Members in Mesa Overwhelmingly Approve New Two Year Contract
Local 455 members employed by Veolia Transportation in Mesa, AZ overwhelmingly approved a new two-year agreement. The new agreement provides for wage increases, preservation of existing health and dental benefits as well as several new improvements in worker protections.
In addition to USWU’s Transportation Director Troy Anderson, the bargaining was led by Business Agent Ed Kahn and Chief Shop Steward Dan Rank.
Other members of the Negotiating Committee were Assistant Shop Stewards Raul Valenzuela, Call Center Shop Steward Essie Dillingham and Intern Shop Steward Rueben Valderrama.
The ratification vote, covering nearly 90 members, was 67 – 2 in favor of the new contract.
The negotiations process began in March when Ed Kahn and Dan Rank conducted membership surveys and held contract proposal meetings. After several back-to-back lengthy and often heated negotiating sessions, a final settlement was reached on June 29, 2011.
USWU Transportation Director Troy Anderson showed the seriousness with which the USWA was taking these negotiations by making a special trip to attend a Negotiations Update meeting held on June 27, 2011 as well as being a primary spokesperson at the negotiating session June 28th.
“We felt it was important to let our members know that the entire union supported them in their negotiations with a very big international transportation company. We also wanted the company to know that we were prepared to use all of our resources to get a successful settlement for both sides,” said Anderson.
Chief Shop Steward Dan Rank was very satisfied with the outcome of bargaining as well as the solidarity of the Mesa membership. “Without the support of our national union as well as our members sticking together, we could not have accomplished many of our goals. In these economic times this is a very good agreement.”
Business Agent Ed Kahn congratulated the membership and thanked Veolia for negotiating in good faith under very difficult circumstances.
“In these times, and with very unique pressures facing the workers and the company, I am very pleased that we were able to achieve a contract without any concessions and achieve a result with which both management and our members are happy. I want to thank the Veolia negotiating team for bargaining in good faith and working with the United Service Workers Union toward a positive settlement.
I am especially proud of our membership, which took this process seriously over the last four months by attending union meetings and supporting the negotiating committee 100%. I can’t think of a better team, led by Dan Rank, who could have worked so hard and long for their membership.”
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