Under Threat of Another Unfair Labor Practice Filing by 727, GLCC Reforms Media Policy

| May 11, 2020

Last month, GLCC members alerted the Union to an email sent by management concerning the company’s alleged “media policy.” Unsurprisingly, the email was sent shortly after Teamsters Local 727 issued a press release outlining Great Lakes Coca-Cola’s substandard hazard pay and unsafe working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. The unlawful policy on its face clearly restricted Union member’s Section 7 rights guaranteed to them under the NLRA by prohibiting employees from speaking to press about working conditions and instead informed employees that, “The Company policy is to promptly refer all media inquire to our Company Spokesperson.”

When the Union heard about another unlawful action taken by GLCC, it immediately contacted management and demanded the company rescind the unlawful policy or the Union would proceed with filing yet another labor board charge. On May 1, the Company sent out an email doing just that:

“I am writing to clarify an email that was sent to you on April 3, 2020 outlining the Reyes Holdings Media Communications Policy. It was recently brought to our attention that this email may have created some confusion about what specific behaviors are prohibited by the Policy. Please note that the policy does not prohibit employees from speaking to the media or otherwise exercising any protected rights they may have under the National Labor Relations Act. Rather, it prohibits employees from representing to the media that they are speaking on behalf of the Company. To the extent the April 3rd e-mail suggested the Policy applies if you are contacted in your individual capacity, that is not the case and we regret any confusion it may have created.”

The unlawful media policy is just another unfortunate example of the egregious, illegal actions GLCC management tries to get away with every day. “While the media policy victory might seem like a small one, it’s an important one. GLCC’s response to the Union’s press release let’s us know that they are clearly scared of damage to their public image,” said John Coli, Jr, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 727. “Great Lakes Coca Cola tries every day to violate both the contract and the law. We are filing dozens of grievances and averaging about one labor board charge each week against this corporate bully. Even during an international health crisis, this Company actively tries to hurt and silence its frontline, essential employees. We will continue to hold them accountable and to fight for increased safety measures and hazard pay,” added Coli.

Members with questions should contact 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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