WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. Special to WPCNR from Service Employees International 32BJ. January 31, 2023:
PepsiCo violated local law when it did not give required notice under Westchester’s Displaced Workers Protection Law that it was changing contractors in December.
The company’s new security contractor, AGB Investigative Services, Inc., is now under investigation by the National Labor Relations Board for unlawfully withdrawing recognition of 50 security officers’ union 32BJ SEIU at PepsiCo’s New York headquarters in Purchase, and a location in Valhalla.
Workers are now scrambling to prepare for the loss of their employer-paid comprehensive healthcare on Feb. 1.
The security officers have been unionized with 32BJ SEIU, the largest security officer union on the East Coast, since 2019. Pepsi did not give the workers and their union the required 15 days’ notice under county law that Pepsi had canceled its contract with Securitas – a responsible security company that respects workers’ rights to organize and has raised standards for security officers in NY and 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.
Workers have delivered a petition to Pepsi (they await a promised response) and will be leafleting outside PepsiCo’s Valhalla location this week and can be made available to press.
“We are not walking away from this fight. Our members have worked too hard over the past decade to raise standards for security officers in Westchester and across the East Coast to allow contractors to come and think they can do whatever they want. Pepsi should know better. We are going to fight. The fight is on,” said 32BJ SEIU Executive Vice President and Director of the Hudson Valley District Shirley Aldebol.
“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. After we won union recognition, we were no longer ‘at will’ employees – we had job security, good wage increases and quality healthcare. 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. “Many of our co-workers still live paycheck to paycheck, with no quality healthcare, any sudden health issue could be devastating for any of us.”