Thursday, February 21, 2013

NY Teamsters save their own jobs at Oak Beverages

When a Brooklyn beer distributor decided to shut down and move operations to the Bronx, the 53 Teamster employees negotiated to keep their jobs with the company.

Teamsters Local 812 employees of Oak Beverages, Inc., will work out of a different warehouse before the new Bronx facility opens by 2015.

Crain's New York Business reported that Teamster employees will work at the company's Blauvelt, N.Y., headquarters:
Oak Beverages Inc., a wholesaler of beer, wine and spirits, is closing its two existing warehouses and moving into a new 350,000-square-foot facility in Hunts Point ... Oak, which was founded in 1980, recently filed a notice with the State Dept. of Labor warning of 53 layoffs at its Greenpoint warehouse. That facility, which is leased, is expected to close by mid-June. But all union members have negotiated to keep their jobs with the company... 
"No member is getting laid off," explained John Ulrich, recording secretary and director of organizing and education at Local 812. He noted that members will receive an extra $20 a day to drive to the Rockland facility, and buses will be arranged for transportation as well. He added that in its new, larger Bronx facility, Oak will be able to improve its craft beer offerings. A niche gaining in popularity amongst consumers in recent years, craft beer brands are often small and independent, producing less than 6 million barrels a year. 
"Beer is difficult with craft brands," said Mr. Ulrich, noting refrigeration issues. "[Oak] will be able to advance their facilities and get more brands."
Like the man says, There is power in a union!