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Union suspends strike against soft drink bottler

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Union members are back at work after suspending their strike against an Alabama soft drink bottler.

Employees of Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United in Mobile, Robertsdale and Leroy, as well as in Vancleave, Mississippi, went back to work Monday, suspending a walkout that began Aug. 9.

About 275 employees at the locations are represented by the Teamsters Union. The locations last year were transferred to Birmingham-based Coca-Cola United from a North Carolina-based bottler.

The union says Coca-Cola United has been demanding new hires be paid $6 to $8 less per hour than currently required.

Teamsters Local 991 steward David Stephens tells that union members think progress is being made in negotiations, crediting the strike.

The company says talks through a mediator continue and it hopes to reach an agreement soon.

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