Tell Mott's You Want Your Apple Sauce Without Classism

close up portrait of a young adult female wearing a name tag stating she is underpaid

On May 23, three hundred workers from Mott’s apple sauce and juice plant in Williamson, New York, went on strike. Their complaint? A major slash in pay and benefits -- even though Dr. Pepper Snapple, the parent company of Mott’s, brought in a record profit last year.

90 days and plenty of news coverage later, the Mott’s strike has taken on a deeper significance. It’s about the little man standing up to the big corporation, the indefatigable machine operator holding her ground in spite of the monumental odds stacked against her.

And fundamentally, it’s about the role of unions in today’s suffering economy. After all, writes the New York Times, “If the Mott’s workers lose this showdown, it could prompt other profitable companies to push for major labor concessions.”

As a descendent of union sympathizers -- my grandpa used to frequent the picket lines and taught my father that people are infinitely more important that profits -- I’m both saddened and thrilled by the Mott’s boycott. Three hundred principled employees out of work for three months, quickly replaced by hundreds of temporary workers? That’s pretty depressing.

But tens of thousands of everyday Americans standing in solidarity with people they’ve never met, promising to throw their consumer power behind workers' rights, not profit maximization?

Call me old-fashioned, but that’s beautiful beyond words.

Tell Mott's You Want Your Apple Sauce Without Classism

(reprinted from’s Poverty in America blog)

Apple sauce: (noun) 1. a puree of stewed apples, usually sweetened or spiced with sugar, cinnamon, and —- if produced by Mott's -— overt classism

I love my apple sauce. Who could dislike that gooey blend of sweet and tart flavors, especially when the word "apple" —- the posterchild for health and longevity -— is right there at the beginning of the phrase? Sugar and a Methuselah-like life span? Count me in.

But not all brands of apple sauce deserve my patronage. The wealthy executives of Mott's, America's self-proclaimed "leading producer of healthy apple sauce," have recently demonstrated their outright contempt for fair wages by insisting on downsizing employee pay at Mott's Williamson, New York, plant by a full $1.50 an hour -— not to mention eliminating pensions for future employees, freezing pensions for current employees, decreasing employer contributions to 401(k)s by 20 percent, and increasing employee contributions toward health care premiums and co-pays.

This wage cut and benefits reduction comes just one year after Mott's reaped a record $555 million in profit.

The icing on the cake? Executives from Dr. Pepper Snapple, Mott's corporate owner, justified the slash in compensation by telling workers to think of themselves as a "commodity," like "soybeans or oil," whose value had dropped. Pay no attention to the booming profit margin behind the company curtain. Tell Mott's you won't be buying its products until it reinstates full pay for striking employees.

With the support of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), 300 Mott's workers from the Williamson plant have gone on strike, demanding a reinstatement of their wages and benefits. If you support fair wages, stand with them by boycotting Mott's products. (Can't go without your summer apple sauce? Here's an easy recipe you can make at home in the meantime.)

Want to make life even tougher for Dr. Pepper Snapple execs? Follow these two easy steps:

  • Save this image to your computer and use it as your profile image on Facebook.
  • Sign our petition telling Dr. Pepper Snapple executives to reinstate full pay and benefits for striking Mott's workers.

America's the land of hard workers, not greedy CEOs. Help show Dr. Pepper Snapple who's really boss -— take action now!

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Charlotte Hill
Read my posts on's Poverty in America and Human Rights blogs.
Email me at


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