Dr Pepper Unwilling to Have Expert Engineer Determine Efficiency Standards, Doesn’t Bat an Eye at Unjust Termination of a Member over the Issue

| April 12, 2019

The Teamsters Local 727 bargaining committee kicked off this afternoon’s bargaining by presenting the American Bottling Company, a Keurig Dr Pepper subsidiary, with a comprehensive counterproposal.  The parties focused the day’s remaining time on continuing their discussion regarding sales warehouse productivity and efficiency standards.

Local 727 has long contended that the productivity and efficiency standards for employees of the sales warehouse are unfair.  This argument was proven to be accurate nearly a month ago when information produced by Dr Pepper revealed that the current standards are not based on any data or measurements relevant to Dr Pepper’s facilities.  As a result, the Union bargaining committee proposed replacing the currently outdated standards.  In order to ensure the new sales warehouse productivity and efficiency standards are fair and attainable, Local 727 proposed a process through which the standards would be checked and resolved by a professional industrial engineer.  The Union has also proposed a method of recourse through which Local 727 may challenge the standards if they should ever become unachievable.

While Local 727 stood firm and once again demanded today that the sales warehouse productivity and efficiency standards be overhauled, Dr Pepper refused to make any movement on the issue.  In fact, the Company’s lead negotiator stressed that Dr Pepper was entirely unwilling to permit an industrial engineer to evaluate and ultimately determine fair new standards despite such a task being wholly in their area of expertise.

When the Union brought up the unjust termination of Local 727 member Terry Towner, considered by many to be Dr Pepper’s best picker, management was unfazed.  Company representatives saw no issue with such a hardworking employee being terminated and losing 4 months of pay as a result of the unfair productivity and efficiency standards.  In fact, Dr Pepper’s lead negotiator, Corey Franklin, responded to Towner’s situation by asking, “what’s wrong with that?”

“The Company can’t produce any data whatsoever to prove the current productivity and efficiency standards are fact-based.  By refusing to acknowledge the standards are arbitrary and fix the issue, Dr Pepper is spitting in the face of its members,” said John Coli, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727.  “No member should ever again suffer the way Terry has.  Dr Pepper must begin treating its employees with dignity and respect if it wants to reach an agreement any time soon.”

Members with questions should contact 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

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