Local 856 members continue to advocate for misclassified workers

Last month, Local 856 members from United Airlines and Delta Dental headed to the Capitol once again to speak up in support of misclassified workers.

“This reminds me of why unions got started,” said United Airlines Teamster, Dan Johnston. “We’re fighting for workers’ rights and security.”

In 2018, the California Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling in Dynamex Operations West v. Superior Court which made it harder for companies to misclassify workers as independent contractors.

Now, California Teamsters have joined unions around the state in support of Assembly Bill 5 (AB 5). If passed, the bill will codify the court’s decision and create one clear definition of employment.

The Dynamex decision and AB 5 will have a huge impact on drivers, janitors, construction workers, health techs, and other workers who are often cheated out of basic protections by their employers. Big corporations often misclassify these workers as independent contractors in order to avoid providing them with basic protections like a minimum wage, unemployment insurance, compensation if an injury occurs on the job, and the ability to stand together in a union.

The Local 856 members who attended the lobby day visited their State Senators and Assemblymembers to urge them to vote YES on AB 5. And for many of them, the issue of misclassification reminded them of the importance of their own union membership.

“If we don’t defend the Dynamex decision, these workers won’t be able to make a decent living or get benefits,” said Delta Dental Teamster, Shaune Vaughn.

“As a union member, we know how important it is to be able to fight for fair wages and health care at the bargaining table,” she continued. “Independent contractors don’t have that security. It touched home hearing people tell their stories about how close they’ve gotten to losing everything because of misclassification.”

Special thanks to the members who attended the lobby day:

John Johnson (SFO Teamster)
Dan Johnston (SFO Teamster)
John Laurin (SFO Teamster)
Dale Mitchell (SFO Teamster)
Don Stevens (SFO Teamster)

Shaune Vaughn (Delta Dental)
Deborah Ward-Crummey (SFO Teamster)