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March 28, 2017

On This Day in 2002:

U.S. Supreme Court rules that undocumented workers do not have the same rights as Americans when they are wrongly fired.

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Labor Headlines

US labour news headlines from LabourStart

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Updated: Mar. 28 (01:01)

James R. Hoffa Memorial College Student Essay
Teamsters Local Union No. 677
In California, Businesses Battle Teamsters for Pot Distribution
Teamsters Local 355
In California, Businesses Battle Teamsters for Pot Distribution
Teamsters local 570
More than four million jobs will likely be lost with a rapid transition to autonomous vehicles
Teamsters Local 455
Compromise Frees Passage of FOP's Bill to Cover Colorado Cops for PTSD
Colorado State Lodge F.O.P.
Driverless Vehicles
Teamsters Local 455
 
     
A Win-Win at Penn Fibre
Updated On: Sep 26, 2012

Penn Fibre employees with the most years of service broke ground for the new building. Left to right are Wesley Hartzel (maintenance, 37 years); Bill O'Day (punching, 26 years); Brice Smart (shipping, 25 years); George West (extrusion molds, 39 years); Jim Mish (15 years); and General Manager John Cowperthwait.

New warehouse extension sign of employer's commitment to workers and their safety

Greenwood, Del. – Don't let anyone tell you that unions are killing American manufacturing jobs.

Recent developments at Ensinger/Penn Fibre in Greenwood, Delaware, suggest that at least one unionized manufacturer (the Teamsters have represented workers at the company for decades) is growing. And hiring.

At a ground-breaking ceremony on Sept. 20, 2012 for a warehouse extension to house new product, Local 355 members celebrated the company's forward progress and it's commitment to their jobs, their safety, and their community.

According to Local 355 Business Agent John Caparatta, Penn Fibre, manufacturer of high performance engineering plastics, was "on it's deathbed" six years ago. Since German-based Ensinger purchased the company it's been run well, Caparatta said. During the recession that began in 2008, sales dropped and employees were laid off. But in the last two years, the company has replaced most of the customers it lost and has turned itself around, adding workers and planning expansion.

A key factor in the company's decision to expand it's warehouse is concern for employee safety. General Manager John Cowperthwait told the employees that the company was undertaking proactive measures to avoid unnecessary accidents.

"You are all stakeholders," Cowperthwait told the workers. "We're in our third year of making profits and we're making an investment in this building because when they say this company is growing, it means we're growing in Greenwood. We're not going to make money on this, but we will make material handling safer."

Shop steward Jim Mish said the new space will give the workers more room. "I'm looking forward to seeing that happen because right now it's too congested in the building and the building extension will provide us with improved protection. It's all about safety. That's my priority."

"We work in cramped areas," explained David Keith, a shop steward for the past 15 years. "We're experiencing growth here, which means more product. The company's commitment tells us that it is willing to make a long-term investment to ensure the safety of its workers."

In addition to the construction of the warehouse extension begun this week, Cowperthwait announced three new initiatives for workers: production will be reduced by one hour per day, although overtime may be necessary, and employees will be provided a daily 10-minute stretching program by a professional trainer to increase flexibility. Finally, employees will be given five minutes every day to conduct a "safety walk" in their work area in order to "eliminate an accident that might be waiting to happen."

The company provided the union with updates on its expansion plans during the past year. "It always keeps us informed," said Keith.

Greenwood Mayor Donnie Donovan said he was glad to see Ensinger/Penn Fibre expanding. "It means it plans to stay a while. We need investments like this." Also in attendance at the ground-breaking was Town Manager John McDonald and Greenwood Police Chief Mark Anderson.

"I'm happy for everybody, all the way around," said Caparatta. "This is good for the business and its employees. It's a win-win."

Top left photo: Local 355 members gather for the ground-breaking ceremony.

Top right photo: (L-R) Shop steward David Keith Local 355 Business Agent John Caparatta; Operations Manager Mark Fischer; and shop steward Jim Mish.

Above photo: Penn Fibre employees, union officials and guests enjoyed a barbeque of pulled pork, fresh green beans, macaroni and cheese, and cornbread.

 


General Membership Meetings:
Apr. 2, 2017  - Baltimore
Apr. 9, 2017  - Salisbury

10:oo am.
Please be present and on time.

Bring a coworker!








Current Campaigns
  • The ‘Let’s Get America Working!’ campaign seeks to restore a dynamic and prosperous middle class to drive economic growth by helping to advance policy decisions that create and maintain good middle-income jobs, guarantee retirement security, expand access to the American Dream, and ensure that the benefits of the ongoing economic recovery are felt by the many, not just the few.

  • We Are eXPOsing XPO’s Global Greed

    XPO Logistics is a top ten global logistics and transportation company with annual revenue of $15 billion and 89,000 employees, another 10,000 workers classified as independent contractors, and thousands more working for firms that subcontract with XPO. We are the REAL workers at XPO Logistics worldwide exposing the truth about the company’s global greed, illegal wage theft, unsafe conditions, and abhorrent and vicious anti-worker, anti-union tactics. 

    This greed includes mistreating former Con-way Freight workers in the United States who are being kept in the dark about terminal closures and layoffs, and the company’s illegal refusal to bargain contracts and denying their workers’ federally protected right to organize. It also includes port, rail and last-mile drivers around the country and in Southern California fighting wage theft in excess of $200 million because they are misclassified as independent contractors and denied the right to form their union. This greed has caused numerous lawsuits and strikes.  Greed also means an unsafe workplace and mistreating its warehouse employees.

    XPO’s greed extends to Europe beginning with breaking its promise to not layoff any workers for at least 18 months. French workers and the unions have been fighting back against XPO’s disrespect, lies and attempts to slash jobs. Similar struggles are taking place in Great Britain, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, and across Europe.

    Join the worldwide struggle now! Get involved with this campaign by joining the Facebook group “XPO Exposed.”

    Together, we can eXPOse the company’s global greed and win fairness, respect and dignity for tens of thousands of XPO employees around the world!

  • This webpage provides information on the Teamsters Union’s legislative advocacy at both the federal and state level as well as our field activity to support those policy positions and to get strong labor candidates elected to office.  Among other resources, you will find our federal legislative scorecard, formal statements of policy position and communications to Capitol Hill,  a weekly update on federal legislative happenings, an overview of bills we are tracking at the state level, and quick links to take action on priority issues.

  • Negotiations for the National Master Automobile Transporters Agreement (NMATA) recently concluded and a tentative agreement has been reached. On Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 representatives from carhaul local unions met in Detroit to endorse the National Agreement and the Central-Southern Supplement, paving the way for members to vote. The Eastern and Western Supplements were approved in 2016, and will not be re-voted. However, all carhaul members will get to exercise their right to vote on the National Agreement and General Monetary Changes.

    Ballots will be mailed out on or about March 10 and are tentatively scheduled to be counted on March 30.

    The tentative agreement is from September 1, 2015, until May 31, 2021.

  • The IBT-Airline Division has established this page as a place to get up-to-date information about the Republic Airways Holdings (RAH) bankruptcy.  Please check here for the latest information about the bankruptcy.

  • Workers’ pensions are being endangered by both Congress and those charged with overseeing them. The Teamsters and our members are standing united to say “No!” to cuts and “Yes!” to greater retirement security!

  • The Teamsters Union represents more than 250,000 members at UPS and UPS Freight. UPS remains an active member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) despite the organization’s anti-worker and anti-union agenda that seeks to undermine and weaken worker protections.

  • This web page provides information on our fight against fast-track legislation. The measure requires Congress to take only a quick up-or-down vote on secret trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and does not allow such agreements to be amended. It limits Congress’ constitutionally mandated oversight of such trade deals and lets others decide what’s best for America. The result is fewer good-paying U.S. jobs and unsafe food and products for Americans. Read more to find out why fast track is the wrong track for Teamsters and America.

  • Workers across the country at FedEx Freight and Con-way Freight are standing shoulder to shoulder to form their unions with the Teamsters to win a more secure future. Momentum is building with a first wave of victories with many more to come.

    There is growing worker resentment toward the companies after years of being treated unfairly. While the companies have suddenly made improvements since workers began to organize, workers know that without a legally binding contract the company can take these things away at any time.

    The unfulfilled promises that have been made to drivers and dockworkers over the past decade are coming back to haunt management.

    But now workers are taking action and standing up for themselves by forming their union. It's a different era now. It's Teamster Time! LIKE our Facebook page, here.

  • Teamsters are been standing together to protect good jobs at Sysco and US Foods. Our solidarity on many fronts helped to defeat the mega-merger of the two companies, which would have put thousands of jobs at risk. But challenges remain as both companies refine their plans. Join our campaign to ensure these foodservice giants honor their agreements with 11,500 Teamsters and help us bring more Sysco and US Foods workers into the Teamster family. LIKE our Facebook page, here.

     

 
 
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