(EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I.) – More Standard Parking workers at T.F. Green Airport were certified as Local 251 Teamsters earlier this month. With a 26-0 vote, the cashiers joined the shuttle drivers and maintenance workers who became members of Local 251 in January.
The cashiers’ vote was held on February 28 and certified on March 9 by the National Labor Relations Board. The workers voted unanimously to join the union in both elections.
“I am very proud of all the SP Plus employees. They work hard to service customers of T.F. Green Airport and deserve a living wage, seniority and desirable working conditions,” said Michael Simone, Local 251 Organizer. “I commend them for having the courage to stand up to their employer and organize with our local union.”
The cashiers grew tired of low wages and inferior health benefits. Currently, the average cashier wage is $10.10 per hour. In one case, a cashier with 25 years of service is only making $11.80 per hour.
The working conditions were also lacking. The booths used by the cashiers are in deplorable condition. In some booths, cashiers use cardboard parking signs to cover missing panes of glass to block the winter air, snow and rain from entering the booths. Where there is glass, the company doesn’t provide cleaning products to wipe down the booths.
“The cashiers saw that their fellow workers were making a move to improve their lives. They saw what was possible if they joined the Teamsters, so they seized the momentum,” said Matt Taibi, Local 251 Secretary-Treasurer. “It’s pretty impressive to see two groups vote unanimously for union representation. When workers realize that by uniting they can change their lives, they will. And Local 251 promises to be there to ensure that every Rhode Island worker has the Teamster option.”