(HOUSTON) – Workers at WCA Waste Corporation in Houston, who are seeking fair wages, job security and safer working conditions, voted today to join Teamsters Local 988. The vote was 90 to 28.
The group of 130 drivers, helpers and general laborers is currently the only unionized private sector waste haulers in Texas.
“We have wanted this for so long,” said Luis Garcia, a driver for the past 11 years. “We want fair hourly wages and fair working conditions and the proper training and equipment so that we can do our very dangerous job safely.”
“For far too long this group of workers, primarily immigrants and Spanish speakers, as well as African-Americans, have struggled to achieve the American Dream because of the company’s abhorrent policies and working conditions,” said Robert Mele, President of Local 988 in Houston. “We will work hard to negotiate a contract that addresses the workers’ concerns.”
Mele praised the workers for standing united despite an anti-worker campaign waged by the company.
“I would like to personally thank Jeff Farmer and the IBT Organizing Department for the hard work that has been put into WCA’s organizing campaign over the last few months. Without the skills of his organizers, these workers would have never been able to withstand such a vicious anti-union campaign,” Mele said.
“Texas is a right-to-work state and we saw how the election went this past Tuesday, with pro-worker candidates suffering defeat, so this victory is especially rewarding,” said Robert Morales, Director of the Teamsters Solid Waste, Recycling and Related Industries Department. “These workers will finally have the respect and dignity they deserve—as Teamsters.”
Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.