On January 7, drivers at Renzenberger, Inc., who transport crew members employed by Union Pacific Railroad, voted to join Local 745 in Dallas.
The road drivers, yard drivers, radius drivers, yard managers and yard coordinators at the company’s El Paso facility voted 27-1 to join Local 745. There are 54 workers in the bargaining unit.
“These workers drive vans to transport railroad crews all over and they receive very, very low pay,” said Martha Sanchez, an Assistant Business Representative with Local 745. “They are seeking fair wages, a fair seniority system, fair scheduling, better health insurance and retirement benefits that should come with their job responsibilities.”
“We look forward to negotiating a contract so that these workers’ rights and protections are in a legally binding document,” said Brent Taylor, Local 745 Secretary-Treasurer. “For far too long, they have been woefully underpaid.”
American Red Cross
Workers at the American Red Cross’ Portland, Maine donation center have voted to join Local 340.
The blood donation center’s 57 employees will now form a bargaining unit that includes collections technicians, collections specialists and mobile unit assistants of various classifications. These employees are responsible for setting up and administering blood drives across the southern half of the state.
By voting in favor of Teamster representation on Dec. 22, bargaining unit employees will fall under a national addendum that covers a coalition of labor unions at American Red Cross (ARC) facilities. The Portland employees now need to ratify the national addendum and negotiate a local agreement with the Forest Avenue ARC facility.
“The workers at the Portland Red Cross are most concerned over health care costs and working conditions. These concerns will be addressed through improvements guaranteed by the National Addendum agreement,” said Local 340 Business Agent Ed Marzano. “The bargaining agent election was a landslide victory. Of the eligible voters, over three-quarters voted for the Teamsters. We welcome our new members, and are looking forward to the start of negotiations with the new year.”
Student Transportation of America
School bus drivers and aides at Student Transportation of America (STA) in Parsippany, N.J., overcame tough opposition from management recently, voting decisively in favor of union representation by Local 102 in Springfield Township, N.J.
The 78 bus workers are calling for improved working conditions, respect on the job and assurances that they will be paid for all hours worked.
“The union has already given us hope. Now it will bring us strength,” said Jose Alvarez, a driver with STA in Parsippany. “We are looking forward to negotiating a strong contract that puts an end to wage theft abuse and unfairness from management.”
“We are very proud of this group of men and women. The workers stood strong as the company tried to put pressure on them and gave themselves an early Christmas gift,” said Kevin O’Connor, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 102.
The Teamsters’ Drive Up Standards campaign is a global effort to improve safety, service and work standards in the privatized school bus and transit industry. Since the campaign began in 2006, nearly 40,000 drivers, monitors, aides, attendants and mechanics have become Teamsters.
For more information on the Drive Up Standards campaign, go to www.driveupstandards.org.
A majority of the more than 400 operations and service maintenance workers employed by Orange County, Calif., voted to join Local 952 recently.
The new members of the local, which include custodians, laborers, mechanics, public works maintenance, equipment operators and pest control workers, overwhelmingly chose Teamster representation.
“We look forward to representing these county workers,” said Patrick D. Kelly, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 952. “We currently represent over 1,000 Orange County transportation authority employees.”
“I wanted to become a Teamster because for the last 8 ½ years the association that represented us never fought to increase our benefits for me and my co-workers,” said Andrea Brone, a 19-year employee and equipment operator at the Glassell Yard. “It was time for change and that’s why we voted Teamsters. We need a strong union to fight for better wages, working conditions and help improve morale.”
Drivers, merchandisers and warehouse workers at the Pepsi facility in Macon, Ga., recently voted to become members of Local 528. A majority of the 45-person unit cast ballots in the Teamsters’ favor.
“We are pretty excited that we won,” said Erick Barber, a warehouse worker at the Macon facility. “This is my first time being a union member and I encourage anyone considering joining the Teamsters to keep pushing forward.”
As members of Local 528 in Jonesboro, Ga., the Pepsi workers join thousands of other workers at Pepsi facilities nationwide that are part of the Teamsters Brewery and Soft Drink Workers Conference.
“These workers wanted a voice on the job,” said Maurice Cobb, President of Local 528. “They said they wanted to be treated fairly at work. Our first order of business will be to negotiate a strong first contract at this Pepsi facility so that their rights on the job will be secured.”
Local 528 represents thousands of working men and women throughout the state, including members working at other soft drink facilities, such as Dr Pepper and Snapple.