(ATLANTA)—Drivers, groundspotters, heavy equipment operators and technicians at Endurance Environmental Solutions in Norcross, Ga., voted overwhelmingly today to join Teamsters Local 728 in Atlanta.
“We are proud of the workers who came together to stand up to management and demand respect and dignity on the job,” said Chuck Stiles, Vice President of Local 728 and Director of the Teamsters Solid Waste Division. “This was a hard-fought battle, but the workers kept their heads up the whole time.”
Safety was a major reason workers gave for organizing. The company failed to keep its equipment maintained and forced workers to use unsafe equipment.
“We are afraid of getting hurt and of hurting other people on the road,” said Hassan Alamin, a driver at Endurance Environmental Solutions. “The company’s negligence is terrible. We knew we had to try to make a change.”
Many in the community showed up to express support for workers at Endurance Environmental Solutions as they sought to organize their union, from clergy to elected officials and other community leaders.
“When state representatives and other Teamsters came to cheer us on, it lifted our spirits. Endurance threatened us but we stood strong. Now, we are stronger as a group than we were before. The company tried to fight us, but we stood together and we were triumphant,” Alamin said.
“Endurance Environmental is one of the most vicious companies I’ve ever dealt with in the waste industry. I’ve been organizing for 25 years and I’ve never seen people treated this badly,” Stiles said. ”I want to thank everyone who stood with us in this fight, especially the elected officials and community leaders who showed their support, and the help and assistance from the Teamsters Organizing Department. This victory shows that when working people stick together, they can win the toughest fights.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.2 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.