Coca Cola to cut up to 2,000 jobs after Christmas

The firm's executives will also swap limousines for taxis

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The Independent Online

US drinks giant Coca-Cola has likely dampened the festive mood for its workers, with its plans to axe between 1,000 and 2,000 jobs globally in the weeks following Christmas.

If it goes ahead, the job cut will be the company's biggest in 15 years.

The job-losses are part of the company's strict new budget plans, which will see its executives swap luxurious limousine rides for taxis. The firm, famed in popular culture for its Christmas truck TV adverts which mark the start of the holiday season for many viewers, also cancelled its Christmas party for Wall Street analysts, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In October, Coke revealed its plans to make $3 billion (£1.92 billion) in cost savings by 2019 - up from the $1 billion it announced in February - as health-conscious shoppers indulge in soft drinks less and less.

But investors are concerned that Coke will not be able to achieve such savings, and have questioned whether the cuts are sufficient.

"Their track record in cutting costs has not been very strong, so there's a reluctance among investors to believe in them," a Sanford Bernstein analyst told the Journal.

Former executives also told the newspaper that Coke's internal hierarchy is inefficient, with 20 job grade levels making decisions slow.

However, Coke has defended its plan, but agrees it must become leaner and faster.

Meanwhile, Israel approved the import of machinery into Palestine on Monday, to build a Coca Cola factory in the Gaza Strip which is expected to be completed next year.

Imad Hindi, a director of the Palestinian company licensed to produce the fizzy drink, said the factory will create 300 jobs and production will begin in late 2015, he said.

Additional reporting by Reuters