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G&K Strike Going Strong

G&K Strike Going Strong

April 3, 2002

Despite federally mediated talks on April 2 between Teamsters Local 435 and G&K Laundry Services, bargaining for a new labor agreement for striking workers has stalled.

Some 115 members of Local 435 walked out at midnight April 1 at G&K in Denver after negotiations for a new contract broke down. Members passed a strike vote after issues about wages, health care and management's lack of respect for its unionized workforce couldn't be resolved at the bargaining table.

Roughly 95 percent of the strikers are Hispanic women, who have been represented by the union for 15 years. With an average hourly wage of $8.54, half of the workers—many of them single mothers—cannot afford the $30.95 weekly premium for health insurance.

“Strikers are in good spirits and are unified in their determination to secure a fair and equitable labor agreement,” said Steve Vairma, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 435. Vairma said the union has garnered support from members of Congress and the City Council.

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