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Fed Up Local 1028-Des Plaines, IL, Workers Utilize the Power of Open Bargaining to Fight for a Fair Contract

For nearly three years, members of our Local 1028-Des Plaines, IL, representing roughly 115 workers, have been bargaining for a contract with Cook DuPage Transportation Company (CDT), which includes voting twice and rejecting the last and final offers given by the company.   


“All the Unity” Campaign

While the focus has always been on winning a fair contract, the stakes could not be any higher as there is a renewed sense of urgency in the hearts and minds of the workers. On Saturday, June 3, 2023, our Local 1028 took an organizing training that highlighted the importance of membership involvement in contract negotiations. The energy of the members resulted in a theme being created, “All the Unity,” (ATU) and an organizing plan with four steps of action for turning up the heat during negotiations. The plan includes a button action, car dashboard action, a membership telephone townhall meeting, and turning members out to attend all future open bargaining sessions.

“I don’t believe the company was ready to face members in the same room while we negotiate this contract. This is a definite game changer and a powerful tool placed in the hands of our members,” said Local 1028 President/Business Agent Antonio Adams. “Before this, explaining to members what took place in contract negotiations was challenging because management would always have an advantage when it comes to controlling the narrative. Now workers can show up and see for themselves how things work and what is being discussed, and that’s a great thing.”

After a breakdown in negotiations, the Local met with management on July 19, 2023. This time the Local’s bargaining committee was accompanied by rank and file members who turned out wearing “All the Unity” buttons and similar dashboard signs in their cars to observe as negotiations resumed with CDT and a Federal Mediator (FMCS) for their next contract.


Front Row Seat

During bargaining our Local communicated to management several issues and articles that have prevented the ratification of a deal and what needs to be addressed to make it possible. As a result, management has, for the first time, agreed to discuss and address those issues and articles so that an agreement can be reached, giving the workers a front-row seat while it happens. Among the issues are wages, retroactive pay, and other improvements. The bus operators, dispatchers, technicians, and utility workers have been working without a contract since August 2021, many have not received a wage increase in 3 years and are frustrated as increases in the cost of living have not slowed. As of the writing of this article, the next round of negotiations will take place in August, and the membership of Local 1028 will surely be in attendance with “All the Unity.”  Please be sure to follow the ATU on social media and visit the ATU website ( for updates on our Local 1028 members’ campaign.