Workers at Parsec, Inc. in Commerce, Calif. who belong to Local 986 have overwhelmingly ratified a first contract that provides substantial wage increases, a better and more affordable health care plan, real union representation and other major improvements.
“The overall contract is a new world for these workers,” said Chris Griswold, President of Local 986 in South El Monte, Calif.
There are 950 workers in the bargaining unit. They voted to form their union in November 2016, the first of numerous organizing victories for the Teamsters in the intermodal rail transportation industry.
The workers will now have strong Teamster representation after being “represented” by a unscrupulous association, the National Production Workers Union (NPWU, Local 707).
“As Teamsters, they now have a real grievance procedure,” Griswold said. “Before, they had grievance meetings over the phone with their business representative in Chicago. They now have full-time representation with Local 986. They will elect their shop stewards.
“The wage increases are substantial and some of the workers had not received a raise in over five years,” Griswold said. “We also negotiated the Teamsters 401(k) plan with hourly contribution rates.”
The health care plan is also improved and more affordable.
“The workers and their families can finally go to the doctor and they have a dental plan they can use,” Griswold said.
“The new contract has wage increases for all my coworkers, and a progression rate that will unify everyone to the same pay rate and the end of the contract, eliminating a wage-tier system that has divided us for the last 23 years,” said Rigo Pastrano, a ramp driver/crane operator who has worked at Parsec for 19 years. “We also have an upgraded medical plan that we can use without worrying about the high cost throughout the year.”
The workers ratified the five-year contract in late May.