Saturday, February 12, 2011

Woo-hoo! Big Teamster victory in Canada

A warm welcome to our 1,400 new Teamster brothers and sisters in Alberta, Canada! They are all taxi workers, and more than 93 percent just voted to join Local 987 of our union.

All are working for the Greater EdmontonTaxi Service (GETS), Sun Taxi Service, United Class Cabs and Access Taxi in Fort MacMurray.

Last year, Local 987 launched a major organizing drive among the taxi workers, who were fed up with their employers' unfairness and arbitrary decision-making. On Feb. 1, the Alberta Labour Relations Board ruled that the local's applications for certification were valid.

For the next week, the workers voted. On Feb. 8, the votes were unsealed and counted.

Taxi workers were ecstatic with the result. Throughout the streets of Edmonton, at cab stands and wherever drivers congregated, they cheered the news with high-fives and huge smiles, said Local 987's secretary-treasurer, David Froelich.

"Yellow Cab's heavy handed ways will soon be over," stated Manjinder Singh Punia, a Yellow Cab taxi driver. "The drivers will now have a stronger voice and due process!"

The victory is an historic one for the Teamster family, which Local 987 views as "a circle of strength." Proclaims a banner on the local's website, "With every birth and every union, the circle grows. Every crisis faced together makes the circle stronger."

The Teamsters Union represents 125,000 members in Canada in all trades.