About 35 drivers who work for Premier Recycling in San Jose voted Union Yes in May. These drivers drop off and pick-up recycling bins at construction sites.
“This was a dog fight,” says Business Rep Pablo Barrera. “The company brought three union busters to the worksite—and they’re still there. But we still won the election handily.” Barrera says that management kept telling the drivers, ‘If you don’t like it here, get another job,’ but they really just wanted to work at this job, and make it better.”
Roman Tamez, who works for UPS, just down the block from Premier, helped organize the Premier group; he brought several UPSers to share their stories about being in the union with the Premier group. “This was a great campaign,” Roman says. “These guys were getting treated unfairly; they were harassed if they needed to take a sick day. As election day got closer, the employer kept throwing out deals, but nobody bit. They didn’t feel they could trust any promises the employer made at that point. They moved as one group and overwhelmingly voted for the union.”
Negotiations for a first contract will start the last week of August.