Coca-Cola set to axe 750 jobs in Spain

Coca-Cola is looking to close four of its 11 bottling plants in Spain in a move that would affect the jobs of 1,250 people, the company and the UGT union said.

Coca-Cola set to axe 750 jobs in Spain
Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP

The company's Spanish subsidiary, Coca-Cola Iberian Partners, plans to shutter its plants in the northwestern Asturias region, the Balearic Islands, near Madrid and in southeastern Alicante, the union said in a statement.

UGT said it was seeking to negotiate with Coca-Cola to head off the closures, and would launch strikes and demonstrations to press its position.

The company, in a statement published in Spanish media, said it would try to place 500 of the affected workers in other positions, and offer the rest early retirement or attractive termination packages.

"The restructuring aims to gain efficiency and competitiveness, and to avoid duplication that could compromise the future viability of the company," it said.

Coca-Cola Iberian Partners, which currently has 4,000 employees on its books, was founded last year by merging the seven bottling companies in Spain owned by the US brand.

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Spanish factory output in two-year free fall

Spain's factories axed output in July, official data showed on Friday, completing a near two-year industrial decline as domestic demand evaporated in a job-wrecking recession.

Spanish factory output in two-year free fall
Photo: Josep Lago

Factories and utilities reduced production by 1.4 percent in the year to July after smoothing out seasonal blips, the National Statistics Institute said.

Output fell 2.2 percent on an annual basis in the previous month.

It was the 23rd straight month showing an annual decline in industrial production from the eurozone's fourth-largest economy.

The news comes as Spain hopes to crawl out of a two-year recession in this quarter and shake off the aftermath of a decade-long property bubble that imploded in 2008.

Output of consumer goods tumbled 1.5 percent overall.

But in a worrying sign for the economy, production of durable consumer goods such as cars or washing machines plunged 10.5 percent while output of non-durable consumer goods such as food or paper eased 0.4 percent.

Producers boosted output of business equipment by 3.9 percent.

Production of intermediate goods used in manufacturing, such as chemicals, fell 4.6 percent.

Utilities lowered energy output by 2.3 percent.