Monday, April 14, 2014

Woo-hoo! NY Teamsters ratify historic 5-year contract with Phoenix/Lobo Beverages

Phoenix Beverages Owner Rod Braymen, Local 812, Recording Secretary John Ulrich and the members of the Phoenix Beverages Negotiating Committee after endorsement.
Here's great news from our brothers at Teamsters Local 812: They ratified a terrific contract that solidifies job security, pay increases, pension and medical protection. 

They all work for Phoenix/Lobo Beverages in Brooklyn and Montgomery, N.Y. Brother John Ulrich, lead negotiator, and the local's executive board spent four days going over the entire contract proposal with members. Handouts were issued in English and Spanish, and Angel Martinez, business agent, was on hand for members who needed more translation. The contract was approved by a 3-1 margin. 

Ed Weber, president of Teamsters Local 812, said the executive board is extremely happy the company was able to rebound after suffering $30 million in damage from Hurricane Sandy last year. He said, 
We as the 812 executive board unanimously endorsed this contract proposal in its entirety and are happy to see the hardworking 812 members at Phoenix/Lobo achieve their goals and have five years of job security as well.
"Congratulations to John and the rest of the agents on a job well done," said Joe Vitta, secretary-treasurer of Local 812. 

Brother Ulrich, who has negotiated more than 100 contracts, said the negotiations were the best he'd ever been involved in because both sides wanted it to work. 

Phoenix/ Lobo Beverages employs over 400 Local 812 members and delivers products such as Heineken, Miller, Guinness, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Brooklyn Brewery, Newburgh Brewery, Polar Beverages, Snapple, Canada Dry, RC Cola and Diet Rite from Long Island, all of New York City through Westchester County all the way up to Columbia County in upstate New York.

Here are some comments about the contract from members of Teasmters Local 812: 

Jim Surdi, business agent: 
This new agreement at Phoenix/Lobo Beverages catapults the 812 members employed here right to the top of the New York beverage industry in every category. They will see the difference right away like the Coke drivers did in 2006.
John Ulrich, lead negotiator/recording secretary:
This contract truly solidifies Phoenix Beverages as leader of the New York beer/soda and beverage industry. The owners were receptive and heard their employees concerns. We as the membership also heard the company loud and clear. Mr. Braymen reinforced that if he was going to have the best contract, he wanted the best workers in the trade.
Joe Sancricola, driver/shop steward:
This is the best contract I have even seen in my career at Phoenix Beverages. ... I have seen firsthand what John and the rest of the board have done to make this happen. When we were organized by Local 812 we were making $100 a day. It seems like a lifetime ago. I see what I have now and I am really grateful for having Local 812. I will be able to work another 10 years with the addition of bulk routes as well.
Mike Radway, Phoenix order builder:
The company is giving me the opportunity, that is all I can ever ask. ... because I work harder we will give you am extra weeks vacation and pay me the average week instead of just the base pay. That's what I am talking about. I am very happy.
Larry DeBellis,

 business agent: 
This contract is a real game changer, the number of issues resolved and the amount of progress made is huge. It was great that owners Rod and Greg Braymen were at the table and listened while explaining the changes on their end of the business. ...  To achieve this type of contract is incredible.
Angel Martinez, business agent:  
There was tremendous communication from both sides of the table and we worked together to fix problems we’ve encountered over the past five years instead of just finding problems and blaming each other. 
David Acosta, Phoenix shop steward: 
Mr. Braymen and his son Greg came to every negotiation. They explained their position and their concerns. They told us "they understand this is not an easy job and know how hard we work but they need consistency and need responsibility." I agree with that or we all be out of a job.
Local 812 represents approximately 4,000 members throughout, New York City, Long Island and Upstate New York exclusively in the Brewery & Soft Drink arena.