Refresco Workers Press for Action from Private Equity Firm KKR

March 1, 2023

UE Local 115 members from the Refresco bottling plant in Wharton, NJ attempted to bring their concerns about conditions in their plant to the corporate headquarters of private equity firm KKR on Tuesday, February 28. It was the second attempt the workers have made to meet with KKR, which owns a majority stake in Refresco. For a second time, KKR refused to meet with the workers.

“We went to the building, we tried to talk to someone at KKR, and did it respectfully,” said Refresco worker Pamela Burgos. “All we’re asking for is equal rights and our rights as workers. We just want to be able to have a meeting with them so we can discuss our issues.”

Refresco Workers Travel to NYC to Deliver Petition, Meet with Investors

October 21, 2022

Workers from the Refresco bottling plant in Wharton, NJ traveled to New York City on Wednesday to deliver a petition to the private equity firm which owns their company — and to meet with major institutional investors in that firm.

The workers are members of UE Local 115, and are currently in negotiations for a first union contract. As negotiating committee member César Moreira explained, they are fighting for “three basic demands” which are “things that everyone should have as a right” — decent wages and benefits, health and safety at work, and fair schedules.

Refresco Workers Make Progress Towards First UE Contract

September 29, 2022

After beating company union-busting and winning a second NLRB election in May, more than 200 workers at the Refresco bottling plant, members of UE Local 115, are finally at the bargaining table with their employer. The elected union negotiating committee has been meeting regularly with the company since July, and has already reached agreement on several issues.

Refresco Workers Beat Company Union-Busting … Again

June 11, 2022

For more than two years, over 200 workers who bottle Gatorade, BodyArmor, Juice Bowl, Arizona Iced Tea, and Tropicana Juices for Refresco, the world’s largest independent bottling company, have been fighting to secure a measure of justice at work. With their second NLRB election win in less than a year, they are one step closer to winning it.

Refresco Named One of “Dirty Dozen” Companies Most Dangerous to Workers’ Health

April 29, 2022

Refresco’s New Jersey bottling plant has earned the dubious distinction of being selected as one of 2022’s “Dirty Dozen,” an annual list of unsafe employers who put workers, families and communities at risk.

The “award” came as no surprise to the workers in the plant.

“Our health and safety is not a priority here,” said Lida Guevara, a quality technician in the laboratory. “During the worst of the pandemic, they refused to listen to us. They made us come in to work and many workers got seriously ill.

Eastern Region Delegates Rally to Support Local 115

April 25, 2022

Chanting “¡Sin Unión, No Hay Solución!” (without the union, there is no solution), UE members from six states gathered outside the Refresco bottling plant in Wharton, New Jersey on a beautiful Sunday morning in late April. Refresco workers won a National Labor Relations Board last June, forming UE Local 115. However, after nine months of legal appeals by the company, the NLRB threw out the election on a technicality, forcing the workers to vote again — and to endure another barrage of union-busting.