Avis Budget Group shuttle drivers at the Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco, Wash. voted 8-4 in favor of Teamster representation this week. The unit of 12 drivers came together to win the same benefits enjoyed by their Teamster coworkers who are Avis customer service staff and car washers. With shuttle drivers now in the union, Teamsters Local 839 now represents all 24 Avis workers at the airport.
“This was definitely a worker committee-driven effort. The drivers saw the benefits their coworkers have, including paid holidays and uniform allowances, and they decided to get organized,” said Local 839 business agent Jaime Olvera.
Olvera added that with the new group of drivers, Local 839 now represents Avis workers wall-to-wall at the airport, putting workers in a stronger position as an expansion of the airport gets underway.
Avis shuttle drivers said the company had a long time to resolve their issues regarding lack of benefits and job security, but the company didn’t start listening to them until they filed for their union election. Avis ran an anti-union campaign, which included captive audience meetings, but the drivers held together in favor of Teamster representation.
“We are happy to welcome these drivers into the Teamster family and we look forward to negotiating a strong contract for them with good benefits,” said Olvera.