11-Day Strike At Saputo Incorporated/Friendship Dairy In Allegany County ‘Is Over’ - More Than 200 Teamsters-Represented Workers Vote To Ratify New Three-Year Contract
(FRIENDSHIP, NEW YORK) – An 11-day Strike at Saputo Incorporated/Friendship Dairy in Allegany County has apparently come to an end as more than 200 Teamsters-Represented Workers have voted to ratify a new three-year agreement.
With the Teamster Union yet to issue any formal statement or details of the new contract, Teamsters Local 264 Business Agent Tony Vaccaro posted the following on Facebook on Saturday (November 13th): Day 11 at #Saputo ends with a successful vote to ratify a new three-year deal. Many thanks to all of our supporters who came out to walk the line and feed the troops. In addition to a huge victory for our Members, I’m grateful for the many new friendships. The Town of Friendship is aptly named. In Solidarity
Also on Saturday, David Heary, a Maintenance Technician at Saputo, posted the following on Facebook:
To all my Union Brother and Sisters,
Today was a victory for all of us!
In the last week we have all stood strong together and learned that we are our Union.
WE stood against a corporate giant in our industry, and WON!
Retaining our Healthcare as it was is so important!
A wise person told me recently, that a good contract is one that the Union is not completely happy with, nor is the Company.
I feel we bested them and so long as we stick together, this Union is a formidable force!
As we all return to work, remember that we are Brothers and Sisters!
Have reach others back!
Watch out for our Junior Members, as they are the future of this Union!
Also, thank you to our Negotiating Team and to Mark, Tony and Darrin!
Thank you for all the support from our Local and all our Brothers and Sisters in the CWA!
Thank you to our Community and the Allegany County Democrats!
Finally, a very special thank you to Malcom Sortore for the use of his property to stage our base camp!
Teamsters Local 264-represented Employees at the Friendship Dairy hit the picket line on November 3rd after voting unanimously to go on Strike following the expiration of a five-year contract and the rejection of parent company Saputo Dairy's "last, best and final offer."
The contract expired on October 31st.
The Union Members, who’ve been working throughout the Coronavirus Pandemic, protested the company’s attempt to gut their health care and seniority benefits just weeks before Thanksgiving.
Teamsters Local 264 said it was resisting the company's attempt to "gut their health care and seniority benefits only weeks before Thanksgiving."
“Friendship Dairy wants to increase health care costs to the point where our Members will effectively be taking a pay cut,” Teamsters Local 264 Recording Secretary and Business Agent Darrin Ziemba said. “Friendship Dairy’s parent company, Saputo Dairy, generated ($11.5 billion) in revenue last year. This company can afford to do right by its Staff.”
The Union cited Saputo’s 2021 shareholders report, saying it proves the company generated $11.5 billion in revenue last year. In a recent financial statement, Saputo reported revenues of $3.7 billion for the quarter ending September 30, 2021.
"These Workers didn't get anything extra from the company during the entire pandemic - not a bonus, not a paid day off, nothing," Ziemba said. "Now they want to increase health care costs to the point where our Members will effectively be taking a pay cut. These people are not asking for the whole pie. They are asking for a piece and they deserve it.”
Friendship Dairies, one of the largest Private Sector employers in Allegany County, produces a variety of dairy products including cottage cheese, sour cream, farmer cheese and buttermilk.
Workers are employed in the warehouse, the whey department, production, the cooler and maintenance.
Union Members comprise most of the workforce, aside from management and supervisors.
Founded in 1954, Saputo has 67 manufacturing facilities and approximately 18,000 Employees in the United States, Canada and overseas.
The company said it annually processes over 11 billion liters of milk into a variety of cheeses, as well as other dairy products and ingredients that are sold in over 60 countries.
Teamsters Local 264 represents more than 4,000 Workers in the Private and Public Sector throughout Upstate New York.
For More On This Labor News Story, Go To: www.eveningtribune.com/story/business/2021/11/05/friendship-dairies-workers-ny-strike-saputo-dairy/6285007001/