Teamsters Rally in Support of Anheuser-Busch Workers

August 17th, 2008 | Posted by Jay Brooks

Hundreds of St. Louis Teamsters and families rallied today in downtown St. Louis to show support for Anheuser-Busch workers nationwide in the wake of the purchase of the iconic American beer company by Belgium-based brewing giant InBev. Carrying rally signs that said “InBev: Keep Your Promises!,” rally participants, along with Teamster trucks, overflowed Kiener Plaza next to the famous St. Louis Arch.

“For more than a hundred years, Teamsters and many other hardworking union members have made Budweiser and Anheuser-Busch the great American brand that it is today,” said Jack Cipriani, Director of the Teamsters Brewery and Soft Drink Conference and International Vice President. “Good jobs like those at A-B help our local communities grow. They provide access to good health care and the promise of a secure retirement.”

The Teamsters Brewery and Soft Drink Workers Conference represents more than 7,000 employees of Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc. in the United States and Canada. Today’s rally was co-sponsored by Missouri Jobs with Justice and included speakers and participants from InBev unions worldwide, the St. Louis Labor Council and employees from all 12 Anheuser-Busch breweries in the United States.

“We are here today to honor all of the workers at Anheuser-Busch and to tell InBev that winning the loyalty of the workforce is key to the company’s success in the 21st century and beyond,” Cipriani said.

InBev has promised to keep open Anheuser’s 12 U.S. breweries and to retain St. Louis as the company’s North American headquarters. During the upcoming contract negotiations the Teamsters plan to press Anheuser Busch to agree to this commitment in the labor contract.

At the rally, Union leaders representing InBev employees worldwide including Europe, Latin America and Canada announced an agreement to form a global alliance of InBev workers through the International Union of Food Workers (IUF). Paul Garver of the IUF stated, “InBev workers worldwide are building a strong, unified voice to insure fair treatment at the breweries and in our communities.”

“Our priorities are protecting good-paying American jobs and their communities, as well as preserving health care and pension benefits for all workers,” Cipriani said. “We urge InBev to keep its promises to its workers and the great communities like St. Louis that helped build Anheuser-Busch.”

Hundreds of working men and women at the rally included long-time Anheuser-Busch employees, many of whom have spent their entire working life at the St. Louis brewery.

“I want to make sure that all of the younger employees get the same benefits I am going to get when I retire,” said Tommy Davis, a 30-year employee of the St. Louis brewery. “I just want InBev to keep their promises.”

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3 Responses to “Teamsters Rally in Support of Anheuser-Busch Workers”

  1. Richard L Walker Says:

    InBev? Seems like the Teamsters should have been working with Anheuser-Busch to save that company from being sold. Greed and lack of loyalty to a business has its downside and the Teamsters are about to witness that up close and personal. Sad.

  2. R.Sole Says:

    Inbev keep promises?not likely, if its cheaper to sub contract work they will,check out Inbev Ireland(now operations transfered to a sub contrator),and there export depot in Lancashire uk(again work transfered to sub contractor),also redundacy levels at Samlesbury brewery(England),Magor brewery(Wales)and Wellpark brewery(Scotland).Inbev either try to sell staff like slaves(t.u.p.e)or enforce redundacies.When they think they can save a penny staff loyalty doesn’t matter or the effects it has on local communities.It will take a couple of years before Inbevs ways of working start to filter into the Anheuser plants but when it does jobs will be slashed and the internal site management left will be yes men who will be the puppets of off site global business stratagists(who don’t give a shit about anything except good hard cash).Teamsters be prepared to have your asses kicked,get out now while you still can make that choice yourself.

  3. ex employee Says:

    AB employees should be very,very wary of who they have just got into bed with.Interbrew,who joined up with Ambev to become Inbev assured us all that we had a bright future with them,just the same as you are being promised.Ask any Uk employee of this ghastly outfit,we’ve heard it all before.Plans will almost certainly be afoot right now to decimate the workforce and working conditions,believe me these people are ruthless.I have recently been made redundant from the export depot in the above post.The entire operation is still in full swing but is now being done by people employed by a sub contractor on shoe string wages.Inbev are so huge that the unions are unable to do anything about it,they just threaten people and offer the option to sue them,yea! like a union can take on a multi billion dollar comapany employing the best lawers around!!
    Sure they may well keep US breweries open,but you can be damn sure most of the people in them will be replaced with cheap and temporary labour.Several of us who got “potted” are long time employees,they even tried to avoid paying any redundancy,and very nearly got away with it.My advice is when you are offered money to leave take it,I guarantee you,within 12 months they’ll start on YOU,GOOD LUCK,YOU’LL NEED IT!