TUKWILA, Wash., June 19, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Hundreds of members of Teamsters Local 174 who work at Columbia Distributing voted unanimously to strike against their employer today in a lively online meeting. These workers store and deliver beer, soda, water, juice and wine and spirits to restaurants and stores in the Puget Sound area, and if they were to leave their jobs, these deliveries would almost stop. .
The sticking point in the negotiations is not the economics of the contract, but the much more important issue of the language of the contract to protect workers at work. Management insisted on bringing forward proposals for contract clauses that would allow them to fire workers indiscriminately for minor infractions and for so-called “infractions” that were only observed by the company’s worker monitoring technology. This type of surveillance technology allows companies to indiscriminately target employees who are defending their rights at work and hold employers accountable for their actions.
The meeting included the anger and vitriol of the workers, who have spent the past 15 months battling a pandemic and showing incredible loyalty to their employer. Many pointed out that under the work rules proposed by management, they have already been terminated for minor cases such as forgetting to come back after lunch or breaking too much during deliveries in a truck. When it came time to vote, the group was in complete solidarity, delivering the clear message that they were not prepared to work by the rules. Colombia was demanding.
“We always say it doesn’t matter how much money is in a contract if the company has the power to fire you for looking at them sideways, and that’s exactly what Colombia seems to want, ”said Teamsters Local 174 secretary-treasurer Rick hicks. “Our members will never settle for a contract that does not truly protect them and their livelihoods, and they proved it today with this unanimous strike authorization. Colombia Management needs to think long and hard about how far they are willing to go, especially during a record labor shortage, because our members are ready to take this fight to the streets, and if that happens, we expect. to win. “
Now that a strike has been authorized by the members, one can be called at any time.
Founded in 1909, Local 174 of the Teamsters represents 8,600 men and women who work in Seattle and the surrounding area. “Like us” on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TeamstersLocal174.
Jamie fleming, (425) 281-0166
SOURCE Teamsters Local 174