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Teamsters strike at Veneer Chip Transport enters 5th week

FIFE (Aug. 24, 2017) — Dozens of Teamsters at Veneer Chip Transport, Inc. have been on an unfair-labor-practice strike for five weeks after their employer unilaterally imposed health care cuts and other changes in the terms of employment in July. VCT is a Fife-based trucking firm that picks up wood chips and residuals from lumber mills all over Western Washington and delivers them to other mills that manufacture paper products.

The striking workers, members of Teamsters Local 313, have kept up their picket line at VCT and also occasionally set up ambulatory picket lines at various mills when VCT trucks are active on the premises.

TAKE A STAND — Join strikers on the picket line at VCT, located at 2205 Pacific Hwy East in Fife. Also, please contribute to the Local 313 Strike Hardship Fund to help these families hold the line. Send checks payable to “Teamsters Local 313” and indicate in the memo line that they are for the VCT Strike Fund. Mail them to Teamsters Local 313, 220 South 27th Street, Tacoma, WA, 98402.

Amid contract negotiations in early July, VCT unilaterally implemented its last wage and health-and-welfare proposal without an agreement or contract ratification vote. The new medical plan imposed significantly higher out-of-pocket costs, especially for employees with family coverage. Local 313 filed an Unfair Labor Practice complaint with the National Labor Relations Board that is still pending, but in the meantime, workers went on strike July 17 and have been on the picket line ever since.

“At this point, the company is not responsive and there are no further negotiations scheduled,” said Local 313 Business Representative Nick Lansdale. “At the end of the day, I feel their intent is to break the union.”

Last week, union log truck drivers honored the Teamsters’ ambulatory picket line that went up outside the Sierra Pacific mill in Aberdeen while a scab VCT trucker was on the property. Six trucks waited about two hours outside the picket line until the scab left the premises. This interruption of work at the mills that continue to use VCT despite the strike has occurred multiple times and will continue. Click here for details.


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