WASHINGTON, Oct. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, workers at Liberty Tire Recycling voted overwhelmingly, by a more than 3-1 margin, in favor of joining Local 728 in Atlanta. Drivers and helpers reached out to the Teamsters in early September seeking improved working conditions, higher wages and better benefits.
"This win means a lot to me and my co-workers. We fought hard for this day, and we are very happy to be Teamsters," said Luis Herrera, a 25-year driver for Liberty Tire and member of the worker-led organizing committee. "Now that we have our union, we will continue fighting to address the issues that the company has been ignoring for years. It's time for this company to treat its workers right."
Herrera and his co-workers said they reached out to the union after years of disrespect by management. Workers also noted the poor working conditions and that they had gone more than a decade without a raise. The vote for union representation marked the first group of workers at Liberty Tire to join the Teamsters.
"We saw the strength of the union from the very start of the campaign. The support from the community has been incredible, especially from politicians and other labor unions. It reminded us that this was a campaign for justice. This was a wonderful victory and a proud day," said Laba Mbengue, a 15-year driver at Liberty and one of the lead members of the worker-led organizing committee. "The Teamsters have shown us that we are more powerful when we are united. Now, we will continue standing together to win our first union contract."
The Liberty workers had far-reaching support in their campaign to organize, including dozens of Atlanta political leaders, the Atlanta-North Georgia Labor Council and the Georgia AFL-CIO. That support was on display at a rally held outside the company's Metro Atlanta facility last week.
"This determined group stood strong as the company waged a vicious anti-union campaign, attempting to convince workers to vote against their best interests. But Liberty workers knew better than to fall for their dirty tricks," said Chuck Stiles, Director of the Teamsters Solid Waste and Recycling Division. "I want to congratulate Liberty workers on their overwhelming vote for Teamster representation and thank everyone in the Atlanta labor community for their support, including all of our political friends who voiced their support. Our division is proud of what these workers have accomplished throughout this campaign. We look forward to negotiating a strong contract that addresses their concerns, and we are ready to help more Liberty workers looking to secure a strong union voice with the Teamsters."
Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Liberty Tire is one of the largest tire recycling services in the U.S., employing more than 2,700 workers nationwide.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and "like" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.