Union: Scores of union members representing Teamsters Local 911 – City of Santa Monica Trades & Maintenance Bargaining Unit rallied outside Santa Monica City Hall on Wednesday for a large, visible meeting to receive updates on current contract negotiations. Teamsters Local 911 represents more than 350 Santa Monica City employees from various sectors including the fire department, custodians, facilities services, park maintenance, wastewater, transit maintenance, beach maintenance and more than a dozen other departments. 

More than 200 members took part in the outdoor meeting, led by Teamsters Local 911 Vice President/Chief Negotiator Carlos Rubio, according to estimates provided by the union. 

“Throughout the morning members stopped by and received updates regarding the current negotiations for essential workers who have worked throughout the pandemic ensuring the City continued to run and rise to the level of expectation of the worst pandemic in 100 years,” Rubio wrote in an emailed statement regarding the Wednesday meeting. “Our members were in the front lines performing their duties and putting themselves at risk of contracting COVID-19 and other hazards. With the current costs of housing, fuel, food, and utilities our members deserve a strong contract that recognizes them for the services they provide for the world renowned City of Santa Monica and we will not accept the minimum.”

Wage increases for Teamsters Local 911 members have been frozen during the pandemic, Rubio wrote. While he did not directly threaten a strike, Rubio’s letter added that members are “determined to make sure we do not continue to lose ground,” adding, “our actions will escalate because we are left with no other choice.”