Georgia Nestle Workers Ratify First RWDSU Contract

Today, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), announced that the workers at Nestlé’s logistics and shipping center in McDonough, Georgia, voted overwhelmingly to ratify their first contract. After winning an NLRB conducted election in April 2017, workers improved conditions at the facility, won a voice and fair treatment in the workplace, as well as job security and guaranteed wage increases through their first collective bargaining agreement. The team at the Southeast Council of the RWDSU worked tirelessly through natural disasters in the area, and in a politically challenging climate to amplify over 100 workers’ voices in the Nestlé workplace. Through it all, the Southeast Council persisted and secured a first contact for workers in negotiations with Nestlé.

This announcement comes just days ahead of the RWDSU’s 23rd quadrennial convention in Atlanta, Georgia a key location for the union as it continues to organize in Right to Work states, win a union voice for workers in previously anti-union workplaces, and strong contracts across the south in food processing and distribution.

“Nestlé is an international household name, but just because their warehouse and distribution workers don’t interact with customers doesn’t mean they don’t deserve dignity in the workplace. Today these workers got the respect they deserve,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President, Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Union (RWDSU). “I am proud of our member-led negotiations committee, which was able to secure the basic human dignity they suffered without for decades.”

“The people of Georgia are fighters, and the workers at Nestlé here in McDonough are a strong force for change – and I could not be prouder to work with them to secure their first contract,” Edgar Fields, President of the Southeast Council, RWDSU said. “Absolutely nothing could stop our new members from fighting for the critical provisions of their first contract – it doesn’t solve everything, but it is a great first contract that lays a strong foundation for workers to get the seniority recognition, guaranteed wage increases, and a voice in the workplace that they needed and deserved.”

The ratification of this, the first contract for Nestlé workers in McDonough, Georgia, was conducted on Sunday, February 18, 2018 and was approved by an overwhelming margin of 94%. RWDSU represents over 100 workers at the distribution center where the members handle shipping and logistics for Nestlé and handle food product packaging, and truck and train loading at the facility. Nestle workers first voted to join the union on April 5, 2017.