Teamsters ratify five-year contract agreement with A-B, averting strike

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By TIM ROWDEN
Editor-in-Chief

St. Louis — Teamsters working for brewer Anheuser-Busch voted by 86 percent to ratify a new five-year Labor agreement with the company, avoiding a strike, the union said.

The Teamsters had threatened a strike at the brewer’s 12 U.S. plants if an agreement on a new five-year contract wasn’t reached by Feb. 28. Before the deadline, the two sides said they had reached a tentative agreement that was put to union members for a ratification vote.

The deal covers 5,000 unionized employees at Anheuser-Busch, including brewers, packagers, and warehouse workers.

Teamsters said the agreement will grant members an immediate $4-an-hour raise and an $8-an-hour increase over the life of the contract, raising pay of members by an average of 23 percent.

“After a long day and a longer campaign, we’ve reached an agreement that sets a new high standard for the brewing industry,” said Teamsters President Sean O’Brien.

DETAILS OF THE AGREEMENT
Around 99 percent of Teamsters at the brewer’s locations previously authorized a strike last December, citing a lack of improved wages, job protection, secure healthcare and retirement benefits. The union said the new agreement amends the majority of its concerns, including:

  • Significant job security for all 5,000 Teamsters at Anheuser-Busch.
  • Wage increases of $8/hour, including an immediate $4/hour raise in the first year.
  • $2,500 ratification bonus for every union member.
  • The same healthcare coverage options for all union workers.
  • Increased pension contributions and benefits.
  • Increased maximum vacation accrual.
  • Restoration of retirement benefits for active and retired members.

A spokesman for A-B praised the agreement:

“At Anheuser-Busch, our people are our top priority, and we’re pleased that our Teamster-represented brewery employees have officially ratified our new agreement that continues to recognize and reward our teams while also positioning the company for long-term success.”


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