Local 727 Bargaining Committee Presents Initial Proposal as Negotiations with Pepsi Management Begin
The Teamsters Local 727 Bargaining Committee presented its initial proposal to Pepsi management as contract negotiations opened on March 22.
The Local 727 Bargaining Committee has proposed a complete merger of the four contracts covering more than 600 members at 35th Street, 51st Street, Elk Grove Village and Kankakee.
“There is no good reason to have four separate contracts for these workers. They are one bargaining unit, and it’s time for them to be treated that way,” said John T. Coli, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727. “Having one contract for all of these workers will unite our members like never before and will only make us stronger.”
The Local 727 Bargaining Committee is composed of union representatives, attorneys, and Pepsi members from 35th Street, 51st Street, Elk Grove Village and Kankakee representing different job classifications,
The union’s initial offer — which is solely based on member demands gathered by the union during site visits, a demands meeting at the union hall and three Bargaining Committee meetings with Pepsi stewards from all four locations — includes, but is not limited to, the following proposals:
- 10 percent wage increases for the majority of rates
- Teamsters Local 727 Health and Welfare Benefits, which are completely employer-paid and include a wellness plan with 100 percent coverage and elimination of co-pays.
- Teamsters Local 727 Legal & Educational Assistance Benefits, which are completely employer-paid and provide tuition reimbursement for participants and their dependents and up to 45 hours of legal service each year for issues such as wills, real estate and traffic violations.
- Seven paid sick days annually, with unused time paid out at the end of each year.
- Additional holiday (Martin Luther King Jr. Day) and two additional personal days.
- $1.00 per hour premium for all employees for all time spent training employees and $8.00 per day premium for transport drivers for each day spent training employees
- Employer shall provide training at the employer’s expense to any employee that requests to be trained in a new job classification
- Just cause discipline to ensure more stringent job protections
- A more streamlined grievance procedure
- Strike language providing that members do not have to cross picket lines sanctioned by Teamsters Joint Council 25
- Ability to take vacation time in single-day increments
- Three-year term (April 29, 2016-April 28, 2019)
“We will be completely transparent and democratic throughout this process, and we will fight to win the best contract we can for our members,” Coli said. “We know we’re not going to correct everything that’s wrong this time around, but we will make as big of a dent in it as possible.”
Pepsi management, meanwhile, presented very few proposals. The negotiation meeting broke for the day at 2 p.m. so the company could begin poring over the Local 727 proposal. The sides are scheduled to meet again Thursday, March 24.
“Our team was very well-prepared for this meeting and theirs was not,” said Bargaining Committee member Cornel Benford, a Pepsi 51st Street warehouse steward.
Teamsters Local 673 representatives and stewards also are participating in these negotiation meetings. About 135 Local 673-represented members work at the Pepsi facility in Aurora.
The Local 727 Bargaining Committee and the company have tentatively agreed to meet two additional times before the contract’s expiration, bringing the total number of bargaining sessions to eight. The remaining negotiation meetings are scheduled for March 24, April 12, April 15, April 18, April 20, April 22 and April 28.
The current four-year contracts expire at midnight on April 28.
Local 727 will continue to update members throughout the negotiations process. If you have questions, contact your Local 727 business representative:
- Vincent Blanco (35th, 51st, Elk Grove Village): (847) 696-7500 or [email protected]
- Mike DeGard (Kankakee): (847) 696-7500 or [email protected]
Have You Signed Up for Email Updates?
Throughout negotiations, the union will continue to provide bargaining updates. To receive updates directly in your email inbox, contact Local 727 Communications Director Maggie Jenkins at [email protected].
Pepsi Updates Online