Local Beverage Company Forces Low Wages

More than one hundred members of the Teamsters Union swarmed the California State Fair in Sacramento this past weekend to protest DBI Beverage’s, the local distributor of Miller Beer, forcing of near poverty-level wages on its workers. Despite DBI Beverage’s record profits, they want their workers to accept grossly substandard wages and a big increase their health care costs.

Teamsters Local 150, Sacramento, and Teamsters Local 439, Stockton, have been negotiating with DBI Beverage on their first collective bargaining agreements for the past year.

“Our members want fairness,” said Jim Tobin, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 150 who represents employees of the DBI, Inc. in Sacramento. “Most of our members have worked for DBI for ten or fifteen years.”

“Teamsters at DBI work hard and they are part of the reason that Miller Beer has become one of the region’s, and the country’s, leading beverages,” said Sam Rosas, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 439. “Their profits are through the roof, yet they can’t see their way towards paying a fair wage.”

Teamster members and other union supporters wore t-shirts to the fair which said, “Tell Miller Destroying California Jobs is Tasteless.” These volunteers also handed out free maps to the fairgrounds along with a flier explaining the dispute with DBI Beverage.

“Fair visitors thought our shirts and the flier were cool,” Tobin said. “We gave out more than 3,000 fliers just on Sunday.”

Further demonstrations at the fair are being planned, pending the progress made at the contract negotiating table.