Teamsters Launch Protests of INEOS’ Worker Abuses
Handbilling at INEOS Subsidiary Belstaff to Educate Shoppers on Federal Labor Law Violations
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(LOS ANGELES) – Teamsters distributed leaflets this week to call attention to worker abuses at INEOS Pigments in Ohio. INEOS Pigments is owned by INEOS Group, one of the world’s largest chemical producers with almost $19 billion in annual revenue.
INEOS Group and its founder, British billionaire James Ratcliffe, also own Belstaff, the high-end British fashion label. On Monday, Teamsters Local 630 and Teamsters Joint Council 42, collectively representing 250,000 Teamsters and retirees in Southern California, launched the first in a series of protests at the Belstaff located in Bike Shed Moto Co., the trendy Arts District stop for all things moto-related in Los Angeles.
“We’re at Belstaff to send a strong message to INEOS that Teamsters stand together,” said Randy Cammack, President of Joint Council 42. “We won’t stand by and allow a notorious anti-union company like INEOS to run over our members and working families in Ohio. This is the first day of protests, but Belstaff needs to understand that we are just getting started.”
In September 2021, INEOS Pigments’ manufacturing facility in Ashtabula, Ohio, eliminated workers’ pensions and affordable health care. The workers voted to join Teamsters Local 377 and the International Chemical Workers Union Council of UFCW Local 1033C. INEOS has refused to bargain a first contract in good faith, and workers have charged it with committing dozens of violations of federal labor law, including unlawfully threatening to fire employees and cutting some workers’ salaries.
Region 8 of the National Labor Relations Board is now investigating the company’s conduct. In addition to Los Angeles, Belstaff operates a store in New York City.
“If INEOS believes it can hurt our hardworking members and their families in Ohio and do business as usual at their fancy clothing store in New York, they’re dead wrong,” said Tom Gesualdi, President of Joint Council 16 and Director of the Teamsters Building Material and Construction Trade Division. “We want a fair deal for our brothers and sisters in Ohio, and we’re ready to educate New York City about this toxic company.”
In addition to store protests, the Teamsters launched a digital campaign last week calling out Belstaff and INEOS for their “tacky and toxic” behavior. Good On You, the journal of ethical and sustainable fashion, gives Belstaff a rating of “WE AVOID,” and INEOS has been widely condemned for causing air and water pollution, dangerous leaks, plastic waste, and carbon emissions, and for lobbying to weaken green taxes and reduce restrictions on fracking.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.2 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.