A majority of the 15 drivers, janitors, and maintenance workers at Crothall Healthcare in Gilroy filed cards to show their interest in joining Local 853. They had a laundry list of grievances, including safety, favoritism, mistreatment, and lack of respect. Surprising everyone, including organizer Pablo Barrera, the company recognized the unit.
“We were sure that we’d have a fight on our hands and would have to go to an election,” says Barrera. “But because the Manteca facility is already under contract with Local 386, the company didn’t have a problem recognizing the union through card check, and we were able to develop a contract using the 386 agreement as a template.”
The facility services major Bay Area hospitals with linens, towels, blankets, pillowcases, laboratory coats, and hospital scrubs.
State updates prevailing wage for West, South Bay
The Department of Industrial Relations ruled in favor of a Teamster petition to require the prevailing wage for ready-mix drivers who do on- and off-hauling to and from construction sites in San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara Counties. This means that the minimum rates for this work go from $33.85 to $69.07 per hour.
“This doesn’t change the rate for our members,” says Stu Helfer “because they were already getting the higher rate. However, it protects our standards and brings lots of non-union ready-mix drivers up when they work on a prevailing wage job.”
This determination had previously been made in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
“Our contractors told us that we have to level the playing field. So we did,” Helfer says with great pride.