Coca-Cola Workers to Strike Thursday Morning

A spokesperson for Coca-Cola said that the leadership of the union "abruptly left the discussion and chose not to continue to work toward an agreement"

Hundreds of workers at two Chicago-area Coca-Cola production plants are set to go on strike at 5 a.m. on Thursday.

More than 300 workers are set to protest what they call unfair labor tactics involving delays and intimidation.

Teamsters Local 727 represents 319 production and warehouse workers and transport drivers at Coca-Cola plants in Niles and Alsip. The union said its representatives have met with management 12 times since Oct. 28 in order to find some agreement.

The union claims that during that time, the company engaged in unfair bargaining tactics including “surface bargaining with no intention of settling the contract, intimidating workers with baseball bats and threatening union members with job loss.”

The union said it is collecting evidence and plans to submit its findings to the National Labor Relations Board.

A spokesperson for the company said "that the union’s leadership abruptly left the discussion and chose not to continue to work toward an agreement."

Coca-Cola said it made an offer that would have provided pay increases annually, new signing bonuses, a health care package with additional choices as well as contributions to retirement plans. The company added that it has contacted a federal mediator to aid in negotiations.

"We were ready to work as long as it took to find a solution," a Coca-Cola spokesperson said in a statement. "The Union leadership chose misleading rhetoric and false attacks instead of finding common ground. We hope to reach a resolution in the near future and will continue to negotiate in good faith with the union leadership."

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