Monday, March 18, 2013

These Teamsters fought, and these Teamsters won!

Local 856's action in September. Months later, they're working.
Our brothers and sisters at Local 856 fought for seven months against illegal furloughs by the City of Concord, Calif. Last week, they won. 

The city's voters passed a measure two years ago that raised city revenue to maintain and protect their municipal services. But the city ignored the voters’referendum and forced 150 Teamster city workers to take 13 unpaid furlough days. Local 856 told us 
The City’s own budget projection includes sizable surpluses; however it is still forcing furlough days and cutting city services. City employees maintain that in some cases, furloughs actually exacerbate costs by increasing the amount of overtime the city must pay other employees to cover essential functions.
They came to work in protest on their first furlough day in September. They showed up at Todos Santos Square in October to distribute leaflets. They enlisted the support of the mayor and other political leaders. They came to meetings and met with local businesses who were concerned about cuts to city services. 

Their activism paid off. The furloughs were ended and their pay restored on March 5. 

The Contra Costa Times reported on Friday, 
After months of tense negotiations, the tug-of-war between the city and its largest union has ended with a deal eliminating a controversial furlough program and restoring pay for city workers for the first time since the economy plummeted. 
The City Council unanimously approved the contract with 150 city workers represented by International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 856 on March 5. 
The package of givebacks begins the return to the higher pay scales of 2008. Pay for the union's members has dropped 14 percent since the economy sank. This contract restores an estimated 10 percent.
The workers answer 911 calls,repair and maintain city streets, monitor water and sewer lines, keep city parks safe and clean, issue business licenses and building permits, process background checks, subpoenas,restraining orders and impounded cars and many other public services.

They make us all proud to be Teamsters!