On the hottest day of the year (so far), we wandered up to the Coca-Cola factory in East Hartford (Conn.), where union workers have been on strike for more than five weeks.
One of the main issues is health care. Plant officials say…well, here. You can read a recent media statement below:
While the picketers were sweating in the sun, a line of limousine vans was snaking by. Some were carrying one or two a passengers in air-conditioned comfort behind darkened windows, and some were carrying no one at all. The limousines are for people who are willing to cross a picket line and they are doing so, say the striking workers, with bellyfuls of catered meals paid for by the company. Some are being brought in from elsewhere, and put up in an area hotel or hotels. How much do you think that’s costing Coke, versus what they would spend to keep funding for their workers’ health care as it is now?
Strike funds are tiny, and a striking union workers gets just a fraction of his/her salary. Things are tough all over, but do you wonder what scabs make?
In this area, you’ll find Teamsters Local 1035 members picketing various business establishments besides the plant, including area McDonald’s restaurants. Honk. Say hey. And be sure to ask them why they’re striking. They’re happy to talk.
If you want to go whole-hog, here’s a list of Coca-Cola products besides that brown fizzy drink. Living without the soft drink is easy. It might be an interesting exercise to see if you could go a day without consuming a single Coke product.