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Updated On: Jun 11, 2018
Representatives from the IBT and Local 179 meet with Greg Bales, Community Outreach Coordinator with Senator Dick Durbin's office to discuss concerns about XPO in Aurora.

On Thursday, April 26, representatives from the IBT and Local 179 met with Greg Bales, Community Outreach Coordinator with Senator Dick Durbin's office to discuss the ongoing issues with the XPO Logistics facility in Aurora.

Workers at the Aurora location voted for Teamsters Local 179 representation in October 2016 and to date the company has refused to sit down at the bargaining table.  In July of last year the National Labor Relations Board ordered XPO to stop refusing to recognize Teamsters Local 179 as the exclusive bargaining representative and to start bargaining with the union.

Ryan Janota and Jose Ramirez, both drivers who were terminated by XPO (after the vote to join the Teamsters), took part in the meeting to tell their stories.  When management called them in to inform them of their termination, both asked to exercise their Weingarten Rights and have a union representative present.  Management refused both drivers that right.  Both Ryan and Jose were instrumental in the campaign to organize and feel that the termination was in part a retaliation against them for their union activity.  Ryan had been with the company for 10 years and had logged 700,000 safe miles.  Jose worked at XPO for eight years and had a clean driving record.

According to IBT Organizer Tony Seminary, XPO customarily gave bonuses to employees and told workers that the company had to spend so much money on "union busters" that there was no money for bonuses.  XPO had $7.6 billion in revenue for fiscal year 2015 and reached $14.6 billion in fiscal year 2016.  Since 2013, XPO Chairman and CEO Bradley Jacobs' compensation increased by 481 percent.  In 2016, Jacobs received a $20 million equity award.

Local 179 Secretary-Treasurer Greg Elsbree told Mr. Bales, "Progress has been made on the west coast because legislators are getting involved.  We have also met with representatives from Senator Tammy Duckworth's and Congressman Bill Foster's offices.  We need Senator Durkin's help to help insure that this issues stays on the radar."

IBT Organizer Michael Mavary added that there are issues at all XPO facilities in the United States that are trying to organize.

The XPO facility in Aurora employs approximately 70 drivers, 60 warehouse workers and between six and eight office employees. 

Thousands of XPO employees are currently represented by unions in Europe, but the company refuses to negotiate in the United States.

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