Puerto Rico Snack Stockers Vote IAM, Win Direct Employment

02 19 2015 puertorico

Ninety workers at Pepsi Co./Frito-Lay in Puerto Rico celebrate their overwhelming vote to become members of IAM Local 2725.

Ninety more workers in Puerto Rico have voted by a 94 percent margin to join the IAM.

The Frito-Lay snack stockers were working on a temporary basis before organizing with the IAM. They will now become direct employees of Pepsi Co./Frito-Lay and the newest members of IAM Local 2725.

The IAM already represents more than 150 IAM Frito-Lay drivers and vendors in Puerto Rico.

“These merchandisers saw the benefits and experiences of the bargaining unit who are currently represented by the IAM at Frito-Lay,” said José “Lole” Rodríguez Báez, an IAM Business Representative in Puerto Rico. “The victory in this unit of 90 new members gives us more strength to improve working conditions and benefits, since these members were previously contracted by temp agencies with no benefits or job security.”

The IAM has been successful organizing in Puerto Rico because of its commitment to education, said IAM Grand Lodge Representative Javier Almazan.

“What’s making the difference to the organizing success we are having in Puerto Rico is the fact that the local lodge leadership and rank-and-file members who have attended the IAM’s William W. Winpisinger Center understand how important organizing is for our survival,” said Almazan. “Local 2725 also understands that union density gives you bargaining power. The Spanish Organizing class has helped expand the organizing effort as more members of the local leadership are working organizing leads.”

“Business Representative José Rodríguez Báez and Local 2725 President Raul Rosario deserve our congratulations for an outstanding job,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Mark Blondin. “Welcome to our newest members in Puerto Rico.”