Private-Sector Workers Prepare for Job Action
02/15/2005 - With their initial contract due to expire at the end of the month, more than 500 private sector mail-haul drivers represented by the APWU are preparing a possible strike against Pat Salmon & Sons in the wake of the company's pronouncement that it will cut off health insurance benefits on Feb. 28.
Pat Salmon and Sons, one of the largest and most successful private mail-haul companies, is insisting that its workers make major concession in pay and benefits.
In negotiations held in Shreveport in early February, the company rejected APWU proposals for increased vacation time, layover pay, and health benefits.
Following a poll of members of every local involved, union negotiators requested a strike authorization from the APWU National Executive Board, which was granted on Feb 9. If negotiators do call for a strike, local members will vote on the matter via secret ballot.
The drivers won their first contract in September 2003, following three years of negotiations, the filing of unfair labor practice charges, and a short but successful strike.
“It’s time to put Pat Salmon notice again that our members won’t be intimidated by company intransigence,” said APWU Support Services Division National Business Agent Bill Manley. “Every driver needs to prepare for a possible strike. Our struggle won’t be easy, but we will prevail, like we did in 2003.”