Transervice Teamsters Local 455 members ratified a new four-year contract on Friday, sealing an historic deal that includes dozens of major improvements for workers -- including an agreement that protects drivers from the threat posed by autonomous trucks for the life of the deal.
Dean Modecker, Teamsters Local 455 Secretary-Treasurer, said members made their way through heated negotiations to get to a record deal for 150 Transervice drivers, hostlers, mechanics and fuelers.
"Our Transervice members knew what they wanted and they fought for it," Modecker said. "Hats off to these hard-working Teamsters, to the negotiating committee, business agents and the IBT Warehouse Division for ensuring this deal got done."
Among the dozens of major improvements:
- Language that allows a member to use sick leave without penalty as long as there is any time in the leave bank.
- The first increase in pension contributions in 12 years.
- Wage increases ranging from $2.28 to $4.49 per hour the first year; $1.25 per hour each of the remaining three years.
- An increase from $15,000 to $35,000 property damage minimum for a dischargeable accident -- a major goal for the bargaining committee.
- The ability to combine breaks when working more than ten hours in a shift. Said negotiating committee member Anthony Stasse: "You'd think the government would protect us, but it takes the Teamsters to do that."
Bargaining committee members say there's much more.
"It’s industry-setting -- the wages; increased amounts in the pension that’s been frozen for years; increased health care benefits; and we've protected members from retaliatory management who have been using the contract to circumvent seniority," said Stasse.
John Cho, driver, and bargaining committee member, said, "This is probably the best contract we've ever had."