For over two years, the Denver Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) underpaid employees by requiring them to clock in five minutes before their scheduled start time without appropriate compensation. The employees were fed up and wanted justice; however, they were in an uphill battle because not one person was a union member. As a result, the city continued to exploit them until a few brave employees took action.
Ryan Parker and Angelita Winters, employees at the DMV, were fed up with the mistreatment and tired of being underpaid. They wanted to do something that would solve their problem, but didn’t know how.
“I could see the morale going completely down because of how management and the city were treating the employees,” Parker said. “We’ve had multiple people try to fight this fight from all angles with no success, and it wasn’t until the Teamsters became involved that things started to change.”
One night, Parker decided to attend Local 17’s open house and asked Vice President Ed Bagwell for help. Ryan became a Teamster that night and brought other DMV employees to another open house. Within a few short weeks 25 percent of the DMV joined Local 17, including Winters, who brought the DMV’s payroll policy to the forefront.
“Ed had our back from day one and made sure we were going to get justice,” Winters said.
The Teamsters contacted the city’s attorney and office of human resources. This resulted in an immediate change in policy and the payment of $40,000 in back pay for all affected DMV employees.
“If it wasn’t for the intervention of the Teamsters, these dedicated employees would have lost compensation they were legally entitled to,” Bagwell said. “It was the power of a collective group that made this all possible.”