City of San Francisco Meter Repair Teamsters 856 members can breathe again, literally.
When nearly 30 Teamsters in the department moved to a new building, members quickly realized that there were problems with the health and safety of their new workspace – including lack of heating, cooling and outside ventilation.
The building was a former furniture warehouse and not designed for a working shop environment.
After the union outlined its health and safety concerns, management acknowledged that there were problems but told the members it would take two to three years to resolve the issue.
Stewards Carl Cagaanan and Anthony Toti, along with Teamsters 856 Representative Tim Jenkins utilized the contractually obligated labor-management meetings to press the issue and work with management toward a resolution.
“These monthly meetings clearly benefit both sides by keeping any issues in focus,” said Cagaanan.
Teamsters 856 Representative Tim Jenkins also reached out to City officials, and within six months a heating and air conditioning unit was installed, and an outside ventilation system followed n November 2014.
“This was a remarkably short timeframe for the City to complete such a project,” said Cagaanan. “Our successes were due to the actions of the Union and to the effectiveness of monthly joint labor-management meetings,” he continued.
“This is a good example of having strong stewards, regular labor-management meetings and management willing to work with us so we don’t have to resort to taking it to outside agencies,” said Jenkins.