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Business, Economy and Consumer Affairs

Pepsi Driver Union Strike Drags On More Than Two Weeks

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A union worker pickets outside a Pepsi bottling facility in Munster, Indiana as a truck leaves the driveway. (Justin Hicks/IPB News)

More than 100 drivers at a Pepsi bottling facility in northwest Indiana have been on strike for over two weeks now, fighting against a proposed increase in health care costs. 

The union said health plan costs would gradually increase to about five times as much as workers are paying now. Although some drivers were offered a raise, they said it would be negated by the increases in health care costs. As negotiations continue, union leaders said they've gotten international union bosses and corporate leadership involved too. 

Matt Tchoukaleff is a trustee of the Teamsters Local 142. He said the decision to strike isn't something they take lightly since missed work means missed paychecks. 

"It's a very big deal," he said. "We have members who only have one income in the family and that's even harder for them because that one income ain't coming in right now." 

Pepsi told the Times of Northwest Indiana the strike is “highly unusual and disruptive” since the disputed contract was previously agreed on with union leaders.

Contact reporter Justin at jhicks@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.