Teamsters members growing wary of strike
SOME UNION TRUCK DRIVERS SAY THEY WERE MISLED ABOUT CONTRACT
Several members of a Gary-based union have contacted The Times in recent days over concerns that the terms of a labor agreement proposed by employers was misrepresented, and they question why they are on strike.
More than 300 truck drivers with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 142 went on strike at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday against 28 contractors after voting down a proposed new two-year contract. In a move of solidarity, union members declined to cross picket lines of certain contractors after Portage-based Ironworkers Local 395 went on strike June 1.
One union driver, who declined to be identified fearing retaliation, said a strike vote was taken as early as March 21 at a union meeting. He said Teamsters Local 142 President Mitch Sawochka told members a group of highway contractors was trying to break up the union by separating the people doing highway work from people who work at steel mills and refineries. He said he also was baffled about why a vote was being taken because the contract didn't expire until two months later and that likely a final proposal hadn't been presented to the union.
"He told us they were out to screw us," the driver said. "I don't think he went into negotiations with good faith as these people were led to believe."
Unfortunately, last year, the National Labor Relations Board decided that it's okay for unions to lie to their members and it's not likely, with unions now controlling the NLRB, the Board will reverse its position any time soon.
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776
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