Dr Pepper Inside Workers Ratify New CBA with Wage Increases, Retirement Improvements, and PTO Enhancements

| May 4, 2019

After months of challenging negotiations, Teamsters Local 727 members employed by the American Bottling Company, a Keurig Dr Pepper subsidiary, have ratified a successor collective bargaining agreement that covers all Inside workers.  The new agreement will expire on January 31, 2022, just 3 months before the expiration of the Dr Pepper Outside CBA.

One of the highlights of the new contract are across-the-board 4% wage raises, retroactive to May 1.  In addition to wage raises, members will also receive a $4,000 bonus for ratifying the agreement on the first vote.

The Local 727 bargaining committee was also successful in negotiating drastic retirement improvements, including an increase in Group 3 employees’ 401k contributions as well as a near doubling of eligible employees’ pension multiplier.

Dr Pepper Inside workers will also receive—for the very first time—5 paid sick days annually under the new agreement.  Paid leave enhancements also include the extension of bereavement leave to full-time seasonal employees and an increase in bereavement leave to 3 paid days off in the event of a death in an employee’s spouse’s immediate family, or the death of an employee’s grandparents or his or her spouse’s grandparents.  Additionally, Local 727 has secured an agreement from Dr Pepper management to meet and discuss the Union’s proposed use of alternative, voluntary, non-consecutive workweek schedules that will allow for the observance of Monday holidays, including Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day.

Local 727 and Dr Pepper have also agreed to hire a professional industrial engineer to audit and evaluate the current sales warehouse productivity and efficiency standards.  According to the newly ratified CBA, if the Union believes the current standards are not viable after reviewing the engineer’s findings, Local 727 and Dr Pepper have agreed to then meet to negotiate the development of new fair standards.

Though the Union bargaining committee fought hard against health care changes, the Company did hold firm on the inclusion of a new HSA health care plan in the successor CBA.  Dr Pepper will begin rolling out the new plan as soon as administratively possible.  Employees who enroll in the new plan by August will receive a contribution of $500 per enrolled employee or $1,000 per enrolled employee with dependents to their HSA.  Additionally, within 60 days of enrollment in the new plan, the total amount of all in-network and out-of-pocket costs incurred under the previous UHC plan, through the date of enrollment in the new medical plan, will be credited to employees.

“While we may not have won every battle, we did come out the other end with an agreement that raises wages, takes great strides towards fixing retirement, and provides our Dr Pepper members with more paid days off each year,” said John Coli, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727.  “I’m very proud of the tremendous effort put forward by the Union bargaining committee.  Because of their hard work and unwavering solidarity, every Dr Pepper Inside member will be protected by a strong collective bargaining agreement.”

Members with questions should contact 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 grievance. The union does not forfeit its right to make any and all supplemental arguments.


Category: BEVERAGE

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