|DeKalb County workers celebrate.|
Although the future Teamsters Local 728 members had the support of their company’s CEO and county commissioners, it took months to find a solution to the state’s No Rights at Work laws. State law does not give public sector workers the right to collectively bargain. Today, DeKalb County Commissioners unanimously passed an ordinance allowing county employees to organize.
Commissioners essentially voted to recognize the Teamsters as the workers' union representative. The ordinance takes effect Jan. 1.The 400 workers who have already signed membership applications will become members of Teamsters Local 728 that day.
Dejuan McDaniel, an organizing committee member and front-end loader driver for 13 years at DeKalb, is excited for the future.
We have been without a serious voice for so long. We had safety issues that have been unheard. We had pay issues, mistreatment of employees. It was long overdue.Eric Robertson, Teamsters Local 728 business agent, said they've been talking to the workers for more than seven years. "It's been a long time coming," he said.
The new ordinance will allow about 4,000 other DeKalb County workers to join unions.