Anheuser-Busch and Teamsters Reach Tentative Agreement
ST. LOUIS, Oct. 7 2008 - Anheuser-Busch, Inc. (NYSE:BUD) and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters have reached a tentative agreement on a five-year contract covering more than 5,000 full-time employees at the company’s 12 U.S. breweries.
The tentative agreement includes all local, national and economic issues and provides the company with flexibility to maintain maximum efficiency in its operations, while recognizing the contributions of Teamster brewery workers. The Brewery and Soft Drink Workers Conference, the Teamsters National Bargaining Committee and all locals unanimously have recommended the agreement for ratification. A vote is expected in November.
Terms of the agreement include wage increases in each year of the contract, excellent health benefits for employees and their families, increased life insurance coverage and the renewal of the company’s contractual commitment to keep all 12 U.S. breweries open for the life of the agreement. When ratified, the contract will be binding, and will remain in place once the company completes its planned merger with InBev.
“We’re pleased to have an agreement that gives our employees generous pay and benefits, while helping our company prepare for the future,” said August A. Busch IV, president and chief executive officer of Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. “Reaching an early agreement reflects the strong relationship Anheuser-Busch and the Teamsters have built over the years. Anheuser-Busch values the hard work and ingenuity of our employees, and we’re proud to offer a compensation package for our workers that ranks among the best in American industry.”
The tentative agreement includes a total wage increase of 15 percent over the life of the agreement.
The company will continue to provide excellent health benefits to employees for the life of the contract, while also containing health-care cost inflation for the company. The tentative agreement also includes Flexible Spending Accounts, and an annual wellness incentive program offering a potential annual benefit of $250 for employees who complete a health risk assessment and appointment with their primary care physician.
The tentative agreement also calls for Anheuser-Busch to provide life insurance benefit amounts, in company-administered plans, of $100,000 for employees, $50,000 for spouse and $10,000 for dependents.
The current contract expires Feb. 29, 2009. Ratification of the agreement on the first vote will result in a $1,000 bonus for employees. The company’s contractual commitment to keep all 12 U.S. breweries open for the life of the contract also is contingent on first-vote ratification.
Based in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch is the leading American brewer, holding a 48.5 percent share of U.S. beer sales. The company brews the world’s largest-selling beers, Budweiser and Bud Light. Anheuser-Busch also owns a 50 percent share in Grupo Modelo, Mexico’s leading brewer, and a 27 percent share in China brewer Tsingtao, whose namesake beer brand is the country’s best-selling premium beer. Anheuser-Busch ranked No. 1 among beverage companies in FORTUNE Magazine’s Most Admired U.S. and Global Companies lists in 2008. Anheuser-Busch is one of the largest theme park operators in the United States, is a major manufacturer of aluminum cans and one of the world’s largest recyclers of aluminum cans. For more information, visit http://www.anheuser-busch.com/.
Source: Anheuser-Busch, Inc.