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Teamsters authorise February strike at AB InBev

Around 5,000 Teamsters working at AB InBev have voted to authorise a strike if a new contract cannot be reached before the current one expires in February next year. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is a labour union in the US and Canada. The Teamsters union is seeking a new agreement which improves wages, protects jobs and secures health care and retirement benefits for 5,000 union members across the company's 12 US breweries. Sean O'Brien, Teamsters general president, said: "Teamsters stand firm in our fight for the best contract at Anheuser-Busch, and this powerful strike vote proves it. Our members' labour, talent and sacrifice are what put Anheuser-Busch products on the shelf, and we are committed to getting a contract that rewards and recognises their hard work. If Anheuser-Busch's executives can't get their act together to negotiate an agreement that respects workers, we will see them out on the streets." Budweiser producer Anheuser-Busch reached "tentative" agreements to end tiered health care and restore retiree health benefits in November. However, despite repeated requests by the union, the brewer has not addressed job security issues. Jeff Padellaro, director of the Teamsters Brewery, Bakery and Soft Drink Conference, said: "The Teamsters don't want to be forced onto the picket line at any employer, but we are fully prepared to walk if Anheuser-Busch doesn't get serious about negotiating a contract that also protects good union jobs, It is the workers — the dedicated and tireless members of the Teamsters — who make this company a success and who have earned to share in that success." In a statement to the press, AB InBev reiterated its commitment to negotiating in good faith with the union to “reach an agreement that recognises and rewards the talent, commitment and drive of our employees.”

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