The fight between the Teamsters and Dunkin’ Donuts is getting ugly. Over the last few days, the two factions have ended discussions, leaving consumers left without their favorite coffee. As of last Friday, the supplier for Dunkin’ Donuts, Northeast DCP was trying to avoid an interruption in deliveries when the Teamsters Local 25 walked away from the negotiating table and threatened a boycott. At issue is the contract between workers, including 180 truck drivers and helpers and the freedom of employees to choose whether to join the union.
The Teamsters had insisted that all employees become union members or lose their jobs. As a compromise, the Northeast DCP has proposed that new employees must pay union dues while existing employees who choose to join the union can have the dues deducted from their paychecks.
"We have also been bargaining in good faith to reach agreement on other remaining issues, and we call upon Local 25's negotiators to return to the table," said Kevin Bruce, CEO of the Northeast DCP in a statement. "Considering the highly competitive pay and benefits that our drivers and helpers receive, combined with the uncertain economy, we believe it's unnecessary and harmful for the Teamsters to disrupt rather than negotiate."
The Teamsters Speak
Conversely, the Teamsters don’t believe that Dunkin’ Donuts and its suppliers are willing to negotiate. In a separate statement, the Teamsters Local 25 President Sean O’Brien said, “As far as we're concerned Teamsters Local 25 has done everything to reach an agreement with the company. Their response is to offer provisions they know we can't agree to and to insist on taking away benefits the employees now have. Therefore, we have decided that future negotiations would be a waste of time. Instead, our efforts will be to organize both regional and national boycotts of Dunkin' Donuts stores and to do everything possible, within the law, to encourage Dunkin' Donuts Northeast DCP to come to the bargaining table with an open mind on issues important to the employees and the union."
According to the most recent statement from the Teamsters, O’Brien called Bruce to continue negotiations, to which Bruce hung up the phone.
"The leadership of Dunkin' Donuts DCP should practice what they preach," O'Brien said following the conversation with Bruce. "We made every effort to resume talks through Dunkin' Donuts CEO Kevin Bruce and consistent with the theme of past negotiations, he and his company are apparently not willing to resume talks."
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