“My Dad was a Teamster for 35 years, so I knew that we could have real benefits and a stable working environment,” said Fred Makus, a dairy delivery driver and a member of Teamsters Local 690, Spokane, Wash. Makus is part of a unit of drivers at Estenson Logistics which deliver dairy products for Darigold, Inc. which voted to be represented by the Teamsters in the fall of 2011 and ratified their first contract late last year.
With approximately 30 drivers in the unit, Estenson supplies Darigold products to area businesses, schools and big box stores such as Target.
Darigold decided to contract the delivery of its product to Estenson Logistics, who immediately cut wages and benefits. Immediately thereafter, the employees reached out to the Local 690 for assistance.
“We knew we needed stronger representation,” Makus said. “And the officers of Local 690 jumped right in and helped us.”
“The benefits we receive as Teamster members are the most important part of the contract for me,” said Kaui Pilimia, a 3-year delivery driver and proud member of Local 690. “Morale has improved here and the brotherhood at the company is stronger.”
The drivers at Estenson join the approximately 400 other drivers from the grocery and food service industries across the region that are represented by Local 690.
“Our earliest dairy contracts date to the 1920’s,” said Val Holstrom, Secretary-Treasurer. “We are proud to have the Estenson drivers in Local 690. They stood strong and supported each other and their bargaining committee for over a year to get a contract that guarantees security, dignity and respect in the workplace. I’d like to thank Joint Council 28 for their support and especially Secretary-Treasurer Tracy Thompson and the staff of Local 117 for their assistance in our efforts.”