According to a recent press release, workers at Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. have voted “overwhelmingly” to join Teamsters Local 162. These 54 newly organized Teamsters work in brewing, packaging, microbiology and quality assurance.
“It is wonderful to see these workers coming together to exercise their rights,” said Mark Davison, Teamsters Western Region Vice President and President of Local 162. “Fair pay, better health care, safety on the job — these are all things we’ll be working on in contract negotiations.”
The workers began organizing when Widmer Brothers was purchased by Anheuser-Busch Inbev, in part because they are not being paid fairly in comparison to the parent company’s union breweries, according to the release, which also states the “The workers also have concerns about safety in the workplace, scheduling issues, and the quality of the health care plan.”
“These brave men and women came together to stand up for respect and a voice on the job. It’s always an incredible feeling when we help workers build power,” said Jeff Padellaro, Director of the Teamsters Brewery, Bakery, & Soft Drink Conference.
“We are grateful for the assistance of the Brewery, Bakery, & Soft Drink Conference,” said Mike Mayo, Local 162 Organizer and Business Agent. “They were able to get us a streamlined election process, which made it a faster, smoother experience for our new members.”
“I can’t recall the last time I saw such an effective bargaining committee,” said Bobby Rispler, Local 162 Organizer and Business Agent. “They came to multiple training sessions and very quickly became extraordinarily adept at reaching out to their co-workers, rallying the group, and strengthening their bonds.”
“This isn’t just about me,” said Brew Tech Josh Dunnivant, an organizing committee member. “I organized a union with my co-workers to make our brewery and community safer, and to improve the quality of life for my fellow workers and their families.”
Established in 1903, Local 162 represents over 5,000 workers in freight, package delivery, intermodal, soft drink and beer, food distribution, construction, manufacturing, grocery, general warehousing, and trucking throughout Portland and the surrounding communities. for more information, go to teamsters162.com.
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