The Teamsters Local 727 Bargaining Committee submitted a strong economics proposal on October 30 as contract negotiations continued with Coca-Cola.
Local 727 is seeking wage increases for all members, including first-year raises for mechanics, production and warehouse Teamsters and transport workers, with increases in each subsequent year.
The economics proposal includes improvements to bonus structures, training rates, pension benefits and enrollment in the Local 727 Health and Welfare and Legal and Educational Assistance funds.
On October 29, Coca-Cola made it clear it is asking for a five-year agreement that would eliminate 40-hour workweek guarantees, limit flexibility with schedules, reduce medical leave and tighten the window for workers to sign up for vacation (Coca-Cola would assign and force vacation if workers don’t submit preferences).
Management’s original proposal targeted approximately 400 mechanics and production and warehouse members. On Thursday, Coca-Cola submitted a second, yet similar proposal for Local 727 transport workers. The union is strongly recommending that management agree to merge the separate bargaining units and negotiate one contract for all members at Coca-Cola facilities in Niles and Alsip.
During negotiations October 29-30, members of the Bargaining Committee spoke personally and passionately about the need to establish clear job duties and shift schedules. The union also pressured management to clarify shift starts as they relate to company meetings, which Coca-Cola has inconsistently tried to define as voluntary for workers to attend.
“The first days of bargaining have been amicable between the union and Coca-Cola, but Local 727 is committed to securing a three-year contract that improves wages, benefits and working conditions for every single one of our members,” said John Coli Jr., President of Local 727. “We are urging the company to join us in streamlining the bargaining process to reach one honorable agreement for all — that means consistent schedules, fair overtime and progressive policies for all of our job classifications.”
Bargaining will continue November 3-5. Members will be kept up-to-date on progress. If you have questions, contact Aisha Hurston with Local 727 at (847) 696-7500 [email protected]