In an incredible and hard-won victory, a group of 90 fuel delivery truck drivers at APP/World Fuel Services voted to approve a new three-year agreement with their employer.
The contract victory comes a year after the drivers first voted to join Local 174 in Tukwila, Wash. The group voted unanimously to authorize a strike action on October 1, and gathered to make picket signs for a potential strike on November 12.
The agreement includes a signing bonus, improved health care at a lower cost, additional holidays, improved weekly overtime rules, pension contributions and new provisions requiring the company to pay for necessary certifications for the drivers. Previously, those certifications were paid for out-of-pocket by the drivers. In addition, the wage structure will be simplified and improved. Every employee under the new contract will receive a wage increase, with an average increase of 6.1 percent.
“The strength of this contract is a direct reflection of the strength of this group of drivers,” said Rick Hicks, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 174. “These drivers showed what a great Teamster looks like, even before they became full union members. Now that they have ratified this agreement, they can stand together proudly and take their oath of obligation to become full-fledged members of Local 174. We are glad to have them as members.”
“This victory was a team effort,” said David Jacobsen, Teamsters Western Region Tankhaul Division Director and the Local 174 senior business agent representing this group of new Teamsters. “This is a great contract we can all be proud of.”
The new contract victory is not just groundbreaking in its own right—it’s the first organizing victory at APP/World Fuel Services.
“We are thrilled with this outcome,” said Darren Foreman, who has worked at APP for over 18 years. “Through this whole process, we had one goal in mind: to become members of Local 174 and get one of Local 174’s industry-leading contracts. We did that, and we couldn’t be happier.”