More than 1,100 DHL Express workers at DHL's largest hub in North America voted to join the Teamsters in a massive victory for the workers and the revamped Teamsters Organizing Department. Ramp and tug workers voted to join Teamsters Local 100 in Cincinnati after a yearlong campaign against DHL union-busters.
“This was a long time coming!” said Steve Fightmaster, a ramp lead and DHL Workers United for Change committee member. “We stood strong to become Teamsters and changed over 1,000 people’s lives for the better.”
DHL Express workers at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) voted 505 to 287 to join our union. Negotiations will begin for a first Teamster contract for DHL-CVG workers following official certification of the election by the National Labor Relations Board.
“We are thrilled that more DHL Express workers have successfully fought to join our union,” said Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Fred Zuckerman. “Our entire union stands with these workers, ready to keep holding DHL Express accountable.”
The Teamsters represent more than 6,000 members at DHL in the U.S.
“Now that we won the election, more workers are stepping up and getting involved,” said Garrett Schwing, a ramp worker and committee member who got involved in organizing last year. “We’re launching a membership drive to make sure all workers are signed up as full members of the union before we head into bargaining. That’s going to send a clear message to the company and give us the leverage to win.”
Working Teamsters across the country helped build the winning campaign by coming to Cincinnati and talking to DHL workers about what it means to them to be a Teamster.
"We achieved this in no small part due to the full support of the IBT organizing department and the assistance of organizers from around the country," said Nick Prather of Local 100. “These workers worked extremely hard to get to this point, and we're looking forward to fighting for the strongest possible contract in negotiations,” Prather said.
Throughout their organizing campaign, DHL-CVG workers were fiercely supported by existing DHL Teamsters around the country.
Now new DHL Teamsters and Teamster organizers are carrying the momentum forward to organize warehouse sort workers at the DHL-CVG facility. There are another 1,000 workers in the sort operation.
Catastrophic Safety Conditions
“Safety and wages and rampant understaffing are our top concerns,” Schwing said. “Under the current conditions for ramp workers it was not a question of if there would be a catastrophic injuries each year, but when. Now we’re going to have the power to change that in our contract.”
This video from More Perfect Union shows what Schwing is talking about and why workers united to become Teamsters.