Molson Coors Teamsters Announce Rally In Texas After Weeks Of Striking

Packages of Coors Light
Packages of Coors Light - Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Following a month-long strike by Teamsters members at a Molson Coors plant in Fort Worth, Texas, the unionized brewery workers are spending today, March 17, rallying for higher pay and better benefits. According to a press release, the gathering will include the local branch of the Molson Coors Teamsters, the union's General President Sean O'Brien, and General Secretary-Treasurer Fred Zuckerman. The Texas plant is one of the beverage company's largest breweries in the country and the only one serving the whole Western United States.

The 420 striking employees halted work on February 17 after Molson Coors initially proposed what the union called an "insulting" pay raise of 99-cent per hour during renewed contract negotiations this year. Before renewing their three-year contract, the brewery workers want to secure increased wages that reflect the cost of living and inflation as well as improved health care and retirement benefits.

Molson Coors has seen an uptick in sales in recent months, but the union claims those profits are not trickling down to the beer giant's employees. In a statement released last month, Teamsters President O'Brien claimed the beverage corporation's "greed and abuse" spurred the dispute. "As long as the profits keep flowing to the top, Molson Coors doesn't give a damn if the workers inside its breweries can afford to take care of their families," he said, adding that "they put pennies on the table for the workers behind these products."

Read more: 15 Popular Hard Seltzer Brands, Ranked Worst To Best

The Plant Has Kept Up Production Despite The Strike

Group of people toasting beers in hand
Group of people toasting beers in hand - Kar-tr/Getty Images

In the month since the unionized workers hit the picket line, the company has tried its best to keep production flowing at the Texas plant. The company told CNN, "While we respect the union's right to strike, we have strong contingency plans and are well equipped to ensure consumers will be able to buy their favorite Molson Coors products."

Indeed, at a consumer analyst conference held on February 23, Molson Coors CEO Gavin Hattersley told attendees that the plant was still perfectly operational despite the walkout. "We packaged beer. We brewed beer. We delivered beer. And in fact, we actually delivered a little more than our contingency plan actually suggested we should," Hattersley said (via Food Dive). Molson Coors Chief Financial Officer Tracey Joubert added that any financial blow by the strike was presently "immaterial." As for the contract offer the Teamsters have skewered? Company leadership maintains that it "exceeds local market rates," but says they're "committed to reaching an agreement that is fair to everyone."

The significance of the rally being called on St. Patrick's Day is not lost on us. It is reportedly the number one day for beer consumption in the U.S., seeing 174% more beer sales than other days of the year, per Wallet Hub. Perhaps the Teamsters are using the holiday to draw attention to the workers who actually produce all that beer. If not, it's certainly a noteworthy coincidence.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.