Chicago distribution workers with Whitney Foods are now members of Local 703 after the company voluntarily recognized its employees’ right to join the union.
The 15 workers organized with Local 703 in September, seeking better working conditions, higher wages and improved benefits. Local 703 Trustees and Business Agents Sam Scianna and Tony Carioscia were integral in working with Whitney management to secure new collective bargaining rights for the company’s workforce.
“Local 703 is proud to welcome the employees of Whitney Foods to our extensive and diverse family of food distribution members,” said Scianna. “With a distribution center directly behind the Chicago International Produce Market, Whitney workers are at home among thousands of Local 703 members who stand shoulder-to-shoulder for better rights on the job.”
Following volunteer recognition, Local 703 successfully negotiated and ratified the new members’ first Teamster contract before the end of the year.
The five-year agreement includes annual wage increases and a defined benefits package for all workers.
School bus workers with First Student in Flint, Mich., have voted overwhelmingly, 69-3, in favor of representation by Local 332, also in Flint. The 93 school bus drivers and monitors transport children in the Flint Community Schools district.
Tim Kennelly, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 332, said the workers organized to end favoritism, have seniority honored, and to gain respect and a voice at work.
Local 332 already represents First Student workers at three other locations in Michigan.
“This was a full team effort with the workers, myself, Local 332 President Nina Bugbee, our business agents Angela Oberman, Chris Pidcock and Christine Cates, and Marion Novak, Joint Council 43 organizer. The worker committee was strong and committed,” Kennelly said.
The drivers and monitors will be covered by the Teamsters-First Student national contract and Local 332 will negotiate a supplemental that will include economics.
Approximately 85 drivers and mobile document shredders with Iron Mountain voted overwhelmingly to join Local 731.
The new Teamsters working in Chicago and suburban Addison organized for better bargaining power, fair wages and benefits and the security of their first Teamster contract.
The organizing victory is one of many at Iron Mountain nationwide. In recent years, employees at facilities in Atlanta and San Jose and Oakland, Calif. have all voted to join the strongest labor union in America.
“Teamsters Local 731 is proud to welcome our newest members at Iron Mountain,” said Terrence J. Hancock, President of Local 731 and Vice President of Teamsters Joint Council 25. “These hardworking men and women stuck together throughout the organizing drive and are now ready to bargain for better working conditions and improved rights on the job.”
Newbury Highway Department
They keep the roads clean, plowed and safe, and now they have Teamster representation to secure their working conditions.
The six workers with the Newbury Highway Department in Newbury, Mass., have joined Local 170 in Worcester, Mass., through a card-check agreement.
“Everyone’s happy about joining the Teamsters,” said James Sarette, who has worked for the highway department for 17 years. “We felt we were losing ground. The highway department the next town over has Teamsters Local 170 representation and they like it.”
“These workers wanted representation and they came to the right union,” said Mike Hogan, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 170. “We now represent members at 12 different highway departments.”
The new members in Newbury perform highway maintenance, including plowing, sanding, paving and road repairs.
Dispatchers at MV Transportation Batavia voted unanimously for Chicago Local 727 representation recently. The new bargaining unit joins about 50 of their coworkers—paratransit drivers and mechanics—who are already Local 727 members. Additionally, Local 727 represents hundreds of drivers, reservationists, schedulers and dispatchers at MV Niles and MV Carol Stream.
“We are proud to welcome our new unit and vow to fight for them every day, just as we do for all of our members,” said John Coli Jr., President of Local 727.
Earlier this year, Local 727 representatives also secured a first contract for dispatchers at MV Niles.
The MV Batavia dispatchers are the fourth new bargaining unit to join Local 727 this year.
School bus drivers with H&L Bloom in Attleboro, Mass., have voted by a nearly 2-1 margin to join Local 653 in South Easton, Mass., seeking job security and workplace protections.
They join the 14 school bus drivers for children with special needs, employed directly by the Attleboro School District, who became Local 653 members in June.
“Our local union has seven other school districts under contract, including at First Student and Lucini Bus Lines,” said Michael Clark, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 653. “These workers are looking for job security and the protection that our other members have under Teamsters bus contracts.”