The International Brotherhood of Teamsters won a major decision issued by National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Administrative Law Judge Keltner W. Locke last week. Judge Locke ordered pharmaceutical giant McKesson to immediately reinstate fired Teamster workers and to stop soliciting employees to decertify their union.
McKesson workers in Lakeland voted to join the Teamsters despite an aggressive anti-union campaign back in 2011. However, union workers still do not have a first contract three years after voting for union representation. The workers say they are fighting for fair compensation and affordable health care. Judge Locke’s ruling finds that McKesson illegally plotted to solicit employees to sign a petition to decertify the union.
“The workers at McKesson have stayed strong despite being harassed, coerced, and denied their federally-protected rights,” said Ken Wood, Teamsters International Vice President and President of Teamsters Local Union 79. “Now that the NLRB has ruled against the decertification, hopefully the workers will get the protections of a fair first contract that they deserve.”
The ruling also found that McKesson unlawfully fired 13-year employee Glenn Gray after he confronted McKesson CEO John Hammergren at the company’s shareholder meeting in July 2013. At the meeting, Gray challenged Hammergren, who receives about $50 million a year in total compensation and has one of the highest reported pensions of any executive, to address the dire situation in Lakeland.
“A majority of my co-workers cannot even afford to participate in the company’s health care plan or to contribute anything out of their paychecks to the company’s 401(k) plan,” Gray said.
In a major decision, the judge ordered McKesson to fully reinstate and provide back pay to both Gray and another employee who was illegally terminated for union activity.
“I’m looking forward to returning to my job at McKesson. All we ask is that McKesson treat us with respect for our dedication to the company,” Gray said. “A fair first contract would ensure that we get our fair pay and benefits for our years of hard work.”
McKesson is America’s largest wholesale pharmaceutical distributor, and reported $122.5 billion in total revenue and $1.3 billion in net income for FY 2013. McKesson CEO John Hammergren has received more than $500 million in total compensation—averaging about $50 million a year since 2001. Hammergren’s pension is currently valued at $114 million.
Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.