University of Chicago
University of Chicago student library employees voted to unionize, with over 80 percent of voters supporting affiliation with Local 743.
These workers, 226 in total, known as the Student Library Employee Union (SLEU), and affiliated with Local 743, will be the first nationally recognized undergraduate and graduate student union at a private university.
“We welcome these student workers into the Teamsters family at Local 743,” said Deborah Simmons-Peterson, President of Local 743. “We’ve been representing the professional library staff at the university since 1980 and that experience will enhance our representation of the student workers.”
“I am especially excited for what this means for me as a student worker, where having a voice in collective bargaining will really impact my relationship with the University,” said Katie McPolin, a second-year student worker at Eckhart Library. “Student labor makes the day-to-day functioning of this university possible, so it is imperative that student workers should have a voice in how it functions.”
Workers at DHL NH LLC voted to join Local 251 in East Providence, R.I. on June 7. The 28 workers, who sort and deliver packages for DHL, voted 23-2 for a union after enduring low wages, unaffordable health care and no retirement plan.
“Nothing about the campaign was easy,” said Matt Taibi, Local 251 Secretary-Treasurer. “These workers stuck it out and are already focused on negotiating their first contract.”
Every day the company forced workers to attend captive audience meetings. When it was obvious their tactics weren’t swaying the workers, the company fired two supporters. Local 251 is fighting the dismissals.
Budget Car Rental
Service agents at Budget Car Rental at the Orlando, Fla. airport voted to join Local 385. The vote was 35-11 and there are 53 workers in the bargaining unit.
"The service agents at Budget have contact with workers at the Avis Budget Group who are already represented by Local 385, along with workers at Hertz, and they saw how being Teamsters has improved the lives of those workers," said Clay Jeffries, President of Local 385 in Orlando.
The workers are seeking fair wages, improved benefits, job security, a voice on the job and a grievance procedure to challenge unfair management decisions.
Brush Hill Tours
Charter bus drivers and cleaners with Brush Hill Tours voted 27-1 to become members of Local 653 in Manchester, N.H. The campaign took 42 days.
Ed Spear has been a part-time driver at Brush Hills Tours since 2010. He decided to become involved in the organizing drive because of the positive experience he’s had as a Local 653 member with his full-time job at Martignetti’s, a leading New England liquor distributer.
“I’m a proud Teamster, I’ve been a member since 1994,” Spear said.
Workers at Cott Beverages in Ft. Worth, Texas have voted to join Local 997. The 79 new members manufacture third-party soft drink beverages for big-box stores such as Walmart and Costco.
“Our new members stood together in the face of company opposition, and we’re going to push forward for some major improvements once we get to the negotiating table,” said Rick Miedema, Local 997 Secretary-Treasurer.
The workers voted to join by over a 2-1 margin, and over 80 percent signed interest cards indicating they supported an NLRB election. The campaign was quick; only 21 days elapsed between the time of the NLRB filing and the final vote.
In April, a unit of 108 drivers and mechanics at MDC, a subcontractor for DHL, voted to join Local 769 in Miami.
"We are proud to welcome these brave men and women into the Local 769 family," said Mike Scott, President of Local 769.
"It feels great—everyone is happy that we won," said Francisco Pena, a driver at MDC for five years. "It was a stressful campaign. But we remained strong and we had strong support from the dockworkers at DHL, who are Teamsters."