Company Announces It Will Outsource Good Union Jobs During Pandemic
Press Contact: Tom Bennett Phone: (414) 469-7908 Email: [email protected]
(MILWAUKEE) – On Tuesday, January 5, 2021, Teamsters Local 200 was notified orally by management representatives of Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate of their decision to outsource bargaining unit work and reduce the Teamster work force by approximately 35. The Milwaukee operation has nearly 180 Teamsters at the 12500 West Carmen facility and has been covered under a Teamster collective bargaining agreement for eight decades.
“At 8:18 a.m. on Tuesday, Local 200 was orally presented a disturbing announcement that places hardworking Teamsters out of work during a pandemic. These impacted members have questions and the company has neglected to fully share with the union facts surrounding this announcement. The employer’s unorthodox notification to the union—by orally announcing their intentions to the union and then 30 minutes later displacing Teamsters—is like nothing seen before at Local 200. We are a week away from scheduled bargaining and the employer taking this action attacking the livelihood of hardworking Teamsters and their families is not a good start to the process,” said Teamsters Local 200 Secretary-Treasurer Thomas J. Bennett.
The company has not fully complied with the union’s information request surrounding the announcement and the members are seeking further information in writing. Local 200 is using the grievance process to protect the members’ rights under the collective bargaining agreement.
Teamsters have more than an 80-year history in this industry, working for Cargill Cocoa & Chocolate and several predecessor companies that produced chocolate at the facility. The Teamster members in Milwaukee produce chocolate products that are consumed around the globe.
“It is beyond egregious for this profitable company to announce they’re going to put workers on the street during a pandemic,” Bennett said. “We are going to fight for our members; we call on this company to reverse its dangerous announcement.”
Cargill has also been in the news for poor conditions for workers who contracted and even died from COVID-19 at its meatpacking facilities.
Cargill is one of the top two largest private companies in the United States by revenue.