Great Lakes Coca-Cola to close Kalamazoo plant in November

Posted at 8:43 PM, Sep 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-08 12:02:43-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich.  —  A notice sent to the State of Michigan indicates as many as 102 positions may be impacted when Great Lakes Coca-Cola permanently closes its Kalamazoo plant on Nov. 5.

The plant is located at 216 Peekstock Road in Kalamazoo.

That’s according to required notification given by the company to workers through the Worker Adjustment & Retraining Notification Act (WARN). It  requires larger employers to let workers know at least 60 days prior to  plant closings and layoffs.

The WARN letter says a total of 102 positions could be cut, if employees are not offered – or do not accept – a transfer position to another Coca-Cola facility in Michigan. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 7 represents 69 of the positions that could be slashed. The WARN notice says no “bumping rights” exist.

Employees were told they should contact company Human Resources Manager Annika Pleiness for more information, at (616) 913-4334.

At midday Saturday, a spokesman with the company issued the following statement:

“At Great Lakes Coca-Cola Bottling, we are always evaluating our business and organizational structure to ensure we remain competitive as an industry leader. As part of this ongoing evaluation we recently announced the closure of our distribution center located in Kalamazoo, MI. We deeply value the contributions our team members have made, and we have worked hard to minimize the impact to employees. A majority of positions will be transferred to our existing centers in Grand Rapids and Lansing.”