UE (the United Electrical workers’ union)gained 160 new members today as drivers who work at Renzenberger Incorporated in Chicago voted by a 3 to 1 margin to join UE. The election victory is also a win for Warehouse Workers for Justice (WWJ), a broad campaign to improve conditions for thousands of transportation and logistics workers in greater Chicago.
Renzenberger drivers transport railroad crews to and from their work sites, and are an important part of the logistics industry. Drivers formed a large organizing committee that mobilized their co-workers to support unionization. More than anything, these workers are seeking a voice on the job, respect and fair treatment. Without a union, they have endured unfair discipline and firings, unpaid wages, no paid time off, a wage freeze, unaffordable health insurance and a lack of job security. Now they are ready to fight for a first UE contract that provides for fair treatment, respect and real benefits, as well as pay raises.
Members of UE Local 1110 at Serious Materials (formerly Republic Windows and Doors) participated in the organizing effort, including Armando Robles, Ricky Maclin, Sergio Revuelta, Ron Bender and Raul Flores. UE Organizer Leah Fried led the campaign with assistance from Field Organizer Leticia Marquez, International Representatives Mark Meinster and Tim Curtin, and UE Western Region President Carl Rosen. Crucial support also came from WWJ Coordinator Abraham Mwaura, who said the UE victory at Renzenberger will provide important new momentum for the WWJ workers’ center and area-wide efforts to improve conditions for transportation, warehouse and logistics workers.