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Coca-Cola cutting 750 U.S. jobs, more than one percent of workforce

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
March 21st, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The iconic American soft drink company Coca-Cola has announced that it will be cutting 750 jobs stateside. According to company spokespeople, this is little more than one percent of the company's workforce.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - About one in four of the jobs being eliminated are in the Atlanta area, home to Coke's headquarters.

Coke's U.S. workforce rose by 900 last year to 68,300. The rise in labor was attributed to consolidating the North American operations of Coca-Cola Enterprises, its largest bottler. It purchased those operations in 2010.

The layoffs will be coming in the next few months. It must be noted that these job cuts are far less severe than those at rival Pepsico. In February 2012, the holding company for Pepsi said it plans 8,700 job cuts worldwide by 2014. That accounted for three percent of its global staff. But less than 2,000 of those job cuts will come out of its U.S. workforce of 106,000.

In related news, Coca-Cola closed its Sheboygan production facility, leaving 40 employees jobless, according to a letter to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development received Wednesday.

The company said it will offer a competitive severance package and will pay all earned wages and agreed-upon benefits upon termination of the jobs.  

In faraway Norway, Coca-Cola Norge plans to lay off nearly half of all its employees in next year, after it revamps its bottling operations and turns over beverage delivery to grocery wholesalers. Coca-Cola is investing heavily in the re-tooling, but as many as 500 workers will lose their jobs.

A decline in sales of Coca-Cola's high-fructose soft drinks is behind much of the major restructuring that mainly affects operations at the US-based company's large plant at LÝrenskog, northeast of Oslo. The jobs of around 400-500 employees at the plant are expected to disappear by March 2013.

"We needed to tackle the situation before we start seeing red ink," Stein RÝmmerud, communications director for Coca-Cola Enterprises Norge og Sverige, told reporters. Increasing competition from grocery store chains' own house brands have also contributed to the sales challenges.

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