In Michigan
6:53 am
Thu September 24, 2009

Teamsters Protest Contract Stalemate in Lansing

LANSING, MI – A union which represents about a quarter of the City of Lansing's workforce picketed in front of Mayor Virg Bernero's Campaign headquarters Wednesday. Teamsters Local 580 has been without a contract for three years.

About a dozen Teamsters showed up for the rally carrying signs claiming Bernero is "anti-family" for not settling the union's contract. Other city unions have agreed to eliminate medical coverage for family members of retirees. The deals only apply to new-hires and not current city employees.

Some teamster's members say Bernero is hypocritical when he claims he supports unions. Carol Walton is a clerk with the city police department.

"You guys remember that, that skit he did on Fox News, where he says, 'my dad was UAW and, and he was a union worker and I'm not afraid of my straight teeth, I earned them, my dad payed for that,' but I've worked longer than he has, and he's going to get more benefits working there for four years than I got working 23 years," Walton says.

A spokesman for the mayor says Bernero's family will not be eligible for health benefits when he leaves office. Wednesday marked the one-thousandth day the union has been working without a signed agreement with the city.