Coffee plant workers in east Houston walk off job to protest planned pay cuts

Workers at a coffee plant in east Houston are off the job over concerns they're facing lower wages (ABC13/Marvin Suggs)
October 10, 2013 7:29:48 AM PDT
Workers at a coffee plant on the eastside walked off the job overnight. They say they're striking because their employers asked them to take a pay cut and are trying to do away with overtime.

At midnight, the estimated 250 workers went on strike, at the Maximus Coffee Plant in east Houston.

About 100 of them stayed behind and have been here throughout the night protesting. They say they are upset because they claim they are facing lower wages among other things. The workers were not able to speak with us, but according to their union representative, they want what they consider fair.

Along with the pay cuts, Rick Alleman, a union representative tells Eyewitness News the workers are facing a changing health insurance policy with much higher premiums. They also claim the company wants to pay them 'regular pay' for holidays, instead of time and a half.

"These employees over half of them haven't had a real raise since 2009. And now they have on the table that they want pay cuts from anywhere from 25 to 50 percent from employees," Alleman said. "That's the reason why we're out here. We're taking strike action. The employees are behind us and we're going to do what we have to do. We want the company to come to the table. We want a fair wage. We don't want to be treated like a Third World company."

This facility in Houston is the company's US headquarters and again an estimated 250 people work at this plant. This plant used to be Maxwell House plant but it was bought out by the Maximus Coffee Group, a private company.

We have reached out to Maximus Coffee for a comment overnight, but have not yet received a response.

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