Protest Held Outside Molson Coors Shareholders Meeting In Denver
Teamsters Warn Shareholders Cutting US Production Will Hurt Workers, Consumers and Industry
Released by Kara Deniz, teamster.org
Today, Teamsters protested outside the Molson Coors annual meeting of shareholders in Denver CO, and raised concerns inside the meeting about the planned closure of the award-winning MillerCoors brewery in Eden NC.
The Teamsters have demanded that MillerCoors re-examine its plans to shutter the brewery. Closing the facility would put 450 Teamsters out of work.
The decision to close Eden was announced on September 14, 2015, just two days before the merger talks between SABMiller and AB/Inbev were formally disclosed to the public. Teamsters warned shareholders of the likely anti-competitive effects of that decision and how it may be viewed by regulators.
“We believe the decision to close the Eden, N.C., brewery was driven by Molson Coors to eliminate production capacity, drive up prices for consumers and harm industry competition in the U.S. market,” said David Laughton, Director of the Brewery Workers’ Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a long-term investor in Molson Coors.
“Molson Coors’ attack on American jobs will devastate North Carolina families and communities,” said Vernon Gammon, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 391, which represents the Eden workers.
The US Justice Department is currently reviewing the proposed merger of SAB and ABI, as well as the related sale of SAB’s stake in the MillerCoors joint venture to Molson Coors.
A lawsuit filed by Pabst owners against MillerCoors also raises concerns about the Eden closure. It alleges that around the same time the Eden closure was announced, MillerCoors told
Pabst it would no longer have the capacity to brew Pabst products and that their manufacturing contract would end without renewal unless Pabst paid nearly three times as much per barrel of beer. Pabst was the second-highest brand by barrels run at Eden last year behind Miller Lite, at more than 700,000 barrels.
North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper is investigating the timing of the decision to close the Eden brewery, as well as the potential anti-competitive impact it will have. He has announced that he is working closely with the Department of Justice on the investigation.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hard working men and women throughout North America, Canada, and Puerto Rico including brewery workers at MillerCoors, Molson Coors, and AB/InBev. For more information, visit www.teamster.org, follow on Twitter (@Teamsters), or see updates on Facebook.