Louisville, KY - Teamsters Local 89 members employed at DSI Tunneling went on strike at 3:30 AM this morning, following a unanimous strike vote conducted Monday evening.
DSI Tunneling voted to join Teamsters Local 89 in November of 2019 by an overwhelming majority. Following the election certification, contract proposal meetings were promptly held, and bargaining dates were requested from the Company.
Local 89 negotiators went to work to bargain a fair contract for these new members. However, DSI management made the appalling decision to hire union busters —the same ones who had tried to prevent the shop from joining Local 89 to begin with— to negotiate this first contract. What followed was months of stalling and delay tactics. Of particular frustration to the union negotiating committee; the Company would not release workers to bargain during normal business hours. This resulted in short, two to three hour negotiating sessions with an exhausted rank-and-file committee who had already worked 10-12 hour shifts that day and who had to be up again for work the next morning.
It became abundantly clear the Company hired these union-busters not to negotiate a first contract, but to ensure perpetual negotiations in order to prevent a contract from ever being ratified. DSI management has continually made a mockery of their legal obligation to bargain in good faith. They insult the intelligence of their own workers by subjecting them to this charade of surface bargaining. And because this Company clearly has no intention of taking the negotiating process seriously, it left Local 89 DSI members with little choice but to respond in the only way they could; a strike.
“The saddest part is these guys aren’t even asking for much,” said Vice President and negotiations chair Jeff Cooper. “Everything they’ve asked for is reasonable, but this company and their union-busters treat it all like a joke. It’s insulting, and we aren’t going to tolerate it.”
DSI management - do the right thing. Stop playing games with your workers livelihoods. Come to the table seriously, and ready to negotiate a fair contract. Teamsters Local 89 and our members are ready to get a contract. But you have to be ready too. Until then you’ll find us outside your gates holding picket signs and a bullhorn.
Teamsters Local 89 represents over 15,000 hard-working men and women in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The stated mission of Teamsters Local 89 is to bring stability to the economy and community through strong collective bargaining agreements that protects its members right to fair wages, good working conditions, and dignity within the workplace.