Letter to the BCS Membership
Jul 10, 2021

Bellingham Cold Storage Teamsters,

You may have received a letter in the mail dated July 9, 2021, from Doug Thomas. Many of the statements in the letter are false or misleading. First, Teamsters Local 231 has responded to the Last Best and Final (LBF). We told the Company through their Attorney that the LBF does not meet industry standards and that it is not approved for a vote by Teamsters Joint Council 28. We also expressed on several occasions that we are not done bargaining and that we want to meet with a Federal Mediator.

Doug Thomas continues to claim that you have not had an opportunity to vote on the Last Best and Final but when he handed out a copy of the offer, the vast majority of the membership chose to walk off the job in protest.

As you are aware, the Company had an opportunity to meet with the Union on July 1st, but they refused to meet with us and chose to wait until July 12th fully knowing that we have a strike authorization. The Union has also had copies of the LBF at the Strike line for all of you to review and not one person has stated to us that the LBF is acceptable.

In the letter Doug also discusses the LBF and all the improvements in the offer. To be clear, you will not take home more money because the Cost of Living is increasing exponentially, and you are much more likely to see a loss in your buying power over the 5-year proposed LBF. Doug also states that healthcare costs continue to rise but at the bargaining table he told us that the monthly costs per employee were projected to decrease in 2021 from the original projections. When we received the actual numbers, the costs to the company are projected to decrease by $310.22 per employee per month, yet the Company wants all of you to pay an additional $45.00 per month or a 50% increase. Doug also states that they are offering the same coverage but neglects to tell you that you will no longer get prescriptions free of charge at the new “clinic”.

The Company is accurate in stating that they have offered an increase in your pension contribution. They are offering a one-time 10 cent increase beginning in 2021. This would essentially equate to a 10-cent increase over a 15-year period.

The Company states that they will continue to use Temporary workers as has been practiced in the past. This is blatantly false. The Union has agreed to allowing the Employer to use Temporary workers as a means to hire new employees exactly as it was agreed to years ago. The Company wants expanded use of these workers to skim from the Bargaining Unit. The Company proposal does not meet industry standards and has been rejected by Teamsters Local 231 and Teamsters Joint Council 28.

Doug states that the Employees are the Lifeblood of the Company, but he refuses to provide reasonable proposals and devalues the hard work that you do. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to your Union Representatives.  

In Solidarity,

Teamsters Local 231


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