FireKing Workers Call on Company’s Corporate Parent to Bargain Fair Contract
Press Contact: Ted Gotsch Phone: (202) 508-6437 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
(BOSTON & SAN FRANCISCO) – Today, members of Teamsters Local 25 and Teamsters Local 856 protested outside the Boston and San Francisco offices of Champlain Capital to pressure the private equity firm to bargain a fair contract for its workers at FireKing. Champlain Capital owns the manufacturer of fireproof safes and cabinets based in New Albany, Indiana, where 83 Teamsters have been on strike since May 9.
“The entire Teamsters Union has the backs of our FireKing brothers and sisters in Indiana, who are standing up to yet another corporate bully who is refusing to bargain in good faith,” said Sean M. O’Brien, Teamsters General President. “These private equity firms are vultures that abuse workers and think they can get away with it. Teamsters are fighting back and we’re not going to stand for it. Our local unions in Boston and San Francisco are proving that solidarity today by taking to the streets.”
Teamsters at FireKing have patiently worked in good faith to negotiate a new agreement. But after the company’s abusive behavior, which led to the filing of several unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board, members were left with no choice but to go on strike.
“Many of these workers have been at FireKing for 15, 20 years — some even 30 years. They deserve the same loyalty and respect from FireKing that they give the company every day,” said Avral Thompson, President of Local 89 in Louisville, Ky.
Teamsters delivered a letter addressed to Champlain Capital’s managing partners, demanding FireKing stop violating the law and bargain a fair contract.
FireKing’s workers have been trying to negotiate a new contract with the company for months. But the employer wants to maintain a high-deductible health insurance plan that could leave families with up to $13,000 in out-of-pocket costs per year.
After the strike began, FireKing management cut off workers’ health care, retroactive to May 4. FireKing has also stated it won’t workers to return to their jobs when the strike ends.
“When we went on strike, management cut off our insurance even though we’d already paid the premium for that month,” said Veronica Tillery, a Teamster who started working at FireKing in August of last year. “I had a surgery scheduled that I had to cancel because of what they’re doing to us. It’s heartbreaking and frustrating to see how little they care about the employees who work hard for them.”
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 http://www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter at @Teamsters and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.