Teamsters Local 104 Members Prepare for Veolia Lockout

Company's Failure to Bargain in Good Faith May Lead to Midnight Sunday Lockout of Phoenix, AZ Valley Metro Transit Members

Oct 02, 2010, 20:42 ET from International Brotherhood of Teamsters

WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Teamsters Local 104 Veolia fuelers, cleaners, parts clerks and tire service workers on Saturday prepared to be locked out as 11th-hour negotiations with their French multi-national employer continue. This has led to unfair labor practice charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board that the company had failed to bargain and has engaged in surface bargaining.

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Teamsters believe that surface bargaining is an attempt by Veolia to claim impasse in order to lock out the employees, said Teamsters Local 104 Secretary-Treasurer Andy Marshall. Phoenix-based Teamsters Local 104 has continued to negotiate in good faith and has requested another extension of the existing collective bargaining agreement and offered to continue negotiating for as many days as necessary to reach a tentative agreement.

"The company's insistence on proposing the exact same subcontracting language, which would strip all job protection from the employees, is unacceptable and would make the remainder of the contract irrelevant," Marshall said. "This is not about wages – this is about job security and continuing to provide service to the Valley Metro Transit ridership."  

More than 60 Teamsters members met Saturday prior to the negotiation session with the company to call for a contract extension that would keep the Valley Metro Transit system in operation. A lockout would affect members of two other Valley Metro Transit unions employed by Veolia, including 600 Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1433 bus operators and approximately 100 mechanics, members of International Operating Engineers Local 428, both of which have pledged to honor any picket lines.

In another dispute with Veolia in Prince George's County, Md., the company refused a Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service proposal for a six-month contract extension and an unconditional return to work offer from more than 175 Teamsters Local 639 members. That offer would have restored service to Veolia/The Bus customers in Maryland.

Veolia operates transit, water and waste services throughout the U.S. and Canada. The Teamsters Union represents nearly 3,500 Veolia members at Veolia's North American subsidiaries. Veolia's 2009 financial statements show more than $1 billion in revenue from its U.S. operations and more than $7.6 billion worldwide. Teamsters Local 104 represents 6,800 members throughout the state of Arizona. Teamsters Local 639 represents 8,000 members in the Washington, D.C. Metro area.

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters