Layoff notice rescinded after Northeast Transportation Services, union reach deal

PAWTUCKET – Northeast Transportation Services LLC will remain a contractor for DHL Express in Pawtucket, after reaching a labor agreement with its unionized workers.

South-Carolina-based Northeast Transportation Services, a third-party contractor that employs drivers for DHL Express, had filed the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification with the R.I. Department of Labor and Training on Jan. 23, notifying it was laying off 75 workers effective March 25.

The notice came months after unionized workers members of Teamsters Union Local 251 kicked off a strike at the DHL Express location in Pawtucket to protest their expired contracts with Northeast Transportation Services.

About 65 workers went on strike in June 2022. However, they returned to work almost seven months later, on Jan. 17, 2023, under the terms of the previous contract after receiving notice of Northeast Transportation’s departure, said Matthew Taibi, principal officer of Teamsters Local 251.

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Contract negotiations resumed and after the union ratified a new contract with the company at the beginning of February, Northeast Transportation Services rescinded its decision to lay off 75 people. Ron Lydick, owner of Northeast Transportation, confirmed the company rescinded the notice with the state, but did not offer further comment.

The new agreement, ratified 34-4 by the union, offers improved health care coverage, wage increases, more holidays and vacation time, and more paid time off, said Taibi. It “very much addressed” the issues that caused the strike and was “overwhelmingly” approved by the union, Taibi said. The new agreement, which went into effect immediately, will remain in place through March 31, 2028.

Taibi said the DHL Express location saw a 30% loss of work volume because of the strike.

Claudia Chiappa is a PBN staff writer. You may contact her at