(PHOENIX)—Warehouse workers and checkers who work at Swire Coca-Cola have voted to ratify a first-time, three-year agreement. The workers, who are represented by Teamsters Local 104, voted 97 percent in favor of the contract.
The workers have shown strength and determination in the 17-month battle for a first-time agreement. When they had their first organizing meeting, the workers at Swire Coca-Cola had been working for four months straight without a day off. The workers also had major safety concerns that were not being addressed by the company.
This is the first Swire Coca-Cola location in the nation to choose Teamster representation after the buyout from Coca-Cola Refreshments.
“Swire took all of the paid time off we had earned and didn’t care what we had done for the company. Some of us have worked here over 30 years and now have to start over,” said Richard Nicosia, a Swire checker. “All we want is what is fair.”
During the past 17 months, Local 104 has filed over 50 unfair labor practice charges against Swire Coca-Cola.
“This was a true ‘David vs. Goliath’ story,” said Local 104 Business Representative Russell Medigovich. “The newest members of Local 104 have fought a long and hard fight, but in the end accepted nothing but the best as a first-time contract.”
“It has been a long fight, but the workers at Swire Coca-Cola showed diligence and true unity,” said Local 104 Vice-President Josh Graves. “They defeated the company’s anti-union campaign not once but twice. This allowed our committee to continue the fight and deliver a great first-time contract with industry-setting language and benefits.”
This first-time agreement secured an 8 percent pay increase over the three-year agreement, an hourly contribution to the company 401(k) plan, a 40-hour guarantee, strike language, safety improvements, seniority language, time-and-one-half on the first sixth day worked and double time on each consecutive day worked after that and strong production standards language.
Teamsters Local 104 Secretary-Treasurer Karla Schumann offered her congratulations.
“Teamsters Local 104 is proud of the workers at Swire Coca-Cola for having the courage and tenacity to stand up and fight tirelessly for improvements and a fair contract. Their efforts, along with their negotiating committee, will prove to be beneficial for all workers for years to come. Great work!”
Teamsters Local 104 represents over 8,000 members in Arizona from airlines to UPS. Follow us on Facebook: Teamsters Local 104.