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Coca-Cola to close Detroit plant by year’s end, idle up to 131

Great Lakes Coca-Cola Bottling is closing its Detroit facility by the end of the year as it consolidates operations with its Grand Rapids site, officials said Wednesday.

Up to 131 employees at the plant are expected to lose their jobs.

“After careful consideration, we made the difficult decision to consolidate our Detroit production operations into our Grand Rapids production facility, which is best positioned to achieve the size and scale needed to maximize our manufacturing operations in the state,” Nancy Limon, vice president of government relations and public affairs for Great Lakes Coca-Cola Bottling, said in an email. “We are committed to treating our employees with respect and dignity throughout this process.”

In a WARN notice to the state Aug. 3, Limon wrote that the company would close its facility at 5981 W. Warren Ave.

Most employment separations will take effect between Oct. 3 and Oct. 17. The rest of the separations will occur either between Oct. 18 and Nov. 17 and Dec. 17 though Dec. 31.

The positions affected include transport drivers, machine operators, forklift operators and mechanics.

Todd Lince, president of Teamsters Local 337, the union that represents the Coca-Cola employees, expressed his disappointment in the plant’s closure and the loss of Detroit jobs.

He said the company said the building was too old and landlocked with no ability to expand.

Lince said that some of the plant workers would have bumping rights to move into jobs at the company’s distribution center in Van Buren Township and warehouse in Highland Park.

“At some point you can only trickle down so far then the people that are at the bottom, the younger people they are going to lose their jobs,” he said.

Lince said that there are some workers who want to take severance pay and some who may retire.

“Then you’ve got people who are older, but right on that cusp where they can’t retire, but it’s hard for them to do manual jobs because they’re used to being in a production plant,” he said.


Posted By: The Detroit News on August 11, 2021.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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