All Hinckley Outside and Standard Coffee Members Return to Work After Furlough

| July 10, 2020

Teamsters Local 727 is pleased to report that as of June 29, all furloughed Route Sales Representatives (RSR) from Hinckley Outside and Standard Coffee have returned to work. We are additionally pleased to report that despite the furlough, Teamsters Local 727 was able to negotiate a reinstatement agreement so that no RSR suffered a lapse in health care coverage for themselves or their families.

In early April, when the country was already several weeks into the COVID-19 crisis, many companies unilaterally abandoned their legal obligations under their CBAs and the National Labor Relations Act by unilaterally implementing unlawful furloughs. In many cases, the employer abruptly sent its valued staff members home with no pay, explanation, or promise of return to work. Local 727 filed countless grievances and over 60 unfair labor practice charges combating these unilateral actions, almost all of which are still pending resolution as of the date of this notice.

DS Waters did the opposite. When their business was impacted by the stay at home order and closure of non-essential businesses, they reached out to Local 727 to bargain and find a mutually agreeable solution to mitigate the impact the work reduction would have on existing RSRs from both the Water and Coffee bargaining units. At the time the Company contacted the Union, the Company had already furloughed hundreds of its non-union workers across the country, and had eliminated Cooler Services work at its non-union plant in Elgin. All RSRs covered under 727 contracts remained working while the Union’s bargaining committee negotiated the out of work agreement.

While this was the first time in the history of the bargaining unit that the Company had to temporarily displace RSRs, the Union was able to bargain additional protections including guarantees and continued health insurance for the RSRs who were displaced. By working through these tough circumstances with the Union, the Company showed that it values both its relationship with the Union and the hard work of its employees.

“While it was not an easy decision to agree to the temporary furloughs, Teamsters Local 727 members at Hinckley & Standard Coffee made it clear that with the right terms, it would be the safe and prudent thing to do during COVID-19. I’m proud that the bargaining committee and Union staff were able to come together so quickly to negotiate terms that kept members insured, limited re-routes, and returned the members to work quickly. I’m hopeful this is a sign that the company recognizes their essential employees and will come to the table on Monday with an offer that shows their appreciation through wage increase, cooler exchange pay, and fixes to healthcare,” said John Coli, Jr, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 727.

Now that all RSRs are back to work and the Coffee and Water bargaining units are at full strength, the Union can focus its complete attention on negotiating the economic re-opener and reaching the best deal possible on wages and benefits for the remaining three years on the contract.

Questions should be directed to Business Agent Nick Micaletti at (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.


Category: BEVERAGE, Union News

Comments are closed.