The 70 persistent Local 710 Teamsters at Railway Industrial Services have finally secured the benefits they fought for throughout their 44-day long strike and ratified a new three-year contract. They will return to work beginning tomorrow.
The railway maintenance workers have remained strong on the picket line since January 17 after negotiations reached a standstill. Enduring a spectrum of harsh weather from subzero wind chills to a severe thunderstorm just last night, they stood their ground day and night to secure a contract that supports their dedication to their jobs.
You would be hard pressed to find a group more dedicated than these men. Their unified stance didn’t falter once, and the atmosphere on the picket line was always positive, no matter how hard RIS pushed.
Their persistence has finally paid off, and they have won a strong contract.
Local 710 Business Agent
One of the most important issues for the membership was the cost of healthcare. Local 710 successfully secured a cap on employee contributions towards the monthly premium. Along with that, hourly wages will increase more than five percent on average over the life of the agreement.
Additional language throughout the contract was also strengthened to better protect the members’ rights in the workplace. They will now be able to use some vacation days as sick days without disciplinary action. Discipline, which previously had no structure, was adjusted to be progressive with multiple steps. Upon moving up to a higher job classification, members will immediately receive the higher rate of pay for that job, whereas before, that increase was spread out over five years.
On behalf of Local 710 and the entire Joint Council 25, I want to extend our congratulations to these men on a battle well fought. They fully embody what it means to be a Teamster, and their solidarity is so incredibly impressive and inspiring to all union members. Well done.
John T. Coli
Local 710 Trustee
Teamsters Local 710 is an affiliate of Teamsters Joint Council 25, America’s premier labor union for Chicago, Illinois and northwest Indiana.
Your Local 710 Business Agents