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    Shakeups at SABMiller Get Settled

    The company names new president and CEO; after threats of a possible strike last week, union members accept a three year contract.

    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Tom Long will succeed Norman Adami as the president and CEO for Miller Brewing Co., The Business Journal of Milwaukee reported. Along with the appointment, effective Aug. 1, Long will join the SABMiller executive committee.

    Long joined SABMiller in July of 2005 as the chief marketing officer. At that time, he replaced Bob Mikulay, who retired. Before joining SABMiller, Long was the president for Coca-Cola's northwest European division.

    Outgoing president and CEO Norman Adami was promoted to the newly-created position of president and CEO of SABMiller Americas. There, he will be responsible for the existing businesses in North, Central and South Americas. These businesses are estimated to contribute to 40 percent of group volumes and 50 percent of sales revenue for fiscal 2006, the newspaper reported. Adami will be based out of Milwaukee.

    In other SABMiller news, the International Brotherhood of Teamster's members working at SABMiller locations in North Carolina and Texas have voted to accept a three-year contract that will keep health care and increase wages for teamster workers.

    Early last week, Teamsters threatened to strike when Miller refused their healthcare proposal. At that time, Jack Cipriani, the Teamster's international vice president and director of the Brewery and Soft Drink Workers Conference, said, "By thumbing its nose at a cost savings plan that would contribute millions to SABMiller's bottom line and address the healthcare needs of Miller workers, the company is risking a wide-spread work stoppage that will undoubtedly harm its strategy to recover U.S. market share."

    "Our members have worked hard to earn SABMiller record profits, yet SABMiller still wants us to pay more for healthcare. It's enough to make you fight," he added.

    Distributors in Milwaukee, Chicago, New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Minneapolis were alerted that a strike was unavoidable. Until the last day of negotiations, SABMiller kept its demand of $200 per month for any teamster employee to be covered under the company's health insurance plan. Instead, the company chose to convert to the union health plan, saving $13.5 million in insurance costs over the three-year term and eliminating any teamster's loss of coverage, according to the Teamsters.

    Under this agreement, workers will not pay a monthly premium for healthcare until the last nine weeks of the three-year contract.

    Similar negotiations continue at the company's Irwindale, Calif.-based plant. The Teamsters are involved in that contract as well.

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