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Multiple departments for City of Charlottesville join Teamsters Local 29 union

Crystal Graham
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Multiple departments in the City of Charlottesville have voted to join a local Teamsters union.

Workers in the departments of Public Works, Public Utilities, Parks and Recreation, Fire Department and Community Solutions have voted to join Teamsters Local 29, according to a news release from Teamsters.

“Local 29 is thrilled to welcome these essential workers to North America’s strongest union,” said Matt Martin, secretary and treasurer of Local 29 in Verona. “The hard work and dedication of these men and women touches the lives of every person who lives, works and visits Charlottesville. The importance of their work must be rewarded with a strong union contract, and we look forward to getting them just that.”

Prior to May 2021, public sector workers in the Commonwealth of Virginia were not able to collectively bargain.

In January 2024, Local 29 filed a petition with the City of Charlottesville’s labor relations administrator to initiate an election for the labor and trades bargaining unit.

“I voted to join the Teamsters because I wanted a voice on the job and a fair contract,” said Sherod Ward, a water service technician for the City of Charlottesville. “We have seen what other public sector workers have gotten as Teamsters and wanted that for ourselves. We are proud to be part of the growing labor movement and are looking forward to getting our first Teamsters contract.”

Teamsters Local 29 has been in the Shenandoah Valley and Western Virginia since 1963.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.