Coca Cola and Britvic bottle shortage warning

Wigan plastic manufacturer pay strikes could lead to bottle shortages

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Pay strikes at Wigan plastic manufacturer Alpla UK could lead to bottle shortages for Coca Cola and Britvic, Unite warned on Tuesday (October 6).

Nearly 150 factory workers, who are members of Unite, will strike during October and November at Alpla UK’s Golborne factory in response to an ‘insulting’ two per cent pay offer.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “With a turnover of £200 million and operating profits of £21 million, Alpla should be offering more than an insulting two per cent pay rise to the workers who kept operations flowing during the pandemic.

“Unite will defend our members’ jobs, pay and conditions to the hilt. Alpla should table an acceptable offer in order to prevent this dispute causing disruption for its clients.”

Following a 90 per cent vote in favour of strike action in a ballot with a 72.5 per cent turnout, a series of 48 hour walk outs will take place on October 21, November 4 and November 16.

Alpla UK manufactures plastic bottles and containers for customers including Britvic, Coca Cola, PZ Cussons, Johnson & Johnson, Lever, Arla Foods, Core Ingredients, Princes Foods and others.

Strike action could impact supplies of bottles and containers for products such as detergents, hand sanitiser, shower gels and drinks.

Unite regional officer Richard O’Brien said, “Unite has set three strike dates but unless Alpla returns to the negotiating table with an offer our members can accept there will be more to follow.

“Alpla’s clients are already facing difficulties because of the lorry driver shortages,” he added. “They will not be pleased that their extremely profitable packaging supplier is adding to their supply chain woes because it is refusing to offer its staff a reasonable pay rise.”

By Ryan Fletcher

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