Drivers Say Solidarity, Hard Work Helped Propel Workers to Decisive Victory
Kara DenizEmail: [email protected] Phone: (202) 624-6911
(COMPTON, Calif.) – After only a three-month campaign, drivers at World Oil in Southern California have voted by more than a two-to-one margin to join Teamsters Local 572. The 78 drivers are responsible for transporting petroleum byproducts for recycling and processing.
“These workers all supported each other throughout this campaign,” Local 572 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Middleton said. “It was an honor working with true leaders who stood up for their co-workers no matter what. Solidarity was the reason they succeeded.”
During the organizing process, the company requested to the NLRB that a location in San Diego be included in the bargaining unit. Given that the other three locations are in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the addition of San Diego made the organizing campaign more challenging. Nevertheless, the Teamsters organized all four locations, and they now have a larger membership at World Oil because of the company’s request.
Ricardo Miramontes has been a driver at World Oil for eight years. He’s worked at the company since it was Asbury Environmental Services, a family-owned business that was bought out by World Oil.
“When World Oil took over, it made it harder for us to get our voices heard. The communication with management, the respect – it wasn’t there anymore,” Miramontes said. “They were treating us as a number instead of a person, it wasn’t family-oriented like it used to be. We went out and did our research, and we decided that the best thing to do was bring in the union so we have someone to have our back when we’re speaking up.”
Local 572 is affiliated with Teamsters Joint Council 42, representing nearly 250,000 members located in Southern California, Southern Nevada, Guam, Saipan and Hawaii.