In August, Stewards from Teamsters Local 700 at the Illinois Tollway sent a letter requesting to meet with Executive Director Jose Alvarez. The communication addressed the need to discuss issues related to current COVID-19 policies and items impacting member safety and morale.
Despite calls for action from the members, when the meeting took place nearly a month later, Executive Director Alvarez was absent from these crucial conversations.
“Tollway leadership not being present to discuss life-or-death issues nor the concerns of its employees speaks volumes about their dedication to the safety of Illinois Tollway workers,” said Geoff Daniels, Business Representative for Illinois Tollway at Teamsters Local 700. “I visit Tollway garages every week, and members do not feel recognized. They show up in-person during a dangerous time, performing an already dangerous job, to keep the Tollway running.”
Unfortunately, this appears to be a trend for this administration at the Tollway. Earlier this year, Local 700 demanded hazard pay for members who have been expected to work the front lines during the pandemic. Despite several meetings with Executive Director Alvarez, attendees were left with many open questions and felt they were being given the runaround when requesting straightforward, detailed clarifications.
“We have been waiting months to get a straight answer on the issue of hazard pay, but Management continues to try and sidestep it. Members deserve to be taken seriously by Executive Director Alvarez. Our phones are on when they are ready to have that conversation,” says Daniels.
Teamsters Local 700 demands that the Illinois Tollway leadership assume accountability for its employees’ concerns and prioritize attending appropriate forums and meetings. Illinois Tollway Stewards are fighting for all decision-makers to be on the same page, and we at Teamsters Local 700 stand with our Stewards.
We will continue our support for their voices to be heard!