Workers at Ryder Logistics in Belvidere, Ill. voted to join Teamsters Local 325. The newest members are drivers that transport freight to a Chrysler plant through a company that contracts with Ryder Logistics, Magna International.
“We’re thrilled to welcome our newest members into the Teamster union,” said Erik Calvert, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 325. “There were ride-alongs and anti-union meetings, but these guys stood strong in the face of company opposition. The fact that they were so unified is a great sign of things to come.” Business Agent Joe Adrian and Recording-Secretary Regan Chester spent numerous hours countering the anti-union tactics with mail-outs and several meetings with future members to provide them with valid information in regards to the false statements made by Ryder Logistics.
Calvert noted that Ryder membership at local 325 is expanding. “We just organized their sister company, Ryder Logistics at Grupo, and the Magna location will be expanding and hiring more workers. We have another election scheduled for another Ryder Logistics location at Toledo Manufacturing. The power in numbers will give us a lot more strength for the upcoming contract negotiations.”
Dennis Belke has been a driver at Ryder Logistics for a few months. He, like many of the other workers at Ryder Magna, was a former Teamster back when the Chrysler facility was contracting with Martin Transportation Services.
“I’m looking forward to negotiating a contract with a better medical insurance package because right now what we have is unaffordable and the coverage is practically non-existent,” Belke said. “I think we’ll get a good contract, something we can all live by. I was a Teamster for seven years, and it feels pretty good to be a Teamster again.”