PEPSICO, PURCHASE LATEST TO REPLACE A UNIONIZED SECURITY CONTRACTOR. VIOLATION OF NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS ACT, UNION CHARGES. 50 UNION MEMBERS OUT OF WORK
WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. FROM THE SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION 32BJ. January 28, 2023:
Area industry standards for security officers are at risk of being undercut after PepsiCo Inc. replaced union security contractor Securitas with new contractor AGB Investigative Services, Inc. at its New York headquarters in Purchase, and a location in Valhalla. AGB has withdrawn its recognition of workers’ union 32BJ SEIU, in violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), the union has alleged.
As a result, some 50 full time security officers (and their families) could lose their high quality healthcare benefits on January 31. (These have been good union jobs since July 2019 and represent roughly 20% of the unionized security officer workforce in the Hudson Valley.)
On January 17, 2023, 32BJ SEIU filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board, charging AGB with withdrawing its recognition of the union, an alleged violation of the NLRA. The union seeks injunctive relief.
In response, workers have mobilized, delivering a petition to Pepsi Co., calling on the mega corporation “to speak to AGB and assure that they continue our union health benefits or…hire a responsible contractor that will, so we can continue to receive the same benefits that other union security guards doing the same work in our area, and we are able to live with dignity.”
“This is unacceptable,” said 32BJ SEIU Executive Vice President and Director of the Hudson Valley District Shirley Aldebol. “Pepsi is a multi-billion dollar company making historic profits. It must stand by its commitment to social responsibility and continue to adequately fund its security contract so as to not lower area standards for security officers in Westchester. They need to tell AGB to cease its unlawful activity and recognize and bargain with the workers’ union or hire a responsible contractor who will. We need to bring more union jobs with quality wages and healthcare to the area, not attack the standards that have already been set.”
“I have been a security officer for 19 years and at Pepsi for 15 years. Before these were union jobs I only saw two 20 cent raises. Since we won union recognition, we got good wages and quality healthcare that helped me support my family. We depend on our union benefits and will not stop fighting for our union jobs. We have a lot of officers that work here, we spend money in the town, we like the jobs – but we’re getting punished because of the new contract,” said Jason Anderson, who works at Pepsi’s Valhalla location. “Most of our co-workers still live paycheck to paycheck, with no quality healthcare, any sudden health issue could be devastating for any of us.”
“The New Year for us has not been good,” continues the workers’ petition. “It has been met with the bad news that AGB, our new employer, will not agree to continue our current health benefits through our union that we have enjoyed for years. We now are worried about how we will take care of our families.”Edit