Workers at juice and beverage manufacturer Mott’s in Williamson, New York, members of the RWDSU-UFCW Local 220, are being asked to celebrate the company’s highly successful sales and stock performance by agreeing to steep cuts in their wages and the elimination of their pension plan.
Mott’s is a subsidiary of the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, the North American beverages division spun off by Cadbury Schweppes in 2008, whose leading brands in addition to Mott’s include Snapple, Yoo-hoo, A&W and Hires root beers, Crush, Sunkist, Hawaiian Punch, Canada Dry, Squirt, RC Cola, Diet Rite, and of course Schweppes, among others.
In negotiations for a new collective agreement, management is demanding an across-the-board reduction of wages of USD 2.50 per hour and the total elimination of their company pension scheme. These demands come against a background of booming profits and sales. The company last year earned USD 555 million and increased their market share in a highly competitive, saturated sector. Since their earnings announcement the group’s stock has gained 28% in a generally slack stock market and the share price has outperformed the industry as a whole by 443% since the February earnings release!
The company’s only announced rationale for these steep cuts has been that the workers simply earn too much – an astonishing claim for a profitable, growing company. Management is also seeking to capitalize on high unemployment in hard-hit upstate New York, seizing money from workers not because they need to, but simply because they feel they can get away with it.
The union needs your support – imposing these conditions would set in motion a downward spiral for workers throughout the company, the sector and the dwindling number of decent manufacturing jobs in the US. CLICK HERE to send a strong, simple message to Dr. Pepper Snapple CEO Larry Young: the company’s demands are unacceptable!