Workers Overcome Vicious Anti-Union Campaign
(Grand Rapids, MI) –Twenty-three drivers that deliver soft drinks for American Bottling Co. in Holland, Mich. voted to join Teamsters Local 406 in Grand Rapids, Mich. on Feb. 15, winning strong representation despite an aggressive anti-union campaign by the company.
The drivers fought for union representation to gain a partner that would help them address challenges in the workplace like respect on the job and fair pay. American Bottling Co. brought in professional union busters from across the country to conduct bi-weekly captive audience meetings.
“This was a lot of work and it took a tremendous amount of courage for us to stand up to American Bottling Co.,” said driver Robert Marlink. “Managers were relentless in trying to persuade us to vote ‘no’ but we stayed our course and won the election.”
“We are proud of these workers for standing strong in the face of employer intimidation,” said Ron Holzgen, Secretary-Treasurer, Teamsters Local 406. “Joint Council 43 Organizer Marian Novak and our own Organizer Jim Chase, did a great job keeping the workers focused on their desire to become Teamsters and ignoring the threats from management.”