Hubbard County Social Services Director Dismissed Amid Teamster Complaints of Hostile Work Environment
Park Rapids - Minn.
On August 6, the Director of Social Services for Hubbard County was dismissed after Teamsters of the social services department demanded the county address the hostile working conditions under the director’s tenure. Teamsters, with the support of the Local Union’s staff and leadership, attended county board meetings, testified, and circulated a petition which at this time has reached 755 signatures. Former employees and community members wrote letters to the local paper supporting social services employees. The employees also received supportive coverage in both print and television news.
While Teamsters Local 320 is not interested in advocating for anyone’s termination, the situation in Hubbard County Social Services became too severe over the former director’s short tenure. During that time staff turnover surpassed 50 percent. To confront the dire situation, the county employed the expertise of a personnel consultant, but did nothing to follow-up with the consultant’s recommendations. When the County failed to act on the recommendations, workers took action of their own. After significant displays of Teamster solidarity and activism, the county agreed to another internal investigation which eventually led to the director’s dismissal.
Local 320 Business Agent Roger Meunier commented, “Over the course of 18 months, the Teamster Stewards of Hubbard County Social Services and I had numerous meetings, email and phone call exchanges with the Hubbard Social Services Director, the previous and present Hubbard County Director, and the Hubbard County Board to address the hostile work environment.”
Meunier added, “The final outcome is what the department needs to move forward and build a more favorable work environment for our Teamsters.”
“The director’s dismissal will begin a process of healing for our brothers and sisters in Hubbard County,” says Brian Aldes. “I now must thank every supporter who wrote letters and were signatories to our petition, but I especially thank those Teamsters who spoke out against the hostile work environment.”