 3rd week of strike against Liberty Coca-Cola in Philadelphia

Union members continue to protest that Liberty has underpaid and underserved its workers.



This story originally appeared on 6abc.

Teamsters Local 830 union group has entered its third week on strike against Liberty Coca-Cola in Philadelphia, the tri-state region’s largest provider of Coca-Cola products.

The union, which represents thousands of unionized drivers, warehouse and production workers, and sales and marketing personnel in the beverage industry, began the strike on April 16.

Union leaders say they are mainly fighting for greater compensation and fair benefits packages amid contract negotiations with leaders at Liberty Coca-Cola.

On Sunday, the union’s Secretary-Treasurer Daniel Grace issued an initial update on the situation, stating, “Despite a brief resumption of contractual negotiations with Liberty Coca-Cola this past week, a resolution is still not at hand. Teamsters Local 830 members remain committed to negotiating with Liberty Coca-Cola on a fair new contract. Until that happens, however, we will remain on the picket line as our strike enters its third week.”

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Liberty Coca-Cola responded to the message, stating that Grace had “failed to effectively communicate” with the union.

The following is the message released by company officials:

“We again presented a considerable contract to our 400 members that offer the highest wage increases in Coca-Cola/Teamsters Local 830’s history, along with a generous health and welfare benefits package and significant increases in their retirement savings plan. Unfortunately, the members did not agree to this generous offer, even though the union’s leadership approved the new deal. This is the second time we’ve negotiated in good faith and reached an agreement with the local and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. However, we believe Local 830’s Secretary-Treasurer Dan Grace has again failed to effectively communicate the considerable offer, creating an adverse situation for employees and their families.

Our active contingency plan remains in place to ensure the continued delivery of products to our customers and consumers throughout the Philadelphia region.”

In response to this, Grace released the following message, claiming Liberty’s message took “cheap shots”:

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“The press statement issued today by Liberty Coca-Cola in which they impugn my character and leadership is shameful and serves only to set negotiations back further. Liberty is continuing with its misleading spin that their latest proposal includes the highest wages they’ve ever offered its Teamsters 830 employees. What they fail to recognize and admit is that the latest wage package still does not compensate for the high inflation that working families are facing and, in fact, merely reveals how underpaid my members have been for years. Liberty’s latest proposal was put to a vote of our members today and was resoundingly rejected by a four-to-one margin. Rather than taking cheap shots at me, Liberty Coca-Cola would be better served to get serious about resolving this dispute and give my members a fair new contract with wages and benefits that allow them and their families to survive in these inflationary times.”

Union members continue to protest that Liberty has underpaid and underserved its workers.

The strike has not been resolved at this time.

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