Teamsters Local 727 Wins Big at the NLRB and in the Sales Warehouse

| April 15, 2020

Yesterday, Region 13 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) informed Teamsters Local 727 that Region 13 found merit with multiple unfair labor practice charges filed by 727 against the American Bottling Company, a subsidiary of Keurig Dr Pepper. Specifically, Region 13 found that Keurig Dr Pepper violated federal labor laws by: unlawfully delaying to provide information requested by the Union, making unilateral changes without bargaining, denying an employee union representation, and perhaps most egregiously, threatening an employee for engaging in Union activity.

Specifically, Region 13 found that Area Director Brad Troutman’s statements during a one-on-one meeting with a proud union supporter amounted to unlawful threats including: threat of futility, threat of discharge, and threat of unspecified reprisals. “Keurig Dr Pepper continues to violate the law and show their true colors. When our salesmen stood up in a meeting and exercised their right to Union representation, management separated them into small groups in an attempt to make them feel alone and intimidated. I applaud our brave members that refused to back down to the unlawful intimidation tactics of their employer. We have fought and won at the NLRB countless times, and we will continue fighting until the salesmen have a Teamsters Local 727 union contract,” said John Coli Jr, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 727.

Coincidentally, on the same day Region 13 found merit with the ULPs, KDP management reached out to the Union to resolve another grievance and unfair labor practice charge that was still pending investigation with Region 13. The grievance and ULP were filed as a result of KDP’s contractual violation and unilateral change to sales warehouse members’ schedules. KDP made the unlawful change last Tuesday so that the Company allegedly would not lose efficiency or productivity after a positive COVID-19 case was discovered that required cleaning of the facility. Unsurprisingly, nearly all of the sales warehouse employees called in because the unlawful changes made it: 1) impossible for them to get to work; 2) care for their family; and 3) because they did not feel comfortable working with the COVID-19 announcement and Company’s original refusal to clean. Adding insult to injury, 30 managers performed bargaining unit work and loaded trucks well into the next day in violation of the CBA as a result of KDP’s violations.

In an attempt to avoid yet another merit finding at Region 13 over this ULP, within hours of Region 13 communicating they found merit to several of the previous outstanding charges, Keurig Dr Pepper management reached out to immediately settle the grievance and ULP. The Company has agreed to pay all the sales warehouse members and will not give any attendance points out for the date in question.

“Sometimes it feels like these bad actors will never give in, but this just goes to show that when we fight, we win. Our members will not be intimidated by management bullies, and the Union will not back down when employers, like KDP, compromise worker safety and violate the contract. A Union contract doesn’t make bad management good, but it does hold them accountable. During an international health crisis, it is more important than ever to remind employers that the Union is watching them, and we will fight for what is right. If you violate the contract, the Union will file a grievance. If you violate the law, the Union will file an unfair labor practice charge. We will demand safe working conditions, and the respect members deserve,” said John Coli Jr.

Members with questions should contact Business Agent 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

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