For more than 40 years, Rosann Davenport has worked at the Mott’s plant in Williamson, New York. She started working as an apple sorter when she was just 19 years old. Today, she is still there, proud of her service and her hard work.
Though the job is tough, and has taken a toll on her body, especially her knees, Rosann enjoys working at Mott’s and would like to work for several more years before retiring.
But now, Mott’s is threatening to eliminate pensions and retirement contributions – the very security and dignity of retirement that Rosann and her co-workers have worked so hard to achieve.
“I love my job and would like to work for a few more years. But if Mott’s succeeds in taking away the good benefits that help us support our families, I’m not sure what I will do,” says Rosann. “I may need to leave New York State because I won’t be able to afford to retire here. It’s very upsetting – after all of our years working at Mott’s, the way they are treating us is unfair.”
Jim Mitchell and his wife, Martha, have been married for 49 years. They have 7 children, 20 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.
Jim has worked at Mott’s for 34 years; he has done various work at the plant, but today works in apple sorting, one of the lower wage jobs. Because of Jim’s health insurance, provided by his union job, Martha is able to go to the doctor and get the medicine she needs for her heart and thyroid problems. And at 73 years old, Jim himself has medical issues that require medicine and attention. The couple spends $80 each month to pay for medicine the insurance doesn’t cover.
At this phase of life, Jim can least afford to take the pay cut that Mott’s is proposing. $1.50 pay cut would be about a 9% cut in his wages – and with increased medical costs, his family would be hurting even more.
Jim doesn’t want to retire because he enjoys working. He says that as long as he feels good, he wants to work. And his job, until now, has helped he and Martha make ends meet and pay their bills each month.
Jim’s son, James Jr. also works at Mott’s and is on strike as well.