Today, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters announced an increase in future strike benefits to $1,000 weekly for members of Teamsters Local 997 engaged in contract negotiations at Molson Coors in Fort Worth, Texas.
Negotiations with Molson Coors have been marred by unproductive proposals and backward steps, despite ample time to secure a fair three-year deal. With a nationwide strike against Anheuser-Busch involving 5,000 Teamsters on the horizon, Molson Coors is now at a heightened risk of a work stoppage just weeks away.
Should Molson Coors fail to agree on a deal that appropriately compensates workers amidst record profits, the increased strike benefit for its Teamsters will be activated. Local 997 aims for wage increases and better health care and retirement benefits for over 420 members involved in brewing, packaging, warehousing, and maintaining the Fort Worth brewery.
This facility is pivotal, being the sole brewery catering to the entire Western United States with products like Topo Chico, Simply, Pabst, and Yuengling among its major brands.
Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien stated that if a robust new contract is not established, the Molson Coors brewery in Fort Worth will close, and the responsibility will lie with the management of the beer conglomerate. He emphasized the solidarity among Teamsters across the brewery industry against corporations prioritizing profits over workers’ well-being. Teamsters are prepared to leverage their labor to secure deserved contracts.
Despite achieving its highest fourth-quarter earnings since 2005, Molson Coors announced a $2 billion stock buyback for its affluent shareholders in October 2023.
Rick Miedema, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 997, criticized Molson Coors for prioritizing profits over workers’ needs and vowed to fight against any contract that undermines health care and disrespects their labor. With the support of the entire Teamsters Union, they stand firm in their pursuit of a contract that recognizes their contributions.