Coca-Cola Enterprises GB

July 17, 2007 05:56 ET

Coca-Cola Enterprises prepared for industrial action at its Wakefield site.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - July 17, 2007) - The UNITE union, negotiating on behalf of 377 technician and technical operatives at Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd (CCE) Wakefield site today announced their decision to stage two strikes on July 26-27 and August 13-14. Coca-Cola Enterprises had hoped, through many weeks of discussions, to be able to reach a fair and mutual agreement without any industrial action.

The company's reward package for its employees in Great Britain is based on a careful strategy of reviewing the local market and benchmarking a range of leading peer companies to ensure the company offers a package of benefits which will be attractive to the best quality staff.

As a result of CCE's benchmarking of the Technician group at Wakefield, the company found the average salary was significantly higher than comparative jobs in other companies in the area. The average salary for a CCE employee in the technician group in Wakefield is GBP 32,000 plus a package of additional benefits such as a final salary pension, healthcare, and share scheme. This takes the average package of a technician to just under GBP 38,000 which is significantly above market rate. In addition CCE has been paying an extra GBP 23 million a year above the normal level of investment since 2005 into its final salary pension scheme.

"We believe we have some of the best people in Coca-Cola Enterprises, and we want to reward them well. We are proud to continue to offer our employees a good rewards package and we continue to seek to pay more than most of our competitors" said Stephen Moorhouse, Vice President, Operations, Great Britain. "We cannot however justify a settlement at Wakefield of almost double the 2007 norm and feel this would be unfair to the rest of our associates across the rest of the British business."

Although Wakefield is an important site for CCE, the company does not foresee customers having any supply problems. CCE also operates five other sites in Great Britain and a network of external suppliers. CCE currently has the highest stock levels for many years.

CCE takes pride in its customer service record and is consistently independently recognised as a leading consumer goods supplier to customers.
Stephen Moorhouse, Vice President Operations, Great Britain said,
"We respect the rights of our colleagues in Wakefield but we are saddened by this decision, since we have really tried to be fair and offered a pay rise on top of what is already a market leading pay rate. This offer remains on the table. I'd like to reassure our customers that they can rely on us to keep delivering the supplies they need throughout the summer."

CCE is working with employees and their representatives to reach an agreement as soon as possible.

Notes to editors

Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd is a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc, the world's largest marketer, producer and distributor of the products of The Coca-Cola Company. Coca-Cola Enterprises sells approximately 80 percent of The Coca-Cola Company's bottle and can volume in North America and is the sole licensed bottler for products of The Coca-Cola Company in Belgium, continental France, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Monaco, and the Netherlands. Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd (CCE) is the Coca-Cola bottler in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) and employs 4,600 people in its factories, depots and office sites. Leading brands include Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Fanta, Lilt, Sprite, Schweppes, Malvern Water, Oasis and Capri-Sun.

Almost all of CCE Ltd's 4,600 employees have had a basic pay rise of 2.5% for 2007.

Turnover at the Wakefield plant is less than 1% against an industry average of around 2%.

Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd was awarded Best Branded Supplier at the Grocer Gold Awards in June 2007, the industry's most prestigious awards and ranked No 1 in the wholesale, multiple retailer and cold markets by the Advantage Group survey

Contact Information

  • Caroline Greenaway
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