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First on FOX 61: Contract disputes lead to lockout for local beer truck drivers

EAST HARTFORD – Truck drivers at Rogo Distributors in East Hartford were locked out from their jobs at 5 p.m. on Monday.

Rogo delivers various beer brands in Connecticut including Coors and Guinness.

Months of contract negotiations between the union, Teamsters Local 1035, and Rogo led to the stalemate. Employees would be looking at nearly a 50 percent cut to the paychecks, according to union representatives.

This would involve cuts to pensions and wages and increases to medical costs.

“In total, the reductions they want to do are roughly around $40,000,” said Chris Roos, principal officer for the union. “The contract they want us to accept is substandard.”

Roos said employees will be able to file for unemployment as the lockout continues, but there is no word on how long that could last.

Rogo Distributors said, “no comment.”

“It’s just been one stalemate after another,” said Michael Royce, who has been driving trucks for Rogo for 18 years.

“We’re all upset,” said Royce. “We want to work. That’s what we do, it’s how we make our living, pay for everything, take care of our kids. And he’s got us locked out.”

Royce and his wife, who also works, live paycheck to paycheck, supporting their two children.

“We’re middle class or working poor, whatever you want to call us,” he said. “We need both incomes.”

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