Employees of Mottâ€™s, who make the apple sauce and juice and such, are striking. Seems the company, which made over $500 million last year, wants the employees to take a pay cut so the company can make even more money. Mott’s also proposes to end the pension plan and cut payments to 401K plans.
Mott’s is part of the Dr. Pepper/Snapple Group, located in Texas. It is not as though the company is in trouble. The stock price has more than doubled in the last two years, and even the strike has not dented it’s value. While it wants to cut worker pay, it boosted it’s quarterly dividend 67 percent. The company has made no bones about it’s intention to get rid of long-term employees and replace them with cheaper labor. They believe that unemployment, which is at an all-time high, works in their favor and have told the employees that they are a â€œcommodityâ€ Â that can be easily replaced. The strike has been going on for over a month and the company is so confident that it is not even mentioning it on itâ€™s web page.
The workers are getting some substantial support. New York politicians, including Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, Rep. Dan Maffei, and Rochester Mayor Robert Duffey, who is also a candidate for Lieutenant Governor, have all stood picket duty at the Williiamson, NY plant. (How long has it been since we have seen politicians stand with workers on the picket line?)
Two Canadian MPs Jack Layton, the Leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party, and Malcolm Allen, Deputy Critic Food Security, have stood up for the workers. Layton wrote Snapple Group President & CEO Larry Young to express his concern for product safety as the company uses replacement workers. Allen wrote Carole Swan, President of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), to “express concerns about a potential food safety risk in a classic Canadian drink.” Â Mott’s Clamato juice is the key ingredient of the popular Canadian summer season cocktail named the Bloody Caesar. Allen pointed out that Mott’s decision to use “untrained and inexperienced temporary workers” creates a safety risk and breach of health standards that “could have a negative impact on the quality and safety” of products shipped from the plant. Â He requested the CFIA to “take extra care” when inspecting Mott’s products from the Williamson plant as the summer season is in “full swing.”
There is a boycott of all Dr. Pepper/Snapple products. Boycotting them is hard workâ€¦ they sell more than 50 brands, including, for example, all the decent tonic water (Schwepps and Canada Dry), root beer (A&W, Hires and IBC), and Snapple, and Dr. Pepper, and a lot of other stuff. For the full list, go here. Cross them off your shopping list! Â Itâ€™s time we all stood up for the American worker!