In Alsip, things are not better with Coke.


Hi Fred,

There has been a lot going on in the city to keep any good blogger busy these days, but I wanted to write to you in the hopes that you might give a shout out to the Teamsters Local #727 Coca-Cola workers. 

The Coca-Cola distribution factory is right down the block from my house in Alsip and I noticed the striking workers about seven days ago as I turned the corner to head out for school, giving them a long honk of support each day I drive by. 

Today, I decided to stop and talk to them. I met some really great people who are trying to make ends meet and to take care of their families in the hopes that the will be back to work in time to have a good Christmas. 

I spoke to Mr. Tom Bonnik, a driver for Coca-Cola, who explained to me that the strike affects about 300 workers in the distribution factories in both Alsip and Niles. Most of them work either inside of the factories or are local drivers who transport product between Alsip and Niles daily. They are paid between twelve and eighteen dollars an hour. 

Mr. Bonnik explained to me that it has been nearly impossible to settle because the local factory managers have no authority to negotiate final decisions on terms of the contract proposals without approval from the Atlanta, Ga corporate management and a federal mediator has recently been called in to improve communication. 

When I asked one striking worker what will happen if a deal can’t be reached by Christmas, she said they would be on the picket line on Christmas Day if that’s what it took. 

I’ve attached a photo that the workers allowed me to take. I got the feeling that, more than anything, they were just extremely grateful of my support. And don’t we know that feeling. 


Jerry Mulvihill

7 Replies to “In Alsip, things are not better with Coke.”

  1. How sad. Coke drivers were making $ 40k a year in 1971. A solid middle class job, but tough work. I was a beer truck helper, making more per week than I did as a teacher. $ 18 per hour is less than $ 40k today, and I’m paying much more for a Coke than in 1971. The manufacturer, distributors, and stock holders must be doing pretty well. Sad for the workers.

    1. Some facts,
      In general increases in corporate profits are not shared with hourly employees. I have never seen a labor contract that bases its compensation schedule on its profit margin. As profits go up, do salaries go up? Nope. In any case, the issue here, you who keeps your identity to yourself, is fair bargaining. What does that have to do with soft drink sales?

  2. What a disgrace. Another example of corporate greed. I believe that Whole Foods has an arrangement with employees who share in profits in their department over their base salaries. It works like the concept of cooperative learning. WF is not union, however.

  3. Everyone has an opinion but who actually has seen the offer and the current contract? Unless you are part of the negotiations you do not know what is going on. It is not about how much the company is profiting it is about how much is the labor worth. The company needs to hit margins or they close. Look at Entemains in North Lake, They were paid $20 to watch doughnuts go down a conveyor plus benefits. Over priced labor. Now they all lost their job when they closed. Is it right? Maybe not but unless you put up the money to run the company you get what the ones who do offer to pay you. If you do not like it then find another job that will give you what you want or need.

  4. I think it’s crap Coca Cola makes more money than ups UPS drivers make more than $30 an hour with great benefits great wage increases every year good health care in this company is that even going to budge on paying their workers more money which they can afford orgasm better healthcare and better pensions

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