Reno limo company votes to unionize in order to ‘have a voice’
RENO, Nev. — Drivers at Bell Limousine recently voted to unionize in hopes of improving working conditions and pay, officials said.
According to an Oct. 30 press release provided by the Reno-based Teamsters Local 533, the company’s drivers unanimously voted to support the move on Oct. 23.
“I applaud the efforts of our newest members and I’m excited to have them as our proud Teamster brothers and sisters,” Teamsters Local 533 Secretary-Treasurer Debbie Calkins said in a statement.
According to the Teamsters, drivers at Reno’s Bell Limousine lost over $3 an hour in pay, and many were forced to take second jobs to provide for their families, after the company was sold in 2016 to Platinum LV Transportation out of Las Vegas.
According to the Bell Limousine website, as part of that sale, the company in Reno is now part of a larger collection of corporate brands that includes locations in Detroit and Grand Rapids, Michigan; Las Vegas; and Sacramento.
“We’re standing up for workers in our profession so all drivers can have a voice in every matter that affects us,” Kim Jenkins, a full-time driver at Bell Limousine, said in the Teamsters press release. “At Bell Limo, high turnover from wage issues, benefits and scheduling have caused good drivers to leave.
“I urge others to vote to unionize because when workers vote, workers win.”
According to the press release, Bell Limousine Drivers are looking forward to “negotiating with the company to improve their wages and benefits.”
“In an effort to grow Teamster density, Teamsters Local 533 and Teamsters Local 856 have partnered together to share organizing resources and raise industry standards for all workers in the Reno area,” said Peter Finn, Secretary-Treasurer/Principal Officer of Teamsters Local 856, which has roughly 17,000 members throughout Northern California.
“We still have a lot of people who are desperate, who are waiting, and our commitment to them remains strong,” Barbara Buckley told The Nevada Independent.