Seemingly Unprepared GLCCD Prevents Progress on Day 2 of Contract Negotiations

| March 4, 2019

Negotiations for new Great Lakes Coca-Cola Distribution, Inc. collective bargaining agreements resumed today between Teamsters Local 727 and GLCCD, a subsidiary of Reyes Holdings.  Though the Company insisted that only contract provisions related to drivers and merchandisers be discussed today, the entire Local 727 bargaining committee arrived to this morning’s bargaining session in a show of Union strength and solidarity.

When the parties first met on February 21st, GLCCD opened the meeting by presenting the Union bargaining committee with a proposal to resolve Local 727’s outstanding sick day grievances and unfair labor practice charges.  Soon after members of the GLCCD bargaining units voted to accept the Company’s proposal.

Though Local 727 and GLCCD agreed that no other substantive changes would be made to the attendance policy outside of those specified in the Company’s proposal, GLCCD almost immediately reneged on the agreement.  Local 727 was informed that GLCCD management held mandatory meetings during which workers from several job classifications were advised of changes to call-in times and procedures, and informed of new changes to the points system itself.  Local 727 has filed a new ULP charge against GLCCD with the National Labor Relations Board in response to these actions.  Local 727 will update members of any new developments related to this charge.

During the parties’ initial bargaining session, the Local 727 bargaining committee also presented GLCCD management with a comprehensive contract proposal.  This proposal included the complete elimination of the mix mode distribution system.

Despite GLCCD’s insistence on a narrow focus for today’s bargaining session, the Company arrived to negotiations completely unprepared to substantively discuss or provide any real counterproposals to the Union’s mix mode proposal or any of Local 727’s other driver or merchandiser-specific proposals.  After Local 727 stewards spoke at length about the significant amount of money lost by drivers because of the mix mode system, GLCCD attempted to kick the can down the road by claiming all of the mix mode proposals were “economic.”  The Company wasted the remainder of the morning asking repetitive questions and seemed to stall for no discernible reason.

At 2 p.m., the Company came back to the negotiating table with no solutions and unwilling to make any substantial movement.  Rather, the Company submitted current contract language in response to nearly all of the Union’s proposals.  Like they did all morning, GLCCD representatives spent the afternoon wasting time and offering no counterproposals.

Unlike GLCCD—whose actions today suggest it has no qualms against wasting its employees’ time—Local 727 values its members’ time.  The Union chose to end today’s bargaining session instead of feeding into the Company’s seeming desire to run in circles.

“GLCCD’s actions today were not just unprofessional, but an affront to our members who work long, hard days to ensure the success of the Company and spend valuable time participating in these negotiations,” said Local 727 Secretary-Treasurer John Coli, Jr.  “If the Company thinks there will be no changes to the current language of the contract, they are sorely mistaken.  GLCCD should be mindful of the fact that we have a lot of work to do and a short amount of time to do it.  We demand GLCCD arrive to our next meeting prepared to bargain in good faith with the Local 727 bargaining committee.”

The parties will revisit all outstanding proposals when negotiations resume next week on Tuesday, March 12th.

Members with questions should contact Local 727 Business Representative Caleen Carter-Patton at (847) 696-7500 or [email protected]

Nothing in this article should be read as the union’s waiver of any legal argument, position or additional grievance. The union does not forfeit its right to make any and all supplemental arguments.

Category: BEVERAGE, Coca-Cola

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