Vitalant Offers Little Significant Movement at the Bargaining Table Preventing Further Progress

| July 22, 2019

The Teamsters Local 727 bargaining committee and Vitalant reconvened negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement covering distribution drivers and Mobile Unit Assistants on Wednesday, July 17 and Thursday, July 18.  While the Union attempted in good faith to engage Vitalant representatives in productive conversations, the Company’s continued refusal to make any significant movement on critically important issues has prevented further progress.

When the parties last met, Vitalant presented Local 727 with an offensive opening wage offer that included a mere $0.10 per hour raise, which amounts to significantly less than a 1% increase in Vitalant workers’ wages.  After the Union bargaining committee made it abundantly clear that Vitalant must do far more to mitigate rapidly rising health care costs, the Company returned this week with a revised wage proposal.  Vitalant representatives’ new proposal now offers Vitalant workers’ a paltry $0.20 per hour raise, which would be equivalent to an approximately 1% increase.

This week, Vitalant also offered to open the Company’s current tuition reimbursement program to distribution drivers and MUAs; however, Vitalant management rejected all other benefit improvements proposed by Local 727, including paid time off enhancements.  Additionally, the Company continued to resist the inclusion of benefit terms in the successor CBA, a proposal made by the Union bargaining committee so as to ensure employee benefits are enforceable through the grievance and arbitration procedure.

“By refusing to listen and genuinely acknowledge the concerns of these drivers, Vitalant is quickly destroying any good faith it may have had with its employees,” said Nick Micaletti, Local 727 business representative for Vitalant workers.  “If Vitalant does not begin making meaningful movement on health care, wages, and benefits, I don’t see how we reach a fair agreement anytime soon.”

Local 727 and Vitalant also discussed the outstanding bundled non-economic proposal packages presented during the parties last meeting.  The parties will continue bargaining over these remaining issues when they next meet on Monday, August 19 and Friday, August 23.

Before concluding their latest bargaining session, Local 727 and Vitalant agreed to a contract extension that postpones the CBA’s expiration to August 23.

Members with questions should contact Local 727 Business Representative Nick Micaletti 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: Vitalant

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