The Coca-Cola Co’s (NYSE:KO) restructuring will result in hundreds of employees in Okmulgee, Oklahoma looking for work. Coca-Cola is closing its manufacturing operations in Okmulgee and consolidating operations with its Oklahoma City bottling facility. The move comes less than a year after the territory in Oklahoma was acquired by Arca Continental (BMV:AC), the second-largest Coca-Cola bottler in Latin America.
This will result in around 246 lost jobs, half coming from each location. There are around 215 employees at the 188,400-square-foot facility in Okmulgee. A planned 104 employees will be laid off, with terminations expected to start on March 30.
The company said it is offering “eligible” employees the chance to move into other roles in the company. Those who lose their jobs will have access to interviewing and resume writing help.
Which they will need, as Okmulgee County had the state’s third-highest county unemployment rate in November. According to the Oklahoma Unemployment Security Commission, Okmulgee County’s rate was 5.7% in November, with 950 seeking employment. That number is now well over 1,000. The population of Okmulgee itself is around 12,200.
In August 2017, Arca Continental expanded its presence in the U.S. The company acquired 100% of the shares of Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Company, which operates the state of Oklahoma, from The Coca-Cola Company through its subsidiary, Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages.
“While we are closing the manufacturing operations in Okmulgee, our Okmulgee distribution center’s frontline salespeople, drivers and merchandisers are not impacted,” the company said in a statement. “While difficult, these changes are helping us create a faster, leaner and more agile organization to accelerate growth in the local marketplace.”
As expected, the company said the closure and layoffs will “bring greater efficiencies to our local operations.”
“Okmulgee Coca-Cola Plant Closing,” Public Radio Tulsa, January 26, 2018.
“AC Expands Presence In The US: Acquires Territory In Oklahoma,” Arca Continental, August 25, 2017.
“Okmulgee County has 3rd highest unemployment rate in November,” Okmulgee Times, January 12, 2018.