Teamster Showdown at AmerisourceBergen

March 27, 2008: Warehouse Teamsters in Washington state are fighting union-busting tactics at AmerisourceBergen—a major pharmaceutical supplier to Teamster Health & Welfare funds.

Now our union is turning up the heat on the company to bargain in good faith.

The Teamsters are turning up the heat on AmerisourceBergen Corp. (ABC) after the drug wholesaler broke the law and refused to bargain in good faith with our union.

ABC is one of the biggest pharmaceutical distributors in the country and a major supplier for Teamster Health and Welfare plans.

Local 117 members at the wholesaler’s warehouse in Kent, Wash. have been negotiating with the pharmaceutical giant for over a year.

The National Labor Relations Board has said the company violated U.S. labor law by refusing to bargain in good faith and unilaterally changing production standards and eliminating senior day shift positions without talking to the union.

In January, members walked off the job for a day to jump start talks. Then in February, workers traveled to the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Philadelphia and threatened more walkouts if the company continued to stall bargaining.

In the event of another strike, ABC says it will use replacement workers to keep their operation running—even going so far as to parade temps through the Kent warehouse.

Now Teamster Health and Welfare funds are getting involved. Over 50 Teamster trustees have sent letters to their fund’s pharmacy providers, asking about their relationship to ABC and urging them to make plans to choose another supplier in the event of a strike or lockout. Some funds have even put out new bids for replacements to ABC.

The pressure is starting to work. After the rally in February, the company put an improved contract offer on the table.

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