Solidarity is a word that you’ll usually see in any article pertaining to labor. Solidarity is a powerful word that resonates throughout the labor movement. But the ultimate form of solidarity occurs when members rally around their fellow brothers and sisters to flex the power of brotherhood. On May 16, 145 members of Teamsters Local 350, who work for Recology San Mateo, did just that by voting unanimously to approve strike sanction.
The negotiating committee, led by Secretary-Treasurer and Principal Officer John Bouchard, opted to hold a strike sanction vote after good-faith efforts by the Local had not been reciprocated. “I’m proud of our members for showing up in such large numbers and displaying incredible solidarity,” Bouchard said. “They sent a clear and strong message to the company by unanimously approving strike sanctions.”
Serving on the committee are Brian Marshall, Michael Montalbano, and Larry Yarbrough, who are the shop stewards representing the large unit.
“This big turnout shows the company that the same guys who line up to get the work done in the early morning hours are the same guys who lined up to sign in and vote for a strike,” said Montalbano.
“It’s always imperative to stand together, fight together and win together. We continually strive to get better results.” Brian Marshall added. “Going on strike is always the last resort. Nobody wants one. Nobody. But our strength in numbers sends a message to Recology.”
After discussing current negotiations and before all 145 members took the vote, Jose M. Madera, with 30 years of seniority, gave an impassioned statement that inspired cheers and applause from the membership.
The company and union are meeting again as this paper goes to press. Stay tuned to see whether they had to strike or got a settlement.