Beer workers in the Delaware Valley have reached a deal that will see their wages increase and their week-long strike end with only days before the 4th of July holiday.
The 3,100 members of Teamsters Local 830 voted on a new four-year contract that will see them get a 10.5% wage increase in the first year, plus additional increases each following year, the union announced Saturday.
The union includes employees of Origlio Beverage, Muller Incorporated, and Penn Beer Sales and Service – the big three distributors of beer in the five-county Philadelphia region.
“This was a fight for economic fairness and a better quality of life for our members. I am proud to say we’ve achieved our goals and today’s overwhelming ratification by the Teamsters Local 830 membership attests to the great gains we’ve realized in this new four-year agreement,” union secretary-treasurer Daniel Grace said in a statement. “The Local 830 members who stood shoulder to shoulder on our picket lines for the past week are the real heroes in this victory. Their solidarity was truly inspiring.”
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They had rejected another proposed contract from the Delaware Valley Importers Distributors Association.
The new contract also grants members increased pension contributions in the second, third and fourth years, as well as additional 401(K) contributions, an additional paid holiday and new, reduced work hours: five days with 10-hour time limits and two days with 11-hour time limits.
None of the three distributors were making deliveries or taking orders during the strike. The union members – including drivers, warehouse and production workers, and sales and marketing personnel – had formed picket lines in Montgomery County and Northeast Philadelphia.
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The strike came about two weeks out from Independence Day celebrations, and as Grace said, a time most lucrative for the alcoholic beverage industry.
Origlio handles the distribution of brands like Coors, Corona, Blue Moon, Angry Orchard and Guinness. Muller carries brands like Miller Lite, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and Yards. Penn has beer brands such as Budweiser, Busch, Michelob and Natural Light. In addition, all three carry a variety of national and local craft beers and other products like malt beverages and seltzers.
Penn is also the exclusive supplier to the Philadelphia sports complex.