(OAKLAND, Calif.)—Skilled trades workers with the State Employees Trades Council (SETC-United) overwhelmingly voted to affiliate with Teamsters Local 2010 on Thursday, August 31.
Over 1,000 workers voted from across California, with 75 percent voting in favor of the joining the Teamsters.
“This victory was achieved through the hard work and the magnificent foresight of the SETC members,” said Jason Rabinowitz, Teamsters Local 2010 Secretary-Treasurer. “We are proud to have the skilled trades workers join Teamsters Local 2010. Together, we have the power to bring real improvements to the wages and working conditions to the trades and become a powerhouse in higher education.”
The new group includes over 1,400 electricians, elevator mechanics, plumbers, facilities workers and other skilled trades workers from UC Merced, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara and 22 campuses in the California State University system.
“Becoming part of the Teamsters was an easy decision,” said Sean Kerkoff, a plumber at UC Santa Barbara. “I am proud to be part of such a powerful organization with an unwavering commitment to its members.”
“Our members know the importance of being in a strong union,” said Chuck Tobin, project supervisor at Cal State Northridge. “With the Teamsters, we now have the power of millions of union members.”
“I want to congratulate my brothers and sisters on becoming part of the Teamsters,” said Jon Kramer, a plumber at UCLA. “Now the skilled trades workers stand over 2,000 strong at campuses and medical centers, across two higher education systems around the state.”
Under the affiliation, members of SETC-United join Teamsters Local 2010’s 14,000 administrative, clerical, and support workers at the University of California system and the over 800 skilled Trades workers at UCLA and UC San Diego. There are plans to create a skilled trades division within Teamsters Local 2010 in the near future.
Teamsters Local 2010, as California’s public higher education union, is prepared to step in and work with the existing bargaining team at the ongoing wage reopener negotiations between the Cal State University and SETC Unit 6 workers.