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Coca-Cola Strike Could Cause Shortage

June 2, 2000

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Around 700 Teamsters who deliver Coke and other soft drinks throughout Northern New Jersey went on strike earlier this week after rejecting a contract offer, causing potential shortages of the popular drinks.

According to The Star-Ledger, the bottling company based in Hawthorne is one of about 30 plants which bottles and distributes Coca-Cola products.
Bottling company representatives say they expect deliveries to continue as usual, while union members insist shortages might occur as early as next week if the strike isn't settled.
John Schepis, secretary/treasurer of Local 25, said workers were striking because they want to be paid as much as their PepsiCo counterparts. Coke drivers earn $3 an hour less than Pepsi drivers.
He said consumers may not notice an immediate difference because many companies ordered additional supplies in the last several weeks preparing for a possible strike. However, some facilities that didn't prepare and those that use large quantities, such as fast-food restaurants, might experience a shortage.
A spokeswoman for Coca-Cola, Harriet Tolve, declined to comment on contract negotiations, but said she didn't anticipate any trouble delivering to customers.
"Whatever it takes to do the job," she said.

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