Six months after voting unanimously to join Teamsters Local 251, drivers at Construct Oil Company ratified their first agreement. The drivers work in East Providence, providing onsite diesel fueling for trucking companies.
The contract was ratified unanimously on January 21. The union had reached a tentative agreement on January 11. The negotiating team, which included drivers Mike Souza and John Perry, are proud of the new agreement, which includes:
– Seniority bidding for work opportunities, open routes and shifts;
– Overtime after eight hours per day;
– Double time on Sundays;
– Safety bonuses per quarter;
– Language allowing the union and company to negotiate changes to the health plan if costs increase substantially;
– An annual shoe allowance;
– Entrance into the New England Teamsters and Trucking Industry Pension Fund;
– Strong wage increases; and
– Great contract language regarding discipline, grievance and arbitration, equipment safety and job security.
The drivers at Construct Oil initially approached the union about organizing after having concerns about job security and obtaining a secure contract. Construct Oil is a division of Taylor Oil, where there are Teamster members represented by Local 25 and other locals in the Northeast.
“This is one of the strongest first contracts I’ve witnessed. We made quite a bit of progress right off the bat,” said Michael Simone, Local 251 Organizer and Trustee. “It’s a testament to the fact that when workers come together and demand fairness, they can get it.”
“Contracts are never easy, but if you don’t stand up you’ll continue just taking what the company gives,” said Matt Taibi, Local 251 Secretary-Treasurer. “Without a union, the drivers would never have made this possible.”
“Organizing and getting a superb first contract cannot go without recognizing the passion, support and dedication of Local 251,” said Mike Souza, committee member. “Thanks so much for changing people’s lives for the better! We are proud to be Teamsters!”
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