August 11, 2010: Local 901 strikers and reformers are fighting for their rights—and they’ve won each legal battle.
But officials and management are working together to delay justice.
Rank and file reformers and strikers in Puerto Rico Local 901 continue to fight for their rights. They’ve won each legal battle, but Local 901 officials and management at Coca-Cola are working together to delay justice.
To speed up the process, workers have now filed suit in federal court, and hope to have a hearing for an injunction by late September.
Reformers, Strikers Ordered Reinstated
That suit demands the immediate reinstatement to membership and to their elected steward positions of Migdalia Magriz, Silvia Rivera, and Mara Quiara, who were illegally expelled from the union in March 2009 after they ran for local union office.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has already held an extensive hearing and ordered the union officials to reinstate them, which would make Magriz and Rivera eligible to run for union office. (Quiara has since retired.)
The NLRB also ordered Coca-Cola to reinstate about 40 Teamsters who were fired or suspended for going on a lawful strike.
A separate suit has been filed by the Department of Labor against Local 901 officials over numerous irregularities in the last union election; a supervised rerun election is very likely to be the outcome.
Workers Fight Illegal Dues Hike
On another front, workers are standing up for their rights at Pepsi Cola, where the Local 901 union officials illegally imposed a big dues hike without a vote.
They have asked the International Union to order the local to correct the injustice, and if that fails, they will take further action.
The members are represented by TDU attorney Barbara Harvey of Detroit, and by Linda Backiel of San Juan, Puerto Rico.