Picket Line Against Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS) Extended to Include Pennsylvania Plant; Consumer And Health & Safety Leafleting at St. Louis Plant

Jun 08, 2010, 13:08 ET from Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union

WILLIAMSON, N.Y., June 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Members of RWDSU Local 220 on strike against Mott's LLP (a wholly owned subsidiary of DPS) are taking their picket line to a second Mott's facility in an effort to increase the pressure on executives to rescind drastic wage and benefit cuts imposed at their Williamson, NY plant. In St. Louis, the union will be leafleting production workers on health and safety issues and area consumers on the labor dispute at Mott's.

Going on their third week, the Mott's strikers will set up new picket lines in front of the Dr. Pepper Snapple plant in Aspers, Pennsylvania, Tuesday, 12 Noon -5:00 p.m. and Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m. In St. Louis, leafleting will take place Tuesday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m and Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m.

The Aspers, PA plant is a high volume manufacturing facility while the St. Louis plant is the sole maker of carbonated beverage concentrate for the entire Dr. Pepper Snapple Group System.

Over 300 full time manufacturing workers at the Mott's plant in Williamson, New York went out on strike on May 24th as a result of unfair labor practices committed by corporate executives in their efforts to impose drastic and unprecedented wage and benefit cuts on their workforce.

"The workers who have been on strike for the past 3 weeks are the same workers who helped make the Mott's brand successful and the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group the highly profitable company it is today," said Stuart Appelbaum,  president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, UFCW.  "It is outrageous that such a profitable company would tell its own workforce that their wages should be slashed regardless how productive they are or how profitable their plant is.  Taking advantage of dislocations in the American economy to pay workers what you think you can get away with rather than what they are worth is rotten business, and frankly unAmerican!""

Despite record profits, an increase in market share and a skyrocketing stock price Dr. Pepper Snapple Group has imposed a $1.50 per hour wage cut for all employees, a pension elimination for future employees and a pension freeze for current employees, a 20 percent decrease in employer contributions to the 401K and increased employee contributions toward health care premiums and co-pays.  

By contrast, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group President  & CEO Larry D. Young has enjoyed a 113% salary increase over the last 3 years (or 29 percent each year).  Mr. Young's total compensation last year was $6.5 million.

Michael Leberth, president of RWDSU Local 220 said "the company has not budged from our reasonable and dignified offer. We deserve better and the company can afford to treat us fairly."

"Why would DPS, with millions in profit, risk interrupting production at a high volume plant?" asked Ira Bristol, who has worked at the plant for almost five years. "Destroying goodwill and creating this antagonistic atmosphere will badly hurt the production system and bottom line, not to mention negatively affecting employee morale and tarnishing the Mott's good brand around the country."

"I think it's really important that people understand what is going on with our jobs, and how this kind of corporate greed, if we don't stop it, will ruin the country," said Motts worker Ryan Bubacz. When we tell them about this, people realize that it could be their jobs that somebody comes after next, and that just because your employer is profitable doesn't mean they won't come after you to make more money for themselves," Bubacz added.

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union represents 100,000 members in the U.S. and Canada. The RWDSU is affiliated with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.

SOURCE Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union