ATLANTA - The Coca-Cola Company officially announced major layoffs Thursday.
The Atlanta-based company is laying off up to 1,800 workers total. About 500 of those jobs are in Atlanta.
Channel 2's Liz Artz talked to employees as they left work Thursday in North West Atlanta who said people were quiet, but trying to stay optimistic.
In an emailed statement Coca-Cola announced it is eliminating 1,600-1,800 positions in North America and internationally. A spokesperson said 500 of those positions will be out of Atlanta’s headquarters building. One employee told Artz there were layoffs in her department and she expected more would come.
A Coca-Cola spokesperson said, "We are redesigning our operating model to streamline and simplify our structure and accelerate the growth of our global business."
Professor of economics Roger Tutterow told Artz, while 500 local layoffs is a significant number people need to keep it in perspective.
“We have to put it in context. This is a city with more than 2 and a half million people working here we are a city that added nearly 60,000 jobs to payrolls over the past 12 months,” Tutterow said.
A Coca-Cola spokeswoman would not go into detail, but said the layoff's are in all parts of the business and varying levels. Tutterow says it's always shocking news when you have a brand like Coca-Cola so closely associated with Atlanta, but he says it's a discretionary product and if people are not buying it globally it will affect revenue.
“(They’re) trying to offer products, not traditional sodas, broader offering of beverages in the long run translate into more revenue," he said.
Artz spoke to a former employee who said he was laid off from Coca-Cola in 2013. He said he was called in, let go and given 30 minutes to clear his desk and take personal information off his company phone and computer before being escorted out of the building. He said he was given a decent severance and sent on his way. The company said the layoffs will take place during the next several weeks.