The 210 Teamsters at Sysco Food Services of Albany narrowly averted a strike late Wednesday, but labor tensions are escalating at Adirondack Beverage, where another 170 union members have authorized a walkout.
With about an hour to spare before a planned walkout at Sysco’s Halfmoon warehouse at 12:01 a.m. today, International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 294 ratified a three-year contract. The union’s old pact expired at midnight.
“We got it done at the last minute,” said Local 294 Business Agent Rocco Losavio.
In Scotia, meanwhile, members of Teamsters Local 669 at Adirondack Beverage have rejected two contract proposals, with a third vote expected soon. Local 669 President Ozzie Martucci said a strike is likely if the third proposal does not pass.
“I have my marching orders, and if we don’t get it then we’re going to take to the streets,” Martucci said.
Adirondack Beverage runs a bottling/warehousing/distribution center in the Scotia-Glenville Industrial Park, where it makes carbonated and non-carbonated beverages.
Adirondack Beverage sent a new contract proposal to Local 669 on Thursday, but Martucci said it was “not to my satisfaction.” Martucci said management has agreed to some benefit and wage enhancements, but many members have been turned off by disproportionate pay increases and higher health insurance co-payments.
The union chief said he wants to see wage increases be more evenly spread among workers. He also wants Adirondack Beverage to pick up a greater share of workers’ health insurance tab. Management has already agreed to pay 100 percent of health cost increases during the first year of the proposed five-year contract.
Adirondack Beverage Chief Operating Officer Doug Martin said management has “negotiated in very good faith” and “we think this is going to be resolved.” But he would not say whether the company has solicited replacement workers.