| April 3, 2020

After demanding that DS Waters step up and compensate their hardworking Union employees who are putting themselves and their families at risk to provide water to the public during this international crisis and pandemic, Teamsters Local 727 is pleased to announce that DS Waters management has agreed to pay a $500 appreciation bonus on Friday April 10th. When the COVID-19 pandemic escalated in the Chicagoland area, Teamsters Local 727 sent detailed information requests to every employer, including DS Waters, that asked companies to explain measures they were or planned to take amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the Union requested:  1.the sick leave and/or attendance policy the company will be using during this time to ensure members stay home while sick and/or to identify exposure; 2. what cleaning standards have been put in place including increased cleaning and disinfecting; and 3. what measures the company is taking to keep members informed of policies, procedures, and exposures. Furthermore, as Governor Pritzker put into place a “stay at home” order, the Union demanded hazard/incentive pay and extra protections for every essential Teamster worker servicing the public, while making sacrifices at home.

Because of the Union’s persistence and our hardworking Teamsters members, DS Waters  and Standard Coffee is finally acknowledging the risks and sacrifices its frontline, essential workers take every day and are showing its employees the hard-earned appreciation they deserve, similar to other companies in the soft drink industry. Getting water processed and delivered is absolutely an essential component in keeping up with the needs of our communities and their collective well-being. While the appreciation pay was hard fought for, there is room for DS Waters to do more. As the COVID-19 crisis escalates, members continue to risk the health of themselves and their safety, and Teamsters Local 727 will continue to make sure that every essential, frontline member is protected and provided for.

“I’m proud that the Union continued to persevere and was able to secure some form of hazard pay for our DS Water members. While I think it is a step in the right direction, there is always room for more. As the CDC puts more and more recommendations out for safety, it is our duty to make sure our members are given everything they need to protect them. Thank you is not enough—employers must protect and pay their frontline workers,” said John Coli Jr, Secretary-Treasurer.

As a result of the State of Illinois’s shelter-in-place order, recently extended to April 30th by the Governor, both of the previously scheduled April bargaining sessions over the economic reopener for the DS Drivers and Standard Coffee employees have been postponed to adhere to city, state, and federal orders/guidelines. The Bargaining Committee is currently scheduling additional bargaining dates in the first half of May. Additionally, because of the uncertainty and volatility of the coronavirus pandemic, the Bargaining Committee may consider a one month extension to the CBA if retroactivity is agreed to in writing. Teamsters Local 727 will continue to update members about negotiations.


Members with questions should contact 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

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