On Friday, Oct. 12, 2018, Teamsters Local 700 Business Agent TJ Wilcox received notification from IDOT that he was no longer permitted to enter the grounds of any IDOT facility, which is a direct violation of the collective bargaining agreement between IDOT and the union. The notice came a week after Wilcox was thrown out of IDOT headquarters by a state investigator.
On Oct. 5, 2018, two IDOT employees were summoned to headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill. by a state investigator, Joseph O’ Sullivan. The meeting was pre-arranged and agent Wilcox was in attendance to provide representation for both members during the meeting. After Wilcox asked for a legitimate copy of the complaint against the two employees, O’Sullivan refused, and his investigative partner became irate and ended the interview without asking the employees a single question.
While Wilcox and the two IDOT employees were leaving, O’Sullivan threatened one of the members that he would lose his job for refusing to answer his questions. Upon Wilcox reminding both O’Sullivan and his partner that they ended the interview without asking any questions, security was called and Wilcox was accused of alleged “assault” and was subsequently removed from the building.
According to Article VI, Section 6.8, of the collective bargaining agreement between Teamsters Local 700 and IDOT, “Authorized Business Agents or Officers, or Stewards of the Union shall have reasonable access to permanent facilities of the Employer for the purpose of investigating grievances, attending grievance hearings, and for other reasons related to administrations of this agreement.”
IDOT further threatened agent Wilcox with criminal trespassing if he enters any IDOT facility and also sent him the definition of a Class A misdemeanor.
Teamsters Local 700 filed an Unfair Labor Practice complaint today with the Illinois Labor Relations Board (ILRB). Once the ILRB confirms the charges, the union will be holding an informational picket outside of IDOT headquarters.
“The Local 700 members at IDOT are lawfully given the right to union representation and by IDOT blocking our business agent from communicating with them on the grounds, they are being denied their contractual rights,” said Teamsters Local 700 Secretary-Treasurer Michael G. Melone. “The accusations against TJ Wilcox have absolutely no merit and our members deserve better than an ill-tempered investigator making threats against their livelihood. Local 700 will always stand up for our members’ rights and we will take any legal action necessary to remedy this very unnecessary and ridiculous situation they have created.”