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Coke confirms moving Eugene jobs to Wilsonville

Wilsonville’s Coca-Cola operations will add another 21 jobs by early March, company officials confirmed Monday.

Those new jobs result from the closure of the company’s distribution and warehouse operations in Eugene, which has 24 employees. It will close on March 1, said Anna Arodzero, a Coke Cola spokeswoman.

“There are 24 positions between the warehouse and distribution that will be terminated in Eugene,” she said, “And 21 of those are in the process of being created and moved to Wilsonville. As of this week, it looks like five of our employees will follow their work from Eugene to Wilsonville.”

For the other 19 employees, some of whom are unionized, Coca-Cola offered a negotiated severance package as well as workforce development to find new jobs.

“We’re hopeful that as many of our employees in Eugene as can, will take their work to Wilsonville,” Arodzero said. “We’re doing as much as we can for those who aren’t moving to find new employment. We’re committed to treating everyone with respect and courtesy through the process.”

In the meantime, the company has posted the new job openings on its employment website, www.enjoycareers.com, and plans to hire immediately for the consolidation of operations.

Arodzero said Wilsonville’s plant, which also produces much of the product distributed throughout the region, was expanded in 2010 to accommodate just such a consolidation.

“That facility was built to have room for growth,” she said. “We have no other plans for any other consolidations that I’m aware of, but as we grow our business in Oregon and some other territories, we do have room for growth there.”

Closing the Eugene facility made sense on several levels, particularly because product that was produced and initially stored in Wilsonville, was loaded and delivered to Eugene, passing several customers along the way. The product then was unloaded and stored in the warehouse, only to be loaded up again and delivered to customers north of Eugene.

“We’ll be a lot more efficient because we won’t be driving past folks that we’re serving anyway,” Arodzero said.