By a vote of 46-9, workers at ITS Calumet, an intermodal rail transportation company in the Chicago area, voted February 23 to join Teamsters Local 710. There are 57 workers in the bargaining unit.
“The workers’ overwhelming vote to form their union with the Teamsters shows how fed up they are about being forced to work excessive hours and their many concerns about an unsafe workplace,” said Mike Cales, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 710 in Mokena, Illinois. “We look forward to negotiating a first contract for these workers that addresses their concerns. Our local represents more than 600 workers in the rail industry, including the new ITS yard in Harvey, and we have a great deal of experience in the industry.”
“We voted to join the Teamsters for a better standard of living for ourselves and for our families,” said Justin Vaughn, an operator at ITS Calumet who has been an employee for over eight years. “We also want a safer yard and a fair seniority system. Also, right now we get a 20-minute lunch break during 12-hour shifts.”
This victory continues the strong momentum in the intermodal rail transportation industry. In late 2017, workers at ITS ConGlobal in Harvey, Ill., voted overwhelmingly to join Teamsters Local 710. There are 133 crane operators, yard jockeys and grounds workers in the bargaining unit. The vote was 100 to 23. The facility is served by the Canadian National Railway.
In November 2016, 777 workers at Parsec, Inc. in Commerce, Calif. voted to join Teamsters Local 986. In July 2017, 507 workers at Parsec in Elwood, Ill. voted to join Teamsters Local 179.