Long Island residents could be seeing a beer shortage on store shelves in the coming weeks, as workers for a private beer distributor, Clare Rose, fight against an unseemly offer made to drivers by the management. Being the sole distributor of many favorite beers, such as Budweiser, Bud Light, Blue Point and Heineken, the strike of Teamsters Local 812 is not likely to go unnoticed.
While locals may be upset at the sight of an empty space where their go-to beer normally resides, the devastating pay cuts and loss of pensions proposed by Clare Rose is more than enough to produce an understanding of why shelves are bare.
Few people can say that they wouldn’t protest, after being offered a 30 percent reduction in pay, along with a total loss of their pension. It’s hard to imagine anyone thinking that abysmal notion is anything more than a slap in the face to employees that have been hard at work for decades.
Mark Pooler, who has been delivering beer for Clare Rose for 26 years, says, “We are the middle-class families that make up Long Island. While this company is making millions, they are trying to cut the wages and retirement benefits that our families depend on. We have bills to pay and mortgages to pay. Make no mistake: We will strike as long as it takes to protect our livelihoods.”
Unsurprisingly, the workers voted against the company’s proposal by dramatic majority: 107 to 9. Over 100 drivers and warehouse workers have gone on strike as a response to Clare Rose’s close-fisted “offer.”
Teamsters Local 812 President Ed Weber commented, “The union has done everything possible to reach a fair deal with Clare Rose, but the company is putting its greed ahead of its workers.”
Until Clare Rose rescinds their offensive proposal with something realistic, the Union plans to remain on strike.