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Coca-Cola plant workers continue strike in northeast Calgary

Last Updated Mar 21, 2021 at 12:00 am MDT

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — Dozens of union workers gathered outside the Coca-Cola bottling plant in northeast Calgary on Saturday morning to continue their strike.

Hundreds of the bottling plant’s workers walked off the job on Monday. They are demanding better job security after the plant hired non-union, third-party workers.

They were joined by members of the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) trade union, who picketed in solidarity.

HSAA president Mike Parker says the issue hits close to home.

“This is a private sector group that is just trying to get by, just wants to have a good job to pay their bills,” said Parker. “And they are outsourcing it to a cheaper and cheaper workforce.

“This has been the history of Coke for a while. It is relentless and it is nothing more than greed.”

Roughly 70 workers picketed outside the facility on Saturday. Several cars and trucks honked as they passed to show their support of the cause.

Workers held various flags and signs. Posters around the facility urged Albertans to drink Pepsi — the main competitor to Coca-Cola.

A truck for the Teamsters 987 Union was parked outside the building.

Parker says all Albertans need to take a hard look at what’s happening to these workers.

“Everyone has a part to play in maintaining good jobs in this province,” said Parker. “And I would suggest, until we get this sorted out, that maybe we enjoy Diet Pepsi for a while. To let these workers take on this employer and maintain their rightful place in having a well-payed job in this province.”

It’s believed the strike action could affect the delivery of Coca-Cola beverage products to Alberta restaurants, grocery and retail stores.

Coca-Cola and the teamsters union have been without an agreement since it expired last October.