(Springfield, VA) - Teamsters at TW Perry launched a strike early Tuesday morning against the local contractor supplier's bad faith bargaining. Frustration among workers, represented by Teamsters Local 639 in Washington, DC, has been building over several months.
"We've been in negotiations with the company for over a year and going through a mediator," said Local 639 Business Agent Bill Davis. "But Perry has continued to make outrageous demands and not show up at bargaining sessions."
After TW Perry proposed its "last, best and final" offer last month, Teamsters moved to strike this week, putting up their picket line as the first major snowstorm and frigid Arctic temperatures gripped the DC area. "We're staying warm, and we'll be out here as long as it takes to get a fair contract," said Davis.
TW Perry is trying to impose changes in grievance and arbitration procedures on the workers along with quadrupling their health care contributions and attacking their retirement security. The workers have gone without a raise for seven years.
Teamsters were prepared to strike in October but held off at the request of the mediator. The workers have also received support from the Metro Washington Council, AFL-CIO and DC Jobs with Justice, which sent letters to the company in October urging a fair settlement.
There are about 30 workers at the lumber yard which services home builders and other contractors in the area.