North America's Strongest Union

Organizing Roundup

Local 853 - First Student

First Student school bus drivers in Oakland, Calif., voted by a 15-1 margin in favor of representation by Local 853 in San Leandro, Calif. The 150 drivers transport children in the Oakland Unified School District.

“We are happy about our vote for the Teamsters. We need representation and a voice. We need a union to have our back,” said Jacqueline Pittman, a 20-year driver who works at First Student.

“We are excited to represent another group of school bus drivers who do the important work of transporting our children,” said Rome Aloise, Local 853 Secretary-Treasurer and International Vice President.

The drivers and monitors will be covered by the Teamsters' national master agreement with First Student. The agreement covers over 21,000 Teamsters who work at First Student. Economics and individual gains will be negotiated by Local 853.

Local 853 represents over 11,000 members, including 1,000 members in the school bus industry.

The Teamsters Drive Up Standards campaign is a national campaign to improve safety, service and work standards in the private school bus and transit industry. Since the campaign began in 2006, more than 37,700 drivers, monitors, aides, attendants and mechanics have become Teamsters.

Local 695 - Americold

Cold storage warehouse workers at Americold in Darien, Wis., have voted by nearly a 2-1 margin to join Local 695 in Madison, Wis. There are 133 workers in the bargaining unit.

“We’ve lost a lot over the years. We’ve needed a union for a long time here,” said Kirk Schmitz, a seven-year employee at Americold. “We just became Teamsters and already we have protections.”

“We are looking forward to addressing the concerns of the workers while negotiating the initial agreement with Americold. Concerns regarding seniority, discipline, safety and economics will be at the forefront of the discussions,” said Wayne Schultz, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 695. “The officers, agents and staff of Local 695 are eager to serve these members, and look forward to a harmonious relationship with Americold.”

The new Teamsters at Americold warehouse pizza, ice cream, vegetables and other frozen products. The Teamsters Union represents workers at 43 Americold warehouses across the U.S. and Canada.

Local 1038 - Archway Marketing Services

Thirty customer service representatives with Archway Marketing Services in Romulus, Mich., have voted to join Local 1038 in Detroit.

“The Archway packaging center workers are Local 1038 members already and we have a good contract for them. This was a great organizing effort and we’re pleased the customer service representatives chose to join Local 1038,” said Greg Nowak, President of Local 1038 and Joint Council 43.

Customer service representatives provide support for companies and shared services, including management of gift cards for nationwide companies like Lowe’s.

Shermeka Nicholson has worked at Archway for four years. She and her co-workers united for fair pay, affordable health insurance, an end to favoritism and respect on the job.

“We spend nine hours a day together, like a family, and I said to my co-workers that the way things are going, this is an at-will company. We really need to organize to have a contract so they will do the right thing,” Nicholson said. “It was really something courageous that we did and we are so excited.”

Local 541 - Mobile Mini

Local 541 is welcoming its new members at Mobile Mini in Kansas City, Mo., who voted unanimously for Teamster representation on September 10.

There are four workers, plus temporary labor, included in the bargaining unit.

“This is the first Mobile Mini unit that has been organized in the whole country that we know of,” said Local 541 Vice President and Business Representative Danny Gercone.

Mobile Mini workers do installation, maintenance and transport work for the building materials company, which provides containers for storage and mobile office structures at construction sites. They hope Teamster representation will bring them better pay and benefits as well as improved work rules and conditions.

Before the election, the company brought in a union avoidance consultant, but the workers’ unity was unbreakable.

“We look forward to getting to work to win these workers a good contract,” Gercone said.

Local 402 - USA Ready-Mix

Ready-Mix drivers in Huntsville, Ala., recently voted to be represented by Local 402. They are fighting for improved wages and fair treatment on the job.

“We want to have a level playing field,” said Jerry Davis, a driver who has worked in the concrete industry for the past 16 years. Davis led the organizing effort, seeking out the Teamsters after having seen an article online about a Ready-Mix group in Washington state which had become Teamster members.

USA Ready-Mix is a subsidiary of Cemex, a firm based in Houston. The Huntsville unit has 20 employees: drivers, loaders, dispatchers and mechanics. They work on residential and commercial building projects.

“Work has picked up in Alabama and there are more hardworking people entering the building and construction industry,” said Joe Gronek, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 402. “The employees in Huntsville had a variety of problems with management there. There was a culture of favoritism which affected the employees’ wage rates and work schedules. Since the vote, we’ve sent letters to the company requesting bargaining and we have set up a contract proposal meeting.”