Workers Achieve Better Conditions After Strike, Defend Affordable Health Care
WASHINGTON, July 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Teamsters from Local 264 in Buffalo, N.Y., have ratified a three-year contract with Sorrento Lactalis, Inc. after walking off the production line Monday.
Teamsters Local 264 and Sorrento reached an agreement that provides for wage increases, maintenance of comprehensive health care coverage and a host of positive non-economic provisions for the 257 maintenance and production workers.
The workers were forced to vote in favor of striking after the company imposed the terms of its final contract offer from July 1, which would have increased health care premiums by 167 percent through 2014. This was the first work stoppage at the plant since the workers joined the Teamsters in 1995. The strike lasted only three days before a favorable contract was ratified overwhelmingly by the Teamster membership.
"We feel stronger now than ever. Everybody is very happy to go back to work and we're proud to be Teamsters because we had support and backing from our union all the way," said Tony Brancato, a 17-year warehouse worker and shop steward.
"These workers exemplified what the word 'union' means. They stood together and never wavered," said Mary Holl, President of Local 264 in Cheektowaga, N.Y. "Business Agent Joe Nowak worked tirelessly with the members, and the support of the locals and International was overwhelming. It shows just what can be achieved when we work together and stand strong."
"The quick and decisive action by the Local 264 leadership to shut this company down and the strong support of the membership made the significant difference in changing the company's attitude and pushed them to get serious about a reasonable and equitable settlement," said Rome Aloise, Director of the Teamsters Dairy Conference and International Vice President. "The local leadership and the members are a great example of what can be accomplished when everyone works together from the local to the International."
Sorrento is a leading brand of Italian cheeses, with nearly $300 million in annual sales.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 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 on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.
SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters