Another Sacramento business bites the dust

March 14, 2013

By Katy Grimes

New coke can - wikipedia

Coke — it’s the real thing. But not for 60 Sacramento area Coca-Cola employees who are about to lose their jobs.

Only two months after Coca-Cola, Inc. purchased the locally-owned Sacramento Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Coke announced it is closing the bottling facility on Stockton Boulevard, putting 60 people out of work.

In January when the purchase was completed, Bevnet reported that the Cola-Cola company had been streamlining operations over the past three years. “This most recent deal comes 14 months after the cola giant acquired Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Co., which, at the time, was the fifth-largest independent Coca-Cola bottler in the United States, for $360 million. Coke also acquired Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., its largest bottler in North America, for $12.3 billion in 2010.”

The Sacramento Bee reported David Ethridge, general manager of the Sacramento production facility, “said the timing of the shutdown has to be negotiated with officials at Teamsters Local 150, which represents the workforce at Stockton Boulevard. Teamsters officials were not available for comment.”

Surprise, surprise.

The pause that refreshes

The sixth largest independent  Coke bottler in the country, Sacramento Coca-Cola Bottling Company was founded in 1927. It currently employs more than 460 people in the Sacramento region.

The 2012 Small Business Survey, in partnership with the Kauffman Foundation, found Sacramento to be one of the least friendly cities for business.

Surprise, surprise.

The five least friendly cities were Sacramento, San Diego, Los Angeles, Tucson and Detroit, according to the survey. “More than 6,000 small businesses in Thumbtack’s database of 275,000 members — most of whom have five employees or less — responded to the survey,” CNN reported.

California received an “F” grades on tax code, regulations, health and safety, licensing, and overall business friendliness. The state received “D” grades on the ease of starting a business, environmental and zoning.

And the comments of business owners were telling:

* “Working with any government organization seems to have its difficulties. With the lack of competition, most government employees seem not to possess a personal drive in order to satisfy the general public, which in turn creates an atmosphere of dislike and distrust,” reported a business owner saying. “If the government was operated like a large business, I feel it would be more efficient and easier to deal with.”

* “The EPA regulations (CARB) is too extreme on small business with regard to emissions regulations in CA,” said another small business owner. “Worker’s compensation insurance is way over priced to small businesses and would better benefit in having an award system where it is similar to vehicle insurance in that your rates are much less for non-injury records.”

While Coca-Cola may be streamlining its operations, the business climate in Sacramento is so lousy, it was probably a relatively straightforward decision to close the production facility… if the Teamsters Local 150 allows this.

Even in California, things don’t always go better with Coke.

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