July 19, 2013
The Canadian Press with files from MM&D staff
BRAMPTON, Ontario—A tentative deal has been reached to end a three-week strike at Coca-Cola in Brampton, Ontario.
About 700 workers at the company’s largest Canadian bottling facility went on strike on June 27 after talks with the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) Local 973 union broke down.
According to the union, safety issues and working conditions were the major issues in the dispute, but CAW national president Ken Lewenza says in a press release that all the key issues that forced the strike have been resolved.
“We knew that this agreement would impact other Coke workers across the country and we fought back against serious concessions put forward by the employer.”
The release says the bargaining committee will be “unanimously recommending” the deal.
Meanwhile, Coca-Cola spokeswoman Erika Mozes says she is confident union members will ratify the agreement and looks forward to returning to normal operations.
A ratification meeting is scheduled for Friday.
“Where we are today and where we started is night and day,” said CAW spokesman Jerry Dias.
The deal is “fair and equitable for our employees, the union and our company,” Mozes said.
“The strike is not something anybody wanted,” she said. “We do look forward to returning to normal operations.”
Coca-Cola employees were back at work on Monday, after the union voted to accept the offer.
A spokesman for the Canadian Auto Workers says a new three-year deal for 700 union workers was approved by a strong majority.