JA Frate workers reject latest offer from owners

About 50 JA Frate drivers stand outside the Crystal Lake headquarters holding picket signs reading “on strike” after negotiations over a new contract with the company have turned sour.

Drivers and dock workers from local JA Frate trucking terminals who went on strike earlier this month did not accept a new offer from the company during a vote Saturday.

About 65 of the 85 local union members represented by Teamsters Local 710 met Saturday at the Crystal Lake Holiday Inn to hear details from the latest proposal and take a vote, said Mike Cales, secretary/treasurer for the local union.

According to a news release sent later Saturday from the union’s communications director, the vote was 55-10 in favor of rejecting the offer.

Since the union went on strike and picketed at the Crystal Lake headquarters on Pyott Road on June 13, members have gone back to work, Cales said. The work stop action had affected all JA Frate terminals including McHenry, Waukegan, Elk Grove Village and Belvidere.

According to the release, the latest offer “was not enough to adequately recognize ongoing issues.”

“The company is really not addressing our major concerns – most importantly, protections in health care,” Cales said in the release. “With the cost of everything continually rising, our members need to know that they and their families are covered under reliable and affordable health care without any surprises.”

The union “is open to further discussion with the employer,” according to the release. Members will continue to work until further notice.

Not everyone is working now, Cales said, noting that it is based on company needs and not a work action. Although the teamsters did picket, “we have an immense amount of community support from the public” based on motorists interacting with the picket line, Cales said.

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