BROOKSVILLE — The Florida Coca-Cola Bottling Co. has announced that it will cease most operations at its Brooksville sales and distribution plant in January, dispersing most of the administrative staff and services there to three other facilities in the Tampa Bay area.
The move is part of a plan to consolidate local operations, company spokesman Norman Ross said Wednesday. Most of the facility's 70 employees will be transferred to jobs at plants in Tampa, Ocala and Lakeland.
Ross said only about 10 percent of the Brooksville staff — or roughly seven employees — could lose their jobs. Those employees met with company officials Wednesday.
"Our goal is to treat all of our employees with respect at this time," Ross said. "And, of course, we're always looking at better ways to serve our customers. Consolidating operations is a way of doing that."
Employees who lose their jobs in Brooksville are being encouraged to apply for jobs at other facilities within the company, Ross said. Failing that, they will be eligible for severance packages.
Coca-Cola plans to end major operations at the plant on Jan. 9. After that, the facility at 23091 Cortez Blvd. will remain in use as a "drop site," where drivers will pickup and drop off products for delivery in the Brooksville area.
Open for nearly 25 years, the Brooksville facility is one of about 20 across Florida. Ross said the company also has plans to cease major operations at the Highlands facility in Sebring and to transfer those to the sales center in Fort Pierce.
Joel Anderson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 754-6120.