Connections 2004: Contract Update - Settled
Graniterock strike ends
Local 853 members working for Graniterock/Pavex, respected
the picket lines of Teamsters Local 287, the Machinists,
Operating Engineers, and Laborers for 10 weeks. The
union members had gone on strike to oppose Graniterock’s
insistence on breaking the union members’ right
to respect future picket lines.
The battle started in June, when Local 287 went on
strike over their San Jose ready mix agreement, and
escalated in July when workers at the Wilson Quarry
in Watsonville struck over their agreement. At its height,
more than 500 union members were out of work due to
The importance of these strikes was not lost on the
members of Local 853. They recognized that the owner
was attempting to take away their right to respect picket
lines, and the right of other union members to respect
Teamster picket lines.
The strike finally ended when the Operating Engineers
gave in to the demand to ignore future picket lines.
The Teamsters, however, maintained their right to continue
to honor the lines of all unions in the event of any
Local 853 members respecting the picket
lines at the two Graniterock plants
Morton Salt settles
In a unanimous strike vote, Local 853’s members
at Morton Salt gave their solid support to Recording
Secretary and Business Agent Antonio Christian, enabling
him to bring about a successful settlement on a new
In virtually every contract negotiation that Local
853 takes on these days, health care is a major issue.
This one was no exception. The ratified contract contained
language improvements, additional money to cover health
care costs, and wage increases every year.
Dreyer’s finally done,
Challenge Dairy also settles
Business Agent Bob Strelo worked on the Dreyer’s
Ice Cream contract for almost seven months before a
successful settlement was reached. After the closure
of the manufacturing plant a few years ago, the company
took a much more aggressive approach to these negotiations.
After the members turned down three different offers
from the company, a long and tense situation developed.
With the assistance of Secretary-Treasurer Rome Aloise,
the union and Dreyer’s were able to come to agreement.
The new contract calls for significant pay increases,
language improvements, and moving to a new company health
Bob Strelo also settled the Challenge Dairy contract.
This successful negotiation brought the Local 853 members
working for Challenge to parity with those working at
other companies in the local, such as Berkeley Farms
and Foster Farms. The members were successful in obtaining
increases in Health and Welfare money and gaining the
Teamsters Benefit Trust Retirement Security Plan.
More contracts settled
Business Agents Pete Easton and Dan Harrington have
been busy in negotiations also. Pete settled Caterpillar
warehouse and Impact Distribution recently. Dan has
negotiated successful settlements at the City and County
of San Francisco, San Francisco Gravel and JS Guerin
Company, and Christy Vault.
President John Becker has recently settled contracts
with Clear Channel and Spicer Paper, while chairing
the Statewide Costco grievance committee.Vice President
Phil Tarantino has been working with the San Francisco
Board of Supervisors to make certain that the San Francisco
Chronicle is named the official newspaper of San Francisco
for advertising purposes. Local 853 is working to ensure
that nonunion papers like the Examiner and San Francisco
Independent aren’t rewarded with the city’s