With a 172-9 ‘Yes’ vote, workers at the Miller Brewery in Irwindale, California ratified their newest Teamsters contract. “Our members are pleased,” said Phil Cooper, Principal Officer and Secretary- Treasurer of Local 896. “The way the contract was negotiated they won’t have to pay anything for their medical costs, and that is something that we are really happy with.”
Full medical coverage, pension increases, steady wage increases and a bonus have all been included in this contract at no cost to workers, a sticking point for the workers, one that they didn’t back down from.
Coming off of a strike possibility, this hard-fought agreement is a huge victory for Miller workers at Irwindale. “It was possible that a strike could happen”, said Joseph Perea, Local 896 shop steward. “We avoided a strike by coming together and fighting for the contract we deserve and that outcome was very positive”.
Besides the gains on medical insurance, workers were pleased to see that provisions for seasonal workers were included in the contract. “People were happy to see that 26-ers (seasonal workers) got some steady wage increases, it shows them they are just as valuable to the company as everybody else,” “They knew that we were very strong, that we would stick together and that we have a good team,” Perea said.
“Our representatives worked closely with Local 896 and the bargaining committee to achieve this victory,” said Greg Nowak, director of the Teamsters Brewery and Soft Drink Workers Conference.
This contract covers production, brewery, warehouse, customer service, clerical and distribution workers. This Miller brewing facility supplies Miller products to the entire Southern California region.