Workers at Coca-Cola Brampton approve new agreement

Workers at Coca-Cola bottling in Brampton, Ontario have approved a new three-year deal by 83 per cent, officially ending a three-week long strike.

"The real fight here was over the defined benefit pension plan, with Coca-Cola pushing us to move to a defined contribution plan," said Jerry Dias, Assistant to the CAW National President. "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 deal also includes wage increases in the second and third year and an agreement that would end demands to outsource existing work. The union also negotiated a weekend worker program, which includes two 12-hour premium shifts over the weekend to allow for 24 hour, seven day a week production.

Following are some of the achievements as a result of the strike action and negotiations

-increased basic defined benefit plan from 56.25 to $60/mth/year of service upon retirement.

-improved vision benefit and supplemental health to paid 100% maximums without deductibles.

-bargained a productions standards rep with 8 hours bargained time per week to deal with engineered time studies

-bargained a weekend  worker who works 24 hour on 2x12 and is paid 40 hours a week.

-made gains in route selection for drivers

-bargained a process for discontinued jobs which allows workers to bump by seniority,

-skilled trades are fully utilized to hours of work agreement, 2 apprentices, layoff protection

-bargained 4 new highly transport jobs reducing outsourcing and 6 new utility jobs to deal with backfill for vending and cooler delivery

CAW Local 973 represents approximately 700 workers at the Coca-Cola bottling facility in Brampton.