| February 1, 2022

The current Inside Agreement between Keurig Dr Pepper and Teamsters Local 727 expired yesterday, January 31st, at midnight. While the parties had negotiations yesterday, unfortunately, the company took a four-hour caucus to make virtually no movement.

“To say we’re disappointed in the company’s behavior today would be an understatement,” said John Coli, Jr., Teamsters Local 727 Secretary-Treasurer. “When the company wants something, they expect the Union to act immediately.”

While the Company has made a proposal to move into the Union’s healthcare, it is unworkable and meaningless as written. The Union bargaining committee has stated explicitly from the beginning that the Teamster Local 727 Health and Welfare Fund Trustees have never allowed cost-sharing between the employer and members – the fund requires that healthcare be 100% paid for by the employer. “KDP is acting like they have made momentous movement by presenting a health care proposal with the word union, but as written, their proposal is full of poison pills. It is designed to fail,” said John Coli, Jr. “If the company is serious about listening to their members and putting them into union healthcare, then they need to come to the table with no cost sharing.”

The Union has tentatively agreed to two of the company’s proposals, but KDP has yet to accept any of the Union bargaining committee’s proposals. Instead, the Company’s only movement has been to withdraw proposals which were ridiculous to begin with. Additionally, the company has ignored their hardworking, frontline workers’ pleas for quality of life and rejected all proposals the Union made over scheduling. Instead, the company presented a counter-proposal that would have members working even more. “When we made proposals that would police KDP’s continued bad behavior with scheduling, they responded with a proposal for members to work 12 hour shifts at straight time. The Union has been filing grievances and literally screaming for two years that the company cannot continue to work members 6 or 7 days a week while violating the CBA’s scheduling articles. The response of ‘here, work 12 hours’ is a giant ‘screw you’ from management.”

After the day ended, company representatives asked the Union for an extension agreement through February 28, 2022. The Union was willing to sign one – as long as the company agreed to retroactivity, took out any retaliatory language about work stoppages, and agreed to stop violating the contract and hiring temporary workers. Unfortunately, the company would not agree to follow the CBA and cease the hiring of temporary workers. Shortly after the discussions ended, Union representatives got notice from members that the company installed dozens of new security cameras and have security guards patrolling the building.

“Clearly, giving members Union health insurance has never been about the cost. The cost of hiring one security guard for a day is likely the gap between our proposal and the company’s proposal for at least a couple members. A month of security guards patrolling would more than cover the gap in cost for all of the inside members,” said John Coli, Jr. “This isn’t about money. This is about control and what KDP corporate thinks about the very workers that pay for them and their families’ lives. Instead of wasting time and money on extra security, the company needs to keep their word and honor their agreements to reach a deal. The Union never wants to take members out on strike, but if the company doesn’t stop their retaliatory, unlawful behavior, our members will make that decision. And make no mistake, I will be on the streets with my Union brothers and sisters. When we fight, we win.”

The Union will remain steadfast and has outlined a path to a tentative agreement clearly for KDP. Now, it is up to them to come to negotiations prepared to take the steps necessary to get there. The Union and Company meet for bargaining again on Wednesday.

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.

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Category: BEVERAGE

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