Members hand out leaflets at the Giants' opening game, informing the public of DBI's contract cutbacks

Elite Task Force

Actions Lead To New Contract at DBI

Teamsters have represented the drivers at DBI for many years. When the company suddenly decided not to give wage increases and to significantly cut the donations they made to the employees’ 401K plans, Local 853 knew that a fight was brewing. With seven locations in Northern California, DBI is the biggest distributor for Miller/Coors in Northern California.

Local 853 called upon the Elite Task Force to let the public know what kind of company DBI was turning into. The Task Force held several actions— leafletting at the Cesar Chavez Parade in Sacramento, at San Francisco’s St. Patrick’s Parade, and at the Giant’s opening game in San Francisco.

Back in the 1970s and 1980s, labor unions launched a national boycott against Coors Beer—the Task Force distributed leaflets suggesting that such a boycott could start again if the company didn’t bargain in good faith. Not only did they bring the Joint Council 7 truck out to AT&T Park, but a plane flew overhead with the message “Coors: Stop your hating. This is California.”

Joint Council 7 truck sports a banner saying "Coors, Stop Your Hating. This is California." DBI is Coors' largest distributor in Northern California.

As a result, the company quickly changed its tune at the bargaining table. The Local 853 members at DBI San Jose got a five-year contract that they ratified by a vote of 37-2. The company agreed to contribute 7% of gross wages to the members’ 401K plan. In addition, members got a substantial raise in year one, and consumer price index raises for the remainder of the five year contract. Some Local 856 members at DBI San Francisco also renewed their contract.

“Locals 150 and 439 are still fighting for first contracts in Sacramento and Stockton, respectively,” says Business Agent Efren Alarcon. “They don’t have them yet, but the company is definitely on notice that we’ll keep on fighting.”

Alarcon says he’s very proud of the Elite Task Force. “We had a lot of people come out for these events and that made a difference. We have to fight for each other, because you never know when you’ll need people to fight for you.”