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Coke workers in Saskatoon are on strike, with outsourcing being one of the main issues, the union says. ((File/CBC))

Saskatoon's three-week old Coca-Cola strike is leaving consumers thirsty, as retailers struggle to keep the shelves stocked.

Dozens of unionized workers at the Coke distribution plant are on strike.

The city's larger retailers tend to have Coke stocked, but a number of smaller stores in the region are watching coolers slowly empty of Coca-Cola products.  

Among those worried he may lose customers is Nas Mesho, who owns Greg's Grocery Plus.

Because Coke drinkers tend to be loyal to the brand, the concern is customers will go somewhere else, he said.

"If you go in to buy a two-litre Diet Coke, that's what you want to drink, you are not going to go home with a Diet Pepsi," he said.

'If you go in to buy a two-litre Diet Coke, that's what you want to drink, you are not going to go home with a Diet Pepsi,' — Store owner Nas Mesho

"I want them to come in first right here before they go any where else," he said. Potentially, the strike could cost him thousands of dollars, Mesho said.

Currently, the two sides in the strike are not at the bargaining table.  

According to the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, a crucial issue is job security, with the company trying to outsource jobs.

Last month, Coke said it offered workers a comprehensive contract with wage increases, but it also said it needs more flexibility.