95% of Teamster Local 727 Members Working at Pepsi Beverages North America Vote to Authorize an Unfair Labor Practice Strike

| April 19, 2024

(CHICAGO) – For the last few years, Teamster members at Pepsi Beverages North America (Pepsi) have been paid substantially less than their union brothers and sisters in the rest of the soda industry. The current contract, set to expire April 28, 2024, was negotiated during the heart of the pandemic; because of this, the Teamsters Local 727 members willingly and selflessly accepted less than they deserved, understanding the uncertainties of the pandemic. Unfortunately, Pepsi continues to abuse their employees’ goodwill – not only is their wage offer a mere five cents above their competitors, assuring that once again they will be the least paid in the industry next year, but Pepsi pays less than half of what their competitors pay towards each members’ healthcare. Because of the Company’s repeated and continued unlawful behavior and refusal to bargain in good faith, an overwhelming majority of these Local 727 members voted in favor of a strike.

Pepsi waited until the last previously scheduled date of negotiations to tell the bargaining committee that they would not agree to the Union’s healthcare fund, which is completely employer paid. Teamsters Local 727 was able to negotiate over 500 Keurig Dr Pepper members into the Union’s healthcare fund in 2022. Similarly, Reyes Coca-Cola pays almost twice as much as Pepsi per individual member for their health insurance. Further, many Pepsi workers do not have dental insurance because of the high-cost plan Pepsi offers. Compared to their competitors, Pepsi continues to lag behind in wages and benefits.

To add insult to injury, throughout negotiations Pepsi Beverages North America has engaged in unlawful behavior, including the refusal to provide information, direct dealing, and maintenance of unlawful work rules. Unfair Labor Practices will not be tolerated by hardworking 727 members and the Union will exercise every legal action at their disposal to protect its members’ rights. Several Unfair Labor Practice Charges are currently pending with Region 13 of the National Labor Relations Board, and the Union expects to file more in the upcoming weeks including a new charge based on the Company’s recent unlawful union surveillance during Section 7 Activity.

The next bargaining date with Pepsi Beverages North America is set for Tuesday, April 23rd. Whether the members go out on an unfair labor practice strike or not is entirely in the Company’s hands. It is up to Pepsi to come to the table in good faith to respond to these members’ reasonable demands, which have been communicated to the employer repeatedly over the last year. Together, the drivers, forklift drivers, general labors, mechanics, operators, and merchandisers demand to be treated fairly and in line with the rest of their brothers and sisters in the soda industry. Teamsters Local 727 represents nearly 10,000 hardworking men and women throughout the Chicago area. Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.

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CONTACT: Caleen Carter-Patton, (847) 696-7500

Nothing in this article should be read as the union’s waiver of any legal argument, position or grievance(s), or as a waiver of any rights, arguments, or defenses under any contract, collective bargaining agreement, or applicable law. The union does not forfeit its right to make any and all supplemental arguments.

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