As Fourth of July fireworks, barbeques and pool parties heat up, employees of San Diego County’s two Coca-Cola bottling facilities have asked San Diegans to forego Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Sprite and other Coca-Cola beverages because of the company’s anti-union conduct.
Earlier this week, more than 600 drivers and warehouse employees at Coca-Cola Enterprises’ San Diego and Oceanside bottling plants went on strike to protest the company’s unfair practices. Last year, employees at the Oceanside facility voted to become members of Teamsters Local 683, yet the company has been unwilling to negotiate a contract that is comparable to those in other parts of Southern California.
“Coca Cola Enterprises wants to treat its Oceanside workers as second-class citizens,” Teamsters Local 683 Secretary-Treasurer Shannon R. Silva said. “They want to drag down the standard of living for Oceanside workers. These workers deserve parity with other Coke employees in Orange, San Diego and Los Angeles County.”
The San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council is asking that its 120,000 members and all other San Diegans observe this boycott until Coca-Cola agrees to settle a contract that will provide equality for their employees in Oceanside.
“Unfortunately Coca-Cola has gone from asking San Diegans to ‘Have a Coke and a smile,’ to ‘Have a Coke, less rights, lower pay and fewer benefits,’” Labor Council Secretary-Treasurer Lorena Gonzalez said. “We will not stand by and watch as Coke tries to destroy quality middle-class jobs in our community.”
Coca-Cola products include: Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Fanta, Dr. Pepper, Fresca, Sprite, Minute Maid, Dasani Water, Squirt, Rockstar and Canada Dry, among others.