The Washington area's biggest Teamsters local has reached settlements with seven moving and storage companied, largely ending a two-week strike that had disrupted moving service here.
Members of Teamsters Local 639 went back to work yesterday at Bekins Moving and Storage Co., after ratifying a new three-year contract. Union members had returned to work Monday at six other moving companies, including Washington outlets affiliated with Allied Van Lines and Aero Mayflower Transit Co. Allied, Aero Mayflower and Bekins are among the nation's largest moving companies.
Members of Local 639 remained on strike yesterday against one other moving firm, Kane Warehouse Co., Inc., which specializes in moving furnishings and equipment for federal government agencies. No settlement appears likely before next week, according to union and company officials.
The strike against the seven other moving companies apparently had its greatest impact on families who wanted to retrieve their belongings from storage.
"We had some delays in delivering people out of storage," Walter Shanahan, manager of the Bekins office in Falls Church said yesterday. Shanahan added that six to eight families, whose belongings were stuck in Bekins' Falls Church warehouse since the strike began April 6, were scheduled to receive them yesterday. Similar deliveries were being made yesterday from Bekins' other local offices, Shanahan said.
The first accord in the labor disput waa reached Saturday when members of Local 639 ratified a new contract with six moving companies that were represented by an industry bargaining group, known as the Movers' and Warehousemen's Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C., Inc
The association includes four companies affiliated with Allied Van Lines - Colonial Storage Co., Lion Transfer & Storage Co., Security Storage Co. of Washington and United States Moving & Storage Co. Inc. It also includes Smith's Moving & Storage Co. Inc., which operates Aero Mayflower's Washington-area outlets, and District Moving & Storage Inc.
Bekins, which is not currently a member of the bargaining association, negotiated a separate, though reportedly similar agreement with Local 639. It was ratified Wednesday.
Officials familiar with the new contracts said yesterday that they provided for a 22 percent increase in wages and fringe benefits over the next three years, including initial wage increase of 40 to 45 cents an hour. Uner the previous contracts, employees' wages recently ranged from $5.45 to $5.80 an hour.