Press Releases

City of Lawrence Workers File Petition to Join Teamsters


City Workers Unite for Union Representation with Local 696, Election Forthcoming

(LAWRENCE, Kan.) – Last week, Teamsters Local 696 in Topeka announced that the union has filed a petition with the City of Lawrence, asking that they conduct an election for workers employed by the City of Lawrence Municipal Services and Operations Department.

“We are coming together to improve working conditions and secure better wages. We know that the Teamsters will give us the voice and strength to address the issues that matter most to us,” said Dave Osborne, a utilities worker for the City of Lawrence. “We are very excited about this election. The support is overwhelming.”

The petition for a union election was filed with overwhelming support from workers in all three departments. The Lawrence City Commission is expected to set a date for the election in the coming days.

“After seeing sanitation workers organize with the Teamsters and win a strong contract, the decision to follow suit was a no-brainer. I’m not doing this for me; I’m doing this for the next generation. We’ve had too many city workers quit. The turnover rate is too high, and we need the union to bring us stability and respect,” said Steve Demaranville, a worker for the City of Lawrence Municipal Services and Operations Department.

In August 2020, sanitation workers employed by the City of Lawrence voted overwhelmingly, 65-1, to join Teamsters Local 696 in Topeka. In July, the 70-plus sanitation workers secured an excellent three-year agreement containing a modernized wage scale, substantial benefits, strong seniority language, grievance procedure, consistent work rules and other improvements to working conditions.

“This campaign is about fairness and respect,” said Mike Scribner, President of Local 696. “We will continue to stand with workers employed by the City of Lawrence. These workers have seen the impact of the union firsthand thanks to their brothers and sisters who work in sanitation. We are thrilled more workers in Lawrence are looking to join them by uniting as Teamsters. When workers win respect, the entire community thrives.”

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at