French workers at US soft drinks giant Coca-Cola walked out on on strike today, saying that a recent round of redundancies was unjust.
The CFDT trade union describes the cuts as "stockmarket sackings," a term coined to describe companies reducing overheads while making runaway profits.
Workers said they believed a round of redundancies announced last month, affecting up to 200 employees, are just the tip of the iceberg.
Unions confirmed production had stopped at five bottling plants and seven offices across the country.
CFDT steward Christian Jurcenoks said most employees backed the industrial action "which will not be limited to this strike.
"We are all convinced that Coca-Cola has exploited the financial crisis to restructure its French operations," he said.
"The primary concern of our directors is to boost profitability for shareholders at the expense of the welfare of their workers."
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