Coke products have been inconsistently supplied to stores in the Lower Mainland since a strike began at distribution plants on July 24. The union was set to vote on a tentative agreement on Aug. 10. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Coke strike in Lower Mainland set to end Thursday

Workers in Richmond, Coquitlam, Chilliwack and the Sunshine Coast to vote on tentative agreement

The strike of Coke employees in the Lower Mainland that led to inconsistent supply of the company’s products is set to be over Thursday.

The 370 unionized workers on strike at four Coca-Cola Refreshments Canada warehouses and production facilities were set to ratify an agreement negotiated earlier in the week, according to a spokesperson for the Teamsters Local 213.

Talks on since March over contract language regarding health and welfare, as well as an issue with changes to pensions, broke off in late July between the company and Teamsters Local 213, which represents workers in Richmond, Coquitlam, Chilliwack and on the Sunshine Coast.

“We don’t want to give up our defined benefits,” said Jim Loyst, business representative for Teamsters Local 213, at the time.

Workers were on the picket line at the Chilliwack bottling plant and distribution centre on Yale Road West for more than two weeks.

Stores in some locations started to see shortages, and Safeway posted a sign to customers regarding the labour dispute.

“The supply from Coke is not available consistently at the moment throughout the Lower Mainland,” according to the notice.

Work was still being done at the facilities by non-unionized support staff and administrators, according to the company.

The union, however, had some suspicions that illegal workers were being used.

“We can’t confirm the company is using illegal workers under the labour code, however, we have concerns,” Loyst said.

In a statement provided by the company, it said despite months of negotiations and several mediation sessions, the union chose to stop negotiating and go on strike.

Loyst said they had met 17 times and had four days of mediation, but things were narrowed down to the two major issues.

In the Coca-Cola statement, the company said the proposal is in line with agreements reached in other facilities.

“While we would have preferred to reach an agreement at the bargaining table, we respect the union’s right to strike. We hope the union respects our obligation to continue to meet our customer needs during the strike, which at this time is our primary focus. Comprehensive contingency planning has been underway for months to address this possibility and we are continuing to service our customers.

“We remain committed to the collective bargaining process, and are prepared to return to the bargaining table to successfully conclude negotiations and reach a new collective agreement.”

signoff

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Guilty verdict for one of two men in large illegal marijuana grow-operation in Chilliwack

Charges dismissed against property owner where 3,200 plants, 32 kgs of dried weed found in 2017

Search continues for person seen floating in Coquihalla River in Hope

Rescuers halted the search Thursday night as darkness fell

Rescuers halt Coquihalla River search due to darkness, after reports of person in river

No information to indicate a child is involved, RCMP state, after this information surfaced on social media

Arrest at Abbotsford shopping centre

Man detained Thursday afternoon

Two Chilliwack women make weekly Crime Stoppers most wanted list

Ashley Felix and Raina McDonald wanted on unrelated issues

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Langley vigil demands justice for Ontario animal activist killed protesting in front of slaughterhouse

More than two dozen people gathered at Britco Pork to remember Regan Russell, and fight Bill 156

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

White-throated sparrows have changed their tune, B.C. study unveils

Study marks an unprecedented development scientists say has caused them to sit up and take note

Most Read