July 12, 2007: By John Dominikovich Local 726, Chicago: It’s time for change in Chicago Local 726, to make this union strong and proud. I see that change happening this fall in the union election.
I’ve worked for the Cook County Highway Department for 25 years and I’ve been a Local 726 member for 20 years. I’ve seen our driver jobs reduced by 50 percent. Jobs have been farmed out with little fight from our local officials.
Local 726 has given up our paid overtime, twelve sick days per year, four personal days a year and six holidays. We get straight time pay while the supervisors and office personnel get double time on holidays. We have over 20 bosses for the 72 drivers on our board. There is talk of losing more drivers.
We have a contract ratification meeting set for July and we’ve been told there are changes, but we have not been given the new language. We’ve been told just to vote Yes on it. Our health benefit costs are going up and the plan design is supposed to change, but again, we’ve been given no specifics in writing.
All this goes on as we see our local officers and agents getting raises and turning a deaf ear to our wants and needs.
It’s time for a change. And our members are going to make it happen.