(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – At the National Hockey League’s All-Star Game on Sunday, Teamsters who work at Heidelberg Distributing provided information to fans about anti-worker behavior by the company, which distributes Labatt Beer products in Ohio.
They distributed leaflets that stated, “Tell Labatt: Destroying Ohio Jobs is Tasteless” and “Labatt Beer: What the Puck?”
Heidelberg workers voted in February 2013 to join Teamsters Local 284 in Columbus, Ohio. Since then, they have been trying to negotiate a first contract with Heidelberg, but the company is unyielding in its insistence that Columbus workers pay more for their health care than Heidelberg workers in other locations. The company also fired workers who were strong union supporters.
“We think it’s important that the public know what kind of company Labatt is using to distribute its products,” said Paul Suffoletto, President of Local 284. “Heidelberg is hurting Ohio families by trying to force Columbus workers to pay expensive health care premiums.”
Heidelberg settled with the National Labor Relations Board for illegally terminating workers who supported the union. The company paid the workers $30,000 in the settlement.
The Teamsters are also renting a billboard at the corner of Spring and High Streets that reads, “Tell Labatt: Destroying Ohio Jobs is Tasteless.”
“The Teamsters have several contracts with Heidelberg across the state,” Suffoletto said. “The Miller and Vontz families who own this company spend thousands to sue each other and fight among themselves; in the meantime, they are abusing hardworking Ohio employees. This behavior is unacceptable.”
The Heidelberg Distribution workers of Local 284 are part of the 63,000-member Teamsters Brewery and Soft Drink Conference of the United States and Canada.