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Monday, 10 September 2018 11:34

Great Lakes Coca-Cola to close Kalamazoo plant, lay off 102 workers

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KALAMAZOO — A bottler and distributor of Coca-Cola products is closing its operations in Kalamazoo.

Great Lakes Coca-Cola filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) with the Michigan Workforce Development Agency earlier this month, indicating that the food processor would close its operations at 216 Peekstok Road in Kalamazoo.

The closing will affect 102 jobs and go into effect Nov. 5. Some of the jobs being affected are sales representatives, merchandisers and route persons, according to the filing. 

“It’s a move by a corporate to downsize,” John Anglin, president of the Kalamazoo-based Teamsters Local No. 7, told MiBiz in a phone interview. 

The union represents 69 of the employees being laid off.

“(Coca-Cola) claims that they will be more efficient … running it out of Grand Rapids,” Anglin said. “We disagree with that premise, but we are going back to the drawing board. You can imagine there’s a lot of seniority there being affected.”

Anglin told MiBiz that some of its union employees have been working with Coca-Cola for 20 years.

A spokesperson from Great Lakes Coca-Cola said the company’s ongoing evaluation of its business and organizational structure led to the decision to close the Kalamazoo distribution center.

The company is working to transfer employees to other existing locations in Grand Rapids and Lansing. According to its website, the company operates facilities in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana and Wisconsin.

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated with comment from Great Lakes Coca-Cola. 

Read 517 times Last modified on Monday, 10 September 2018 14:07