At 1:50 a.m. Tuesday — at the end of a marathon meeting on the seventh day of contract negotiations — Pepsi management presented its meager wage proposal to the Teamsters Local 727 Bargaining Committee.
“This is insulting,” said steward Ted Petravich, a Bargaining Committee member. “I understand this is their first offer, but this is horrible. It isn’t even cost of living increase. It’s unacceptable.”
The union, meanwhile, presented its complete economic proposal on the first day of bargaining.
Pepsi management also proposed that Local 727-represented workers to move into the company’s Standard Flex health insurance plan, which includes exorbitant “surcharges” for things like smoking that inflate their health care premiums.
Currently, workers participate in the company’s Non-Standard Flex plan that has no such surcharges.
“We have no interest in benefits cuts, it’s as simple as that,” said John T. Coli, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727.
Please note, the company’s proposal does NOT include costs for the plan’s various surcharges. All Local 727 members should review the company’s health care proposal and contact your steward to provide feedback before negotiations resume on Thursday.
Bargaining began at 4 p.m. Tuesday and continued until 2 a.m. For the first seven hours Tuesday night, the Local 727 Bargaining Committee and Pepsi management discussed the remaining open non-economic issues, such as route bidding, vacation scheduling and training opportunities. The company also continued to demand their right to unfettered use of Blue Card employees.
“The way they use Blue Card employees is inefficient,” said steward Jose Salgado, a Bargaining Committee member. “Plus, the company uses them to take overtime away from full-timers. It’s not fair.”
The Local 727 Bargaining Committee and Pepsi management spent several hours negotiating a merged drug and alcohol policy with more stringent employee protections.
Last week, the subcommittee composed of Bargaining Committee members, union representatives and Pepsi management tackled the remaining items needed to complete the merging of the four contracts, including holidays, hours of work and vacations.
Teamsters Local 673 stewards and representatives also made progress in merging the Aurora inside and outside agreements into one unified contract. The company has not yet given Local 673 a wage proposal.
Negotiations are scheduled to resume at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 28, with the current contracts set to expire at midnight on April 28.
“We still have a lot of ground to cover to reach a fair agreement, but this group is united, committed and will not back down,” Coli said.
Contact your business representative if you have questions.
• Vincent Blanco (35th, 51st, Elk Grove Village): (847)-696-7500 or [email protected]
• Mike DeGard (Kankakee): (847) 696-7500 or [email protected]