DHL Express Workers Extend Picket Lines Across US
DHL Express workers represented by the Teamsters union have walked off the job at several U.S. locations in solidarity with ramp workers who went on strike a week ago at the company’s giant airhub at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG).
Members of Local 100 in Boston, Detroit, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco have refused to cross picket lines established by CVG workers at those locations, according to social media posts and a news release on Thursday. Exactly how many workers are off the job could not be determined.
The Teamsters represent more than 1,100 DHL employees who load and unload freighters at CVG, and 6,000 workers nationwide. Workers voted in April to join Teamsters Local 100 after a yearlong campaign and began collective bargaining for their first contract in July. They went on strike Dec. 7 after demands for better pay and safety conditions as well as an end to alleged union-busting activities were not met.
The labor action comes at the busiest time of year for parcel carriers, who are in the final sprint of delivering online purchases and personal gift exchanges in time for the holidays.
DHL brought in temporary workers and managers to pick up some of the labor slack in Cincinnati and diverted cargo jets to other gateways in its air network in an effort to maintain service schedules. The CVG hub processes 130 daily flights and is the base for 60 aircraft. Eighty percent of all shipments from the Americas transit via the CVG hub.
“As pickets expand to even more cities in the coming days, DHL will feel the pain even more profoundly. Instead of playing games, I strongly recommend that DHL rectify their unfair labor practices, return to the bargaining table, and begin negotiating with us in good faith immediately,” said Local 100 President Bill Davis in the news release.
DHL has said it won’t resume bargaining until January.
“DHL Express has seen job actions by members of the Teamsters union at different sites in the U.S. during the week and has proactively deployed contingency plans to ensure that our customers receive the high service levels they expect from us at this important time of the year for their businesses. We have maintained normal operations across our network, including our CVG hub, while working to minimize the potential disruptions that can typically occur within our industry during peak season, due to weather, volume surges, etc.,” the company said in a statement to FreightWaves.
“We are proud of the DHL Express team members who continue to support our customers at this critical time of the year for their businesses. We remain committed to bargain in good faith with the employee representatives at CVG,” it added.
DHL employs more than 4,000 people at the Cincinnati hub.