PLANO, Texas, June 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS) today addressed numerous misrepresentations made by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which led workers at the company's Mott's plant in Williamson, N.Y., on strike last month.
DPS workers in Williamson enjoy significantly higher wages than the typical manufacturing employee in Western New York. According to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics National Compensation Survey conducted in 2009, the average hourly wage in the Rochester area for a production, transportation and material moving position was just over $14. Local Mott's employees were making an average of $21 an hour -- about 50 percent higher than the Rochester average. And during the previous three years, wages increased more than 10 percent.
Seeking a compensation package more consistent with local and industry standards, DPS negotiated in good faith with the union on a new agreement in 22 sessions -- some of which were federally mediated. The company's last, best and final offer kept wages unchanged if ratified by the April 15 expiration of the previous contract. After the deadline, the modified terms included a $1.50 per hour wage reduction, still keeping employee pay well above average for comparable jobs in the local market. Under the offer, benefits would also continue to be at least as good as those available to other DPS workers.
Bringing Williamson benefits in line with the rest of the company required several concessions, including freezing the pension for current workers. In addition, DPS asked to reduce the employer match on 401(k) from 5% to 4% - a market-competitive level that other DPS employees receive. Finally, the company offered the same competitive health plan that's available to the majority of DPS workers, which meant an increase to their co-pays and premiums. Employees would also still receive life, dental and disability insurance as well as a range of other optional benefits.
The union contends that a profitable company shouldn't seek concessions from its workers. This argument ignores the fact that, as a public company, Dr Pepper Snapple Group has a fiduciary responsibility to operate in the best interests of all of its constituents, recognizing that a profitable business attracts investment, generates jobs and builds communities. Dr Pepper Snapple Group is proud that Mott's has done that in Williamson for 55 years while also helping sustain a rich heritage of apple growing in New York.
As the strike continues, DPS is committed to meeting the needs of its customers, consumers, as well as its valued apple growers. The Williamson plant continues to operate with temporary help and other company employees while maintaining the highest standards of quality and service to produce the superior products for which the Mott's brand has been known since 1842.
About Dr Pepper Snapple Group
Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. (NYSE: DPS) is the leading producer of flavored beverages in North America and the Caribbean. Our success is fueled by more than 50 brands that are synonymous with refreshment, fun and flavor. We have 6 of the top 10 non-cola soft drinks, and 9 of our 12 "power brands" are No. 1 in their flavor categories. In addition to our flagship Dr Pepper and Snapple brands, our portfolio includes Sunkist soda, 7UP, A&W, Canada Dry, Crush, Mott's, Squirt, Hawaiian Punch, Penafiel, Clamato, Schweppes, Venom Energy, Rose's and Mr & Mrs T mixers. To learn more about our iconic brands and Plano, Texas-based company, please visit www.drpeppersnapple.com.
SOURCE Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc.