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IWW Berkeley Curbside Recyclers Union Update

BERKELEY- Workers at the Ecology Center in Berkeley, known as Curbside, welcomed their new operations manager Friday July 1st, with a meeting to discuss their expectations of his conduct.  As the new boss sat and listened, Fellow Workers Todd Miller and Dominic Moschella outlined their complaints.

Dominic handed over a maintenance sheet on every Curbside truck, filled out by the workers.  “We want to see all the safety issue stuff taken care of within a week,” said Dominic.

Many of the trucks at Curbside have missing mirrors, broken turn signals, and bad rear view cameras.  Many trucks are so old that they break down frequently, forcing the workers to complete their routes with fewer trucks. 

“If there were an inspection, most of those trucks wouldn’t even leave the lot,” Todd told the boss.

The workers expect the safety issues to be corrected within a week, and non-safety issues to be cleared up within a reasonable time period.

The workers told the boss they wouldn’t tolerate management driving routes.  “We voted unanimously,” said Todd.  “Those are union jobs, and management should not be doing union work.”

Also this week, Curbside’s “temporary” drivers attended a union meeting and decided to join the IWW.  Shop Steward Dominic Moschella arranged a meeting with management, and two Fellow Workers were hired on a term basis, giving them the right to protection under the contract, health care, vacation and sick time, etc. 

Congratulations to Fellow Workers Thomas Matsuoka and Evan Enright-Shulz on their new job status.  The issue of temporary work continues to be an important one for Curbside workers as they prepare for contract negotiations.

-Marc Torney,