LA Teamsters provide members seeking citizenship with valuable assistance Apr. 1, 2019| Teamsters Local 630 has about 7,000 members. They’re warehouse workers, truckers, and food service employees. Nearly 80 percent of the union is Hispanic. Guillermo Flores’ wife is in the union. For years he has lived, worked, and paid taxes in the United States, thanks to a permanent resident status. On Saturday, March 30 he took a major step toward U.S. citizenship because of Local 630. He submitted the N-400 Application for Naturalization. One of his motivations is political. As a permanent resident Flores isn’t allowed to vote. “The more people that could cast their votes and understand the laws or what’s going to go on in the future, I think it’s better for everybody,” said Flores. Flores’ parents brought him straight to California from Mexico…Spectrum
New contract approved at First Transit Baltimore MTA Apr. 3, 2019| Workers at First Transit Baltimore MTA have approved a new three-year collective bargaining agreement. Highlights include significant increases in wage rates and paid time off allowance. In a major improvement to their health care coverage, workers will move from the company’s high-cost healthcare plan to a new no-deductibles plan in the second year of the agreement. The new contract covers more than 300 transit operators.
New apprenticeship program puts more Teamsters behind the wheel Apr. 5, 2019| Anyone who works in trucking or follows the transportation sector knows there is one topic that has dominated the industry in recent years. That topic is the persistent shortage of drivers and how it has plagued carriers nationwide… Today, Teamsters are paving a new road for countless workers who want to build careers in the transportation industry. The new Teamsters Apprenticeship Program is the first national effort by the union that is focused on the transportation industry. “This program is designed to promote the craft and train people to build strong middle-class careers in the transportation industry… The driver shortage is a real problem in the industry and we believe this program offers a unique solution…” Teamsters
Teamsters set April 10 meeting to discuss YRC contract Apr. 5, 2019| Two-person teams of the Teamsters union will meet with top union officials April 10 in Chicago to discuss the tentative contract reached last month between the Teamsters and three units of YRC Worldwide, Inc. Under Teamsters bylaws, after the meeting, the two-person teams will brief local leaders and the rank-and-file who will make the ultimate decision to ratify or reject the contract. Between 20,000 and 25,000 employees at national unit YRC Freight and regional units New Penn and Holland are Teamsters members. The current collective bargaining agreement has been extended until May 31, two months past its original expiration date, to allow for the language to be fully vetted and for the rank-and-file to vote…. FreightWaves
The latest on Teamster Podcast: These women work! Apr. 10, 2019| Listen to the latest edition of the Teamster Nation Podcast and learn how Local 237 in New York City used an event honoring former staffer and journalist Marie Colvin to also pay tribute to three school safety agents who stood up for fair pay for themselves and their colleagues. Plus, the Teamsters create an apprenticeship program to produce more truckers.
Economic issues are on the table Mar. 1, 2019| The Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) reports bargaining resumed this week for a new National Master Freight Agreement (NMFA) applicable to YRC Freight, Holland, and New Penn. The current agreement is set to expire on March 31. This week, comprehensive economic proposals were exchanged by the parties which resulted in a vigorous review of the respective positions. TNFINC Co-Chair Ernie Soehl stated that “obviously, these discussions are becoming more critical and consequential as we go into March and address the most difficult issues. Although we made some progress, the union is disappointed with the wage and benefit package the employer currently has on the table because it simply will not meet the level the members’ deserve or recognize the sacrifice of long-term employees over the past decade.” Nevertheless, the parties have agreed to resume negotiations over the next few weeks to attempt to find a solution. We appreciate the patience of the membership as we strive for the best agreement possible.
Teamsters celebrate Women’s History Month Mar. 5, 2019| Every year, we commemorate Women’s History Month in March, and March 8 marks International Women’s Day. The theme of International Women’s Day in 2019 is “Balance for Better,” because a more gender-balanced world is a better world. This is a time to reflect on women’s accomplishments in our union and communities at large. Often it’s Mother Jones or Rosie the Riveter who come to mind when we think about strong women in labor history. However, there are many more accomplished women, including Teamsters, who work every day to fight for workers’ rights…Teamsters
Vote results in on three UPS supplements Mar. 6, 2019| UPS Teamsters covered by the Central Pennsylvania Supplement have ratified the agreement. UPS Teamsters covered by the Western Pennsylvania and Local 243/Metro Detroit supplements have rejected those two agreements. Voting took place over the past several weeks and votes were tallied yesterday. Vote results here. Another supplement yet to be voted on is the Local 804 Supplement. However, a tentative agreement on the Local 804 Supplement has been reached and a vote will take place in the near future.
Teamsters are standing up to Sysco Mar. 13, 2019| Listen to the latest edition of the Teamster Nation Podcast and learn how Sysco Teamsters are standing together against intimidation all across the country by organizing for power.
Local 355 mourns the loss of favorite son, Kenny Elgert Mar. 12, 2019| Local 355 officers, staff, and members are mourning the untimely passing of Kenny Elgert, beloved son of Local 355 Business Agent Chip Elgert and Barbara Elgert. In order to allow Local Union staff and members to attend his funeral services, the monthly membership meeting on Sunday, March 17, 2019, in Salisbury, Md. is canceled. Family and friends may pay their respects on Friday, March 15, 2019, from 2–6 pm, and on Saturday, March 16, 2019, from 2–6 pm at Barranco & Sons, P.A. Severna Park Funeral Home, 495 Ritchie Highway, in Severna Park, MD 21146. A Funeral Ceremony will be held on Sunday, March 17, 2019, at 10 am at Earleigh Heights Volunteer Fire Department, 161 Ritchie Highway, Severna Park, MD 21146. Interment will follow in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Baltimore, Md. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Severna Park Athletic Boosters/Drama, Earleigh Heights Fire Department, or to the Anne Arundel County Special Olympics.
Bargaining update: Slow progress on monetary issues Mar. 18, 2019| Bargaining resumed this week for a new NMFA applicable to YRC Freight, Holland, and New Penn. The current agreement is set to expire on March 31. Detailed economic proposals dominated the discussions but the parties ended the week without a consensus about what the long-term wage and benefit package needs to be to retain and attract drivers, dockworkers and other employees with the three companies. Co-chairman Ernie Soehl stated: “The union believes the pool of available money needs to expand if we are to conclude these talks on time. We’ve offered significant operational improvements to grow each company in the expanding e-commerce world and addressed inefficiencies that hinder the growth of each company. We believe those changes are being undervalued by the companies.” The union is very disappointed in the companies’ positions but the parties are scheduled to resume talks next week. Complete update here.
Hoffa marks 20 years as head of the Teamster Union Mar. 19, 2019| Today marks an important milestone in Teamster history. On this date, General President James P. Hoffa became only the second General President to log 20 years as head of the Teamsters Union. “We have accomplished a lot in the last 20 years but there is always more to do. Workers’ rights and the gains we have made never stand still – we are either on the rise or someone is trying to take what we have – we only win by constantly fighting for more.” Reflecting on serving the Teamster membership for 20 years, Hoffa said, “It has been my greatest honor to serve the great men and women of this union… Teamsters
Local 355 mourns the passing of Lance Miller, UPS feeder driver Mar. 20, 2019| Updated March 22 Lance Miller, long-time UPS steward and a friend to many, passed away Tuesday, March 19, 2019. In their statement received today, his family informed the Local Union that there would not be a funeral. “We will gather to celebrate Lance’s life on Sunday, March 24, 2019, from 1:00 - 5:00 PM at the Dewey Lowman American Legion Post 109 hall in Arbutus [Md].” Lance “will be cremated and some of his organs donated to save another Life.” The family asks that you please pass along this information, adding “Thanks to UPS for all the support for their fellow UPS’ers. He lived and breathed UPS.” Additional information here.
Tentative agreement in principle reached
Mar. 22, 2019| The Union and the Company have reached a tentative agreement in principle for a new collective bargaining agreement to succeed the current agreement which is expiring on March 31. TNFINC has granted a contract extension of the current agreement through May 31, 2019 in order to allow the parties to finalize some language and a few supplemental issues as well as to allow the union’s ratification process to take place. As with the union’s practice, details of the tentative agreement will not be released until after they have been reviewed at a two-person meeting which will be scheduled in the near future. Full statement here.
Reminder: Hoffa Memorial Scholarship deadline is March 31st Mar. 25, 2019| The James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund awards scholarships annually to outstanding high school seniors. Scholarship winners are awarded either a $10,000.00 award split up over four years at $1,250.00 per semester or a one-time $1,000.00 award. Winners of the $10,000.00 award will have their scholarship renewed each year, pursuant to the Scholarship Renewal guidelines, and must maintain a GPA of 3.0 (B average) or higher. Training and vocational scholarships are also available. To access the JRHMSF application process, click here.
Minimum wage increase advances in Md. General Assembly Feb. 27, 2019| Maryland lawmakers are advancing a bill that gradually increases the minimum wage to $15 per hour but does it at a slower rate that advocates had hoped for. Under the version of the bill approved Monday night by a key House of Delegates committee, the minimum wage would increase from the current $10.10 per hour starting next year and hitting $15 in 2025… The Baltimore Sun
YRC Bargaining Update: Continued progress Feb. 1, 2019| The Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) and YRC Freight, New Penn and Holland met this week for another round of bargaining for a new national agreement to succeed the agreement that is set to expire on March 31, and more progress was made. Although the parties resolved most of the easy issues in the early weeks, they are now starting to address the more difficult ones. The industry-wide driver shortage remains a central topic of discussion. “We pointed out to the company that when we start getting into economics, one obvious way to help with driver recruitment and retention is to raise wage rates,” National Freight Director Ernie Soehl said. The parties have multiple weeks scheduled to continue negotiations. Read the full update here.
Teamsters file unfair labor practice charges against Jack Cooper Transport Feb. 5, 2019| The Teamsters National Automobile Transporters Industry Negotiating Committee (TNATINC) sent the following memo to local unions [yesterday] after the committee filed unfair labor practice charges against Jack Cooper Transport: Today, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, managers for Jack Cooper Transport began contacting Local Unions individually by phone requesting relief from pension contributions. These benefits have been negotiated to conclusion under the current National Master Automobile Transporters Agreement (NMATA) and Supplemental agreements. A letter from T. Michael Riggs on this matter has also been sent by Jack Cooper Transport managers directly to our Carhaul membership in violation of law… Continue reading here.
Upstate and Western New York supplement ratified * Feb. 6, 2019| Official vote results.UPS Teamsters covered by the Upstate and Western New York Supplement have ratified the agreement. Voting took place over the past several weeks and votes were tallied yesterday. Four other supplements remain outstanding: Central Pennsylvania; Western Pennsylvania; Local 804; and Local 243 Metro Detroit. Reminder: The national agreement cannot take effect until all the outstanding supplements are ratified. Once ratified, economic improvements are retroactive to August 1, 2018. Vote counts at teamster.org
Teamsters celebrate Black History Month Feb. 6, 2019| Since 1903, the Teamsters Union has been at the forefront of the struggle for workers’ rights in North America. During Black History Month, Teamsters honor the contributions of African-Americans in our nation’s history and their important place in the union today. Early on in the union’s history, Teamsters advocated for “no color lines” within the labor movement and would not hold with the practice of separate unions for black members. Women and minorities were... Read more
Teamsters applaud introduction of legislation to protect transit workers Feb. 13, 2019| The Teamsters support bipartisan legislation that would authorize funding for programs to establish training and technology improvements to help mitigate assaults against transit workers. “All transit workers deserve a safe workplace,” said General President Jim Hoffa. “Whether they drive a bus or work on the rails, these men and women should have the training and technology to help prevent any harm from assault on the job…” Learn more here.
YRC negotiations continue on national items Feb. 15, 2019| The last traditional collective bargaining agreement applicable to these companies is the 2008-13 National Master Freight Agreement (NMFA). That agreement was modified and extended through various restructuring MOUs and agreements. The parties are returning to the traditional structural format as the 2008-13 NMFA. After this week, the parties will have resolved most of the non-economic provisions in Articles 1-39. The parties also began discussing supplemental agreements for some regions of the country. Subcommittees were also established to focus on various issues related to the shortage of CDL drivers, purchased transportation, how to grow full-time jobs, job security for the bargaining unit and the unique nature of operations at Holland... Read the full update here.
Teamsters JC 16 statement on Amazon canceling H2 New York plans Feb. 15, 2019| George Miranda, President of Teamsters Joint Council 16, had the following statement on Amazon's announcement that it is pulling out of plans to build its second headquarters in Long Island City, NY: "New Yorkers made it clear that Amazon wasn't welcome in our city if it would not respect our workers and our communities. Apparently, the company decided that was too much to ask. We are committed to fighting for the rights of workers throughout the Amazon supply chain and supporting their demand for a voice on the job." TeamstersRelated: Amazon’s decision to pull out of New York is a massive blow to corporate welfare and, activists and lawmakers also raised concerns over Amazon’s labor practices and its anti-union track record.
AFGE sues government over shutdown Jan. 2, 2019|The American Federation of Government Employees on Monday sued the U.S. government on behalf of federal employees being forced to work without pay during the Trump Shutdown. The lawsuit alleges that the government is violating the law by requiring some federal employees to work without pay, including correctional officers, Border Patrol and ICE agents, transportation security officers, and other employees who are labeled as “essential”. “Our members put their lives on the line to keep our country safe,” said AFGE president J. David Cox Sr., noting that positions that are considered ‘essential’ during a shutdown are some of the most dangerous jobs in the federal government. Pointing out that many of those working without pay are military veterans, Cox said that “Our nation’s heroes, AFGE members and their families deserve the decency of knowing when their next paycheck is coming and that they will be paid for their work.” The lawsuit was brought on behalf of all federal employees who are required to work without pay during the shutdown. The U.S. Court of Federal Claims has previously ruled in favor of federal employees forced to work without pay during the 2013 shutdown. ~ Via Metro Washington Council AFL-CIO
Teamster members also work for federal government, contractors Jan. 2, 2019|The International Brotherhood of Teamsters calls on Congress and the President to end the current budget impasse that could result in the partial closure of the federal government. The Teamsters Union represents thousands of hardworking members who are either federal employees or federal government contractors. Many of these members will be forced to either work without pay or face furlough or layoff during a government closure. The impact on these members and their families, as well as all federal employees impacted by a shutdown, would be catastrophic… teamster.orgPhoto: Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Unions call on the president and Congress to reopen the government Jan. 9, 2019| Every day the government shutdown drags on, hundreds of thousands of working people are denied a paycheck and millions lose the vital government services they deserve. America's working families are looking to the president and Congress to end this debacle. Join us for a rally to end the government shutdown at Noon, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019, at AFL-CIO, 815 16th St., NW, Washington, D.C. 20006. Or, call your legislators and demand that they vote to reopen government: 1-866-803-8830. Download the rally flyer here. Download the informational flyer "President and Congress Must Reopen the Government" here.
Thousands of federal employee union workers rally for end to government shutdown Jan. 10, 2019| Teamsters stood with federal workers and other trade union allies at a rally today in Washington, DC to demand an end to the government shutdown. Tens of thousands of our union brothers and sisters are locked out or working without pay. Chanting ‘Shut the shutdown now,” they demanded government leaders “do your job” and reopen the government so they can go back to work. More than a dozen members of Congress joined the rally to stand with the workers including leaders from Maryland (House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, Senators Chris Van Hollen, and Benjamin Cardin) and Virginia (Senator Mark Warner and Representative Don Beyer).
Teamsters go to court over federal rest time ruling Jan. 11, 2019| In a move that pits business interests against organized labor, the federal agency that regulates big-rig traffic late last year issued a ruling that wipes out California labor laws mandating meal and rest breaks for interstate truck drivers. Within a week of that decision, the Union filed a legal action in federal court challenging the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s ruling. The federal agency is being asked to prove it has the authority to preempt this California regulation… The Press-Enterprise
YRC negotiations resume, continued progress reported Jan. 14, 2019| The Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) met this week to continue negotiations for a new National Master Freight Agreement covering YRC Freight, Holland and New Penn. The parties met for full days over the course of the week and discussed a wide variety of issues. TNFINC secured a tentative agreement with improvements on a number of items such as equipment, safety, stewards and work opportunities. TNFINC Co-Chair Ernie Soehl stated: “We continued making progress for the members and resolved a number of national non-economic items. Obviously, we will still need to tackle the difficult economic issues, but at least so far I am encouraged by the progress.” Negotiations are scheduled to resume later in the month.
Hollywood Teamsters stand in solidarity with striking LA teachers Jan. 15, 2019| Teachers across California are making bold decisions to take action for their students and for the future of public education. Educators are deeply committed to improving learning conditions in their classrooms and public education calling for crucial changes such as reduced class sizes, improved school safety, less testing - more teaching, and fair wages. IBT Joint Council 42 has sanctioned the strike for Los Angeles Teachers and their fight… Hollywood Teamsters Local 399
New contracts approved at Avis Rent-A-Car, Mid-Atlantic Baking Jan. 16, 2019| Service agents, rental sales agents, customer service reps, and technicians at Avis Rent A Car ratified a new three-year contract in December that provides annual wage increases; an increase in company pension contribution; enhances sick leave; and increases technicians’ boot and tool allowances. Drivers at Mid-Atlantic Baking approved…355 News
UPS contract update Jan. 18, 2019| The seven Teamster local unions that represent UPS Teamsters covered by the Upstate and Western New York Supplement have reached a tentative agreement, and voting information will be mailed to members on Tuesday, January 22. Voting will be done over the internet or by phone. Ballots will be counted on Tuesday, February 5. Four supplements remain outstanding: Central Pennsylvania; Western Pennsylvania; Local 804; and Local 243 and Metro Detroit… Teamsters
UPS Freight national contract is now available online Jan. 18, 2019| The 2018-2023 National Master UPS Freight Agreement is now available online and ready to print. You may access the agreement here. Workers at UPS Freight ratified the new five-year agreement in November 2018 that was the company’s last, best and final offer. Members approved the contract by a 77 percent to 23 percent margin. The agreement covers about 11,600 workers at the company.
Labor hails DC City Council move to protect federal workers Jan. 23, 2019| Some good news to share with family or friends affected by the government shutdown and are residents of DC: The DC City Council yesterday unanimously approved the “Federal Worker Housing Relief Emergency Act of 2019” to protect unpaid federal government workers and contractors from foreclosure, eviction, and late fees during a federal government shutdown. The bill, which takes effect immediately following the Mayor’s signature, would benefit as many as 80,000 federal workers and contractors living in DC. ...Metro Washington Council AFL-CIO
Stop the Shutdown National Call-In Day Jan. 24, 2019| Union members from all over the country are being asked to call their Senators and Representatives today to tell them to reopen the government and keep it open. Call the Senate: 866-803-8830;House: 855-976-9914. The Senate is tentatively scheduled to vote today on a bill that will reopen the government – the day before many workers will be missing their paychecks. The Teamsters stand in solidarity with workers impacted by the shutdown that has locked out hundreds of thousands of federal workers and forced hundreds of thousands more to work without pay. We believe that the shutdown must end now. Make the call now! Related:Teamsters take part in government shutdown protest on Capitol HillPhoto/Getty Images
Hoffa: China needs to make real change to fix trade inequities with U.S. Dec. 5, 2018|Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said in a statement today about the agreement reached this week between the U.S. and China to put additional tariffs on hold while negotiating a solution to the ongoing trade imbalance between the two nations: “…America must demand results, not just rhetoric. The U.S. needs a clear vision and must enter this process with open eyes on China revamping its trade practices. There is an urgent need for structural reform if a solution is ultimately going to be reached.” Read Hoffa’s full statement here.
Applications are being accepted for the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Dec. 10, 2018|The application process for the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship for the 2019 year is now open. Scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 are awarded annually to eligible outstanding high school seniors. Applicants must be the son, daughter or grandchild of an active, retired, disabled, deceased or laid-off Teamster member who has or had at least twelve months of consecutive membership in good standing in the Teamsters Union. The submission deadline is March 31, 2019. Applications are available in English or Spanish, and are available online or at the Local office. For more information, click here.
Update: First of six outstanding supplements approved Dec. 17, 2018|UPS Teamsters covered by the Trailer Conditioners, Inc. (TCI) Supplement voted Dec. 14 to approve the agreement. The TCI Supplement is the first of the six outstanding supplements to be approved in a re-vote by the members. Members at TCI repair trailers and are represented by local unions 385, 480 and 745. Five supplements remain outstanding: the Central Pennsylvania; the Upstate and West New York; Western Pennsylvania; Local 243 and Metro Detroit; and the Local 804. The national UPS contract will not take effect until all the supplements have been ratified.
Contract language proposals exchanged with YRC Freight, Holland, New Penn Dec. 21, 2018|The Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) met with representatives of YRC Freight, USF Holland and New Penn this week to kick off negotiations for a new National Master Freight Agreement (NMFA) covering those companies. The parties exchanged initial proposals on national language items. Economic proposals were not exchanged at this time and will be discussed as negotiations progress. Negotiations are scheduled to resume in early January… Full update here
Bakers Express workers approve successor contracts Dec. 20, 2018|Members employed as drivers and warehouse workers at Bakers Express approved this week new three-year collective bargaining agreements. The contracts provide nine percent wage increases over the term of the agreements; a signing bonus; and the maintenance of Health and Welfare with the company absorbing all increased costs in the third year. Most of the members gained additional sick days under a sick leave policy updated to comply with a recently enacted Maryland law that requires all companies with 15 or more employees provide a minimum of five sick days per year. Other highlights include enhanced bereavement leave (grandchildren); an increase in jury duty pay; and improvements in job bidding language. Specific to the warehouse contract: the progression rate for new hires is reduced to six months from 12, and an enhanced premium pay for working weeks containing holidays.
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration’s “New NAFTA” contains many pro-worker improvements, but still has some remaining holes in worker protections, including the need to eliminate the last remaining vestige of the pro-corporate secret trade courts, Teamsters Legislative Director Mike Dolan says. But at the same time, the pro-worker provisions are so many and varied that Dolan praised the U.S.-Canada-Mexico pact as “a new paradigm” for future U.S. trade deals.
And it was good enough for workers that Dolan gave a proverbial chuckle at the Chamber of Commerce’s “frustration” over the new NAFTA’s pro-worker sections before asking: “Has the Chamber ever opposed a ‘free trade’ deal?”
“Their concerns about the new NAFTA, and their opposition to aspects of the renegotiations the labor movement has historically called for, are auspicious from our perspective. The worm turns and a new model for future FTAs emerges,” Dolan said.
Dolan was one of two pro-worker witnesses to discuss the pact, which GOP President Donald Trump reached with Canada and Mexico – the Canadians and Mexicans would say “jammed down our throats” – earlier this year. Dolan and AFL-CIO Trade Specialist Celeste Drake spoke during the U.S. International Trade Commission hearings on it on Nov. 15-16 (see separate story on Drake’s testimony).
The USITC heard Drake, Dolan and the other witnesses, all representing corporate interests – including the Chamber – in preparation for an ITC report to Trump, and probably Congress, next year on the trade pact’s impact. USITC has set no date for its report. Leaders of the three nations formally signed the new pact on Nov. 30 in Buenos Aires.
Dolan called the new NAFTA “a historic rebalancing” of the benefits and costs of trade, not between the three countries, but for workers as opposed to bosses and investment elites. But the new NAFTA doesn’t quite go all the way to get the union’s wholehearted endorsement, which would be its first ever of a “free trade” pact, Dolan said.
“We have described to the administration” in prior hearings and sessions on the new NAFTA and trade in general “our bottom-line interest in eliminating the incentives for outsourcing by big corporations, which we repeat,” he noted. Some specifics Dolan said would make the pact, formally the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, even better for workers, include:
• As “America’s supply chain union” – Teamster truckers and train crew members haul the nation’s freight – the union is particularly concerned with working conditions and worker rights in that sector.
The Teamsters waged a decade-plus fight under the current 25-year-old NAFTA to keep unsafe Mexican trucks, steered by sleepless drivers, from roaming all U.S. roads, restricting them to within 20 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. The union reiterated that demand in previous hearings and statements, but didn’t explicitly win it in the new NAFTA.
What it got, Dolan said, was “non-conforming measures in Annex I and II relating to trucking (that) will benefit the American trucking industry by explicitly permitting new restrictions on cross-border operating authority for the Mexican truck fleet.”
• While that’s a possible gain, the railroaders lost, he noted. “Mexico retains a non-conforming measure prohibiting U.S. freight rail crews from operating in Mexico, but the U.S. did not table a reciprocal reservation for American crews on U.S. rail beds.”
The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers & Trainmen/Teamsters “report some freight rail companies are already bringing Mexican crews into the U.S…which is depriving Teamster members of work they have historically and patriotically performed along our southern border.” Dolan recommended Trump “negotiate a side agreement with Mexico that will enshrine and enforce the principle of freight rail crew exclusivity with our NAFTA partners.”
• The remnants of Investor-State Dispute System secret pro-business trade court should go, Dolan said. That would reduce incentives by firms to outsource, uprooting factories and moving them south of the border. Of course, firms could still move, Dolan conceded, and take their chances with expropriation, rather than using the ISDS to force governments to repay lost future profits.
Instead, Dolan said such outsourcing firms would have to take out insurance against takeovers – a boost to the insurance industry, he deadpanned.
• Dolan greeted Trump’s win on more domestic content for cars and trucks, along with his requirement that at least 45 percent of car and truck workers make $16 an hour. But Dolan said that should be a floor, not a ceiling, on wages.
And the $16 wage should be indexed to inflation, Dolan said, otherwise it’ll lose its value, both as a deterrent to company moves to Mexico and as a wage for workers. Mexican car workers now average $3 an hour – when they get paid.
• The new NAFTA’s chapter on government procurement should “require” bidders for contracts to obey the new NAFTA’s stronger worker rights chapter. It now reads the bidders should “promote” worker rights. Dolan called the word “promote” an oversight.
• A footnote in the new anti-currency manipulation chapter of the new NAFTA “attempts to reserve the policy space for” all three nations “to address currency misalignment and its effect on overall trade balances, but does not go far enough and could be made stronger by explicitly exempting all fiscal, monetary and foreign exchange rate management tools and policies.” Though Dolan did not say so, such a change would let the U.S. use all those tools if Mexico ever manipulated the peso or Canada played around with the Canadian dollar, popularly called “the loonie.”
Both Dolan and Drake urged the USITC to adopt an economic model United Nations economists use to measure the impact of trade pacts that records what happens in the real world. They want the ITC to use it to evaluate the new NAFTA.
Both denounced the “ideal” model the ITC now uses. It assumes low unemployment and inflation and no widening of income inequality, among other principles.
Hoffa: Congress has no time to delay pension fix Nov. 7, 2018| Election season is officially over. The bickering and back-biting of candidates will no longer fill the airwaves. For many of us, that brings a sense of relief. For members of Congress, it is time to get back to work. A top priority must be handling pension reform, which a joint committee was tasked with finding a solution for before Nov. 30. There is not a moment to waste… teamster.org
UPS Freight contract call scheduled for Nov. 11 at 9 pm Nov. 9, 2018|Join an important call to discuss the UPS Freight vote results and the next steps. To be connected to the call on Nov. 11 at 9pm Eastern: 866-767-0669.
UPS Freight final contract offer ratified; national strike averted Nov. 12, 2018|Workers at UPS Freight have ratified a new five-year agreement that was the company’s last, best and final offer, averting a national strike. Members approved the contract by a 77 percent to 23 percent margin at local union meetings held from Nov. 7 until today. The agreement covers approximately 11,600 workers at the company. The final vote was 6,935 in favor and 2,067 opposed with 84 percent of eligible members voting. Local 355 UPSF members with approximately 95 percent participating, voted overwhelmingly to approve the agreement.
Fire contained at Teamsters headquarters in Santa Rosa, Calif. Nov. 13, 2018|Firefighters quickly contained a two-alarm fire that broke out Saturday evening at a Teamsters building in east Santa Rosa. The fire, reported around 5:45 p.m., was in a concrete building that serves as a headquarters for the Teamsters Local 665. Flames and smoke were discovered by police officers responding to a burglar alarm likely triggered by the fire … The Press Democrat
UPS Freight contract update Nov. 14, 2018|As UPS Freight members are called back to work after voting to approve the company’s Last, Best and Final Offer, local unions are asked to be vigilant to make sure the company abides by the contract. The UPS Freight contract includes a seniority system and local unions should work to insure that the recall process is fair and in accordance with the contract. The company should recall workers by seniority, classification and qualification… Click here for a PDF of the full update.
The Capital moves toward unionization Nov. 15, 2018|The Capital, a Maryland community newspaper where five employees were killed in June in a mass shooting, is pushing to unionize under the auspices of the Washington-Baltimore News Guild (WBNG). The initiative, say staffers, is driven by low pay and a sense of alienation that comes with working as part of such a large corporation; the newspaper is a unit of the Baltimore Sun Media Group, which is in turn part of Tribune Publishing… Washington Post
Helpful resources are right here for LU 355 members, shop stewards Nov. 26, 2018|Do you know what grievances can cover? And why you should pursue a grievance? How dues are determined? Answers and quick tips to help you learn more about the Union and your role in it, is available on the left column, Weekly Tip for Members. Stewards, need some quick info on how to apply pressure to resolve that grievance you just filled? Do you understand the Equality Rule? Check out Weekly Stewards' Tip in the Shop Stewards link in the left column.
After devastating wildfires, California Teamsters are in desperate need Nov. 28, 2018|Roughly 2,000 Teamsters that are under the jurisdiction of Joint Council 7 live in areas affected by the most destructive wildfire season in the history of California. Reports that have been received so far indicate that over 100 members have lost their homes and many more are among the 52,000 displaced who don’t yet know if they have a home they can return to. The entire town of Paradise, home to many Teamster members, was destroyed in the Camp Fire inferno. The recovery process will be long and arduous, and our members are in great need of donations to assist them through this difficult time. Any assistance that can be provided will go a long way towards getting our membership back to some level of normalcy following the blaze. Donations can be made online to the Teamsters Disasters Relief Fund at http://tdr.teamster.org.
Potential bidders for Tribune Publishing will team up Nov. 28, 2018|Two of the potential bidders for Tribune Publishing are joining forces. Will Wyatt, the former Starboard hedge fund manager who formed the Donerail Group, is teaming up with AIM Media, headed by former Chicago Sun-Times and Dallas Morning News executive Jeremy Halbreich. They’re now jointly pursuing Tribune Publishing, formerly know as Tronc, which counts the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun, the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel and the struggling New York Daily News among its holdings. H. Ross Perot, a billionaire and an independent presidential candidate in the ’90s, is among the backers of that bid… New York Post
Retirees decorate the hall with Christmas cheer Nov. 29, 2018|Members of Local 355 Association of Retired Members (A.R.M.) spiffed up the union hall's lobby this week with festive Christmas decorations, an annual task they cheerfully undertake the first Tuesday following Thanksgiving. The club, with approximately 600 retirees from Local 355 companies, provides its members with recreation, exercise and fellowship. Members come in every Tuesday to assist with building maintenance and lawn care. Membership meetings are held on the third Thursday of the month, except August and December. Pictured (L-R) are Ray Bularz, William Hopkins, Ron Cain, and Tom Miskimon. Photo/John Hynes
Two outstanding UPS supplements to be re-voted soon Nov. 30, 2018|Two of the six outstanding UPS supplements will go to members for a re-vote soon, Teamsters Package Division Director Denis Taylor said following a conference call with the Teamsters National UPS Negotiating Committee yesterday. Chairmen of the outstanding supplements provided updates to the committee regarding negotiations that have taken place since the supplements were rejected during the first vote. The national UPS contract will not take effect until all the supplements have been ratified. Click here for the full update.
Teamsters are jumping into the immigration fight to support workers who could lose TPS status Oct. 4, 2018| In a rare move, six big rigs driven by members of the Teamsters union pulled up in front of an immigration detention center in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday as dozens of people were protesting the Trump administration’s decision to end a program that temporarily granted legal status to thousands of immigrants. The trucks’ presence symbolized what has become a rare and surprising alliance between a US labor organization and advocates for immigrants who may soon face deportation orders. “We’re a little late and we were never at the front, but when the dynamics of our people changed we had to change with it,” Ron Herrera, vice president of the Western Region for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters told BuzzFeed News. … BuzzFeed
Contract ratification update Oct. 11, 2018| Updated to add vote tallies - Despite all the efforts made by the National Negotiating Committee, Local Unions and individual members to provide members with informational summaries (via print and social media) and encourage voting, only 44.3% of the eligible UPS membership participated in the ratification referendum on the National Agreement: 45.8% voted for and 54.2% voted against the proposed contract. The union also announced that UPS Freight Teamsters have rejected a proposed five-year national agreement with UPS Freight by a vote of 2,601 in favor and 4,255 opposed with 66.2% of eligible members voting. Go to UPS Rising for important details about contract ratification rules as outlined in the Constitution, and learn what comes next. Vote by Locals here. Vote by Agreements here.
TeamsHERS on the job! Oct. 16, 2018| Listen to the latest episode of the Teamster Nation Podcast and hear how Teamster women are using union power to earn more, learn more and lead more on the job. Plus rocker Joan Jett tells women to stand up for themselves, even if it gives them a “Bad Reputation.” Listen here.
Ratified UPS National Master Agreement not in effect until all supplements approved Oct. 17, 2018| The National Master Agreement has been ratified, but it will not go into effect until six rejected supplements have been re-voted and approved. Package Division Director Denis Taylor has reached out to UPS requesting a meeting to discuss the contract. Local Unions will be kept informed as this process continues. Once the six outstanding supplements are ratified, the national agreement will go into effect, with economic improvements retroactive to August 1, 2018. Watch for updates at UPS Rising.
Teamsters give UPS Freight termination notice on Extension Agreement Oct. 17, 2018| In light of UPS Freight members rejecting the National Master Agreement, the negotiating committee notified the company October 9 that the current contract's extension agreement will terminate on Nov. 12. Following discussions with local union officers to determine member priorities, the committee will hold further negotiating meetings with the company to address members' concerns. The first such negotiations are scheduled the week of October 22, 2018. Watch for updates at UPS Rising.
Shops stewards review, refresh and relax during three-day training session Oct. 17, 2018| Last week Local 355 stewards attended the union’s 2018 Steward Training Seminar in Ocean City, Md. More than 100 stewards representing workers employed by 34 companies received instruction in grievance handling, arbitration preparation, and contract negotiations. Veteran stewards engaged in role-playing (employer, union, grievant) to explore resolutions in case studies of difficult grievances. The interactive “Generational Differences” session, challenged our tendency to stereotype generations (Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation Xers, and Millennials) and encouraged union leaders to move to “ageless thinking.” Check out the photo galleries: Stewards 1, Stewards 2, Guests, and Banquet (Click on images to enlarge.)
When it comes to philanthropy, pink is power at Local 773 Oct. 23, 2018| A common axiom for leadership is that one should lead from the front. When it comes to charity, Local 773 President Dennis Hower has taken this to heart in a big way. “I’ve always encouraged my membership to get involved with their community and take up good causes in their free time,” Hower said. “So when they came to me and asked me to get involved with Real Men Wear Pink, I had to go all in.” Local 773 represents clerical workers at the Bethlehem Area School District in Bethlehem, Pa. A few years ago… teamster.org (Note: Hower was the negotiations instructor at our recent shop steward training seminar.)
Sysco-Boston drivers vote yes for Teamster representation Oct. 25, 2018| In a major win for workers, 253 Sysco-Boston drivers voted overwhelmingly for Teamsters Local 653 representation at the company’s New England distribution center that serves customers in five states. Sysco is the nation’s largest broadline foodservice provider… Teamsters Local 355 represents 254 drivers and warehouse workers at Sysco’s Maryland distribution center in Jessup.
Last, best and final (LBFO) contract proposal received from UPS Freight Oct. 26, 2018| The Teamsters National UPS Freight Negotiating Committee has received a Last, Best and Final (LBFO) contract proposal from UPS Freight. You may view the proposal here. Please read the proposal in preparation for the upcoming vote to be scheduled at the union hall. Stay tuned here for the time and date.
Now is the time for all Americans to come together against hatred and bias Oct. 30, 2018| In a statement issued yesterday about the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, General President Jim Hoffa said, “The Teamsters, like millions of other Americans of good will, were horrified by the senseless, hate-fueled shooting at a Pittsburgh temple this weekend that took the lives of 11 people merely trying to practice their faith as they have a constitutionally-protected right to so as U.S. citizens…” Continued
Contract ratification vote schedules - UPDATE Oct. 30, 2018| Teamsters statement on status of UPS Freight.The Eastern Shore ratification vote is scheduled for Saturday, November 10th at 9:30 am at the UPS Freight Federalsburg Terminal. The Baltimore ratification vote is scheduled for November 11th at 10 am at the Local Union hall. It is very important that you make every attempt to attend the meeting. You must be present to vote. If you have any questions, please contact Business Agent Mark Garey at 410-566-5700.
Simpson has served the State of Maryland for 26 years and became a Teamster in 2005 when she was recruited by Charles Marshall, a Local 355 business agent now retired. At that time, she was experiencing harassment by a manager in her agency and it was suggested that she reach out to the Teamsters. “Public sector unions are in a struggle today, but I understand the importance of unions and their advocacy on behalf of working people. When I needed an advocate, the union stood with me.”
Simpson has extensive experience in bringing diverse groups together on the local and state level to address problems, find solutions, and accomplish common goals. Currently the Education and Training Manager of the Maryland State Retirement Agency, she also served as a Child Protective Services worker in Harford County and later as a Family Court Facilitator. A survivor of domestic violence and sexual harassment, Simpson is a #MeToo champion for the safety of women and children. Her interest in and concern for all people drive her candidacy for the House of Delegates. She promises to represent the people who elect her and not the special interests of a select few. She will work to provide opportunity, equity, and fairness for everyone in the community.
“Teamsters Joint Council 62 is proud to have the opportunity to endorse Karen Simpson for the Maryland House of Delegates,” said Council President Denis Taylor. “We support any member who is willing to jump into the political process to bring a fair and determined voice on behalf of working people and the issues important to them and their families.”
The Maryland and D.C. AFL-CIO, AFSCME Local 3, and LiUNA! Mid-Atlantic Region has also endorsed Simpson.
Simpson enjoys broad support for her candidacy. “I’m the only one that is surprised I’m running. I’m putting it all in, and I’m prepared to win.” Engaging, friendly, and very focused on her message, she promises, “You will not be alone in our district. I believe we must take care of each other. I will fight for what matters and never stop fighting for those who need a voice.”
September 5, 2018 | Most workers this week received an extra day off for Labor Day, which honors hardworking Americans who for generations have fought for higher pay, better benefits and improved safety on the job. But Labor Day isn’t just about the past; it is still very much about the present. In 2018 alone, thousands of Teamsters gathered in Detroit and Columbus, Ohio demanding that their earned pensions be protected. Teachers in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky and elsewhere walked out of their classrooms because of low pay and lack of respect on the job. And just last month, more than two-thirds of voters in Missouri overturned so-called Right-to-Work legislation that curbs the ability of workers to come together and negotiate for fair compensation and workplace conditions. Why is this happening? … teamsters.org
Posting will resume on September 17th Sept. 10, 2018 | We're on vacation this week. See you back here next Monday.
Hoffa: Appreciating truckers means keeping rules that make roads safer Sept. 17, 2018 | The nation’s 3.5 million truck drivers do yeoman’s work keeping the U.S. economy humming by transporting goods from coast to coast. The Teamsters thank the President and other elected officials for recognizing the crucial role that these workers play in keeping our country moving forward. However, working as a trucker is dangerous and stressful … teamsters.org
UPS, UPS Freight members: It’s time to vote! Sept. 18, 2018 | Balloting information was mailed to you last week. All the facts of the agreements have been made available to you (see the list and links below), and now it is up to you to make your decision. We are asking everyone to participate in this ratification. It is important that you exercise your right to vote. Your decision is critical to the process and the decision is yours. If you did not receive balloting information, call the union office immediately at 410-566-5700.
United in solidarity of sisterhood at the 2018 Teamster Women’s Conference Sept. 19, 2018 | The 2018 Teamsters Women’s Conference kicked off Sunday, Sept. 16 in Orlando, Fla. and just steps away from the happiest place on earth, Disney World. So this year's theme, “Dream, Believe and Achieve,” seemed more than perfectly fitting for the more 1,300 Teamster women from across North America that packed the room, united in solidarity of sisterhood. “The one thing that I know about Teamster women, there is very, very little that can get in your way when you want to do something. You are motivated, and you know how to make things happen. And that is what a union needs, to make things happen," General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall said … teamster.org Pictured: (L-R) Local 355 UPS shop stewards who "make things happen," Tawanda Scott (Baltimore pre-load), Carolyn Overby and Janet Genovese (Baltimore Hub) at the Conference.
Members & Stewards: Helpful union resources are only a click away Sept. 24, 2018| Do you know what a contract campaign is? Do you know why it's important to file a grievance in a timely manner? Are you aware that besides what is in your contract, your workplace may have its own unwritten rules? Every Monday we provide answers to those questions and quick tips to help you learn more about the Local Union and your role in it. Available under Weekly Tip for Members. Stewards, do you know what the 'Cardinal Sins' are? Do you know how to use a grievance as a tactic tool? When past practice is relevant? The Weekly Tip for Stewards under the Shop Stewards link is updated every Monday with helpful tips to make your role as steward a bit easier. (Note: If you've forgotten your password, email email@example.com for assistance.)
Are you registered to vote? Register here to make your voice heard in November Sept. 25, 2018| Today is National Voter Registration Day! The first step to voting is making sure that you’re registered. If you’ve recently moved or haven’t voted in a while, your registration may be inactive and you could have a difficult time voting at the polls. Make sure that doesn’t happen by registering to vote NOW! All year, Teamsters all over the country have been going to worksites to help register voters. Just in case they don’t make it to your workplace, make sure you’re registered by clicking here to update your registration before the deadline in your state.
A newspaper empire in the balance: The continuing saga of Tronc Sept. 26, 2018| […] The media conglomerate formerly known as Tribune Publishing might yet find a savior (or several). But Tronc’s ongoing troubles paint a larger picture of the challenges facing the industry—and the uncertain future of the journalism it produces… Whether or not these papers find themselves controlled by Tronc, Donerail, Gannett, McClatchy, or an eccentric local billionaire, they will still have to survive a harsh market for legacy print publications, one without a clear path to financial success… The Ringer
Local 355 member Karen Simpson endorsed by Teamsters in Maryland delegate race Sept. 28, 2018| (This post has been updated.) Karen Simpson, a State of Maryland employee since 1992 and member of Teamsters Local 355, hopes to take her next step in public service as the representative of Maryland’s District 31B when all the ballots are counted on November 6, 2018. Endorsed by Teamsters Joint Council 62, Simpson is among 32 Teamster members across the nation whom the union has confirmed to be running for public office in the November midterms. The tragic death of her older brother in a workplace accident that could have been prevented has been a motivating force in Simpson’s life, a life dedicated to social justice and advocacy. In 1990, Paul, a member of a construction crew working on an Eastern Shore bridge project, plunged 65 feet to the ground as he tried to jump on to a crane-suspended platform from an unguarded concrete pier cap. Despite the site’s unsafe working conditions, Paul was not provided with fall protection. Simpson believes that had he been represented by a labor union, her brother would be alive today. A union is all about taking care of its members, she said. Unions aggressively enforce employer requirements to provide safe conditions for its workers… 355 News…
Highlights of tentative agreement include new restrictions on subcontracting Aug. 2, 2018| One of the primary objectives of the union’s negotiating committee was the reduction in the amount of subcontracting, particularly of road work. The tentative agreement addresses the issue and makes significant improvements: The company will affirmatively and significantly reduce the amount of road contracting it currently does. In the first year alone, we estimate that this will likely amount to the insourcing of over 3,000,000 miles back to our road drivers. The company agreed to hire a minimum of 100 new road drivers… For additional highlights and background on negotations, click here.
Improvements to Safety and Health: Tentative agreement info Aug. 6, 2018| The UPS National Tentative Agreement includes numerous safety and health improvements for UPS Teamsters, among them prohibiting retaliation against any employee who files an on-the-job injury claim; new language under leave of absence requiring the company "use its best efforts" to provide necessary documents to help employees process disability claims; new language covering equipment, accidents and reports; and language improvements to protect workers in the handling of over 70-pound packages. Download the complete information (flier) here.
Hoffa: Missouri voters side with unions against corporate effort to impoverish workers August 9, 2018| Missouri voters defeated Proposition A on the statewide ballot yesterday, which ensures workers will be able to continue to come together to negotiate contracts that pay more, bring better benefits and protect their safety on the job. “The people of Missouri on Tuesday showed big business and its legislative cronies that they won’t be forced to endure a policy pushed by corporate interests that would result in greater company profits but fewer dollars in the pockets of hardworking people in the Show Me state… less than a third of voters supported the anti-worker policy. That is a resounding defeat, and one that big business should take heed of as it continues its efforts to tamp down on collective bargaining elsewhere…" Teamsters
Leaders of UPS and UPS Freight local unions approve tentative agreements August 9, 2018 | Leaders of local unions that represent UPS and UPS Freight Teamsters met today and approved the two separate tentative national agreements, paving the way for members to vote by electronic ballot starting next month. Regarding the UPS tentative agreement, “Today’s vote was a very strong indication of the support nationwide from local union leaders and it sends the national agreement, regional supplements and riders to the members for a ratification vote,” said Denis Taylor, Director of the Teamsters Package Division and Co-Chairman of the Teamsters National UPS Negotiating Committee. Likewise, “The UPS Freight tentative agreement provides our members with economic security and job security over the next five years and beyond,” said Kris Taylor, the Teamsters UPS Freight coordinator. Early next month, members will receive voting information. The votes will be by secret ballot as it always has been, but this time members will vote via the Internet or phone. Click here for the PDF of the complete update.
Local 355 welcomes drivers at Arnold Packaging August 10, 2018 | Drivers who work at packaging materials and supplies distributor Arnold Packaging in Baltimore voted July 25, 2018 to join Teamsters Local 355. Wages, vacation benefits, and safety issues were at the top of the workers’ agenda. Pictured (L-R) are Will Webster, Tony McKay, Jason Nueder, Ray Jackson, and Nate Dixon. (Click image to view).
Tentative contract provides full-time workers with more secure future Aug. 14, 2018| The tentative National Master UPS Agreement provides full-time workers with a more secure future, including increased wages and improved health and welfare and pension benefits. “The pension-contribution increase is a real shot in the arm and the fact that we have a pension when the vast majority of workers don’t have one illustrates how fortunate we are. The wage increases are solid, especially when we top out at more than $40 an hour. And the union negotiating more full-time jobs in a drastically changing industry is a great achievement.” Rick Pohlig, package car driver, Local 676, Collingwood, NJ.Summary of the proposed improvements here.
Letter from UPS regarding subcontracting Aug. 16, 2018| Read the letter from UPS recognizing certain of its obligations under the improved language of Article 44 (Subcontracting) in the tentative agreement.
Hoffa: US-Mexico agreement is first step towards better NA trade August 28, 2018 | General President Hoffa, responding to the bilateral agreement-in-principle between the U.S. and Mexico to revamp NAFTA, said “The Teamsters Union has long been a leader in demanding real reforms to NAFTA to make it work for workers across all of North America. We have been working closely with the USTR on those demands and we believe that the Administration has taken real steps to deal with our concerns regarding cross-border trucking and highway safety. However, there is still much work to be done…” Teamsters Related: NAFTA negotiations on track but not done. AFL-CIO
Posting will resume on September 4th August 29, 2018 | We'll be on a short hiatus through Labor Day. See you back here on Tuesday.
New episode of the Teamster Nation Podcast available August 23, 2018 | Listen to the latest episode of the Teamster Nation Podcast and learn how the union is organizing workers in the growing cannabis industry in California and across the country. Plus, remembering the Queen of Soul. Listen here.
Water. Rest. Shade. July 2, 2018 | The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for our area today, and a heat advisory through July 3 at 8 pm. Heat illness can be deadly. If you work outside you need to protect yourself: Drink water often. Rest in the shade. Report heat symptoms: Dizziness, headache, sweaty skin, fast heart beat, nausea, vomiting, weakness and cramping are symptoms of heat exhaustion. Symptoms of heat stroke are red, hot and dry skin, high body temperature, confusion, fainting, convulsions. Both types of heat illness require emergency care. Check out OSHA's website for additional information and advice about the hazards of working in hot weather.
Buyers circling Balt. Sun parent company, Tronc, after split with L.A. Times July 5, 2018 | “The L.A. Times was their flagship paper,” said Doug Arthur, an analyst at Huber Research Partners LLC. “When you take out the flagship, what are you left with?” What’s left has caught the eye of potential suitors. Hearst Corp., owner of the Houston Chronicle and other daily newspapers, is interested in buying some of Tronc’s titles but not the company… Bloomberg
Successor contract ratified at Burris Logistics July 9, 2018 | Drivers, and warehouse and maintenance workers at Burris Logistics (Burris Foods) overwhelming approved a new three year collective bargaining agreement June 24, 2018 that provides wage increases of $1.29 over the term and increases driver commission rates. In addition, the new contract provides an increase in the meal allowance and reimbursement for boots or safety shoe purchase. The union negotiating committee was successful in minimizing a broad company proposal regarding vacation “blackout” dates while still providing the company scheduling relief. Local 355 represents 110 workers at the Milford, Delaware distribution center.
Butch Lewis Act best solution for pension crisis July 10, 2018 | More than 300 multiemployer pension plans across the country – including the Teamsters’ Central States Pension Fund, currently in critical and declining status – are in danger of failing. The deepening crisis is important to us because more than 400 former Local 557 members and 1,900 retirees who were covered by the Teamster Local 557 plan will be impacted. (When Local 557 merged with Local 355 in 2005, their pension plans remained separate.) A bipartisan congressional pension committee, tasked with finding a solution to the looming pension crisis by this November, is holding a field hearing in Columbus, Ohio on Friday, July 13th. The Teamsters, in conjunction with other international unions, are planning rallies to bring public attention to the crisis. But you don’t have to attend the rally to add your voice in support of the Butch Lewis Act (S.2147/H.R. 4444). What you can do… 355 News
Proposed contract released; supplemental agreements being finalized * July 11, 2018 | The Teamsters National UPS Negotiating Committee has released the National Agreement in Principal and highlights of the agreement. The highlights are available here and the agreement is available here. Union negotiators are meeting to finalize the supplemental agreements. The Union has agreed to a contract extension that allows the leaders of local unions that represent UPS members to review the proposed national contract and supplements. Upon the leaders’ approval, members will then have the opportunity to vote electronically to ratify the National Agreement and their supplements. *Listen here to the UPS Teleconference Call from July 10th.
Hoffa: Unions want to be heard in fight to protect pensions July 12, 2018 | The future of more than a million retirees and workers, many of whom worked decades and contributed to their pensions under the understanding they would be supported in their golden years. That is now being called into question, and it’s not right. America is facing a retirement crisis. Unions like the Teamsters, UMW and BCTGM have known this for years. But Congress has been slower to act. That changed this February, when it formed the House-Senate Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans. It was tasked with finding a solution to the nation’s looming pension problem and will hear from the public firsthand tomorrow… Columbus Dispatch
Tentative agreement reached with UPS Freight July 13, 2018 | “The Teamsters National UPS Freight Negotiating Committee (TNUPSFNC) and UPS Freight reached a tentative agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement,” Kris Taylor, IBT/UPS Freight Coordinator, announced today. No further details will be released until leaders from Teamster local unions that represent UPS Freight members meet in the next few weeks at the Two-Person meeting to review the tentative agreement and approve sending it out for a membership ratification vote. The parties agreed to an extension of the current agreement to allow for the ratification process to take place. Once the upcoming meeting takes place, the union will release more information.
Hoffa: Teamsters support Spain’s striking Amazon workers July 18, 2018 | In a letter expressing solidarity “to striking Amazon workers at the San Fernando de Henares logistics center,” General President wrote in part, “The growth of Amazon is impacting so many of the industries in which Teamsters work and is changing the way people work and life across the globe.” Thousands of Amazon workers in Spain and Germany struck for during a three-day period, July 16 - 18, and workers in Poland staged a work-to-rule during Amazon’s Prime Day promotion. The workers are demanding labor contracts that guarantee healthy working conditions at fulfillment centers, according to nbcnews.com
Local 355 mourns the passing of two active UPS members July 19, 2018 | Brother Travis Hughes passed away unexpectedly on July 10, 2018. A driver in the Owings Mills Center out of Hunt Valley, Hughes started working at UPS in 2006. He is survived by his wife Quinn Hughes and son Devin Hughes. The family will receive friends in the Lemmon Funeral Home of Dulaney Valley, 10 W. Padonia Road (at York Road) Timonium, Md., 21093 on Saturday, July 21, 2018, 2 pm - 5pm. Additional details here. Brother John Nicoli passed away July 17, 2018. John began his career with UPS in 1984, and worked as a driver out of the Baltimore hub. He is survived by his wife Victoria, and daughters Regina, Jennifer and Julia. A son, Brian, preceded John in death. Relatives and friends will be received in the Gonce Funeral Service P.A., 4001 Richie Hwy., Baltimore, Md., 21225 on Friday, July 20, 2018, from 3 pm - 5 pm and 7 pm - 9 pm. Additional details here. On behalf of our members, Local Union 355 officers and trustees extend their sincere condolences to the Hughes and Nicoli families.
Local Union leaders to meet to review tentative agreements July 20, 2018 | The meeting, known as a “Two-Person” meeting because two leaders from each local union representing UPS and UPS Freight workers are invited to review the tentative agreements, will be held August 9, 2018. Meanwhile, after another round of negotiating sessions, the Teamsters UPS Supplemental Negotiating Committees have reached tentative agreements on many supplements to the National Master UPS agreement. However, there are some supplemental agreements which have not been finalized. The outstanding supplements are: Local 804, and Southwest Package and Sort Rider. After the Two-Person meetings, upon approval of the tentative agreements by the local union leaders, the tentative agreements will be sent to the membership for a ratification vote. A pdf of this update is available for download here.
National master contract extended July 23, 2018 | Local Unions representing ABF employees received notice from the National Freight Division last Friday that the current ABF National Master Freight Agreement has been extended through July 31, 2018 to allow the parties to address those supplements that have not been ratified.
New contracts ratified at Penske, Matheson, and Dry Ice July 23, 2018 | Teamsters at three Penske Truck Leasing locations in the Baltimore area ratified contracts providing substantial wage gains and benefits. Mechanics and fuelers at the Hammonds Ferry Road location approved in April a four-year agreement that provides … Continue reading
FAQs about the National Master UPS Tentative Agreement July 25, 2018 | Q: What does it mean that part timers will not be in the progression and how much will a part timer make after three years? A: You will find answers to this and other frequently asked questions (FAQs) from UPS members here. (Also available: More information about the new 22.4 combination driver classification.) Watch for more FAQs soon.
ABF national contract has been ratified * July 26, 2018 | The last supplement to the ABF NMFA has now been ratified. Consequently, the new collective bargaining agreement has been approved and will take effect. Pay increases will be retroactive to July 1 as per the new agreement. It is the union's understanding that the company will actually implement the new agreement on Sunday, July 29. Also, pay for week ending 7-28-2018 will be processed at the pay rate that includes the July 1, 2018 increase. Retro pay for weeks ending 7-7-2018, 7-14-2018 and 7-21-2018 will be paid by a separate check processed on or about 8-2-2018, and distributed with the paychecks for the week ending 7-28-2018. The ratification bonus will be processed and distributed within the next 30 days. * Updated July 31– New contract provides pay increases, subcontracting protections and more
Part-time start rates, wage increases: Info here July 30, 2018| Information can be found here about start rates and general wage increases for preloaders and sorters, and “all others” as in the UPS tentative agreement. “This agreement will help tens of thousands of part-time workers like me with the increased start rates and wage increases…”
Workers and retirees aren't asking for a handout;
they just want what is rightfully theirs
July 10, 2018
Continued from main page | The Teamsters believe the Butch Lewis Act, introduced in Congress earlier this year, to be the best solution to deliver retirement security to the hard-working Americans who are paying, or have paid, into the pension pool and have played by the rules all their lives.
There are about 1.5 million retirees – including 1,900 former Local 557 retirees – in desperate need of quick action to save the retirement nest eggs they spent decades contributing to.
The more support the Butch Lewis Act receives, the more likely it is that the Joint Select Committee will take it up and pass it.
Please call 888-979-9806 right now and tell your member of Congress to co-sponsor the Butch Lewis Act.
Congratulations to Shawn McCoy, Chris Mauer, Lance Miller, and Jason Swartzendruber (UPS/Baltimore) for their first place win in the Local's bi-annual golf event held Saturday, June 22th, at the Queenstown Harbor Golf Course in Queenstown, Md.
Teams teed off at 8:30 a.m. in a modified shotgun start format, finishing the 18-hole course in just over six hours.
Bike run postponed June 8, 2018 | Our 20th Annual Motorcycle Run scheduled for Saturday, June 16 has been postponed until later this year. Members who have signed up will be contacted directly. Stay tuned here for a re-scheduled date. Ride safe, brothers and sisters!
UPS, UPS Freight members vote overwhelmingly to authorize a strike June 5, 2018 | UPS and UPS Freight members have approved giving their respective negotiating committees the right to call a strike, if necessary. UPS members voted by a 93% margin to authorize a strike; UPS Freight members by 91%. "This vote by our UPS and UPS Freight members gives the negotiating committees bargaining leverage this week and during subsequent negotiations for the national contract and the supplements," said Denis Taylor, Director of the Teamsters Package Division and Co-Chairman of the Teamsters National UPS Negotiating Committee. "It is very helpful to have the members’ backing as we work toward negotiating strong contracts at UPS and UPS Freight."c vote results live Tuesday, June 5: Join a conference call at 8pm by dialing877-229-8493withID code 111566, or listen and watch via a live web page atibt.io/UPSstrikecount.
Bargaining Update: Committees discuss several important issues June 8, 2018 | This week the Teamsters National UPS Negotiating Committee convened for the ninth week of negotiations, and the union leaders discussed a variety of topics that are important to members. The committee met throughout the week, winding up Thursday afternoon. Topics that were discussed include pulling loads off the rails to create additional sleeper teams throughout the country; allowing destination locals to file grievances on subcontracting; 70-hour work week; health & welfare and pension; as well as wages and progressions… PDF update here.
Teamsters join legal challenge to presidential executive orders that impair union and employee rights June 13, 2018 | Today, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters joined with 12 other labor unions in bringing a lawsuit to stop the implementation of three executive orders issued by the President on May 25. Two of the orders impair long-established federal labor relations procedures by limiting the ability of federal workers and their union representatives to perform union business and by weakening the process for negotiating contracts on behalf of unionized federal employees. The third order seeks to impair the due process rights of employees alleged to have performance problems… Teamsters
Hoffa pledges solidarity with UAW during union’s convention June 13, 2018 | General President Hoffa addressed the 1,100 delegates at the United Auto Workers (UAW) 37th Constitutional Convention in Detroit yesterday. “Their is no greater solidarity than that between the Teamsters and the UAW,” he said. “Next year is a pivotal moment for the UAW as you had into negotiations with the Big 3 [automakers]. I am here to tell you that the 1.4 million members of the Teamsters Union will be there to stand shoulder to shoulder with you.” More at Teamsters
Opioid epidemic’s other battleground: Teamsters vs. McKesson June 19, 2018 | A Local Union leader’s speech at the June 2016 convention about the death of his son from an opioid overdose represented a reckoning for the Teamsters, said General Secretary Ken Hall. Dozens of union members would come forward and speak about their own families' struggles with addiction set in motion by opioids. "They've got family members dying from the flooding of the market of these opioids," Hall said. "It's happening in the Teamster family — that made it an issue." It also put McKesson Corp. in the crosshairs of the 1.4 million-member union, creating a new front in the war on opioids. Instead of fighting the epidemic via the health care system, the courts or legislatures, the Teamsters are taking it to McKesson's annual shareholder meeting and corporate boardroom. And in many ways, the union is winning… Teamsters
Settlement in principle reached on National Master UPS Agreement June 21, 2018 | The National Negotiating Committee has agreed to a settlement in principle on the National Master UPS agreement, subject to the resolution of supplemental agreements and approval by UPS local unions. The term of the national agreement is set at five years, expiring on July 31, 2023. UPS Freight negotiations will continue in Minneapolis, July 9-12, with economics and subcontracting as the main topics. Click here to view the update.
Delaware legislature passes bill to kill RTW in Sussex County June 25, 2018 | Democratic lawmakers this week quashed the burgeoning Sussex County right-to-work movement and invalidated a Seaford ordinance that limits the influence of labor unions. The Delaware House on Thursday voted along party lines to pass a bill that guarantees the right of private employers to enter into labor deals that require their employees to join or pay fees to a union. The bill, approved by a vote of 25-13, effectively blocks what had been an effort to create a patchwork of individual counties, towns and other geographic zones where "union shops" would be forbidden… Delaware OnlineRelated:Bill requiring union membership in Delaware’s private sector industries approved by Assembly.
What you and your family need to know June 25, 2018 | Sometime this week the Supreme Court will issue its ruling on Janus vs. AFSCME. Three things you and your family need to know about the case:
1. The Janus vs. AFSCME case is an attempt by organizations that have spent tens of millions of dollars to eliminate the ability of public employees to have the freedom to negotiate with their employer over benefits, wages, working conditions, and other issues. 2. In states where similar laws have been put in place, wages and health benefits fall while poverty and workplace fatalities rise. This very real danger not only impacts public employees but entire families in communities across America. 3. The American middle class was built by working people like public employees who joined together in union. You have the power to ensure that the United States maintains a middle class for future generations by standing together as union members.
Teamster golfers undeterred by damp, humid course conditions June 26, 2018 | Saturday's steamy weather didn't stop sixty-four avid golfers from attending our bi-annual Local Union golf outing on the Eastern Shore... 355 News
Teamsters don’t mourn, we organize! June 28, 2018 | Teamsters 396 Secretary- Treasurer Ron Herrera writes: “[Yesterday], the American Labor Movement received some tough news. The U.S. Supreme Court has issued its ruling regarding the Janus v. AFSCME case which effectively makes all public sector workers right to work under a union contract without the obligation to pay for the support of their brothers and sisters. While this decision does not impact private sector workers, we know that our opponents will stop at nothing to destroy all sources of worker power…” Continue reading
Contract Update: New combination driver classification protects weekends for package car drivers, addresses other issues June 29, 2018 | Since the settlement in principle was reached last week with UPS for the National UPS agreement, plans have been made for negotiations on the supplemental agreements. As stated in the previous contract update (June 21), the supplemental agreements must be resolved and approved by UPS local unions first. This week’s update will focus on the new classification of Full-Time Combination Driver and further materials will be issued about other highlights of the settlement. A new classification, Full-Time Combination Driver, will protect weekends for package-car drivers, will address the issues of excessive, forced overtime and will create thousands of new full-time job opportunities for part-time employees… Full update here. Proposed 22.4(b) contract language here.
May 10, 2018 – Jose Ramirez, a former XPO Logistics driver from Aurora, Ill. who was fired for his union activity, said during a Capitol Hill press conference today that the bill would prevent businesses from bullying worker who are trying to organize. “Companies like XPO use fear and coercion to scare their workers from forming their own union,” he said. “This bill would protect workers’ federal right to organize and ensure that what happened to me couldn’t happen to them.”
Beyond ending RTW, the bill would 1) allow unions to organize through a majority sign-up process; 2) enact first contract provisions to ensure companies cannot prevent a union from forming by denying a first contract; 3) expand the definition of employer to limit workers being classified as independent contractors; 4) allow for secondary boycotts and picketing; and 5) expand and update the “persuader rule” to limit the use of outside union busters.
Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said the legislation would stem rising inequality in this country. “Union workers on average make $11,000 more a year than non-union workers,” he said. “They also have better health and retirement benefits and are safer on the job. If lawmakers want to expand the middle class, this bill is the vehicle to get it done.”
“We must no longer tolerate CEOs and managers who intimidate, threaten or fire pro-union workers, who threaten to move plants to China if their workers vote in favor of a union, and who refuse to negotiate a first contract with workers who have voted to join unions,” Sanders said. “If we are serious about reducing income and wealth inequality and rebuilding the middle class, we have got to substantially increase the number of union jobs in this country.”
Co-sponsored by U.S. Representative Mark Pocan (WI-02), the legislation was introduced in the House and Senate Wednesday, May 9 and included many Democratic co-sponsors, including Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Representative Robert C. “Bobby" Scott (VA-03).
“Republicans like President Trump and Governor Walker continue to crack down on unions and push a special interest, corporate-driven agenda that makes it harder for middle class families to get ahead. And while they stack the deck against the American worker, unions are fighting to expand economic opportunity and strengthen the middle class,” said Pocan, a member of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. “The Workplace Democracy Act restores real bargaining rights to workers and repeals the right to work laws like those that Governor Walker has used to undercut American workers. I’m proud to introduce this legislation with Senator Sanders and stand up for the millions of middle class families who are under attack by Republican leaders.”
The Workplace Democracy Act would make it easier for workers to join unions in a number of ways:
• It would end right to work for less laws by repealing Section 14(b) of the Taft Hartley Act, which has allowed 28 states to pass legislation eliminating the ability of unions to collect fair share fees from those who benefit from union contracts and activities.
• Under the legislation, when a majority of workers in a bargaining unit sign valid authorization cards to join a union, they must have a union. Companies would not be allowed to deny or delay a first contract with workers who have voted to join a union. Unions would be given the right to have their voice heard through secondary boycotts and picketing. And workers would have the right to know when their company spends millions of dollars running anti-union campaigns.
• The bill would also stop employers from ruthlessly exploiting workers by misclassifying them as independent contractors or denying them overtime by falsely categorizing them as a “supervisor.”
Airline pilots may be next in the corporate war on unions
May 1, 2018 | Some 550 pilots will start voting Wednesday on whether to embrace the company’s entreaties to dump the Teamsters, which arrived at Flexjet just a few years ago.
(L-R) Joe Bell, Ed Jackson, Max Atwood, Dave Hovel, Bob Schultz, Ron Holleman, Marvan Thomspn, Local 355 Business Agent Jim Deene, Jay Trueth, Jeff Butts, Local 355 Organizer Ed Mulford, Donny Fink, Jerry Northam, Dave Collins, Joe Andrews, Chris Lembech, Stoney Althar, Lou Herron, Rex Patterson, Dave Rosier, Jim Brown, Ray Ridgeway, George Eliou, Tony Bellamy, Doug Robinson, Bill Wilson, Clinton Lucas, Mike Weghprect, Jack Blesse, Jim Ramper, Tony Johnson, Diondre Maybery, and Karl Frey.
Former food service drivers, helpers and mechanics enjoyed an afternoon together, Saturday, April 29, 2018 at a cookout sponsored by Local 355 at the Baltimore union hall.
Not all but most fell in line for a photo and with so many of them, we needed to create a composite image from four (!) photos. It worked!
Conference call scheduled for a contract update Apr. 10, 2018 | Mark your calendars to participate in an important Teamsters ABF conference call on Thursday, April 12 at 8 p.m. Eastern time to get an update on the contract and the upcoming ratification process. Teamsters National Freight Division Director Ernie Soehl will provide an update and will answer questions about the ABF NMFA tentative agreement. Participants may submit questions during the call and leave questions at the end of the call. Click here for details.
Hoffa on Equal Pay Day: Disparity of women’s pay is nothing to celebrate Apr. 10, 2018 | Today is a sad reminder of the pay inequity faced by women in the workplace. Despite the annual effort to pass legislation in Congress that would codify paycheck fairness, there has been no progress. And that inaction will cost women and their families more than $430,000 over the length of their careers. Although the overall economy has been improving, the pay gap has barely budged in more than a decade. It hits nearly every occupation and is even worse for women of color. This is not just a low-income problem – it is an every woman problem… Teamsters
Local Union leaders approve tentative contract agreement Apr. 13, 2018 | Leaders of local unions that represent ABF Teamsters met yesterday and overwhelmingly approved the tentative ABF National Master Freight Agreement and supplements, paving the way for a member ratification vote to begin later this month. Click here to read more about the process, and for highlights of the agreement. Click here to view the actual tentative agreements which show the proposed changes to the existing contract.
Hoffa discusses death of Memphis XPO warehouse worker, and reports of other XPO violations Apr. 16, 2018 | President Hoffa was on the Leslie Marshall Show last week to discuss the suspicious job site death of an XPO warehouse worker and multiple accounts of sexual harassment and discrimination at the Memphis warehouse facility. The Teamsters are fighting to win respect and dignity for XPO workers. Listen to the interview here. Photo: Local 355 members distributed union information last week near XPO facilities in Baltimore.
Contract negotiations update Apr. 16, 2018 | The Teamsters National UPS Negotiating Committee concluded the sixth round of negotiations last week and focused on subtracting and other issues. The UPS Freight National Negotiations Committee made strides on compensation claims, equipment and safety, and other issues. “This week was very productive in terms of moving forward on the issue of subcontracting, which continues to be a major issue for our members in many areas of the country,” said Denis Taylor, Director of the Teamsters Package Division and Co-Chairman of the Teamsters National UPS Negotiating Committee. “We are in a good position now to move into economic proposals and will continue to keep the members update on our progress.” Click here for details.
Anne Arundel County Teamsters ratify new contracts Apr. 17, 2018 | Correctional program specialists (CPS), deputy sheriffs, fire battalion chiefs, and park rangers employed by Anne Arundel County approved earlier this month new collective bargaining agreements with one year terms. Highlights of the contracts include general wage increases with additional increases to minimum and maximum scales; merit increases; maintenance of health, optical and dental insurance; and a wage re-opener provision should the County Council fail to fund any part of the agreements. Specific to the CPS contract is the addition of a wellness bonus, new this contract. Specific to the park rangers contract is a new retention bonus. Specific to the battalion chiefs contract is an increase in extra shift bonus pay. Specific to the deputy sheriffs contract is a new rank of deputy sheriff corporal, to be paid at a higher percentage than the corresponding steps for deputy sheriff.
Report: New ABF/Teamsters contract suggests union negotiators won the day Apr. 18, 2018 | The first independent analysis of the proposed five-year labor contract between Fort Smith-based ABF Freight and the Teamsters suggests the union negotiators won the day. An April 13 investor note from Little Rock-based Stephens Inc. concludes that the agreement favors the Teamsters “more than what we previously expected.” talkbusiness.net
Teamsters head to Capitol Hill to discuss pension reform Apr. 19, 2018 | Top Teamster officials twice headed to Capitol Hill in the last week to brief House and Senate staffers on legislation backed by the union that would stabilize failing multiemployer pension plans. Led by John Murphy, an International Vice President-At Large who has headed the Teamsters’ pension reform efforts, the union educated congressional aides about the Butch Lewis Act of 2017 and the history of troubled pension plans… Teamsters
Contract vote on master agreement being conducted by electronic ballot Apr. 19, 2018 | Voting on the proposed changes to the ABF National Master Agreement is being conducted electronically. Voter information and instructions for voting will be mailed to all eligible members (on or about) today, April 19, 2018. Click here for further information.
Contract negotiations continue this week Apr. 23, 2018 | The Teamsters National UPS Negotiating Committees reconvene this week in the seventh round of UPS and UPS Freight negotiations. In case you missed the April 13th update, read it here. You can can also see the latest updates at UPSRising on Facebook. Check in with UPS Rising News here. Text “UPS” to 86466 to receive message alerts (message and data rates may apply).
Teamsters sue drug manufacturers over opioid crisis Apr. 23, 2018 | The Teamsters are concerned about how the opioid crisis is affecting its members and their health and welfare funds. On April 18, a lawsuit was filed in Cleveland, Ohio on behalf of Teamsters’ Health and Welfare Funds in West Virginia and Ohio. The union says they are targeting pharmacy benefit managers along with a range of opioid drug manufacturers and distributors alleging a highly-coordinated scheme promoting opioids to treat pain at the expense of Americans, including thousands of Teamster members, retirees and family members…The group points out that its members are more vulnerable to this crisis as they work in physically demanding jobs – such as construction and manufacturing – are at particularly high-risk because prescription opioids have been commonly prescribed to treat on-the-job injuries… Industry Week
FAA amendment would jeopardize wages, road safety Apr. 25, 2018 | The Teamsters are sounding the alarm about a proposed change to the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAAA) that would halt the ability of states and localities to set any workplace rules for truck drivers in their jurisdictions. As an example, the provision would strip truckers of minimum wage protections, and would not require their employers to pay them the given rate in the city or state where they work, only the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour. In addition, the amendment would carve truck drivers out of traditional workplace protections like unemployment compensation and workers’ compensation. And it would also reverse 80 years of worker protections and leave truckers more vulnerable to long hours and abusive working conditions… Teamsters
Teamsters UPS negotiations address economics; UPS Freight focuses on subcontracting, other issues Apr. 27, 2018 | The Teamsters National UPS Negotiating Committee concluded its seventh round of negotiations this week in which the committee made an initial economic proposal. The initial proposal addresses Article 22 - Part-Time Employees; Article 34 - Health & Welfare and Pension; Article 40 - Air Operation; and Article 41- Full-Time Employees…The National UPS Freight Negotiating Committee started its initial discussions on Articles 43 and 44 (Subcontracting) with the employer. The committee also closed in on tentative agreements for Article 5 – Seniority and Article 18 – Workday and Workweek. It was a positive week with aggressive gains tentatively outlined in Article 5. The next round of negotiations is scheduled for May 21. Click here for a PDF of the full update.
You can vote more than once, but only your last vote counts Apr. 30, 2018 | The company that is coordinating the ABF ratification vote, BallotPoint, received an inquiry from an ABF members who aid he was able to vote multiple times. Click here for BallotPoint’s response to the member’s concerns.
Progress made during second week of negotiations Feb. 1, 2018 | The Teamsters National UPS Negotiating Committee has made progress on a variety of issues as the second week of contract negotiations with UPS wrapped up today. “We are still early in the negotiations, but we are pleased to report that we made progress on a number of non-economic issues,” said Denis Taylor, Director of the Teamsters Package Division and Co-Chairman of the National UPS Negotiating Committee. “This week gives us momentum as we prepare for the next round of negotiations later this month.” Among other issues, the following were on the table this week… Teamsters
Tentative agreement reached for new 5-year contract Feb. 1, 2018 | The Teamsters Union and DHL Express have reached a tentative, five-year agreement and leaders of local unions will meet Friday, Feb. 9 to review the proposal. Upon ratification, the contract will be retroactive to April 1, 2017 when the current contract expired. For the latest information, visit the Teamsters Express Division page and click on the DHL contract update button.
Progress slow this week Feb. 2, 2018 | The second weekly round of bargaining with ABF Freight took place this week for a new collective bargaining agreement to succeed the ABF NMFA that is set to expire on March 31. Unfortunately not a lot of progress was achieved. The Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) has made clear that it wants to reach a new agreement but that any agreement will, among other things, need to address: the restoration of the vacation week that was given up last contract; better protections for road drivers from loss of work due to purchased transportation; protection of health and welfare and pension benefits; and reasonable wage increases... Read more here.
Child care tax credit increase for working parents proposed in Maryland Feb. 5, 2018 | For the first time in more than 15 years, the little-known child care subsidy is getting election-year attention from politicians in Annapolis. A proposal introduced last month would extend access to a child care tax credit to families that earn $150,000 a year, up from the current cap of $50,000, set in 2001... The proposal to increase the subsidy voucher has strong support in the state Senate, where 32 senators have sponsored the measure — eight more than required for passage… Baltimore Sun
Joint Council 62 Executive Board: (L-R) Trustee Lawrence Geho (President, Local 888); Vice President Sean Cedenio (Secretary-Treasurer/Principal Officer, Local 570); Trustee Tom Krause (Secretary-Treasurer/Principal Officer, Local 992); Secretary-Treasurer Larry Wolfe (President, Local 453); President Denis Taylor (President, Local 355); Recording Secretary Dave White (Secretary-Treasurer, Local 355); Trustee Richard Brown (President, Local 570)
Joint Council 62 officers, trustees elected to another term Feb. 6, 2018 | In January Joint Council 62 held nominations for its 2018-2021 term. Local 355 Vice President Bill Alexander conducted the nominations. The incumbents were nominated and unanimously re-elected. The Council, comprised of Teamster leaders from around our region, allows participating Locals to pool resources to address issues of common interest and coordinate bargaining and organizing efforts. Teamster Joint Council 62 is comprised of Local Union 355 (Baltimore), Local Union 453 (Cumberland), Local Union 570 (Baltimore), Local Union 888 (Baltimore Sun), and Local Union 992 (Hagerstown).
Teamsters support bipartisan Congressional committee to solve pension crisis Feb. 8, 2018 | The Teamsters Union applauds today’s announcement of the formation of a bipartisan, House-Senate Joint Select Committee to find a solution to the nation’s growing pension crisis which could threaten the retirement security of as many as 1.5 million active and retired workers. The committee, which will be comprised of six senators and six members of the House evenly divided by party, will work toward reporting a bill to solve the pension crisis… Teamsters
Piedmont Airlines steward to members: 'Help us help you' Feb. 8, 2018 | Veteran steward Stephen Kennedy admits to being worried about the union’s future at Piedmont. “I think our youngest member is 18 or 19 years old. The most senior, and I’m one of them, is close to retirement. If I leave today and take with me my years of union knowledge and labor/management relationship experience, who will take over tomorrow?” Kennedy, a maintenance controller who oversees the daily operational status of Piedmont’s fleet, shares a little about himself and his hope that others will step up when he steps back … Shop Steward Profiles
Members taking active role; negotiations set to resume Feb.19 Feb. 9, 2018 | As the Teamsters National UPS and UPS Freight Negotiating Committees prepare to resume contract negotiations on February 19, members are continuing to take an active role and asking questions. More than 20,000 Teamsters joined the UPS and UPS Freight contract negotiations update call on January 28, and scores of members left questions after the call. Click here for the most frequently asked questions and answers.
Update: Ratification meeting scheduled for Sat., Feb. 24 Feb. 18, 2018 | A meeting to review the tentative agreement and supplement will be held Saturday, February 24, 2018 at 10 am at the Baltimore union hall. A ratification vote will be conducted at the conclusion of the review. Leaders from 26 local unions that represent DHL members unanimously approved the tentative master agreement and supplements on Friday, February 9 in Washington, D.C. Read the update here.
Negotiating committee reports progress on some issues Feb. 19, 2018 |The Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) and ABF Freight resumed bargaining last week and the union reported progress on some of the issues. View the contract update here.
‘Day of Action’ set to bring workers together to support their unions Feb. 22, 2018 | Workers all across the country will come together in cities from coast-to-coast Saturday to urge lawmakers to stand up to big business bullies dumping dollars into an effort to tamp down on the collective bargaining rights of those on the job. As part of the Working People’s Day of Action, attendees will challenge the latest attack on laborers that will come before the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 26, when oral arguments will be heard for Janus v. AFSCME. The court will decide whether non-union public sector workers should continue to contribute fees to cover workplace representation they receive from unions like the Teamsters. Read more at Teamsters. To find out more and locate the nearest gathering, click here.
Progress at the bargaining table continues Feb. 27, 2018 | The Teamsters National UPS Negotiating Committee continued to make progress on a variety of issues as the third round of contract negotiations with UPS and UPS Freight wrapped up last Thursday. “We made further progress on a number of non-economic issues,” said Denis Taylor, Director of the Teamsters Package Division and Co-Chairman of the Teamsters National UPS Negotiating Committee. “We look forward to more progress when we resume negotiations next week.” Among other issues, the following were on the table last week… Teamsters Negotiations continue this week.
Md. Teamsters oppose beer reform bill that would hurt union jobs Feb. 27, 2018 | Dozens of (Baltimore) Local 570 beer distribution members showed up at a hearing last week in Annapolis to support area beer distributors. The companies are concerned The Reform on Tap Act of 2018 will “throw off the balance among brewers, distributors and retailers – the three arms of the state’s tiered alcohol industry.” Speaking to the Baltimore Business Journal, Local 570 Secretary-Treasurer Sean Cedenio said the measure “would have a devastating result on the members we represent…” Teamsters Local 570
National contract ratified Feb. 28, 2018 | DHL Teamsters have voted to ratify all the national agreements and 95 percent of the supplements by an overwhelming margin. The remaining few supplements are being discussed with the company this week and the union hopes to have all the issues resolved quickly. Look for more updates soon.
Members protest Sussex County (Del.) right-to-work bill: Local 355 members joined a large contingent of labor union members and anti-RTW activists January 2, 2018, at a protest rally in Georgetown, Delaware, during Sussex County’s public hearing on its right-to-work ordinance. More than 50 speakers addressed Council members at the hearing – most of whom voiced opposition to the bill, including Local 355 shop steward Chris Johnson (Burris Foods, Inc.), a Sussex County resident. Read today's Delaware Online post.
Teamsters, workers win initial Delaware RTW battle Jan. 4, 2018 | Delaware Teamsters joined hundreds of their union brothers and sisters this week in pushing back against a county effort to institute a right to work (RTW) provision that would curtail workers’ collective bargaining rights and tamp down on wages for thousands in Sussex County. A vote on the RTW measure was postponed Tuesday after it became clear the vast majority of those in attendance were against it. The overflow crowd spread outside of the council chambers, where Teamsters and other union members rallied in the frigid cold against the anti-worker ordinance. The legislation, however, could be brought back up for consideration as soon as next week. Sussex County resident Chris Johnson (right, center), a Local 355 shop steward employed by Burris Foods, Inc., was among dozens of speakers who voiced opposition to the RTW provision. "I speak to you as a Teamster member but also as a resident, a father and husband... I'm proud to be a union member earning a good wage that supports my family…” Continue reading at 355 News
Contract negotiations start Monday, January 8 Jan. 5, 2018 | The Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) will begin contract negotiations in earnest with ABF starting on Monday, January 8, three weeks after exchanging initial contract proposals with the company. This first round of negotiations will continue through Thursday, January 11 and multiple dates have been scheduled into March. Details here.
Millennials at Tacoma, Wash. kennel unionize with Teamsters Jan. 5, 2018 | Federal statistics show the “millennials” are the least-unionized group of workers in the country. Many analysts conclude that’s because millennials don’t know what unions are, what they do, and how they help workers. That’s not the case among the six kennel aides at the Tacoma Humane Society – or Teamsters Local 117, which successfully organized them in late December. Once they learned how the union could help them – and the animals – the recognition vote was 6-0… Peoples World
Note: If you are a Sussex County resident, please register your opposition to the RTW legislation before next week's Jan. 9th County Council meeting. Email the Council here.
Retiree club’s Christmas party another annual fun fest Jan. 8, 2018 | Local 355 retirees and their guests, some sporting “ugly” sweaters that added to the festive atmosphere of their annual party, met December 21 at the UAW Hall in East Baltimore for another fabulous Christmas party… Retirees
Right to work defeated in Sussex County Jan. 9, 2018 | In a win for Teamster members who work in Sussex County, Delaware, the Sussex County Council today rejected a right-to-work measure in a 4-1 vote. Councilman Rob Arlett who introduced the proposal last fall was the sole member to vote in its favor. Although four of the five council members said they viewed right to work favorably and would support an initiative at the state level, concerns about potential legal challenges to the legislation – and related costs involved in defending it – ultimately sank the bill. Crowds of union members from Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania joined anti-RTW supporters (including nine inflatable rats and one inflatable corporate fat cat) to protest the legislation. “We’re here to remind them that they work for the people not their own corporate interests,” Local 355 business agent John Caparatta said after the vote. Unions must keep the pressure on local and state governments intent on passing anti-worker laws. “This problem will come back in some other form,” said James Maravelias, president of the Delaware AFL-CIO. “Shame on us if we let it go.” Pictured, from Local 355: (L-R) Business Agent Jim Deene; Shop Steward Michael Bradley/Kraft; Business Agent John Caparatta; Organizer Ed Mulford; Retiree Ernie Warfield/US Foods.
The ugly truth about right-to-work laws Jan. 10, 2018 | The roots of "Right to Work" is as rotten as the legacy of Jim Crow racism – because they are one and the same. Check out this important video from Teamsters Local 1932 about the ugly truth behind RTW and its insidious growth... Facebook.com/Teamsters
Teamsters, ABF address non-economic issues as negotiations kick off Jan. 12, 2018 |The meetings this week focused primarily on language issues but ABF continues to raise claims that its employee and operating costs are too high. The National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) however, has made it clear that the members are not interested in a concessionary contract…TeamstersFollow ABF Teamsters on Facebook
Teamsters win $1 million settlement on behalf of road drivers at YRC Freight Jan. 12, 2018 | The collective bargaining agreement with YRC Freight limits the amount of over-the-road freight that can be put on trains or hauled by non-bargaining unit personnel. The Teamsters Union monitors those amounts. After reviewing the situation and convening a meeting of the committee that monitors compliance, it was determined that the company had in fact exceeded the permissible amounts… Teamsters
Teamsters honor legacy, celebrate contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Jan. 15, 2018 | Fifty years ago this year, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood up for striking sanitation workers in Memphis [see video below] before an assassin struck him down. “The Memphis sanitation workers’ strike is remembered as an example of powerless African-Americans standing up for themselves. It is also remembered as the prelude to the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.” according to a recent Smithsonian magazine story. Teamsters across the country will honor the legacy of civil rights and labor leader Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 15, 2018. More at Teamsters…
Hogan announces deal with unions on modest raises for Md. state employees Jan. 18, 2018 | Maryland state employees will receive a 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment under a new contract agreement reached with the Hogan administration. Gov. Larry Hogan’s office announced Wednesday that the administration and the four major unions that represent state employees have struck a three-year deal…The contracts have not been ratified. Union members are scheduled to vote on the tentative agreement Jan. 31. In addition to AFSCME, the contracts affect workers with the Maryland Professional Employees Council, the American Federation of Teachers Healthcare-Maryland and Teamsters Local 355. Washington Post
UPS members: Bargaining has begun. Here’s how you can get involved January, 2018 | UPS and UPS Freight contract negotiations will kick off later this month. For an update on the process of negotiations and what you can do to be involved, please join Denis Taylor, Director, IBT Package Division, for a conference call onSunday, January 28, 2018 at 6 pm eastern time. Details here.
Teamsters present initial UPS and UPS Freight contract proposals to Company Jan. 23, 2018 | The Teamsters National Negotiating Committee presented the union’s initial UPS and UPS Freight contract proposals to the company yesterday, marking the start of negotiations. These are the initial contract proposals and are subject to change during negotiations. The contract proposals are available on the app. (If you have not downloaded the app, we encourage you to do so to receive the most up-to-date information. Download the app by searching “UPS Rising” in the App Store or Google Play.) Negotiations are scheduled to continue through Thursday of this week, and multiple dates have been scheduled for future negotiations. More information will be released later this week.
Hoffa Memorial Scholarship applications available online this year Jan. 24, 2018 | Applications for 2018 are now being accepted by the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund. The application process must be completed through the on-line portal found on the Fund's website: www.jrhmsf.org (The "Key" for the JRHMSF applications is JRHMSF). Two types of scholarship applications are available: Academic and Training/Vocational. The details and eligibility requirements for each scholarship are available on the Fund's website.
Teamsters tell UPS no drones or driverless trucks Jan. 24, 2018 | The Teamsters union wants to prohibit United Parcel Service Inc. UPS -0.59% from using drones or driverless vehicles to deliver packages. That was one of the labor union’s initial demands as it kicked off high-stakes contract talks with UPS this week. The Teamsters also want the parcel giant to eliminate late-night deliveries and add another 10,000 workers to the ranks, among other things… TeamstersRelated:UPS tries arming its drivers with an Octocopter drone
XPO ordered to pay up in Miami Jan. 25, 2018 | A judge has told XPO to pay workers in Miami for raises the company unlawfully withheld after the workers forms their union with Teamsters Local 769. This is the latest legal victory for workers seeking justice at XPO. Teamsters
ABF contract negotiations continue January 29 Jan. 26, 2018 | The Teamsters National Freight Industry (TNFINC) will hold a second round of negotiations with ABF starting on Monday, January 29. This first round of negotiations took place from January 8-11. The initial meetings focused primarily on language issues but ABF raised claims that its employee costs and operating costs are too high. TNFINC, however, made it clear that members were not interested in a concessionary contract… Learn more here.
Teamsters, UPS wrap up first week of contract negotiations Jan. 26, 2018 | The Teamsters National Negotiating Committee wrapped up the first week of negotiations today after both sides exchanged initial UPS and UPS Freight contract proposals. “This week was for both sides to present their initial non-economic proposals and for both parties to ask questions about their intent,” said Denis Taylor, Director of the Teamsters Package Division. “While these proposals are likely to be amended as negotiations proceed, it was good to finally present the members’ positions. We will reconvene our talks next week in Virginia.” Learn more here.
Holding signs are 355 members (L-R) Lynnwood Bowe, Burris Foods; John Caparatta, Jr., Penn Fibre; (not visable) Gil Howdershelt, Burris Foods; and Chris Johnson, Burris Foods.
Jan. 4, 2018 | Delaware Teamsters joined hundreds of their union brothers and sisters this week in pushing back against a county effort to institute a right to work (RTW) provision that would curtail workers’ collective bargaining rights and tamp down on wages for thousands in Sussex County.
A vote on the RTW measure was postponed Tuesday after it became clear the vast majority of those in attendance were against it. The overflow crowd spread outside of the council chambers, where Teamsters and other union members rallied in the frigid cold against the anti-worker ordinance. The legislation, however, could be brought back up for consideration as soon as next week.
[ Sussex County resident Chris Johnson (right), a Local 355 shop steward employed by Burris Foods, Inc., was among dozens of speakers who voiced opposition to the RTW provision. "I speak to you as a Teamster member but also as a resident, a father and husband... I'm proud to be a union member earning a good wage that supports my family," Johnson told the five-member Council, adding that he and his members bargain for all they have, including good wages, a grievance process and the right to arbitrate. "But the bargaining procedure is not free or cheap. Our dues structure is built to pay for the collective bargaining that help us support our middle-class communities." Johnson also pointed out that as a member of the Millennial generation he may be in the minority, but "we're out here and we're against right-to-work laws." ]
“We see that they at least heard our voices that this is a more complicated issue than they thought,” said Paul Thornburg, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 326 based in New Castle, Del. “This is people’s livelihoods. They saw that.”
Local 355 members and other Teamsters joined with Local 326 to voice their disgust with the RTW effort, which the Sussex County Council’s own attorney called illegal. Because Delaware is a free bargaining state, a locality cannot on its own to implement such a policy. The county attorney warned that passage of such an anti-worker ordinance would lead to legal action against the jurisdiction and cost taxpayers at least $250,000.
Thornburg said in recent years there have been efforts pushed by state GOP lawmakers to approve so-called RTW. But Democrats have succeeded in blocking them. So when County Councilman Ron Arlett announced in October that he was introducing such an ordinance in the southernmost and most conservative county in Delaware, it was unexpected.
“I was shocked. It was a mad scramble,” Thornburg said. “We were really shocked because we talked on the state level and it’s been thrown out. When it came to local law, we didn’t think it was legal.”
Local jurisdictions have increasingly sought to implement RTW, the effect on workers be damned. Last month, for instance, elected officials in Seaford, Del., which is part of Sussex County, approved their own such measure. Counties in other states have mulled similar actions as well.
These efforts have received the support of the American City County Exchange, an offshoot of the American Legislative Exchange Council, which pushes anti-worker measurers and offers model legislation to its conservative members.
But these attempts need to be called out for what they are -- a corporate-fueled attack on everyday people who are just trying to earn a living to support their families. It’s part of a national effort being pushed by the same big companies and business executives who for years have boosted their profits by sending American jobs overseas. These special interests are trying to lower wages and cut benefits for workers so they can increase their profits even more.
RTW in all its forms is still wrong for workers.
Cross-posted from teamster.org with added quotes from Chris Johnson.
Package Drivers: Important information regarding the 70-Hour rule Dec. 3, 2017 | The Package division issued a memorandum about UPS's intent to implement an 8-day/70-hour workweek for purposes of package drivers' hours of service under DOT regulations – View the memorandum here.
Hoffa to UPS CEO David Abney: 70-hour work week not acceptable Dec. 5, 2017 | General President Jim Hoffa wrote to Abney about the company’s implementation of the 8 day/70-hour workweek for package drivers: “On behalf of the 250,000 Teamster-represented UPS employees, I want to express my outrage and concern over the Company’s decision… We have instructed our Local Unions to utilize all contractual and legal remedies to protest the Company’s actions… I assure you the Union will make every effort at the bargaining table to ensure that its members will not have to pay the price for the Company’s mismanagement in the future.” Read Hoffa’s letter here.
It's time to protect pensions Dec. 6, 2017 | President Hoffa wrote in today’s Detroit News, “Pensions supply a secure retirement for millions of Americans across the country. But increasingly, some plans have faced financial challenges that threaten the nest eggs of many who toiled for decades with the understanding they would be taken care of in their golden years…” Detroit News
UPS, overwhelmed by online orders, warns of delivery delays Dec. 7, 2017 | United Parcel Service Inc. UPS +1.19% is struggling to handle the surge in shipments from online shoppers, resulting in delivery delays early in the critical holiday season and prompting the carrier to a push drivers to work extra hours. UPS, which handles deliveries for many of the biggest retailers including Amazon.com Inc., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Macy’s Inc., is adding one or two days in transit time on an unspecified number of deliveries following record sales around Cyber Monday, spokesman Steve Gaut said Tuesday. “We have shifted more employees and other resources to these markets to address this cyber week surge and expect to have the issue resolved by midweek…” Teamsters
UPS and UPS Freight contract negotiations begin January 22, 2018 Dec. 11, 2017 | As the union prepares for UPS and UPS Freight national talks to begin in January, supplemental committees have been meeting over the course of the last two months to exchange proposals and engage in bargaining sessions with the company. Sessions for national negotiations have been scheduled through June. We will provide updates to local unions and members at the end of each weekly negotiating session. Please check Uprising.org, the UPS Rising Facebook page and the UPS Rising mobile app for regular updates as we enter the next few critical months of negotiations in our fight for a strong UPS contract in 2018. Full update here.
Teamsters, ABF to exchange contract proposals December 18 Dec. 14, 2017 | The Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) is prepared to exchange initial national contract proposals with ABF on Monday, December 18, 2017, and TNFINC is ready to negotiate a contract that addresses members’ issues. Following the initial contract proposal exchange, negotiations will commence in earnest on January 8, 2018… Full announcement here.
Attention members! The credit union will close early Friday Dec. 18, 2017 | (* Correction) This week's credit union hours are as follows: Per its regular schedule it is open today, Dec. 18th, until 7 pm. Regular hours Tuesday and Wednesday: 9 am to 5 pm; Thursday, 8 am to 5 pm. AndFriday, December 22, 2017, from 8 am to 12:00* noon.
Supplemental committees continue talks with Company Dec. 18, 2017 | As the union prepares for UPS and UPS Freight national talks to begin in January, supplemental committees have been meeting over the course of the last two months to exchange proposals and engage in bargaining sessions with the company. Out of the roughly 30 supplemental meetings held since October, common issues that have been raised by the company include flexible workweeks and the day after Thanksgiving holiday… UPS Rising
Reuters: UPS reserves 125 Tesla semi-trucks, largest public pre-order yet Dec. 20, 2017 | United Parcel Service Inc said on Tuesday it is buying 125 Tesla Inc all-electric semi-trucks, the largest known order for the big rig so far, as the package delivery company expands its fleet of alternative-fuel vehicles. Tesla is trying to convince the trucking community it can build an affordable electric big rig with the range and cargo capacity to compete with relatively low-cost, time-tested diesel trucks. This is the largest public order of the big rig so far, Tesla said. Tesla unveiled its semi last month and expects the truck to be in production by 2019... Teamsters
On vacation... Dec. 28, 2017 | Publishing on teamsters355.com is suspended through New Year's. Our next post will be on Jan. 2.
Closing out his final day with UPS, Stan Boddie reflects on his career during the company-sponsored retirement gathering at the Baltimore, Md. facility. Below right, Boddie with Eric Wood, Teamsters Local 355 business agent.
Nov. 22, 2017 | Continued from Main Page
Once the warehousemen and delivery drivers were back on the job, Boddie reported to his new job. His seniority date was later adjusted to January 4, 1977.
Boddie preferred to work inside the UPS facility. “I didn’t want to drive, so I was happy as an unloader. Besides, I was still going to school for a degree in Business Administration with a focus on real estate, so the schedule worked well for me. Then finally in October of 1989, an opportunity opened for a full-time inside sorter/preload, and I jumped at it. Forty years later, here I am.”
“I’ve met some great people at UPS. As I told my wife, they are all like family to me. In fact, many have known me as long as she has. We’ve celebrated together and mourned together because, with people like those I’ve worked with, we are just like family. And you know, wearing my Teamster jacket all these years has given me the chance to meet Teamsters from other places, too. That’s been a real plus.”
As a senior Teamster member, Boddie said he tried to pass forward to others what he’d learned about the job – and the union. “Teamsters look out for each other,” said Boddie, clearly proud to be union. “For example, I had bought a house and looking to refinance, and one of my Teamster coworkers told me to call the union. Go through the union [Teamster Privilege], he said. I did, and I saved a lot of money.”
Boddie and his wife, Gail, have no big plans for his retirement. He has always been active in his church, and will increase his involvement with the John Wesley United Methodist Church in Baltimore, with plans to continue in the Male Chorus and Media Ministry.
But it is his passion for genealogy and exploration of his roots that will likely keep him busy for a long time to come. He hopes to make frequent trips to the Carolinas for visits to [extended] family members who he found through his research: All of them are descendants of a great-great-grandfather born in 1832. The curiosity that resulted in the search for information about a grandfather who died before his birth launched him on a journey of discovery so compelling that relatives now refer to him as the family historian.
“I’ve learned how to research records which have since helped me piece together the story of our ancestors. Now I’m learning to be a storyteller. My mother passed away two years ago but even at 81 years old, she could tell a story from memory. That’s not true for me; I always have to use notes.”
Best wishes for a happy and healthy retirement, Brother Boddie. Happy trails!
“The hospital is such a depressing place to be,” he said. “I remember the pain – my mom’s pain, and my own pain watching her struggle to hold on to life. I do this for my mother. She deserves this. I keep her alive in the work I do.”
Founded shortly after his mother’s death, Guinto’s Helping Hands makes two hospital visits a month, providing sick children and wounded veterans with gifts and staples. Among the hospitals and medical centers on the Helping Hands circuit are Walter Reed National Medical Center, Bethesda, Md.; the Fisher House, Rockville, Md., where family members stay while their loved one undergoes treatment; Kennedy Krieger Institute, Baltimore, Md., where children with developmental disabilities receive care; Baltimore's Ronald McDonald House and Believe in Tomorrow (Johns Hopkins) where families are accommodated while their seriously ill children are receiving treatment.
Guinto has worked for UPS for 24 years and has been a shop steward for nine years.
"In past years, UPS has supported my non-profit organization, but recently that support has somewhat diminished. Still, I know I can count on strong support from my union. The Teamsters get it. When asked, they never fail to step up and show up."
Guinto and his band of Teamster volunteers often show up pushing carts aglow with brilliant Christmas lights and loaded with toys and gifts. He calls them carts of hope. “Something as simple as colored lights changes the atmosphere in an otherwise depressingly sterile place. One kid who, according to his parents, hadn’t sat up in days popped right up in bed when he saw the cart. It’s amazing to see the glimmer of hope in their eyes.”
“I take stuff for the parents too. They often spent 12-13 hours a day at the kid’s bedside,” explained Guinto, recalling the long days and nights spent by his mother’s hospital bedside. “I know how they feel. Giving them a snack or a crossword puzzle and pencil – it’s a way of saying to them, we understand.”
Although he works year-round seeking charity partners and collecting donations, Brother Guinto can often be found on the streets of Baltimore distributing “survival bags” to the homeless and needy. The bags are filled with snacks and other essential items. “My “Feed Baltimore” project is in line with my mission to lend a helping hand to others,” explains Guinto. “Every month we feed 100-150 members of the homeless community.”
Delivering packages for UPS may be his full-time job but delivering hope and cheer to others on his own time is Quinto’s passion.
“If I won the Mega Millions tomorrow, I’d donate 100 percent of my winnings to be able to do this full time. If I can’t impact the world delivering UPS packages, I can deliver hope to those who are desperate for it. Charity doesn’t punch a time clock; I do it on my own time. I believe any day you can give back, you should grab the opportunity.”
Taylor, European union leaders meet to discuss UPS Nov. 3, 2017 | This week, Teamsters Package Division Director (and Local 355 President) Denis Taylor met wth a delegation of Nordic labor union leaders who represent UPS workers in Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden… Continue reading at teamster.org.
Teamsters denounce House passage of joint-employer ruling rollback Nov. 9, 2017 | The Teamsters Union today denounced the passage of legislation (H.R. 3441) introduced by House Republicans that rolls back the 2015 National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) “joint employer” ruling in the case of Browning-Ferris Industries, Inc. (BFI). The decision ensured strong protections for millions of American workers by holding accountable employers that rely on temporary or contracted workers when those employers call the shots. The joint employer rule prevents companies from claiming they are not responsible for workers employed by agencies retained by the company… Teamsters
Teamsters Union salute those who serve Nov. 10, 2017 | Veterans Day is a time to remember the contributions of all this who are or have served in the nation’s armed forced protecting our freedom. The Teamsters recognize the sacrifice those in the military incur and are honored that so many have chosen to become a part of our union family… Continued
Kansas City Teamster drivers strike Sysco Nov. 16, 2017 | Teamsters Local 41 Sysco drivers are now on strike at the company’s Olathe, Kan., distribution center after management allegedly threatened reprisals for the workers’ union activity. Pickets went up around 4 a.m. CST, one day before Sysco convenes its 2017 annual shareholder meeting in Houston, Texas, the company’s headquarters. More than 40 Sysco city drivers at Sysco-Kansas City voted to become Teamsters on October 31, 2014. But workers don’t yet have an agreement, said Steve Vairma, Teamsters International Vice President and Warehouse Division Director, because the company has failed to bargain in good faith… Teamsters
Fight for $15 just scored big in Maryland. We have unions to thank Nov. 16, 2017 | A law establishing a $15-an-hour minimum wage in Maryland’s Montgomery County was signed into law Monday. It’s a meaningful victory for the Fight for $15, the union-inspired campaign to raise wages nationally. Montgomery is the most populous county in the state, with a larger population than the nearby cities of Washington, D.C., or Baltimore. It’s also a bellwether for Maryland politics, where organizing has begun already ahead of the 2018 statewide elections, including organizing aimed at improving Maryland’s wage laws…Working In These Times
ABF, Teamsters set schedule for bargaining Nov. 17, 2017 | ABF Freight and the Teamsters union will exchange initial proposals on Dec. 18 and 19 for a new collective bargaining agreement covering about 8,600 unionized employees… DC Velocity
Teamsters LU 162 compels UPS to pay Health & Welfare delinquency Nov. 20, 2017 | Contracts often contain language that gives the union the right to use important leverage to compel and employer to pay health and welfare contributions in a proper and timely manner. In this case, a recent audit of UPS revealed that it had shorted the Oregon Teamsters Employers Trust over $283,772.32 in health and welfare contributions. With penalties and interest this amounted to a total of $354, 420.38… Teamster
Local UPS driver delivers hope and cheer to hospital patients Nov. 21, 2017 | Baltimore package driver Felix Guinto is the founder and CEO of Guinto’s Helping Hands (GHH), a charity organization whose primary mission is to bring hope to the sick, the wounded, and the less fortunate among us. His own painful personal experiences as a loving son to parents with long-term medical issues inspired Guinto to the cause he says is his way of honoring his parents: His father is a double amputee. His mother succumbed to cancer in 2006 after a two-year battle with the disease... 355 News
After 40 years with UPS, Baltimore preloader Stan Boddie retires Nov. 22, 2017 | In early autumn of 1976 Stan Boddie, then a student at Catonsville Community College, applied for a part-time position at UPS in Baltimore for the short holiday season. But the Eastern states Teamsters were out on a strike that ultimately lasted eight weeks. Though he was hired officially on Dec. 15 as a part-time unloader, he couldn’t start until after the strike was over. It was to be his good fortune that the Union ultimately reached a new contract agreement that met its primary objectives, including one that would provide full-scale benefits to part-timers... 355 News
Hoffa to brief members on NAFTA 2.0 goals Nov. 29, 2017 | The Teamsters are taking a leading role in helping to craft a new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that puts the people above the powerful. And tonight, Teamster General President Jim Hoffa will brief members about the union’s work. Hoffa will be joined by Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y) during the NAFTA teleforum, which Teamsters can preregister for here. Those signing up ahead of time will receive a call when the event starts at 8 p.m. EST, 5 p.m. PST. More info
Hoffa: NAFTA should deal with trucking, labor
Oct. 4, 2017 | While the third round of renegotiations of the North American Free Trade agreement ended last week, the status of many important issues remains in flux, including workers’ rights and cross-border trucking. At the top of the agenda is fixing the mistake of including long-haul trucking in the original NAFTA.
This Labor Day, we remember that the purpose of a union is to stand together Sept. 1, 2017 | In his Labor Day message, General President Jim Hoffa wrote: “Our union’s response to the devastation of Hurricane Harvey makes this Labor Day more meaningful than ever. The Teamsters Union has always been an early responder in times of crisis, donating and distributing emergency supplies, coordinating logistics, raising money for those in need and more. When our members are affected – whether from an unfair employer, legislation unfair to working families or even natural disasters – the union family stands together. Labor Day is a time to reflect on who we are as a union. Our job isn’t just to organize members, bargain and protect contracts. It’s to bring respect and dignity to all working people. That means being there when we are needed..."
Publisher Tronc acquires Daily News, storied NY tabloid Sept. 5, 2017 | Newspaper publisher Tronc has acquired the Daily News, a storied New York tabloid newspaper that won a Pulitzer Prize this year but has been buffeted by the changing media environment. Chicago-based Tronc Inc., the publisher of the Baltimore Sun, Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, announced the deal Monday night, and the Daily News posted a story on its website. It was first reported by The New York Times... apnews.com
Teamsters support immigration reform with path to citizenship Sept. 5, 2017 | General President Jim Hoffa on the decision handed down from the White House today to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) executive order originally put in place under President Obama: “The Teamsters are disappointed by this decision, as the union has long supported immigration reform and a path to citizenship for our nation’s ‘dreamers’. These young people are already citizens in every way that matters and deserve to have all of the same rights and opportunities enjoyed by U.S.-born children. Ending the DACA program punishes these nearly 800,000 people, including numerous Teamster across industries…” teamster.org
Teamsters reject UPS proposal for full-time seasonal personal vehicle drivers Sept. 5, 2017 | Read the letter Package Division Director Sean O’Brien sent to UPS Corporate Labor Relations President Al Gudim regarding the company’s proposal to create a new classification.
What’s important to you in upcoming bargaining? Sept. 6, 2017 | As we prepare to begin bargaining for a new ABF National Master Agreement, we need your input. You should have received a letter in your mailbox by now about how you can provide the union with your bargaining priorities. That letter outlines how we’ve made that process easier. Click here for details.
Taylor named Teamsters Package Division Director Sept. 6, 2017 | The Teamsters Union announced today that Local 355 President Denis Taylor has been appointed Package Division Director and co-chair of the UPS National Negotiating Committee. Having started as a Teamster in the package delivery industry as a driver for UPS, Denis has the experience, commitment and knowledge to lead the upcoming negotiations to continue to build upon and improve our industry leading contract.
Teamsters chief fears US self-driving trucks may be unsafe, hit jobs Sept. 13, 2017 | The head of the 1.4-million member International Brotherhood of Teamsters is mounting an aggressive effort to convince Congress to reject new rules to speed the development of self-driving trucks, warning they could lead to the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs and reduce road safety…nytimes.com
Union opposes new seasonal vehicle classification, issues multiple info requests Sept. 18, 2017 | Last Friday, Package Division Director Denis Taylor sent a letter to UPS Labor to express the objections of both the master and supplemental negotiating committees to UPS’s unilateral move to create a new “Seasonal Personal Vehicle Driver” (SPVD) classification. Taylor’s letter expressed his belief that new job classifications are mandatory subjects of bargaining and UPS needs to negotiate with the union over SPVD drivers. The letter also outlines multiple specific requests for information from the company regarding its SPVD program.
After member is deported, New York Teamsters declare themselves sanctuary union Sept. 20, 2017 | Following the expedited deportation of one of its union leaders with no criminal record, Teamsters Joint Council 16 passed a resolution to become a sanctuary union. “Immigrant rights and labor rights are explicitly tied together. You can’t have one without the other. It is obvious we are tied together, and there is no way that we could say that we are not a union of immigrants.” A conversation with George Miranda, the president of the 120,000-member Teamsters Joint Council 16, which is an umbrella group made up of 27 different local unions in New York City. inthesetimes.com
Teamsters UPS and UPS Freight screening committees to meet Sept. 25th Sept. 20, 2017 | The UPS and UPS Freight Screening Committees are scheduled for September 25th and the Two-Person Review is scheduled for October 17th. Teamsters Package Division Director Denis Taylor, Co-Chair of the UPS National Negotiating Committee, will lead the meetings along with Kris Taylor who is Co-Chair of the UPS Freight National Negotiating Committee. Learn more about the proposal process.
Greene named Local 355 trustee Sept. 20, 2017 | Chris Greene (Sysco), a Local 355 Teamster for 25 years and Sysco shop steward since 2001, has been appointed to the Local 355 Executive Board as trustee. He is one of three Local Union trustees whose duty it is to monitor the finances of the Local and help it achieve its overall mission and objectives.
Tell your senator to vote against another bad health care bill Sept. 21, 2017 | The Senate is once again considering healthcare legislation that would harm working families in America. The Graham-Cassidy amendment to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will eliminate certain taxes like the medical device tax but retain the 40% excise tax on high quality health care plans. Known as the “Cadillac Tax”, it ultimately places an unfair penalty on our collectively bargained health care benefits. This legislation will have real, negative impacts on healthcare for American families. Take action now!
Local 355 retirees celebrate summer with annual party Sept. 21, 2017 | Our Local’s retiree group, Association of Retired Members, are an active organization of more than 600 members who enjoy fellowship and fun. According to A.R.M. president, Bob Eney, this year’s Summer Party was yet another huge success, in large part to the volunteers who work hard to make it all happen. Speaking of work: Every week a core group of Local 355 retirees gather at the Baltimore hall to provide assistance with building and lawn maintenance, preparation of the hall for meetings, and contribute to the end-of-year cookouts. The group also supports our organizing efforts. Check out their newsletters here. More photos...
After three back-to-back hurricanes, Teamsters leave no stone unturned Sept. 26, 2017 | In less than a month, our membership has been devastated by three hurricanes that caused such catastrophic damage in so little time, it pales in comparison to anything else in recent memory. In the aftermath of these storms, Teamsters are on the front lines… teamsters.org Donate to the Teamsters Disaster Relief Fund here.
UPS proposal screening committee conducts first meeting Sept. 27, 2017 | On Monday, Sept. 25, the UPS National Negotiating Committee (NNC) met in the Washington, D.C. area, to go through contract proposals received from UPS members. The proposals received at the Package Division surpassed the numbers that anyone could recall. The consensus was that, while the UPS contract is far and away the best labor contract in the country, there are plenty of issues and concerns that must be addressed, including… teamster.org
Sign the petition: Tell our government to stop corporate power grab Sept. 28, 2017 | Please add your name to this Teamster petition demanding that any NAFTA renegotiation remove the corporate power grab known as ISDS. Known as the Investor-State Dispute Settlement, ISDS is a controversial NAFTA provision that gave big corporations vast new powers that make it easier to offshore jobs and attack the environmental and health laws on which we all rely. More information on petition form here.
Union recruiting volunteer members to help move vital supplies in PR Sept. 29, 2017 | The Teamsters are joining with other labor unions from across the nation to identify skilled workers to travel to Puerto Rico next week to provide much needed support in critical areas. There is currently a need for volunteer truck drivers who hold a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) to transport shipping containers from the port to distribution centers throughout the island. Additionally, the Teamsters Freight, Airline, Passenger Transport, Public Services and Waste Divisions are contacting Teamster employers that operate in Puerto Rico and our local unions throughout the U.S. and Canada to identify avenues of support and volunteers… teamster.org
In order to negotiate a successful contract, your union needs your input. This year, in an effort to make that process easier and to get more members involved, our contract survey is being done electronically.
Please read the letter you recently received about how you can help provide the union with your bargaining priorities. The letter provides important information on how to access the survey. You may use a desktop or laptop computer, tablet or smart phone to complete the survey.
Note that for privacy reasons nothing on the survey identifies the individual respondent, and this includes whether you participate or not.
Please take the time to share your ideas. We look forward to you participation.
Questions? Contact your business agent, Bill Alexander at 410-566-5700, ext 110.
Aug. 1, 2017 | Educational information that can help you better understand your union, your role in it and your responsibility to it is available in the Members Resources section under Members and Shop Stewards. Short helpful tips that define a contract campaign, how the bargaining process works, why – and how – a grievance is filed and presented, the importance of confidentiality issues, when a case goes to arbitration, your role in an arbitration, some cautionary notes about insubordination, are among the useful information we've made available to help you be a more informed union member or steward. Check in every Monday for something new you can use.
Proposal Meetings: 'For the union to be successful, we need your in put' Aug. 2, 2017 | UPS membership meetings are scheduled (dates and locations here) to discuss and submit proposals for upcoming contract negotiations. In a message to all UPS and UPS Freight members, Local 355 President and National Negotiating Committee member Denis Taylor, said: “The time is coming very soon when your union will begin to bargain the largest private sector labor contract in the country. For us to be successful, we need your input. What are the issues most important to your family? How can we best protect our working conditions? What can we do to strengthen your job security? Our request meetings are just the beginning of a process that will culminate in an agreement that meets or exceeds the needs of our membership. Your participation along the way is critical to our success. Please attend these important meetings at the times scheduled here.” Please note: If you are not yet a teamster355.com registered user, sign up now to stay informed!
Hoffa: Get serious about good jobs Aug. 8, 2017 | … To create good jobs that fuel economic expansion, out country needs to have a well-trained workforce. The Democrats’ “A Better Deal” proposal calls for an increase in registered apprenticeships and work-based learning programs by doubling federal funding for them. If Congress makes such programs a priority, young people and those currently out of work can benefit from the increased government investment. That will raise wages while reducing the burden on various public assistance programs… detriotnews.com
Teamsters convince Congress to block driverless trucks Aug. 8, 2017 | ... The Teamsters is fighting tooth-and-nail against the legal implementation of autonomous trucks in the US. Last week it successfully lobbied Congress to place a 10,000 pound weight-limit on current driverless vehicle legislation. The legislation represents a rare example of bipartisanship under the current administration; it passed with a vote of 54-0. thenextweb.com
Upcoming Salisbury membership meetings to be held at Hampton Inn Aug. 28, 2017 | Because our union office/hall in Salisbury, Md. is still undergoing renovations, membership meetings for the months of September and October will be held at the Hampton Inn Salisbury, 121 East Naylor Mill Road, Salisbury, Md. 21801. The meetings will begin promptly at 10 a.m. Questions? Contact your shop steward.
Teamsters Disaster Relief Fund coordinating efforts with South Texas leaders Aug. 28, 2017 | *Updated with correct Fund link. General President Hoffa has directed international union staff to provide all necessary support to members impacted by Hurricane Harvey and the resulting floods. Assessments are currently being conducted on how the Teamster Disaster Relief Fund, Joint Councils and Local Unions can best provide support to our members and retirees affected by the unprecedented storm. In the meantime, you can make donations directly to the Fund here and the funds will be earmarked for assistance to members impacted by Hurricane Harvey. teamster.org
Jack Cooper successfully completes debt reduction July 3, 2017 | In a series of financial transactions, Jack Cooper announced on June 29, 2017, that it had successfully reduced the company’s outstanding debt by $300 million which in turn will reduce annual interest by nearly $10 million. “This is good news – really good news for Teamster-represented workers at Jack Cooper,” Said Kevin Moore, Director of the Teamsters Carhaul Division… teamster.org
Teamsters call on Locals to gather up UPS contract proposals July 7, 2017 | The Teamsters UPS National Negotiating Committee has sent out notices to all UPS and UPS Freight locals requesting contract proposals from members. Separate proposal forms for the UPS Master Agreement, supplements, riders, addenda and the UPS Freight Agreement have been sent out to locals who will be pulling together meetings with UPS members in the coming weeks. Schedule information for our proposal meetings (Baltimore and Eastern Shore) will be available soon. (Proposals must be returned back to the IBT by August 31.)
Teamsters tell Big Pharma shareholders: Vote no on boss’ bonus July 12, 2017 | The Teamsters are trying to punish Big Pharma for flooding the country with prescription pain killers by hitting one of its top leaders where it hurts – in the eyes of shareholders. The union has taken the unusual step of directly calling on McKesson Corp. shareholders to turn thumbs down on July 26 to the $1.1 million bonus that was awarded earlier this year to its Chief Executive… nbcnews.comRelated: Teamsters urge McKesson shareholders to reject CEO pay plan amid opioid probe. (Why this issue matters to our union.)
Solid waste workers in CA win union after 10-year fight July 13, 2017 | A Teamsters win after a decade-long effort by waste workers in Santa Ros, Calif., highlighted a spate of union victories that produced a total of at least 950 members. But the victory in Santa Rosa at the Ratto Group, a non-union firm that low-balled its pay scales and paid scant attention to safety, was especially meaningful, as Ratto was undercutting other, unionized, solid waste hauler workers… peoplesworld.org
Schooling the boss on safety at UPS July 13, 2017 | On May 8, Esteban Garcia sat beside a supervisor in his truck for his annual safety ride. As a 16-year UPS driver and member of Teamsters Local 177 in Hillside, NJ, Garcia is well-versed in the safety procedures which are spelled out in the National Master Agreement. But his supervisor didn’t seem to think those policies applied to him… teamster.org
Attention drivers: YRC and New Penn are hiring July 13, 2017 | If you (or a friend or family member) carry a CDL with hazmat, doubles, and tanker endorsements, and looking for a job, Teamster employers YRC and New Penn are looking for drivers. To apply, visit yrc.com and newpenn.com.
Clare Rose, Teamsters have TA after weeks of strike July 17, 2017 | Clare Rose and its 130 delivery drivers and warehouse workers have negotiated a new contract, ending a nearly three-month strike against East Yaphank beer distributor, company and union officials said. The deal restores pension contributions for workers but removes a sales function that had been responsible for part of drivers’ pay. Ed Weber, president of Local 812, said in a statement the union was pleased to reach and agreement “that preserved our pension and provides fair wages under a new sales model.” … newsday.com
President Hoffa on Mornings with Maria: We have to get jobs back July 20, 2017 | Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said in a Fox Business News interview yesterday that the interests of workers must not be forgotten as the administration begins to renegotiate NAFTA. Watch here.
XPO workers in Texas win recognition with Teamsters July 24, 2017 | XPO workers in Laredo, Texas who voted to form their union with Teamsters Local 657 have won a major victory. The group of drivers and dockworkers were the very first former Con-way Freight workers in the country to form their union with the Teamsters. The workers and the Local Union have fought diligently to be recognized as a union and begin contract negotiations since winning their election in 2014, but XPO has deliberately delayed the process every step of the way. Last week the company lost their court battle and has formally recognized the workers’ union and will begin contract negotiations... teamster.org
Excessive CEO pay fight takes new turn July 26, 2017 | The fight against excessive CEO pay is a fight the Teamsters know well. For years, the union has decried the disproportionate pay between those at the top of the corporate structure and those who actually do the work that makes the firm profitable. But it has taken on added meaning recently as one of the nation’s richest CEOs continues to collect substantial payment while his company gets punished by the U.S. Justice Department for the role the company played in failing to report suspicious opioid orders. teamster.orgRelated: Seventy top health care CEOs raked in $9.8 billion since 2010
UPS reports 8% rise in domestic revenue; Teamsters call for ‘fair contract’ July 29, 2017 | UPS announced Thursday an 8.1 precent U.S. domestic revenue bump in their second-quarter earnings, furled in large part by surging ecommerce deliveries. The report drew a call for fairness from the Teamsters union representing UPS aircraft mechanics which is involved in a contract dispute with the company… bizjournals.com
Teamsters support bipartisan effort in Senate to repeal Cadillac tax July 31, 2017 | Currently, the excise tax, commonly referred to as the Cadillac Tax, places a 40 percent tax on high-quality health care plans. This tax will only hurt working men and women who will see their premiums rise as costs are passed down the line. “Senators on both sides of the aisle are doing the right thing and fighting to repeal this harmful tax on good health care plans,” General President Jim Hoffa said... teamster.org
WASHINGTON (PAI) — Interrupting a parade of corporate witnesses and lobbyists, union representatives outlined tough and enforceable pro-worker standards for a “new NAFTA” before a special trade panel studying the issue.
AFL-CIO representative Thea Lee, Machinists Chief of Staff Owen Hernstadt and Teamsters Legislative Representative Mike Dolan told the International Trade Commission that, as Lee put it, the current NAFTA “has provided tremendous benefits to CEOs and wealthy corporations, but has not benefited working people.”
“Too much emphasis has been given to theoretically small net gains” from the current NAFTA, “and too little to the disruptions” to workers and communities from the controversial, jobs-losing U.S.-Mexico-Canada “free trade” pact, said Lee, a trade and economics specialist who will soon formally retire from a top AFL-CIO job.
Lee, Hernstadt, and Dolan spoke on June 28, the second of three days of the “new NAFTA” hearings. Two other unionists, from the Auto Workers and the Communications Workers, were scheduled to speak later. The panel is gathering data for negotiators to use in talks with Mexico and Canada on a new pact to replace the 23-year-old agreement.
Those talks, unlike negotiations that produced the current NAFTA, must be open and aboveboard, said Lee. Plus, each NAFTA country must “demonstrate it adopted and enforced international labor law standards before an agreement goes into place,” added Hernstadt.
The AFL-CIO submitted a 47-page detailed proposal to the commission for comprehensive and enforceable worker rights in a new NAFTA two weeks before the panel session. Both Hernstadt and Dolan endorsed it, but also elaborated on several specific points.
Hernstadt advocated increased domestic content requirements, while Dolan urged the ITC to undo the damage to truckers, highway safety and the environment by the current NAFTA’s provision that lets unsafe Mexican trucks and pooped or ill-trained drivers roll over all U.S. roads. The Teamsters and safety groups have been fighting that provision for 20 years.
Among other points the three made:
• NAFTA’s secret pro-business trade court, the Investor State Dispute System, must be scrapped. ISDS, staffed by judges who are actually pro-business trade lawyers, can override federal, state and local labor, job safety and environmental laws, Lee testified. ISDS “amounts to crony capitalism and benefits firms who outsource,” Lee said. That includes Buy American laws, Dolan said. Conservatives should view the ISDS as “an affront to our sovereignty,” as it lets corporations evade or override U.S. laws and courts.
• NAFTA’s current “side agreements” on workers’ rights must be replaced with text within a new NAFTA that is both stronger and enforceable. A June 26 ruling against the U.S., in a well-documented labor rights violations complaint the AFL-CIO brought against Guatemala nine years ago – under CAFTA, a NAFTA-like pact – shows the lack of teeth in the current system, all three said. CAFTA is slightly stronger on the issue than NAFTA, “but even CAFTA couldn’t protect workers from abuse, assassinations and firings,” Lee said.
• Upgrade the rules of origin for products. Hernstadt elaborated on that point, saying it affects not just steel and cars – bones of contention between the U.S. and Mexico in the past – but aerospace products, too. IAM represents tens of thousands of aerospace workers. The current NAFTA rules of origin let parts made in China be passed through Mexico, the fed’s brief said. And the percentage that makes a car “American-made” is too low, it adds.
• The new NAFTA should require wage standards, to be enforced by a new Labor Secretariat. The prime impact would be in Mexico, where U.S. firms have decamped to take advantage of low wages, weak labor laws, company unions and lax enforcement. Lee told panelist Carlos Romero of the U.S. Trade Representative’s office that “there are a lot of models out there, most of them on how to meet the costs of living,” in setting wage floors.
• Currency manipulation should be a trade pact violation, an idea labor has been pushing for years. The AFL-CIO put manipulation in its brief. Dolan said Teamsters President Jim Hoffa “would start with enforceable discipline against currency manipulation.”
• Negotiators for a new NAFTA should restrict Mexican trucks to within 20 miles north of the U.S. border.That’s due to the lack of data about the safety of Mexican trucks and truckers, Dolan said. After the first 20 miles, cargoes should be transferred to U.S. trucks and truckers that meet federal safety, drug testing, hours of service and other standards. “We’d urge the administration to revisit this controversial provision,” he said. The union is still fighting that battle, he noted, before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. It’s arguing that NAFTA’s “original negotiators did not have the authority” from Congress “to negotiate exceptions to U.S. highway safety and driving rules.”
• “Eliminate obstacles to filing cases” about worker rights violations, Hernstadt said. NAFTA, and other subsequent trade pacts, now bar filing such cases unless the violations “impact trade and investment” and are “sustained and recurring.” Those that don’t directly affect trade, or those that are one-time but huge, are barred, Hernstadt testified.
• Be prepared to leave the talks. “If all these things are not met, our negotiators have to be willing to walk away” from bargaining over a new NAFTA, Hernstadt said.
Lee said afterward that unionists should not expect an outcome for years. “They (the administration) know what we want, and now it’s up to them to go out and accomplish it. Just saying you’re going to renegotiate NAFTA,” as GOP President Donald Trump has, “doesn’t mean you’ll renegotiate it the right way.”
Congratulations to Adam Davis, Stewart Meek, David Daniels, and Charlton Plummer (Piedmont Airlines) for their first place win in the Local's bi-annual golf event held Saturday, June 24th, at the Queenstown Harbor Golf Course in Queenstown, Md.
Teams teed off at 8:30 a.m. in a modified shotgun start format, finishing the 18-hole course at the same time in about six hours. The rain cleared out and warm sun plus cold beverages made for a perfect day on the course. Libations and lunch under the club's shaded outdoor pavilion topped off the day.
Podcast highlights Teamster fight against RTW June 6, 2017 | In this month’s Teamster Nation podcast, learn more about our Union’s fight to help keep so-called right-to-work law at bay both in states around the country as well as at the federal level, and efforts to halt other anti-worker legislation across the country.
Holly Poultry expansion will add jobs in Baltimore June 7, 2017 | From the Baltimore Sun: "The Baltimore-based chicken processor, which already employs nearly 250 people, plans to hire 150 more in the next few years as it increases volume to meet a growing demand for poultry. The family-owned company has been expanding since Mike Fine bought it in 1990, though he’s been so low-key about it that he believes few around the city even know the manufacturer is there." Local 355 represents more than 130 drivers, warehouse, and production employees at Holly Poultry. Read more here…
YRC Freight advises Teamsters about operational changes June 7, 2017 | In a meeting with YRC Freight earlier today, the company advised representatives of the Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) about operational changes later this year. The company is preparing a Multi-Region Network Enhancement Change of Operations and a Utility Employee Change of Operations. The company stated that it is still reviewing and finalizing the numbers and details. In accordance with the National Master Freight Agreement (NMFA), it is expected that the company will mail the proposed operational changes to the Local Unions in early July with a hearing to be held sometime in mid- to late-August. The company anticipates an implementation date in early October. If you have any questions, please contact Business Agent Bill Alexander at the union hall: 410-566-5700.
Speak up today in favor of real NAFTA reform June 14, 2017 | The U.S. Trade Representative is currently accepting public comments on how it should renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). An upgraded NAFTA must include strong labor standards, protections against currency manipulation, and stronger Rules-of-Origin language, and must not weaken the safety standards on U.S. roads and highways, give corporations power over government, or prevent governments from making rules that allow them to have ‘Buy American’ and ‘Buy Local’ policies. This is your opportunity to speak up and make sure the needs of workers and labor rights are the #1 priority for negotiators. The deadline for comments has been extended to tonight at midnight! Take action now here.
Memorial fund set up for victims of UPS San Francisco shooting June 20, 2017 | Teamsters Joint Council 7 in Northern California announced yesterday the establishment of a fund to help raise money for the families of the victims of the June 14 tragedy at the San Francisco UPS facility that resulted in the deaths of three members at the hand of their fellow driver. “We are encouraging our affiliates and our members to consider joining us in making a contribution to help the families who have been devastated by this terrible act,” said Ken Hall, Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer. Details here.
Teamster motorcycle enthusiasts ride in 19th annual bike run June 20, 2017 | Despite high humidity and threatening skies, more than 25 Local 355 members, retirees, and guests met at the Baltimore union hall early last Saturday morning to prepare for the annual bike ride that took them northwest into Pennsylvania’s mountain area via mostly secondary roads. A brief rain shower was a minor consequence to the riders once they pulled into Pine Grove Furnace State Park, a 696-acre protected park located at the northern tip of the Blue Ridge Mountains. A beautiful park pavilion was the perfect spot for the Local-sponsored cookout. Kudos to Business Agents Eric Wood, Chip Elgert and Bill Alexander for their expert trip coordination. Photos are up here.
More than 1,000 Teamsters rally to keep their ‘fundamental right’ to join a union June 21, 2017 | Union members swarmed the Capitol steps Tuesday afternoon to voice their opposition to right-to-work legislation in Pennsylvania. The rally was organized by the Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters and drew and estimated 1200 attendees ranging from Teamsters to Steelworkers and AFSCME members… pennlive.com
Call your senators now to oppose their ACA repeal and replace bill June 26, 2017 | Senate Republicans recently released their Affordable Care Act repeal and replace bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act. This legislation is terrible for working families in America. The bill will likely cause tens of millions to lose insurance coverage over the next decade while cutting taxes for the very wealthy and corporations. The Teamster have long opposed proposals to tax workers health benefits; this legislation retains the 40% excise tax (“Cadillac tax”) on high-quality plans but repeals all other ACA taxes. Hardworking Americans shouldn’t have to experience a 40% penalty on their collectively bargained benefits while the wealthy and corporations see their taxes repealed. Tell your senators to VOTE NO on the the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.
Anheuser-Busch distributor agrees to reopen negotiations with strikers June 26, 2017 | Clare Rose, the Anheuser-Busch distributor in Long Island whose workers have been on strike since April 23rd, has agreed to reopen negotiations with Teamsters Local 812… laborpress.org
Port truck drivers end strike in Los Angeles June 26, 2017 | A week-long strike by Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach truck drivers and warehouse workers culminated in a large and raucous rally on the steps of the Los Angeles city hall on Friday, June 23. Striking workers and their allies then proceeded inside to deliver nearly 10,000 petition signatures calling on Mayor Eric Garrett, as well as Long Beach mayor Robert Garcia, to end indentured servitude at the ports they oversee… teamster.org
Piedmont Airlines Teamsters take first place in Local 355 Spring Golf Outing June 28, 2017 | Four dispatchers employed at Piedmont Airlines on the Eastern Shore took the top spot with a score of 58 at the Local’s bi-annual June 24th golf outing at the Queenstown Harbor Golf Course in Queenstown, Md. Stormy weather gave way to clear skies and sunshine for this year’s 60 golfers. Winners, more photos at 355 News.
WSJ: Teamsters push back on UPS golf cart delivery vehicles June 29, 2017 | ...Starting Thursday, UPS can use golf carts to deliver packages in Kentucky thanks to a new state law allowing delivery drivers to use the vehicles on public roads. The company plans to use retrofitted golf carts to complement its fleet of brown delivery trucks primarily during the winter holidays when daily volumes can rise two-thirds from normal levels. But union leaders, who had opposed the legislation, argue that having the vehicles share the road with cars and trucks puts workers at risk. They also object because at UPS golf cart drivers earn less than traditional truck drivers... teamster.org
ATTENTION Local 355 Credit Union members! June 30, 2017 | The Credit Union office in Baltimore will close at 5 pm on Monday, July 3, 2017.
PORTLAND, Ore. (PAI)—A Portland, Ore., union member, Rick Best, was one of the two heroic men stabbed to death just before Memorial Day while successfully defending two young women – one wearing a hijab – against hate speech and a fatal attack.
“It is with great sadness that we share the news that Local 17 member, Rick Best -- a Technician in the Bureau of Development Services at the City of Portland -- was among one of the victims in the Portland stabbing on Friday, May 26,” said his union, Professional and Technical Engineers Local 17.
“Best and two other heroes were defending two young women who were being harassed with hate speech on the Portland MAX train.
“Best was a retired Army veteran who began working for the city in 2015. He is survived by his wife, Myhanh Duong Best, and three sons and a daughter, Erik, Isaac, David, and Tramanh. Our hearts go out to Rick's family, friends, and colleagues as they grieve this senseless loss. A GoFundMe page has been set up to fund scholarships for Best's children if you would like to contribute.”
Best and two other men were stabbed by self-proclaimed nihilist and ex-con Jeremy Christian. One of the two survived, as did the young women, who were unharmed.
The Northwest Labor Press reported Christian got on a westbound light rail train at 4:30 pm “and immediately targeted two African-American girls, one of them wearing a hijab, with a loud and frightening racist rant.
“Three men stepped forward to defend the girls and were stabbed in the neck by Christian. Micah David-Cole Fletcher survived. Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche and Rick Best died of their wounds.”
The local not only posted the tribute to Best on its website, along with the funding for the scholarships for his children, but it paid for COBRA coverage for the family for June. The Portland City Council is working on legislation for city-paid health care for the family for the next three years.
YRC Freight rescinds pay cuts – but not for all workers
May 1, 2017 | Three years after the Teamsters agreed to pay cuts to prevent YRC Freight trucking company from going bankrupt, the company is rescinding the cuts – but only for workers in some areas. YRC Freight and two of its regional trucking affiliates agreed Apr. 10 to end the two-tier system for newly hired truckers and mechanics and gradually eliminate the 15% pay cut for dockworkers… laborpress.org
Teamsters aircraft mechanics print open letter to UPS CEO May 2, 2017 | As UPS prepares for its annual shareholder meeting, more than 900 of its aircraft mechanics and other related classifications sent an open letter to CEO David Abney and the board of directors Monday saying they are concerned that UPS is trying to strip them of their health benefits and that they will do whatever it takes to secure a fair contract. UPS relies on the mechanics, stationed at more than 90 gateways across the country, for all maintenance of its cargo aircraft. The workers do physically demanding and often dangerous work around jet engine aircraft and equipment and toxic chemicals and exhaust… teamster.org Related: UPS Teamsters, remember to vote! Demand lobbying accountability at UPS.
New contracts ratified by Anne Arundel County members; others May 9, 2017 | Anne Arundel County members employed under four collective bargaining agreements recently ratified new one-year contracts that provide merit increases and COLA. Battalion chiefs, in lieu of merit, received wage adjustments based on years of service with the County, and maintenance of all benefits. Park rangers received clothing allowances, designation of emergency essential personnel, and new in this contract, a meal allowance. Correctional programs specialists (CPS) won retention bonuses and field training pay. Deputy sheriffs… Read more. Photo: Anne Arundel County stewards (L-R) Justin Ramos/park ranger; Mike Messick/fire battalion chief; Gary Collins/CPS; Mike Smith, fire battalion chief; Dave Belisle/deputy sheriff.
Members vote to suspend general membership meetings for the summer May 9, 2017 | Members in attendance at Sunday's general membership meeting unanimously voted to suspend Local member meetings in Baltimore and Salisbury for the months of June, July, and August. The next meeting will be held Sunday, Sept. 10th at 10 am in both locations.
Local 355 retirees club celebrates another bowling season May 11, 2017 | The Local 355 Association of Retired Members (A.R.M.) bowling league finished their 2016-2017 season with awards and banquet. Retirees
UPS Teamster locals, leaders meet at Unity Conference to discuss 2018 contract May 15, 2017 |Hundreds of local union leaders, business agents, shop stewards and members packed a room at the Teamster Unity Conference on Wednesday to hear about preparations being made fro negotiations on the UPS 2018 contract. “We have many issues we need to face in the upcoming negotiations. Package Division Director Sean O’Brien told meeting attendees there is no commitment yet on whether or not to pursue early negotiations. But he said surveys will be used via social media, as well as focus groups and polling, to determine what members think about when to start negotiations and what the focus of bargaining should be. Read the full report here.
Budweiser distributor begins illegally replacing Teamsters on strike May 16, 2017 |Clare Rose began permanently replacing striking union members at the Long Island (NY) Budweiser distributor on Monday. It is a violation of federal labor law to permanently replace workers who are striking over unfair labor practices. “This is union busting 101,” said Mark Pooler, who has delivered beer at Clare Rose for 26 years. Workers at Clare Rose have been on strike since April 23rd when the company unilaterally cut drivers’ wages by 30 percent and ended workers’ pensions. Read more at teamster.org
Hoffa: Teamsters will continue to fight for workers' needs as part of NAFTA 2.0 May 18, 2017 | General President Jim Hoffa’s response to the White House’s issuance of a final NAFTA notification letter today that will lead to a renovation of the North American trade agreement in the coming months: “ From the beginning more than a quarter century ago, the Teamsters have been front-and-center in sticking up for workers and their rights under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). And that won’t change… Our members have stood in historic opposition to this broken trade pact due to terrible provisions such as… Read the full statement here.
Bargaining Update: Negotiations for local supplements to begin May 18, 2017 | The Teamsters National DHL Committee and the company have held 15 bargaining sessions over seven weeks and believe the major issues facing the membership have been addressed and the parties’ positions established on national issues. Your committee has decided to release DHL to commence bargaining on Local Riders and Supplements with affected Locals over the next several weeks to address your Supplemental issues consistent with past practice. It is anticipated that negotiations with DHL to exchange economic proposals will resume once this process is concluded. We anticipate granting another short contract extension in order to complete supplemental and national negotiations. For additional information, contact your shop steward.
Hogan vetoes Maryland Democrats’ sick leave bill May 26, 2017 | Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday vetoed legislation that would have required employers with more than 15 workers to allow them to earn paid sick leave, setting up a potential veto override fight when state lawmakers return to Annapolis later this year or next… baltimoresun.com
UPS Teamsters impacted by reversal of recent pro-labor rules May 26, 2017 | Advances in workplace safety regulations and stricter labor standards for federal government contractors are under attack as lawmakers took to roll back recent pro-labor rules benefiting workers throughout the country, including UPS Teamsters. “By postponing OSHA’s ‘Injury Tracking’ regulation, the Department of Labor is making it more difficult for workers to hold companies accountable for dangerous working conditions, and that includes our members at UPS,” said Sean O’Brien (right), Director of the Teamsters Package Division… teamster.org
Fighting back against harassment at UPS May 30, 2017 | Harassment by management and supervisors is an ongoing problem at UPS hubs around the country. The best defense against harassment is to know the contract language that protects us and to us it – record, report and file grievances. There are several sections of the contract that may apply when a member is dealing with harassment from supervisors and management… 355 News
... included in the Affordable Care Act. As the AHCA stands with or without the new amendment, this tax is still included in the legislation, albeit with a further delay. The Teamsters Union is urging Congress to include a full repeal of the 40% excise tax also known as the “Cadillac Tax” rather than simply delaying the tax. The “Cadillac Tax” would ultimately reduce the health benefits that hard working Americans receive and increase out of pocket costs.
The Teamsters are hopeful that legislators will see that any policy that taxes employer-sponsored insurance is detrimental to American workers and imposes real financial costs to both employers and employees.
ANNAPOLIS, MD – (L-R) Chris Greene, LU355; Moe Jackson, LU570; Neil Dixon, LU570; Kevin Davidson, LU570; Dave Belisle, LU355; Denis Taylor, LU355; Ernie Warfield, LU355; Dan Taylor, LU355; Chip Elgert, LU355; Marisol Young, LU570; Joe Smith, LU355; (hidden); Mark Garey, LU355; Ed Mulford, LU355; Eric Wood, LU355; Don Hamre, Local 355; Pat O’Toole, LU355; Lance Miller, LU355; Jim Deene, LU355; and J.R. McClung, LU570. Not pictured: Rich Brown, LU570.
Md. House Labor and Employment committee kills proposed RTW legislation Apr. 3, 2017 | Anti-union lawmakers in Maryland introduced right-to-work legislation on January 30, 2017, in the State’s House of Delegates. At a February 14 Labor and Employment Committee hearing on the bill, Local 355 and Local 570 union members (pictured) and other unions and working families’ supporters packed the House chamber in Annapolis to oppose the anti-worker legislation. A USW representative said the notion that RTW creates economic growth is false, rather it’s sole objective is to weaken unions and attack wages. Delegate Donna Edwards denounced the bill. “This bill is dressed up in a feel-good slogan but it is pro-employer.” The committee issued an unfavorable report, effectively killing the companion bill in the State Senate.
Teamsters prepare to battle UPS, truck industry lobbyists on safety issues Apr. 10, 2017 | The Teamsters Union is keeping a close eye on a coalition of companies that includes UPS which is gearing up to push new increases in truck size and weight limits in Congress… Working in conjunction with UPS, Americans for Modern Transportation want to make our roads less safe by mandating that twin 33s be the standard size of double trailers nationwide… teamster.org
Local 355 members lend helping hands to Guinto’s Helping Hands Apr. 12, 2017 | Last weekend Local 355 UPS workers, accompanied by family and friends, volunteered time with Quinto’s Helping Hands (GHH) to help feed Baltimore's homeless. Local 355 member and UPS driver, Felix Guinto, is founder and CEO of the charity organization that raises funds to provide children hospitals from Maryland to Nevada with gifts and toys. "I wanted to do something different and helping the Baltimore community's people in need is in line with my mission to lend a helping hand," explained Guinto. So on Saturday, volunteers converged on the Local hall in Baltimore to prepare sandwiches and fill survival bags with snacks and... Continued at 355 News
?UPS Teamster makes heroic rescue Apr. 18, 2017 | Paul Pereira’s UPS shift took a lifesaving turn Monday evening when the Boston-area Teamsters Local 25 member rescued two people from a boring home. With 12 stops left on his regular route, Pereira’s next stop was 18 Hamilton Ave. Two houses away, he saw a porch engulfed in flames. Pereira jumped out of his truck and immediately started banging on the door, screaming, “fire, fire, fire,” … teamster.org
Teamsters: ‘Buy American and Hire American’ Executive Order benefits U.S. jobs, production Apr. 19, 2017 | The Teamsters support [yesterday’s] signing of the ‘Buy American and Hire American’ Executive Order by President Donald Trump. The initiatives that promote American workers and investment in domestic products will help the country take a positive step toward a stronger economy. The order routines federal procurement policies that will focus on utilizing goods, products, and materials produced in the United States. It directs federal agencies to minimize the use of waivers and exemptions that allow them to bypass the Buy America laws that encourage the use of American-made products. teamster.org More at cnn.com
Budweiser delivery Teamsters strike shuts down Long Island distribution Apr. 25, 2017 | Teamsters who deliver, sell, and merchandise Budweiser, Heineken, and other beer products to Nassau and Suffolk Counties will be on strike starting Monday, Teamsters Local 812 announced today. The over 100 drivers and warehousemen, who work for Clare Rose, a private beer distribution company, voted down management’s “final offer” Friday, which would have imposed 30% wage cuts and ended the drivers’ pension...teamstersnyc
UPS Rising: UPS Teamsters launch Facebook page Apr. 26, 2017 | The Teamsters Union unveiled its latest Facebook page – @TeamUPSrising – last month as part of preparation for bargaining in 2018 a new UPS National Master Agreement (the largest collective bargaining agreement in North America) and the UPS Freight National Master Agreement. Representing more than 250,000 UPS workers throughout the U.S. – package car drivers, air drivers, feeder drivers, part-time loaders, unloaders, sorters, clerks, freight drivers, and dockworkers – UPS Teamsters are uniting for a strong contract. Like UPS Rising here.
Tell Congress to repeal the 40% excise tax on worker’s health benefits Apr. 27, 2017 | Last month, the Republicans in Congress tried to garner support for the American Health Care Act (AHCA). This bill was an attempt to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), and it was withdrawn because there were not enough votes to pass the legislation. The Republican caucus has not given up and is now trying to attach an amendment from Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) to the bill so that it has the necessary votes to pass in the House. The MacArthur amendment does nothing to mitigate the original Teamster concerns with the legislation. Take action! The Teamsters have long opposed any attempt to tax employer-provided health care benefits and were successful in helping to delay the 40% excise tax on comprehensive insurance plans… 355news
Safe jobs, every worker’s right Apr. 28, 2017 | The Teamsters Union and trade unionists around the world, recognize April 28 as Workers’ Memorial Day – and international day of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured or made ill by their work. Workers’ Memorial Day is and an opportunity to highlight the preventable nature of most workplace injured and illnesses and to promote the fight for improving health and safety at each and every workplace. The slogan for the day is Safe Jobs, Every Worker's Right.” 2017 Workers’ Memorial Day statement from General President Jim Hoffa.
Local 355 GHH volunteers (L-R): Joe Glos, Kim Glos, Gina Brown, Mike Petro, Sue Alexander, Don Hamre, Lisa Taylor, Valerie Taylor, Denis Taylor, Trish White, Dave White, Tim Seto, Jim Zangrilli, Phil Vacek, and Felix Guinto.
Apr. 12, 2017 | Last weekend Local 355 UPS workers, accompanied by their family and friends, volunteered time withQuinto’s Helping Hands (GHH) to help feed Baltimore's homeless. Local 355 member and UPS driver, Felix Guinto, is founder and CEO of the charity organization whose primary mission is to provide children's hospitals from Maryland to Nevada with gifts and toys during the holiday seasons that they may comfort children during their healing process.
As busy as he is in seeking charity partners and collecting donations, he admits to being "a little bored. I wanted to do something different and helping Baltimore's needy is in line with my mission to lend a helping hand to others," explained Guinto. So on Saturday, volunteers converged on the Local hall in Baltimore to prepare sandwiches and fill survival bags with snacks and other essential items to hand out to hungry folks at Baltimore's St. Vincent de Paul Church, the oldest Catholic parish in the city.
Guinto is a 22-year UPS employee and has been a shop steward for eight years. "In past years, UPS has supported my non-profit organization, but recently that support has somewhat diminished. Still, I know I can count on strong support from my union. When asked, the Teamsters never fail to step up and show up."
WASHINGTON (PAI) — Saying “America’s labor leaders will always find an open door with Donald Trump,” the new Republican U.S. president made one of the few specific pledges to some 3,000 delegates from Building Trades unions gathered in a D.C. hall.
Trump was the last speaker in the two-day legislative and political conference sponsored by North America’s Building Trades – the old AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department. “You can talk with a president who knows how much concrete and rebar you can lay in a single day,” he added, referring to his pre-presidential career as a developer. Reactions to Trump’s speech were mixed, ranging from “He was fine. He was good” from Teamsters President Jim Hoffa to “He never mentioned the word ‘union.’ Take note of that,” from John Driscoll of Elevator Constructors Local 17.
And Trump drew a smattering of boos when he took several digs at his predecessor, Democrat Barack Obama. “The era of economic surrender has come to an end,” he stated.
But Trump received a prompted ovation when he declared “when you see your legislators, you can tell them the American building trades and its president are very much united.”
The delegates took time out from their lobbying of lawmakers to listen to Trump and other invited speakers from both parties. On Capitol Hill, two key causes of the building trades are preserving the Davis-Bacon Act’s prevailing wage rules and emphasizing the value of Project Labor Agreements. Trump mentioned neither.
Instead, his speech mixed in a few specifics among general praise for the workers’ efforts. “It’s time we give you the level playing field you deserve,” he said at one point, without saying how. Trump also wants building tradespeople to help restore “cities with abandoned buildings and rusted-out” infrastructure, such as Detroit and Baltimore.
He also mentioned the infrastructure bill he plans to unveil soon, but without specifics. His specifics included:
• Reminding the crowd that he formally withdrew the U.S. from the jobs-destroying Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. He called it “another NAFTA, and it would have been a greater disaster.”
• Pledging that in future pipeline construction projects, which he intends to approve, “From now on, we’ll put in a clause: It’s gotta be American steel, made in America.” He admitted, however, that 61 percent of the steel in the Keystone Pipeline’s northern leg -- one of the two controversial projects he has OKd – was made abroad. Union members are building Keystone under a Project Labor Agreement signed years ago. “Over the next 7-3/4 years – I hope – we’ll believe in two simple rules: Buy American and hire American,” he said. “We didn’t just offshore American jobs. We offshored the American Dream.” Trump had Building Trades President Sean McGarvey and three union presidents with him in the Oval Office three days after the inauguration, where he announced he wanted Keystone and the Dakota Access Pipeline built.
• Reiterated his campaign theme of cracking down on immigration to the U.S. by building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. “We’re going to protect your jobs by protecting our borders,” he said, before claiming that “a record decline in illegal immigration of 61 percent in one month. That may not be as a result of Trump’s speeches: The Pew Hispanic Center, a think tank, noted that illegal immigration fell by two-thirds from 2005-2009, for example.
• Pledged to reduce the amount of time, and the number of permits, a construction project needs before ground-breaking. Pausing a moment for an aide to bring out a timeline chart, and holding it up, Trump said that some projects take 10 years or more to get all their permits “and then they get voted down.” By contrast, construction of the Empire State Building – he lauded the Ironworkers for that – took only 13 months from the idea to the topping-off.
Of such a process, Trump predicted the workers would, in revitalizing cities “rise above the cynics” and “erect new bridges, new schools, and new landmarks and raise up a bright American flag” over them “to rebuild the country and America’s destiny.”
In a random sample of reactions, workers were not united. Besides Hoffa and Driscoll, comments from others included:
• “I’m not a fan, so I’m not gonna say,” said Carl Dodge of the Operating Engineers.
• “I hope that what he’s saying is true. It’s not about R or D, it’s about jobs,” said Roxana Mejia of Painters Local 51 in the D.C. area.
• “Outside of a few odd remarks, I’d say it was mostly positive,” added Steam and Pipefitters Local 25 President Pete Wohlgezogen of Gardena, Calif. “Reducing the permits is starting to get us more work” on pipelines.
• “It was a bunch of sound bites from his campaign,” said Don MacLeod of the Laborers. “He talked about leveling the playing field, but he didn’t say what that meant.”
• “I don’t believe he’s for the American worker. I believe he’s for corporate America and profits,” said Mike Gleiforst of Elevator Constructors Local 25 of Lakewood and Sheridan, Colo.
• “I’m pleased that he came. To have a sitting president here is huge,” said Marion Davis, director of the Teamsters’ Building and Construction Trades Division. “We’re excited. He’s the president and it would be foolish not to work with him. Trump’s impact, Davis added, has “showed up already in the pipeline industry” where the Teamsters have 5,000 members. “
“If he keeps all his promises, he’ll be very good,” Wayne Olson of Sheet Metal Workers Local 7 in Miami concluded. “Hopefully, with the right people, he will.”
Baltimore City Council committee passes $15-an-hour minimum wage bill Mar. 3, 2017 | The Baltimore City Council’s labor committee voted Wednesday to advance a bill to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022 for many workers. The bill could go to the full council for a preliminary vote as early as Monday. A majority of the City Council members have said they back the bill. The minimum wage in Maryland is $8.75 per hour, set to rise to $10.10 an hour by 2018… baltimoresun.com
Ballots are being mailed today. VOTE!! Mar. 10, 2017 | Members will vote on the National Master Automobile Transporters Agreement tentative agreement in a mail ballot referendum. Ballots are being mailed out to members today. Watch for it and don't put it aside. Voting can't be any easier than this: open the envelope, follow the instructions, seal your envelope and drop it in the mailbox right away. Your vote is your voice. Use it! Ballots will be counted March 30.
Senate votes to repeal labor protection laws that safeguard poultry workers Mar. 13, 2017 | The Trump administration and Senate Republicans rolled back labor protection laws on Monday in a pair of moves that labor advocates predict will chill complaints by vulnerable workers, especially in the low-wage food processing industry, which relies heavily on easily exploited undocumented laborers. The Senate voted along party lines, 49-48, to repeal an Obama-era executive order mandating accurate labor violation record-keeping, meaning that companies with on-the-job accidents and fatalities no longer have to disclose that information… theguardian.com (Why is this important? We have members employed as poultry workers.)
Apply online for Hoffa Memorial Scholarship before March 31 Mar. 13, 2017 | Sons and daughters of Teamster members can now apply online for the 2017 James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship. Academic scholarship awards are either a $10,000 award split up over four years at $1,250 per semester, or a one-time $1,000 award. Training and Vocational scholarships award up to $2,000, depending on financial need. (See scholarship amount details in the applications.) “We’d like to see more of our kids continue their education with the help of our Teamster scholarships,” said Denis Taylor, Teamster Joint Council 62 president, and president of Local 355 in Baltimore. “The money is there, it’s available for your son or daughter. All you have to do is fill out the form online and hit send. But you have to do it before the March 31, 2017 deadline.”
You’re On Your Own: Republicans plan attack on Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security Mar. 16, 2017 | … 45 percent of retirees spend more than one-third of their Social Security benefits on health care, from co-pays for care, to premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket fees for services – such as going to the eye doctor, dentist or audiologist – that are not provided… Although we do not yet know exactly what the Republican-controlled Congress has in mind, they have indicated that the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and changes to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are high on their agenda. .As the threat of vanishing health care becomes ever more dire, large numbers of people are mobilizing around the country to both protect the Affordable Care Act and advocate for a single-payer system. And, while collective resistance is brewing, tens of thousands of people are finding alternative avenues for a quieter, but nonetheless effective, form of individually driven resistance… Full story at Retirees.
Tell Congress to oppose the American Health Care Act Mar. 23, 2017 | The House is planning to vote today on the American Health Care Act, the legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This bill would repeal all of the other taxes that were included in the ACA, except for the so-called “Cadillac Tax,” which imposes a 40% excise tax on workers’ health benefit plans. With repeal of these other taxes, insurers, corporations, and the wealthy get a tax cut. Hard working middle class Americans only get a delay in the “Cadillac Tax,” not full repeal. Upon implementation of the “Cadillac Tax,” millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Teamster members could see their health care benefits scaled back or dropped. We need you to call upon your representative and urge them to vote AGAINST the American Health Care Act. Take action now!
Teamsters launch campaign to fight back against right-to-work Mar. 28, 2017 | The Teamsters are planning to mobilize and campaign against right-to-work laws (RTW), both on the federal level and in western states, the Southern California Teamster reports. To make sure members know how to contact their lawmakers, the paper has published the names, office suite numbers in D.C., and phone numbers of every single U.S. representative in Southern California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Arizona…”For starters,” the paper says, “the object is to tell lawmakers about the importance of shooting down the legislation amending the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and the Railway Labor Act.” peoples world.org
Slashing Amtrak funding is shortsighted Mar. 29, 2017 | Instead of bolstering the national passenger railroad that plays an essential role in the U.S. transportation system, proposed budget cuts would reduce service to some 23 states where long distance Amtrak trains currently make stops. The move would eliminate the jobs of more than a thousand rail Teamsters aligned with the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) and the Brotherhood of Maintenance and Way Employees Division(BMWED)… teamster.org
Teamsters raise concerns on UPS plans for connected vehicle technology Mar. 30, 2017 | As the logistics industry remains ever focused on streamlining its operations, the jobs of UPS Teamsters are becoming more impacted by cost-cutting “modernization schemes. In recent years, companies have been trying to advance platooning technology, which allows a contained pack of trucks to be digitally connected and driven in formation as a way to reduce wind resistance and increase fuel efficiency. “While we fully support industry efforts to raise fuel efficiency standards, this new technology raises important public safety concerns and would have a significant impact on the role of UPS Freight drivers,” said Package Division Director Sean O’Brien…teamster.org
National carhaul contract ratified Mar. 30, 2017 | Teamster carhaul members ratified a new national auto transporters contract and a regional agreement today which will maintain and protect health, welfare and pension benefits through May of 2021 and provide annual wage increases. The national contract was ratified by a margin of over 86 percent. “The negotiations have been a long and difficult process but in the end, we negotiated an agreement that met the two top goals of our membership: traditional wage increases and maintaining our members’ top-tier health and pension benefits,” said Kevin Moore, Director of the Teamsters Carhaul Division. “Our carhaul members are the best, most experienced workers in the industry and they deserve to be rewarded for their hard work.” ...teamster.org
Members who transport newly manufactured cars and trucks for carhaul companies Cassens Transport, Annapolis Junction Rail and Jack Cooper Transport on Sunday reviewed and approved the latest tentative agreement (TA) recently endorsed by the carhaul union leaders from around the country. Members have twice rejected the tentative agreement.
“This is the best contract I’ve seen in a long time,” said shop steward Mark Atkins (above right, facing camera) following the meeting. “All the provisions we didn’t like are gone.”
Members will vote on the latest National Master Automobile Transporters Agreement in a mail ballot referendum. Ballots are scheduled to be mailed out to members on or about March 10 and are tentatively scheduled to be counted March 30. The tentative agreement is from September 1, 2015, until May 31, 2021.
In addition to protecting benefits and job security, wages, grievance procedures, and safety and health were top issues.
Vice President and carhaul Business Agent Bill Alexander said the tentative agreement is “the richest contract ever negotiated in such competitive times.”
Teamsters strongly oppose national right-to-work legislation Feb. 2, 2017 | The Teamsters Union strongly opposes national ‘right-to-work’ legislation introduced yesterday in Congress that will hurt workers and their unions. The destructive anti-worker bill, H.R. 785, is sponsored by Reps. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) and Steve King (R-Iowa) and would amend the National Labor Relations Act and Railway Labor Act to institute damaging right to work in all states... teamster.org
Maryland lawmakers introduce right to work legislation Feb. 6, 2017 | On January 30, 2017, Delegate Warren Miller (R- Carroll County), supported by eleven other delegates, introduced an anti-worker bill designed to benefit business interests at the expense of hard-working men and women and their families. A companion bill has been introduced in the Senate. We cannot stand by silently while anti-worker forces seek to erode the rights of Maryland’s working people. Fight back! Details here…
Dial in tonight to the carhaul conference call Feb. 16, 2017 | Carhaul members are urged to take part in a national conference call scheduled for 8 pm tonight (Thursday) to learn more about the tentative national carhaul agreement. Teamster carhaul members will be on the call to review and discuss the tentative national contract, regional supplements, and TeamCare improvements. To join the call dial 877-229-8493 with ID code 111566. You may also receive a call on your phone that will connect you to the call.
Anti-union forces set sites on Iowa public sector Feb. 20, 2017 | Just days after Missouri enacted so-called right-to-work legislation, Republicans in Iowa are pushing forward with an effort to restrict collective bargaining for public sector workers. State and local government workers in the Hawkeye State would be prohibited from negotiating issues such as health insurance, seniority or extra pay. The bill would also make it more difficult for unions to collect dues. Iowa Teamsters, whose members include many working in law enforcement, have been active in an effort to defeat the legislation… teamster.org
Local 355 carhaul members unanimously endorse new national agreement Feb. 20, 2017 | Members who transport newly manufactured cars and trucks for carhaul companies Cassens Transport, Annapolis Junction Rail and Jack Cooper Transport on Sunday reviewed and approved the latest tentative agreement (TA) recently endorsed by the carhaul union leaders from around the country. Members have twice rejected the tentative agreement... Read more
Teamster International Officer election certified Feb. 21, 2017 | The results of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters election of officers have been certified by election supervisor Richard Mark. The certification can be viewed here. General President Jim Hoffa, General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall, International Vice Presidents and International Trustees elected in the membership vote will begin a five-year term in mid-March.
Another carhaul conference call scheduled Feb. 27 Feb. 23, 2017 | Carhaul members can learn more about the tentative national carhaul agreement in a conference call scheduled for Monday, February 27 at 6:30 pm (Eastern. Carhaul leaders will be on the call to review and discuss the tentative National Contract and Regional Supplements. (Note: The Eastern Supplement was ratified in September 2016.) To join the call dial 877-229-8493 with ID code 111556. You may also receive a call on your phone that will connect you to the call.
WASHINGTON (PAI) — Leaders of the AFL-CIO and the Service Employees promised to rigorously probe the record of Alexander Acosta, dean of a Florida law school and chairman of a South Florida bank, who is GOP President Donald Trump’s new nominee for Secretary of Labor.
Acosta is also a former Republican named National Labor Relations Board member. Trump announced his nod for Acosta, 46, who is also a former U.S. attorney for Miami and law clerk for conservative U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, before Alito joined that court, on Feb. 16.
Trump named Acosta barely 24 hours after the president’s first choice, fast food executive Andrew Puzder, withdrew in the face of certain Senate defeat. Workers, unions and their allies exposed his bad record on workers’ rights, the minimum wage, overtime pay, safety and health violations and wage theft at his restaurants and sexism in the firms’ ads.
Unions celebrated Puzder’s withdrawal with an early-morning rally near the Capitol. Later, they had cautious reactions to Acosta. But ThinkProgress, a progressive blog, raised questions about Acosta’s record in George W. Bush’s Justice Department’s civil rights division. For his part, Trump, meeting earlier with the self-named Trump Caucus of lawmakers, called Acosta, “a star, a great person, a great person.” “Working people changed the game on this nomination. Unlike Andy Puzder, Alexander Acosta’s nomination deserves serious consideration. In one day, we’ve gone from a fast-food CEO who routinely violates labor law to a public servant with experience enforcing it,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said. “We will of course review Mr. Acosta’s record as thoroughly as we did the previous nominee’s. Mr. Acosta will have to answer tough questions and explain how he will enforce and uphold labor laws to benefit working people and not further tilt the balance of power toward corporate CEOs. “The Labor Secretary is not just another Cabinet member. His or her actions directly impact our wages, safety, and rights on the job every single day. We will judge this nominee by the commitment he shows to making life better for working people,” Trumka added. “Working people are still in this fight for an economy and political system that works for all of our families and where hard work means our families can get ahead,” added Service Employees President Mary Kay Henry. “This is the lens through which we will examine” Acosta’s record. “Workers will stay in the streets to demand a Labor Secretary who is a champion for working people and fights to represent their interests in our economy,” Henry promised. The Puzder nomination drew mass protests, including from his own fast food chains’ workers.ThinkProgress said the real problem with Acosta, who if confirmed would be the sole Hispanic-American in Trump’s Cabinet, is not with Acosta’s 125 written opinions in a 14-month stint as an NLRB member, but with his Civil Rights Division record. ThinkProgress reported Acosta led the division from 2003-2005, at a time when another senior division official, Bradley Schlozman, used his hiring authority to slant the division staff by picking attorneys from lists submitted or analyzed, by right-wing groups. Acosta denied he knew what Schlozman was doing, as Schlozman “hired conservative lawyers hostile to the CRD’s mission, purging the agency of people who believed in the work it exists to do,” ThinkProgress said. “Schlozman’s ploy did long-lasting damage to federal work on voting rights violations, police abuse, and other assaults on Americans’ rights.” But other DOJ staffers from that era complained directly to Acosta about Schlozman’s activities, according to the Justice Department’s Inspector General. And Acosta told the IG “he became more concerned about Schlozman’s judgment…as a result of discussions Acosta had with retiring Voting Section Chief Joseph Rich about Schlozman’s management. Yet, Acosta took no action to alert those in his chain of command,” the report found.
Acosta left the division but didn’t report his suspicions until 2007, after several Republican senators raised the roof over the slanted hiring in the division and among U.S. attorneys. ThinkProgress also reported Acosta was involved tangentially in GOP efforts to suppress the minority vote in the 2004 presidential election in Ohio.
Cool labor book: ‘A People’s History of the United States’ Jan. 3, 2017 | If your last serious read of American history was in high school – or even in a standard college course – you’ll want to read this amazing account of America as seen through the eyes of its working people, women and minorities. Howard Zinn (1922-2010) was a widely respected historian, author, playwright, and social activist. In A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present, he turns history on its head with his carefully researched and dramatic recounting of America and its people – not just its bankers, industrialists, generals and politicians. This book will give you a whole new way of looking at and understanding the world around you. Order it at Union Communication Services.
Hoffa: Workers need real pension reform Jan. 4, 2017 | The Teamsters won a battle over pensions last month in Congress as part of a short-term spending bill. But there is still a long way to go in this fight to protect the retirement security of hundreds of thousands of workers in Michigan and across the United States. At stake is the security of many retirees… detroitnews.com
Trucker deaths top all others in the workforce Jan. 6, 2017 | The Teamsters for years have been front-and-center in the fight for ensuring proper rest breaks for truckers. A new government report shows why that effort is so very important. A National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries for 2015 found that heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers recorded 745 fatal injuries, the most of any occupation... teamster.org
University of California Teamsters go on strike for fair wages, pensions Jan. 10, 2017 | Today, thousands of University of California (UC) administrative, clerical and support workers are on strike across the Golden State, taking a stand against a UC system that has turned its back on them by not paying them a wage that allows them to support themselves and their families. More than 12,000 workers, members of 2010, walked off the job Tuesday to protest the numerous unfair practices and violations of state law committed by UC… huffingtonpost.com
Local 355 students awarded James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarships Jan. 10, 2017 | Ryan Power, left, the oldest son of George Power (UPS/Hunt Valley), and Marella Schammel, right, daughter of William Schammel (UPS/Hunt Valley) each received $1,000 scholarships for the 2016-2017 academic year from the Teamsters Union’s annual national scholarship program. The James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in 1999 to honor the memory of former Teamster General President James R. Hoffa. The Fund provides scholarships to the child or dependent of a member of the Teamsters. Last year, the Fund awarded $1,200,000 in scholarships. A graduate of Calvert Hall College High School, Towson, Md., Ryan is attending Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore City. His course of study is... Continued here
Teamsters, carhaul employer group negotiations begin Jan. 11, 2017 | Following the membership vote to not ratify a new National Agreement and Central/Southern Supplement in September 2016, the carhaul employers group asked the Teamsters National Automobile Transporters Industry Negotiating Committee (TNATINC) to return to the bargaining table. Contract negotiations began in Detroit yesterday… teamster.org
355 Update: New contract with Rezenberger/Hallcon; successor contract ok’d at Penn Fibre Jan. 11, 2017 | Locals 355 and 453 reached a first tentative agreement with Rezenberger/Hallcon, covering 67 drivers who approved the TA in November. The company is a ground transportation service for CSX in Cumberland and Baltimore MD, and Washington, DC. Penn Fibre members overwhelmingly ratified in December a three-year contract that provides… Continued
Notice to members: Amports East is hiring Jan. 18, 2017 | Amports will hire up to fifteen new employees in the following classifications: shuttle drivers, railroad vehicle unloaders, and inspectors. Located in the Fairfield area of Baltimore, Amports East is one of the largest vehicle processing company (automobile import and export) in the United States. Applications are being accepted now. Download details here.
In appreciation, retirees club presents Local 355 with very large gift Jan. 20, 2017 | The Local 355 Association of Retired Members (A.R.M.) made a surprise presentation of a state-of-the-art television to the union during its monthly meeting Thursday at the Baltimore hall. The Vizio SmartCast E-Series 70” Class Ultra HD Home Theater Display will replace the rarely-used, dated TV currently in the members meeting hall. “Our Retiree Bowling League wanted to do something special to show our sincere appreciation for everything Local 355 does for us,” said Bob Eney, president of the club. “It really is amazing,” Secretary-Treasurer Dave White said about the generous gift. “These guys take nothing for granted here; they are always giving back. We’ve worked with them for years and they were like part of the family. That connection continues today.” White said he looks forward to putting the high-tech TV to good use. “The IBT produces excellent training and organizing videos that we’ll now be able to share with our members and stewards.” Pictured, left to right: A.R.M. Trustee Ray Bularz (UPS); Mike Krainer, retired Local 355 trustee, (Sysco); A.R.M. Secretary Mike Brett (UPS); Dave White; A.R.M. President Bob Eney (UPS); A.R.M. Vice President Joe Reichert (Sysco).
Teamsters, carhaul employer group reach tentative agreement Jan. 24, 2017 | A tentative agreement (TA) reached with the National Automobile Transporters Labor Division (NATLD) has been unanimously endorsed by the Teamsters National Automobile Transporters Industry Negotiating Committee (TNATINC). The committee believes the TA meets the goals of the carhaul members and provides for their long-term job security while protecting members’ benefits and standard of living. Details of the tentative agreement will be announced when leaders from local unions meet to review the proposal in about two weeks, at a date to be determined. Stay tuned.
Teamsters add gender identity to non-discrimination policy Jan. 27, 2017 | The IBT instructed its locals across the United Stated to update their bylaws this year, declaring that members can no longer discriminate against a fellow worker based on mental disability or gender identity. Members of the union took an oath under the old laws that had them swear to not “discriminate against a fellow worker on account of race, color, religion, sex, age, physical ability, national origin or sexual orientation.” The addendum to the bylaws, which went into effect on January 1, now says that workers can’t discriminate against “any other legally protected group” either. .. newnownext.com
President Hoffa interview with Fox News host Neil Cavuto* Jan. 27, 2017 | On Wednesday, Hoffa discussed jobs, trade, infrastructure investment and minimum wage increases on Fox News. Watch the interview here. * On Friday, Jan. 28th, Hoffa appeared on CNBC's Closing Bell
Local Union leaders to review tentative agreement February 16 Jan. 31, 2017 | Leaders of local unions that represent Teamster carhaul members will meet on Thursday, Feb. 16 in Detroit to review the TA and supplements. If they agree to endorse the TA and supplements, it will go to carhaul members for a ratification vote. Stay tuned for here for updates.
Continued from Main Page | ... Biology, but at the time of our interview, he had not yet decided on a particular area of focus. Ryan always been interested in biology, he said, but greater interest sparked when, during his senior year, he researched and authored a 20-page paper on the psychobiology of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – the biology of trauma and the psychology of the resulting injury. Physiology is also of interest, and he may combine majors, he said.
Marella Schammel graduated from Dulaney High School, Timonium, Baltimore County, Md., last May and is enrolled in Towson University in search of a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry, and is particularly interested in forensic chemistry. (Ever watch CSI? That's it, she said with a huge smile.) It wasn’t until her sophomore year that she started even thinking about what interested her, she said. She took AP Physics and AP Chemistry in her junior and senior years and loved it. Atoms are fascinating, for they determine whether a table is a table and not a phone, she explained. Marella, whose mother is a Methodist pastor, is active in volunteering for her church. She also was secretary of the National English Honor Society and danced for 12 years. She is a member of the Optimism Club of Jacksonville, Md. Marella also received a UPS-sponsored Casey Scholarship, among others.
“I’ve been a UPS Teamster for 15 years,” said her dad, Bill. “I’d never been in a union before, and Teamster membership definitely has provided good security for my family and me.”
“On behalf of the members and staff of Local 355, we congratulate Marella and Ryan and wish them great success in their chosen fields,” President Denis Taylor said. “Local 355 has been a participant in the Fund since its beginning. The Scholarship Fund has provided great educational opportunities for Teamster kids, providing millions in scholarships over the years. These students benefit from your generosity – every little bit makes a difference. Remember, they are our future.”
Academic Scholarship applications for the 2017-2018 year are currently being accepted. New this year, the Fund also offers Training and Vocational Programs Scholarships. Eligibility requirements and applications for both are available at the Local Union offices. They are also available for download here.
Deadline for application submission is March 31, 2017, at 5 p.m.
Teamsters Union disappointed in latest pipeline decision Dec. 5, 2016 | The Teamsters Union is disappointed in a decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to not grant an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline. The decision blocks two years of review, approvals by four states and approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and two federal courts upholding the project. The decision will have a direct and negative impact on the hardworking men and women – including Teamsters and other union members – who have invested their lives in building the infrastructure that makes this country run… teamster.org.
Applications now being accepted for the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Dec. 7, 2016 | The James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund is now accepting applications for scholarship awards. The Fund is committed to distributing $1.4 million in 2017. Along with the Academic Scholarship, the Fund has initiated a Training and Vocational Programs scholarship. The training and vocational programs must be related to work in a Teamster-represented industry, class or craft. The deadline for receipt of completed materials is March 31, 2017. Materials will be sent to the Local Union office, but if you would like additional information and application materials for downloading, click the scholarship link in the right column. Hoffa scholarships were awarded to two students of Local 355 members in 2016; read their stories in our up-coming Winter newsletter.
Alliance for Retired Americans launch campaign to protect Medicare from privatization Dec. 7, 2016 | Alarmed by the House Congressional Leadership’s plans to dismantle Medicare, the Alliance for Retired Americans today kicked off a grass roots campaign to block any attempts to cut or convert guaranteed, earned health benefits into a voucher or privatized scheme. Continue reading…
Pursuing different results to solve income equality Dec. 9, 2016 | Income equality continues to be a significant issue, even with the economic improvement that has occurred over the last few years. But many in the private sector still don’t seem to get it. Take XPO Logistics [Con-way], for example. The Teamsters joined with labor leaders this week representing 15 European unions who represent XPO to challenge a plan that could give XPO CEO Bradley Jacobs a windfall stock worth $110 million. “We condemn this plan that could lavish Jacobs and other executives at XPO with massive stock awards that would be on the backs of workers in the United States and Europe,” Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said… teamster.org
‘Tis the season for labor organizing Dec. 15, 2016 | Efforts to unionize port truck drivers around the country have been met with resistance from private trucking companies, sometimes with the support of public servants. Last June, local police ran a group of organizers out of Port Wentworth for handing out leaflets outside of XPO Cartage, a subsidiary of XPO Logistics, the port’s largest trucking company with over 150 contract drivers. Three members of Teamsters Local 728 were charged with impeding traffic in a public roadway, though the incident took place on a dead end street… connectsavannah.com
Teamster retirees’ annual Christmas party a festive event Dec. 16, 2016 | More than 240 Local 355 retirees and guests, decked out in their best and brightest holiday attire, attended yesterday’s annual retirees’ Christmas party at the UAW Hall in East Baltimore, a perfect venue for Teamster events. Great food, cake wheels, a 50/50 raffles (congratulations, George Booker!) and music provided by DJ Rod Clark contributed to the festivities. A.R.M. President Bob Eney said the Local 355 Association of Retired Members (A.R.M.) has about 585 members and continues to grow. “We are one of the largest retiree organization in the Teamsters Union,” Eney explained. Continued…Right: Tom Madkins/UPS retired
Merry Christmas! Dec. 23, 2016 | Teamster 355 will resume posting on Wednesday, January 3, 2017. Have a safe and happy holiday season.
Gannett ends its attempt to buy (Tribune Publisher) Tronc Nov. 1, 2016 | Gannett Co. has dropped its attempt to buy Tronc, Inc., ending a dramatic months-long pursuit by Gannett to extend its reach as the nation’s largest newspaper publisher amid a rocky revenue environment. The companies in private discussions had recently agreed on a purchase price of $18.75 a share in cash, according to people familiar with the matter…Tronc said the deal fell apart when Gannett couldn’t line up financing… wsj.com
Your vote is your voice in the election of Teamster top officials Nov. 10, 2016 | The secret ballot must be returned to a post office box controlled by the OES by 9am Monday, Nov. 14th. The count is scheduled to start Monday, Nov. 14th.
IBT vote count is underway Nov. 17, 2016 | The ballots are in and the count began on Monday. To get the latest on the vote results, click here.
Hoffa, Hall re-elected to five-year term to lead union; Local 355 President Denis Taylor elected International Trustee Nov. 21, 2016 | Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa, General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall, International Vice Presidents At-Large, International Trustees and International Vice Presidents in the Eastern, Southern and Central Regions were elected Friday night in the 2016 Election of International Union Officers, according to unofficial results provided by the Office of the Election Supervisor. “This was a hard-fought campaign and a historically close election,” Hoffa said. “Though we have many challenges before us, now is the time to join together as brothers and sisters and stand strong against those who would destroy the labor movement and deny worker’s the gains that have struggled to achieve. We will continue to lead the fight to organize the unorganized, ensure strong health care, good wages, a secure retirement and holding employers and politicians accountable.” Continue reading...(Pictured: Denis Taylor, one of three IBT International Trustees)
Judge: Sysco (Indianapolis) must face Teamster suit over retirement benefits Nov. 28, 2016 | …A local division of foodservice-supply Giant Sysco Systems must face a lawsuit from its Teamsters workers who say the company reneged on retirement benefits negotiated through collective bargaining. U.S. District Judge William T. Lawrence on Tuesday denied Sysco Indianapolis LLC’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brough by Teamsters Union Local 135. Union members sued Sysco over an early-retirement incentive negotiated in a contract that took effect in March 2013… theindianalawyer.com
Trucking, auto industries praise Elaine Chao transportation secretary nomination Nov. 30, 2016 | … The Teamsters told Trucks.com they are not commenting on Trump’s proposed policies and cabinet nominations. But the union was critical of Chao when she was labor secretary. James P. Hoffa, the Teamsters’ president, said she was pushing many anti-union proposals and was against a higher minimum wage…
Drivers, warehouse workers at XPO Logistics are choosing Teamster representation
Oct. 13, 2016 | Workers across the country are standing shoulder-to-shoulder to fight for fairness and respect at one of the world's largest transportation and logistics companies.
Shop stewards attend Local 355’s biennial training seminar
Oct. 29, 2016
... Members who assumed the steward role within the past two years underwent training on the grievance process, specifically how to efficiently handle grievances. Under the direction of Professor David Nack of the School for Workers, University of Wisconsin, new stewards received instruction in areas such as the various types of grievances, the principles of Just Cause, the important role of unions in our society, and strategies for union action, among other grievance-related subjects.
Stewards who completed grievance training in previous years received instruction on negotiating contracts. Richard Lipsitz of the IBT Training & Development Department and Cornell University Buffalo Labor Studies provided stewards with best practices, guidance, and information, along with helpful tools sure to assist them in becoming an effective member of their bargaining committee.
Veteran stewards attended classes designed to enhance understanding of complicated issues about 401(k) pensions; antidiscrimination and anti-harassment law, including disparate treatment and hostile work environments, failure to make accommodation under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), and sex discrimination under the Equal Pay Act. Members also received useful tips on handling discrimination and harassment in their workplace. Teamster historian, Karin Jones from the IBT Training and Development Dept., provided stewards with the fascinating history of our union. Backed up with a slide show containing hundreds of old Teamster photos dating back to the early 1900s, Jones entertained and informed stewards about the impressive and often ground-breaking history of the Teamsters Union. (Did you know our union negotiated the first color-blind contract in the country?)
Even the most senior steward occasionally needs a refresher on the union’s basic principles and rules governing the grievance process. In “Back to Basics,” led by Local 355 President Denis Taylor and Secretary-Treasurer Dave White, stewards got plain-speaking reminders about the importance of the initial first steps of the grievance: learn enough about the grievance to understand the problem and seek a resolution of the dispute before filing. Filling out the three-part grievance form completely and good note-taking can ensure a successful outcome in a complicated dispute. Formal grievances are always based on a violation of the collective bargaining agreement. “Back to Basics” gave veteran stewards a unique opportunity to share with each other their experiences and challenges with the grievance process.
The steward seminar has instructed Local 355 shop stewards since its first training session in 1996. Since then, hundreds of hard-working men and women committed to enforcement of a Teamster contract have gone on to effectively represent and protect their members, thus improving conditions in their workplace. Stewards are the Union’s eyes and ears on the shop floor. Without their dedicated commitment, our members could not benefit from the union’s strong, active presence in the workplace.
Stewards by company (Note: Sysco stewards photo – Raymond Dix, Rodney Weigman, Chris Greene, Troy Franklin, and Rick Kilgore – to come )
Local 355 Executive Board: (L-R) President Denis Taylor, Trustee Tim Marvel, Secretary-Treasurer Dave White, Trustee Janet Genovesse, Trustee Pete Manus, Vice President Bill Alexander, Recording Secretary Mark Garey.
Union continues its fight for justice and a fair agreement with US Foods Sept. 4, 2016|The picket lines are thinner these days only because many of our former US Foods drivers and mechanics have been forced to find employment elsewhere since the company closed down the facility and moved the work to non-union workers at non-union a non-union plant in Virginia. But the unfair labor practices strike against the giant food distributor US Foods continues while Local and National Union leaders push for an acceptable agreement with the company. “I worked for this company for 32 years and was planning to retire October 1,” Brother Dave Trasko told us as he walked the line Thursday, August 18, with Brothers Jim Ramper and Larry Blackman. “My good union wages at this company provided a good life for me and my family: A nice home, two cars, and a good lifestyle. I was a happy camper. Doesn’t everyone who works hard every single day want that?” Teamsters worked hard for their wages and benefits at US Foods because, as Trasko described it, "ours was an extremely physical job. But we didn’t realize how good we had it until our negotiations battle began with the ‘new’ [Wall Street] owner. So then this happened.” (Watch this space for more about Brothers Rampert and Blackman.) Update: In March the Local filed three unfair labor practice (ULP) charges against the company. One was upheld by the regional NLRB, the other two are on appeal to the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C. Don’t miss our General Membership Meeting Sunday, Sept. 11, where you can learn more about the latest developments in the US Foods strike, and other important Local Union issues. Bring a coworker!
Teamsters call for government intervention in LA ports crisis Sept. 6, 2016|The bankruptcy of Hanjin, a major Korean shipper, is causing chaos at the Port of Los Angeles with dozens of ships and a half million cargo containers stranded at sea in the Port of Los Angeles. The livelihoods of many workers, from ship crews to workers who handle the cargo at the dock, are threatened. Members of Congress, the Chair of the Federal Maritime Commission and labor leaders are calling on government action in the cargo delivery crisis… uslabornews.com
Hoffa: Don't let GOP curb new pro-worker rules Sept. 7, 2016|…The Teamsters have been out front on these issue, even passing a resolution of support during its 29th International Convention in June. Why? Because the union believes in the fundamental principle that employers who receive federal taxpayers' money should comply with federal labor law. That means rejecting wage theft, safety violations and discrimination on the job… teamster.org
Picket line suspended for Sunday's membership meeting Sept. 9, 2016|Please note that our US Foods strike line will be suspended for the day on Sunday so members can attend our monthly General Membership Meetings in Baltimore and Salisbury. The line will resume Monday morning. Check in with your business agent for additional information.
This week is National Truck Driver Appreciation Week Sept. 13, 2016|This is the time to remind everyone of the sacrifices and skills of professional truck drivers who keep America moving. Teamsters are celebrating the hard work of the men and women behind the wheel who labor on our nation's roads and highways. The IBT is asking Teamster truck drivers to send in photos of you and your truck! Post them at www.facebook.com/Teamsters. Don't forget to say what company and Teamster local you're with. Later this week all our photos will be presented in a video on teamster.org and on the Teamster Facebook timeline. Ready? GO!
Today is #StopTPP call-in day: Make the call against this job-killing trade deal Sept. 14, 2016|We urge all Teamsters to join in this action and flood Congress's phone lines today with calls to every lawmaker asking them to pledge their opposition to the TPP. The TransPacific Partnership is a 12-nation corporate power grab that will ship thousands of jobs overseas, lower wages in the U.S. and undermine laws that protect workers and the environment. Please call your senators and representatives now at 844-394-8431 – tell them to commit to standing firm against the TPP.
Teamster carhaul members reject national contract; Eastern supplement is approved Sept. 15, 2016|Teamster carhaul members have rejected a national contract and the Central-Southern supplement, but have approved the Eastern and Western supplements. "In light of the members voting no on the national contract and Central-Southern Supplement, we will reconvene our national negotiating committee next week and determine the next steps," said Kevin Moore, Director of the Teamsters Carhaul Division. "At the present time, the union is not calling for any job action against any employer but will evaluate all its options over the next several days." Vote tallies here.
Self-driving trucks threaten one of America's top blue-collar jobs Sept. 26, 2016|…Carmaking giants and ride-sharing upstarts racing to put autonomous vehicles on the road are dead set on replacing drivers, and that includes truckers. Trucks without human hands at the wheel could be on American roads within a decade, say analysts and industry executives…latimes.com General President Jim Hoffa: "You really want a giant 14-wheeler remotely? C'mon. It's not going to happen…"
Motorcycle Run has been cancelled Sept. 26, 2016|Seems our Local's motorcycle enthusiasts have busy schedules given the low number of signups for this year's bike run, scheduled for October 1st. So we've pulled the plug on it but we'll look forward to a good run with high participation next year. Save the date: June 17, 2017.
Heavy rains force cancellation of our fall golf event Sept. 29, 2016|Our fall golf outing scheduled for this coming Saturday, Oct. 1st, is cancelled due to the weather-related closure of the golf course scheduled to host the event. The Eisenhower Golf Course in Crownsville, Md., called this morning to advise us that three days of heavy rains will force closure of the course. Watch this space for an announcement of our 2017 Spring Golf Event. We will process registration fee refunds to participants who have submitted payment.
Teamster women take over Hollywood... Sept. 28, 2016|Hundreds of Teamster women marched through the streets of Hollywood, California on Friday, Sept. 23, in support of University of California (UC) Teamsters [Local 2010], and their fight for better wages. Teamsters attending the union’s annual women’s conference joined the rally where they called on the UC system to deliver a fair contract… peoplesworld.org
National conference call for carhaul Teamsters Aug. 2, 2016|Carhaul members are urged to take part in a national conference call to learn more about the tentative national contract and regional supplements. To join the call, click here for details.
2016 Steward Training Seminar registration deadline is Sept. 14th Aug. 2, 2016|Shop stewards: By now you should have received information regarding Local 355's Shop Steward Training Seminar scheduled for October 19th through October 23rd, including an outline of events, registration information and the registration form that must be returned by September 14th. The seminar is a great way to take advantage of the expertise and knowledge of veteran stewards and union instructors. Please complete the registration as soon as possible, enclose it in the postage-paid envelope and drop it in the mail. Questions? Call us at the Local Union office: 410-566-5700
Members are still standing strong as strike nears its fourth month Aug. 4, 2016|Today marks the 100th day that our brothers and sisters have been out on an unfair labor practices strike that began at 2 pm on April 27, 2016. Local 355 charged the company with bad-faith bargaining over its decision to close its only Maryland distribution center and move operations to non-union centers in Virginia. (Recap here.) Members employed as drivers, loaders and mechanics have manned the picket lines at the facility in Severn day and night since. They've distributed informational fliers to US Foods customers, moved the strike line to other US Foods facilities across the country, and supported each other in any way they could. Some have had to move on to other jobs, but they faithfully return to the picket line as often as they can in support of the cause. "Come back next month too. We'll still be here if we have to be here," Dave Moore said. Charlie Grams suggested with a chuckle that we get winter clothes ready. "We thought we might be ready to close this up two weeks ago, but nothing came of it," said Jay Treuth. "If we have to be here 'til Christmas, we'll be here 'til Christmas." President Denis Taylor said he hopes to reach an agreement that will provide appropriate compensation to our US Foods members for the loss of their jobs when the food distributor moved their work to an out-of-state, non-union facility. The company closed the center June 10, 2016.
Leaders of carhaul local unions overwhelmingly endorse tentative agreement Aug. 5, 2016|The tentative agreement has been unanimously endorsed by the Teamsters National Automobile Transporters Industry Negotiating Committee (TNATINC). It is retroactive to September 1, 2015 and runs 60 months, until August 31, 2020. Ballots are scheduled to be mailed out to members on or about August 22 and tentatively scheduled to be counted on September 15. This schedule will allow local unions enough time to conduct informational meetings. Details here.
National Dems back $15 min. wage. Baltimore Dems, not so much Aug. 12, 2016|The bill is in real danger of failing, Councilman Robert Curran told In These Times, as advocates for the legislation have been unable so far to line up the required eight votes for final passage.
Combating 'drowsy driving' requires keeping trucker standards Aug. 12, 2016|The Teamsters have been leaders in standing up for proper rest breaks for truck drivers. After all, union drivers know all-to-well what can happen when forced to work too many hours on the road. But now a new report shows the true dangers that come from "drowsy driving." teamster.org
Baltimore's Democratic City Council kills $15 minimum wage bill, for now Aug. 17, 2016|The Baltimore City Council derailed a proposed increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour Monday, highlighting the ambivalence among many Democratic Party leaders over whether to support the national Fight for $15 movement. Pro-business members on the all-Democrat 15-member council were able to hold together an alliance against the higher minimum wage and voted 8-6 to return the proposed legislation to committee for revision. The maneuver appears to have effectively killed the bill, at least for this year. inthesetimes.com
Trucker driver job-related injuries in overdrive Aug. 18, 2016|When you think of dangerous jobs, what comes to your mind? Police officers, firefighters and construction workers might top the list for most people. Tractor-trailer truck drivers probably don't come to mind, but Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that driving a truck is risky in ways you might not expect… blog.dol.gov
Watch last week's Teamster Leadership Debate Aug. 30, 2016|Fred Zuckerman and Ken Hall, candidates for Teamster top offices, participated in a debate last Thursday at the National Press Club. c-span.org
Teamsters Union endorses Hillary Clinton for President Aug. 30, 2016|The Teamsters General Executive Board last week unanimously voted to endorse the former senator and secretary of state. "We are proud to endorse Hillary Clinton for President of the United States," said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. "She is the right candidate for the middle class and working men and women across the country. She will stand strong for the workers of America by fighting to reject job-killing trade deals, enforcing labor laws and working to provide retirement security for millions of people who have sacrificed so much for the chance to retire with dignity…" teamster.org
You won’t hear opponents admit it, but unions are popular and have been for a while. Last year Gallup found that 58 percent of Americans approved of unions. Since Gallup first asked people about their support for unions in 1936, approval dipped below 50 percent just once — when it dropped to 48 percent at the height of the Great Recession in 2009.
Anti-union advocates prefer to focus on the long-term decline of union membership in the United States, which can suggest that unions are unnecessary or in an inevitable decline. It is true that union density has shrunk from its peak of 35.4 percent of the workforce in 1945 to 11.1 percent in 2015. But the erosion in union membership is not a natural, pre-ordained outcome — the reality is that intentional policy choices significantly contributed to fewer people becoming union members.
Benign market forces alone do not explain the continual loss of union membership in the midst of broad support. Take the difference in union density in Canada and the United States: Union membership trends in these similar economies closely tracked each other until the late 1960s and early 1970s. If globalization alone were the main driver of declining union membership, we could expect the countries to have comparable unionization rates. Instead, Canada — which affords real protections for people coming together as a union — has more than twice the percentage of people in unions as the United States.
Our country has allowed a broken and outdated labor law to remain in place for too long. Unlike other workplace laws, the National Labor Relations Act lacks meaningful financial penalties for employer wrongdoing, creating an economic incentive for employers to violate the law. Employers routinely influence union elections in their favor through intimidating and coercive tactics. In doing so, employers both regularly break the letter and spirit of the law, often aided by anti-union consultants and lawyers who are paid handsomely to provide advice on how to get away with manipulating the system. The fact is that current law does not offer working people a level playing field, advantaging chief executives set on denying their employees’ right to organize and negotiate together.
Despite the challenges, people continue to want to come together to have a say in their working lives. The last year saw a “wave” of digital newsroom staff joining in union. Nine thousand American Airlines passenger service agents won their union election in late 2014, doing so in the historically anti-union South. From 2000-2010, the National Labor Relations Board received nearly 3,000 requests for union elections from nursing home and non-acute care employees alone.
Americans are choosing to speak up together at work because they recognize that unions serve as a needed check and balance on corporate power. When working people can negotiate a fair return on their work, they earn higher wages and better benefits. The activism of individuals in unions has a ripple effect across communities. Non-union employees in similar industries and nearby locations generally see their working standards improve. It’s no surprise, then, that the decrease in unions has contributed to the increase in income inequality.
People also know that joining together is the only effective rampart against the flood of money in a post-Citizens United world that promotes the agenda of the wealthy few. Unions have proven to be the singular political force that can speak up for the betterment of everyday people, regularly advocating for expanded access to affordable health care, improved class sizes in our schools, investments in infrastructure, the protection of Social Security and Medicare, safer patient care and a fairer tax code.
Emerging ideas and arguments behind the news.
Unions of working people led the national conversation about raising the minimum wage, making wage stagnation and inequality a national priority. Unions even played a key role in defending the Obama administration’s update to our overtime rules from political attacks. The new rule will significantly increase the number of people who qualify for overtime protections by raising the annual salary threshold from $23,660 to $47,476, improving the lives of supervisors as much, if not more so, than people who are or could potentially be union members.
The reason for the difference between the high numbers of support for unions and the number of actual union members is not so paradoxical. We can narrow the gap between these two statistics by modernizing our labor law, establishing real financial penalties to end employer retaliation and ensuring every person’s workplace rights are protected. Doing so will give Americans a fair shot at coming together to negotiate for a better life for themselves and their families.
Teamster convention approves slate of resolutions on final day July 6, 2016|Attendees at our union's 29th annual convention approved resolutions that clarify the union's policy stances on everything from airline organizing to worker misclassification. A full slate of resolutions can be read here. (Note: The convention is the highest governing body of the union, subject to the right of referendum by the membership. The General Executive Board has the authority to carry out the policies and directives approved by convention action.)
Taylor appointed International Trustee to the Teamsters General Executive Board July 6, 2016|On Friday, June 24, 2016, General President Jim Hoffa appointed President Denis Taylor to serve as a International Trustee on the Union's General Executive Board. One of three trustees, Taylor will serve the remainder of Trustee Greg Floyd's (Local 237, NYC) term. He was subsequently nominated for the position during the convention's nominations process held June 28. The Teamsters Union will hold International officer elections in October. (Pictured: President Taylor took the oath of office, administered by General President Hoffa and witnessed by General Secretary Ken Hall.)
'David's Hates Brides:' Teamsters put pressure on U.S. Foods' sister company July 7, 2016|With the assistance of one very angry bride, it seems a recent Teamster action that targeted a suburban Buffalo David's Bridal – one of many such actions taken by the Union across the country, hit a nerve late last week and raised the ire of an off-duty store manager who drove to the scene "dressed for the beach" with two children in tow to personally confront the Unionists who were holding an informational hand-billing event outside the retailer… Continued
Teamsters increase strike benefits July 13, 2016|Strike benefit increases approved by delegates at the 29th International Convention become effective on July 1, 2016. Under the new constitutional provisions, which were unanimously approved by delegates on June 30, 2016, the changes raise strike benefits, increase minimum benefits and allow for benefits to begin earlier than in the past… teamster.org
Give blood, save a life at Local 570's blood drive, July 17 July 13, 2016|Our brothers and sisters over at Local 570 are sponsoring an American Red Cross blood drive Sunday, July 17th, 10 am to 3:30 pm at their union hall – 6910 Eastern Ave., Baltimore, MD 21224. Let's help out and do our part to prevent a summer shortage. To schedule your life-saving donation, visit redcross.org and enter sponsor code: teamsterblood. (Additional details here.) See you there!
Hundreds of members honor striking Maryland workers' picket line July 18, 2016|…Teamsters from the US Foods Severn location extended picket lines to Buffalo, N.Y. last Friday in the early morning hours, after extending lines to Streator, Ill. late last week. Drivers and warehouse workers represented by Local 264 in Buffalo, and drivers and warehouse workers represented by Local 722 in Streator honored the pickets in solidarity with their Severn brothers and sisters. In all, more than 200 workers refused to cross… teamster.org
Code red heat warning in Baltimore July 25, 2016|The Baltimore health commissioner is urging residents to prepare for 100-degree heat on Monday that could pose dangers for the young and elderly. The temperature is forecast to reach as high as 100 degrees, but it could feel as hot as 109 with humidity and wind factored in, according to the National Weather Service… baltimoresun.com Read the Teamster fact sheet on heat stress.
Mechanics at Piedmont Airlines Ratify Contract July 25, 2016|(Click image to enlarge.) Approximately 300 Piedmont Airlines mechanics from Teamsters Locals 210, 355 and 776 have voted overwhelmingly to ratify a five-year contract with the carrier. More than 83 percent of voting mechanics cast their ballots in favor of the agreement. The agreement was reached May 26 and contains a 7 percent signing bonus and a 13 percent wage increase over the life of the agreement. Job security and furlough language are also vastly improved… teamster.org Photo: Second from left, shop steward Corey Lopatofsky, and far right, Local 355 Business Agent John Caparatta and Stephen Kennedy, shop steward and Piedmont Airlines dispatcher.
Tentative agreement reached with carhaul employer group July 27, 2016|After long and difficult negotiations, the Teamsters National Automobile Transporters Industry Negotiating Committee (TNATINC) has reached a tentative national Carhaul agreement with the National Automobile Transporters Labor Division (NATLD), the multi-employer collective bargaining association representing the unionized sector of the vehicle transport and logistics industry. The National Union Bargaining Committee has fully endorsed this new tentative settlement and believes it meets the goals of the carhaul membership and provides for their long-term job security. Details of the tentative agreement will be announced when leaders from local unions meet to review the proposal on August 4. Stay tuned here.
Teamsters take their fight for justice to David's Bridal customers
June 7, 2016 | Several Teamsters local unions last weekend alerted David's Bridal about the company's unsustainable debt and terrible customer service record. US Foods is co-owned by Wall Street firm CD&R, a private equity company that also owns David's Bridal, the wedding dress/wedding services retail chain.
Congratulations to Ed Sellers, Mike Brian, and Al Debelius (New Penn) for their first place win in the Local's bi-annual golf event held Saturday, June 11th, at the Hog Neck Golf Course in Easton, Md.
Teams teed off at 8:30 a.m. in a modified shotgun start format, finishing the 18-hole course at the same time in just under five hours. The weather, though a little windy, cooperated with the golfers; warm sun and cool beverages made for a perfect day on the course. Libations and lunch under the club's shaded outdoor pavilion topped off the day.
Corona, California US Foods Teamsters launch unfair labor strike May 2, 2016|Yesterday, Teamsters who drive for US Foods in Corona began a ULP strike to protest allegations that the foodservice giant violated federal law that protects workers rights. Almost immediately, Corona workers extended their picket line to 10 other US Foods distribution centers and resident yards in Southern California and Phoenix, Arizona, where 750 Teamsters have ceased work to honor the picket lines… In all, more than 800 Teamsters employed by US Foods are currently not working because of the strike and extensions... teamster.org
Stand with CWA/IBEW strikers at Verizon May 5, 2016|On April 13, 2016, General President Jim Hoffa declared that the Teamsters stand united with the CWA and the IBEW’s strike against Verizon. Today he urges Teamster Local Unions and members to support our union brothers and sisters at Verizon. “It’s more important now than ever to show Teamster solidarity in standing up to corporate greed. We have our own battles with corporate giants like US Foods where multiple Teamster Local Unions are on Unfair Labor Practice strikes, and at a Supervalu-owned distributor that services Kroger stores in Colorado. By having a strong Teamster presence supporting CWA and IBEW and helping those unions win their battles, we will help our union win current and future battles against these corporate giants.” Sign the petition to “Stand with Striking Workers.”
US Foods Teamsters in Ohio honoring Baltimore picket line May 5, 2016| Locals 355 and 570 striking USF members have extended their picket line to US Foods in Twinsburg, Ohio (Cleveland). Our US Foods brothers from Local 507 are all honoring the picket line. (Warehouse workers at US Foods in Corona, CA are now honoring the drivers' picket line. See post below.)
Local news station ABC Channel 2 report on US Foods ULP strike May 9, 2016|"... they're trying to take these Maryland jobs, move them to Virginia, a non-union facility and then shuffle the trucks back up here to Baltimore," said Jim Deene, a local 355 teamster representative for the truck drivers. "Their package is worth about $32 an hour total with health and welfare and pension and they want to take it down to about $11 an hour..." See the news video at abc2new.com
US Foods Teamsters in New York honoring Baltimore picket line May 9, 2016| Locals 355 and 570 extend their picket line to Buffalo, NY. US Foods workers, members of Local 264, began honoring our picket line Friday, May 6 at midnight. Thank you, Buffalo!
Locals 355 and 570 extend picket lines to Michigan and Illinois May 12, 2016|On Tuesday, picket lines were extended to a US Foods location in Wixcom, Mich., where unloaders and drivers, members of Local 337, are honoring our strike. And last night, some 40 Teamsters represented by Local 722 who work at the US Foods' distribution warehouse in Streator, Illinois, refused to cross the picket line in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Severn, Md. Thank you, Wixcom and Streator!#USFoodsStrike#Solidarity
Hoffa on the picket lines in support of USF members May 16, 2016|General President Hoffa this afternoon met and walked the picket line with more than 50 Local 355 and 570 members who have been on the picket line for almost three weeks (photos above). He pledged the full support of the International for the strikers. "US Foods is attempting to pull these workers out of the middle class," he said in a press release. "Slashing pay as well as health and retirement benefits is no way to ensure that this formerly Maryland-based company remains a good corporate partner in the Free State." Baltimore Sun story here.
Teamsters to host strike update conference call with US Foods investors May 24, 2016|The IBT will host a conference call tomorrow to discuss the immediate and long-term impact of recent strike at US Foods' distribution warehouses across the country and the ongoing strike in Severn. "We are stunned US Foods management is asking investors for money in the midst of repeated and sustained work actions against the company," stated Steve Vairma, director of the Teamsters' Warehouse Division. "We are now entering or fourth week of work actions and they will continue until management meets us at the table with real, substantive proposals to renew or resolve contract disputes at 18 Teamster represented US Foods warehouses."
Teamsters at largest USF facility in US honor our picket lines May 25, 2016|We extended our picket lines to Metro New York (Perth Amboy, NJ; photos above), the largest US Foods facility in the country. Three hundred and twenty warehouse workers and drivers from Locals 202 and 282 have the right to honor our picket lines by refusing to work. facebook.com/SyscoUSFworkersTeamster press release
US Foods members take their message to Camden Yards May 31, 2016|(click image to enlarge) Locals 355 and 570 distributed informational leaflets – Support our vets. Keep our jobs in Maryland – yesterday during the Memorial Day Baltimore Orioles game. "A war is being fought, and not between the Orioles and the Red Sox. It's being waged by US Foods on Baltimore workers." Local 570 warehouse worker, Chris Price, is a military veteran. "I fought for my country, and now I have to fight for my job from US Foods."
Nearly 200 Maryland Teamsters working for US Foods began an unfair labor practice strike today at the company’s Severn, Md. distribution center. Warehouse workers and drivers filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging that US Foods has been bargaining in bad faith about its decision to close the Severn facility in June.
US Foods is the nation’s second-largest foodservice provider and is owned by Wall Street private equity behemoths KKR and CD&R. The 200 drivers and warehouse workers at the Severn facility are represented by Teamsters Locals 355 and 570.
“US Foods is legally required to bargain with its workers’ representatives about a possible decision to close the distribution center. Instead, the company announced that it would not bargain with us until workers agreed to concessions that would slash their compensation by more than 50 percent,” said Teamsters Local 355 President Denis Taylor.
“US Foods also started bringing in independent contractors this past weekend to move inventory out of state. Workers took action and went on a ULP strike today because US Foods left them with no other choice,” Taylor said.
Taylor continued, “It is outrageous that a formerly Maryland-based company is threatening to outsource hundreds of good, family-supporting jobs in Maryland to a low-road non-union facility in Virginia. In addition to the loss of jobs, this would cause the state and localities to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax revenue annually. We are calling on US Foods to postpone the decision and sit down with workers, customers and public officials to find a way to keep good Maryland jobs in Maryland.”
Since its purchase by Wall Street private equity firms nine years ago, US Foods has engaged in a systematic campaign of harassment and intimidation against its workers, both union and non-union.
“US Foods is threatening to close our facility because we refuse to let the company slash our wages, abolish our retirement plan and destroy our quality, affordable family health care. They won’t even bargain with us about it in good faith,” said Joe Schwabline and Chris Price, driver and warehouse stewards at the Severn facility. “If we all stand together, we can stand up to US Foods and its Wall Street owners and stop their bullying.”
Steve Vairma, Teamsters International Vice President and Director of the Teamsters’ Warehouse Division, said, “US Foods has a pattern of being willing to destroy good jobs and local economies when it doesn’t get its way with workers. The company should be working with its employees and the community to come up with solutions to save these 200 jobs, instead of destroying the local consumer base that patronizes the local restaurants the company supplies.”
Vairma continued, “We are going to make sure local restaurants know exactly what US Foods is doing to the communities that patronize their businesses.”
US Foods earned $23 billion in annual revenue in 2014. The company provides 350,000 products and services to 200,000 customers including restaurants, hospitals, schools, military bases and hotels. US Foods has 25,000 employees and 75 distribution facilities. The Teamsters represent 4,100 US Foods employees, with 44 contracts at 29 facilities.
* Our striking brothers and sisters need your support on the picket line We invite all Teamsters Local 355 members to support our brothers and sisters fighting for their rights by walking the picket line along with them at the US Foods facility at 8024 Telegraph Rd., in Severn, Md. Bring your family and friends, your neighbors and coworkers. And if you can commit to some time on the line to give a US Foods Teamster a rest break, check in with a strike team leader to sign up for scheduled time slots. (Please note:Do not park at or near the facility. Parking is available at the Severn Run Bar & Grille at 7940 Telegraph Road. We have vans running regular pick-up and drop-off trips; wait times average between 5 and 10 minutes.)
Even if you can't donate time, contributions of food stuffs and goodies will be most appreciated. Members rotate shifts around the clock, seven days a week. We need them to keep up their energy! Thank you!
The Best Choice for Local Membership – Van Hollen for U.S. Senator: Local 355 endorsed Maryland Representative Chris Van Hollen at Sunday's general membership meeting in Baltimore. Van Hollen pledged his support for Local 355 and US Foods members. (L-R) are Anthony Thomas, Joe Bell, George Elion, Rep. Van Hollen, Doug Robertson, Dave Moore, Ernie Warfield, Anthony Perry, LU 355 organizer Ed Mulford, and Joe Schwabline. Recently, Van Hollen assisted in keeping Safeway jobs, held by Teamster Locals 639 and 730 members, in Maryland. The Maryland primary is April 26th. Vote early!
Most YRCW employees receive wage increases – first since 2013 Apr. 4, 2016|Teamster-represented workers at the YRC Worldwide, Inc. (YRCW) are receiving wage increases as part of the first negotiated increases to kick in under the Extension of the Restructuring Agreement. The increases apply to the majority of Teamster-represented employees. Non-CDL employees hired after February 2014 will not receive the increases. Most workers will receive increases of 34 cents an hour or .850 cents per mile, effective April 1, 2016. It is the first increase in wages for YRCW employees since 2013.
Contract vote Sunday, April 10th Apr. 6, 2016|A contract vote will be conducted Sunday, April 10, 2016 at 10 a.m. at the Dewey Lowman American Legion Post 109, 1610 Old Sulphur Spring Road, Halethorpe, Md. Please be present and on time.
Baltimore Sun: US Foods to close Severn distribution center Apr. 6, 2016|Updated 4/7| US Foods said Wednesday that it would close a distribution center in Anne Arundel County in June, eliminating the last local footprint of a once-mighty Maryland company, after failing to reach an agreement on concessions with unionized workers at the facility ... US Foods wanted $8 million in annual concessions from the unions, including switching from pensions to a 401(k) and an average pay cut of $5.75 an hour for warehouse workers — demands that were too large, said Denis Taylor, president of Teamsters Local 355, one of two Teamsters locals that together represent about 180 workers in Severn. "There's no possibility that we could meet the company's demands," he said. "It's just not possible." ... US Foods, like many large employers, is required by law to provide advance warning of major layoffs. The state has not received a formal notice, said a spokeswoman for the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. Continued
Sysco members approve new contract Apr. 10, 2016| After more than a year of negotiations and one rejection vote, Local 355 members who work for foodservice distributor Sysco Corporation in Jessup, Md., ratified today a three-year collective bargaining agreement that increases wages, provides a signing bonus, and preserves and increases pension benefits. The contract also provides job protections for drivers who are medically disqualified from driving the employer’s equipment by guaranteeing a one-time opportunity to transfer to a warehouse position. Members overwhelmingly rejected in January the company’s final offer that was put to a vote without the bargaining committee’s recommendation. Of the improvements to the new tentative agreement, President Denis Taylor said, “This agreement reflects every issue you asked us to address with the company.” After the vote, Taylor said the contract will be effective tonight once the company is informed of the vote. “I appreciate the support of the membership,” he said, adding “Of course, we’ll start the bargaining process all over again in about 13 months.”
Anne Arundel County members ratify new contracts Apr. 13, 2016 | Successor agreements for a one-year term are in place for county deputy sheriffs, fire battalion chiefs, park rangers, and correction programs specialists. The contracts do not provide COLA increases but do provide for merit increases or lump sum payments for all groups. The agreements maintain current health insurance cost sharing until June 30, 2017. The correction program specialists contract provides merit pay advancements. The deputy sheriffs contract eliminates clothing and weapons allowances but increases the minimum and maximum pay rates.; increases the number of unused annual leave days an employee can carry over into a calendar year; provides full regular pay during a period of temporary total disability; and provides interest in the sixth year of the DROP (retirement) program. Fire battalion chiefs are also entitled to receive fill regular pay during a period of temporary total disability, and are guaranteed adjustment to extra shift bonus pay which is based on maximum salary rate of Fire Captain. Park rangers will be allowed to take holiday leave on a different day provided it falls within the same week as the actual holiday.
Teamsters, carhaul employer group to meet April 25 to resume negotiations Apr. 18, 2016| The Teamsters National Automobile Transporters Industry Negotiating Committee (TNATINC) and the carhaul employer representatives have largely resolved most operational issues but are still negotiating over the hard-fought benefits our members have earned and deserve. Both sides wrapped up the most recent negotiations on April 12-13. The TNATINC will meet again with the employer group on Monday, April 25 to try to resolve the few but serious economic issues that remain in an effort to complete these long and difficult negotiations. In the meantime, the union asks that all carhaul members continue to work as usual and look for updates here.
Parties remain apart on critical economic issues Apr. 26, 2016| Despite lengthy and thorough negotiations, Teamsters negotiators and the carhaul group remain apart on the most critical economic issues to the members, including pay retroactivity and the appropriate level of wage increases necessary to retain drivers in a long-term agreement. More at teamster.org
US Foods Teamsters strike in Maryland Apr. 27, 2016|Update here On April 27, 2016 at 2pm, Teamster members of U.S. Foods in Severn, Md., walked off the job and commenced an unfair labor strike against the Company, according to a Teamsters Joint Council 62 press release issued today. The dispute centers around the Company's failure to bargain in good faith, its use of out-of-state and non-bargaining-unit employees to perform work normally performed by the Teamsters, and the Company's attempt to deal directly with its employees concerning effects bargaining. US Foods employs approximately 190 Teamsters in both the warehouse and delivery operations." Watch this space for updates on Local 355 drivers' and mechanics' fight for justice.
UPS workers protest against supervisor Mar. 3, 2016| UPS employees claim that they have been victims of racial slurs and discrimination at the company's warehouse in Riviera Beach, Fla. Warehouse workers and Teamsters protested Tuesday morning outside the facility. Employees said they've filed several grievances against their supervisor, but he was only moved to a different position. wpbf.com
Teamsters apply heat to US Foods after failed Sysco merger Mar. 4, 2016| US Foods is coming under fire from its biggest union as it tries to go public following last year’s failed merger with Sysco. The Teamsters is pushing back against the company’s plan to close a distribution center near Baltimore, while union members at other centers are working without a contract. nypost.com
The fight against the corporate agenda begins now Mar. 7, 2016| Corporate cronies for years have sought to do everything they can to push their platform to the public in hopes of getting more anti-worker policies passed at all levels of government. But a new report shows that effort might be succeeding… The agenda of the right wing includes takeovers of federal, state and local governments through extensive and permanent political organization down to the local precinct level and destruction of foes – notably unions – who oppose the corporate program. Its agenda includes everything from enacting so-called "right to work" laws to fighting school district taxes. It's because of such efforts that the Teamsters are debuting a new program for activists… teamster.org
The 2016 Local 355 Scholarship Award applications are now available Mar. 8, 2016|For the past 41 years, our Local has offered scholarships to the sons and daughters of Local 355 members who seek to fulfill their dreams through higher education. Applications are now available for our 42nd Annual Scholarships to be awarded during the May 2016 regular monthly membership meeting. Eligibility requirements: You must be in continuous good standing in our Local for 12 consecutive months before May 2016, and your student must be a graduating senior this year. No tests, no long application process! Easy, right? Download the application here. (Stepchildren, if living in the same household as you, are also eligible to apply.) Contact your steward for additional details.
Despite election losses, FedEx must negotiate with Teamsters Mar. 17, 2016|Despite losses in six elections at FedEx Freight locations in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, the Local 107 in Philadelphia and the Local 71 in Charlotte will be recognized — and the company must bargain with the unions at both terminals. According to industry publication Transport Topics, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that said FedEx Freight must recognize the unions. bizjournals.com
Contract negotiations resume April 12th Mar. 23, 2016|The Teamsters National Automobile Transporters Industry Negotiating Committee and the carhaul employer representatives will resume negotiations on Tuesday, April 12 and Wednesday, April 13 in Detroit. Stay tuned...
Supreme Court upholds Tyson Foods workers class-action suit Mar. 23, 2016|This Supreme Court case and the justices' ruling perfectly illustrates why the nomination of worker-friendly Supreme Court justices are so important to the future of working men and women in America. It is also a strong affirmation of workers' right to band together to sue their employer for its failure to follow federal law. (More than 3,000 employees sued Tyson Foods for not properly compensating them for hours worked.) The New York Times reports "The Supreme Court on Tuesday sided with thousands of workers at an Iowa pork processing plant who has sought to band together in a single lawsuit to recover overtime pay from Tyson Foods… The Tyson workers performed tasks that were 'grueling and dangerous' at a plant in Storm Lake, Iowa, Justice Kennedy wrote, slaughtering hogs, trimming the meat and preparing for shipment. They sought to be paid for the time they had spent putting on and taking off protective gear to prevent knife cuts…" nytimes.com
Why won’t these French company talk to U.S. workers? Mar. 28, 2016|...The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is calling on one of the largest providers of industrial and medical gases in the world to quit taking toxic anti-labor cues from stateside advisors — and immediately start talking with worker representatives. In a controversial bid that’s sparking anti-competitiveness concerns, Air Liquide is poised to purchase the biggest distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases here in the United States for a whopping $13.4 billion... Labor Press
Reminder: Hoffa scholarship application deadline is tomorrow, March 31 Mar. 30, 2016|Deadline for the application is Thursday, March 31, 2016. Applications must be received by this date or will not be considered. Email the application as one PDF to firstname.lastname@example.org OR it can be faxed to (202) 624-7457, or mailed to the following address: James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund 25 Louisiana Ave NW Washington, DC 20001. Finalist notification will be given by June 2016 via email. Awards will be disbursed to the student's school by August 2016.
Paid sick leave bill gains key approval in Maryland House Mar. 31, 2016|A bill that would require companies to offer sick leave to workers is advancing in the House of Delegates. The bill would require companies with at least 15 employees to allow workers to earn up to seven days of paid leave per year – a change from 10 employees in the original bill. Smaller companies would only be required to offer unpaid sick leave... Baltimore Sun
Members reject tentative agreement Feb. 1, 2016|The union negotiating committee will continue to negotiate on members' behalf Thursday, February 4th, and Friday, February 5th, after members overwhelmingly rejected Sysco's last, best and final offer at a meeting held Sunday in Baltimore. The tentative agreement was presented to members without the bargaining committee's recommendation. After the vote results had been announced, President Taylor described possible next steps and called on members' to tell the committee what it will take to get to an acceptable agreement. "In the meantime, continue to go to work and do your job," Taylor told the packed hall. "If you have a problem, let us know – don't do anything on your own." Sysco members with questions about the proposed contract and next steps should talk to their shop steward. Local 355 represents 263 Sysco drivers, jockeys and warehouse workers.
Bargaining committee member Eric McKee addressed the membership prior to the vote. (Other committee members include President Denis Taylor, Business Agents Dan Taylor and Jim Deene, shop stewards Chris Greene, Harry Goodall, Ricky Kilgore, Bob McCullough, Orlando Monroe, and Chris Whitcomb.)
Acme Paper co-founder, Edward Attman, passes Feb. 3, 2016|Edward Attman, a founder of the Acme Paper & Supply Co., which began in a rented garage and grew to be one of the nation's largest suppliers of paper products, died Tuesday of natural causes at Sinai Hospital, family members said. The longtime Pikesville resident was 95. Local 355 represents 115 drivers and warehouse workers employed with the company. The Baltimore Sun
Teamsters and others fight pension battle over multi-employer fund Feb. 4, 2016|A half mile from their union hall, over 220 retired members of Teamsters Local 346 gathered at Holy Family Catholic Church in Duluth's West End in late January to fight for their pensions. But this isn't just a Teamsters fight. They're one of the unions under the knife now, but 200 multi-employer pension funds covering 1.5 million American workers could be in jeopardy for a number of reasons. peoplesworld.org
US Foods forces Phoenix Teamsters to launch unfair labor practice strike Feb. 5, 2016|Teamsters Local 104 members with US Foods took up unfair labor practice pickets yesterday, charging the nation’s second-largest foodservice provider with bargaining in bad faith and discriminating against its union workforce as they attempt to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement. teamster.org
FAA reauthorization legislation would roll back truckers’ mandatory rest time Feb. 5, 2016|Click here to read President Hoffa’s response to a provision included in new FAA reauthorization that would curb states’ ability to require mandatory meal and rest breaks for truck drivers.
Call now and urge Congress to say NO to job-killing TPP Feb. 10, 2016|Last week, trade ministers gathered in New Zealand to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). But signing the TPP is not the same as it being ratified by Congress. This week, Teamsters from all of the country are flooding Congress with calls demanding they reject the massive trade deal. If we put enough pressure on our Congress members, the entire thing can still be derailed. That's where you come in: Please call the toll-free number 1-844-394-8431 now to join thousands of others urging Congress to oppose the TPP.
Convention delegates, alternates elected on white ballot Feb. 11, 2016|Nominations for seven delegates and seven alternates to the 2016 International Brotherhood of Teamsters Convention were held on February 7th at our monthly membership meetings in Baltimore and Salisbury. Because only seven candidates for each were nominated (thus the use of the term white ballot), all were declared duly elected by IBT Elections Officer Frank Sheridan, who oversaw the meeting. Kevin McDermott, past president of Teamsters Local 570 (Baltimore), conducted the nominations. Delegates:Denis Taylor, Dave White,Bill Alexander, Mark Garey, Janet Genovese, Tim Marvel, and Pete Manus. Alternates:John Moylan, Pat O'Toole, Joe Seda, Gil Howdershelt, Lance Miller, Chris Greene, Dwayne Miles.
The convention will convene June 27 - July 1, 2016, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The size of the membership determines the number of delegates and alternates to which the Local Union is entitled. Official announcement here.
Hall: WV legislature sides with corporate interests over workers Feb. 16, 2016|In statement released last Friday following the West Virginia Legislature’s override of the governor’s veto of so-called right-to-work legislation, Secretary-Treasurer and Local 175 President Ken Hall said, “This is a dark day for our state. Lawmakers have chosen to side with out-of-state billionaires over hard-working West Virginians. The Teamsters, together with other union members and working West Virginians, turned out to strongly oppose these bills because we understood passing them would do nothing to help workers earn a fair living…” teamster.org West Virginia becomes the 26th right-to-work (for less) state on July 1, 2016.
Negotiations resume this week Feb. 22, 2016|The Teamsters National Automobile Transporters Industry Negotiating Committee (TNATINC) and carhaul employer representatives will reconvene on Thursday, Feb. 25 and Friday, Feb. 26 in Detroit to discuss and exchange proposals for a new national contract. “We hope the next round of talks is productive and the parties are anxious to conclude the talks with a tentative agreement that will meet the membership’s needs and expectations,” said Kevin Moore, Director of the Teamsters Carhaul Division. In the meantime, the union asks that all carhaul members continue to work as usual and look for updates at www.teamster.org/carhaul-2015
Teamster mechanics picket, notify United Airlines passengers of possible strikes Feb. 29, 2016| Hundreds of United Airlines mechanics picketed Friday at the San Francisco, Los Angeles (LAX), Newark, LaGuardia, Washington Dulles, Cleveland, Boston Logan and Orlando airports, to educate passengers about upcoming strikes. …The mechanics held picket signs that read, "ON STRIKE – Not Yet" and distributed leaflets to United's customers that read, "Passengers Brace for Summer Strike at UNITED"… teamster.org
Rollback of mandatory driver rest time has no place in bill Feb. 29, 2016| President James P. Hoffa on Friday applauded Sen. Barbara Boxer's call to remove a measure from FAA legislation that would curb states’ ability to provide higher wages and basic meal and rest breaks for truck drivers. “Yesterday, Sen. Barbara Boxer [D-Calif] took a stand for trucker safety by denouncing a rider that was attached to the House FAA bill that would override meal and rest break rules in 22 states. This threat to highway safety is nothing but an attempt by the American Trucking Association to keep drivers on the clock and behind the wheel as much as possible, yet again prioritizing profits ahead of people…" teamster.org Related: Bitter battle erupts on Capitol Hill over bathroom breaks for truck drivers
Teamsters: 'Significant progress' at negotiations Feb. 29, 2016|The Teamsters National Automobile Transporters Industry Negotiating Committee (TNATINC) made significant progress with the carhaul employer representatives after two days of contract negotiations that wrapped up today.“We made significant progress and we plan to meet again in the very near future,” said Kevin Moore, Director of the Teamsters Carhaul Division. “We hope to reach a recommended agreement very soon that addresses the needs of our members.” In the meantime, the union asks that all carhaul members continue to work as usual and look for updates, here.
L.A. port drivers win $7 million in back pay; end misclassification Jan. 5, 2016|The underpaid, exploited port truck drivers at the nation's largest cargo terminal, Los Angeles-Long Beach, have won another round in their long fight for fair pay and job protections. he Teamsters and their Southern California Joint Council 42 have waged a years-long campaign to both win employee status for the thousands of port truckers and to organize them. People's World
Local 355 Vice President 'Erv' Williams retires Jan. 11, 2016|After more than 20 years in service to our local union and its members, Brother Ervin Williams, vice president and business agent, retired effective Dec. 31, 2015. Williams joined the staff of Local 355 in October 1995, working first in Baltimore then moving to the Eastern Shore to run the Salisbury union office. A member of the Teamsters Union for 41 years, Williams was committed to activities and policies promoting the advancement and improvement of every member. In his report to members at our general membership meeting Jan. 10th, President Denis Taylor said, "Erv Williams is one of the finest individuals I've ever met in this business. He helped me out immensely. He determined that it was time to move back to Virginia Beach, time to see the brighter side of life. On behalf of the staff and members, I wish him well and thank him for his years of service to this Local." The Executive Board unanimously approved Taylor's recommendation to appoint current Local 355 Recording Secretary Bill Alexander to vice president, and Local 355 Business Agent Mark Garey to recording secretary. Watch for more about Erv Williams in our next newsletter.
Teamsters, carhaul employers resume negotiations Jan. 12, 2016|The union's negotiating committee and carhaul employer representatives are reconvening today and tomorrow in Detroit to discuss and exchange proposals for a new national contract. In December, both sides made progress toward a new tentative agreement. While several outstanding contract issues have been largely resolved, both sides are still evaluating serious and difficult economic issues. The union asks that all carhaul members continue to work as usual and watch this space for updates.
Amports members approve new 4-year contract Jan. 13, 2016|More than 100 members employed at vehicle processor Amports East attended a meeting in Baltimore, Monday, Jan. 2016, to review a tentative agreement that had the full recommendation of their bargaining committee. Following a Q&A session, a secret ballot vote was held. The new contract provides a 4%-5% wage increase over the term, an increase in the company's contribution to the 401(k) in the first and third year of the agreement; one dollar per year increase in employee's contribution to healthcare costs; and new language governing drug tests. A significant achievement in this round of negotiations was the successful elimination of contract language that cut an employee's pay by as much as $4 per hour if the employee had to move to a lower paying job. (Amports is a processing operation for vehicle exports at the Port of Baltimore.) In other contract news, members at Mid-Atlantic Baking on January 2, 2016, ratified a new 3-year contract that provides a significant wage increase over the term, an increase in the employer contribution to the 401 (k), and improved vacation language. Additional details in the next issue of our newsletter.
Posted! Retirees Christmas party photos Jan. 19, 2016|Our Local's retiree club (Local 355 Association of Retired Members) held December 17, 2015 at UAW Local 239's hall in Baltimore had its biggest turn out ever. Delicious food provided by attentive, helpful service, a cake wheel, money wheel, 50-50 raffle, and music and dancing all made for an afternoon of camaraderie and festive fun. These photos say it all. Enjoy!
Hoffa: We stand with Flint Jan. 20, 2016| “Over the past month the water crisis in Flint, Mich. has been brought to the nation’s attention. However, this is a tragedy that Michiganders have been aware of and the families of Flint have been dealing with since April 2014. Decisions made by state officials over the last year-and-a-half have led to a community being forced to use water from the Flint River – a source that has been found to contain unacceptable levels of lead." teamster.org
Teamsters delivering bottled water to Flint, Michigan Jan. 21, 2016| Members of Teamsters Local 135 made a special delivery this morning to Flint, Michigan. The city's residents are in desperate need of clean water after theirs became contaminated with lead when the city switched from the Detroit water system to the Flint River in a cost-cutting move. More...
Contract vote scheduled for Sunday Jan. 26, 2016|Local 355 members employed at Sysco have been working under extension agreements since the contract expired in March of 2015. They will vote on a tentative agreement Sunday, January 31, 2016 at 10 a.m. at the Baltimore union hall.
Piedmont Airline dispatchers approve contract
Dec. 2, 2015 | Concluding nearly 18 months of negotiations that included a rejection vote in January 2015, dispatchers at Piedmont Airlines ratified November 18, 2015, new provisions in the existing collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
"Unions aren't needed anymore." Nov. 3, 2015| How many times have you heard that recently? Well, here's an excellent video reminder from our Canadian brothers and sisters that there's nothing new, and nothing true, about that all-too familiar line. Click here to watch.
Members employed at Avis Rent-A-Car ratify new three-year contract Nov. 6, 2015|Service agents, rental sales agents, customer service representatives (CSRs), and technicians overwhelmingly approved on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015, a successor contract that provides significant wage increases, an additional sick day, and an increase to the boot and tool allowances, a 20-cent per hour increase in lead pay, and a 45-cent per hour increase in overnight shift differentials. In addition, the contract will provide pension contribution increases each year of the agreement which will result in increased benefits to the members. "This is one of the better contracts we've negotiated with this employer," said Mark Garey, the business agent for the Avis workers. Watch for additional information on this contract and other contract negotiations in our next issue of Local 355 Union News.
The march to inequality: How did we get here? Nov. 10, 2015|This week Talking Points Memo launches an in-depth four-part series on the ever-pressing issue of today, wealth and income inequality. "The four pieces come from different authors, each coming from a different angle, with a different sort of expertise. The aim of the series is to pose a simple question: How did we get here?…" The first installment looks at the politics of the left and the decline of organized labor over half a century. The decline played a key role in the declining economic clout of working class and middle class Americans, but it is only part of the story…
Teamsters take a stand for fair pay, organizing workers Nov. 11, 2015|The Teamsters joined with thousands of truck drivers, valet attendants and low-wage workers across the country yesterday in a day of action to raise awareness about the sorry state of wages and benefits for millions of everyday Americans on the job... From Baltimore to Seattle, Teamsters stood outside more than 300 FedEx Freight terminus educating workers about the company's spending of $5.2 million over the past three years to cover the personal taxes of top executives as well [as] hundreds of dollars to wage anti-worker campaigns. Meanwhile, workers there continue to have access to poor and expensive health benefits. Continued... Pictured: UPS Freight driver Al Richardson and Joe Smith (back to camera), members of Local 355.
Teamsters applaud Senate motion to keep double 33' trucks off the road Nov. 12, 2015|The Senate scored a victory for highway safety Tuesday for passing a motion by a 56-31 margin which instructs Senate negotiators of a long-term highway bill to oppose any federal mandate that would force states to allow an increase in length of tractor trailers at this time. Continued…
Teamsters, carhaul employer group to reconvene Nov. 17, 2015|The Teamsters National Automobile Transporters Negotiating Committee (TNATINC) will reconvene with the carhaul employer group this week to negotiate on the members’ behalf after carhaulers overwhelmingly voted to reject the national agreement and two supplemental agreements. The negotiations come after local unions held meetings over the past few weeks with the carhaul members to discuss the recently rejected tentative agreement. All carhaulers should continue to work as usual and the TNATINC will keep local unions and members updated.
21 organizations fighting for labor rights in the food system Nov. 19, 2015|… In Tracy, California, Teamsters members are fighting poverty wages and severe violations of basic rights at Taylor Farms. And more than 11,000 Teamsters workers have united to defeat a mega-merger of U.S. Foods and Sysco, which would have jeopardized thousands of broadline food service and transportation jobs… Read more here.
High court rulings could affect workers Nov. 20, 2015|The future of workers on the job could be shaped significantly by a spate of causes set to be considered by the U.S. Supreme Court during its current term. And it is something more everyday Americans need to be aware of and consider. … The Teamsters represent about 273,000 public sector workers, and other union represent millions more. These government employees are everyday Americans just trying to earn a living and support their families. But that will be increasingly difficult if union rights are curtailed nationwide. Full story here.
Ford workers narrowly ratify UAW contract Nov. 23, 2015|Workers at Ford narrowly ratified the company’s four-year labor deal with the United Auto Workers, the labor union announced late Friday. A defeat for the contract could have left ford facing a strike for the first time in 39 years. The UAW had been looking to claw back some concessions that were made eight years ago to help the U.S. carmakers survive the recession. Industry Week
The just-released TPP text is actually worse than we imagined. Here are just a few examples of how the TPP will undercut jobs and wages.
• The TPP forces U.S. employers into competition with companies exploiting workers in places like Vietnam, where the minimum wage is just a third of what it is in China’s manufacturing centers, and Malaysia, where an estimated one-third of all electronics workers are victims of human trafficking.
• The TPP enables products assembled from parts made in “third party” countries that are not subject to any TPP obligations, such as China, to entire the U.S. duty-free, undercutting U.S. manufacturing.
• The TPP includes procurement provisions effectively barring Buy American and Buy Local government purchasing preferences.
• The TPP includes controversial investor-state dispute resolution (ISDS) provisions that make it safer — and, in fact, create incentives — for U.S. firms to offshore jobs to foreign countries where they can exploit low-wage labor under privileged foreign investor status rather than be forced to deal with the countries’ regulator processes and courts.
• We also know that the TPP fails to include the currency safeguards demanded by a bipartisan majority in Congress that would prevent known currency manipulators like Vietnam, Japan and Malaysia from devaluing their currencies to gain an unfair trade advantage over U.S. employers.
Fiat Chrysler workers appear to reject contract proposal Oct. 1, 2015|Hourly workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles appear to have soundly rejected a proposed new union contract that set no limit on the number of lower-paid workers and that contained no mechanism to move them up to top-wage status. It would be the first time in more than 20 years that Chrysler workers have turned down a tentative contract negotiated by their union, the United Automobile Workers. Full story...
Hoffa says tenuous TPP agreement does not listen to workers' concerns Oct. 5, 2015|Bum trade deals like NAFTA have killed upwards of 1 million U.S. jobs, many of which moved abroad. And that’s the concern with the looming TPP. These big business handouts continue to hollow out the manufacturing base of communities and destroy middle-class jobs in their wake. The Teamsters and many, many others just don't see any value in what TPP brings to this country. First and foremost is the deal won't create any new jobs here. Full statement...
Reminder for members and stewards Oct. 5, 2015|Every Monday we post new information under the Members and Stewards tab in the left column. Today's educational tips offer information about the union's right to strike, and the differences between the two types of strikes.
Webcast Oct. 7: Domestic violence as a critical workplace issue Oct. 5, 2015|When domestic violence enters the workplace, it can have significant repercussions for the targeted individual and the work environment. Union stewards and fellow coworkers can all be affected by, and have a role to play in, dealing with intimate partner violence as a critical workplace issue. A free one-hour webcast on Wednesday, Oct. 7th beginning at 12 noon will explore labor's role in addressing domestic violence in the workplace. The webcast is a joint initiative between the ILR School's Scheinman Institute of Conflict Resolution and The Worker Institute at Cornell University. Click here to learn more and register.
Central States Pension Fund files plan to cut retiree benefits under new law Oct. 7, 2015|…The huge pension fund, which administers retirement benefits for some former and current Teamster truckers, said the reductions are the only way to save the plan from insolvency. Under the proposal, pensions for Central States’ 407,000 participants would be cut by an average of nearly 23 percent. “Pension fund participants and beneficiaries did not cause the problem of underfunding,” James P. Hoffa, general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, wrote in a letter to Central States. “They worked day in and day out to earn their pension credits. It is monstrously unfair that they will end up holding the short end of the stick.” Full story… Related: NYT: Teamster pension fund has filed for reorganization [Note: The pension proposal has no relation to the national carhaul tentative agreement currently out for ratification.]
We need to tell Congress to protect our pensions Oct. 12, 2015|Some of the nation's retirees are facing enormous cuts to their pensions, but we can help them by convincing Congress to pass Keep Our Pension Promises Act, S. 1631/H.R. 2844, that will protect hard earned pension benefits. Additionally, the Senate's Pension Accountability Act, S.2147, will give plan recipients a meaningful voice when plans are considering making cuts. The Teamsters Union has been working with several members of Congress to develop the legislation that would prevent massive cuts to some pension beneficiaries. We urge you to email your Senators and Representative now to ask them to sign on to S. 1631/H.R. 2844, Keep Our Pension Promises Act, and S.2147, the Pension Accountability Act. Click here to send your emails to Congress. Read this, too:Hoffa, union leaders call on Central States to recall pension cut proposal, improve transparency for retirees.
Credit Union members: It's open enrollment period for Voluntary Life Ins. Oct. 14, 2015| To be eligible for term life insurance coverage (up to $100,000), you must be a Maryland Federal Credit Union member. Among the plan's features: No medical questions to answer, it's portable (take it with you when you retire or leave your job), and it provides dependent coverage. Don't wait; the policy will be enrolled at the Nov. 1st membership meeting. Download information and enrollment form here.
Teamsters urge Safeway to keep good jobs at Md. distribution centers Oct. 15, 2015| Teamsters are calling for Safeway to keep good jobs in Maryland, after the company unexpectedly issued a notice that it plans to start closing its Upper Marlboro and Landover, Md., grocery distribution facilities 19 days before Christmas, resulting in the layoff of more than 700 workers. The warehouse workers, members of D.C.-based Locals 730 and 639, received a 60-day layoff notice from C&S Wholesale Grocers. Safeway intends to send the bulk of the family-supporting jobs to Pennsylvania. "I believe there are options that have not yet been explored," Hoffa said in a letter to the CEO of Alberstons Companies, Inc., which recently acquired Safeway. "I am asking you to enact a 180-day moratorium on the closure while your staff, Maryland and Prince George's County public officials and Teamster-appointed experts meet to discuss alternatives, with the goal of saving good Maryland jobs." A rally is scheduled for 1 pm Friday in Upper Marlboro. Info here.
Highway safety should come before higher trucking industry profits Oct. 21, 2015 | General President Jim Hoffa today joined a bipartisan collection of lawmakers and truck safety advocates at a Capitol Hill press conference to denounce efforts to extend the length of tractor trailers nationwide, saying the move jeopardizes highway safety. Allowing trucks to pull 33-foot trailers would add an additional 10 feet to the length of existing double trailers, making it harder to pass these trucks and harder for truck drivers to see who's beside them. Continued…
Teamster carhaulers reject national agreement, two supplements Oct. 16, 2015|The Teamsters National Automobile Transporters Industry Negotiating Committee (TNATINC) will reconvene and continue to negotiate on the members' behalf after carhaulers overwhelmingly voted to reject the national agreement and two supplemental agreements. In the interim, all carhaulers should continue to work as usual and the TNATINC will keep local unions and members updated. The members ratified the Western supplement but rejected the Central-Southern and Eastern Supplements. Read the TNATINC statement.
Making public sector jobs RTW will gut wages Oct. 19, 2015| Public-sector employees have become a punching bag for anti-union forces who are trying to cripple the movement. But with the U.S. Supreme Court getting ready to consider a lawsuit that could allow workers to opt-out of paying union dues while still receiving representation, a new report shows just how much value union membership brings to workers' paychecks. Continued...
Hoffa: Teamsters won't cross picket lines if UPS pilots strike Oct. 22, 2015| General President Jim Hoffa and Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall sent a letter this week to the Independent Pilots Association pledging support for its 2,600 members. "If a strike is necessary, we will not cross your lines, but will stand with you on them." The IPA will announce the result of its strike authorization vote tomorrow morning. More…
Baltimore Sun drivers, mailers and pressmen ratify contracts Oct. 25, 2015|After two years of difficult negotiations, tentative agreements for three departments at the Baltimore Sun represented by Local 355 and Local 888 were ratified at a jointly-held membership meeting Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015. The company had sought to shift the full burden of healthcare premium costs to workers, among other regressive demands, but bargaining committee members representing drivers and printers (Local 355) and mailers (Local 888) endorsed agreements that preserve current healthcare contributions and enhances job security provisions, an important piece of the new collective bargaining agreements. In the middle of negotiations, the publishing company sold Sun Park, the land parcel the production plant sits on in Baltimore. If the paper is forced to move production from Sun Park, under the new contract Teamster jobs can follow the move. “These contracts look to the future. As long as we sort, print and deliver, it doesn’t matter what the product is, we’ll be on the job,” said Local 355 Business Agent Jim Deene. Local 888 President Lawrence Geho stressed the importance of joint bargaining. “We waged a long, hard and successful fight against regressive company proposals to ensure the security we need. And we got here because Baltimore Sun Teamsters stood together.” Photo: Local 355 Business Agent Jim Deene describes the highlights of the tentative agreements.
Stand with Safeway Teamsters in their drive to keep jobs in Maryland Oct. 28, 2015| Safeway plans to move up to 900 good union jobs from Prince George's County to a low-wage, non-union grocery warehouse in Pennsylvania. Maryland has been devastated by companies shipping out good jobs. It is painful to see that Safeway plans to join their ranks and put hundreds of Teamsters – members of Local 730 and 629 – out in the cold just days before Christmas. Stand with Safeway Teamsters – sign the petition asking the company to delay its decision and work with elected officials and its employees to try to find a way to keep these jobs in Maryland. Click here to sign.
Seattle Teamsters at Sysco ratify 3-year contract Oct. 30, 2015| In the end, solidarity won the day. On Saturday, October 24, Teamster drivers and warehouse workers, employed at Sysco, voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new three-year contract. It was a sweet victory, but it didn’t come easy. In contract negotiations, Sysco was proposing a two-tier system which would have divided the group and rolled back industry standards with respect to wages, health and welfare and seniority. But Teamsters at Sysco would not be pushed around. Continued...
The policy of the United States is "to protect the exercise by workers of full freedom of association, self-organization, and designation of representatives of their own choosing, for the purpose of negotiating the terms and conditions of their employment or other mutual aid or protection." But current law effectively denies these fundamental rights to tens of millions of Americans.
As a result, we are falling behind our industrial competitors in many significant ways. Our real wages, once the highest in the world, have fallen below the levels of the early 1970s. Our manufacturing sector is in sharp decline, as large corporations move production facilities to underdeveloped countries to take advantage of exploitative wages and minimal environmental and safety standards.
The Workplace Democracy Act strengthens the federal laws designed to protect workers and close the legal loopholes which now deprive working people of their right to organize on behalf of their wages, their benefits and their working conditions. By amending the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and by establishing a National Public Employment Relations Commission, The Workplace Democracy Act provides a vehicle to achieve a comprehensive reform of American labor law.
Establishes card checkoff recognition. Once a majority of workers has declared its wish to be organized by conducting an election or by signing membership cards, legal recognition shall be given to their designated representative.
Guarantees the right to first contract. If by 45 days after certification, no collective bargaining agreement has been reached, the union then has the right to binding arbitration.
Strengthens and expands the enforcement authority of the National Labor Relations Board. Violations of labor law are violations of law, and must be both speedily prosecuted and remedied. Current penalties for violating the National Labor Relations Act are insufficient to serve as effective deterrents. The Workplace Democracy Act strengthens NLRB enforcement in the following ways:
Instructs the National Labor Relations Board to use its injunctive power whenever it finds an unfair labor practice.
Gives employees wronged due to such violations the right to be "made whole" for any economic losses they incur as a result.
Requires immediate reinstatement of discharged employees when unlawfully discharged.
Provides for treble (3x) back pay for employees who suffer economic hardship due to unfair labor practices.
Requires debarment of companies from Federal Government contracts for willful unfair labor practices.
Requires the National Labor Relations Board to assess civil penalties of not less than $10,000 against employers for each willful violation of the Act.
Repeals the prohibitions against strikes, boycotts and hot cargo agreements. Taft-Hartley provisions that prohibit one group of workers from engaging in actions in sympathy or concert with other groups of workers are eliminated, as well as the Landrum-Griffin Amendment that prohibits "hot cargo" agreements (when an employer and a union agree to refrain from handling any products of any other employer). The right to common situs picketing is thereby restored as well.
Prohibits state preemption of federal labor laws. Repeals Section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act, concerning "right to work" laws. All workers shall enjoy the rights guaranteed them under federal law, regardless of where they live.
Secures equal treatment for all employees. Repeals the exclusion of plant guards from bargaining units with other employees where they work.
Ensures equal protection under the law for state and local public sector employees. Establishes the National Public Employment Relations Commission to ensure that public sector employees of states, territories, possessions or political subdivisions thereof, are guaranteed the right to collective bargaining, to binding arbitration, and to strike. Establishes a mandatory impasse procedure for public safety officers and fire fighters.
Provides workers the right to act as guarantors of their financial future. Provides for workers to serve as trustees on pension plans which cover their retirement.
Extends NLRA coverage to workers for U.S. owned companies that operate in Free Trade Agreement countries. Gives workers in countries that are party to a Free Trade Agreement with the United States the right to file unfair labor practice complaints against the United States owned parent company of their employer either under the NLRA or under the laws and procedures of that country.
First place team (L-R) Mel Stevens, Scott Vickers, Walker Chapman, and Rob Weckesser
Thirty-five members and retirees participated in Local 355's Fall Golf Outing September 12, 2015 at the Eisenhower Golf Course in Crownsville, Md.
Teams hit the 8:00 a.m. shotgun start, completing the 18-hole course despite cool temperatures and periodic rain showers. Just after noon, participants headed back to the golf club's covered outdoor pavilion to relax with lunch and liquid refreshments.
All participants received a $15 gift certificate to use for Local 355 products.
Second Place, right: (UPS)
• Mike Ridgely
• Scott Mandel
• Charlie Huber
• Timothy Duffy
Third Place, below: (UPS)
• Danny Ward
• John Zabka
• Jeff Zulka
• Richard Lowman
Closest to the Pin Winner:
• Tom Zabka, (UPS Feeders/Baltimore)
Teamsters Negotiating Committee reaches tentative carhaul agreement
Sept. 1, 2015 | The Teamsters National Automobile Transporters Industry Negotiating Committee reached a tentative agreement yesterday for a new national carhaul contract. The Teamsters Committee unanimously endorsed the tentative agreement (TA).
We need you to tell UPS to sever ties with ALEC Aug. 4, 2015| Call (855) 974-4180 to have your voice heard by UPS's top executives, and let them know you want UPS to sever its relationship with ALEC. ALEC is bad for UPS and it hurts hardworking Teamsters like you who make UPS successful. How? ALEC's promotion of misclassification legislation at the state-level could put your UPS job in jeopardy by putting UPS's business model at a disadvantage against FedEx and the regional delivery Why would UPS be involved with an organization that hurts its own workforce. Call now!
ABF Freight, Teamsters graduate new class of military drivers Aug. 4, 2015| A truck driver training program class jointly operated by ABF Freight, the IBT and the U.S. Army will graduate this week. Known as the Teamsters Military Assistance Program, the program was created to help soldiers transition to civilian careers. It prepares soldiers to earn a Class A Commercial Driver's License and HazMat certification. Continued… Download the Teamsters Military Assistance Program brochure here.Note: Local 355 represents 83 ABF drivers.
Toyota is turning its back on Teamsters * Aug. 5, 2015| * Link fixed.Teamster carhaulers are involved in a battle for their livelihoods with Toyota, which is trying to destroy good-paying union jobs. Toyota, which has been making record profits recently, is trying to make greater profits off the backs of hardworking Teamsters by contracting with lower-cost, less experienced carhaulers. The Teamsters went through a similar fight five years ago, and thanks to the efforts of carhaulers across the country, the union beat back Toyota last time around… The Teamsters are fighting again. Click here to learn what you can do to help your brothers and sisters.
Congress needs to prioritize infrastructure Aug. 13, 2015|The Teamsters have been (and will continue to be) leading advocates in the need for the U.S. to improve its transportation infrastructure. It starts with coming up with a long-term funding plan. But right now, Congress is failing in its duties... Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said it is time for a united front on the issue that gets people working and improves road and rails for workers and travelers alike. Full story...
Teamsters take on Silicon Valley Aug. 17, 2015|Under the leadership of Joint Council 7 President Rome Aloise, the Teamsters are on the front lines in the fight against income inequality in Silicon Valley [California]. Full story...
Carhaul negotiations continue Aug. 18, 2015|Negotiations resumed the week of August 17 and are also scheduled August 23 - August 31, 2015. “The negotiating committees are working hard to reach an agreement that will protect all Teamster carhaul members’ jobs,” said Kevin Moore, Director of the Teamsters Carhaul Division. “These are some of the toughest jobs in the trucking industry." More here.
Teamsters applaud NLRB on joint employer ruling Aug. 27, 2015|The Teamsters today applauded the National Labor Relations Board on its “joint employer” ruling in the case of Browning-Ferris Industries, Inc., as an additional step to protect and provide a voice to millions of American workers by holding employers that rely on temporary or contracted workers accountable. The ruling resulted from a 2013 case brought by Teamsters Local 350 in Daly City, Calif., against Browning-Ferris, a waste management company that is owned by Republic Services—the second-largest waste services company in the U.S. The union maintained that Republic had control over wage and working conditions for its workers employed through Leadpoint Services, a staffing agency, and counted as a joint employer with that agency. Full story…
Teamsters and employers continue carhaul talks Aug. 31, 2015|From the IBT: "The Teamsters National Carhaul Negotiating Committee net with the employer group over the weekend in Chicago, and negotiations are still going on with the goal of reaching a tentative agreement." Continued...
Bring the Teamsters to FedEx Freight Aug. 31, 2015| “We need to restore unity in this country. One way to begin is restoring it in labor. If we get the labor movement back and get the jobs back into this country we will all grow the economy and prosper. If we stay divided in the work place then we are divided throughout. Corporations have been winning at division for a while now. You see it every day at FedEx. I also see the unity at the 4 places that voted [union]. So it proved that as we stand united together we can conquer. Stand tall, people, with your brothers and sisters and unite – not divide – and organize.” It’s Teamster Time! Like our Facebook page here.
Hoffa: A blueprint for getting America back on track July 6, 2015| The American economy is not working. As the Teamsters have stated repeatedly, there needs to be a commitment to boost and expand America's middle class, which is the lifeblood of our country. But that alone will not fuel a national renaissance that will raise up a majority of people. There needs to be a buy-in from the business community that puts long-term economic health before short-term profits. The Roosevelt Institute, of which I am a board member, recently released a detailed blueprint called "Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy" authored by its renowned chief economist Joseph Stiglitz in an effort to tame income inequality. To put this nation back on track, the document makes clear that the U.S. must rethink the economic assumptions it's made during the past 35 years. Continue reading...
What's next for US Foods? July 7, 2015| Now comes the hard part for US Foods. Sysco's $3.5 billion proposal collapsed on June 30 after a federal judge ruled against the deal on anti-competitive concerns, leaving both companies back where they were in late 2013 – as fierce head-to-head competitors, each seeking to char a new path for future growth. Full story...
Truckers at Los Angeles, Long Beach ports vote Teamsters July 10, 2015| Eight-eight drivers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach voted late Wednesday to join the Teamsters, becoming the fourth company at the port to unionize at a time when many say port trucking is ripe for a shakeup. For decades, most drayage drivers – who number more than 10,000 at the LA and LB ports – have been independent contractors who own their own trucks. But as ports have grown more congested amid a general trucker shortage, an opening emerged for companies that purchase trucks and hire full-time drivers. Full story...
Teamster carhaulers launch campaign to save their jobs July 17, 2015| The Teamsters have a petition to Toyota for you to sign demanding the company not turn its back on American workers. It is critical that every Teamster carhauler sign a petition and return it to their shop steward or Business Agent Bill Alexander. Please don't wait. Do it now. Here's how to get the petition.
Teamsters call on UPS to leave ALEC at massive protest in San Diego July 23, 2015| Hundreds of Teamsters from across California traveled to San Diego Wednesday to participate in a massive protest outside a national meeting for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The Teamsters had one clear message they wanted to send – it was time for UPS to end its affiliation with ALEC. Full story…
Teamsters post first billboard in Baltimore to educate the public about Toyota July 23, 2015| Yesterday the Teamsters Union posted the first of several roadside billboards about the Toyota Corporation in order to educate the American public about the economic and safety dangers posed by the company. The billboard is located along I-95 in Baltimore. “Toyota spent years trying to regain consumer confidence after mass recalls in 2009-2011 due to sticking gas pedals and faulty floor mats. Millions more Toyotas are being recalled due to dangerous faulty airbags. Now, on top of these very public issues, Toyota is bidding out much of its automobile transport work to small, unproven operators who undercut the health care protections and retirement security of their drivers,” said Kevin Moore, Teamsters International Trustee and Director of the Teamsters Carhaul Division. Full story ...Note: Local 355 represents more than 200 carhaul drivers.
Here's 7 reasons not-yet-union folks should join one July 29, 2015|We know that our union jobs generally pay significantly more than non-union jobs and our negotiated contracts provide benefits like paid vacation, holidays and sick days that many non-union workers don't get. So how about that non-union worker friend of yours who doesn't get that being a member of a union can greatly improve his/her work life? This short and to-the-point article can help you talk with family members and friends who may be on the fence about joining a union.
Human rights before huge profits from TPP July 28, 2015| Putting people before the powerful. It's a statement the Teamsters firmly believe in, and one that U.S. democracy supports by having a one-person, one-vote system in place. But a report released yesterday by the State Department raises some concerns about whether American policy is following the same path. Continued...
Teamsters remember James R. Hoffa on 40th anniversary of disappearance July 30, 2015| Today marks the 40th anniversary of the disappearance of one of the greatest labor leaders in American history – James R. Hoffa. As Teamsters General President, Hoffa honed his well-earned reputation as a tough and effective bargainer and gained the respect of labor and business leaders alike across the country. He worked hard to expand the number of working men and women who were protected by union contracts and under his leadership, the union’s membership rose to include more than 2 million workers. Continued…
At least 103 other corporations have cut ties with ALEC. Why does UPS support an organization that actively seeks to hurt all workers and puts UPS’s own business at a disadvantage against FedEx and the regional delivery carriers? Take action now.
A hearty Local 355 congrats to Kraft/Dover members Mel Stevens, Dave Manning, Bob Wekesser and Walker Chapman for their first place win in the Local's bi-annual golf event held Saturday, June 13th, at the Hog Neck Golf Course in Easton, Md.
Teams teed off at 8:45 a.m. in a modified shotgun start format, finishing the 18-hole course at the same time in just under five hours. Heat and humidity slowed the pace a bit, but participants were rewarded with libations and lunch under the club's shaded outdoor pavilion.
Local 355 carhaulers in Annapolis Rail Junction in Jessup, Md., load Toyota vehicles for delivery. In mid-June the IBT sent a team from its Campaign Strategies department to interview and photograph Local 355 members. Negotiations began earlier in the month for a new Teamsters national master agreement for nearly 6,000 Teamster carhaulers. The current contract and its local union supplements are set to expire Aug. 31.
Continued from main page | For the period ending March 31, 2015, Toyota had record net income, operating profit and global revenue. Net income jumped 19 percent to $18.14 billion in the 12 months ending March 31, while operating profit rose 20 percent to $22.99 billion.
“Despite these record profits, Toyota wants to make even more money by contracting with lower-bidding nonunion carhaul companies that push their workers to labor 60-plus hour workweeks with substandard working conditions and benefits,” said Kevin Moore, Director of the Teamsters Carhaul Division. “Once again, we are seeing corporations putting the zest for ever higher profits way ahead of the way it treats the people who make company successful, in this case the experienced, hardworking men and women who deliver their vehicles to dealerships. We will fight this greed head on to protect our members’ livelihoods.”
The union is assembling a team of experts to fight Toyota’s actions, and more information will be released soon on actions that will be taking place.
For now, Toyota’s job-crushing actions are taking place at several carhaul facilities east of the Mississippi River, with some facilities losing 30-percent to 50-percent of the Toyota work so far. It is occurring while the Teamsters National Automobile Transporters Industry Negotiating Committee has begun national contract negotiations with the employer group.
“We’ve seen this strategy before during national contract negotiations and we will once again do what it takes to protect our members across the country,” Moore said. “Sadly, the war on workers continues in this country even as the economy picks up. I will be working with our carhaul workers to ramp up our response.”
Sysco considers life with (or without) US Food
June 2, 2015 | Closing arguments for the FTC hearing were held May 28th, and now the parties must await a decision. While they are expecting a prompt response, Chris Kreidler, chief financial officer and executive vice-president of Sysco Corp., said the companies are planning to hear a ruling some time during the latter part of June.
In Michigan, US Foods drivers vote Teamsters; others rally for union at Sysco May 4, 2015| Drivers at US Foods in Kalamazoo voted April 30th to join Teamsters Local 337 in Detroit. The drivers voted more than 70 percent in favor of Teamster representation, joining more than 200 US Foods drivers and warehouse workers in Novi, Mich., who are already members of Local 337. Sysco and US Foods workers have been ramping up organizing campaigns with the Teamsters in the face of a possible merger between the two food distribution giants which could lead to significant job losses. Read more here. In Grand Rapids, Local 355 members Ed Mulford (US Foods) and Joe Schwabline (Sysco) spent 8 days assisting an organizing campaign at Sysco, highlighted by an April 29th Teamsters Local 406 rally attended by around 50 Sysco workers whose biggest issue is their shrinking paychecks. Read more here.
Food distributors are trying to convince judge to let them form a monopoly May 5, 2015| After years of acquiring smaller competitors, US Foods and Sysco, Inc. are the last two large companies in the food distribution industry. The government, AAI, Food and Water Watch, and the Teamsters union all argue that the companies already control the market, and would represent a monopoly if merged. The court hearing begins today. Full story...
At Unity, Teamsters look ahead to a bright future May 11, 2015| Some 1,600 Teamsters brothers and sisters from across North America gathered together Sunday as part of the 12th annual Unity Conference to share their success stories and speak truth to power about the increasingly perilous state of workers across the continent. Follow the day reports and photos here.
Bunzl workers choose Teamsters May 13, 2015| Local 355 welcomes drivers and warehouse workers employed at Bunzl Distribution in Hanover, Md., who voted Wednesday, May 13, 2015, to join the Teamsters. The unit of 25 workers seek fair treatment, and dignity and respect on the job. “We need to feel safe in our workplace,” said Charles Moser, Jr., a driver with eight years at the company. “We want to put an end to the bullying tactics that effect our working conditions.” Derrick Moon, a warehouseman for more than six years said that as a union they can address a continuing short-staffing problem. “People are overworked because of the shortage of staff.” Bunzel is a supplier of paper and packaging products. Pictured left to right: Derrick Moon; Local 355 Organizer Ed Mulford; Business Agent Chip Elgert; Charles Moser, Jr.; and Business Agent Mark Garey.
Sysco overstating benefits of merger, gov’t witness says May 15, 2015| "… Sysco originally told investors that it would save $600 million through merging the two companies, which it would then pass on to consumers. Mr. Gokhale argued that a large part of Sysco's claimed "merger efficiencies" were not merger-specific, meaning that they were either happening or going to happen without the merger. As an example, he spoke at length about how Sysco expected to save money through "category management" following the merger, but both Sysco and US Foods had been doing this prior to the merger." Full story… Additional info on the FTC trial at Protecting Sysco & US Foods Workers on Facebook.
New shops ratify 1st contracts; Signature Flight, Piedmont Airlines still at table May 18, 2015| Matheson Gas workers in Baltimore ratified their first Teamster contract April 25th. Bargaining on behalf of Burris Foods workers began May 6th. Joint bargaining with four other unions is expected to begin soon for a first contract at Baltimore's Horseshoe Casino where Local 355 represents more than 50 workers, including valet attendants, warehouse workers and casino cashiers. More shop news...
Teamsters, allies voice outrage at attempts to gut truck safety laws May 20, 2015| Teamsters joined forces last week with safety advocates, crash victims, and law enforcement allies for a press event on Capitol Hill to speak out against proposed rollbacks of major truck safety regulations. The event was held as the Appropriations Committee considers this bill, which includes "riders" that will force truck drivers to work longer hours and drive larger, heavier trucks. Full story…
Fast Track vote in Senate may happen today May 22, 2015| Yesterday the Senate voted to end debate, meaning that a final vote could take place today. We cannot let up in the fight against Fast Track. Please send another email to your Senators right now to ask that they oppose Fast Track when it comes up for a final vote.
Memorial Day magazine preview: Teamsters Military Assistance Program May 25, 2015| This Memorial Day, as we honor the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country, we are paying tribute to our Teamster military heroes and the Teamsters Military Assistance Program (TMAP). Learn more...
After the contract vote: (L-R) Mike Greenhawk, Jim Craze, John McNally, Jim Wilkison, Michael Messick, Greg Novak, Tom Young, Tom Parks, Steve Thomspon, Paul Eichler, Wayne Leroux, Michael Smith, Mike King, and Bill Schneck.
Increase to extra shift bonus pay a very big deal
When the Anne Arundel County Fire Battalion Chiefs sought representation with the Teamsters, their number one issue was the gross inequity of extra shift bonus pay when compared to the overtime pay - depending on seniority - received by fire department personal two and three grades below them.
The chiefs work 24-hour shifts so working overtime means working another full 24-hour shift right behind a regularly scheduled shift. "For our group, that meant working overtime for pay that basically equates to less per hour than our straight-time pay," explained Smith.
The pay inequity has cost the chiefs thousands of dollars a year.
The County had refused to address the issue with the group during previous contracts and did not change its position during the recent round of negotiations. This time, however, the chiefs went to the bargaining table as Teamsters, armed with Local 355 President Denis Taylor's promise that the Union would pursue the inequity issue as far as necessary to get the desired result. Given Teamster 355’s winning track record, the County knew the Union would not back away from the fight. The County called the Local Union Monday, April 13th, two days before the scheduled arbitration hearing with an offer and promptly accepted the Union’s counter offer.
The agreement provides the increase to the extra shift bonus payments that the chiefs were looking to gain with this contract. The enhanced payments will be effective July 1, 2015.
"We're very happy to have ratified a contract that finally includes the increase amount,” said Smith. “For many years, as non-associated group [not affiliated with the Teamsters], this issue was a tough fight for us. Being Teamsters gave us the strength to go as far as we did this time. Unaffiliated, we didn't have the resources to fight the County. Without the Teamsters, we would not have been successful.”
In addition, the new collective bargaining agreement includes a cost-of-living increase effective Jan. 1, 2016; continues the current cost share of health insurance; and establishes a bonus award program.
Pictured above left, President Denis Taylor and Michael Smith. Above right, shop stewards John McNally and Michael Smith, and alternate steward Mike Messick.
Teamsters applaud veto of destructive Senate resolution Apr. 1, 2015| The Teamsters applauded President Obama's decision to veto a resolution backed by Congressional Republicans that would have blocked the National Labor Relations Board's rules designed to speed up the time it takes to unionize workers. The NLRB rule is scheduled to go into effect April 15, 2015. A description of the new rule and its reforms can be found here.
Contracts ratified at Anne Arundel County, Bond, Dow Jones, and others... Apr. 6, 2015| Local Union members approved contracts in recent months while bargaining continues on behalf of Baltimore Sun drivers, Signature Flight line service technicians, Stroehmann’s, Sysco drivers and warehouse workers... Shop news update
Baltimore could become the next Detroit. Seriously? Apr. 6, 2015| This isn’t exactly local union news but it IS news we want to alert you to because it’s bad news for hard-working people who rent in Baltimore. Think Progressreported Saturday that starting this week, 25,000 households in Baltimore will suddenly lose their access to water for owing bills of $250 or more, with very little notice given and no public hearings. City officials claim that residents using water without paying are to blame for the $40 million in overdue water bills. But the Baltimore Sun found that more than a third of those unpaid bills stem from just 369 businesses. (“Last year in Detroit, residents fought back against a similar plan to shut off water to customers with overdue bills.”) About half of Baltimore’s residents rent their homes, and most count on the property owners to pay the water bill. So why is this important? Central to this looming crisis is an issue of Human Rights.
NLRB to issue complaint against Sysco, bring justice to fired Teamsters Apr. 8, 2015| The Federal Government is weighing in on the side of workers at Sysco in Atlanta who were wrongly terminated after their successful campaign to join Teamsters Local 528. The NLRB told the union last week that it will be issuing a complaint against the company and seeking reinstatement and back pay for the fired workers. The 11 fired Teamsters were part of a huge effort to organize more than 400 coworkers who are drivers and warehouse workers for Sysco. Full story…
Horseshoe Baltimore Casino workers bet on union Apr.8, 2015| The Horseshoe Baltimore Casino is now officially union. The cards were counted last week and a strong majority of Horseshoe workers voted in favor of representation by the National Gaming Workers Coalition, comprised of Unite Here Local 7, Teamsters Local 355, Operating Engineers Local 37 and the UAW. The Horseshoe has recognized the union and dates will soon be set for negotiations on wages, benefits and working conditions.
Pictures available from photo session with President Hoffa Apr. 10, 2015| Images taken by Teamster Joint Council 62 at the March 4th photo shoot are available for viewing in the photo gallery. To request copies, email us here. Copies of the official photographs taken by the IBT and signed by President Hoffa were received this week and will be available at Sunday's general membership meetings.
Failed fast track is nearly upon us – again Apr. 13, 2015| Despite the Teamsters and our allies making clear that U.S. residents will be hurt if fast track can be used to quickly push secret trade deals like the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) through Congress, some lawmakers had decided to side with big business instead. But unfortunately, the fight doesn't end there. [The TPP Fast Track bill will be introduced in the Senate Tuesday.] This union and others who care about hard-working Americans are gearing up for a fight, and will need everyone who can to join in. Read on… [The TPP will outsource jobs, undercut workers' rights, dismantle labor, environmental, health, food safety, and financial laws, and allow corporations to challenge our laws in international tribunals rather than our own court system.]
HBO renews 'Veep' for Season 5, but return to Maryland uncertain Apr. 14, 2015| …That's because creator Armando Iannucci is leaving the series and a new showrunner, David Mandel, will be taking over. Since showrunners are responsible for getting series made and delivered to an outlet like HBO for distribution, they sometimes have the power to say where the series will be produced. With an infrastructure in place in Maryland, a return makes sense. But it is not guaranteed with Iannucci leaving. Full story… [Local 355 represents workers employed in the film industry.]
Teamsters take stand against fast track Apr. 16, 2015| The Teamsters joined some 1,200 fellow union members and far trade advocates at a Capitol Hill rally yesterday to call on Congress to stop pushing for fast track trade promotion authority that would allow a quick up-or-down vote on bad trade deals like the TPP… Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers, called on workers to head to the halls of Congress and let their members know their thoughts on fast track: "You make sure you tell them you put them there and you can take them out of there!" Full story...
Breaking news: Fast Track legislation introduced in Congress today Apr. 16, 2015| The fast track bill hit Congress today and we need your help to stop it. This bill will put good Teamster jobs in jeopardy. The TPP, the "NAFTA of the Pacific," will mean even more jobs sent overseas, lower wages for the jobs that remain, unsafe food and possibly a ban on our "Buy American" procurement laws and regulations. If Fast Track becomes law, however, Congress won't be able to change a single provision of the agreement. Please email your Representative and Senators right now and ask that they oppose Fast Track if it's brought up for a vote. The Teamsters Union has stopped Fast Track before. With your help, we will stop it again.
Every Monday: New information for members and stewards Apr. 20, 2015| Members, do you know what a contract campaign is? Or why it's important to file a grievance in a timely manner? Stewards, need a refresher on your rights as a shop steward? When past practice is relevant? Worried about confidentiality issues? Every Monday we provide answers to those questions and more with tips to help you learn more about your role in the Local Union. Available under Members Resources - This Week's Member Tip and Weekly Steward Tip. (Note: Forgot your password? Email email@example.com for assistance.)
Fire battalion chiefs unanimously approve their first Teamster contract Apr. 21, 2015| Local 355's newest unit ratified on Friday, April 17, 2015, a one year contract with Anne Arundel County that includes the resolution of their primary objective: a substantial increase in their extra shift bonus pay. The County rejected the Union's bargaining proposal that would pay the group time-and-a-half for extra shifts. The rejection forced an impasse and the Union’s subsequent call for arbitration. Battalion chiefs regularly work extra shifts for which they receive a lump sum payment that is significantly less than the time-and-a-half pay received by those in lower pay grades. Last week's scheduled arbitration was avoided when the County made an offer to settle the dispute. "We believe the County views us differently now that we have the support of the Teamsters Union," said shop steward Michael Smith. Read more here.
Teamsters protest Sysco at DC lobbying meeting * Apr. 21, 2015| (* Updated 4/22) More than 70 Teamsters took part in a raucous rally Tuesday, April 21 to blast Sysco’s bullying of workers, its labor law violations and other misdeeds. The group of Teamsters chanted slogans and handed out fliers outside a food service industry meeting in Washington, D.C. “It’s great to see such a big turnout to send Sysco the message that ‘enough is enough,’” said Ed Mulford, an employee and steward at US Foods in Baltimore, who is a member of Local 355 in Baltimore. “It’s about time somebody stood up to Sysco’s arrogance. The company feels like it can do what it wants to do to their employees, to their customers and other players in the industry.” Full story here.
Sysco argues in favor of merger with US Foods Apr. 24, 2015| Sysco Corp. is arguing in federal court that there is no national market for broadline foodservice distribution, and that local markets remain highly competitive, the company said Wednesday. The Houston-based distributor is trying to get past a Federal Trade Commission move to block its proposed merger with US Foods, the nation’s second largest distributor, and the only other broadline distributor, at least before the merger, with a national reach...The FTC has requested a preliminary injunction to stop the merger, and a hearing on the injunction is scheduled for May 5. The hearing is expected to be key, because the loser of the injunction is expected to drop out. Full story…
Don’t miss the deadline for Local 355’s annual scholarship Apr. 27, 2015| The Local Union’s scholarships for sons or daughters of Local 355 members is good standing will be awarded at our upcoming meeting on Sunday, May 3. There’s no test to take. Just check out the eligibility requirements here, download and fill out the application, and drop off the completed form addressed to Secretary-Treasurer David White’s attention at the Baltimore office no later than this Friday 5pm. Good luck!
Today is Worker’s Memorial Day: “Speak Out for Safe Jobs” Apr. 28, 2015| Every year, about 4,400 people are killed at work and 50,000 workers die from occupational diseases while millions more are injured. The Teamsters Union, and trade journalists around the world, recognize April 28 as Workers’ Memorial Day – and international day of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured or made ill by their work... To help mark this important day, our union has background information on this day of rememberance, and provided these resources to help you start a conversation with coworkers or plan activities in your workplaces.
Atlanta Sysco workers reinstated, receive full back pay Apr. 29, 2015| …Fourteen union activists terminated by Sysco during a Teamster organizing campaign in Atlanta, Ga. will be returned to their jobs with full back pay after the company issued unconditional offers to return to work Monday, April 27. Full story…
Senate to vote today to undo labor union rule* Mar. 4, 2015| The Senate will vote Wednesday on a GOP-backed motion that would undo a controversial National Labor Relations Board rule that makes it easier for workers to hold union elections. Republicans are using the Congressional Review Act that allows lawmakers to undo regulation through a motion of disapproval, which needs a majority vote in both chambers. The motion can't be filibustered or amended, which will help it bypass Democratic opposition. If the bill gets to his desk, however, the White House says President Obama will veto it. Full story...* Update: The bill passed the Senate Wednesday in a 53 to 46 vote. The legislation now goes to the House where it is expected to pass. However, it doesn't appear the Senate has the two-thirds majority required to overrule a presidential veto.
Tribune Publishing is busy playing catch-up Mar. 5, 2015| …TPUB’s purchase of Maryland and suburban Chicago properties have already netted $5 million in increased earnings; expect $10-12 million in added earnings this year, due to those buys. TPUB’s got a bit of cash for more acquisitions, and as I reported Monday (“Tribune in final bidding for U-T San Diego”), it’s hot on the trail of a ninth metro property, U-T San Diego, at a likely purchase price of $85 to 90 million. Full story…
Local members answer the call for IBT photo op Mar. 5, 2015| Local 355 members employed in a wide variety of industries traveled Wednesday to Teamsters headquarters in Washington, DC, to photographically represent our union’s diverse membership for future use in Teamster publications. After greeting all with enthusiastic hand-shakes and words of gratitude, General President Jim Hoffa joined 27 Local 355 members from the airlines, food processing, carhaul, car rental, express, package, freight, food service, industrial trades, motion picture, newspaper, parking, public service, and warehouse industries. While the IBT staff photographers worked to get the best and the most shots of our members, we took our own photos to share with you in the next issue of our Local 355 newsletter.
Hearing dates set for Sysco/US Foods antitrust suit Mar. 6, 2015| A federal judge set a May 5 start date for court hearings on the FTC’s antitrust lawsuit against the merger of the nation’s two largest food distributors. During a Wednesday hearing, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta said he would consider the case from May 5-8 and would add as many as three days the following week, if needed. Judge Mehta isn't conducting a full-blown trial on the FTC's allegations, rather... Full story
One thousand Teamsters rally against WV legislature’s anti-worker agenda Mar. 9, 2015| More than 6,000 workers rallied Saturday in front of the West Virginia Capitol, including a thousand Teamsters who came out to show their support and stand shoulder-to-shoulder in solidarity with their brothers and sisters in the labor movement. “The working people of West Virginia deserve better from our politicians, and we won’t sit back as out-of-state interests try to strip us of our bargaining rights, drive down our wages and weaken job protections,” Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall told the packed crowd. Full story…
RTW in Wisconsin is another step down the wrong road for working families Mar. 10, 2015| "Wisconsin is now the 25th state to adopt right-to-work laws as politicians like Walker push forward the agenda of their right-wing task masters," Hoffa said Monday in an official statement. "The Koch brothers, through Americans for Prosperity and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have poured millions of dollars into states across the country to push right-to-work legislation. These corporate interests will not stop in Wisconsin – they continue to attack working families, moving from state to state. We must remain strong and fight them wherever right-to-work legislation is introduced." Read the full statement...
We demand justice for fired Sysco Teamsters! Mar. 19, 2015| Sysco Teamsters need our help today! Sysco managers fired 15 union supporters in Atlanta and fired three in Kansas City during recent successful Teamster organizing drives in their facilities. Join us as we demand justice by telling Sysco President and CEO William Delaney to reinstate these brave men and women and bargain fair first contracts now! Sign this letter today!
Teamsters organize another FedEx Freight terminal Mar. 20, 2015| A group of 50 drivers at the FedEx Freight terminal in Stockton, Calif., on Tuesday, March 10th voted to join Teamsters Local 439… This is the fourth union victory since the Teamsters began their campaign to improve conditioned for workers at FedEx Freight and Con-Way. Beyond the organizing victories, the campaign has helped raise wages for all drivers at the two companies. Full story...
Sysco, US Foods seek disclosure of FTC witness identities Mar. 23, 2015| The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) went head-to-head last week with Sysco Corp. and US Foods Inc. over whether to make public the names of the declarants relied on by the FTC in its preliminary injunction to block Sysco and US Foods’ merger. Sysco and US Foods filed a motion in a Washington, D.C. federal district court on March 6 asking the judge to publicize the names, which the FTC quickly opposed. Full story...
Tell your senators to protect pension benefits! Mar. 26, 2015| Vermont's Senator Bernie Sanders will be offering an amendment to the budget resolution bill that would protect the pensions of thousands of retirees in multiemployer pension plans. The Amendment allows the flexibility to honor a long-standing promise, particularly for fixed-income seniors that can least afford to have their financial security at risk, and to find other sources of revenue to shore up the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Please email your Senators today and ask them to support the Sanders Amendment should it come up for a vote.
REMINDER: Scholarship application deadline Mar. 27, 2015| The deadline for submission of your student's application for the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund scholarship is Tuesday, March 31st. Don't miss it!
Teamsters call for defeat of Fast Track and TPP Mar. 31, 2015| Statement by General President Jim Hoffa: "The 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has for years been shrouded in mystery. But last [week], WikiLeaks gave U.S. workers a real gift when it pulled back the curtain on a portion of the proposed trade deal that shows what a boondoggle the agreement would be for big business. … the average worker is going to get screwed. The provisions will give corporations the ability to do an end-around on U.S. laws they don't like. How is that fair? What about the rights of the American people? What about democracy?…" Full story…
Sysco offers to sell 11 facilities to win merger approval * Feb. 2, 2015| Sysco said on Monday that it had agreed to divest 11 distribution centers in a bid to obtain the blessing of regulators including the Federal Trade Commission. Sysco will sell the centers for an undisclosed sum to Performance Food Group, which will be its nearest rival after the deal for US Foods closes. Full story here. *Update: Sysco reaches agreement to sell 11 US Foods distribution centers (none are in Maryland), contingent on consummation of merger.
Black history is the story of every Teamster Feb. 3, 2015| [Editor's note: February is Black History Month.] …From the inception of the union, many Teamsters understaff that racial divisions play into the bosses' ploy to divide and weaken the working class. Black unionists were at the center of the Teamsters since our founding in 1903. At a time when Jim Crow held sway in the south and discrimination against African Americans was commonplace nationwide, the Teamsters called for "no color line" in the union as early as 1906. Learn more here.
Boston GCC Teamsters halts deportation of Salvadoran refugee Feb. 3, 2015| Demonstrating the importance of community outreach, Graphics Communications Conference/IBT Local 3-N in Boston has worked successfully with the local Jobs With Justice branch, elected officials and faith-based organizations to halt the threatened deportation of a Salvadoran GCC/IBT press operator. Full story here.
Teamsters remember leader who changed the future for working men, women Feb. 16, 2015| Each year in February, Teamsters take a moment to reflect upon and remember James R. Hoffa, born February 14, 1913. Hoffa served as General President of the Teamsters Union from 1957 to 1971. In that time, he inspired thousands to stand up and let their voices be heard. His words, spoken more than 50 years ago, resonate jet as profoundly today as they did then: “While working men and women have long known the value of a dollar – it is a lesson well taught to one who labors for a living – it has taken a long, long time to teach employers the value of a human being, and in many cases has not yet been successfully taught. Few give though to what happens to displaced workers, but they can analyze to the penny what the profits will be.” Learn more...
Local 355, US Foods mutually agree to 90-day contract extension Feb. 18, 2015| The parties have agreed to extend the current contract due to expire March 15, 2015, in order to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement. The extension is due to expire June 15, 2015. The extension shall include retroactive pay back to March 15, 2015, the original expiration date.
Sysco not in talks to settle U.S. lawsuit to stop merger Feb. 24, 2015| Sysco said it would fight the Federal Trade Commission in court and that no settlement talks were underway… The federal court hearing will likely be set in 60 to 90 days. Full story...
No. There are no immediate cuts to any pensions. Jan. 5, 2015| The IBT has compiled a list of frequently asked questions about how the omnibus spending bill could affect you and your family. The big question: “Will my pension check be reduced?” Answer: No. The legislation does not mandate pension cuts. And for those funds that might seek to implement pension cuts, there are a number of procedural steps that have to be followed before they can do so. Learn more here.
ObamaCare and Bargaining: Local Union leaders seek answers to tough questions Jan. 10, 2015| The Affordable Care Act (ACA) – commonly referred to as ObamaCare – and our union members' healthcare plans have recently become a major issue for union negotiators bargaining successor contracts. Officers and trustees of the six local unions comprising Teamsters Joint Council 62 recently spent the better part of a weekend reviewing and discussing specific sections and requirements of the extremely complex healthcare law, as it pertains to employer plans and Taft-Hartley Benefit Plans. Some of the troublesome ACA provisions become effective this year. Information about how the provisions apply is complicated and, in some cases, may conflict with provisions of current plans. Continue reading here.
A new contract is in place at Amports Jan. 13, 2015| At a ratification meeting held last night, members employed at auto processor, Amports, located in Baltimore, approved a successor contract that provides significant wage increases, improved funeral leave language, and adds a new retirement savings plan, the GCC-IBT Inter Local Pension Plan, a 501c plan funded solely through tax-deductible participant payroll deductions. In a addition, the agreement calls for a streamlined process by which employees classified as "casual" can move to permanent employee status after working 125 shifts within a six-month period. Continue reading here.
Hoffa to members: A new day for our great union Jan. 14, 2015| "Today, the Teamsters Union and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York filled an application with Chief Judge Loretta Preska requesting that she approve an agreement to end decades of government oversight over the Teamsters Union. We anticipate that she will approve the agreememt. This is an historic day for our Teamsters. After decades of hard work and millions of dollars spent, we can finally say that corrupt elements have been driven from the Teamsters and that the government oversight can come to an end." Read General President Jim Hoffa's entire statement on the agreement to end the consent decree, or watch his video statement.
Matheson Gas workers in Jessup, Md. vote to join Local 355 Jan. 15, 2015| Following a two-month organizing campaign, drivers and fillers employed at Matheson Gas in Jessup, Md., voted yesterday to be represented by Local 355. Their Yes votes were for dignity and respect in the workplace. "The primary issue for the twelve employees is the way they are treated," said Business Agent Chip Elgert. "They had to fight for vacation and paid days off that they were already entitled to. Patterns of unjust discipline was also an issue that sent these workers to us." Local 355 also represents Matheson employees on the Eastern Shore. Drivers deliver compressed gases and propane to various industries including construction and hospitals.
Sign our petition in support of amendment to overturn Citizens United Jan. 19, 2015| Wednesday, January 21st marks the 5-year anniversary of Citizens United. In the five years since the decision was handed down, spending by outside groups has increased by over 500%. Most of the new outside money, over 70% of it, goes to support anti-worker candidates backed by big corporations and billionaire plutocrats like the Koch Brothers. The only way the law can now be changed is through a constitutional amendment. Please sign our petition today in support of an amendment to overturn this anti-democratic ruling that has shifted control of our elections from the will of the people to the wallets of the super rich.
No time to waste in letting public, lawmakers know about Fast Track Jan. 27, 2015| The Teamsters and our fair-trade friends have seen the damage fast track and bad trade deals like the TPP can do… With Congress set to consider fast track soon, there is no time to waste in letting both the public and elected officials know about the dangers of unfair trade. Less jobs, lower pay, less worker protection and unsafe food and products isn't good for anyone – except big business. Read General President Jim Hoffa's guest column here.
Leaked memo: YRC seeks to outsource unprofitable runs Jan. 29, 2015| YRC Freight is looking to increase its use of purchased transportation to increase its profitability, according to a leaked internal memo. A Dec. 18, 2014, memo obtained by the Kansas City Business Journal, details a change-of-operations request to the Teamsters that would allow the company to increase its use of interline carriers – third-party transportation providers – in areas currently served by YRW employees. …No YRC employees will be laid off as a direct result of the change of operations. Full story here.
Tens of thousands of Teamsters and retirees voiced their strong opposition over the last weeks and months to pension legislation that was included in the Omnibus spending bill. Unfortunately, the legislation was sneaked into the bill literally in the dark of night and through procedural chicanery that didn't even allow for a separate vote or give us the opportunity to strip the provisions from the bill and passed the Senate late Saturday evening.
We encourage you to make one more call to the White House at 202-456-1414 to encourage President Obama to rethink his present course of action and veto it when it reaches his desk.
This fight is not over. The union will be looking for any avenue to protect hard-earned Teamster pensions and will work to ensure transparency by any Teamster fund that might look to this legislation to provide relief.
Over the next days and weeks, we will be providing more information on the timing of this legislation and what you can do to continue this fight. It is important to note that no pension cuts are going into effect immediately.
We understand that this is a very difficult time for all Teamsters, especially retired Teamsters who are dependent on their pension. We encourage everyone to remain calm while we continue our efforts to protect every member and their pension.
Please check out www.Teamster.org for the most up-to-date information that we know on the issue.
Local 355 officers and members honor fallen brother Dec. 1, 2014|Retired Baltimore Sun driver and Baltimore City Fire Dept. safety officer, James Bethea, was laid to rest November 20th. Local 355 officers, business agents and members joined hundreds of firefighters, law enforcement officers, public servants, family and friends at the funeral and internment service. Recently-retired Baltimore Sun dispatcher and Local 355 steward Jim Sawyer was invited by the Bethea family to deliver a eulogy. He graciously agreed to share his words of remembrance here. Photos included.
Maryland lawmakers consider yelling 'cut' on film tax-credit program Dec. 3, 2014| The panel of analysts spent more than hour yesterday afternoon explaining why Maryland should stop giving millions of dollars to movie and televisions productions that choose to film in the state. Continue reading here. More at The Baltimore Sun. [Editor's note: Local 355 represents movie industry drivers.]
Anti-union grocer slashes benefits, pensions for 1,100 Pennsylvania Teamsters Dec. 4, 2014| In a new version of the old ploy of manipulating federal bankruptcy courts to bludgeon unions into economic concessions or givebacks, the nation's largest grocery wholesaler used sped-up court procedures to make a quick buy of one of its regional competitors last month – and, in the process, slash the pensions and benefits of 1,100 truck drivers and warehouse workers. Full story here.
Teamsters at Castle Oil about to lose their jobs - help save them! Dec. 4, 2014| Teamster drivers and mechanics for many years kept New York warm delivering fuel from the Bronx for Castle Oil. Now, just before Christmas, they’re about to be thrown out into the cold. Corporate giant Sprague Energy is buying Castle Oil, and 50 members of Teamsters Local 553 are losing their jobs in the process. They’ll be replaced by non-union, low-wage contract jobs. You can help: Please take a minute to sign this petition, urging Sprague Energy’s CEO David Glendon to keep these good, middle-class jobs in New York. Your support will be greatly appreciated by the 50 Teamsters at Castle Oil who fear a bleak Christmas.
Teamsters take a stand against unfair TPP, Fast Track Dec. 9, 2014| The Teamsters joined hundreds of labor and fair-trade activists yesterday in calling on the U.S. government not to move forward with the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or fast-track trade promotion authority that would speed its consideration… "The voices of millions of working, middle-class Americans cannot be ignored," said General President Jim Hoffa. "They are tired of being the casualties of bad trade deals that send good-paying jobs overseas. The Teamsters Union will continue the fight against Fast Track authorization and the Trans-Pacific Partnership – American workers cannot pay the price of another bad trade deal." Full story and photos here.
Friday deadline looms in behind-the-scenes battle over truck safety Dec. 10, 2014| More people will die if Congress weakens truck safety to make the trucking industry happy. And Congress may just do that as it races to meet the Dec. 12 deadline to pass a budget bill. Read here what the Teamsters are doing to stop the proposal.
Report: Sysco poised to complete $8.2B merger with US Foods Dec. 11, 2014| The New York Post reported today "…Sysco is selling assets worth $5 billion to Performance Food Group to win regulatory approval, two sources said. That is equal to roughly one-quarter of US Food's revenue…" Full story here.
Local 355 welcomes Anne Arundel County Fire Dept. battalion chiefs Dec. 11, 2014| In a representation election held December 10, 2014, Anne Arundel County Fire Department battalion chiefs voted unanimously to join Teamsters Local 355. “We are thrilled to be with the Teamsters. The big union is like our big brother,” said Michael Smith, a 25-year veteran with the Department. The group, an independent association, decided in September to seek the organized umbrella of a larger union that could provide the experience and assistance they need to continue to negotiate and enforce their contract. The battalion chiefs serve directly under the fire chief of Anne Arundel County, support 31 town and city fire stations, and coordinate management and delivery of emergency fire and medical services to the citizens of the county. Watch for their story in the upcoming issue of our newsletter. Pictured: Local 355 Business Agent Dan Taylor congratulates Anne Arundel County Battalion Chiefs Association president Michael Smith following the group’s unanimous vote to become Teamsters.
Call your senator NOW! Dec. 12, 2014| Tell them to vote NO on the Cloture and NO! on the Omnibus to protect Teamster pensions and jobs. Call 888-979-9806 to be connected to your senator. The Teamsters Union is opposed to the Omnibus Spending Bill. It keeps government open on the backs of hardworking Americans and retirees. Click here to learn what the legislation would do, then call your senator at 888-979-9806. Do it right now.
Teamsters denounce Senate passage of Omnibus Spending Bill Dec. 15, 2014| “With the passage of the omnibus spending bill by the Senate, we have witnessed the latest attack by corporate interests on working families, " said General President Jim Hoffa in response to the Senate's passage of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill. “Big business and Wall Street have bought and paid for influence and access that has allowed them to continue to enrich corporations at the expense of the middle class... We can only hope that President Obama rethinks his present course of action, recognizes the destructive nature of the provisions in this bill and vetoes it when it reaches his desk.” Full statement here. We encourage you to make one more call to the White House at 202-456-1414 to encourage President Obama to rethink his present course of action and veto it when it reaches his desk. This fight is not over. The union will be looking for any avenue to protect hard-earned Teamster pensions and will work to ensure transparency by any Teamster fund that might look to this legislation to provide relief. Click here for more information.
What the Cromnibus Law means for multiemployer pension plans Dec. 16, 2014| … The law states that plans in”critical and declining status” can temporarily or permanently suspend current and future benefits. This suspension can include benefits already accrued for vested participants and benefits already being paid to retirees and beneficiaries…The law sets limits. For example, the monthly benefit of any participant or beneficiary may not fall below 100% of the PBGC’s guaranteed monthly benefit. Participants and beneficiaries aged 75 and older are afforded special protections, as are those with benefits based on disability. Full story here. Related: Those pension cuts and what you need to know.
More than 400 Sysco workers in Atlanta vote Teamsters Dec. 17, 2014| In a major victory, Sysco workers have voted to join Teamsters Local 528 in Atlanta. With 423 workers in the bargaining unit, the vote for Teamster representation is the biggest at Sysco in years. The vote comes as the FTC continues its review of the proposed merger between Sysco and US Foods, a transaction that could place Sysco and US Foods workers' jobs in jeopardy. Full story here.
Take two and call me in the morning Dec. 24, 2014| The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is reminding all employers and workers of the importance of maintaining a healthy, influenza-free workplace this season and throughout the New Year. Check out the Department of Labor's 7 simple ways you can help prevent seasonal flu in your workplace.
FedEx Freight workers In New Jersey vote to join Teamsters
Nov. 1, 2014 | A group of 113 drivers at FedEx Freight’s South Brunswick, N.J., terminal voted yesterdy to join Teamsters Local 701. The vote was 66 to 42. “This victory is for all of us,” said Mike Thiemer, a driver. “We are tired of the unfair and inconsistent work rules and policies handed down by management.
Funeral services were held Thursday, November 20, 2014, for former Baltimore Sun driver James Bethea, also a Baltimore City Fire safety officer who died in the line of duty.
Local 355 Union officers, business agents and members joined hundreds of firefighters and law enforcement officers from as far away as Canada, politicians and family members who attended to pay their respects to the well-respected 40-year veteran of the department. Bethea, worked for The Baltimore Sun as a part-time driver from 1989 until his retirement in December 2013.
Baltimore Sun dispatcher and long-serving shop steward Jim Sawyer was among those asked by the family to deliver a eulogy of words of remembrance and comfort. Jim graciously agreed to share his comments here:
"I am honored to speak to you today on behalf of Teamsters 355 and the employees of the Baltimore Sun about a man that we came to respect and admire: Jim Bethea.
Jim came to work with us at The Sun in June of 1989 as a Teamster driver. At the time, just another fire fighter looking for a part-time job. Little did we know how he would tounch out lives.
Jim was generally a quiet man that went about the business of performing his job with a subtle dignity that you could almost feel. Jim was an intelligent man who was smart enough to know that he didn't know it all; a caring man whose concern for others was obvious; a person who commanded respect without demanding it.
Jim had a good sense of humor, too. Having the same first name kind of opened the door to some amusement for me. When he came in, I'd say "Hey Jim" and he'd say "Hey Jim" and I'd say I hear an echo and he'd say "yeah, but I'm the better looking one."
I found that, at times, Jim was an observor. He'd watch and listen and sometimes comment. Jim seemed to always be looking things to be better, whether personally or work-related or in the Teamster contract. He seemed to enjoy trying to make things better.
You know, we in the general population regard you fire fighters as heroes for your dedication to the protection and preservation of people and property while putting yourselves in jeopardy. One night, a few years ago, Jim gave us a first-hand look at what that means. One of our former drivers had pulled up to the dispatch office after returning from a delivery with a 53' tractor trailer. The driver got out of his trucj and went inside just as Jim was coming out. This driver was so preoccupied with whatever, he neglected to set the parking brake and the entire rig started drifting backwards down the driveway. If not stopped, it could have caused significant damage. Jim saw it drifting and starting to pick up speed and, with no rehard for his personal safety, managed o jump into the truck and pulled the brake. Just one wrong step o one little slip could have meant serious injury to Jim, yet he acted like it was no big deal.
Needless to say, the company, his fellow workers, and the Teamsters disagreed.
But there was other ways that Jim was a hero in my eyes: The way he carried himself with quiet dignity, the way he was alway concerned about the safety and well-being of others, and even in theway he went about doing his job.
We've missed him on the job since he retired at the end of last year, although some of the guys would still get together with him for a round or two of golf (even if he did usually kick their butts), and we'll miss him even more now. However, I do rest easy in the fact that when the Father kcalled hime home, he was doing what he loved for the past 40 years. He's in a better place now.
Jim Bethea was a good friend to many a good coworker, a good union brother and, in my opinion, a very good man. Goodbye, my brother. I am proud to have known you."
Top: A firefighter carried Lt. Bethea’s helmet ahead of his coffin. A fire engine from Baltimore City Fire Department Squad 40, Bethea’s firehouse during the years he worked as a firefighter, carried his coffin to the church and the cemetery. Hundreds of firefighters lined the driveway in front of the church while lines of mourners stretched for blocks around. Top right: (L-R) Local 355 Secretary-Treasurer Dave White, President Denis Taylor, Trustee Ed Mulford, Business Agents Jim Deene, Mark Garey, Chip Elgert and Marcus Smith. Center: Jim Sawyer
On November 12, 2014, LT. JAMES E. BETHEA Survived by wife; Dr. Brenda Pridgen, son; Darryl A. Bethea (Tia M.), parents; James and Margarine Bethea, sister; Darlene Bethea, grandson; Ethan J. Bethea, and a host of other family and friends.
Viewings: Tuesday, November 18, 2014 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Wednesday, November 19, 2014 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Wylie Funeral Home, 701 N. Mount St., Baltimore, MD 21217.
Funeral services: Thursday, November 20, 2014, 11 a.m, at Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, 5200 N. Charles St., Baltimore, Md.21210
Corrected 12/11/14: An earlier version of this story mis-identified Brother Jim Sawyer as "recently retired." Sawyer has not retired.
(L-R) Shop stewards Dave Beach and Bill Stramm, Operations Manager Mark Fischer, Local 355 Vice President Ervin Williams, and Business Agent John Caparatta.
Penn Fibre Teamsters participate in repair, revitalization of their workspace
Note: Local 355 has represented workers at thermoplastics manufacturer Ensinger/Penn Fibre for more than 40 years. Our members – many of whom are long-term employees – work in every department throughout the plant. The following is an update to an earlier story, "A Win-Win at Penn Fibre," reported in 2012.
Greenwood, Del. — In September 2012, Penn Fibre began construction of a warehouse extension (right) to store the overflow of materials used in the production of high-performance engineering plastics, the company's signature product. The tight space and aging floors of the old warehouse raised concerns about worker safety. At the time, General Manager John Cowperthwait told his workers the company was committed to undertaking the necessary measures to avoid unnecessary accidents.
Penn Fiber's German parent company, Ensinger, launched BOOM — "Because Our Opinion Matters" — a bottoms-up initiative designed to teach its plant locations how to continuously improve and maintain their workspace. The BOOM program promotes a process by which employees – union and non-union alike – are encouraged to tell management what improvements are necessary to make the plant more efficient, productive and safe. It is the employees, working hands-on, day-to-day within their spaces, who know what is broken and in need of fixing, said Cowperthwait.
Workers began by surveying and analyzing their own departments, making lists of recommendations. The various departments then met to discuss and determine priorities. Almost all recommendations were approved.
The first phase of BOOM completed, the company moved to the second phase in July with a one-week "maintenance shutdown," limited production schedule and, with "all hands on deck," assigned employees to cleaning, painting, organizing, repairing and sprucing up their workplaces, all according to the final recommendations and suggestions for change. Everyone was paid their regular weekly rate.
"Though we do a maintenance shutdown annually, this year we accomplished much, much more," said Mark Fischer, operations manager. "Historically, we change motors and pumps and do other busy work. This year was different, well beyond the norm. Teamwork was essential."
Work projects included sealing large floor cracks (right) thus eliminating tripping hazards and easing fork-lift vibration, often the cause of back injuries; re-configuring the old warehouse's aisles that were too close together with materials stacked too high making them hard to access; machines were cleaned — one was re-located to improve productivity and safety — and a new drive controller was installed to maintain consistent flow of the thin plastic sheets used to make product. Interior walls were reinforced and re-painted, building exteriors received a fresh coat of paint, the company's outdoors logo was hand-painted, and new gravel was distributed on walk and pathways.
"The program really upped the morale," said David Beach, a die shop employee and Teamster shop steward since 2014. "It makes us feel good to work in a clean environment."
Penn Fiber's newly hired maintenance manager is moving to address other areas where improvements were recommended by the employees, including the installation of better lighting.
Shipping department employee and Teamster steward Bill Stamm said it made a big difference to know management trusted the workers to make sound decisions about the clean up. "For example, if one department no longer needed a piece of equipment or storage rack (left), we checked around with other departments to see it if could be repurposed. The company was fine with that."
Today, not only does the plant look good, it's much safer. Penn Fiber Teamsters are proud of their contribution and hard work that helped to make it all happen.
"Our members were enthusiastic about the BOOM program because the changes were happening with them, not around them," said Local 355 Vice President Ervin Williams adding, "Their opinions mattered."