Coca-Cola plant in Marysville to close Sept. 17

MARYSVILLE — In the midst of negotiations Sept. 1 and 2 between Coca-Cola and 500 of its western Washington employees, including those at the company's Marysville plant, the company confirmed that its Marysville plant will be closing Sept. 17.

Bob Phillips, vice president of public affairs for Coca-Cola, explained that the company is not cutting the jobs of its 53 employees in Marysville, but has instead offered employment at other locations to all of its union employees in Marysville, Aberdeen and Bellingham, whose Coca-Cola plants are also being closed. He elaborated that Coca-Cola may be adding jobs at its facilities in Bellevue, Bremerton, Tacoma, Fife, Wenatchee, Moses Lake, Spokane and Omak.

Coca-Cola has been leasing the property for its Marysville facility from the city of Marysville itself. The company's short-term lease runs from June 22 through Sept. 30, but can be extended through the first quarter of 2011 to allow the company additional time to relocate its personnel and equipment to new facilities.

City officials bought the property with an eye toward relocating the city's public works department there, as part of plans to develop a new downtown city government campus. Gloria Hirashima, chief administrative officer and community development director for the city, noted that the ongoing recession has put those plans on hold, and added that the city will instead look to lease the building to another tenant.

According to Phillips, Coca-Cola had also considered constructing a new facility at the site, but credited the same economic conditions that had nixed the city's plans with inspiring the company to take fuller advantage of its existing Washington state facilities.

The 500 western Washington Coca-Cola employees who went on strike Aug 23, whose numbers include 37 union workers in Marysville, agreed to return to work Aug. 30.

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