With the first in-person ratification meeting since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, 92 members of Local 350 at the South San Francisco Scavengers/Blue Line Transfer Station voted overwhelmingly, by 96 percent, in favor of a historic new collective bargaining agreement.
“This is by far the most lucrative financial contract that this particular unit has ever had. Several years ago, Local 350 had the vision to raise area standards significantly in wages and pension. Systematically, with the backing of these strong units, solid negotiating committees and allies, we’ve been able to do just that,” said Business Representative Robert M. Sandoval. “We’re proud to say that within the first year of this contract, depending on the classification, they’ll see between a $4.25 to $5.56 increase in wages and an unprecedented $1.15 in the pension for the first year. Although we don’t say this often, we would like to commend the company for recognizing the disparity in wages and making a considerable effort to ensure these essential workers did not get left behind.”
Additionally, Sandoval noted that every language modification was an improvement for the members and there was not a single take back or concession.
Other highlights of the contract include GPS/Camera Technology Language, complete maintenance of benefits (including the lifetime retiree healthcare), stronger worker protection language and codifying current practices in writing.
“The goal going into these negotiations was to achieve parity with the other North San Mateo County companies. We knew it would take a unified effort with the support of all the members within the unit. Ultimately, we achieved our goal and then some. Our members will receive substantial increases in wages and pension while maintaining full maintenance of benefits and significantly improving contract language. Our members and specifically the bargaining committee members, Jack Ross, Jorge Ramirez, and Craig Fornesi, really stepped up and led the charge that ultimately resulted in the best contract this unit has ever had,” Secretary-Treasurer John Bouchard said.
Collectively, the rank-and-file members on the bargaining committee have over 75 years of experience in their respective classifications.
Brother Jack Ross, a semi-transfer driver, started in 1982; Brother Craig Fornesi, a roll-off driver, in 1992; and Brother Jorge Ramirez, a utility/equipment operator, in 2013. They, along with their fellow brothers and sisters, service the cities of Millbrae, Brisbane, South San Francisco and the San Francisco International Airport.
“Being included in the bargaining committee was very informing as well as eye-opening for me. I had no idea what to expect on the first day. It opened my eyes to what goes on behind the scenes. Overall I thought the contract was excellent. I am very grateful for working for a company that still offers full medical benefits to all employees and a Local Union that’s willing to fight for us. The bargaining committee is very impressive, informative, and educational. I was very impressed with the knowledge and passion that both John Bouchard and Robert Sandoval had for their Local Union and all of the members they represented in these negotiations,” Local 350 bargaining committee member Craig Fornesi said.
“Working with the leadership of the Local Union in our negotiations gives me continued confidence that our careers and representation are in good hands!” Local 350 bargaining committee member Jorge Ramirez said.
Teamsters Local 350 was chartered on October 8, 1936, in San Francisco, and represents over 2400 members in the solid waste and recycling industry, linen, and public sector divisions.