Some 140 truck drivers, members of Teamsters Local 727, struck the American Bottling Company May 22, setting up lively picket lines at the Northlake and Harvey facilities outside Chicago, where some 800 workers are employed.
Drivers at the company, which produces soft drinks, have been working without a contract since May 1. Union members voted down the bosses’ final offer May 20 that pays drivers $2 an hour less than at Pepsi and Coca-Cola.
Similarly, workers told the Militant that drivers at American Bottling receive half of what their counterparts receive in pension payments.
Among those visiting the picket line are Coca-Cola truck drivers from the same Teamsters local, five workers from Walmart, and Chicago nurse Desmond Norris. “This was my first picket experience,” said Norris. “I was surprised about how happy they were to see us with our signs. I appreciated the opportunity to stand with them in their fight.”