Coca-Cola workers approve new agreement

3-week strike at Ontario bottling plant comes to an end, workers keep DB pension

Production resumes today at a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Brampton, Ont., after the majority of unionized workers approved a new three-year deal.

On July 22, the three-week strike came to an end and about 700 employees returned to work. According to a statement from the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union, the new deal was approved by 83 per cent of voting workers.

“The real fight here was over the defined benefit (DB) pension plan, with Coca-Cola pushing us to move to a defined contribution (DC) plan,” Jerry Dias, assistant to CAW’s national president, said. “Coca-Cola can certainly afford for employees to retire with a stable income. We were ultimately successful in keeping the defined benefit pension plan and improving upon it.”

The new collective agreement includes wage increases in the second and third years, and an end to demands to outsource current positions, the union said.

Negotiations also saw the introduction of a weekend worker program, which the union said will establish two premium 12-hour weekend shifts to allow for a seven-day production cycle.

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