Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits Teamsters Win $53,000 Grievance Arbitration

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Teamsters Locals 135 & 142 members recently achieved a huge arbitration victory against Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Indiana. In 2022, the company agreed during contract negotiations that drivers would receive overtime pay when they work on Mondays, which is normally one of their weekend days off. At the time, drivers were the only workers who did not receive overtime pay when forced to work on one of their regular days off, so Monday overtime was an important proposal for the drivers during negotiations.

However, when the drivers worked their first Monday under the new contract, the company refused to pay overtime, claiming that overtime pay is not required if the Monday work is part of a “schedule change.” This was a ridiculous position for the company to take, not only because there was never an agreement to exclude schedule change Mondays from the overtime requirement, but also because when the drivers work on Mondays, it is almost always the result of a schedule change. Accordingly, Driver Steward Brady Johnson filed a class action grievance on behalf of all drivers demanding the company follow the contract and backpay the drivers for all Monday hours not paid at time-and-one-half.

The company denied the grievance, and Locals 135 & 142 took the grievance to arbitration. The Arbitrator had no problem ruling in the Drivers’ favor, finding that “there is no confusion in the language” making Mondays an overtime day for drivers, nor is there any exception in the language for schedule changes. She therefore sustained the Grievance and ordered the company to “pay overtime to drivers for Monday work, retroactive to the filing of the Grievance, and going forward.” The backpay alone has been calculated at more than $53,000, not to mention all the extra pay the drivers will receive for future Mondays!!

Local 135 would like to give a big thanks to Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits Chief Steward Kevin Clark, Driver Steward Brady Johnson, and Business Agent Robert Doolin for their hard work on this Grievance. Local 135 would also like to thank Local 142 Secretary-Treasurer Harvey Jackson for coordinating with Local 135 on this Grievance, and for his testimony and bargaining notes, which were instrumental in securing this victory.

“This victory is an example of what can be achieved when you have good stewards, and when we work together with other Locals,” said Local 135 President Dustin T. Roach. “The more we work together, the stronger we are, and the more we can achieve for our members,” Roach continued.

This victory should also serve as a lesson for all bargaining committee members: Take good notes during negotiations. You never know when you might need them, and they could help you win $53,000 for your fellow members!

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