Book organizers want to join Teamsters - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Book organizers want to join Teamsters

By Tanieya Lewis - bio | email

(WTOL) - A group of unhappy book sorters are taking to the streets. They're rallying support for the new union they plan to form. They've kept quiet about their plans until now.

"We just need the union. We need the representation. We need the teamsters for our future," said Tammy Box.

Box says she's one of about 80 workers who process used books for international web sites like Amazon.com. They want better pay, job security, and better working conditions. Back in December, they decided to organize.

"We said enough is enough," said Nichole Groll. That is the message experts say more workers are sending to their bosses across the country as tough economic times threaten jobs.

Professor Joe Slater says it's the smart thing to do, but those who take action also take a risk. "Some surveys have estimated one in four employers who are faced with union organizing campaigns will fire the employees, or at least some employees, involved in those campaigns. Of course, that's illegal," he tells News 11.

Slater says the high wages that union members once enjoyed aren't a guarantee. "It might be hard to cut a deal with any employer right now to get any sort of huge raise. That's just not going to happen. That's just the economic environment."

Representation does get employees more job security, and most of all -- a voice. Groll said, "We started off in secret. We're very verbal now, as you can see."

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