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5/23/2005

Company Wants Workers to Pay Larger Portion of Health Care

Source: Teamsters

Teamsters at Coca-Cola bottling and distribution facilities in Hartford, Connecticut and the Los Angeles area went on strike as of 6:00 a.m. EDT today. The workers are striking over the breakdown of current contract negotiations and Coke's continuing push to have workers pay more for their healthcare benefits.

"Instead of investing in the people who work hard every day to produce, package and distribute Coke products, both Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) have dug deep into corporate funds to reward poor-performing executives on their way out the door," said Jack Cipriani, Director of the Teamsters Brewery and Soft Drink Workers Conference.

Last year Summerfield Johnston, a former CCE CEO and Chairman of the Board received health care coverage for life for himself and his children and a consulting contract worth $600,000 a year.

"We want Coke to continue to be one of the more successful soft drinks in America. Our members don't deserve to be saddled with increased health care costs while executives at Coke are still doled out expensive perks," Cipriani said. "This is the beginning of a long, hot summer."

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