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Teamsters Call Coke Boycott as Strike Continues in L.A.

By Nancy Cleeland
Original Article by Free Subscription
Issue: 5/28/05
Los Angeles Times

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters launched a boycott against Coca-Cola Co. products late Friday, targeting the traditional Memorial Day kickoff to a thirsty summer.

The boycott comes in support of about 1,700 striking union members in Los Angeles. They walked picket lines for the fourth day Friday at all seven Los Angeles-area bottling and distribution plants operated by Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., an Atlanta-based company that distributes most of the nation's Coca-Cola products.

A Coca-Cola Enterprises spokesman could not be reached for comment late Friday. Earlier in the week, he said the company was prepared to replace striking workers with supervisors.

The dispute is over a proposed five-year labor contract, to replace one that expired in early April. The company has said it offered generous wages and benefits, but union officials said the overall increases would barely cover rising health costs.

Teamsters officials said their members would distribute leaflets at major shopping outlets this weekend.

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