By a slim margin, toll collectors on the Indiana Toll Road have voted to be represented by the Teamsters Union. The vote was 108 to 103, with 18 workers not voting.
Union officials told The Associated Press that toll collectors organized by the Teamsters in other states earn nearly $21 per hour, whereas in Indiana, they’re paid between $10 and $14 per hour.
The Indiana Toll Road is operated by a private consortium, Indiana Toll Road Concession Co. LLC, which is made up of entities from the Macquarie company of Australia and the Cintra company of Spain.
After the vote on Friday, Dec. 14, representatives from ITR Concession told The AP that they would respect the workers’ vote and would meet their obligations to bargain with the union.
An effort by the Teamsters to organize the Indiana Toll Road maintenance workers earlier this year ended with 62-42 vote against unionization.
Bob Warnock III, president of the Teamsters Local 364 in South Bend, IN, stated in a written press release that the toll collectors have a variety of concerns.
The workers want to see their safety concerns addressed, and they want overall working conditions to improve. They also want to address excessive work hours, job bidding, fair pay and fair benefits, the press release on the Teamsters Web site stated.
“There has been a problem with forced overtime,” Warnock said. “One of the workers told us about working 16 hours straight.”