Monday, October 31, 2011

Woo-hoo!! Teamsters sign multi-year contract with BMW

Great news! Teamsters Local 495 members just ratified a contract with BMW for 9-1/2 more years of job security than they expected earlier this summer.

The auto giant wanted to eliminate all but three of the 71 jobs at its California parts distribution center. Teamsters stood together, fought like hell and prevailed. What a sweet, sweet victory!

Here's Andrew Edwards at the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin on the contract:
..."Our members are excited," said Teamsters Local 495 representative Gene Rivera. "They are happy to have a job. They are happy to have security for 9 1/2 years."
The deal, ratified Saturday, resolves a dispute that began between the automaker and the union in June when BMW announced plans to lay off the facility's employees and bring in a third company to manage the distribution center...
Rivera said base wages will fall from $25 per hour to $23.50 per hour, but the contract includes performance incentives that could raise wages.
Teamsters all over the country rallied on behalf of their brothers outside offices of Jackson Lewis, the union-busting law firm hired by BMW to ruin their employees' lives. They set up protests at 50 BMW dealerships in 11 states. They got their elected representatives involved.

Michael Hiltzik at the LA Times wrote a tremendous column in July about why BMW's attack should resonate throughout America. The job cuts, he wrote, epitomized the evisceration of the American middle class.

Proud to be a Teamster!