In March, the 25 members who work at Westrock, a paper and packaging company in Milpitas, unanimously ratified their first successor contract since the merger with Local 853 took place. The four-year agreement is reputed to be the best these shipping and receiving have ever approved.
“The negotiating team fought long and hard with the employer to stay in Teamsters Health and Welfare plan and the Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Plan,” said Business Rep Pablo Barrera, who explained that negotiations had started in December 2019, but then were suspended for several months after Covid-19 hit. “We reconvened via zoom in January 2021, under the leadership of Secretary-Treasurer Rome Aloise, and were able to negotiate a new successor agreement,” says Barrera.
“In the end, we got wage increases of $2.85/hour in year one, $0.85/hour in year two, and $0.90/hour in years three and four. They also got retroactive pay at a rate of 2.25% above their hourly rate since the contract had expired 14 months earlier. Most importantly, we succeeded in our quest to stay in both Teamsters Health and Welfare plan and WCTP pension plan.”
“Getting this contract is only possible because of the number and variety of contracts that Local 853 has,” adds Aloise. “And, of course, it’s due to Pablo’s great negotiating skills!”