Teamsters: Coca-Cola Strategies Deliver Unnecessary Risk to Investors

April 14, 2010

Teamsters to Alert Analysts, Investors of Coke’s Gamble with Distribution System

WASHINGTON, April 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Teamsters Union will host a conference call on Friday, April 16 at 10 a.m. for top institutional shareholders and market analysts of the Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) and Coca-Cola Enterprises (NYSE: CCE). The Teamsters will discuss the companies’ business direction for bottling and distribution operations in the United States.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100127/IBTLOGO )

The Teamsters represent about 15,000 employees involved in the production and distribution of Coca-Cola products throughout North America. Coke is attempting to radically alter its distribution process, adding third and fourth parties, extra steps, and unnecessary complications to a system that has worked well for the company, its customers and consumers for decades.

The timing of this change adds more unnecessary risk for Coca-Cola Co. as it tries to take over and integrate the North American operations of its largest bottler, Coca Cola Enterprises (CCE). CCE wants to initiate its distribution experiment in the midst of contract negotiations in the crucial Southern California market, which could spark widespread work stoppages and service disruptions, first in California and then possibly in other key markets across the country.

“Already lagging behind Pepsi in its efforts to integrate its North American bottling operations, Coke’s distribution experiment may look good in theory but will prove to be a costly mistake,” said David Laughton, Director of the Teamsters Brewery and Soft Drink Workers Conference. “The new Coke plan will only complicate its distribution system, hurt customer relations and provoke a work stoppage that could disrupt operations not only in Southern California but in other key markets as well.”

In 2009, North America was responsible for nearly 27 percent of revenues at The Coca-Cola Company and almost 70 percent of revenues at Coca-Cola Enterprises. Once the

takeover of CCE’s North American bottling assets is complete, Coke will derive 50 percent of its revenues from the mature North American market.

“The Teamsters will not tolerate an attack on good jobs,” Laughton said.

Conference Call Details:

WHO: International Brotherhood of Teamsters

WHAT: Presentation to shareholders and investors on Coca-Cola’s risky distribution strategy and contract negotiations update

WHEN: Friday, April 16 at 10 a.m. EDT

To register for the call and receive call-in information: Contact, Marcia Jhingory, (202) 624-8100 or mjhingory@teamster.org

SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Source: newswire

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