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Old 06-16-2003, 02:02 PM   #1

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US Coke worker sacked for drinking Pepsi

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - A US truck driver who worked for the Coca-Cola Bottling Company has been sacked after being spotted glugging down a soft drink made by the rival Pepsi company, union officials said.
Rick Bronson, who worked for the world's biggest soft drink firm for 12 years, was fired after someone reported him for supporting the enemy, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters said.
"Coke is really grasping at straws on this one," said Jim Santangelo, principal officer of Teamsters' branch of which Bronson is a member in El Monte, east of the California hub of Los Angeles.
"This is nothing more than an attempt to get rid of a pro-union employee. The Teamsters will fight every step of the way to get Rick's job back," he vowed.
The Teamsters claim that Coke really sacked the worker because of his work three months ago in organizing Coke merchandising workers under the powerful union's aegis.
The dismissal came after he was allegedly spotted in the back room of a store where he was making a delivery swigging on a Pepsi.
Bronson believes the person who reported him for publicly straying from his home brand had been hired by Coke to follow him and catch him off guard.
The union alleges that Coke fired Bronson under a company rule that bars "slander" of the world famous product after he was seen drinking the rival soft drink, Santangelo said.
"Hey, Rick's a Pepsi drinker, what can he do?" he said. But it's not as if he was seen drinking a Pepsi in Times Square on live TV -- he was in the backroom of a store.
"This wasn't slanderous, they just wanted him because of his union activity and because he is a union leader," he claimed.
A spokesman for the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. in Southern California, Bob Phillips, declined to comment on the allegations and on the case citing California's privacy laws, but said the company would not resort to a pretext to fire an employee active in a union.
"I can tell you that we have at this company a strict policy against retaliation and the company does not retaliate, nor do we tolerate any retaliation against employees," he said.
The Teamsters Local 848 has filed unfair labour practice charges against Coca-Cola over the incident, according to the union.
Coca-Cola in California and the Teamster have been at loggerheads over labour-related disputes, including strikes, involving Coke workers in recent months and negotiations over other contentious issues are still under way.

Source: Yahoo! News
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Old 06-16-2003, 02:05 PM   #2
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Seems a tad petty to me
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Old 06-16-2003, 02:41 PM   #3
Sir Kenyth
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So, the CEO would be fired for drinking Pepsi also? This is retaliation, period. If he loses, I'll be drinking RC. Publicity is his ally here. Corporations don't like high visibility when they're bending someone over a barrel.
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Old 06-16-2003, 02:50 PM   #4
Timber Loftis
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Maybe he and Brittney Spears should switch jobs, since she keeps getting caught drinking coke.
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Old 06-16-2003, 03:01 PM   #5
Jack Burton

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Originally posted by Timber Loftis:
Maybe he and Brittney Spears should switch jobs, since she keeps getting caught drinking coke.
I thought she kept getting caught snorting coke (lol, at least according to the tabloid headlines (*shudder* i can't imagine anyone actually reading them)
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Old 06-16-2003, 03:02 PM   #6
Jack Burton

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Originally posted by Timber Loftis:
Maybe he and Brittney Spears should switch jobs, since she keeps getting caught drinking coke.
And he could probably sing better.

The wolf is as cunning as he is ferocious; once he's had a taste of flesh then nothing else will do.
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Old 06-16-2003, 04:01 PM   #7

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My brother in law works for coke and they don't care if they drink pepsi. And i personally will just have to resort to drinking all that much more beer "sigh". of course that is when i get home
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Old 06-16-2003, 04:05 PM   #8
Ramon de Ramon y Ramon
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No, Kaltia, the truly depressing fact is that he would probably also look better than Miss Doughey-Face.

I have to say though, that, although I am all for workers' right and such, in this particular case I support Coca Cola in firing that employee. The only thing they got wrong is the reason. They should have fired him for tastelessness. Everyone who deliberately drinks Pepsi without being forced at gunpoint is one tongue short of a taste bud. Almost as bad as being caught drinking diet coke.
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Old 06-16-2003, 04:08 PM   #9
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I am not sure if we are getting the full story in the defense's version. What if the driver stole the Pepsi, or paid for it with money he had taken from a vending machine when he was emptying the coin holder...or what if employees are not allowed to be taking breaks in buildings where they are delivering...there is more to this story than the actual drinking of a product. Anybody wanna wager against me on it?
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Old 06-16-2003, 07:54 PM   #10
Barry the Sprout
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Of course theres more to it than drinking pepsi Larry - the story says it plain as day. The guy's been sacked for union agitation, not for drinking Pepsi. Coke are just, "clutching at straws" as the article says, for a reason to get rid of the guy.
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