Organizing Wins

First Student

The four mechanics at First Student, a school bus company in San Jose, voted unanimously to join Local 1101. Business Rep Richard Breckenridge reports that the group voted by mail in October, and the ballots were counted on October 30. He and the members have developed their proposals and are just waiting to hear back from the company to set bargaining dates.

Tracy Toyota

After losing the union election handily, this dealership has filed objections and is challenging the unit, saying that the two foremen should not be included. As this paper goes to press, Area Director for Organizing Jesse Juarez is in Day 6 of the trial, which he expects will go on until the end of December.

“Even after we organized, there have been so many legal obstacles to overcome,” Juarez says. “Many are frivolous and the court has already tossed them out.”

Ryder Truck, Stockton

Area Director Mark Martin reports that the union is negotiating a first contract for the techs at Ryder Truck in Stockton who recently voted for union representation.

“We’re making significant progress on the overall agreement and anticipate settlement soon,” Martin says. “This is a great group and we’ll be proud to add these new members to the Machinists Union!”

Penske Honda Chula Vista

In the last issue, we reported that the union won the election here, but the employer is still trying to dilute the unit. “We had to go to a hearing,” says Juarez. “It took almost three months from the time we filed to learn that we prevailed.”

With no challenges to the election results, negotiations got started. “However, our old nemesis John Boggs is working as the employer’s counsel. His tactic is to file frivolous objections, refuse to bargain, and create delays. When he shows up, it’s not a good signal.”

Lexus of San Diego

This is a good news/bad news story. Since the techs voted to unionize, the company has refused to bargain a first contract. “We know they’re trying to buy enough time that the workers give up and they can hold a decert vote,” says Juarez. “The Labor Board keeps filing charges against them, but this doesn’t seem to have any effect.”

The good news is that the union was able to get two furloughed guys recalled to work. “We’re not going to give up on these guys,” he adds.

Concord Toyota

Attorney John Boggs is also representing the employer at Concord Toyota. “We won this election back in February,” says Juarez. “Boggs filed charges and the Labor Board dismissed all of them. But he’s still refusing to bargain. This is all about delay.”

Making a splash in Arizona

While several of the District 190 staff went to the Phoenix area to work on the Biden campaign, Juarez enlisted them to blitz some Penske shops in North Scottsdale.

“As soon as we left, the employer responded by calling meetings and giving everyone a $1000 employee appreciation bonus, a $1/hour raise, and the promise of $.75/hour more for those who raise their efficiency to 120%,” Juarez says. “The employer got spooked by our being there. It was a great trip—not only did I help turn Arizona blue, I turned it green because of all the money the employer handed out. The techs are now calling me ‘Jesse Claus,’ a name I’ll proudly accept.”