Human Services Workers Beat Back Vicious Anti-Union Campaign
(Chester County, Pa.) – Case workers for the Chester County, Pa. Department of Human Services voted 96-56 to join Teamsters Local 384 in Norristown, Pa. on April 11, despite the county government mounting a major anti-union campaign against the organizing effort.
Chester County, the wealthiest county in the Philadelphia area, spent untold amounts of taxpayer money to hire an anti-union firm that utilized union-busting tactics including captive audience meetings designed to intimidate the 162 case workers employed in the Department of Human Services. The county had successfully defeated an organizing campaign by this same group two years ago.
“It was a long campaign but their union-busting tactics didn’t work this time around,” said Michael Bonaduce, Teamsters Local 384 President. “Through the commitment and focus of this outstanding group of workers, the good guys won this round.”
Despite working for the wealthiest county in the Philadelphia area, the case workers are the lowest paid in Pennsylvania. This lack of respect for their contributions to the community led to the launch of a second attempt at organizing with Local 384 in October 2012.
“The county’s intimidation tactics weren’t going to work this time,” said Will Cloud, a case worker for the Children, Youth and Family department in Human Services. “We are grateful for all the support the Teamsters have given us and are thrilled to finally have a voice on the job.”
The 162 members work for five departments that fall under Chester County Human Services – Aging, Children, Youth and Families, Drug & Alcohol Services, Youth Center and Mental Health/Intellectual Developmental Disabilities.