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News :: Labor
Enterprise Rent-A-Car workers unite for a voice on the job and respect at work
18 Jun 2007
Enterprise Rent-A-Car shuttle van drivers, car drivers and car prep workers who work in East Boston are forming a union with IUE-CWA Local 201 of the Communications Workers of America to improve their wages and working conditions.
Enterprise workers marched on May 29 with about 30 supporters from the community and many other labor unions requesting management recognize their union. To prove their majority, the workers proposed allowing a neutral third party to verify that a majority of the workers in the bargaining unit have signed union membership cards.

During a tense standoff in the Enterprise parking lot, the workers and community supporters picketed peacefully while a delegation attempted to negotiate a satisfactory resolution. However, Regional Vice President Mark Jewell and local manager Russ Williams refused to agree to a card check or even to have further discussions regarding union recognition. Pictures from the action may be viewed at:

The drive for collective bargaining grows out of frustration with Enterprise management who have routinely ignored workers’ grievances about discrimination in promotions and hiring, health and safety conditions, and abuse of wage payments and scheduling issues. With strong support from the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH) and Massachusetts Jobs with Justice, the workers have been meeting since late March to learn about their rights and begin organizing to win real changes at work.

In a letter to management signed by the majority, Enterprise workers wrote, “Collective bargaining would provide us with a direct way to address on-the-job safety and health problems like poor ergonomic design of shuttle vans, back and knee problems from lifting heavy luggage, and exposures to dangerous chemicals because of the cleaning process or from car exhaust.

“Collective bargaining would also be the best way to resolve discriminatory practices in the hiring, promotion and scheduling of employees and the abuse of workers who are forced to work full time hours at part time pay,” the letter continued.

“The lack of collective bargaining is why management has routinely ignored these serious problems and why we have previously filed charges with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD). We have also made many complaints of frequent wage and hour violations.”

The Enterprise workers are asking for continued support from the community and the labor movement to help persuade management to agree to recognize their union.
See also:
Related stories on this site:
Enterprise Rent-A-Car workers protest plan to subcontract their jobs to new staffing company

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