Anchor Management, Workers Celebrate Signing of First Contract at One of the Most Iconic Breweries in the United States
The Progressive Contract Provides Wage Increases and New Benefits for Both Full and Part-Time Employees
Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 6, have approved the first union contract in the history of 123-year-old Anchor Brewing Company, widely considered to be the leader of the American craft beer revolution.
Today, 62 workers at Anchor Brewing Company, which produces San Francisco’s world-famous Steam® Beer, and includes Anchor Public Taps, the company’s brew pub, voted to ratify a three-year contract negotiated jointly with Anchor Brewing, owned by Sapporo Holdings, makers of Japan’s oldest beer brand.
"This is an important chapter in the history of the ILWU and in the history of one of the most storied and beloved beers in America," said ILWU International Vice President Bobby Olvera Jr. "We believe that being a union-made beer is a selling point for Anchor. When people drink Anchor, they’ll be supporting fair wages and benefits for the workers who make and serve this outstanding and unique product."
"We look forward to a strong future together with the newly formed union," said Scott Ungermann, Brewmaster for Anchor Brewing Company. "Anchor has a storied history and enduring commitment to making great beers and valuing the people who brew them."
Key components of the Anchor union contract include:
- Substantial compensation increases for employees over the next 3 years. (Increase amounts vary based on seniority and position, but in the first year of the contract, on average, workers represented by ILWU Local 6 will receive an approximate 8% increase in wages and benefits).
- Time and a half pay for all employees who work on a company recognized holiday.
- Maintenance of quality health insurance, with Anchor paying 85% of the premium for employees and 50% for dependents.
- Enhanced 401(k) with additional employer contributions tied to brewery production to promote shared interest.
- Paid 1/2 hour lunch periods instead of unpaid lunch breaks, which are the industry norm.
- Paid Time Off now extended to part-time workers, formerly only full timers qualified.
- Pay for a portion of any sick time that employees accrue beyond their cap on hours for both full- and part-time employees.
As an example of the wage increases afforded to employees under the new contract, junior workers in the Brewery will receive an immediate increase from $16.50 per hour to $18.50 per hour as of January 1, 2020. By the end of the third year of the contract, they will be earning a little over $21 an hour.
At Public Taps, the majority of the bartenders and bar backs will receive an immediate increase from $15.60 an hour to $18.25 an hour as of January 1, 2020, and by the end of the contract they will be making an average of nearly $20 an hour.
The unparalleled history of San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing Company can be traced all the way back to the California Gold Rush. In 1965, Fritz Maytag rescued the brewery from imminent bankruptcy, and kept the legacy of San Francisco’s Steam Beer alive. Before long, Anchor had pioneered the introduction of several entirely new and distinctive beer styles and, though the terms "microbrewing" and "craft brewing" had yet to be coined, it was clear that Anchor was leading a brewing revolution in San Francisco that would eventually spread across the country.
In 2017, Anchor was purchased by Sapporo. Sapporo employees at the company’s breweries in Japan and Canada have been represented by unions for many years and, now, San Francisco’s legendary brewery has joined that list.
ILWU Local 6, based in Oakland, represents a broad spectrum of workers at companies including Guittard Chocolate, Heath Ceramics, and Gallo wine distribution, so organizing the brewery was a natural fit. Anchor Brewery and Public Taps workers voted to join the ILWU in March 2019.
About Anchor Brewing Company
Anchor Brewing Company’s roots date to the California Gold Rush, making it one of America’s oldest brewers. Its Anchor Steam® Beer is San Francisco’s original since 1896. In 1965, Fritz Maytag acquired and revived the struggling brewery at a time when mass production of beer dominated and seemed unstoppable. Maytag started a revolution in beer that originated today’s craft beer movement. An undisputed icon, Anchor is America’s first craft brewery where beers are handmade in our traditional cooper brew house from an all-malt mash. At Anchor, the company practices the time-honored art of classical brewing while employing state-of-the-art methods to ensure that its beers are always pure and fresh. For more information, visit www.anchorbrewing.com.
About ILWU Local 6
Warehouse Union Local 6—affiliated with the International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union—represents workers in manufacturing, warehousing, health care and recycling industries throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Founded in 1937, Local 6 has proudly sustained its founding principles of democratic control of the union by its members in stern defense of worker rights.
Singer Associates Public Relations San Francisco
Blake Dahlstrom, ILWU Local 6 Member and Public Taps Bartender:
(843) 323-5688, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jon Ezell, ILWU Local 6 Member and Anchor Brewer:
(831) 595-6530, email@example.com
Ryan Enright, ILWU Local 6 Member and Anchor Racking Lead:
(510) 499-4617, firstname.lastname@example.org