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State of Rhode Island General Assembly
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Morales supports workers in Teamsters strike against Johnson Brothers Distribution
STATE HOUSE – Rep. David Morales strongly supports the efforts of union drivers who have been on strike since May 26 at Johnson Brothers Distribution, a beer, wine and spirits distributer in North Kingstown.
The striking workers, who are members of Teamsters Local 251, say the company has refused to negotiate in good faith since their vote to unionize in September 2020. The Teamsters have filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board, saying Johnson Brothers has violated the National Labor Relations Act by bargaining in bad faith and committing wage theft, discrimination and other illegal acts. The company reportedly terminated the workers’ health care when the strike began, in the midst of a global pandemic.
“Every worker deserves to be paid a living wage and be provided with health care benefits. These are basic rights and needs. Johnson Brothers are a multimillion-dollar corporation that can easily afford to pay their workers, skilled drivers, a decent wage, and guarantee comprehensive health care benefits for themselves and their loved ones. Instead, Johnson Brothers are trying to replace these striking workers by hiring of out-of-state non-unionized drivers, while ignoring the ongoing needs of their actual workers. I support Teamsters 251 in their effort to negotiate fairly and stand up for labor rights. Furthermore, I encourage our communities to stand in solidarity with our workers by showing up to their demonstrations and boycotting liquor stores that are still accepting deliveries from Johnson Brothers. Today, I’ll proudly be standing with members of Teamsters Local 251 at one of their striking demonstrations in front of I.M. Gan Discount Liquor in Warwick between 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.” said Representative Morales (D-Dist. 7, Providence).
Johnson Brothers is the exclusive distributer of Gallo Wines products in Rhode Island.
“From the first day we decided to go on strike to today, we believe in the rights we are standing up for and demanding. While the last one hundred days have not been easy, I’m proud of us seven union drivers for sticking together against an unfair system that mistreats their workers.” said Charles Reid, one of the Teamsters drivers on strike.
For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
Lt. Governor's Office
Secretary of State
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