Teamsters announced boycott of Coca Cola products for the 4th of July weekend
SAN DIEGO, CA. You may not have heard about the strike by Coca Cola workers that started Monday, June 30th, if you read the San Diego Union-Tribune. That paper is usually not a pro-union supporter. But there is one up in Oceanside. The strikers have left the job site and are picketing daily, as they seek parity with other Coca Cola Enterprise workers in Southern California with a new contract.
The Oceanside strikers got a big boost on Tuesday, July 1, when over 600 drivers and warehouse employees at Coca Cola Enterprises in San Diego staged a walk-out in solidarity. I spoke with Shannon Silva, the Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 683, which represents the San Diego workers who walked out. Silva made a distinction between a “walk-off” and a “walk-out”. When workers walk off the job, they are usually doing so as part of a strike. But the San Diego drivers and warehouse workers did a legally-sanctioned action by staging a temporary walk-out. Silva said the walk-out began at noon on Tuesday, July 1, and ended Wednesday night. Silva used to live near Ocean Beach in Loma Portal and had heard of the OB Rag – the newspaper.
Today, during a press conference at the Local’s headquarters at 2731 B Street, San Diego, the Local’s leadership announced a boycott against Coca Cola products. At the press conference Silva charged that “Coca Cola Enterprises wants to treat its Oceanside workers as second class citizens.” He continued: “They want to drag down the standard of living for Oceanside workers. These workers deserve parity with other CCE employees in Orange, San Diego and Los Angeles County. Coca Cola Enterprises has refused to acknowledge the legitimate demands of its Teamster-represented employees who want nothing more than parity with what fellow Teamster drivers and warehouse workers in Southern California earn,” added Silva.
Recently, the Associated Press reported that the CEO of The Coca Cola Co. – E. Neville Isdell – was the number two top earner at a company in the consumer staple sector next to Lee Scott of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
The union is asking the public not to purchase Coca Cola products especially during the July 4th weekend. Coke products include: Coca Cola, Diet Coke, Fanta, Dr. Pepper, Fresca, Sprite, Minute Maid, Dasani Water, Squirt, Rockstar, and Canada Dry among others. The strike and boycott is expected to continue until Coca Cola Enterprises agrees to settle a contract that will provide equality for drivers and warehouse workers in Oceanside. According to union officials, the strike may affect deliveries at over 800 stores in Southern California.