Fight to Improve Workers’ Livelihoods Rolls On with Teamsters Local 179 Taking the Lead
Teamster local union leaders and members continue to help make the campaign to organize workers at XPO Logistics a success, and the campaign is heating up in 2017.
Last year ended strong as workers at XPO Logistics in Aurora, Ill. voted to join Teamsters Local 179 in mid-October. There are 74 workers in the bargaining unit. On the same day, 127 XPO Logistics warehouse workers in North Haven, Conn. also chose union representation with Teamsters Local 443. Then, less than a month later, 52 drivers at XPO Logistics in King of Prussia, Penn., near Philadelphia, voted to join Teamsters Local 384.
In all three victories, Teamsters helped spread the word about the benefits of the union and locals working hand-in-hand with the National Freight Division and the Organizing Department.
Teamsters at UPS Freight, YRC, ABF and other companies helped in various campaigns. Gabe Quiroz, a UPS Freight driver in Chicago and member of Local 179, reached out to workers in Aurora.
“I worked at Con-way for a long time, and freight drivers need more respect from their employer. Being able to finally vote yes for the Teamsters has changed everything for me. From my wages to my insurance to respect on the job, I’m so much stronger as a member of the Teamsters Union,” Quiroz said.
Port, freight and warehouse workers at XPO Logistics are coming together across the country in their fight for a more secure future.‘A New Day’
“It’s a new day here in Aurora because the workers took the bold step of forming their union as Teamsters,” said Tom Flynn, President of Local 179. “We will work hard to negotiate a contract that addresses their issues.”
In Connecticut, the company and $3,000-per-day union busters put pressure on workers to oppose the union. XPO Logistics CEO Bradley Jacobs visited the warehouse several times, including the day before the election, telling workers to vote no.
The same union-busting tactics occurred in King of Prussia, with the company spending more than $1.5 million over the course of three campaigns.
The workers are seeking affordable and decent health care, retirement security and better working conditions. XPO Logistics is the second-largest freight brokerage provider and second-largest less-than-truckload carrier in North America.
In December, Teamsters rallied outside XPO Logistics’ headquarters to denounce a compensation plan that could provide a windfall stock award for CEO Jacobs worth $110 million at current stock price levels. Teamsters from several locals took part in the raucous protest.
On February 27, the union led a rally outside a shipping industry trade show in Long Beach, Calif., where Jacobs was speaking, with a half-dozen local unions in Southern California sending members to confront the CEO again.
Teamsters Local 179 is an affiliate of Teamsters Joint Council 25, America’s premier labor union for Chicago, Illinois and northwest Indiana.