Teamsters back away from representing O’Hare janitors

It’s difficult to imagine union bosses backing down on an organizing campaign when they will force workers to join or support a labor union in order to keep a job. Dan Mihalopolous has the story in the Chicago Sun-Times.

“Please be advised the Teamsters Local Union No. 727 hereby disclaim any and all representational interest in the previously recognized unit of airport workers,” Teamsters boss John Coli said in a May 6 letter to United Maintenance.

Coli gave Emanuel a key endorsement during his 2011 run for mayor, even as other labor leaders scorned Emanuel.

SEIU filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board in early April, saying United Maintenance “unlawfully coerced” its O’Hare employees to join the Teamsters.

Jerry Morrison, a top aide to SEIU boss Thomas Balanoff, said the Teamsters abandoned its effort to organize the airport janitors “pursuant to a jurisdictional agreement” with his union.

Thomas Mandler, a lawyer for United Maintenance, said earlier this week that the company had negotiated a contract with the Teamsters but would look into SEIU officials’ claim that the janitors want to be represented by them.