Pepsi workers strike over wages, insurance costs

INDIANAPOLIS - Workers at a northwest side Pepsi bottling and distribution plant went on strike Thursday as contract negotiations with management failed.

More than 30 members of the Teamsters Local 135 union were picketing outside the Pepsi Beverage Company on the 5400 block of West 76th Street on Thursday.

A union spokesman said all of the workers at the plant – about 350 in total – were on strike after a contract agreement with the company failed Thursday morning.

The strike comes amid increased insurance costs, concerns about retirement insurance and general wage disputes between the workers and Pepsi Beverage Company.

Gina Anderson, speaking on behalf of Pepsi Beverage Co., said the company was "disappointed" about the strike.

"After a series of good-faith negotiations, we agreed to the union’s healthcare proposal and we offered a wage and pension plan increase in line with others around the country," Anderson said. "As we work with the union to settle this matter, we’ll continue to fully service our customers and consumers in the region.”

A union spokesman said workers planned to picket as long as necessary.

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