Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Striking Teamsters rally at TW Perry with support from unions, community

"One day after MLK day we're still out here fighting for economic justice."
Teamsters striking at TW Perry since Jan. 6 took it to the bosses today with help from the Metro Washington DC Labor Council, AFL-CIO and DC Jobs with Justice. They held a spirited rally at the TW Perry lumber store in Springfield, standing in solidarity with the courageous workers. 

TW Perry was once a family-run business that looked out for its workers. The Springfield, Va.-based building supply company treated its workers with respect and paid them enough to raise a family. Now, TW Perry executives are busy raking in generous profits while the workers, members of Teamsters Local 639, haven't received a raise in six years. 
A story on teamster.org explained shortly after the strike began: 
"Our boss took away King Day
at the same time he's trying
to raise our healthcare to 48%." 
"We've been in negotiations with the company for over a year and going through a mediator," said Local 639 Business Agent Bill Davis. "But Perry has continued to make outrageous demands and not show up at bargaining sessions." 
After TW Perry proposed its "last, best and final" offer last month, Teamsters moved to strike this week, putting up their picket line as the first major snowstorm and frigid Arctic temperatures gripped the DC area. "We're staying warm, and we'll be out here as long as it takes to get a fair contract," said Davis. 
TW Perry is trying to impose changes in grievance and arbitration procedures on the workers along with quadrupling their health care contributions and attacking their retirement security. The workers have gone without a raise for seven years.
Supporters from labor and the community boarded buses in Washington, D.C., and began the rally at 11:00 AM at the TW Perry Springfield store.

DC Jobs With Justice ‏@DCJWJ and the Metro Washington DC Labor Council @DCLabor tweeted some great photos from the action.
Out here in Springfield Va w @Teamsters
@UFCW400 @TheIronworkers @DCLabor
fighting for a fair contract