Teamster Local 175 members employed by Coca Cola Consolidated in Bluefield West Virginia voted by 95% to accept the company’s latest offer for settlement of a new contract. The contract expired on July 28, 2021. The companies latest offer resulted in additional wage increases as well as a drastic reduction in the amounts of money that the company had previously demanded that employees contribute to their health insurance.
“The Union held off on striking on the expiration date in hopes that the company would realize that their position was unreasonable and would opt to make a new offer that would fairly compensate the Bluefield employees for their work. The employees also had hoped to avoid any disruptions to their loyal customers. We had planned to begin the strike this week, but the company agreed late last week to engage in further negotiations. It is disappointing that this company cannot just come to the bargaining table and agree to a reasonable offer, as most other companies do. But at least they are consistent. The contract covers three years and will provide employees with a minimum of $1.80 an hour in wage increases with very small changes to the benefit structure in year three of the contract,” said Ken Hall, President of Teamsters Local 175.
At least three Teamster Local Unions in Ohio have cancelled their contract extension agreement with the company which means a strike is looming in those locations unless an agreement can be reached soon. Hall said he attended one of the bargaining sessions between the company and Teamsters Local Union in Cincinnati last week and was surprised at how little progress the company had made to resolve those negotiations. “Rest assured, that although we are happy that we have resolved our contract dispute, our local union will stand side by side with those locals in Ohio to ensure that they also receive a reasonable offer of settlement from this company,” said Ken Hall.