July 2, 2014
By Stephanie West
Cheektowaga, N.Y., Sales drivers at Costanzo's Bakery overwhelmingly voted to join Teamsters Local 264 in Cheektowaga, N.Y. despite a concerted effort by the company to discourage unionization that included weekly captive audience meetings and intimidation.
The workers, who sell and deliver baked goods across Western New York, approached Local 264 in early May looking for help to address problems that had grown out of control at Costanzo's Bakery.
"We were being treated poorly by management who was adding more and more stops to our routes without compensation," said Kevin Schmidt a sales route driver at Costanzo's. "No matter how we approached the company, they ignored us, but with the Teamsters representing us, they won't be able to ignore us any longer."
Schmidt praised IBT Local 264 for way they worked with his group of workers leading up to the vote, including getting a driver reinstated after the company fired him.
"We filed an unfair labor practice complaint after Costanzo's fired a driver as a way, we believe, to intimidate other workers who wanted a union," said Tony Vaccaro, Local 264 business agent. "Despite all of the anti-union tactics management threw at these guys, they remained united and voted for their union."
*** Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto.