Keurig Dr Pepper Lies Again, Spends Money on Outside Counsel in Attempt to Defend Bad Behavior

| November 25, 2019

Teamsters Local 727 was recently contacted by an individual who identified himself as an American Bottling Company employee and stated that he worked as a picker in the Company’s Tinley Park warehouse, a facility that came under scrutiny earlier this year while Local 727 and the Keurig Dr Pepper subsidiary were in the midst of negotiating a successor collective bargaining agreement for Inside workers.

In April, Local 727 learned that Keurig Dr Pepper had allegedly begun using third-party non-union employees to transport, load, and unload Dr Pepper products—work reserved for bargaining unit employees—from its Northlake production facility to a warehouse in Tinley Park.  The Union immediately filed an unfair labor practice charge with Region 13 of the National Labor Relations Board and requested the NLRB pursue injunctive relief under 10(j) of the National Labor Relations Act to enjoin Dr Pepper from continuing further.

Following Local 727’s swift action, Keurig Dr Pepper agreed not to send any further Northlake product to Tinley Park and agreed that any existing Northlake product at the Tinley Park warehouse would be offered to Local 727 members for transport.  Despite the Company’s promises and agreements, the information provided by the Tinley Park picker has revealed that Keurig Dr Pepper has once again lied to the Union.

Immediately after speaking with the Tinley Park employee, Local 727 filed a grievance against Keurig Dr Pepper.  The Union also requested that the Company provide Local 727 with information necessary to investigate the grievance, including who was currently working in the Tinley Park warehouse, what work the employees were performing, and what products were being stored at the facility.

Local 727 received no response from Keurig Dr Pepper management.  Instead, an outside attorney hired by the Company (who likely bills by the hour) named Corey Franklin responded to the Union.  Mr. Franklin outrageously rejected the grievance, refused to provide the requested information, and failed to provide the Union with the Company’s availability to hear the grievance.  Never once did Mr. Franklin deny that bargaining unit work was being performed in Tinley Park or that products initially produced and/or stored in either of the Company’s Northlake or Harvey facilities had been moved to the Tinley Park warehouse.

“It seems that Keurig Dr Pepper has once again lied and failed to honor its agreements,” said John Coli, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727.  “This Union will not tolerate such disrespect for our members.  We will fight to ensure that our Teamster Brothers and Sisters rights, under both the CBA and federal labor law, are protected and that Keurig Dr Pepper is held accountable for any and all violations of those rights.”

Local 727 continues to demand Mr. Franklin send dates for hearing the Union’s grievance and provide the requested information.  The Union will update members as this matter develops.

Members with questions should contact Lead 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.

Category: BEVERAGE

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