Organizing Victory at Martin Transportation Systems
Updated On: Apr 17, 2017
Mar 14, 2017 -
In a great victory today, drivers at Martin Transportation Systems (MTS) voted in favor of joining Teamsters Local 89 by an 8-3 majority. MTS is a rapidly expanding trucking company that opened a terminal in Louisville last summer. They primarily haul auto parts and have a contract with Ford Motor Company in the city.
“This is a great victory for these drivers,” said President Fred Zuckerman. “They came to us because they knew Teamsters 89 would fight like hell for them, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”
A driver at MTS contacted Teamsters 89 in February asking for us to assist in organizing his terminal. A first meeting was held shortly afterwards on February 11th, where five of their eleven drivers attended and all signed cards. A majority of cards were signed in the following two weeks, and a second meeting was held on February 25th with eight drivers attending. A petition for election was filed with the NLRB and company on February 27th.
Thanks to the solidarity of the drivers who had signed cards and attended meetings, the company had no knowledge of this organizing drive prior to the petition being mailed to them. In response, the company hired and flew in a union-buster named Rebecca Smith from LRI Consulting who they paid $3,000 dollars per day, plus expenses, in an attempt to break the organizing drive. Despite having two mandatory anti-union meetings and over two weeks of constant contact with MTS workers, this union-buster-for-hire failed to break the drivers’ solidarity.
“Our new brothers at MTS sent a very clear message to Rebecca Smith, LRI and the company that they will not be duped by chicken dinners, lies, and hollow promises,” said Business Agent and Organizer Jay Dennis. “These union busting mercenaries now know Local 89 doesn’t play around. We will aggressively push back against any high-dollar ‘consultant’ who makes the mistake of entering our jurisdiction.”
Now, with the election over and Teamsters 89 certified as the representative, we will move forward with our new brothers at MTS towards the next step of negotiating their first contract!
Teamsters 89 is proud to add these new brothers into our ever-growing union family, and we would like to congratulate them in this defining moment!
We would also like to thank several people from the Teamsters 89 staff who worked around the clock on this organizing drive for the past four weeks, including Vice President Avral Thompson, Business Agent Rusty Villier, Business Agent and Organizer Jay Dennis, and Communications Director Stephen Piercey. Here’s what they had to say about this victory.
“We’re proud to be welcoming these new brothers into our great union. They stuck together to win a strong voice in their workplace, and now they have one.” – Vice President Avral Thompson
“I’m looking forward to working with these guys and helping them obtain a contract that improves their lives.” Business Agent Rusty Villier
“I’m excited to see these guys becoming my Teamster brothers. Even with the company paying a union buster to lie to them every day, they stood together and voted yes. They earned this victory.” – Communications Director Stephen Piercey
Pictured Above: Teamsters 89 Business Agent and Organizer Jay Dennis holds the NLRB certification form alongside MTS drivers and election observers Troy Brown and Jason Moore, and Teamsters 89 Communications Director Stephen Piercey.