Coca-Cola Co on August 28 joined a list of big United States companies laying off thousands of workers in response to the coronavirus crisis, offering voluntary deals across its businesses and promising to halve its number of operating units.
The company was offering voluntary redundancy to 4,000 workers in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico and would offer similar deals in other markets, it said in a statement, while also signaling other layoffs were likely to follow.
“The voluntary program is expected to reduce the number of involuntary separations,” the world’s largest beverage maker said, adding that the global severance programs would incur expenses of about $350 million to $550 million.
The company, battling a hit to sales from closures of bars, restaurants and cinemas where it normally sells heavily, said it would have nine operating units that would sit under four geographical segments, along with global ventures and bottling investments divisions.
Its current model includes 17 business units.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
The plan to cut jobs come at a time when the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits hovered around 1 million last week, with the government confirming that the economy suffered its sharpest contraction in at least 73 years in the second quarter.
United Airlines Holdings Inc signaled on August 27 it was preparing the biggest pilot furloughs in its history, saying it needed to cut about 21% of total pilot jobs due to a slump in air travel.
Cosmetics maker Estee Lauder Cos Inc and oilfield services giant Schlumberger NV have in recent weeks announced that they would cut thousands of jobs.
Coca-Cola last month reported a 28% slump in sales in the “most challenging” quarter of the year due to coronavirus-triggered closures of restaurants, theaters and sports venues.Shares in the company rose about 1% in early trading.