Features, Health and Safety, Labor News Briefs, National

Twin Cities Teamsters Urge Boycott of 14 Beers

May 11, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.—Beer-truck drivers on strike for three weeks are urging Twin Cities consumers and bars to boycott 14 brands of scab-delivered beer, including Miller, Heineken, Guinness, and longtime local brand Grain Belt Premium. About 100 members of Teamsters Local 792 at the J.J. Taylor distributing company walked out April 12, after the company demanded that drivers take on revamped routes that would require them to lift 175-pound kegs by themselves. J.J. Taylor Minnesota President Christopher Morton charged that the union is using safety as a pretext for what’s really a dispute about seniority. “Single-man keg lifts are common and can be done safely with proper technique,” he said in a statement, adding that the company employs ergonomics specialists. “We say that’s B.S.,” Teamsters Minnesota political director Ed Reynoso told the City Pages weekly. Drivers’ routes often require them to carry kegs into the basements of bars and restaurants, he added, and some of those staircases are unsafe. J.J. Taylor has brought in drivers hired through Huffmaster, a Michigan-based “strike management solutions” company. “We’re willing to sit down and talk about the delivery system,” Reynoso says, “and see where can find common ground. But our safety isn’t for sale or trade.”  Read more

May 11, 2018

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