(EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I.) – Shuttle drivers and maintenance workers employed by Standard Parking (SP Plus) at T.F. Green Airport in Rhode Island are the newest workers to join Teamsters Local 251.
The workers voted 18-0 to join the Teamsters on January 10. The election was certified on January 23.
“The vote says so much. In these times, 18-0 in favor of the union tells you how badly management was abusing these workers,” said Matt Taibi, Teamsters Local 251 Secretary-Treasurer.
The workers initially called the union in November 2017, with assistance from SEIU 1199 NE. Currently the top wage is only $12.50 an hour and new hires are paid the exact same wage as long-term employees. The company hasn’t offered a wage increase in years.
Other issues include bathroom access and conditions, the use of cameras that run 24/7, and unfair terminations and discipline.
“The only bathroom access allowed to them was a porta potty in the middle of a field. It’s rarely serviced, filthy and sweltering hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter,” said Michael Simone, Teamsters organizer and Trustee. “Simply put: it was disgusting.”
Joint Council 10 assisted Local 251 in the drive. Local 25 has Standard Parking members in the Boston area, and the Council was helpful in coordinating research during the drive.
“Working together, that is what a union is about,” said Sean O’Brien, International Vice President and Joint Council 10 Secretary-Treasurer. “Local 251 worked hard and the vote shows it. It was an amazing show of solidarity. And as these new members stand together, Local 251 will help them change their lives for the better.”