Coca-Cola is idling 87 in Annapolis

2 other facilities to shut and move to Hanover

February 07, 2003|By Dan Thanh Dang | Dan Thanh Dang,SUN STAFF

In an effort to cut costs and consolidate operations, the Mid-Atlantic Coca-Cola Bottling Co. plans to shut down part of its Riva Road complex in Annapolis and consolidate two other Maryland facilities at a new location in Hanover.

The company said yesterday that it will idle 87 workers when it closes its equipment-servicing operation on Riva Road by the end of the second quarter. An adjacent customer service center, which employs 130, will remain to deal with businesses that have a contract with the company, said Curtis L. Etherly Jr., vice president of public affairs for Mid-Atlantic Coca-Cola.

"We informed our employees two weeks ago that the company has decided to cease operations at that location," Etherly said yesterday. "We are working with employees on an individual basis to help them find jobs somewhere else within the company or help place them at local businesses doing similar work.

"We know this is a difficult time for everyone, but this will make our operations more efficient and help us provide better service to our customers."

The Riva Road operation had refurbished vending machines and other equipment. Work that had been done there will be spread out to six other refurbishing facilities located in Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas and California.

In addition, Mid-Atlantic Coca-Cola's Baltimore Sales Center in Baltimore County and its Cooler Service facility in Capitol Heights are both being closed, and their operations and 400 employees are to move to a new and bigger warehouse in Hanover.

Mid-Atlantic Coca-Cola, an operating unit of Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Enterprises, has 13 facilities in Maryland and employs more than 1,700 with an annual payroll of $64 million.

"We have a very significant stake here," Etherly said. "So there's definitely an interest in maintaining that presence here."

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