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6/30/2005

Workers’ Message to Company: Take Care of Family


Source: Teamsters

Teamsters Local 705 in Chicago shut down the DHL–ORD station in Franklin Park, Illinois on Thursday, June 23 after the company failed to pay more than $15,000 to Local 705’s Health & Welfare and Pension Trust Funds.

The picketing was successful, forcing the company to make an immediate payment to the funds.

The job action resulted in other victories as well.

This was not the first time that DHL was warned about payment to the funds.

“This is about the DHL not taking care of their family,” said Steve Pocztowski, Local 705 Secretary–Treasurer. “They have a deadbeat dad who doesn’t want to cover them after he agreed that he would.”

When the pickets went up at 1:30 p.m., the clerical workers were the first to come out to support the job action. This was in between shift changes, so the drivers coming in off their routes and the ones just getting ready to start their afternoon shift for the crucial customer pickups were met by the clerical department members armed with picket signs.

“They never hesitated in showing their support,” said Neil Messino, Local 705 business agent.

“They jumped at this chance to send a message to DHL that they are willing to do whatever it takes to get their message across.”

Local 705 and DHL are also in contract talks involving the clerical workers. DHL wants to close down the clerical workers’ Chicago office. DHL was already planning on eliminating the clerical positions—but Local 705 agents put a halt to that.

While striking DHL over the late funds payment, Local 705 also presented DHL management with an unfair labor practice over the firing of one of the local’s stewards. A week before the strike, DHL terminated the steward on a non-cardinal infraction. DHL unilaterally decided to change the disciplinary rules on its own.

Within two hours, DHL agreed to waive all claims against Teamsters Local 705, waived any disciplinary action against the persons that it employs who engaged in picketing or refused to work. DHL also agreed to make an immediate wire transfer to the funds and return the terminated steward with all back pay and benefits.

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