Ohio Teamsters Claim Budweiser Distributor Leaves Workers Flat

Budweiser logo There's some trouble brewing for Budweiser's Ohio distributor, Heidelberg Distributing. Budweiser delivery drivers and warehouse workers, represented by Teamsters Local Union 957, claim that the distributor broke off negotiations and decided to illegally implement a wide range of damaging changes without bargaining with its employees.

In protest, workers are distributing handbills outside the popular Dayton Dragons minor league baseball games, that say, "Budweiser Wants Dayton to Lose," and request that "the consuming public cease purchasing products sold and distributed by Heidelberg Distributing." The union supporters plan to continue leafleting the games at the busy Fifth Third Ball Park for the rest of the summer.

The Teamsters say that Heidelberg wants to force its employees to work up to seven days a week and eliminate retiree health care for loyal longtime employees. Heidelberg's plan would also take away employees' federally protected right to take unpaid leave for family medical emergencies.

"Coca-Cola, Miller and Pepsi are willing to pay their employees the industry standard for the beverage market and provide them with decent benefits," said Varney Richmond, president of Local 957 in Dayton. "Budweiser's distributor needs to stop being greedy and step up to the plate."

The dispute could lead to a strike against Heidelberg, which delivers a variety of wines and alternative beverages - including Monster Energy Drinks and E. & J. Gallo – along with other Anheuser-Busch InBev beers to state retailers. Since so much beer is sold at ball games and purchased elsewhere by fans, a boycott and or strike could really drain profits, encouraging Heidelberg to take another swing at negotiations.

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