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Strike Enters 1st Month

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The strike started on June 25 when both sides claim negotiations broke down.

An inland area union and brewery Anheuser-Busch say they are far from the negotiating table. Months of negotiations broke down between the two sides, before Teamsters Local Union 166 and 120 Anheuser-Busch employees decided to go on strike. The brewer wants employees to switch from straight hourly pay to base pay plus commission.

Anheuser-Busch Region Vice President said in an email statement their “offer is one of the best wage and benefit packages in our industry in the Riverside area.” The statement also said “the majority of employees,” under the new payment structure earn more than before. Teamsters 166 official Mike Bergen said that is not true.

“We would end up losing money,” said Bergen. “We want a fair and equitable contract.” He said the new contract would also reduce benefits to current retirees. Anheuser-Busch said this is their final offer. The company has hired temporary workers in the meantime.

“We want to go back to work,” said 20-year-employee Ray Garon. “They’re cutting our wages pretty much... they’re trying to screw us basically.”

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