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Treated Differently Because of Skin Color

Due to racism and low pay, "Two Men and a Truck" Employees are Organizing with the Teamsters

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by Guest Post on
Apr 25, 2018
Support workers at Two Men and a Truck, fighting to join Teamsters Local 814. Click here to send management a message.

 

Professional movers at the New York City franchise of Two Men and a Truck declared today that they are forming a union with Teamsters Local 814.

 

"Moving is a skilled profession and we want to be treated as professionals," said Ramell Brown, father of four and a driver at Two Men and a Truck. "Some guys are working just one day a week, for little more than minimum wage. A union will give us a voice on the job, so we can ensure the company is run in the best interest of those of us who do the work."
Employees notified company management earlier this week that they had decided to join the Teamsters Union, and that a majority had signed union authorization cards. When the company refused to recognize their union, the workers petitioned the National Labor Relations Board to hold an election to certify Local 814 as their representative. The union expects an election date to be set soon.

 

Workers want a raise, healthcare and retirement benefits, and a seniority-based scheduling system that maximizes employment.

 

"The workers at Two Men and a Truck need a union because they can't support their families on such poverty wages," said Jason Ide, President of Teamsters Local 814. "The workers now have the Teamsters Union standing behind them and we will do what it takes to get justice for them and their families."

 

The Two Men and a Truck workers are also hoping to win equal treatment through a union contract. Most of the company's workers are black, while the managers are white. Workers of color have seen promotions go to white applicants with less experience and workers say racially offensive comments have been made by management.
 
"This isn't the 1950s. Workers should not be treated differently because of the color of our skin," said Milton Cunningham, a helper who works at the company.

 

Jay Mellentine bought the company two years ago, which is the exclusive franchise of the national brand in New York City and Long Island, and recently hired a new operations manager. Workers have seen business declining and fear for the company. Workers say it appears potential work has been funneled to competitors in the same market, even as some workers at Two Men And A Truck sat home on a layoff. Whatever the reason, employees do not work enough hours to make ends meet and are facing serious financial hardship.

 

"We want this company to succeed in New York, because our families depend on it," said Julio Casalinova, also a working father and helper at Two Men and a Truck. "All of us are calling on the owner and the national brand to support our union, because this is about building a stronger company for everyone."
 

 

Click here for the Teamster Joint Council press release
 
From the Long Island Federation of Labor:

Dear friends,

Can you imagine trying to get by on a near-minimum wage job that only schedules you for one day a week? That is the reality for many workers at the popular New York City mover Two Men And A Truck.

The workers are fighting back. Show your support by sending a message to Two Men And A Truck management and tell them to recognize the workers’ new union and bargain a contract.

On Saturday, the Two Men And A Truck workers announced that they are unionizing with Teamsters Local 814, New York City’s long-time professional movers’ union. In addition to low pay and unfair schedules, workers say that less qualified white applicants are chosen for promotions over workers of color.

Please take a moment to help these workers win their union. Click here to send a message to Jay Mellentine, the CEO of this Two Men and a Truck franchise.

Thank you for standing with our new union brothers in New York City.

In solidarity,

John R. Durso

President

Long Island Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO

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