brands under fire
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 25, 2011 03:30 PM
You might soon find it hard to get a Budweiser in central Ohio these days. The state’s largest distributor of the brew is having a negotiating stalemate with the Teamsters, which represents more than 100 factory workers and drivers, according to Dayton Business Journal.
Local Union 957 has threatened to strike, the paper notes. Before that happens, though, the Teamsters have added public embarrassment to their tactics: “The union announced it filed a complaint Friday (July 23rd) with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency alleging that Heidelberg dumped contaminated water into a storm water drain on the company’s property,” the paper notes.
The Teamsters' tagline for their campaign: "Tell Budweiser destroying Ohio jobs is tasteless."
Dayton Business Journal also reports that the Teamsters have rented out two large electronic “Budweiser Distributor is Tasteless” billboards in the city. The union plans to start putting up more billboards with the same message around Dayton and in other locations in the next two weeks, the paper notes.
The union claims that the Anheuser-Busch InBev-contracted distributor, Heidelberg Distributing Company, “wants to force its employees to work up to seven days a week, eliminate retiree healthcare for longtime employees and take away employees right to take unpaid leave for family medical emergencies,” the Business Journal reports. Heidelberg didn't respond to the paper’s requests for information by deadline.
“We’ve made every effort to work with Budweiser’s distributor to negotiate a fair contract that positions the company as the premier distributor of Budweiser Beer in Ohio and meets the standards set by its competitors,” said Varney Richmond, president of Teamsters Local Union 957, in a statement.
“Unfortunately, the company seems to be more interested in bullying workers and spending money on high-priced attorneys than negotiating a contract that provides a fair living for hard working Budweiser delivery drivers and warehousemen.”