(EVANSVILLE, Ind.) – Teamsters, community leaders and labor allies are joining together to denounce union-busting efforts by the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation (EVSC).
Just under 700 workers represented by Teamsters Local 215 are seeking a fair contract from EVSC, while the EVSC Board is threatening to withdraw union recognition if the union does not comply with its overreaching demands.
Community leaders are expressing their outrage, calling on EVSC to stop its tactic of attacking workers and their union. Teamsters Local 215 has negotiated with EVSC on worker contracts for more than 43 years.
“The superintendent and the school board need to direct their energies toward educating kids and stop playing these games. These hardworking men and women need and deserve an advocate in the workplace. These union-busting tactics need to stop,” said Rev. Gerald C. Arnold, President of the Evansville branch of the NAACP.
“EVSC needs to get back to the table and negotiate a fair contract with these workers. You can’t get anything solved by walking away from the table,” said Jack McNeely, President of the Central Labor Council of Southern Indiana.
On June 30, EVSC announced it was walking away from bargaining. Board negotiator Susan Chastain informed the union that the EVSC Board would not continue bargaining if the employees didn’t agree to give up their right to an independent hearing if they feel they are wrongly disciplined or hurt by actions by management.
“We are going to represent our members and the school board is not going to determine whether or not these workers have a union,” said Chuck Whobrey, President of Local 215. “The ultimate goal of this school administration is to bust this union, and they want to be the final arbiter of worker grievances when they’re the ones taking action against employees. This community understands that this is wrong, it’s a conflict of interest and it’s retaliatory. We want to thank everyone in the community that is standing by these workers.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters 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.