On the Picket Line

DHL Express workers vote in the Teamsters at DHL’s largest hub

By Ned Measel
May 22, 2023

CINCINNATI — Over 1,100 ramp workers and tug drivers at the DHL Global Hub at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport scored a victory April 28 when they voted 505-287 to be represented by Teamsters union Local 100. The key issues in their fight now for a contract are safety on the job and higher wages.

In 2022 at least 22 workers injured on the job had to be taken to the hospital. The starting wage is between $20 and $23 an hour, and workers say promised wage increases don’t happen.

Steven Fightmaster, a ramp worker and DHL Workers United for Change committee member, told the Guardian that workers know what it means to have a union. “Not only are they treated a lot better, but they’re also compensated much, much better than we are.”

Bosses and security harass union supporters, Fightmaster said, telling them they can’t wear union shirts, and threatening to call police on workers talking about the union in the parking lot. Workers have been followed by DHL corporate security. “I was followed to my home on one occasion. I was followed to a union meeting on another,” he said. “We don’t have the dignity and respect in the workplace that we deserve, and people are getting fed up with it.”

In addition to ramp workers, DHL has 2,000 workers there sorting packages.