Tuesday, April 20, 2010


AMERICAN LABOUR-NEW YORK:
SOLIDARITY WITH MOTT'S WORKERS:




Workers at the Mott's plant in Williamson NY have recently taken a strike vote, and voted overwhelmingly to go out if management persists in its unreasonable demands. Mott's, despite its high profits is begging poverty and wants to both roll back wages and abolish the workers' pension plans. The workers, represented by the RWDSU, have launched a campaign for public pressure on Mott's management to force them to bargain realistically. Here's the appeal from the American Rights At Work group.
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Take Action:
Tell Mott's Management: Don't Take Money out of Workers' Pockets!
The Mott's company is raking it in and its market share is up. Just last year, its parent company - the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group - earned $555 million in profits.

The popular apple sauce and juice company should be rewarding its workers for the company’s success.

But Mott's is doing the opposite. At the Williamson, NY, facility, management is trying to slash wages by as much as $2.50 per hour AND take away the workers' pension plan!

Tell the parent company President Larry D. Young: Mott's workers deserve better!
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The Letter:
Please go to this link to send the following letter to Mott's management.
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Dear Mr. Young,
As a consumer who cares about how a company treats its workers, I am writing to express my concern about the Mott's facility in upstate New York. It has come to my attention that Dr. Pepper Snapple, as Mott's parent company, is trying to slash workers' wages and pension plans despite the fact that the company is profitable and financially healthy.

It is an outrage that a company would seek to take advantage of a distressed economy to inflict further economic pain on workers in upstate New York. I would ask that you do what you can to intervene in this situation and work with the union to reach a fair contract that protects workers' pay and retirement.
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Here's an article from the Prnewswire that gives more background on this dispute.
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Mott's Workers Authorize Strike as Company Refuses to Bargain
Profitable Company Trying to Cut Workers' Wages

WILLIAMSON, N.Y., April 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Over 300 members of Local 220 of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, UFCW, voted to authorize a strike if no agreement can be reached with Mott's for workers at the company's Williamson, NY facility. The vote, which was 250-5, gives authorization for the union to call a strike if the company continues to engage in unfair labor practices and refuses to bargain.

"We may have no choice," said RWDSU Local 220 President Mike Leberth. "All we want is a fair contract but the company refuses to even talk to us."

"We want to reach an agreement with Mott's," said RWDSU Representative Ron Duncan. "We stand ready to bargain but the company has taken this position that we should just shut up and accept whatever they are offering. It's really disgraceful that they want to take away from their employees at a time when the company is doing well."

"The employees of Mott's deserve better," said RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum. "The company should be working with us to resolve whatever issues there may be. But from the beginning they came to the table looking for drastic cuts to workers' wages and pension even though the company is very profitable. There is no economic reason, no justification, for taking money away from the workers. None. They are simply trying to take advantage of the bad economy and high unemployment in the area."

Mott's LLP is a subsidiary of Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (DPSG). Last year alone DPSG earned $555 million in profits.

"Mott's told us we were simply making too much," said Leberth. "They said they know they are profitable. I guess they figure they can put their hands in our pockets and nobody will care."

"These are hardworking people, decent people, and what the company is trying to do will cause a lot of hardship," said Appelbaum. "That they won't even try and work this out is inexcusable. They may give us no choice but to strike."

Despite Mott's aggressive stance at the bargaining table the union was trying to reach an agreement that would protect workers' wages, health coverage and other benefits. The company made an offer on Tuesday, April 13, 2010, that the union brought to the membership for a vote. That offer was rejected by a vote of 272-18 and the union sought to continue bargaining. The company refused and even threatened to cut workers' wages if their "final" offer was not accepted. The union has filed unfair labor practices with the National Labor Relations Board over the company's conduct.

"The company has violated the National Labor Relations Act and we are confident that the board will find in our favor," said Duncan.

The RWDSU represent 100,000 members in the United States and Canada and is affiliated with the United Food and Commercial Workers.


SOURCE Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union

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RELATED LINKS
http://www.rwdsu.org

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

The RWDSU is being very misleading with its campaign against Motts. Does anyone know how much a union employee earns at the Motts facility in Williamson? Ask one. I bet they won't tell you. They make ALOT of money. Almost double the salary that the same employees make at other DPSG factories around the country and almost triple the minimum wage. And that does not factor in overtime, double time and holiday triple time.
The last contract offer was for a 3 year pay freeze, not a reduction in pay. The union rejected it. They want more money. So who exactly is being greedy? The Williamson facility is DPSG's most expensive operating facility, if costs are not cut, the plant will close. This union is going to bargain themselves right out of 300 jobs and destroy an entire community.
Is the union going to help 300 factory workers find new jobs that pay 40-60k a year in the area? No, because they don't exist. Motts is one of the last well paying factories in the Rochester area. You are biting the hand that feeds you.

mollymew said...

I've met this sort of claim before. Quite often the claimants make exactly the same mistake that you made in actually naming a number (or a range of numbers in what you claim) rather than sticking to generalities. This is interesting as such claims are usually impossible to check. I note you provide no reference for your claim of 40 to 60 thousand per year. Please provide one if you can.

Meanwhile, however, I was actually able to find at least ONE quote on wages/salary at Motts in Williamson. See http://www.jobs-salary.com/mott-s-salary.html .
Along with all the managerial positions advertised there is one for a 'Food Technologist'. Not a box lifting grunt fresh out of high school, but somebody with some training. What's the offer ? NOT $40-$60 K/year !!! Nope, 25 K/year !!!

There seems to be a big difference between your claim and what is actually advertised. Can you provide any references for what you say ?

mr.juice said...

I have worked for Motts for 21yrs. You do not have to ask me how much i make, it's $21.73hr.=$45,198.40-(tax) $13,362.88-(medical)$2,718.56 Thats a greedy total of $29,117.00
I do a job that no other DPSG facility has. In 1999 my job had 9 workers-3 per shift. I was up-graded in 2000, now it has 1 worker per shift and combined 2 jobs into 1.
Now about the last, best and final contract offer, yes we did reject it but not for the pay freeze,for other reasons:
LIKE THE THREAT THAT IF THE LAST, BEST AND FINAL OFFER WAS NOT ACCEPTED BY THE UNION THEY(DPSG) WOULD REDUCE OUR WAGES BY $1.50 PER HOUR. THAT'S STRAIGHT OUT OF THE CONTRACT.

mollymew said...

Thank you 'Mr Juice' for setting the record straight. It's appreciated. It should be noted that the person in question, with 21 years senority, is likely to be at the top of the wage rates. This is sure different from what the original anonymous poster claimed.
Mr Anonymous, by the way is from the area where the Motts plant is located. He dropped by here 5 times on the day he made his comment and never came back. The probable assumption is that he is from Mott's management, and his claims should be greeted with scepticism.
I also think that Mr Juice has effectively countered the rather diversionary tactics that the (presumed) manager made concering the idea that the strike is solely about gross wage levels.

not going to sit back and take it said...

Mott's did not only offer a three year pay freeze, they also want to "freeze" the pension plan for it's union employees effective 4/1/10. Mott's also wants the right to adjust the union's hourly wage on a daily basis dependent upon the work performed during that shift. For example, if you are a forklift operater and say you make (these are not actual job rates)$19.00 per hour but they want you to work on the sauce line for the day, your pay would be immediately adjusted to (approx.)$16.00 per hour. What employee can live like that? Not to mention you would probably have an influx of employees in the lower paying labor grade positions and not enough workforce to peform the higher paying jobs. As it stands now you can be displaced from your position at the company's need for 45 days without a pay adjustment. They were also very scetchy regarding the health insurance. Union members were told the health coverage would change without be given any literature as to what the change would entail. Mott's was not forthcoming with specifics either. I called HR myself and was told they could not tell me what the proposed changes were. I stated that a tentative contract was on the table and yet no specifics were given. I was told to ask the union or call Excellus myself. I called Excellus and they referred me to contact HR.. NICE! We all know how imperative health insurance is and it should have been stamped out in that contract before it came to a vote. Since when is it a bad thing for a profitable company to pay it's employees a decent wage? Mott's expects a lot of it's union employees and they deliver. They work swing shifts that are not family friendly and change on moments notice, they have no sick bank so if you are ill or one of your dependant's is, you forego a days pay if you are unable to work. Some vacation requests have been held since January and have yet to be returned to some employees. "Anonymous" must be on the Mott's/Dr.Pepper payroll because the comments are classic to "you should be grateful to have a job" and of course the threat is there of having the plant close up and move on. This is the underlying basis for Mott's contract negotiations. They are using the current unemployment rate and economy to instill fear in the union employees to take what is offered. The thing is, the company has not suffered during the current "recession". Go to their website, they boast about being a $550 million company. They would like to get in line with the current manufacturing wages paid in Wayne County and yet I would like them to name how many other $550 million companies exist in Wayne County. Xerox is less than 15 minutes away from them and their union wage scale, retirement and health insurance (not to mention working conditions) are much superior to Mott's. The Workforce Investment Board has currently set the Self Suffcieny rate at $25.00 per hour. I am quite sure that over 90% of Mott's union workers are below that level and are therefore eligible for re-training services. The COLA increases that are set by the Social Security Admin. for the last three years had also been over 8% so the union members raises of 3% a year for the last contract are not excessive. I have a copy of the tentative agreement and Mott's did threaten to cut employess wages $1.50 per hour immediately if the contract was not passed. A union worker would have been crazy to vote yes to freezing their wages, freezing their retirement, letting Mott's dertermine their hourly wage on a daily basis not to mention they were blind on what health coverage and premiums they were agreeing to. This company is trying to profit from a bad job market and nothing else. They are preying on the fear of unemployment to line their own pockets with higher profits.

Anonymous said...

I support the Mott's workers on this issue. These workers are not just push button machine operators, but skilled technicians with mechanical and electrical backgrounds that actually service and repair the very machines and production systems that have made DPSG such a profitable company boasting $5.5 million (net) profit. You want a good selling (high quality) product, you hire the best and surround yourself with the best. I'm sure at one point in their careers, Lane Hancock and CEO Larry Young were told, hired and paid great salaries because they are the best at what they do. If DPSG wants to bust their own union, hire cheap unskilled labor, and produce a low yield, low quality product, then maybe Young/Hancock is (not) the best management team. They might as well close down the plant and outsource the entire operation to some third world country. I will not purchase any more DPSG products from such an unethical company. Give these workers what they want. I will gladly pay more at the grocery store for a good quality product versus paying half for something that's going to end up in the trash can. Support good paying jobs. Help the economy. Keep jobs in the U.S.

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