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Colorado Teamsters hold practice picket at Anheuser-Busch brewery

By staff

Teamsters at Anheuser-Busch are getting ready to strike. | Fight Back! News/staff

Fort Collins, CO – On February 14, more than 100 members of Teamsters Locals 17, 267 and 455 held a practice picket at the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Fort Collins. This practice picket marked 15 days until the upcoming February 29 expiration of the collective bargaining agreement covering 5000 Anheuser-Busch brewery workers across the U.S.

Attendees at the rally chanted “No contract, no beer” and “the Teamsters united will never be divided.” Many members of Teamsters Local 455 were in attendance to show solidarity with Local 267, who represents the workers at the Anheuser-Busch brewery who brew, package, and ship Budweiser, Bud Light, and dozens of other beverage brands.

“Going to events like this is important so the people here can see that they have support from the rest of the union,” said Audrey Pandolfi, a rank-and-file Teamster at UPS. “Even if we're not in the same workplace, we're one union and we support each other.”

Earlier during negotiations, Teamsters at Anheuser-Busch had won an end to tiered healthcare, along with improvements to retiree benefits. Negotiations stalled in mid-November after the company would not agree to job protections. Anheuser-Busch threatened closures of unionized breweries that would lead to permanent layoffs, despite annual revenue of $57.8 billion in 2022, a 6.4% increase from 2021.

“Everyone should have their jobs protected, especially if a company can afford to pay their workers ten times over,” said Caleb Cobb, a rank-and-file Teamster at Windigo Logistics. “I'm glad to see my brothers and sisters fighting for what they deserve.”

On December 16, Anheuser-Busch Teamsters across the country voted by 99 percent to approve a strike in the event that Anheuser-Busch refused to agree to a new five-year contract that includes job protections by the February 29 deadline.

Earlier this month the International Brotherhood of Teamsters doubled the strike pay for Anheuser-Busch Teamsters across all 12 U.S. breweries. With a powerful strike threat, workers at Anheuser-Busch are declaring that they are ready and willing to fight for their needs.

Workers from other unions such as The International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (SMART) and Starbucks Workers United joined the practice picket or waved signs in solidarity with the Teamsters.

The practice picket ended with a group photo in front of the iconic Teamsters Joint Council 3 “Big Mac” truck.

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