Sunday, March 26, 2006

Northwest Chemical Transport Drivers on Strike

help picket, any time from 4am to 5pm, dress warmly
2001 Thorne Road, Tacoma Tideflats

This is a basic human rights struggle for a voice at work. Workers unanimously struck after management fired and retaliated against union activists following an overwhelming vote to unionize with Teamsters 117. The workers are organizing to achieve a fair contract that is a “win-win” for both sides. In addition to picketing, contact Pioneer Americas Operations Division at: 1-713-570-3254 to voice our concerns about potential unsafe hauling of their hazardous chemicals through our communities. Directions: Port of Tacoma Rd exit, left on Lincoln, first right onto Thorne Road, NWCT is across from ABF truck (green) terminal


* Northwest Chemical Transport (NWCT) is a tanker truck operation, based in Tacoma, Washington hauling hazardous chemicals such as Sodium Hypochlorite and Chlorine Gas to customers throughout the Northwest. These chemicals are manufactured by Pioneer Americas, also based in Tacoma, who contracts with NWCT for delivery of their product to their customers that include municipal and county water districts, wastewater treatment plants, pulp and paper mills and other industrials. The law requires that drivers who haul these hazardous chemicals and gasses undergo rigorous training and have special licenses. These chemicals cannot be delivered safely by just any licensed driver.
* In September of 2005, the nine drivers of NWCT voted overwhelmingly to become members of Teamsters Local Union No. 117. Their employer immediately retaliated by harassing and firing workers for their union activity. The workers and Teamsters have over twenty charges filed with the National Labor Relations Board alleging violations of labor law, and are expecting the Board to issue a complaint very shortly. Five days of bargaining with the employer have achieved little or no progress. At some of these sessions, the employer expressed disdain for the workers and declared futile their attempts to gain a voice at work through a union of their own choosing.
* When NWCT mangers were informed that the workers had authorized a strike, managers flew to Texas to receive abbreviated training in the transport of hazardous chemicals. Managers have also informed the workers that they are preparing to fly scab drivers in from other states to drive their routes. Drivers who are unfamiliar with local roads and weather conditions would be hauling extremely hazardous chemicals through our communities.

Further Info: Contact Brenda Wiest at Teamsters Local Union No. 117 at: 1-888-872-3489, ext. 1256

No comments: