Health center workers in Mass. choose Teamsters Local 170
(Source: International Brotherhood of Teamsters press release, February 26, 2013)
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Maintenance workers with Overlook Masonic Health Center, a senior care facility in Charlton, Mass., recently voted to join Teamsters Local 170 in Worcester, Mass.
“With the Teamsters, we can’t go wrong,” said Shane Schroth, a maintenance worker who has worked at Overlook Masonic for four years. “We believe hard work should be rewarded and compensated. We have families.”
Schroth talked with his co-workers and learned that they also felt a need for representation.
John Ramonas works with Schroth and had been a member of Local 170 and a shop steward in his previous job.
“A lot of the co-workers I talked with felt their hands were tied and there was not much they could do, but they wanted change. I told them, on the contrary, there is a lot you can do. One of those things is to organize, and the strongest union I know, that I was proud of, was the Teamsters, and they would make sure we were treated fairly,” Ramonas said. “We voted almost 2 to 1 and we’re moving forward at this point with getting a contract.”
The 17 maintenance employees take care of the grounds, buildings and security, which formerly were three different positions.
“They systematically and strategically bundled it into one,” Schroth said.
“I knew from being a Teamster that you are able to have control of your work environment,” Ramonas said.
“These guys focused on their rights on the job, worked hard and stuck together, and that’s important. That’s the only way to form a union,” said Mike Hogan, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 170.
Paul Stuart, an organizer with the Teamsters, said the workers truly came together as a group.
“We’re very happy to welcome them into our Teamster family,” Stuart said.
“This is an early retirement community and we love the residents; it’s a labor of love that we have here,” Ramonas said. “I’m happy to be on board with the Teamsters again. We wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Wednesday, February 27, 2013