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300 Motts Workers Strike Over Wage, 401(k) Cuts

Mon, 05/24/2010 - 4:30am

WILLIAMSON, N.Y. (AP) — About 300 workers at a Mott's apple juice plant in western New York have gone on strike over proposed wage and benefit reductions.

The unionized hourly employees at the Mott's plant in Williamson, 20 miles east of Rochester, walked off the job Sunday after contract negotiations on Friday failed to reach an agreement.

The company has proposed cutting hourly wages by $1.50, eliminating pensions for future employees and reducing 401(k) contributions.

Mott's is owned by the Texas-based Doctor Pepper Snapple Group. A company spokesman said temporary workers will be brought in to resume operations.

The company said the hourly workers at the plant are paid significantly more than the average manufacturing wage in the Rochester region.

Officials with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union said it was unfair for Mott to demand givebacks when it is earning high profits.

"We are tired of being juiced by such a profitable company, and will stand by our members until the bitter end," said Michael Leberth, president of Local 220.

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