Members of Teamsters Local 174 working at Portland, Oregon-based Columbia Distributing came together recently to ratify what the union is calling an “industry-leading contract.”
The five-year agreement includes record-setting wage and pension increases, along with “outstanding” medical benefits to approximately 310 warehouse and delivery employees.
This contract settlement comes on the heels of a unanimous strike vote that left workers on the brink of a work stoppage. This new contract averts a strike, and makes these drivers and warehouse workers among the highest paid in the beverage industry.
“This is great news for the company, our employees and ultimately, our customers,” said Chris Steffanci, president and CEO. “We are pleased that our represented employees have solidly backed a fair contract that not only recognizes their contributions but aligns their wages and benefits with Columbia Distributing’s competitive compensation packages.”
The contract includes provisions that will allow members to choose different types of jobs and routes based on seniority, improved safety protections and expanded sick leave time.
“It was a difficult challenge to get to this contract, but we are proud that we were able to deliver such a strong contract for our members at Columbia Distributing,” said Teamsters Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks. “The solidarity and determination of these members was consistently on display. Day shift, night shift, warehouse workers and drivers all stood proudly together to vote unanimously in favor of a strike, and that was the wake-up call Columbia management needed to motivate them to do right by these workers. They stepped up, and our members will now be working under one of the strongest union contracts in the beverage industry.”
The new contract went into effect July 17, retroactive to March 1, and will extend through Feb. 28, 2026.
Founded in 1909, Teamsters Local 174 represents 8,600 working men and women in Seattle, Washington and the surrounding areas. Find more information on Facebook at facebook.com/TeamstersLocal174.