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Coors to honor standing labor agreements after merger.

Coors to honor standing labor agreements after merger

If the sale of Stroh Brewery Co. to Coors Brewing Co. is completed, it will mark the first time in 12 years Coors products will be produced by union workers.

A spokeswoman for Coors said it will honor union agreements but isn't sure yet whether any employees will be laid off.

"We will honor those contracts," Cary Baird, a Coors spokewoman said. "We don't know how many employees we're taking on and how many we need."

In 1977, the Brewery Workers Union was voted out as employee representative at Coors following an unsuccessful strike, which triggered a 10-year boycott of Coors products by the AFL-CIO.

In August, 1987, the AFL-CIO and Coors signed a pact allowing the unions to campaign and organize Coors employees. However, brewery workers overwhelmingly voted against affiliating with the Teamsters in December.

"Our company has traditionally supported our employees' right to choose whether they want union representation and we will continue to endorse that philosophy," said Coors Brewing Co. president Peter Coors.

Lorrie McHugh, an AFL-CIO spokeswoman in Washington, said, "Our concern anytime there is a takeover is that the workers' jobs are preserved. It does not matter if it is Coors or anyone else, there is always the danger of losing jobs anytime there is a takeover.

"As far as union jobs, I hope any new management would work with the existing work force, union or non-union."

Some union officials said they were pleased with the agreement.

"(Coors') basic concern is going to be to sell beer," said Dan Bryant, secretary-treasury, Teamsters Local 792, which represents some workers at the Stroh brewery in St. Paul. "The sale itself indicates to me that Stroh was looking for a way out, and, to me, consolidating works to the benefit of everyone."

Ray Fults, business manager, Teamsters Local 388, which represents about 100 production and packaging workers at a Stroh brewery in Tampa, FL said, "We're tickled."
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Title Annotation:Coors Brewing Co.
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Oct 23, 1989
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