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New York Congressional Members Ask Dr Pepper to Negotiate

New York Congressional Members Ask Dr Pepper to Negotiate

By Neal Tepel
September 6, 2010

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union has released a letter by the New York Congressional Delegation to the Chief Executive Officer of Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS) expressing concern over the ongoing strike in Williamson, NY and urged the beverage giant to return to negotiations with RWDSU Local 220.  The letter, addressed to Dr Pepper Snapple CEO and President Larry D. Young, notes Dr. Pepper has “$555 million in profits" and the company has “ample room to promptly negotiate a fair deal with the workers."

Over 300 full-time manufacturing workers at the Mott's plant in Williamson, New York, represented by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU, affiliated with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union) Local 220 went out on strike on May 23rd as a result of unfair labor practices committed by the corporation in their efforts to impose drastic and unprecedented wage and benefit cuts on their workforce.  Despite record profits, $555 million in 2009, Dr Pepper Snapple Group has imposed a $1.50 per hour wage cut for all workers, a pension elimination for future workers and a pension freeze for current workers, a 20 percent decrease in employer contributions to the 401K and increased employee contributions toward health care premiums and co-pays.   By contrast, Dr Pepper Snapple Group President & CEO Larry D. Young has enjoyed a 113% salary increase over the last 3 years. Mr. Young's total compensation last year was $6.5 million.  

The letter from the New York Congressional members in full reads:

August 26, 2010

Larry Young, CEO

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Inc.

5301 Legacy Drive

Plano, TX 75024

Dear Mr. Young:

We are writing regarding the current impasse in labor negotiations between Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union Local 220.   We want to reinforce the importance of this plan to the employees, the community, and New York State and we encourage both entities to return to the bargaining table.

Mott’s has always played an important role in the Central New York community.  The plant employs more than 300 manufacturing workers, and its products are supplied by fruit growers throughout the state.  In fact, the Mott’s facility processes half of the apples grown in New York State.  The employees at the Williamson facility are proud, hardworking people and until recently, have been treated well by Dr. Pepper Snapple.

We commend Mott’s for its history of compensating employees fairly.  Since Dr. Pepper made approximately $555 million in profits we feel there is ample room to promptly negotiate a fair deal with the workers at the Williamson plant.  We believe that Mott’s needs to continue their proud history as a leader in providing fair wages and benefits for their workers.

We urge you to return to negotiations in order to work out a fair deal.

Sincerely,

Members of the New York Congressional Delegation

signers include (in order of signature)

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Rep. Daniel B. Maffei
Rep. Gary Ackerman
Rep. Timothy Bishop
Rep. Joseph Crowley
Rep. John J. Hall
Rep. Maurice Hinchey
Rep. Nydia Velazquez
Rep. Nita Lowey
Rep. Carolyn Maloney
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy
Rep. Michael McMahon
Rep. Scott Murphy
Rep. Charles B. Rangel
Rep. Louise Slaughter
Rep. Eldolphus Towns
Rep. Anthony D. Weiner
Rep. Michael Acuri
Rep. Yvette D. Clarke
Rep. Eliot Engel
Rep. Brian Higgins
Rep. Steve Israel
Rep. Paul D. Tonko
Rep. Bill Owens
Rep. Gregory W. Meeks
Rep. Jerrold Nadler
Rep. Jose E. Serrano

September 6, 2010

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