What I learned at Ms.Marx:
According to a Seattle news broadcast this morning, coca-cola is closing 3 plants in Washington (Aberdeen, Bellingham, and Marysville) despite having negotiated with striking workers. These plants will close permanently on September 17th, 2010.
…The main issue in the strike was the company’s attempt to raise insurance premiums for workers. Far from a small increase, workers’ insurance rate would increase as much as 800% and retirees would no longer be able to buy into the health care program. Coca-cola cancelled the striking workers’ benefits, leaving them without any health care and forcing them to return to work prior to bargaining, which left them in a tough position at the bargaining table. The strikers then filed a class action lawsuit and unfair labour practices against the company for cancelling benefits.
…A company spokesman cited a new tax as a reason for closing plants. This tax will cost them a total of 2 cents per can (that will likely be passed on to consumers).
That’s interesting… Coca-Cola recorded $1.54 billion in profit during the last quarter of 2009. It seems like these taxes and unions are a real hardship for them.