Richmond Becomes Third Location in Rhode Island to Join Teamsters Local 251
(RICHMOND, R.I.) – Workers at Riverhead Building Supply have ratified their first Teamsters contract providing for wage increases and health care benefits. The drivers, yardmen and forklift operators will be joining their coworkers at North Kingstown and Middletown who already have contracts with Teamsters Local 251.
“Negotiations moved slow and steady for a while and then came to a halt over health benefits,” said Matt Taibi, Teamsters Local 251 Secretary-Treasurer.
“Pay and health benefits were the two main issues raised by the workers when they reached out to me,” said Teamster Organizer Mike Simone. “We already had two other Riverhead locations covered by a good contract when the company purchased the Richmond location,” he said.
“We called the Teamsters when we realized the company was not going to raise our pay and benefits up to what our coworkers got at the other Teamster facilities in Rhode Island,” said Dan Hannuksula, a 20-year driver at the Richmond location. “The company kept giving us the runaround whenever we would ask about raises or better health benefits.”
“We’d like to thank Dan DeCrotie, President of Teamsters Local 1205 and his members for their support,” Taibi said. “They have a very large Riverhead membership on Long Island, N.Y. and the company knew the workers there would honor our picket line if we went on strike and showed up at their gates. That’s what solidarity is all about in our union. Teamsters helping Teamsters.”
“Not only did we get the raises we deserved but we now enjoy 100 percent fully paid Teamster health, dental and vision benefits,” Hannuksula said. “That fact alone is like getting a $4.00 per hour raise for some of our guys. The best thing we did was join the Teamsters.”