Keurig Dr Pepper Begins Negotiations With An Insulting and Tone-deaf Concessionary Proposal

| January 13, 2022

Earlier this week, the Teamsters Local 727 bargaining committee met with Keurig Dr Pepper to begin negotiations for a successor agreement for the inside members. The Teamsters bargaining committee had representatives from the inside, outside, and sales units to make clear to the company that, despite the company’s best efforts to separate them, members are united in their fight for better healthcare, substantial wages, and contract language that gives members the respect and dignity they deserve in the workplace.

While the Union typically presents a full and comprehensive proposal on day one, the Local 727 bargaining committee began the day with just two initial proposals: Union health insurance and the right to strike over grievances.  The Union also made clear that all other articles of the CBA remain open and information and responses are needed from the company before further proposals can be drafted. “We have learned through our past negotiations with local management and outside counsel, Corey Franklin, that if you give the company all the issues at once, they will cherry pick what to talk about,” said John Coli, Jr., Teamsters Local 727 Secretary-Treasurer. “They will spend three entire days of bargaining talking about scheduling changes they never intended to make in the first place, but then try to settle healthcare in the last thirty minutes. Three years ago, we agreed to switch to the company’s HSA plan because of management’s unfulfilled promises. Our members gave it a shot, but the feedback has been unanimous and overwhelmingly negative; it is too expensive, and it doesn’t cover enough. The HSA doesn’t work for our members, and they will not ratify an agreement that has it or anything similar in it.”

“Our relationship with the company is broken,” Coli continued, “we can’t make proposals about overtime scheduling, holidays, or even something as simple as safety shoes until we have some guarantees that the company will hold up their end of the deal. We made a proposal that says the Union can strike over grievances so that the company can no longer drag out the grievance process or simply refuse to respond. Our members deserve to have local management that follows the contract, actually hears grievances, and works to resolve issues in good faith. Fire Northlake management and replace them with people who aren’t lazy and incompetent or give us the right to strike – it makes no difference to us, but something has to change.”

Additionally, the Union presented its initial contract proposal for the sales unit, making it clear to the company that the Union will not allow them to continue to ignore their Teamster salesmen and delay bargaining. The Union’s proposal was simple – roll the salesmen into the outside contract and negotiate both this spring. The company did not respond to the Union’s proposal. However, they presented their own inside proposal that did not address the Union’s concerns and instead asked for a number of concessions, including decreasing the number of attendance points a member can receive before termination and not giving sick days on January 1st but, instead, disbursing them throughout the year. However, the company made it clear that they hope to buy the membership off by offering 5% raises the first year of the contract, if it is ratified by February 6th.

“Our Teamster brothers and sisters are going in to their third year of working the front-line during a worldwide pandemic. KDP took hazard pay away, continues to work members 7 days in a row in violation of the law and CBA, has temporary workers doing Union work, and has yet to make members whole for the hundreds of hours they are owed in overtime from December,” said John Coli, “Inflation is about 6% right now. In what world does KDP think our members will give in to 5% raises or any concessions? If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is the importance of healthcare and that work life balance matters. ALL of our members deserve affordable, good health insurance and quality of life, and we won’t settle for anything less.”

Negotiations resume Tuesday, January 18th. Members will questions or comments 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(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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