Teamsters Take on DHL With Expanded Picket Lines

More than 1,100 DHL Teamsters at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky airport (CVG) walked out last Thursday on an unfair labor practice strike. Now they've expanded their picket lines to 15 locations nationwide, including Boston, Indianapolis, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Detroit, San Francisco, and Portland. 60% of DHL's domestic network is impacted, including both coasts and several Midwest cities.

DHL ramp and tug workers joined the Teamsters last year and are fighting for a first contract at DHL's biggest and most profitable hub in the United States.

The ramp and tug workers at DHL-CVG voted to organize with the Teamsters in April. The union has filed numerous unfair labor practices with the National Labor Relations Board during and since the organizing campaign, including for DHL’s retaliation against pro-union workers.

“We were forced to go on strike to put an end to DHL’s illegal anti-union behavior. This company’s repeated acts of disrespect — from the tarmac where we work to the bargaining table — leave me and my co-workers with no choice but to withhold our labor,” said Gina Kemp, a DHL-CVG ramp and tug worker.

Safety, wages, and benefits are top concerns at the bargaining table.

A strong contract could also help organize sort workers at the DHL-CVG facility. There are over 1,000 sort workers who are in an organizing drive with Teamsters Local 100 and the IBT.

DHL Express is a highly profitable division of Deutsche Post AG, a global parcel delivery company based in Germany. DHL Express alone recorded a $4.3 billion operating profit last year.

The Teamsters represent over 6,000 DHL Express workers in the United States.

DHL Express Teamsters in other cities have the right to honor primary picket lines if they are extended to where they work. Peak season disruptions at DHL could just be getting started.

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