Melissa Gabaldon-Martin (Belen, NM, Local 1477): We prepared. We came into this ready to bargain. The Hallcon representative was unable to come to the table. They could have sent someone else but chose not to. They didn’t have a fill-in. It shows that they were unprepared to come to this meeting to engage in good faith bargaining. Regardless, strategically the UE put forth the noneconomic proposals. We worked hard and implemented the unity from all over the country to put forth the contract that equals dollars, not dimes.
Doris Kissee (Crestline, OH, Local 716): We have been working really hard. We are disappointed that Hallcon could not show up. Working hard to get everything we deserve. We don’t deserve to be treated like second class citizens from a company that’s making money off our back. Be patient with your Bargaining Committee. We are doing the work that you asked us to do on the bargaining surveys.
Cedric Whelchel (Chicago, IL, Local 1177, Recording Secretary): Our fight has just begun and we have a long road in order to make it better for all. Any help that we can get from every driver is appreciated because it’s a fight we can only win with the backing of our members. We need all our members involved in every city and every town, because that’s the only way we can accomplish our goal, for the dignity and respect that we all deserve. We are not in a fight for ourselves. We are in a fight for everybody.
Clarence Hill (Chicago, IL, Local 1177): After a disappointing venture, we were informed that the company was not going to able to appear at negotiations. We took the opportunity to develop our noneconomic and economic proposals. We developed an even stronger national camaraderie between officers and stewards that came here to engage in this work. I’m enthusiastic about continuing to do the work that the membership has sent us to do.
Vincent Graves (Fresno, CA, Local 1077, President): “Dollars, not Dimes,” that’s our message. The time we spent here fighting with the bosses is trying to get dollars, not dimes. As a road driver, I’m worth dollars, not dimes.
Larry Hopkins (Chicago, IL, Local 1177, President): Since we have started the process of negotiating, we have put together proposals that will be beneficial to drivers in more ways than we have ever accomplished before. Our main goal, to accomplish the proposals that we have put forth, will involve full participation of our members.