(CHICAGO) – During the early hours of the morning on May 22, more than 150 delivery drivers employed by the American Bottling Company, a subsidiary of Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc.(NYSE: DPS), took to the strike line in protest of the numerous unfair labor practices committed by the company during negotiations. Teamsters Local 727 represented drivers, employed by the American Bottling Company at its Northlake (401 N. Railroad Ave.) and Harvey (1230 171st St.) Illinois facilities, have been manning the strike line around the clock since May 22, working day and night to inform the public of this soda giant’s unlawful acts.
Now, only four days after the unfair labor practice strike commenced, the American Bottling Company has filed a temporary restraining order and motion for preliminary injunction against Teamsters Local 727 in an attempt to infringe on the union members’ legal rights to engage in lawful peaceful picketing and hand-billing. The motion was set to be heard this morning but late last night the company filed a motion to change the judge assigned to the case.
“Instead of spending time and money working to bargain in good faith, and coming back to the bargaining table, this multi-billion dollar corporate bully is choosing to spend money on expensive lawyers, unnecessary security, and baseless legal actions. All these members want is to be treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve,” said John Coli Jr., Teamsters Local 727 Secretary-Treasurer.
With almost every day that has gone by, the American Bottling Company has committed unfair labor practice after unfair labor practice. At this point numerous unfair labor practice charges have been filed against the company. Adding insult to injury, the American Bottling Company has begun engaging in unwarranted pressure of the approximately 350 Teamster 727 production workers who also work out of the Northlake and Harvey facilities. These members are not on strike and are covered by an entirely separate collective bargaining agreement that is still in effect.
“The company isn’t doing itself any favors by treating its non-striking employees poorly,” Coli said.
Despite all of the company’s antics and games, the union members have stood strong and continue to weather the storm with the support of the community behind them.
“We want to thank our fellow Union brothers and sisters and members of the community for their outpouring of support,” Coli said. “The battle is far from over, and we hope that the judge will make the right decision to allow our members to continue their fight for respect and fairness. Regardless of what happens at the injunction hearing, we will remain steadfast in our efforts with the power of the Teamsters and community.”
Teamsters Local 727 represents nearly 10,000 hardworking men and women throughout the Chicago area.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million men and women throughout the U.S. Canada and Puerto Rico.