Chicago Teamster's 726 Approve Contract October 4, 2007

Final Vote. 1134 Teamsters made proper votes. 974 voted YES. 159 voted No. One Teamster (From the 11 Ward) had his vote voided. Teamsters had a chance to make some historic gains. Better luck next time. Do not forget where the unemployment line is boys. Special thanks to my Teamster Inspector General. Patrick McDonough.

One Reply to “Chicago Teamster's 726 Approve Contract October 4, 2007”

  1. Union deal to help Daley’s Olympic case

    October 5, 2007
    BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter
    Mayor Daley’s plan to bolster his Olympic dream by guaranteeing labor peace through 2016 is back on track, thanks to a “no-privatization” guarantee.

    By a vote of 997 to 134, Teamsters Local 726 voted Thursday night to accept the unprecedented, 10-year deal that locks in prevailing wages for 8,000 members of the building trades.

    Twice in the past month, the Teamsters contract fell victim to a power struggle within the union representing 2,100 city truck drivers and equipment dispatchers.

    Employees fighting to unseat the union’s existing leadership team lobbied against the deal, arguing that it undermined seniority and opened the door to massive layoffs at a time when Daley’s new 21st Century Commission is exploring the idea of privatizing garbage collection and the city’s water-filtration plants.

    But the third time was the charm, largely because of the city’s decision to renew a “side-letter” on the thorny issue of privatization, according to truck driver Vincent Tenuto Jr., who lobbied against the original deal.

    “It says they cannot take our jobs away from us,” said Tenuto, who is among those hoping to unseat the union’s executive board. “Subcontracting cannot cause a Teamster to be laid off. It prohibits the city from subcontracting or privatizing, causing any layoffs of Teamsters.

    “We couldn’t get a guarantee on the amount of jobs. But at least we know we’re gonna have jobs for the next 10 years.”

    Tenuto had also complained about the switch from “citywide seniority” for truck drivers to “departmental seniority.” That would have allowed, say, a Department of Streets and Sanitation driver with 30 years of seniority to be fired, while less-senior truck drivers assigned to other city departments were retained.

    That issue was also resolved with a side-letter. This one promises that economic layoffs would be accomplished “citywide — not by department. It doesn’t matter where you’re working,” Tenuto said. “That was the way they could manipulate the system to keep their friends working and keep people on that make less money.”

    Jim Franczek, the city’s chief negotiator, could not immediately be reached for comment. Tom Claar, secretary-treasurer of Local 726, insisted that the language on privatization and seniority was in the contract all along, but that it was simply not properly explained to the rank-and-file.

    “Some of the people didn’t understand what it was,” Claar said. “Once we explained it to them, they realized it’s a good contract.”

    He added, “It’s an election year for us. There’s always some disgruntled members. Our opposition was out there telling some facts not true . . . That’s why the first two [votes] didn’t go this well.”

    Next up for Tenuto is next week’s union election. He likes his chances, with the election coming on the heels of the contract fight.

    “We’re real happy it’s settled and everybody is working together as one,” Tenuto said. “It’s the membership that did it. They stopped it. They worked for it. They got it.”

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