KDP Expected to Fail Again in Challenge to Teamsters Local 727 Victory

| January 14, 2021

Over a year after the area sales managers and sales services representatives voted overwhelming in favor of Union representation by Teamsters Local 727, Keurig Dr Pepper continued its fruitless attempts to overturn Region 13 of the National Labor Board’s certification by appearing in front of a panel of federal judges for the DC Circuit. On January 7th, the Company and the NLRB presented oral arguments at the Company’s seventh desperate attempt to deny their employees the right to Union representation. Law360 reported on the oral arguments, stating that:

A D.C. Circuit panel appeared skeptical Thursday of a Dr Pepper bottling company’s bid to upend an NLRB ruling that it illegally refused to bargain with a union, with two judges doubting the company showing its planned restructuring should have halted the union election.

At oral arguments before the appeals court panel, American Bottling Co. attorney Corey Franklin argued that the National Labor Relations Board’s February ruling that the company violated its duty to bargain with Teamsters Local 727 had to be set aside because the unit should never have been approved. Franklin said the board regional official who ordered the election ignored that the company was on the verge of a reorganization that would eliminate positions included in the bargaining unit.

But U.S. Circuit Judge Patricia Millett questioned whether the reorganization was so imminent that the election had to be delayed, considering the company had already pushed back the date the reorganization was to take effect. “So you say there was no evidence on which they could conclude that even when you said something was expected to happen on a date it might not happen,” Judge Millett said. “It seems to me there certainly is some evidence.”

To date, Keurig Dr Pepper has not only refused to recognized the Union certification of the sales unit, despite having it confirmed several times, but management has also refused to engage in any sort of bargaining with Teamsters Local 727. Each time the Company attempts to unlawfully and unilaterally make a change to the salesmen unit’s work, the Union demands to bargain. And each time, Keurig Dr Pepper pays outside attorney Corey Franklin to send a form letter that says, simply put, they will not bargain with the Union until they have exhausted all appeals and are forced to do so. As a result, KDP is facing a growing list of meritorious labor board charges upon the imminent denial of their appeals.

“Keurig Dr Pepper should be ashamed of themselves. They have spent tens of thousands of dollars fighting their employees’ lawful and democratic decision to be represented by Teamsters Local 727. While they pay Corey Franklin to spew anti-Union nonsense at the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, their frontline, essential workers are still working in a worldwide health crisis, awaiting dates from the Company to bargain over hazard pay,” said John Coli, Jr, Teamsters Local 727 Secretary-Treasurer. “The Company stopped hazard pay in September for no reason other than their own greed. It’s not a matter of them not having the money, it’s a matter of not wanting to invest it in the employees who make it for them. The Company seems to think what they want is the only thing that matters. When the DC Circuit once again certifies that the salesmen are represented by Teamsters Local 727, we expect the Company to come to the bargaining table, preferably without overpriced, out-of-touch attorneys,” added Coli.

Members with questions should contact Business Representative Caleen Carter-Patton 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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