Members of Puerto Rico’s IAM Local 2725 Negotiating Committee recently completed a week-long negotiation preparation course ahead of collective bargaining for a new labor contract covering Frito-Lay salesmen (vendedores) at PepsiCo Caribbean, Inc.

The hands-on negotiation preparation, held in San Juan, was extremely valuable, said Jose Rodriquez Baez, Service Representative.

The panel was comprised of many first-time bargaining committee members. The lessons were taught in Spanish by instructors such as Jorge Bonilla from the IAM’s Winpisinger Center, Associate General Counsel Laura Ewan, Strategic Resources Senior Research Economist Peter Greenberg and Southern Territory Grand Lodge Representative Javier Almazan.

Negotiation committee members participated in simulated bargaining sessions that could be applied to real negotiations talks to come. Lessons included membership communication, drafting contract language, presenting proposals, analysis of the company and identifying sources of leverage in negotiations. 

“These training are viable and allow us to negotiate better collective bargaining agreements for our members in Puerto Rico,” said Juan Negron, Special Assistant to the International President.  

The committee members are expected to start contract negotiations in early September to replace a current labor contract that expires on Oct. 18.

The committee is seeking a new contract that will improve wages, as well as working conditions and the length of the workday.

“Puerto Rico is a strong and growing part of our union. These in-person, hands-on negotiation prep courses are very valuable for our members to get the best contracts,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Rickey Wallace. “I’d like to thank the Local 2725 negotiating committee and the Winpisinger Center Director Chris Wagoner, General Counsel Carla Siegel and the Strategic Resources staff for their work preparing for these important negotiations.”

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