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Tacoma

How Intermodal Yard Workers Doubled Their Pay

Like many of his co-workers, Levi Kamel was nearly ready to quit. But before he did, he decided to try one thing: win a union. Kamel was making $18 an hour doing backbreaking work repairing container chassis—the trailers that attach to containers so they can be pulled down the road by semi-trucks—at the Port of Tacoma in Washington. He was a mechanic at P&B Intermodal, a logistics maintenance company that operates at intermodal yards across the country. The job was a revolving door. In February 2021, Kamel had been there more than a year, but most workers lasted less than three months. And no wonder: “We didn’t have very good health care,” Kamel said. “We were treated really badly.”
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