Local 734 Members Hold Steady to Win New Rights, Better Wages

After more than four years of unity, patience and perseverance, delivery drivers at Labriola Baking Company unanimously ratified their first Teamster contract on Feb. 19.

The 10 drivers originally voted to join Teamsters Local 734 in September 2011 before being forced to bear years of delay tactics and decertification attempts by company management. But the Teamster members’ refusal to give up on their rights paid off this month with a strong collective bargaining agreement that guarantees annual wage increases, holidays, vacations, job security and the protection of the Teamsters’ powerful grievance procedure.

“The drivers at Labriola never gave up the fight for a Teamster contract and their commitment to one another — and to the labor movement — is inspiring,” said Brian Meidel, President of Local 734 and Recording Secretary of Teamsters Joint Council 25. “Local 734 has represented bakeries and bakery drivers in Chicago for more than a century, and we couldn’t be prouder to see this meaningful, hard-fought first contract ratified at Labriola.”

The three-year contract, which takes effect March 15, includes pay raises for all workers and additional compensation for holidays, bereavement leave and jury duty. Job security language also clearly defines workers’ roles and responsibilities while acknowledging their commitment to the company.

Founded in 1993, Labriola is an artisan baking company providing Italian, French and German breads to restaurants, retail stores and hotels across the Chicago metropolitan area. Labriola provides bread to more than 1,000 clients from its 43,000-square-foot headquarters in south suburban Alsip.

“These bakery drivers epitomize the Chicago Teamsters — tireless and determined champions of labor and justice,” said John T. Coli, President of Joint Council 25. “As a growing Chicago company, Labriola has done very well for itself in the industry and it’s gratifying to see the workers finally stake their claim to its success and its future.”

Teamsters Local 734 is an affiliate of Teamsters Joint Council 25, America’s premier labor union for Chicago, Illinois and northwest Indiana.