Company officials say deliveries continue despite strike.
Employees of a DHL Solutions Inc. contractor began striking the company's Tallahassee office Thursday after working without a contract since last July.
"The guys were getting tired and frustrated about the company not bargaining," said Jim Gookins, secretary/treasurer of Teamsters Local 991, which represents about 30 workers who voted unanimously in December to authorize a strike.
About 15 workers were manning the picket line Thursday in rainy, windy weather, Gookins said.
The strike was called, he said, after the union put a "last, best offer" on the table in December and received no response from management officials.
The drivers are employed by Commercial Cargo Co., a Tyrone, Ga., company that has a contract with DHL to provide drivers for local DHL deliveries.
Calls to Commercial Cargo seeking comment were not returned.
Richard Gibbs, a spokesman for DHL Solutions, which is headquartered in Plantation, said the company had "implemented contingency plans to ensure that customers in the area are serviced."
We don't anticipate that this is a long-term issue," Gibbs said.
Gookins said he was not sure how long the strike would last.
A news release from DHL said the negotiations were between the employees and Commercial Cargo and that the workers were not DHL employees.
Gookins said the workers decided to strike because Commercial Cargo was not bargaining "in good faith."
The primary strike location was the DHL office on Capital Circle Northwest near Swamp Fox Road. Gookins said a secondary picket line was put up at DHL's facility at Tallahassee Regional Airport.
The union also filed an unfair labor practices complaint last fall with the National Labor Relations Board office in Jacksonville.
The complaint alleges that Commercial Cargo and DHL engaged in "surface bargaining," not responding to union-information requests, and that workers were told they would be fired if they went on strike.
NLRB officials said the process of gathering information about the complaint had begun, and no date has been set for a hearing.
The employees voted in June 2005 to affiliate with the Teamsters' local, and contract negotiations began in July last year.