Local 170 Tankhaulers and Mechanics Get Fair Wages, No Concessions
More than 30 Teamster drivers and mechanics with Transgas in Lowell, Mass. successfully went on strike after negotiations with the company broke down.
Local 170, based in Worcester, Mass., represents the workers at Transgas, which transports liquefied natural gas.
“The company wanted concessions again. Six years ago with their previous contract, these Teamsters went backward and this administration was determined not to let that happen this time around,” said Jim Marks, Business Agent for Local 170. “The company wanted members to increase what they paid for health care, and the wages they were offering just weren’t there.”
Determined not to take concessions, the Transgas Teamsters voted to strike.
“They were sick of getting pushed around, they wanted fair wages and no concessions. That was even our chant on the strike line: ‘Fair wages, no concessions!’” Marks said. “They stood their ground and that’s exactly what we achieved. The solidarity these members showed on the line was amazing. It was tough but they were there 100 percent.”
After spending 47 hours on strike, their solidarity paid off. The four-year agreement that was reached increases wages and pensions, plus it ensures there are no health insurance cost increases for the duration of the contract, among other great contract language.
With a unanimous vote of support from the Teamster tankhaul drivers and mechanics, the contract was ratified on September 4.
“By standing together and speaking with a unified voice, these Teamsters got a great contract and showed exactly why workers need a union,” said Shannon George, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 170.
“Congratulations to these Teamsters on a hard-fought strike and a contract that was worth fighting for,” said Keith Gleason, Director of the Teamsters Tankhaul Division.