Teamsters

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Waste Drivers In Michigan Join Teamsters Local 337

On July 26, drivers who transport trash in their tractor-trailer rigs voted overwhelmingly to join Local 337 in Detroit/Port Huron.

The workers at Stafford Transportation in Port Huron, Michigan pick up trash in Canada, primarily in the Toronto area, and bring it back to landfills in Michigan.

The vote was 35-10 in favor of joining Local 337. There are 55 drivers in the bargaining unit.

“When General President Jim Hoffa spoke at the Joint Council 43 spring delegates meeting, he stressed the importance of building up DRIVE and the importance of organizing,” said Mike Martin, Local 337 President. “We have built our DRIVE fund up significantly and this victory at Stafford is our second organizing victory since then. Earlier, we won an election at First Student.”

The Stafford workers won despite the company’s firing of the main worker-organizer, Mike Williams, who refused to give the company the authorization cards signed by workers as management demanded, said Jim Parrinello, Local 337 Trustee. Local 337 has filed charges with the NLRB over the firing. The charges are pending.

“The workers remained strong and united, and they had a very strong committee of 13, which grew to 25,” Parrinello said.  

“The workers are seeking fair wages and respect on the job,” Parrinello said.

Parrinello said Local 299 President Kevin Moore, who serves on the Joint Council 43 Executive Board, helped make the campaign a success. He also said the Solid Waste, Recycling and Related Industries was very helpful.

“I also want to thank Local 419 and its members in Canada who came into contact with the Stafford workers,” Parrinello said. “The Local 419 members talked about the benefits of being Teamsters.”

“Our organizing numbers are getting greater and we’re enthusiastic about organizing many more members across America,” said Bob Morales, Director of the Teamsters Solid Waste, Recycling and Related Industries Division.