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Teamsters Local 229 members vote to ratify new labor agreements

08.16.12

AUGUST 2012 Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton edition of The Union News

Teamsters Local 229 members vote to ratify new labor agreements
BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, July 31st- Union members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Union Local 229 in Scranton have ratified several labor agreements involving several employers in Lackawanna County.

According to Charlie Miller, Vice President and Business Representative of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 229, workers at Pepsi Company, North Main Avenue in Scranton, and Verrastro Distributors, Moosic Road, have ratified new labor agreements with their employers.

The Teamsters represent approximately 55 workers employed at Pepsi Company. The North Main Avenue facility does not bottle any Pepsi product. Mr. Miller was not sure were the Pepsi products sold in the area were bottled.

Mr. Miller stated the previous contract agreement between the Teamsters and the company expired on March 31st, 2012 and the new contract was approved by the membership on June 26th, 2012. The vote for ratification was held at the Local 229 building, which is located across the street from the Pepsi Company facility. The two parties had agreed to work under the “terms and conditions” of the previous contract while negotiations continued for a successor labor contract.

The new pact will expire on March 31st, 2016. Under the agreement bargaining unit workers, which include drivers, sales personnel, and warehousemen, will receive wage increases of 45 cents an hour the first, second and third year of the contract while the hourly employees will receive an increase of 45 cents an hour the fourth and final year of the agreement. The bargaining unit employees that work on sales commission, will also see their wages increased under the new bargaining agreement.

Mr. Miller added that there was minor changes to the contract language from the previous pact. Also, employees pensions will increase under the new agreement.

“During a bad ecomonic time, we negotiated a good contract,” stated Mr. Miller. He said the membership overwhelmingly approved the new agreement.

Local 229 represents IBT members in Scranton and the surrounding areas while Local 401 in Wilkes-Barre represents IBT members in Wilkes-Barre and the surrounding areas.

Local 229 represents Verrastro Distributors employees, including truck drivers and warehouse personnel. The company warehouses and delivers beverage products throughout the region. Verrastro was located for many years on Lackawanna and 7th Avenue’s in Scranton but re-located to a larger facilty on Moosic Road in Old-Forge.

The members ratified the new five-year contract agreement by a 36 for to 28 against margin.

Under the new contract, employees pensions will increase, healthcare coverage cost will stay the same, and sickness benefits will rise. Workers wages will increase by 50 cents an hour each year of the five-year pact.

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