California Locals Prepare for Negotiations with Coca-Cola

District Lodge 947 and affiliate Locals 311 and 1186 in Los Angeles, CA spent a week at the William W. Winpisinger Center preparing for the upcoming negotiations with the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Los Angeles.  The current contract, which covers nearly 160 members, expires on April 4, 2013.

The Center’s week-long Negotiation Preparation for Bargaining Committees class provides training in drafting contract language, presenting proposals, analyzing the company’s strengths and weaknesses and identifying a broad array of potential tactics.  “We don’t want to strike, we want a reasonable settlement – one that protects our benefits and recognizes our contribution to Coca Cola’s success,” said Alex Rische, Jr., Local 311 Secretary-Treasurer and Negotiating Committee member. “But if the company tries to take away any of our hard earned benefits, we’ll be ready.”

During the mock bargaining sessions that are a key part of the class, Winpisinger Center Director Chris Wagoner assumed the role of company representative.  “Chris does a great job of acting the role of a tough company negotiator,” said Marco Gonzalez, Local 186 Steward and Negotiating Committee member.  “The Committee developed a plan and strategy for these negotiations and has a feel for what it’s really like at the bargaining table.”

The bargaining committee members are Frank Brito, Ramiro Diaz, Adan Garcia, Marco Gonzalez, Gonzalo Magana, Edward Pacheco, and Alex Rische, Jr.

“The committee did an excellent job preparing for these negotiations,” said Richard Sanchez, President and Directing Business Representative for District 947.  “My thanks to Chris and the staff at the Winpisinger Center for making this all possible. We are ready to represent our members at the table.”

“I am confident that our negotiating committee is prepared for these negotiations,” said Western Territory GVP Gary Allen. “Good luck to all of you, and remember, my assistance, if required, is only one phone call away.”