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AFSCME Oklahoma City members connect laid off Teamsters with 80 job offers

Photo: Local 2406
AFSCME Oklahoma City members connect laid off Teamsters with 80 job offers
By Anna Dang ·
Tags: Our Stories

Members of AFSCME Local 2406 in Oklahoma City have shown that when workers stand together, their communities are stronger. That’s why, when 30,000 truck drivers from Yellow Freight trucking company got laid off in August after the company declared bankruptcy, AFSCME Local 2406 members stepped up to initiate and implement a career fair for the Oklahoma City-based drivers who had been represented by Teamsters Local 866 while at Yellow Freight.

The City of Oklahoma City extended 80 job offers to former Yellow Freight drivers.

Bruce Davis, the President of AFSCME Local 2406, said that the career fair helped the city fill understaffed driver jobs across several departments that require commercial driver’s licenses, such as streets, animal welfare, utilities, public works and parks.

“The city really got a lot more out of it,” said Davis. “They were able to fill these positions with our qualified union siblings in the Teamsters who are already certified.”

The former Yellow Freight drivers, who are now AFSCME Local 2406’s newest members, were able to take advantage of an expedited hiring process. The usual hiring period takes 60 to 90 days. But during the job fair, the process took three hours, with the city performing the interviews, physicals, drug tests and background checks on the spot. Once the former Yellow Freight drivers received their job offers, they began their new jobs at the next pay period.

Paul Campbell, a new driver for the Oklahoma City utilities department, had worked at Yellow Freight for almost 20 years and has been a freight truck driver for 34 years. He said that the strong relationship between AFSCME members and Teamsters members gave him hope during a difficult time.

“Being a driver at Yellow was a good job, so it was a shocking moment to get laid off,” said Campbell. “I’m fortunate to be able to go back home with another good union job. I’ve been so excited that I’ve been calling everyone to tell them all about it.”

For Tom Ritter, the President of Teamsters Local 866, this job fair was an example of how local union members across the country can support each other.

“Every time one of us faces a layoff, it’s a brilliant idea to network for each other to provide relief through the jobs we’re connected with,” said Ritter. “In Oklahoma, we are few. If we don’t take care of us, nobody will take care of us.”

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