Striking DHL workers demand healthcare and living wages

“We were told it’s a single man’s job and that if you don’t like it, don’t have kids,” said Matthew Maini from Teamsters Local 251. I had just asked about the negotiations over healthcare at DHLNH on Concord St in Pawtucket. Workers there have been on strike since April 30.

DHL’s healthcare plan costs more than many workers make in a year. The workers, who average under $12 an hour in pay, work full time, and have to pay for Obamacare out of pocket, or worse, pay the $500 fine for not having healthcare.

I stood with the striking workers for about two hours. Delivery vans driven by temporary workers, or “scabs” were leaving DHL to make deliveries. The picket line got in the way and verbally lambasted the drivers, but the Pawtucket Police were on hand to make sure that the vans were able to leave the facility safely.

In the video below you can see one of the delivery vans become stuck in the doorway to the DHL facility.

Workers have the full support of Teamsters from throughout New England, many of whom were present in support.

A flyer being handed out on the scene suggested that supporters call DHLNH owner Phil Walker at 1-800-225-5345 to let him know how you feel about this issue. DHLNH is a wholly owned subsidiary of North East Freightways.

Representative Aaron Regunberg and Matthew Maini of IBT 251


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About Steve Ahlquist 389 Articles
Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for half a decade. Uprise RI is his new project, and he's doing all he can to make it essential reading. atomicsteve@gmail.com

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