Aug 4, 2010

The Budds are feeling the impact of Mott's greed

The Budds

“We’re Tim and Joann Budd. We are both long time Williamson residents and proud Local 220* union members and have both worked at Mott’s for 24 years. In fact, like many area residents, we still call the plant Duff y Mott’s. Mott’s used to be a family-oriented company and we were proud to work for them.

“Ever since Texas based Dr Pepper Snapple Group took over, things have changed. They stopped doing all the family-oriented things that they used to. Now DPSG wants to cut our pay by $1.50/hour, eliminate our pension, reduce our 401K by 20%, cut back on our health insurance, and take away everything that we worked so hard to earn. What was once a community based, family oriented company is now focused on the bottom line above all.

“Tim was on the negotiating committee, where we saw the DPSG mentality face to face. They will tell you that they offered a fair deal and we are overpaid. This is untrue. They never offered a fair deal, and while we were bargaining they violated labor law and are under investigation by the Federal Government. While we disagreed with DPSG’s desire to lower our compensation, we listened to them and moved our proposal many times, finally offering to keep our current benefit and wage levels in exchange for a very modest signing bonus. Our last offer was no raises, no cost of living improvements, no improvements in our very modest pension plan, no changes to the wages and benefits that have allowed them to be wildly profitable.

“According to NY State data, the average Wayne County food production worker makes $25/hour. Local 220* members make on average $21/hour. Our wages are in line with the area and the skill level we possess.

“We have four children and a foster child. Our oldest daughter, Melissa, has Lupus. Last year, Tim gave her one of his kidneys in order to save her life. She spent most of three years in the hospital and is completely dependent on us. We struggled with paying the hospital bills while still being able to provide for our family. Without affordable health benefits, we wouldn’t have made it. Providing for her and the rest of our family is a struggle every day. If DPSG succeeds in taking away our wages and benefits, we won’t be able to care for our family.

“DPSG and the CEO aren’t struggling-why should those of us who have built this company struggle? Why do their children deserve college or healthcare and ours don’t? It is clear to us that DPSG just doesn’t care about Williamson, NY. Not our children, our community or our farmers. DPSG doesn’t care about anything but money. We are so proud of our union Brothers and Sisters at Local 220*. Larry Young thought he could take advantage of us up in Williamson, but he only made us stronger than ever.

“Please know that none of us want to be on strike -but we won’t let them strip away our livelihood without a fight. We’re making a stand here for blue-collar workers in America against the corporate blueprint they’d like to impose on the rest of American workers. Stop by and see us on the line, we’re out there all day and all night until Dr Pepper does the right thing and comes back to the table.”

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