June 24, 2017
By Silver Krieger
New York, NY – Clare Rose, the Anheuser-Busch distributer in Long Island whose workers have been on strike since April 23rd, has agreed to reopen negotiations with Teamsters Local 812. The workers walked off their jobs over deep wage cuts and the termination of their pensions. The strike will continue until an agreement is reached.
“We are pleased that Clare Rose has agreed to reopen negotiations with the union and that the company has accepted the participation of professional mediator to help us reach an agreement on a new contract,” said Teamsters Local 812 President Ed Weber. “Our members have sacrificed a lot over the last two months, but they did it to protect the jobs that their families depend on. We hope that through continued negotiation we can reach a new contract that restores our members’ livelihoods and retirements. But make no mistake, the strike is not over and we will continue fighting to defend these Long Island working families.”
Dozens of local businesses had boycotted Clare Rose in support of the strikers, and were joined by Belmont Park right before the Belmont Stakes, and Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, a chain store with eight locations in Long Island. With July 4th, the biggest beer sale time of year looming up ahead, shelves in the supportive stores remain empty or stocked with other brands of beer. Along with that, Clare Rose is being audited by the Brookhaven IDA, which provided over a million dollars in tax breaks to the company, with the contingency that employment levels be maintained. After its firing of workers after one day of the strike, and its replacement of the strikers by out-of-state workers, it may have to repay past subsidies, and may no longer be eligible for future tax breaks.
Meanwhile, Long Island Senator Todd Kaminsky just announced his support of the strikers, releasing this statement on June 22nd , just a day before the reopened negotiations were announced: “The time is long past due for Clare Rose to return to the bargaining table. Long Island has supported Clare Rose for decades, loyally buying its products and subsidizing its business with millions in public money. Clare Rose should recognize that, respect our local workers, and provide the good jobs the company was once known for. The strike and boycott have disrupted local businesses and Teamsters Local 812 has made it clear that they want to continue negotiations on a new contract, indeed they never wanted to stop negotiations. I stand fully behind the striking workers at Clare Rose.”
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