Teamsters: Coke management 'off deep end'

| 6/18/2003

Management at the Coca-Cola facility in Sylmar, CA, has gone off the deep end, according to a press release from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

It seems that Rick Bronson, a 12-year route driver for Coke and member of Teamsters Local 848, was fired for drinking a Pepsi.

“Coke is really grasping at straws on this one,” said Jim Santangelo, principal officer of Teamsters Local 848 and international vice president. “This is nothing more than an attempt to get rid of a pro-union employee. The Teamsters will fight every step of the way to get Rick’s job back.”

Coke is attempting to use a company rule that prohibits slander of the product, the release said.

“What is particularly ironic is the fact that the Sylmar facility uses Arrowhead brand spring water for all employees, union and management alike, to drink despite the fact that Arrowhead competes directly with the Coke brand of spring water, Dasani,” the release noted.

“All of this nonsense stems from the fact that the Teamsters have had a lot of success in organizing Coke merchandisers in Southern California recently,” Santangelo added. “Rick Bronson was actively involved in those organizing campaigns, and Coke management knew it. That’s why they are firing him, and we will not stand for it.”

Teamsters Local 848 has filed unfair labor practice charges against Coca-Cola.