CAW Bargains Strong First Agreement for Coca-Cola Workers

August 19, 2009, 12:13 PM EST

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A new CAW bargaining unit of inventory auditors working at the Coca-Cola bottling plant in Brampton, Ontario overwhelmingly ratified their first collective bargaining agreement with the company on July 23, making strong gains in the areas of wages, benefits and working conditions.

The 12-member unit, represented by CAW Local 973, negotiated a 22 per cent wage increase over the life of the agreement, along with a new defined benefit pension plan, improved retiree benefits, new full-time positions for all workers along with improved vacation entitlements, sick pay provisions, job posting and health and safety language among a slate of other gains.

This first agreement is a beacon for workers in the manufacturing sector during one of the most devastating recessionary periods in recent history. CAW Local 973 Coca-Cola bottling plan chairperson Ryan Parson said it was the solidarity of the membership that was key to making these impressive new gains.

"These workers now have full time jobs with good benefits, pensions and workplace rights that will improve their standard of living," Parson said. "These workers understand the value of union membership and are very proud to be a part of the CAW family."

The one-year agreement is set to expire in June 2010, when the inventory auditor unit will be folded into the larger collective agreement covering all workers at the Brampton bottling plant.


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