U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York) Urges Mott's/Dr. Pepper Snapple Chief Executive to Get Back to Negotiating Table and Bargain in Good Faith

Jun 24, 2010, 11:55 ET from Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union

WILLIAMSON, N.Y., June 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In response to the ongoing strike by workers of the Mott's manufacturing plant in Williamson, NY by members of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union Local 220, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-New York) urged the profitable beverage maker to "come back to the negotiating table and bargain in good faith."

Over 300 full-time, highly-skilled workers at the Mott's manufacturing plant in Williamson, New York, stopped work on May 23 as a result of the company's unfair labor practices committed by corporate executives in their efforts to impose drastic and unprecedented wage and benefit cuts after failing to reach a contract agreement with the union.

This week, Senator Schumer sent a firm letter to Mr. Larry D. Young, President and CEO of Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS) expressing concern that the "livelihoods of thousands of the region's residents could be negatively impacted if this situation (the four week strike) is not resolved soon."  Schumer wrote "my office has been closely monitoring and communicating with leaders of the RWDSU.  With unemployment in the Rochester area nearly 10 percent, the ongoing labor shortage is not only harming the 305 workers of the RWDSU Local 200 who work in the facility, but can harm the entire Wayne County economy due to the facility's centrality to the regional and state apple market."

The Mott's plant, which also produces apple juice and apple concentrate, is one of the largest buyers of local apples, while Wayne County is one of the nation's largest counties for apple production.  

"The workers who have been on strike for the past four 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.  "We are grateful for the support and public comments by Senator Charles Schumer."

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 percent salary increase over the last 3 years.  Mr. Young's total compensation last year more than $6.5 million.

Senator Schumer ended his letter to Mr. Young urging the company to get back to the negotiating table so the "proud and productive workers of Mott's can go back to work."

The full letter can be read at http://rwdsu.info/files/mott's%20letter.pdf

A solidarity rally will be held June 26 at the Williamson plant. Mott's workers will be joined by state and local labor leaders and elected officials.  For more information on the Mott's strike, visit www.mottsworkers.org

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.   For more info, www.rwdsu.org

SOURCE Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union