So Delicious Dairy Free
With over three-quarters voting in favor of representation, 107 workers at So Delicious Dairy Free voted to join Local 206 in December. The company, a subsidiary of the Danone Corporation, manufactures a variety of non-dairy beverages and novelty products at this Oregon facility.
Teamsters have a national agreement with the Danone Corporation (whose products are often branded Dannon in the U.S.) and two other unions, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers’ International Union (BCTWGM). This neutrality agreement allows workers to make their own choice concerning union representation without any interference from the company.
In addition to the neutrality agreement, the organizing victory was also a collaboration with the Dairy Conference, Joint Council 37, Local 206 and the International Union of Food Workers, a global federation of trade unions based in Geneva.
“The workers recognized the value of union representation by comparing their conditions to that of our members at Local 206; we also represent workers at another Dannon facility in Portland,” said Tony Andrews, President of Joint Council 37. “They are due great recognition for their involvement and for achieving success.”
After battling an anti-worker campaign, direct service staff at San Francisco-based nonprofit ScholarMatch overwhelmingly voted to form a union with Local 856 by nearly 90 percent in February.
ScholarMatch employees began the process of unionizing in 2020 after becoming concerned with instability and ensuring equity at the nonprofit. ScholarMatch supports first-generation college students. These new Teamsters work in various administrative and direct services functions, including with high school and college students primarily in San Francisco and Los Angeles communities to ensure the mission of the nonprofit.
“Forming a union binds us together in our commitment to share power and keep one another accountable in our work in the community,” said Samantha Lozano a program manager at ScholarMatch. “This is about building an equitable and inclusive world for our students where everyone has a seat at the table.”
“We commend their courage and tenacity in standing up to their employer and are proud to stand with them as Teamsters,” said Peter Finn, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 856.
Drivers and helpers for Shred-it in Pawtucket, R.I. voted overwhelmingly, 13-2, to join Local 251 in Woonsocket on February 15. The 20-worker unit overcame an aggressive anti-union campaign by management throughout the organizing drive.
“We are proud of what we accomplished in this election. Despite the company’s efforts to divide and scare us, we stood strong to win a voice on the job,” said Josh Linton, a Shred-it driver who played a key role in the unionization effort. “We knew better than to fall for the company’s lies. I applaud my co-workers for sticking together.”
In addition to improved pay and benefits, the Rhode Island workers are also seeking respect on the job and fairer, safer working conditions.
“This win marks a new beginning for Shred-it workers, and I applaud this strong group for staying united throughout this tough campaign for Teamster representation. The company waged a vicious anti-union campaign, but these workers knew better. This campaign was all about winning respect,” said Matt Taibi, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 251.
By a vote of 15-6, a group of tankhaul drivers at Airgas in Grand Prairie, Texas near Dallas voted to join Local 745. The workers voted by mail, and ballots were counted January 15. There are 23 drivers in the bargaining unit.
“I’m ecstatic and elated,” said John Durr, a driver who has worked at Airgas for eight years. “We have had to deal with favoritism for too long. The company would hire people off the street and pay them more than drivers who have been here for seven or eight years. But since the votes have been counted, we have seen a change in the culture. The company has scaled things back and my co-workers and I have a stronger voice now.”
In addition to ending favoritism, the workers are seeking fair wages and a grievance procedure to challenge unfair management decisions.
“The workers stood up against the favoritism they were experiencing and took a bold step to organize,” said Brent Taylor, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 745. “We will work hard to negotiate a strong first contract that addresses the drivers’ concerns.”
Drivers at National Express have voted to join Local 391 by over a two-to-one margin. The workers are tasked by the Piedmont Area Regional Transportation System (PARTS) with providing public transportation for 10 of the counties that make up North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad.
“The drivers at National Express are now part of Local 391 and we will work together on creating a workplace with higher wages and safer working conditions,” said Mike McGaha, Local 391 President. “Workers also want to be shown dignity and respect on the job.”
“We wanted to form a union with the Teamsters so our wages, benefits and working conditions can be guaranteed in a contract, whereas before, they were not,” said Barbara Townsend, a PARTS driver for over three years.