After striking for 114 days, the union representing workers at the Mott’s apple juice plant in Williamson, N.Y., announced that an agreement was reached with Dr. Pepper Snapple. Workers wages will not be cut and their pensions will not be frozen as the company was demanding, although new hires will have 401k plans instead of pensions. According to the New York Times:
The workers at the plant, 25 miles east of Rochester, walked out on May 23, insisting that Mott’s parent company, Dr Pepper Snapple, was unfair to demand a $1.50-an-hour pay cut when it had reported record profits of $555 million last year.
The company asserted that its wage demands were a justifiable strategy to increase competitiveness, saying the plant’s workers averaged $21 an hour while other food industry workers in the area averaged $14.
Both sides were, in ways, claiming they had won.
“I think that it’s a victory,” said Stuart Appelbaum, national president of the retail, wholesale union. “We secured the wages, we secured the pensions and we secured the workers’ jobs.”
Larry Young, Dr Pepper Snapple’s chief executive, said, “From the beginning of our negotiations, we sought an agreement that supported our business, and we’re very pleased with this resolution.” He added that the deal would “bring our costs in Williamson in line” and help ensure continued growth.