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Close Teamsters vote at XPO Albany certified as win for union

Tally for the year: 2 new contracts, unit voted in, several decertifications

The Teamsters victory for a group of drivers at the Albany, New York, facility of XPO Logistics has been certified by the National Labor Relations Board.

Although the specific size of the vote margin was not disclosed by any of the parties involved, and the National Labor Relations Board requires a Freedom of Information request to get the actual numbers, all reports were that the referendum was close. That led to some speculation that the NLRB, after review, might not certify the Teamsters victory.

But a spokesman for XPO (NYSE: XPO) confirmed the certification. 

“The election affects approximately 35 drivers who work out of our service center in Albany, New York,” the spokesman said in a prepared statement for FreightWaves. “It doesn’t change the direct working relationship XPO has with more than 17,000 hourly employees across North America.”

A prepared statement released by the Teamsters said the “certification procedures are now finalized” at the NLRB and that the vote to join Teamsters Local 294 succeeded.

“We welcome the drivers at XPO, who remained strong despite the company’s vicious anti-worker, anti-union campaign,” John Bulgaro, president of the local, said in the statement. “We will work with the drivers to address their issues in the upcoming contract negotiations.” 

Workers at an XPO facility in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, also voted for the Teamsters to represent them but do not have a contract with the company. The difference is that at Albany, the vote was just certified. In King of Prussia, workers there voted to have the Teamsters represent them five years ago.

Teamsters units at XPO facilities in Miami and Trenton, New Jersey, reached contracts with the company this year, the first union deals XPO has signed in the U.S. Separately, several other units that had voted to be represented by the Teamsters voted to decertify the union, for a mixed bag outcome on both sides of the labor-employer divide.

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John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.