Workers Strike To Defend Against Employer’s Flagrant Labor Actions
(HOOD RIVER, Ore.) – At 10:00 A.M. (PDT) today workers at Hood River Distillers, a producer and bottler of popular brands of alcohol, including Pendleton Whiskey and Aviation Gin and more recently hand sanitizer, were forced to strike as their employer improperly implemented a labor agreement on them with a lesser medical plan than they have enjoyed for decades while at the same time shifting a larger cost of the medical plan onto the employees.
“Throughout the 13 months of negotiations, the company has continued to flout federal labor law with its take it or leave it style of bargaining focused on weakening the longstanding protections and benefits enjoyed by the workers,” stated Michael Beranbaum, the Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 670.
The local union filed unfair labor practice charges and is considering taking other action as well.
Beranbaum added, “This strike was not necessary, the employer refused to agree to the union’s request for a federal mediator, at the first available date, to meet in person with the parties to assist us in reaching a fair settlement.”
Hood River Distillers’ deplorable action to unilaterally implement a contract during this COVID-19 pandemic that would slash the health and welfare benefits, reduce retirement security and offer little to no wage increases to offset their proposed reductions in other areas of the labor agreement is a flagrant example of an employer putting profits before people!