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May 9, 2023

Custodial Department Chooses Teamsters Local 322

(RICHMOND, Va.) – Workers in the custodial and plant services department at Richmond Public Schools have voted overwhelmingly to join Teamsters Local 322.

“For the first time in history, public sector workers in Virginia are eligible to join a union and these Richmond Public Schools workers chose to join the strongest union in North America,” said Brian Peyton, President of Local 322. “We’re thrilled to welcome the first cohort of Virginia public sector workers to the Teamsters and cannot wait to organize more. We look forward to getting these hardworking men and women their very first Teamster contract.”

“History has been made in Virginia,” said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien. “Public sector workers play an instrumental role in keeping communities like Richmond safe, clean, and running seamlessly – and for that, they deserve a strong union contract. On behalf of the 1.2 million Teamster members across the U.S., we are honored to have been chosen by our new members to represent the first group of organized Virginia public sector workers.”

“I voted the join the Teamsters because I wanted a voice on the job, fair compensation, and strong representation,” said Lawrence Pope, custodian at Richmond Public Schools. “The Teamsters are the best fit to represent Richmond Public Schools workers – and I am thrilled that my colleagues agreed and voted to join the union. I am excited to officially be a Teamster.”

Prior to May 2021, public sector workers in the Commonwealth of Virginia were not able to collectively bargain. In February 2023, Local 322 filed a petition with the Richmond City Labor Administrator to initiate an election for the Labor & Trades bargaining unit. This election is the first of many to come for public sector workers in Virginia.

“For the last several months, our team has been on the ground talking with hundreds of Richmond city workers about how to improve their lives,” said Dwayne Johnson, Organizing Director at Local 322. “These Richmond Public Schools workers have since decided that a Teamster contract is the best way to ensure higher wages, better benefits, and respect on the job. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome more than 200 new members to Local 322.”

Teamsters Local 322 represents over 1,600 workers in Virginia. For more information, visit

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