Windell Middlebrooks: "I sure hope there's still enough money
for the kid's doctor even if I have to keep closing down
all these Miller accounts like the boss says...
I have a soft spot for Miller beer. Not the premium draft or orignal lite or premium original draft lite or any other of the manifestations of the marketing of variables of deminution. Miller High Life is a decent cheap regular brew for drinking on a stinking hot day and I don't care what anybody says. Add a slice of lime and it's a Milrona. I had one in 1991 after my last law school exam that was the taste of freedom. I had another in 1984 with a huge smoked meat sandwich at Ben's at 3:00 am when I was on a tear in Montreal that whispered of the adulthood.
So, I am sad to read that their employee and contractor agreements allow for this sort of thing:
Approximately 30 workers, represented by Teamsters Local Union 175, will distribute handbills outside a busy strip of bars and restaurants in downtown Charleston. The leaflets read, "Cutting Health Care at Miller Beer is Tasteless." The summer leafleting series comes after Capitol Beverage broke off negotiations with its workers on May 2, 2008, in an attempt to force them to accept grossly substandard wages and health care coverage. Capitol wants to pay its Miller and Coors beer drivers up to 40 percent less than other beverage distributors in the area and force longtime employees to pay as much as $11,000 a year for family health care. Capitol's plan would also eliminate health care coverage for retired Miller and Coors beer delivery drivers.With all the masses of money that flows into macro brewing, treating the guys who actually lug the cases - like that guy played by the fabulous Windell Middlebrooks in the ad campaign about earning and losing the right to sell High Life - is a bit despicable. Don't tell me this is union puffery or that it's the distributor's problem. Fair dealing provisions should be in the distribution contracts so that the wealth is shared and families have health care.
"Coca-Cola, Budweiser and Pepsi are willing to pay their employees the industry standard for the beverage market and provide them with good benefits," said Ken Hall, Teamsters International Vice President and President of Local 175. "Miller's distributor needs to stop being greedy and step up to the plate."