(FREEHOLD, N.J.) – Today, Teamsters Local 701 and the Shore Point Distributing employees it represents are once again asking Shore Point Distributing why it locked out workers in the midst of contract negotiations. Shore Point distributes MillerCoors [NYSE: TAP] products and other beers throughout New Jersey.
In February 2017, Teamsters Local 701 and Shore Point began negotiations for a new contract for the company’s 113 drivers and warehouse workers. On April 30, Shore Point locked workers out of their jobs with no paychecks, and cut off their health insurance.
“It’s tragic that the millionaires who run this company have forgotten their grandparents’ working-class roots and have turned their backs on workers and the community in this way,” said Ron Lake, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 701. “We are having disagreements with the company over the workers’ retirement plan and health care, but that’s what the bargaining table is for – to discuss the issues and talk them out.”
“It is unconscionable to put workers out on the streets with no way to support their families,” Lake continued. “The only reason a company would do this is to try to starve workers into submitting to all the company’s demands. I have never seen such cruel behavior in all my years representing workers.”
Robert Vetrano, a member of Local 701 and a shop steward at Shore Point, said, “We gave up salary increases for years in order to put money into our pension so we could have a dignified retirement. And now the company just wants to end it.”
“I have co-workers whose wives have cancer, whose kids have chronic illnesses, and now they have no healthcare because Shore Point locked us out – because the company didn’t like us speaking up for ourselves in contract negotiations. It’s sick,” Vetrano said.
Many New Jersey stores and towns are supporting the locked-out workers. More than 100 stores signed a letters to Shore Point, asking the company to end the lockout.
“We are extremely grateful for all the support we’ve received from local businesses and families and elected officials,” Lake said. “The one silver lining in all this is being reminded how much our communities support working people.”