Admin l Friday, February 3, 2023
DORTMUND – Hundreds of employees of the beverage giant Coca-Cola in Germany walked off the job on Thursday to demand more money in the north-western city of Dortmund and Lüneburg in the north near Hamburg.
They are demanding €400 ($436) more in monthly wages, as well as higher salaries for apprentices. Strikes recently also took place in other federal states.
In December, Coca-Cola employers had proposed a wage increase of €100 and a one-time bonus of €1,000 to compensate for inflation.
Union negotiator Freddy Adjan called the proposal a “slap in the face.” Adjan, of the Food, Beverages and Catering Union (NGG), said what is important is a wage increase in line with inflation, not a one-off payment.
The company’s chief negotiator, Gero Ludwig, responded by saying that the proposed offer was in line with the German government’s recommendation of a tax-free one-off payment combined with moderate wage settlements.
Negotiations are set to continue next Wednesday. Adjan warned that, if an agreement could not be reached, then the union “will go into disputes that Coca-Cola has not had before.”
He said it was unacceptable that Coca-Cola was currently making huge profits, but that workers were not reaping the benefits. Coca-Cola has 28 locations with 6,500 employees in Germany.
According to a union spokesperson, 500 employees attended each respective rally. A Coca-Cola spokesperson put the number in Dortmund at 300.
According to the Coca-Cola statement, production in North Rhine Westphalia came to a standstill on Thursday, just like in previous states. Customer deliveries had to be partially postponed.