PARKERSBURG- The Teamsters were striking at Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated sites across the state, including Parkersburg.
Teamsters Local 175 members at Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated (CCBCC) in Charleston and Logan went on strike Thursday morning to protest the company's alleged failure to abide by the collective bargaining agreement, according to a press release issued by the union Thursday.
The picket lines have been extended to Coke's other Teamster facilities in Bluefield, Clarksburg and Parkersburg, where other Local 175 members are honoring the Charleston and Logan strike.
There are around 86 employees on strike while an additional 67 are honoring the picket line. Picketers at the Parkersburg Coca-Cola site off Seventh Street said there were five people on the line Thursday.
Picketers referred all inquiries back to the union's offices in South Charleston.
According to the press release, the Teamsters said the company has refused to abide by a decision of a third-party panel as required by the contract, leaving the union no other alternative but to strike.
Coca-Cola Bottling Company Consolidated said it has done what is necessary to get employees back to work.
Teamsters Local 175 has filed an unfair labor practice charge against the company.
As part of the grievance procedure, the parties have negotiated a grievance panel where a majority decision of that panel is final and binding, the union added.
However, despite the union's favorable decision from the panel, the company continues its practices, the press release said.
"The company has thumbed its nose at the very procedure we have negotiated to peacefully resolve disputes,'' said Ken Hall, president of Teamsters Local 175. ''Coke's actions are just a continuation of the disrespectful attitude local management has taken with its employees and this union over the past several months.
''In fact, the company's attitude of late prompted me to send a letter to the president/COO of CCBCC requesting he try and help resolve the problems with the local management," Hall said. "However, his response was one of complete indifference."
CCBCC corporate office in Charlotte, N.C., released a statement Thursday, addressing the strike.
"In the best interest of our customers and consumers we have done what is necessary to get our employees back to work,'' it said. "The issue has been resolved and work will resume (Friday)."
Teamsters Local 175 has filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board, the union press release said.
"Since the members last went on strike in 2000 the parties have worked hard to repair the relationship between the company and its employees,'' Hall said. ''However, the company's complete disregard for the peaceful settlement of grievances is just the last straw in a series of actions by Coke causing a complete deterioration of the relationship we have tried to rebuild.
''It is a disgrace that this company would treat its employees with such disregard while also jeopardizing service to their loyal customers."