In consecutive victories two weeks apart, more than 300 workers at Standard Parking in the Boston area joined Local 25. With these latest victories, Local 25 now represents about one-quarter of the workers in the Boston parking industry and aims to organize more workers.
In late October, 270 attendants, cashiers and valet workers employed by Standard at 42 locations joined the union. Workers voted by a more than 2-1 margin to form their union.
Two weeks later, 35 bus and shuttle drivers employed by Standard voted to join Local 25. The drivers work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Cambridge Health Alliance, which serves three hospitals.
“These latest victories at Standard illustrate how parking workers in Greater Boston want a strong voice on the job and want to be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve,” said Sean M. O’Brien, President and principal officer of Local 25.
The Standard workers want job security, respect, fair pay, full-time work and more vacation time. Many of the workers are immigrants, particularly from countries in East Africa.
“During the past year, we have organized nearly 650 parking workers and we will continue to organize so that these hardworking men and women, who work under challenging conditions, are treated fairly,” O’Brien said.
“We worked hard on this campaign and we remained strong and united. We are happy to be Teamsters and we look forward to negotiating a strong first contract with Standard Parking,” said Mohamed Ibrahim, a Standard Parking worker originally from Somalia who works at a parking lot in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood.
“We go to work every day and work hard for the company and all we want is to be treated fairly,” said Tarik Farhat, a worker at Standard Parking at Cambridge Health Alliance who is originally from Morocco. “Right now, we don’t have the job security and fair treatment that we deserve. We look forward to fairness and respect as Teamsters.”
“As Teamsters, we have a brighter future and soon we will have our rights and protections in writing with a union contract,” said Biniam Meshesha, a native of Ethiopia, who works at Standard Parking at Boston University. “We know that with the power of the Teamsters, we will get management to listen to us. In the past, we didn’t have any say in our jobs. I am proud to be a Teamster.”
In February 2012, 334 workers at Central Parking in the Boston area joined Local 25. The latest victories build even more momentum for the Boston campaign.
“It is great to have the parking workers part of our Local 25 family and we look forward to winning them a more secure future,” O’Brien said.
Local 25 is part of the Teamsters National Parking Council, an organization of local unions that represent Teamster men and women employed in the parking industry and related fields. The council is part of the Industrial Trades Division and it helps local unions take on the dominance of several national parking companies in the industry.
The council has identified nearly 30,000 Teamsters employed in the parking industry, while estimating another 60,000 workers who are unorganized.
“We know that with the power of the Teamsters, we will get management to listen to us.” –Biniam Meshesha