For Immediate Release
May 3, 2021
CHICAGO – On Friday, April 30, 2021, Teamsters Local 700 and the rank-and-file members of the Cook County Clerk’s Office Negotiating Committee appeared, and were prepared for, their scheduled in-person negotiations with Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court, Iris Y. Martinez and her management team. However, shortly before negotiations began, the team was stalled in an underhanded attempt to undermine our Union and its intent to fight for our members.
Moments before negotiations were scheduled to start, our team received notice from management that a Local 700 Lead Investigative Steward and negotiations committee member, was set to be abruptly terminated. This matter needed immediate attention and it was deemed best to halt negotiations at that time in order to assist the Steward who was in duress. The timing of the termination was, to say the least, questionable. The Clerk’s Office’s choice to make such a move moments before the start of negotiations is unethical, inexcusable and unjust.
To add insult to injury, the Lead Investigative Steward was walked out of the building by armed security in front of peers and other colleagues. To date, this makes the third Steward to have received this type of treatment from the Clerk’s Office. Teamsters Local 700 will not stand for this type of harassment and humiliation. We are disappointed with the disrespectful intimidation shown by the Clerk’s Office towards our members and this type of discourteous treatment will not be tolerated. We will defend our Stewards and members by exercising any and all legal remedies.
This transparent attempt to derail negotiations comes with great dismay to Local 700, who supported and stood ready to assist Clerk Martinez since she took office earlier this year. We met with the Clerk during her initial transition in an attempt to forge a harmonious Labor/Management relationship. Unfortunately, it now appears that our members are being targeted and abused by the Clerk’s Office in an attempt to eliminate our Union from the workplace.
The Negotiations Committee for the Clerks of Cook County is led by Teamsters Local 700 Vice President, Anthony McGee. He is supported by hard-working rank and file members of the Clerk’s Office from several districts across Cook County. Members, no matter how hard management may attempt to derail us, we have every confidence that this committee will continue to fight tirelessly on behalf of the members of Local 700.