(San Carlos, CA) The 24-member Semi-Driver unit, stationed at the Shoreway Environmental Center Transfer Station in San Carlos, unanimously approved their successor collective bargaining agreement with the incoming employer, South Bayside Industries Inc., on November 21, 2023.
Lead negotiator Robert Sandoval said, “Beyond the economic improvements sought by our members, the transition to a new employer inevitably brings a level of uncertainty for the rank and file. Even with a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), we aimed to ensure that practices were officially codified, and language protecting our members was strengthened. In the realm of labor negotiations, establishing a collaborative relationship with employers is akin to discovering a hidden gem."
Sandoval highlighted the positive experience with the clerical unit’s ratification, emphasizing the refreshing approach of a management team that actively sought to understand the intricacies of the facility’s operations through thoughtful questions. He stated, “This serves as a testament and should be an example to corporations: when both sides prioritize the well-being of the workforce and engage in dialogue rather than discord, the collective bargaining unit and work environment thrive. I look forward to continuing that partnership."
Operationally, the unit plays a crucial role in transporting trash, recyclables, and other materials from all over the Peninsula that get dumped at the transfer station. Once their trailers are loaded, they transport these commodities to landfills across the Bay Area.
The agreement encompasses historic wage increases while preserving full maintenance of benefits, enhancements to the pension plan, and additional job protections. The four-member bargaining committee included rank-and-file members John Apodaca (Alternate Shop Steward with nine years of service), Mark Lema (a thirty-one-year member), Joey Gomes (Shop Steward and Vice President), and Robert Sandoval (Business Representative).
“Participating in negotiations for the first time was a valuable experience for me, especially as a relatively new steward. This encounter will undoubtedly enhance my ability to effectively represent my unit. Gaining insight into the strategic aspects and observing how language is crafted during these discussions has been enlightening. Securing a contract that surpasses any in the history of our unit is truly remarkable and positions us exceptionally well for the future," expressed Brother Apodaca. “The overall experience has been very positive, and the Local Union representatives exhibited exceptional knowledge, working tirelessly to secure astrong contract that speaks volumes.”
Teamsters Local 350, founded on October 8, 1936, serves as the representative body for members across the Solid Waste & Recycling Industry, Laundry Division, and Public Sector Division in San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and San Benito Counties.
Fight together, win together!