Welcome to our 14 new brothers and sisters who work at the Weare, N.H., middle and elementary schools as custodians. They officially became Teamsters on Jan. 20, when the N.H. Public Employee Labor Relations Board certified Local 633 as their bargaining agent.
Weare custodian Tom Murphy knew the benefits of a Teamster contract because he had been a Teamster -- working at another school district and as a UPS driver. Murphy made the first call to the Teamsters to organize. Murphy said
We need to bring up the standards. In my previous job, we did the exact same work, but were better compensated because we were Teamsters. And I look at custodians as just as important as anybody else in the school.The workers joined the Teamsters seeking job protections, economic fairness and a better work environment. David Laughton, secretary-treasurer of Teamster Joint Council 10 and Local 633, said working people are realizing more than ever the value of having a union to protect their rights and improve their working conditions because economic times are so tight.
Working families in the Granite State need all the solidarity they can get these days. Republicans were voted into the majority of New Hampshire's Great and General Court in November, and some of them are trying to wipe unions from the face of the state. They want to eliminate the minimum wage, pass a right-to-work (for LESS) law and get rid of a law that maintains contracts between employers and employees until another contract is in place. Yeah, that'll create jobs.
The GOP even has a Tea Partier, Jack Kimball, as its new state chairman. TeamsterNation's regular readers will know who Kimball's daddy is: union buster David Koch, the oil and gas billion-heir who finances the Tea Party. Koch's efforts to destroy the middle class were exposed in The New Yorker magazine, and he was subsequently booed at the ballet in New York.
TeamsterNation wishes our new brothers and sisters from Weare the best of luck in their contract negotiations, and urges them to join the fight in Concord against these destructive anti-union proposals.