In a blatant attempt to impact contract negotiations in the aftermath of an unprecedented 10-year agreement that brought stability and labor peace to the City of Chicago, the city’s Inspector General issued a report attacking city workers and calling for deep cuts in collective bargaining agreements that provide basic wages, benefits and safety provisions for the men and women who serve the citizens of Chicago.
It is an extraordinary assault on the city’s workforce timed to influence contract negotiations. In his report, Inspector Joe Ferguson specifically, and unfairly, attacks Teamster workers who do some of the most difficult and unsafe jobs in the city. Nothing is offered to recognize the increasingly difficult and challenging conditions being confronted daily by Teamster members in Chicago.
“We are extremely disappointed in this report and that it was released right as we are moving into the beginning stages of negotiations with the city,” said Teamsters Local 700 President and Teamsters Joint Council 25 Trustee Becky Strzechowski. “Ferguson is clearly trying to make a case that the union workers who keep the city running every day are undeserving of their wages and benefits. We know what our membership has been through with this current contract and we will continue to keep members’ best interests at the forefront. While we want to aim high at the bargaining table, we have to understand what we are up against and start to think more about protecting and preserving what we already have.”
Unfortunately, Local 700 also received notice yesterday that the MARBA prevailing wage rate effective June 1 shows a zero increase in wages. The 3 percent increase measures out to $1.73, with $1 allocated toward pensions and the other $0.73 toward health and welfare.
Local 700 will update members after the next negotiation meeting. Anyone with questions should reach out to their respective Local 700 Business Agent — Harold Irving, Ramon Williams, Joe Belli or Carlos Sanchez.
Teamsters Local 700 is an affiliate of Teamsters Joint Council 25, America’s premier labor union for Chicago, Illinois and northwest Indiana.