(DAYTON, Ohio) – Teamsters Local Union 957 erected two large electronic “Budweiser Distributor is Tasteless” billboards in Dayton today to protest efforts by Budweiser distributor Heidelberg Distributing to abandon its obligation to provide retiree health care to loyal longtime employees and to bully employees by violating federal labor laws protecting workers.
The large roadside billboards read “Tell Budweiser: Heidelberg’s Destruction of Ohio Jobs is Tasteless.” Even though Heidelberg recorded over $206 million in sales last year, the company wants to walk away from its obligation to provide health care to retirees and force employees to accept a substandard contract compared to Coke, Pepsi and Miller distributors in the area. Heidelberg is also under investigation by the National Labor Relations Board for violating federal laws protecting workers by attempting to bully and intimidate workers.
“We’ve made every effort to work with Budweiser’s distributor to negotiate a fair contract that positions the company as the premier distributor of Budweiser Beer in Ohio and meets the standards set by its competitors,” said Varney Richmond, President of Teamsters Local Union 957. “Unfortunately, the company seems to be more interested in bullying workers and spending money on high-priced attorneys than negotiating a contract that provides a fair living for hard working Budweiser delivery drivers and warehousemen.”
The dispute could lead to a strike against Heidelberg that delivers to retailers a variety of beers in the Dayton area—including Samuel Adams, Stella Artois and Mike’s Hard Lemonade—along with Budweiser.
“Budweiser and Heidelberg generate millions of dollars in profits every year,” Richmond said. “Both of these companies can afford to provide good jobs that support Ohio families.”
Within the next two weeks, the Local will begin placing additional billboards around Dayton and other areas.
The Teamsters Union was founded in 1903 and represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. For more information, go to www.teamster.org.