Teamsters Local 71 Organizing Machine Rolls On With American Red Cross Victory

Oct 06, 2010, 10:06 ET from Teamsters Local 71

150 Workers Vote to Join Teamsters

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- American Red Cross workers in Charlotte have voted to join Teamsters Local 71. There are about 150 workers in the bargaining unit.

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"The 150 workers want job security, respect, a voice and representation they know they can count on," said Ted Russell, President of Local 71. "These hard workers have had it with management's inconsistencies and the unwillingness to address issues and concerns. The workers stood up to this unacceptable lack of respect."

Tonie Johnson, an 8-year worker, said the workers want a structured policy that can't be changed on a daily basis because "right now we aren't guaranteed anything."

"I expect to be treated fairly and with respect," said Amy Lee, a 4-year worker.

After meeting with the workers, Russell saw they were extremely serious about joining the Teamsters, so Local 71 organizer Randy Conrad stepped in.

"The workers' courage and determination should be a foundation for everyone who wants to organize," Conrad said. "In the 15 years I have been organizing, I have never seen some of the things that this company injected in the campaign and subjected the workers to."

Conrad said there needs to be stiffer consequences for unfair labor practices and violations of federal labor law. Some of the violations that occurred were suspension for union activities, promises of benefits, promises to remedy grievances, threats to rescind policies and other violations. The National Labor Relations Board is looking into the matter.

Russell acknowledged the help of Teamsters Vice President At Large Al Mixon for his support.

"This is the first Red Cross in the Carolinas to vote for Teamster representation, and this has led the way for the other Locals in the Carolinas to join in," Russell said, adding that Red Cross workers in Wilmington now have an election date. "We have been in contact with other Teamster Locals and coalitions with Red Cross members across the country and look forward to working with them to get these workers a strong contract."

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States and Canada. Go to www.teamster.org for more information.

SOURCE Teamsters Local 71



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