When you pass a transit shelter in the East Bay, West Bay, or South Bay, do you ever wonder, “who put that ad up there?” The answer is Local 853 members who work for Clear Channel Outdoor. Our members fix and maintain the transit shelters for MUNI, AC Transit, and VTA.
“It’s not an easy job,” says Business Rep Jesse Casqueiro. “These members deal with everything you see in the streets of our busy urban centers.” Some members clean the shelters, others post the ads, and still others maintain the shelters themselves. “Basically, we don’t construct them. But once they’re built, we do everything to keep them going,” Casqueiro adds. Clear Channel currently employs about 25 members, and it’s expected that the employer will add a substantial number of new workers to accommodate additional work that’s expected.
In July, the group overwhelmingly voted to ratify their new three-year contract, which included solid wage increases and more money toward the medical plan that took effect upon ratification of the contract. “We wanted to get money in people’s pockets as soon as possible so they would immediately see the value of having a union contract,” Casqueiro explained.
In order to recruit the new workers, the company recognized that they’d have to offer higher entry-level wages. “We let them know that they’d have to give the long-term employees comparable increases,” says Casqueiro. “For the first time in at least 25 years, we started the talks early and finished early.”
Casqueiro wanted to thank Alex Pastor and Randy Spears whose participation on the negotiating committee was instrumental in getting a good deal.