Teamsters Prevail, Return to Work After Being on Strike for 44 Days

The 70 persistent Teamsters Local 710 members at Railway Industrial Services have finally secured the benefits they fought for throughout their 44-day long strike and ratified a new three-year contract.

The railway maintenance workers have remained strong on the picket line since January 17 after negotiations reached a standstill. Enduring a spectrum of harsh weather from subzero wind chills to a severe thunderstorm just last night, they stood their ground day and night to secure a contract that supports their dedication to their jobs.

“You would be hard pressed to find a group more dedicated than these men,” said Local 710 Business Agent Mike Ramirez. “Their unified stance didn’t falter once, and the atmosphere on the picket line was always positive, no matter how hard RIS pushed. Their persistence has finally paid off, and they have won a strong contract.”

One of the most important issues for the membership was the cost of healthcare. Local 710 successfully secured a cap on employee contributions at 16 percent of the monthly premium. Along with that, hourly wages will increase approximately five percent on average over the life of the agreement.

Additional language throughout the contract was also strengthened to better protect the members’ rights in the workplace. They will now be able to use up to three vacation days as sick days. Discipline, which previously had no structure, was adjusted to be progressive with multiple steps.

“On behalf of Local 710 and the entire Joint Council 25, I want to extend our congratulations to these men on a battle well fought,” said Local 710 Trustee John T. Coli. “They fully embody what it means to be a Teamster, and their solidarity is so incredibly impressive and inspiring to all union members. Well done.”

Teamsters Local 710 is an affiliate of Teamsters Joint Council 25, America’s premier labor union for Chicago, Illinois and northwest Indiana.