CICERO, IL | After a marathon bargaining session Monday that lasted late into the night, the Teamsters Local 710 Bargaining Committee for Breakthru Beverage secured an exceptional tentative agreement, with gains throughout the contract, delivering benefits for every member of the bargaining unit.
The parties met several times over the last few months, with little progress at first. Then, the members overwhelmingly authorized the committee to call a strike, sending a message of strength and unity to the Company. With the members behind them, the committee made strong headway and secured unprecedented wage increases, enhancements to retirement benefits, improved vacation benefits, and more.
“This committee worked extremely hard and fought for each and every driver at Breakthru,” said Business Agent Bernie Sherlock. “You never get everything you come for in negotiations, but I am truly impressed with this committee’s resolve throughout this difficult process. We’re able to bring a complete package back to the members that has benefits across the board. We ensured the members had a voice at the table, and the agreement we reached seriously reflects that.”
Secured improvements include:
- Wage increases of $5.70 per hour over the four-year agreement
- Increased contributions to retirement and healthcare benefits
- Increased starting pay to attract new employees
- Shortened time to reach top scale pay (18 months, down from 30 months), which will apply to members currently in progression
- Premium pay of an additional $1.00 per hour when driving a tractor-trailer
- 8-hour guarantee for Saturday work (up from 5 hours)
- Vacation protection for employees who are off for sickness or injury
- Added protections from layoff
- Penalty pay when the employer exceeds their use of temporary workers
- Vacation and parental leave for employees with less than 1 year of service
“There were many moving parts to these negotiations, but the stewards on our committee held firm through the very end,” said Business Agent Simon McNamara. “The wage increases alone are incredible, and then to achieve everything else we did on top of that is a huge win for the members that is more than well-deserved.”
The Bargaining Committee is reviewing the final tentative agreement. Local 710 will provide all members with the full details of the agreement for review prior to conducting a ratification vote in the coming weeks.
Local 710 represents approximately 120 liquor and wine distribution drivers at Illinois facilities in Cicero and Rochelle who deliver products to bars, restaurants, and stores across the state.
Teamsters Local 710 is an affiliate of Teamsters Joint Council 25 and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, providing strong Union representation to more than 13,500 members across the midwest.