Community Rallies Behind Teamsters on Strike
Alex MooreEmail: [email protected] Phone: (718) 289-0204
(GREAT NECK, N.Y.) – Clare Rose began permanently replacing striking union members at the Long Island Budweiser distributor on Monday. It is a violation of federal labor law to permanently replace workers who are striking over unfair labor practices.
The announcement, via a Facebook post by Clare Rose CEO Sean Rose’s wife, Michelle McLaughlin Rose, stated that “Clare Rose is hiring permanent warehouse men, permanent driver’s [sic], and summer helpers.” The posting was only visible to Rose’s Facebook friends. The posting contradicts Clare Rose’s statement to Newsday in April that the company is not hiring permanent replacements, “They are temporary hires that we need to help us meet our obligations to our customers… No one has been fired.”
“This is union busting 101,” said Mark Pooler, who has delivered beer at Clare Rose for 26 years. “I think Clare Rose knows that they can’t permanently replace us. Not only is it illegal, but the out-of-state replacements they have hired have been screwing up left and right. We will not be intimidated. The company should restore our pay and our pensions so we can all get back to work.”
Workers at Clare Rose have been on strike since April 23rd, when the company unilaterally cut drivers’ wages by 30 percent and ended the workers’ pension.
Last week, Teamsters Local 812 filed the latest Unfair Labor Practice charge at the National Labor Relations Board against Clare Rose. The charge stems from Clare Rose CEO Sean Rose’s bad faith bargaining and attempts to undermine the workers’ labor rights. It is the fifth charge the union has filed over the last month and the government agency is currently taking testimony and investigating the charges. Previous Unfair Labor Practice charges against Clare Rose accused the company of threatening union members and unlawfully reducing wages and ending benefit programs.
This is only the company’s latest attempt to undermine the union. Last month, the striking union members received letters signed by Clare Rose executives, telling them how to end their union membership and directing them to the National Right to Work Defense Fund for more information and assistance.
While Clare Rose has chosen anti-union tactics, many Long Island small businesses have supported the Clare Rose workers. A photo of a Handy Pantry sign in Manorville went viral on social media with the company’s message, “We stand behind our drivers! Not taking Bud deliveries until contract is reached!” Many others have refused Clare Rose deliveries and pledged their support to the striking Teamsters.
More and more Long Island stores and bars have run out of Clare Rose products as the strike gains momentum. Clare Rose is the sole distributor of Budweiser, Bud Lite, Heineken, Pabst, Blue Point, Greenport, and several other craft beers for Long Island. It is headquartered in East Yaphank with an additional facility in Melville.
The union negotiated with Clare Rose for months without progress before the highly-profitable company imposed huge wage and benefits cuts. The union said the strike against the company’s illegal actions will last until Clare Rose executives withdraw their draconian demands and agree to a fair contract with workers.
Teamsters Local 812 represents more than 3,500 Teamster families working in the beverage industry. Its members produce, haul, deliver, merchandise, and sell soda, water, beer and sports drinks throughout the New York metropolitan area.