Aug 11, 2010

NY State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli joins Mott's workers on the picket line

Today NY State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli became the latest elected official to join striking Mott's workers on the picket line in Williamson, NY. Community and political support for the workers remains strong, but the comptroller's solidarity is particularly meaningful in light of his role as Trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund, which owns $33.2 million worth of Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) shares. DPS, of course, is the parent company of Mott's.

(left to right) Mott's worker Tim Budd, RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, and Mott's worker Bruce Beal.

Yep, the New York State Common Retirement Fund is a major DPS shareholder, and DiNapoli, as its trustee, not only supports workers from a personal and moral standpoint - he questions Dr. Pepper Snapple's actions from the point of view of an investor.

"What's happening here concerns me as an investor. A company that doesn't show respect for its workers is a company at risk of not sustaining profitability," DiNapoli said. "I'm inspired by all of you, and, I will use whatever leverage I have to make this corporation do right by you."

DiNapoli has been advocating for Mott's workers since April, when he sent a letter to Dr Pepper Snapple Group CEO Larry Young asking him to reconsider the aggressive and “contentious” approach the company had taken to bargaining.

"We’re glad to see Comptroller DiNapoli on the strike line with us, and he is right to be concerned about the health of the company. Judging from the few trucks that come in and out of the plant, and the amount of co-packing the company has resorted to--they just can’t get this factory working up to speed! They need us back to run the factory, and share holders like the State of New York are right to stand up for good jobs, and for their investments," said Bruce Beal, a RWDSU Local 220 striker.

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