Shop stewards: The May/June issue of On The Front Line is now available
You may view and download the current issue here. Please note that the newsletter contains clickable links to external pages for additional information. Mail delivery of our Joint Council 62 steward newsletter is suspended until further notice.
Update from the Motion Picture and Theatrical Divison
May 1, 2020 | Director Tom O’Donnell on the current state of the division and the efforts by the union to help its members through this difficult time: On or around March 13, 2020, the Motion Picture & Theatrical industries shut down all across North America. We are now in the seventh week post-shutdown, and employment is still at or near zero. This is the Teamsters response, for then, for now, and for tomorrow… Continue reading the update here.
Local 355 UPS driver featured on Call to Unite program
May 4, 2020 | This past weekend, the Call to Unite, a program focused on inspiration and developing community, was broadcast with a segment featuring union members talking about their perspectives as front-line workers during the coronavirus pandemic. The union segment featured Local 355 UPS package driver Dale Pink (first to speak 0:18 into the video) who works out of the Harrington, Delaware hub. Also featured are a UFCW member, a UNITE-HERE member, and a member of the Machinists union. The 24-hour program was organized to raise relief funds for families impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. It included inspirational speakers such as Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra as well as entertainers/actors such as Common, Bebe Winans, and Julia Roberts. Watch the video here.
Maryland Presidential Primary: Voters to receive mail ballots in May
May 7, 2020 | The presidential primary election initially scheduled for April 28, 2020 was moved to June 2, 2020. This election will be conducted primarily by mail. You should receive your ballot in early to mid-May. You do not need to ask for a ballot to receive one. (Don’t be surprised that the ballot has “April 28, 2020” printed at the top. There wasn’t time to reprint ballots after the election date was changed to June 2nd due to the coronavirus. The April date does not affect your ballot being counted.) There will be in-person voting for voters who cannot vote by mail. For more information about this election and where voters who cannot vote by mail can vote, click here.
Important update: H&W and Pension Fund contribution
May 12, 2020 | The Teamsters National Freight Division released an important update for YRCW Freight Teamsters. Read it here.
New Teamster Podcast: Coronavirus Update 9
May 13, 2020 | Listen here to the latest special edition of the Teamster Nation Podcast and hear more health and safety tips for those on the job, a legislative update, and news from the Health Care Division. Plus, Local 355 UPS worker Dave Pink explains the challenges of staying safe on the job.
Local Union Update: New contracts ratified
May 13, 2020 | For the first time in its history, Local 355 is utilizing 21st-century communications technology to negotiate contracts via videoconferencing and, in some cases, conducting contract ratifications via secure electronic voting here at teamsters355.com. Members at Stroehmann Bakeries approved a new contract good for five years. Anne Arundel County fire battalion chiefs and deputy sheriffs ratified new contracts that become effective July 1, 2020. At the Baltimore Sun, following two years of bargaining and numerous contract extensions, Teamster pressmen this week approved a three-year contract. And at Westway Feed, members unanimously approved a three-year deal giving them a substantial wage increase. Click here for details.
Update from the Teamsters National Freight Division
May 15, 2020 | In a message to members today Division Director Ernie Soehl writes: “I want to acknowledge and thank all the business agents and shop stewards out there helping our freight members get through this pandemic and of course all our freight members who are showing great courage during these unprecedented times. The freight industry is very much needed and essential during the pandemic, and I’m proud of all the work our freight members do, day after day, under extremely difficult conditions. Our freight members are the lifeline of America… As for the specific companies in the Freight Division... Continue reading here.
Teamsters denounce new trucker Hours of Service rules for threatening safety
May 15, 2020 | The Teamsters are taking aim at new truck driving hours-of-service rules released today by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), saying they would lead to reduced roadway safety for drivers and the traveling public at large. “In an effort to increase so-called ‘flexibility’ for trucking companies, the FMCSA is abandoning safety and allowing drivers to push themselves to the limit even further,” Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said. “Trucking is already one of the nation’s most dangerous jobs. We shouldn’t be sacrificing the health and safety of drivers just to pad the profits of their big business bosses.” Continue reading here.
Former Baltimore County exec: The Sun needs local ownership
May 18, 2020 | If a city loses its professional sports teams, it loses its spirit. If a city loses its newspapers, it loses its soul. We fight to keep our ballclubs. It’s time to fight to keep our newspaper. Why should we care what happens to The Baltimore Sun? If we lose our newspaper, we announce to the nation that Baltimore is no longer a big-league city. Here’s a chance to do something noble for our town. Now is the time to rally around the paper. To save it from the corporate demands for profit and restore it to local ownership… The Baltimore Sun
Business leaders, philanthropist hope to buy Baltimore Sun, run it as local nonprofit
May 21, 2020 | A group of Baltimore philanthropists, businesspeople, and the union representing journalists are again rallying support for an idea that’s long been floated but never materialized: regaining local ownership for The Baltimore Sun. Now, with the latest campaign in full swing, even some of the players involved say they aren’t sure whether it’s a realistic pursuit or a well-intentioned but futile effort to preserve an iconic newspaper and local institution… The Baltimore Sun
New Teamster Podcast: Coronavirus Update 10
May 21, 2020 | Listen here to the latest special edition of the Teamster Nation Podcast and hear from a Local 952 laundry driver about life on the job, plus more health and safety tips, a legislative update, and news from the Graphic Communications Conference.
Important Maryland voter registration and vote-by-mail info
May 21, 2020 | Be sure to register and update your voter registration information by May 27, 2020. It’s important that the Board of Elections has your current address in order to mail you your ballot. Click here to make sure your voter information, party affiliation, and address are updated.
Teamsters laud House Coronavirus Panel briefing addressing workers needs
May 22, 2020 | In a statement released today about a briefing of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, President Hoffa said, “The Teamsters are glad to see that the House subcommittee is taking the welfare of essential workers seriously by hosting its first hearing and hearing from these heroes who have stayed on the job while many have followed the guidance of public health officials and stayed home. "These people have risked their lives and those of their families by heading to work each day. Whether their job is in a hospital, a grocery store, behind the wheel of a truck, or picking up the trash, Americans are grateful for their actions. So in return, Congress must do everything it can to ensure these workers are protected.” Read the full statement here.
YRCW Teamsters still getting benefits in 8-week extension
May 26, 2020 | YRCW employees are starting the third week of healthcare being paid for by the Teamsters’ benefits provider as if they were out of work, even though not all of them are. The healthcare situation for YRCW employees is just one manifestation of the fiscal problems at the less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier, a slide that has taken the company’s stock price down to $1.40 from a 52-week high of just under $5… FreightWaves
Teamsters: Feds must design a plan to conquer COVID-19
May 27, 2020 | The coronavirus pandemic has ravaged this country during the past 10 weeks, taking the lives of some 100,000 Americans and jeopardizing the health of millions more… Elected officials need to stop playing politics with peoples’ lives, especially those who are working hard on the job while others sit at home. That means coming up with a solution that makes the public more secure about the world we work and live in so American society can return to a place that somewhat resembles where it was less than three months ago. Read the entire article here.
Teamsters issue update on Hertz bankruptcy
May 28, 2020 | On Friday, May 22, 2020, Hertz filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the District of Delaware for all its brands. On May 25, 2020, the Teamster Industrial Trades Division issued an update on the development that reads in part: “It's important to note that many companies file Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an effort to reorganize their debt and capital structure so it can continue as a “going concern” business, meaning operating much the way it had but in a more sustained manner. The fact that Hertz filed for bankruptcy does not automatically mean the company will liquidate or close…” Read the important update in its entirety here.
Important update from Teamsters Freight Division
May 29, 2020 | National Freight Director Ernie Soehl updates freight members about the current status of the industry. “Here are some facts. This is not fake news. These are the cold hard facts that we have to grapple with every day…” Read the memo here.
Local 355 Bi-Annual Shop Steward Seminar is postponed
May 29, 2020 | The Stewards Seminar originally scheduled for September 30 through October 4, 2020 in Ocean City, Md. has been postponed. Your Executive Board has taken this unprecedented step to ensure the safety and well being of the stewards who participate in this event. Click here to read the Executive Board’s full memo.