Now we need your help to convince the Company to do the right thing
July 7, 2017
Teamsters at AmeriGas have been in negotiations for a first contract since December 2016, after voting in September of 2016 to join Teamsters Local 174. These workers deliver bulk fuel and fuel products, and also work as service technicians and utility yardmen – dangerous jobs requiring an enormous amount of training and skill to perform safely.
They deliver these extremely flammable products to both residential and commercial locations in all weather conditions, and must maintain a Commercial Driver’s License with HAZMAT endorsement – no small feat given the rigorous requirements for maintaining this endorsement.
Despite this, AmeriGas management does not seem interested in recognizing the skill, training, and experience that sets their employees apart. They continue to resist making any upgrades to their employees’ pay, pension, or health insurance to reach industry standards, and so the struggle for a first contract drags on.
This struggle heated up on March 1, 2017, when the workers voted unanimously to authorize a strike action against their employer. Frustrated by AmeriGas’s refusal to make any compromises at the bargaining table – an obvious ploy to drag out the process until the employees lost faith in their Union – the workers stood together and told AmeriGas that enough was enough.
“They were fired up,” said Teamsters Local 174 Senior Business Agent and IBT Western Region Tankhaul Director David Jacobsen. “They haven’t lost faith at all. If anything, the group has only gotten stronger over the past few months.”
Still, even the unanimous strike authorization was apparently not enough to show AmeriGas management that their employees were serious. Management’s arrogance has not wavered, which means that the Teamsters need to show them that our strength has not wavered either.
“They act like we’re disposable,” said one AmeriGas employee. “Well, we’re not. If we go out on strike, who will they replace us with? People off the street? Managers who probably haven’t driven a fuel tanker in years? Good luck with that.”
“AmeriGas wants the world to believe that they have a backup plan and they don’t need our members to get the job done, but they are so wrong,” said Teamsters Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks. “If these guys walk off the job, AmeriGas is going to replace them with people who don’t even come close to having what it takes to do this dangerous job properly.”
“Our members have forgotten more about propane than these managers and scab workers ever knew,” he continued. “They are not taking the safety of the public into account.”
Now, these AmeriGas workers need help from YOU – and all of their Teamster Brothers and Sisters. Call AmeriGas today and tell them to do the right thing: Come back to the table and negotiate a fair contract that is acceptable to everyone. If not, our members may find themselves on strike, and AmeriGas customers may find themselves wondering just who exactly filled up their propane tank: someone who knew what they were doing … or someone who didn’t?