September 24, 2007: As the rank and file campaign for a good DHL contract heats up, DHL management has responded by firing two stewards in Pittsburgh. This attack on our union has to be addressed head-on.
On Sept. 25, management fired Local 249 chief steward Gary Alward while he was representing a member who was being questioned about a gap report. Just five days earlier, they fired Local 249 committeeman Mark Woods while he was representing a member. In short, they were fired for acting as stewards, a clear unfair labor practice. Woods was removed from the job in blatant violation of the innocent-till-proven-guilty clause in the Western Pennsylvania contract supplement.
Local 249 Teamsters are sticking together. After Woods was fired, the entire Local 249 DHL union committee signed a statement that they would resign as stewards unless Woods was promptly reinstated with back pay.
DHL management is testing the union, looking for weakness. And they are attacking our stewards, who are on the front lines in the battle for a good contract. We cannot let that happen.
DHL Teamsters should ask your local to demand the company reinstate brothers Alward and Woods. Demand that the International Union refuse to bargain with them unless our stewards are reinstated.
Taste of the Future?
One contract concession that DHL wants is to scrap the grievance procedure in favor of a DHL-only system. Just think what would happen to these fired stewards under that company-dominated plan. They would be at the mercy of the company—off for months, or worse.
We cannot agree to that grievance procedure.
A third national DHL steward and activist conference call on September 23 drew new participation and new plans. As the contract bargaining is set to begin in Arizona in October, DHL Teamsters are getting informed, involved and united.