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Teamsters Local 251 Looking to Organize New England Pest Control

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

 

Teamsters Local 251 is looking to unionize New England Pest Control in Providence, and held a rally Thursday at the O'Connell Street location, site of the iconic Big Blue Bug.

Local 251 Assistant Business Agent Nick Williams said that the Teamsters were approached earlier this year by a New England Pest Control employee looking into the possibility of unionizing.

"Wages, safety, there will be plenty on the table if the workers vote to unionize, as they have some of lowest wages in the industry," said Williams. "We'll do our research into average wages, present a proposal for employer, and we'll hash out what we consider a fair contract. Once we have a tentative agreement, we go back to the members, and they vote for it."

Currently, the Local 251 has over 5,300 members.  Williams noted that the New England Pest Control worker vote to unionize -- or not -- will take place on Friday.

"There are 33 techs there," said Williams. "The vote we need to unionize is 50% plus 1. Not everyone is required to vote."

Unfair Labor Violation Alleged

Teamsters turned out for a rally at New England Pest Control in support of the unionization effort there.

Williams noted that he had already conducted a "card check" - and believes there might have been an unfair labor violation in the process.

"What we do with drives is the NLRB requests an "excelsior list" that has names and addresses of all employees," said Williams. "I'd put out a mailer to everyone -- four addresses have been wrong, since they came back to me. That would be a violation there."

A spokesperson for New England Pest Control declined comment on the unionization efffort.

"I think last year the previous [Local 251] leadership may have unionized one new shop," said Williams. "It could be in New England Pest Control's interest to unionize, with other non-unionized shops as competitors. In a very heavy Democratic state, every union would then go to them."

 

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