What's this Blog About?

Politics in Wisconsin as they roll up to every level... and some other thoughts that may cross my mind are explored here from my lefty point of view. My values shape my opinions. You'll always find them in here. Let's have some fun exploring why Liberal values are American values!

Your comments are both welcome and encouraged!
(The watercolor is called Magnolia Tree for Momma, by Audrey Crawford)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Miller Brewing Screwing Women

It's no secret. Women are still undervalued in most work places versus men. Often hospitals will have both janitors and housekeepers. The job is basically the same, cleaning up medical waste and filth, but janitors (also called environmental services) are almost entirely men and housekeepers entirely women. Janitors and ES positions almost always pay more than housekeeping positions with the main difference being the gender difference.

Below is an AFL-CIO press release that proves this old maxim still holds strong in Miller Brewing. I strongly urge you to make a quick phone call or send an email telling management at Miller Brewing that women deserve the retirement they worked for their entire lives...just as the men.

Towards the end of Nat'l Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, a scene (meant to loosely mock It's a Wonderful Life), has the wife of a kidnapped CEO running into a room of family members upset with the boss for eliminating the annual Xmas bonus. When she finds out why the family has kidnapped her husband on Xmas Eve, she exclaims angrily, "You didn't! Of all the lousy ways to save a buck..."

Well, stripping the retirement benefits from primarily women in your company with an average time employed of over 25 years is the lousiest way I can think of to save a buck.

Miller needs to treat the women in its employ equally. The women picketed Corporate Headquarters today (it's cold, they're really mad), I'll let you know when and where the next one is so we can as a community go out and support them.

Apparently, everything is "Man Law" to Miller, but the irony is not lost on them... They suddenly and without warning canned the Man Law ads today.


SAB/Miller Union Women Fight for Pensions
Miller Brewing President and CEO Tom Long needs to learn that discrimiation against women at the bargaining table can cost Miller revenue. Please e-mail Tom Long at tlong2@mbco.com and tell Miller that women office workers bring just as much to Miller Brewing as our union brothers. Women depend on their pensions just as much as men. Women buy a lot of the beer too! You can also leave a message for Tom Long by calling 414-931-3927.

In its final offer to the Office and Professional Employees International Union, Local 35, SAB/Miller underscored its willingness to treat union, primarily female, office workers as second class employees by freezing their pensions. Most OPEIU Local 35 members are within 5 to 10 years of retirement and average 25 or more years of service. The freeze comes at a time when it will hurt these workers the most, right before retirement.

While reaching agreements this year with ALL of its mostly male union workforce to maintain and substantially improve retirement benefits, SAB/Miller chose to treat its female office workers differently. In four major contract settlements this year with the UAW and Teamsters, the company never even proposed a freeze for current employees. SAB Miller chose to discriminate against its female union workforce by:

  • Freezing the retirement benefits available to union women workers;
  • Continuing and improving retirement benefits to ALL predominately male unions;
  • Limiting and FREEZING the pension plan for the OPEIU at 60% of what it offers its male union workforce;
  • Offering the women 25% less on a replacement 401K plan.

As a worldwide employer of thousands of employees, SAB/Miller has a corporate responsibility to the members of OPEIU Local 35 who need their pensions for a secure retirement. With revenues in excess of $15.3 billion dollars and profits in excess of $2.9 billion dollars, SAB/Miller can well afford to meet its retirement obligations. Please join us in our struggle to get SAB/Miller to make the right choice and honor its retirement commitments to these female workers.
OPEIU Local 35
Milwaukee, WI


Anonymous said...

Ever since Phillip Morris sold Miller Brewing Co., to South African Breweries (SAB), they have been successful in taking away benefits and working rights that their American work force had gained over the years.
It obvious that they have no respect for their American work force, and you always hear from the management how we have to compete with their breweries in in South Africa, and China. Well guess what SAB MILLER, your employees do not live in a third world country, and OPEIU LOCAL # 35 is not only fight for the clerical workers in Milwaukee, but is fighting for the entire work force that had been abused by this foreign ownership of an American company. GOD BLESS OPEIU LOCAL # 35 LEADERSHIP AND ITS MEMBERS!!!

Anonymous said...

Renee - your posting on this seems to be one of the most prominent when searching the web for this issue. Would it be possible for you to post an update? April 19 and 20 (when negotiations were to continue) has come and gone, with no word. The OPEIU is still working without a contract; Miller's sales are still flat, and now they have moved their Executive VP to London for personal reasons and 'development.' Thanks if you can, and thanks even if it's not possible. Keep up the good work.