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Coca-Cola to cut up to 2,000 jobs

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Prices for cans of Coca-Cola will go up next month when the company's two big bottlers raise prices.

ATLANTA >> Coca-Cola reportedly plans to cut 1,000 to 2,000 jobs in the coming weeks as part of a $3 billion cost-cutting effort.

Analysts speculated to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last month that the cuts would be as much as 2,000 as the world’s largest soft drink company tries to rein in costs in the face of challenges to growing sales. Coke has a global work force of more than 130,000.

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the job cuts, that the reductions will be significant at the company’s headquarters in Atlanta and global regional offices, but bottling and distribution divisions will be largely unaffected for now.

Notices are expected to go out to North American staffers by Jan. 8 and international employees will be given a timeline for cuts by Jan. 15, according to the report. The company employs nearly 8,900 in metro Atlanta.

Coca-Cola spokesman Petro Kacur said the company would have no comment on the report.

Among Coke’s challenges, international case sales are slowing, carbonated beverages in North America remain under sustained attack by health advocates and changing consumer tastes, and last quarter for the first time, North American case sales for the company’s non-fizzy sector of waters, juices and teas fell 1 percent.

The company also reported a 14 percent drop in third-quarter profit.

Last month, Coke told the AJC it did not know how many positions could be cut or in what cities the trims will be made.

Atlanta Journal Constitution staff writer Leon Stafford contributed to this report.

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