This is a developing story and will be updated as more information is available.
NewsGuild journalists representing 10 Tribune Publishing Co. publications across the country have launched a collective campaign to return these institutions to local ownership.
In a sweeping vote of no confidence in Tribune’s current leadership, NewsGuild members at publications including The Capital Gazette, The Chicago Tribune, The Hartford Courant, The Morning Call, The Orlando Sentinel, The Virginian-Pilot and more are seeking local investors who recognize that local newspapers are vital community institutions.
These campaigns will run parallel to The Baltimore Sun Guild’s Save Our Sun campaign… “These cities will be better served by local ownership, including not-for-profit models, who share our vision of serving our communities with a vibrant newspaper,” said Phil Davis, a reporter for The Baltimore Sun and a NewsGuild steward. “We hope to build a future in which profits are reinvested back into the newsroom.”
The campaigns build on a foundation laid by the Baltimore-Washington News Guild. In Baltimore, the Abell Foundation, the Goldseker Foundation, and Ted Venetoulis, a former Baltimore County executive, have stepped forward to express interest in buying the paper. Within three weeks, more than 6,000 people including a broad range of community leaders signed onto the campaign to help Save Our Sun… Learn more here
Photo: The Sun Building, 1317 F Street NW, is the oldest skyscraper in Washington, D.C. Since it’s inception in 1837, The Baltimore Sun kept a correspondent in Washington. In 1872, it started a Washington bureau based at 1418 F Street NW. The newspaper’s founder, Arunah Shepardson Abell, built The Sun Building in the 1880s.
Public Services members: Listen to the latest Member Town Hall July 7, 2020 | Check out the Public Services Division’s “Member Town Hall” webinar recorded on June 25 to learn what Teamster members can do to keep safe and stay sane during the COVID-19 pandemic, featuring video messages from General President James P. Hoffa and Public Services Division Director Jason Rabinowitz as well as an informative discussion from Gretchen Grindle, LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) and Lamont Byrd, of our Safety & Health Department. Listen here.
Burris Foods driver's daughter, a Hoffa Scholarship winner, becomes a doctor July 7, 2020 | Nine years ago, the daughter of long-time Local 355 Teamster and Burris Foods driver, Leonard Russell, set her sights on a medical career. With her father’s encouragement, Rebecca applied for and received a $10,000 award from the 2011 James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund. Today, as Rebecca Jean Russell, M.D., she is doing her medical residency at Christiana Care Hospital in Wilmington, Delaware. Dr. Russell achieved her dream of becoming a family physician specializing in geriatrics after a grueling eight-year educational quest. “Thank you so much for supporting me and my family on my journey to becoming a medical doctor,” Dr. Russell wrote in a recent letter to the Teamsters... Continue reading at 355 News (Pictured: Proud dad, Leonard, with daughter Dr. Rebecca Russell)
Public sector jobs at risk due to Senate inaction July 10, 2020 | The coronavirus pandemic has obviously taken a toll on the nation’s economic security. Millions have lost their jobs in the last four months. But while there have been some encouraging signs, millions of additional public sector jobs are hanging in the balance because hard-hit state and local governments might not be able to cover their salaries in the months to come. A recent blog by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) explains what’s at stake. State and local governments are facing a shortfall in tax revenues while doling out additional services due to COVID-19. Female and Black workers will be disproportionately affected by such cuts because they are employed in the public sector at higher rates. That’s why the Teamsters and other unions have been… Continue reading here.
Tribune Publishing journalists launch campaign seeking new ownership July 14, 2020 | NewsGuild Union journalists representing 10 Tribune Publishing Co. publications across the country have launched a collective campaign to return these institutions to local ownership. In a sweeping vote of no confidence in Tribune’s current leadership, NewsGuild members at publications including The Capital Gazette, The Chicago Tribune, The Hartford Courant, The Morning Call, The Orlando Sentinel, The Virginian-Pilot and more are seeking local investors who recognize that local newspapers are vital community institutions. These campaigns will run parallel to The Baltimore Sun Guild’s Save Our Sun campaign… Continue reading at 355 News
New edition of Teamsters podcast available July 16, 2020 | Listen to the latest edition of the Teamsters Podcast and hear how a former attorney for the union is now running for the U.S. Senate. Plus, an update on critical federal legislation to keep workers safe and economically secure, and two Local 743 health care workers share what it’s like to on the frontlines of the coronavirus.
Update from the Teamsters Express Division July 17, 2020 | From Division Director Bill Hamilton: “As the Covid-19 pandemic continues and is worsening in some parts of the country, I hope our Express Division Teamsters are staying healthy and as safe as possible. At DHL Express, shipping volumes are up drastically, especially in the Philadelphia area where I am. In Philadelphia, 49 additional full-time positions were filled on July 13, bringing the total to 160. And with volumes increasing, that number could go to 220 by September….” Continue reading the update here
Hoffa on passing of Congressman John Lewis July 20, 2020 | “Last night, our country lost a lion of the civil rights movement and a national force for good. As Teamsters, we are devastated to learn of the passing of Congressman John Lewis. “John Lewis dedicated his life to causes that were bigger than himself. For more than 60 years, his courageous leadership gave hope to the entire nation, reminding us all to be better. “More than anything, John Lewis was a fighter… Continue reading here
Teamsters across the country strike for Black lives July 21, 2020 | Workers with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters joined other major national labor organizations, leading racial and social justice groups, and activists in the national Strike for Black Lives. Hundreds of Teamsters across the U.S., joined by thousands more who walked off of their jobs for eight minutes and 46 seconds in honor of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many other Black people who are victims of police violence. “The International Brotherhood of Teamsters was founded on the principle of winning justice for all workers, and that cannot happen unless we dismantle racism and racist systems that continue to hold Black workers back,” said Marcus King, Director of the Human Rights and Diversity Commission at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Read the full press release here. Related:Workers in 25 cities held a short strike to protest systemic racism in society and the economy
‘Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act’ must be included in Senate’s stimulus package July 23, 2020 |The shutdown of the U.S. economy in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to amplify the pension crisis facing many Teamster members, retirees and their families. Since this pandemic began, our Union has demanded that Congress address this crisis as part of any federal legislation to stabilize and stimulate the economy. The House passed the HEROES Act (H.R. 6800) which included the Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act, creating a special partition program at the PBGC to rescue financially troubled multiemployer pension plans without cutting benefits. We support the Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act. Unfortunately, the HEROES Act also included the GROW Act, which we oppose. That was in May. Click here to tell your Senators to pass their own stimulus bill NOW.
Hoffa: Infrastructure investment holds key to improving economy July 27, 2020 | Most Americans use these systems every day, including hundreds of thousands of Teamsters, be it as truckers, railroad workers, bus drivers, building tradesmen and others. Our nation’s failure to maintain and improve this infrastructure is costing Americans. The irony is that increased infrastructure spending is widely supported, with a recent poll showing 80 percent back it. Increasing investments in necessary networks is essential to turning the economy around. Why? Because infrastructure jobs, unlike those in other sectors, can’t be outsourced… Continue reading here.
Nine years ago, the daughter of long-time Local 355 Burris Foods driver, Leonard Russell, set her sights on a medical career. With her father’s encouragement, Rebecca applied for and received a $10,000 award from the 2011 James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund. Today, as Rebecca Jean Russell, M.D., she is doing her medical residency at Christiana Care Hospital in Wilmington, Delaware.
Dr. Russell achieved her dream of becoming a family physician specializing in geriatrics after an eight-year educational journey.
“Thank you so much for supporting me and my family on my journey to becoming a medical doctor,” Dr. Russell wrote in a recent letter to the Teamsters. “I have completed my education at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University [Philadelphia, Pa.]. Completing this dream would not have been possible without the generosity of the Teamsters. Through helping me complete my education, I have gained invaluable experiences at Thomas Jefferson University, which have shaped my outlook on medicine and will no doubt influence my future career.”
The only child of Leonard and Donna Russell, Dr. Russell graduated from Milford High School (Milford, Del.) and was valedictorian of her class. At the time, she aspired to be a dermatologist. Dr. Russell completed her undergraduate education in the Biochemistry/Pre-Med Program at the University of Delaware. She went on to graduate from the University of Delaware with an Honors Degree of Bachelor of the Arts in Biological Sciences with Distinction with minors in Medical Humanities, Medical Diagnostics, and Spanish. At the University of Delaware, she completed a research thesis, worked as a resident assistant, and served as the president of the Biological Honors Society.
“Again, thank you for all your help on this journey! We couldn’t have done it without your wonderful support.”
Local 355 extends its congratulations and best wishes to the Russell family.
Teamster Nation Podcast: Standing united, demanding racial justice June 3, 2020 | Listen to the latest special edition of the Teamster Nation Podcast and hear how the Teamsters are demanding racial justice in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. Plus, get the latest news from the Passenger Transportation Division, and learn about the challenges facing Local 922 transit workers in the nation’s capital. Click here to listen.
Union applauds unveiling of new transportation legislation June 4, 2020 | The Teamsters are lauding the release of a new House transportation measure today, saying the bill is a win for workers and will enhance roadway safety. It will not only make nearly $500 billion available for road, transit, and rail needs but will also roll back new rules that placed the lives of transportation workers and the traveling public at risk. The INVEST in America Act would suspend changes made to the hours of service (HOS) rules that increase the amount of time truckers could be on the road without a rest break. Read the full statement here.
MDOT MVA will move toward a “phased reopening” Monday, June 8 June 4, 2020 | The Maryland Dept. of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) will reopen select branch offices to customers on a limited basis beginning Monday, June 8. Click here for a list of the branches that will reopen. Customer service will be conducted by appointment only in order to reduce foot traffic and limit the number of customers in branch offices at any one time. Recent system upgrades allow CDL holders with a valid medical certificate and REAL ID documents on file to order a renewal license online here. Additional information about CDL forms here.
Baltimore to ease some restrictions Monday, June 8 June 5, 2020 | Mayor Young announced today that the city is moving into phase one of recovery, with some coronavirus-related restrictions lifted beginning Monday. The three-stage reopening plan varies slightly from state guidelines. (Gov. Hogan said Wednesday the state is moving into the second phase of his three-phase opening plan.) Learn more ... Baltimore Sun
A message from the Public Services Division June 5, 2020 | In these challenging times, when our members’ lives and livelihood are on the line, and our Union is standing strong to protect worker safety and jobs, communication is crucial to our success. This why the Public Services Division has been working closely with our local unions throughout this unprecedented time, holding biweekly webinars with locals to better address the issues facing all public sector workers during the COVID-19 crisis. We are also communicating regularly with our members through virtual town halls to keep public sector workers informed of all the work the Union is doing to protect workers... Read the full report here.
Reminder! Spring Golf canceled June 8, 2020 | Regrettably, we've canceled our spring outing scheduled for June 13 at Queenstown Harbor on the Eastern Shore. Because the course is not fully opened, it can't accommodate a tournament with our numbers. Hopefully, we'll get tee time together in the fall. We'll let you know.
Shop stewards: The May/June issue of On The Front Line is now available June 12, 2020 | 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.
Teamsters launch resources website for non-union essential workers June 10, 2020 | During this public health crisis, bosses aren’t keeping workers safe, the federal government isn’t keeping workers safe, workers are keeping each other safe. We see workers across the country coming together to make their workplace safer and improve work standards and we want all workers to know we’ve got your back… Visit us at solidarityisessential.org
More restrictions are being eased Friday. Here’s what you need to know. June 11, 2020 | Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday that he’s going to ease more restrictions from coronavirus-related shutdowns with indoor dining and outdoor amusements opening Friday and indoor gyms, casinos and malls resuming limited operations next week. Day cares and summer school will also be able to start back up in some capacity. Hogan said the looser restrictions will be safe only if people continue to wear masks and practice social distancing. “The fight against this virus is far from over.” … Get the details at The Baltimore Sun
Trucker safety and health concerns raised at House committee hearing June 15, 2020 | More must be done to protect the lives of truck drivers who have placed themselves and their families at risk during the coronavirus pandemic to deliver groceries and other necessities to the public. Testifying in front of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee last week, Lamont Byrd, the Teamsters’ top safety and health official, said the union’s 600,000 members who transport goods have played an important role in keeping other essential workers safe. He noted, for example, that YRC drivers transported plexiglass safety shields to 1,500 locations nationally so workers and customers could be protected… Click here to read more.
Teamsters has a dedicated page for Hertz bankruptcy news June 16, 2020 | Our union has started a page on their website specifically for Hertz Teamsters as the company works its way through bankruptcy. It can be found here. “The Hertz bankruptcy is affecting the lives of thousands of Teamsters and their families, and the union has been working nonstop on behalf of those members,” said Bob Lennox, Western Region Industrial Trades Director and Secretary-Treasurer of Local 495 in West Covina, Calif. “Hertz Teamsters should check this page often for the latest information on the bankruptcy and what their union is doing about it.”
Today in DC: Workers First Caravan for Racial + Economic Justice June 17, 2020 | More than a thousand union members will hit DC streets today in the Workers First Caravan for Racial and Economic Justice, the headline event of a massive national mobilization with hundreds of actions calling for bold policies to confront the three crises facing America: a public health pandemic, an economic free fall and long-standing structural racism. The Workers First Caravan is organized by AFSCME, AFT, IUPAT, IBT, UFCW, UNITE HERE, and the AFL-CIO… DC Labor
COVID-19 and the food supply chain June 17, 2020 | In the latest edition of the Teamsters Podcast you’ll hear how union members took action all around the country last week to demand increase safety precautions for food supply chain workers. Plus, Teamsters Safety and Health Department Director Lamont Byrd tells lawmakers more must be done to protect truckers. Listen here.
Newspaper, magazine conference update June 18, 2020 | Printing the news about the COVID-19 pandemic and providing CDC information on safety guidelines for the public has been an important part of what’s been carried in the news over recent months. Our brothers and sisters working as “essential” workers in the newspaper industry have diligently gone to work, worn protective gear, and taken other precautions to stay safe and healthy on the job. I am proud that we are part of the news distribution system in the United States. But, our health is of utmost importance. I want to make sure that every one of our members which work the newspaper, magazine, or with electronic media that are part of the Teamsters take special precautions… Read more here
COVID-19 update: Openings & restrictions in our area June 19, 2020 | We’ve updated our COVID-19 Outbreak Resources for Members. While restrictions on businesses and social activity are gradually lifting in states where our members live and work, their governors and public-health experts warn that lifting restrictions to allow openings have the potential to cause a second wave of coronavirus infections. You can do what you need to do to stop coronavirus so you and others stay safe and well: Wash your hands often. Wear a mask. Keep a safe distance. And read the update here. Related:Baltimore eases coronavirus restrictions as city moves to Phase 2 of recovery.
Teamsters join other unions in demand for racial, economic justice June 22, 2020 | Teamsters joined with fellow union members in the nation’s capital and across the country last week to participate in the Workers First Caravan for Racial and Economic Justice, a massive mobilization calling for bold policies to confront the coronavirus pandemic, an economic free fall and long-standing structural racism. Some 1,000 cars met up at locations in Silver Spring, Md. and Arlington, Va. before heading to Capitol Hill, where they drove around the U.S. Capitol demanding passage of the HEROES Act, which would boost worker safety rules, secure pensions and make necessary funds available to state and local governments to keep them up and running and their workers employed… Read more here
Update from the Tankhaul Division June 23, 2020 | The tankhaul industry has not been hit as hard as some during the COVID-19 pandemic. Teamster Tankhaulers are still working at full employment in most industries. According to industry publications, oxygen demand has increased dramatically due to the pandemic. For any patient diagnosed with COVID-19, access to oxygen is essential. In many parts of the country, Teamsters deliver that oxygen to hospitals and other medical care facilities. Teamster drivers in gasoline and diesel delivery are still working and are considered essential workers. Since many Teamsters in the Tankhaul Division are… Continue reading here.
Hoffa: Changes to guest worker programs will help protect U.S. livelihoods June 30, 2020 | In a statement released yesterday about a White House effort to temporarily curtail guest worker programs during the current economic downturn, General President Hoffa said, “U.S. workers are facing a nearly unprecedented loss of jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic. Given the current conditions, it only makes sense to prioritize the lives and the livelihoods of hardworking Americans and protect their wages…” Continue reading here.
Teamster Union lauds Cares Act relief for YRCW workers June 30, 2020 | A $700 million loan provided by the United States Treasury under the CARES Act will help YRC Worldwide, Inc.’s operating companies pay its employees’ health care and other benefits and get through this pandemic while protecting the livelihoods of about 24,000 Teamsters and their families, Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa said yesterday. The CARES Act assistance will be used to pay for employee health care and pension costs and other obligations. YRCW employs 30,000 freight workers, including 24,000 Teamsters at YRC Freight, Holland, Reddaway and New Penn. Read more here.
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.
Note: The Local continues to represent and serve its members during these difficult times when we all must take extreme precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19. To that end, we've instituted procedures that help us do our jobs while keeping us safe. We're using the latest communications technology to conduct in-person meetings via videoconferencing (Zoom) for grievance meetings and contract negotiations and, in some cases, conducting contract ratifications via secure electronic voting here at teamsters355.com.
Drivers at Westway Feed unanimously approved in early May a new contract with a three-year term providing substantial wage increases and an increase in pension contributions in each year of the agreement. In addition, Health & Welfare is maintained.
Anne Arundel Countyfire battalion chiefs ratified a one-year contract through June 30, 2021, that raises the minimum rate and increases the maximum by two percent, and provides a three and one half percent merit. In addition, the agreement includes an increase in the extra shift bonus pay and preserves members' current cost share of health insurance.
Anne Arundel County deputy sheriffs ratified a two-year contract through June 30, 2022, that provides a six percent cost-of-living (COLA) increase and six percent merit increases over the term. (Deputy sheriff corporals will receive an additional two percent increase in merit over the term.) In addition, the new agreement provides an increase in on-call pay, preserves members' current cost share of health insurance, and updates the equipment allowance.
Both contracts provide wage re-openers for economic provisions of the MOA if the Anne Arundel County Council fails to fund any part of the agreement.
Local 355 Teamster pressmen employed at The Baltimore Sun ratified this week a new collective bargaining agreement that will provide stability during unstable times in the newspaper industry. The new contract preserves jobs and wages and protects key benefits through April 2023. It also provides a waste reduction incentive plan whereby pressmen can earn incentive payments on a quarterly basis.
Securing a contract following two difficult years of bargaining is no small feat in this industry and given the precarious conditions under which The Sun and other Tribune papers are operating: A global pandemic, steep declines in advertising and circulation and in June, the increase of its ownership stake by Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund known for scoping up struggling companies and eliminating jobs in its vampiric thirst for profits. Hope remains that a local ownership group will step up to purchase Baltimore's only daily newspaper.
A five-year contract was ratified in April by members at Stroehmann's (Bimbo Bakeries) providing wage increases and maintenance of Health & Welfare with a slight increase to cost-sharing co-payments. An improvement to the vacation schedule provides pay on an employee's base equal to 1/52 of the previous year's W2. Mid-term agreements (MOA, LOA) relating to security requirements in the workplace were included in the collective bargaining agreement.
Special podcast: Taylor on UPS Teamsters on the front lines Apr. 1, 2020 Listen to this special edition of Teamster Nation Podcast focused on the UPS Teamsters who are on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic: General President Jim Hoffa provides an overview of work of the Union on behalf of the entire membership; UPS Package Division Director Denis Taylor on the current issues facing front-line UPS delivery workers; and Lamont Byrd from the Safety & Health Dept. on what his department is doing to support UPS members, including an update on the impact of government decisions (such as the FMCSA hours-of-service waiver) on members. In addition, advisories and industry-specific fact sheets that keep you up-to-date on legislative policy developments around the COVID-19 pandemic continue to become available for download. Read the latest Unemployment and Paid Sick & Family Leave Protections.
Carhaul Division update from Director Kevin Moore Apr. 2, 2020 | The Carhaul Division was one of the first divisions impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with the announcement by the Big Three OEM’s & Honda (General Motors, Ford and Fiat/Chrysler). On Wednesday, March 18, 2020 an announcement was made that they would idle production until at least March 30, 2020. The remaining automotive manufacturers, Nissan, Subaru, Volvo, Toyota, Mercedes, and BMW have also idled North American plants and European production…Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the loss of approximately 3,700 jobs or about 60 percent of the Teamster-represented industry and that number will dramatically increase as the distribution system empties out next week… Read the full update here.
Update for members in Package and Feeder Delivery operations Apr. 2, 2020 | The IBT Safety & Health Department has issued this operations fact sheet that includes guidance for package, feeder and inside operations employees. Because the coronavirus pandemic is proving to be a rapidly evolving situation, this and other fact sheets will be updated as more information becomes available. Be sure to check the end of the fact sheet for the most up-to-date information.
Reminder! When your doctor isn’t available, there’s Teladoc Apr. 6, 2020 | When you can’t reach your doctor, Teladoc provides you with the care you need. So if you are a member of the 355 Health & Welfare Fund Plan and you (or your eligible plan dependent) needs care right now, rather than heading out to the ER or an urgent care center, you can receive immediate quality care via a simple phone call, or have a video consult via your smartphone or computer. Haven’t signed up yet? Call our Teladoc representative, Hank Christiansen at 774-200-1840, or email him: hchristiansen@caDRplus.com.
Guidelines: The Union’s role in workplace preparation Apr. 7, 2020 | Under the law, it is the employer’s responsibility to provide a safe and healthy workplace. The union’s role is to make sure the employer takes action. The Teamsters Safety & Health Department issued this updated fact sheet (PDF) outlining some actions that the Union can take to help make your employer ready.
Teamster Nation Podcast: Get the latest health & safety tips for those on the job Apr. 8, 2020 | Listen to the latest special edition of the Teamster Nation Podcast, and hear the latest health and safety tips for those on the job. You’ll also learn the latest on Capitol Hill legislative action, news from the union’s Industrial Trades and Airline divisions, and inside the daily work of a New Jersey sanitation worker.
New Teamster S&H fact sheet available for law enforcement members Apr. 9, 2020 | As COVID-19 continues to spread, employers and employees should know about laws and recommendations that govern COVID-19 in the workplace. The Teamsters Safety & Health Department’s Law Enforcement Coronavirus Fact Sheet provides vital safety information for essential employees.
Teamsters Public Services to host a town hall webinar for members Apr. 9, 2020 | The Teamsters will be hosting a town hall webinar event for members of the Public Services Division on Thursday, April 9 at 5:00 p.m. (EST). The event will feature General President James P. Hoffa, Public Services Division Director Jason Rabinowitz, and the Teamsters Safety and Health Department. Click here to register in advance for the webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Today is the application deadline for the Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Apr. 14, 2020 | Due to the national emergency, the deadline for applications for the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund was extended to April 14, today. Click the Fund’s website for detailed instructions on submitting your application.
Teamsters, DHL reach agreement to help minimize layoffs Apr. 15, 2020 | The Teamsters and DHL have reached an agreement to ease vacation-use rules aimed at reducing any potential layoffs. The Letter of Understanding between the Teamsters DHL National Negotiating Committee and DHL Express relaxes rules pertaining to vacation use if shipping volumes drop…Teamsters
Teamster Nation Podcast: Episode 190 - Coronavirus Update #5 Apr. 15, 2020 | Listen to the latest special edition of the Teamster Nation Podcast, and hear an update from the union’s Rail Conference and Motion Picture and Theatrical Trade Division, as well as the Organizing Department. Plus, what it’s like to work inside a grocery warehouse in the age of COVID-19.
Teamsters fight for protection, economic relief for its members Apr. 16, 2020 | More than a month into the nationwide fight to combat the coronavirus, the Teamsters are using their legislative lobbying power to protect workers from both illness and economic distress. The union’s Department of Political and Legislative Action has been active in letting lawmakers know about the needs of members, be it for personal protective equipment (PPE), expanded unemployment benefits or direct stimulus checks many are receiving right now… Teamsters
IBT memo regarding YRCW benefit contribution delays Apr. 17, 2020 | The following is from Ernie Soehl, Director of the National Freight Division: “…Unfortunately, all of the YRCW companies have experienced a sharp decline in volumes over the past few weeks in light of the closure of many of its customers’ operations and the general economic downturn. We also have a number of members on layoff. Nevertheless, the Company has confirmed that it is paying the contractual wage increase that was due April 1 under the YRCW National Master Freight Agreement…Read the entire memo here.
Hertz furloughs continue Apr. 17, 2020 | It is being reported that Hertz is seeking government aid through the coronavirus bailout package to avoid bankruptcy. Hertz employs Teamsters at locations around the country [including Local 355 members at BWI]. The company has already reduced the workforce to 10 percent, including management. “Teamsters are in discussion with our local unions and the company about furloughs and extensions of benefits for our members…” Continue reading at Teamsters
Helpful tips for members & stewards posted every week Apr. 20, 2020 | 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 Members, Weekly Tip for Members. Stewards, how do you deal with the Critic? Do you know what your steward rights are? When past practice is relevant? Worried about confidentiality issues? The Weekly Stewards' Tip help make your role as steward a bit easier. Available under Shop Stewards, Weekly Tip for Stewards. (Note: If you've forgotten your password, email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.)
Hoffa: New workplace safety bill would provide COVID-19 protection Apr. 22, 2020 | Legislation was introduced yesterday that would require the OSHA to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard that establishes a legal obligation for all workplaces to implement infectious disease exposure control plans to keep workers safe during the coronavirus pandemic. General President Jim Hoffa said in a statement: “More than a million essential Teamster workers are going to work each day during this COVID-19 pandemic… These hardworking Americans, and many others like them, are putting their lives on the line for us. The very least our elected officials can do id to ensure that employers are doing all they can to protect these workers. But right now, that isn’t happening. That’s why it is important for Congress to act to quickly change it.” Full text of Hoffa’s statement here.
Survey reveals worker concerns with PPE, lack of info from management Apr. 23, 2020 | Amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has spread and intensified across the United States in the last few weeks, hospital workers say that they are still being forced to ration protective gear and it is hard to get vital information about the workplace from their employers. In a new survey by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which represents more than 50,000 doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, and other health care workers nationwide, nearly half of the respondents said … Teamsters
Status Update: Health and Welfare and Pension Fund contribution delays Apr. 24, 2020 | Various news outlets have reported that TNFINC itself has granted a grace period to the YRCW companies to make their Health, Welfare and Pension contribution payments that are due this month and perhaps over the next few months. That is not accurate. TNFINC was/is not in a position to agree on behalf of the various funds. Rather, what has occurred is... Continue reading here
A message from Graphics Communications Conference President Kurt Freeman Apr. 27, 2020 | The COVID-19 crisis is presenting our union with many challenges. But, it is also showing us how our members and union companies have innovative ideas. The GCC/IBT has numerous companies that have retooled their operations and are now producing face masks and other PPE… Continue reading here
Workers’ Memorial Day: Mourn for the dead, fight for the living Apr. 28, 2020 | The Teamsters Union, and trade unionists around the world, recognize April 28 as Workers' Memorial Day — an international day of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured or made ill by their work. Workers' Memorial Day is an opportunity to highlight the preventable nature of most workplace injuries and illnesses, and to promote the fight for improving health and safety at each and every workplace. To help mark this important day, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) is providing the following resources to help with the planning of activities at local unions and workplaces… Continue reading here
Remembering the fallen: A message from General President Hoffa Apr. 28, 2020 | Today, April 28, is Workers’ Memorial Day, a day to remember workers killed or injured on the job and to fight for strong safety and health provisions for all workers. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, this day takes on an even deeper meaning. We have had reports of rank-and-file Teamsters who have been infected, and some who have died, from COVID-19. We are in the midst of a national emergency and essential workers—many of them Teamsters—are putting their own health on the line to keep the rest of us safe, healthy and fed. Before COVID-19, an average of 14 workers died each day of workplace injuries. The most recent data available tells us… Teamsters
Postponed: Drawing for Local 355 Scholarship Awards Apr. 28, 2020 | The 2020 Local Union Scholarship drawing was scheduled to be drawn at our Sunday, May 3 meeting in Baltimore. Local 355 is adhering to social-distancing restrictions required by the CDC and State of Maryland so the meeting is canceled and the drawing will be delayed. Applications will continue to be accepted. Please click here for additional information.
Teamsters call for enforceable worker protections and testing following EO requiring meatpacking plants to remain open Apr. 30, 2020 | In response to the executive order issued this week mandating meatpacking plants remain open during the COVID-19 crisis, the Teamsters Union called on the administration and federal, state, and local regulators today to enforce worker protections and increase testing on the job for food supply chain workers. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the food supply chain in the United States to significant uncertainties and vulnerabilities. The Teamsters Union is calling on the administration to immediately enact enforceable safety standards, compel all employers to provide the highest level of protective equipment, ensure daily testing is available for workers and their communities, enforce physical distancing at all plants, provide emergency premium pay, and mandate full paid sick leave for any workers who are infected… Read the full press release here
While restrictions on businesses and social activity are gradually lifting in states where our members live and work, their governors and public-health experts warn that lifting restrictions to allow openings have the potential to cause a second wave of coronavirus infections. You can do what you need to do to stop coronavirus so you and others stay safe and well: Wash your hands often. Wear a mask. Keep a safe distance.
Maryland: Governor Hogan issued a stay-at-home order March 30, and ended it May 15, 2020. Moderate restrictions vary by region. Open in most of the state are restaurant dine-in services, outdoor amusement activities, retail stores, personal care businesses (barbershops, salons are by appointment only), and places of worship – all with social distancing and appropriate health and safety protocols. On June 19, other businesses and buildings, including arcades, casinos, daycares, gyms, dance and martial arts facilities, and malls will also begin resuming operations with strict safety protocols. Learn more here.
These businesses reopened on June 5:
Large and small retail shops
Offices including information technology firms, legal offices, accounting, banking, financial institutions, insurance agencies, design studios, advertising, and architectural firms
Media production companies
Real estate offices
Delaware: Governor Carney issued a stay-at-home order on March 24 and ended it on May 15, 2020. The state is in the second phase of its reopening plan, which increased capacity limits for some businesses. Strict social distancing must continue to be observed and cloth face coverings must be worn in accordance with the State of Emergency order. Now open are gyms and retail businesses. Personal-care businesses such as barbershops and salons are by appointment only. Dine-in at restaurants is by reservation only. Beaches and pools are open. See Industry Guidance.
Pennsylvania: Governor Wolf issued a stay-at-home order April 1 and ended it on May 8, 2020, when he announced a phased, color-coded plan to reopen the state's 24 counties beginning on May 8. As of June 12, Cumberland and Hagerstown entered the green phase, which eased most restrictions by lifting stay-at-home and business closure orders to allow the economy to “strategically open while continuing to prioritize public health. Some restrictions, like wearing masks, remain in place. Learn more here.
Virginia: Governor Northam issued a stay-at-home order on March 30 and ended it on June 10, 2020. The state moved to the second phase of reopening on June 5. Northern Virginia and Richmond moved to the second phase June 12. Looser restrictions include opening restaurants allowing 50% capacity; gyms and fitness centers at 30% capacity. Learn more here.
Updated May 15, 2020
The following is a listing of useful links to important coronavirus guidelines and various Federal and State services. Updates will be made as necessary. (For additional industry-related information check the IBT COVIS-19 Outbreak Resources.)
April 2, 2020 | Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issued a stay-at-home order Monday to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Although the order largely didn’t change anything since the Republican governor had already ordered severe restrictions that closed schools, colleges, sit-down restaurants, malls, casinos, gyms, theaters and nonessential businesses. And the governor previously had banned gatherings of more than 10 people.
Hogan said the stay-at-home directive was necessary given the concern that the virus could hinder the federal government’s ability to respond to the crisis. Additionally, he said, COVID-19 could spread to “literally thousands” of facilities in Maryland, including hospitals, detention centers and nursing homes.
“Every Marylander can be a hero, just by staying home,” Hogan said at an Annapolis news conference this week.
But days after the directive was issued, Marylanders still have questions and many are asking the governor’s spokesman, Mike Ricci, directly.
We’ve highlighted 10 of the most frequently asked questions Ricci has answered on Twitter since Hogan issued the order:
Yes, you can still go outside.
Walking or running around your block or going for a hike at a local county or state park is OK. Taking your dog for a walk is fine, too. The governor’s office just asks that you practice social distancing as you come across others and above all, use common sense.
Can my nanny still come watch my child?
Yes. Nannies fall under the category of “residential service," which is classified as an essential service, Hogan’s deputy communications director Kata D. Hall said in a tweet.
Can I set up a play date for my child? Probably not the best idea. Coronavirus is highly contagious and easily transmitted. Because of this, Ricci says play dates — and other nonessential gatherings — should be no-gos. “We want people to use remote forms of communication as much as possible,” he said.
If I’m an essential employee, do I need to carry a letter that says where I work?
It depends. According to Ricci, the governor’s chief legal counsel said it is “advisable” for employers to provide workers with a letter in case they get stopped by law enforcement. But ultimately it is up to the individual organization to decide. “The burden here is on the employer,” the legal counsel told Ricci.
I commute to a different state for work, groceries or essentials. Can I still go?
Yes. People are encouraged to try to limit their travel as much as possible, but if it is a necessity to go across state lines, it is OK, Hall said in a tweet.
I’m supposed to move to a new place to live. What now?
You can still move to a new residence, Ricci said. However, it is important to take extra precautions. But as long as the individual is “confident” in those measures, Ricci said, moving should be no issue.
Sometimes I like to just get out of the house and drive around. Can I still do that?
Yes again. Drivers should try to not venture too far out of the region if possible, Ricci said, but if you are inside a car and not in direct contact, aside from those who may live with you, there should be no problems.
I want to go hunting or fishing. Is that OK?
If you are getting food for you or your family, it is allowed. However, social distancing guidelines still must be followed and no groups over 10 people are allowed. Same goes for fishing in a state park or crabbing and fishing from a boat, Ricci said.
It’s a nice day. Can I take my kayak or boat out on the water?
Until the state of emergency is lifted by Hogan, recreational boating is prohibited. However, activities like kayaking and paddleboarding are considered to be a form of exercise and are permitted. But all participants must still practice social distancing and abide by the social gathering limit.
When does the stay-at-home order end?
Teamsters Safety & Health Update: Information and guidelines on coronavirus Mar. 5, 2020 | Our union issued today important Safety & Health information on the coronavirus. We encourage you to view/download the S&H Fact Sheet (link below) that provides information about what the coronavirus disease 2019 (abbreviated “COVID-19”) is, why it is cause for concern, how it spreads, which workers are at increased risk, the symptoms of the disease, and much, much more. Keep in mind that this is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation. The fact sheet will be updated as needed. Download Teamsters Safety & Health Coronavirus.
Pink sworn in as Teamsters Local 355 trustee Mar. 2, 2020 | Dale Pink, a 30-year Teamster at the Harrington, Delaware UPS hub, has been appointed by the Teamsters Local 355 Executive Board to replace Trustee Tim Marvel who resigned when he became a Local 355 business agent. It is the policy of the current administration that the office of trustee is comprised of rank and file members. President Denis Taylor administered Pink’s oath of office immediately following the announcement during this month's membership meeting in Baltimore. Pink joins trustees Janet Genovese (UPS) and Christopher Greene (Sysco) on the Local 355 Executive Board.
Who should the Teamsters endorse in 2020? Mar. 11, 2020 | Last year our Union surveyed members to find out what issues were most important to them when choosing a candidate for President. All of the candidates were presented with our issues and told the requirements for obtaining the endorsement of the Teamsters Union. We then followed them on the campaign and got their issues on the record, which you can see here. Now, we want to know which of the candidates YOU think has earned the Teamsters’ endorsement. Click here to make your voice heard no later than Monday, March 16.
American Red Cross in need of blood donors Mar. 16, 2020 | Teamsters members are critical to health care, working in hospitals, nursing homes and health care facilities, including the American Red Cross, where over 1,300 Teamsters are employed. As blood drive cancellations increase due to coronavirus concerns, healthy individuals are needed to give blood or platelets to help patients in need. The American Red Cross has reported that tens of thousands of much-need blood donations have gone uncollected as organizations and businesses that hold blood drives have temporarily closed during this pandemic… Teamsters
Maryland to extend temporary UI benefits during coronavirus pandemic Mar. 18, 2020 | Maryland’s Senate passed emergency legislation Monday to extend temporary unemployment insurance (UI) benefits to employees who will lose their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic. The benefits will be extended to workers who have to be quarantined or whose employers temporarily close, and makes people eligible for benefits when they have to leave their jobs due to the risk of exposure or to care for an infected family member… Baltimore Sun Related: The DC City Council passed legislation providing relief for DC residents and workers. Read the summary here.
Teamsters are urged to patronize restaurants’ curbside pickup, delivery Mar. 19, 2020 | With more and more states ordering the closure of restaurants as coronavirus continues to spread across the United States, our members working at broadline food distributors are facing severe economic hardship. However, many restaurants are offering curbside pickup or delivery service to customers, and we urge Teamsters and others to patronize the restaurants offering these alternatives. "Our members at Sysco/Sygma, US Foods/FSA, PFG/Reinhart, and other companies keep these restaurants operating daily, and the closures are already having an impact on their livelihoods," said Steve Vairma, Director of the Teamsters Warehouse Division. "By using the curbside pickup or delivery services, where available, it will help not only the restaurants get through this crisis but also our members… Teamsters
Teamsters, UPS agree to COVID-19 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Mar. 19, 2020 | The Teamsters UPS and UPS Freight National Negotiating Committees and UPS have reached an agreement to protect members at UPS and UPS Freight who may be affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). In summary, the agreement provides for paid leave for any worker who is diagnosed with COVID-19 and is required to be quarantined or if they are quarantined due to a family member’s illness. While on leave, the pay will be… Teamsters
A message to Warehouse Teamsters from Division Director Steve Varma Mar. 20, 2020 | As one of the largest divisions in the Teamsters Union, the Warehouse Division has been working with our local unions in the Grocery and Broadline industries during the coronavirus outbreak. In a number of states. restaurants and schools have been closed affecting our members in the Broadline Industry and putting even more pressure on the Grocery Distributors and our members to meet the demands of the public… Teamsters
Coronavirus Update: Resources to help everyone Mar. 21, 2020 | Listen to the March 20 special episode of Teamster Nation Podcastaddressing the coronavirus outbreak, where Teamster staff lets members know what they are doing to help members stem both illness and economic loss, and more.
First responders: COVID-19 awareness update Mar. 24, 2020 | This Teamsters guidance, based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, applies to all first responders, including law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical services (EMS), and emergency management officials, who anticipate close contact with persons with confirmed or possible COVID-19 in the course of their work. Download the PDF
Republic Services: Reinstate employee Greg Dowis NOW Mar. 25, 2020 | Republic Services, a $10 billion trash and landfill corporation, suspended longtime employee Greg Dowis for speaking out for worker safety during the coronavirus pandemic. Greg is married, has a son serving in the US Army, and has 2 grandchildren. He is just looking to protect his family and community. Please sign this petition to demand that Republic reinstate Greg NOW!
Scholarship deadline EXTENDED to April 14 Mar. 26, 2020 | Due to the national emergency, the deadline for applications for the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund has been extended to April 14. Please see the Fund's website for details on how to apply.
Enforcement notice on expiring CDLs * Mar. 26, 2020 | FMCSA grants, until June 30, 2020, a waiver from certain regulations applicable to interstate and intrastate commercial driver’s license and commercial learner’s permit holders and to other interstate drivers operating commercial motor vehicles. You can find the Enforcement Notice here. * For additional information, see the Teamsters CDL Drivers Coronavirus Factsheet
Feb. 27, 2020 | After announcing last week that he would not seek re-election in 2022, General President Jim Hoffa posted the following letter to his Facebook page.
Dear Fellow Teamster:
There can be no greater honor than serving as General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Everyday since you first elected me 21 years ago I have worked hard to earn the trust and support of you, the members I serve. Working together we have accomplished many great things for our beloved Teamsters Union.
When I was first elected I promised to:
Unite our great Union. Teamster Joint Councils and Local Unions are working together better today than any time in our history. That is why we are growing, why we are getting strong contracts and why we can hold politicians accountable. Nothing can stop us when we stand together united.
Run a clean union. Recently the Final Consent Order was implemented demonstrating that the Union and the Government agree that the Teamsters are now corruption-free.
Deliver strong contracts. I have worked with dedicated Teamster members and leaders to accomplish this most important goal. We have built worker power and exerted it to bring companies to the table to win industry-leading contracts that Teamster members deserve.
Grow the Teamsters Union. We created a dedicated organizing fund that has turned the Teamsters into the most recognized union in North America for aggressive, strategic and successful organizing. I am proud to say that despite attacks by anti-worker forces and the politicians they have elected, we have more Teamster members now than when I took office.
Work across political party lines to benefit Teamster members. We fought back against the war on workers over the last decade and I believe we are winning this fight. Through it all the Teamsters Union has been a leading advocate for worker justice, maintaining important lines of communications with Republican and Democrat administrations in State Houses and in Washington, DC. Most recently we were successful in obtaining meaningful changes in the North American Free Trade Agreement. This has been one of our major issues for the past two decades.
Make the Teamsters a democratic Union. Rank and file member engagement is what makes the Teamsters Union strong. I am proud to have enshrined the direct membership vote in the Teamsters election in the Teamsters Constitution.
There is much more work to be done. We have a pension crisis that must be solved and American workers are still under attack by politicians in Washington and state houses across the country. But I have faith that working together we will succeed for Teamster members.
My entire life has been dedicated to the Teamsters Union. I grew up walking picket lines with my father and spent my entire career representing and fighting for Teamster members. That is why my decision to not run for another term in 2021 is so difficult. But I know that it is time for new leaders to take the helm and steer our great Union through the difficult years ahead.
And please rest assured that during my final two years in office I will continue to fight to make the Teamsters Union stronger everyday.
Thank you all for of your incredible support over the years. We could not have succeeded without your involvement and participation. It has been an honor to work with all of you.
Membership meeting, February 16, 2020, at the Local 355 Union Hall in Salisbury, MD
Bill to protect, strengthen workers’ rights headed for a vote this week Feb. 4, 2020 | H.R. 2474, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, is headed to the full House of Representatives for debate and a vote on the floor this week. Under current law, many employers routinely violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and block workers’ ability to exercise their right to bargain for better wages and better working conditions. The PRO Act would restore and strengthen worker protections which have been eroded over the years. Act now! Tell your representative that you support H.R. 2474 and that you will be watching how they vote on the legislation.
Jimmy Hoffa: In his own words Feb. 12, 2020| Listen to the latest edition of the Teamster Nation Podcast and hear about the legacy of James R. Hoffa from the man himself as the union remembers him on the 107th anniversary of his birth.
Deadline fast approaching for this year’s Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Feb. 13, 2020| The deadline for applying for an academic or vocational/training program scholarship from the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund is March 2. The college and vocational scholarship programs are available only for the sons, daughters and financial dependents of active and retired Teamsters. Visit the scholarship fund's website for information on who is eligible to apply and how to apply.
Black History Month means more to the Teamsters Feb. 14, 2020| But for the Teamsters Union, black history isn’t just an add on to our story or recognition of advancements. It is part of the core of our history. Black and white Teamsters rallied together after the Civil War to improve conditions, starting the first independent team driver locals. Black teamsters (and women teamsters for that matter) were part of the original conventions forming the Team Drivers International Union in 1898 and its spin-off The National Teamsters Union in 1902. T.A. Stowers, a black delegate from Chicago was a leading voice at the 1903 convention to create the Teamsters Union as we know it today. He helped write the union’s constitution, yet few have heard of him. Stowers was the force behind adopting a creed vastly different from other unions, allowing members of any race, creed, gender or religion into the Teamsters. That’s a mainstay of our history and should be remembered… NJ Today
Take the Teamster poll to rank the remaining presidential candidates Feb. 20, 2020 | The Teamsters Union has not endorsed a presidential candidate, and instead has made a concerted effort to get all the candidates on the record on key union priorities such as pension reform and collective bargaining rights. As the primary process continues, the union wants to hear from its members about what candidate they favor. Go to TeamstersVote to see where the candidates stand on the issues and then take the Teamsters Preference Poll to rank the remaining candidates in order of your preference. The Teamsters will use the results to help guide its choice if it does ultimately decide to endorse a candidate for the 2020 Presidential Election.
General President Jim Hoffa won’t seek re-election in 2022 Feb. 24, 2020 | James P. Hoffa on Friday signaled the end of an era for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, telling The Detroit News he will not seek re-election just as the labor union this week makes a historic exit from government oversight. "I think it's time for the next generation to take over," the 78-year-old labor leader said. "We rebuilt this union. We've rebuilt our finances. We rebuilt the spirit. We put the swagger back in the union. ... I'm very proud of what we have done… Detroit News
National health officials warn Americans to plan for the coronavirus * Feb. 26, 2020 | *Updated 3/2: Members enrolled in the Local 355 Health & Welfare Fund can download this handy Telodoc information flier. Dr. Nancy Messonnier of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told reporters yesterday, “It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but really a question, when it will happen – and how many people in this country, will have severe illness.” As of today, there have been about 15 confirmed cases in the U.S, and an additional 42 who were travelers on a cruise ship docked in Japan and repatriated to the U.S. Learn more about the coronavirus here and how to protect yourself and your family. This infographic shows how the CDC is preparing communities to deal with and prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Finally, stay informed through trustworthy sources, such as the CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO) and your local health departments.
UPS honors Maryland drivers for 25 years of safe driving Feb. 27, 2020 | UPS today announced that 22 elite drivers from Maryland are among 1,316 newly inducted worldwide into the Circle of Honor, an honorary organization for UPS drivers who have achieved 25 or more years of accident-free driving. David Ostendarp of Baltimore is the state’s senior-most safe driver, with 39 years of accident-free driving under his belt… Yahoo Finance
Dear Fellow Teamster… Feb. 27, 2020 | After announcing last week that he would not seek re-election in 2022, General President Jim Hoffa posted a letter to his Facebook page. Addressing all Teamster members, Hoffa wrote: “There can be no greater honor than serving as General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Every day since you first elected me 21 years ago I have worked hard to earn the trust and support of you, the members I serve.… 355 News
Hoffa: New year brings big responsibility for voters Jan. 3, 2020| Today, America begins a very important year in its existence. Over the next 11 months, voters will decide who they want to lead this country and what they want its future to look like. The process will be tumultuous. But it is a critical decision that will have long-lasting implications for all who call this great nation home. The Teamsters are taking its role in helping to shape this country’s path forward seriously… Detroit News
Two Teamster UPS drivers die in PA turnpike crash Jan. 6, 2020| The Teamsters Union mourns the loss of two Teamsters Local 776 members and UPS drivers, Dennis Kehler and Daniel Kepner, who were killed Sunday in an accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The pile-up involved several tractor-trailers that reportedly crashed after a tour bus was unable to negotiate a turn and hit an embankment. Five people were killed and 60 injured. Keller was a 28-year Teamster with UPS and Kepner was a five-year Teamster at the company… 355 News
Attention drivers with CDLs: FMCSA doubles random drug testing rate to 50% Jan. 9, 2020| The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has raised the random drug testing rate for controlled substances for commercial drivers to 50% from the current 25% of driver positions. The change went into effect Jan. 1… Truck News
Tribune offering buyouts after hedge fund becomes largest shareholder Jan. 15, 2020| Tribune Publishing, the parent company of the Chicago Tribune, [the Baltimore Sun] and the struggling New York Daily News, is offering voluntary buyouts to [non-union] employees with eight or more years of service, it announced on Monday. “Although our digital successes provide good momentum, we continue to face industry-wide revenue challenges,” Tim Knight, president and CEO of Tribune Publishing, said in an email to employees at all nine Tribune newspapers. “Further, to reduce expenses and avoid turning to company-wide reductions of the workforce as a last resort, the company is offering this voluntary separation incentive plan to all eligible employees with eight or more years of company service.” NY Post
Attention credit union members! Jan. 21, 2020| The Federal Credit Union located at the Baltimore offices will have a delayed opening Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020. The credit union will be open for business at 1 pm. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Update: Contract ratified at Penn Fibre; negotiations continue at Amports, others Jan. 22, 2020| Members at Penn Fibre approved in December a three-year contract that includes modest wage increases, improvements to the vacation allowance, and maintenance of Health & Welfare benefits. A new three-year agreement was ratified in December by members employed at Hallcon (formerly Renzenberger) providing significant wage increases, a signing bonus, cell phone and driver trainer pay, and language improvements that tighten up the employer’s notification obligation to the union. Negotiations continue for successor contracts at Amports; Baltimore Sun (pressmen); Piedmont Airlines and Transdev. Preparations for bargaining are underway at Allied Bindary, Bimbo Bakeries (Stroehmann’s), ALSCO, Airgas East, Contanda, Republic National Distribution Company, and State of Maryland.
Amports Teamsters approve new contract Jan. 25, 2020| Members employed at Amports overwhelmingly ratified on Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, a successor collective bargaining agreement providing wage increases, maintenance of Health & Welfare, and an enhanced vacation benefit according to seniority. The agreement has a four-year term. Amports is one of the largest auto processors in North America, handling vehicles for import and export at the Port of Baltimore. Local 355 represents more than 140 employees working in various classifications. Photos: Top, at the well-attended ratification meeting, members reviewed highlights of the committee-recommended tentative agreement before casting their secret ballot vote. Right, bargaining committee members (L-R) Daniel Stern, Sherry Mason, Danielle Barnes, and Dwayne Miles.
Teamsters stand in solidarity with DHL Express workers in South Korea Jan. 27, 2020| Teamsters at DHL Express are voicing their support for DHL Express workers in the Republic of Korea who are members of the Korean Public Service and Transport Workers' Union (KPTU). DHL Express workers in South Korea have been seeking a first contract for the last seven months but, according to the KPTU, have been faced with bargaining avoidance and other unfair conduct from management. “We must stand together with our fellow DHL Express workers in South Korea as they continue their struggle against a company that has not treated workers with the dignity and respect they deserve,” said William Hamilton. Read more at IBT (Note: Local 355 represents courier drivers and office clerks employed at DHL Express, BWI Airport.)
New Penn requests additional headcount Jan. 30, 2020| New Penn Motor Express, the Northeast regional U.S. unit of less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier YRC Worldwide Inc., has notified the Teamsters union that it plans to add utility employee positions for “improved service and growth.” The proposed “change of operations” would add 86 utility employees traveling within a 175-mile proximity of “three newly established regional velocity centers” in Newburgh, New York, and Scranton and Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, New Penn stated in the notice on Friday… Freight Waves (Local 355 represents 127 members employed at New Penn and YRC.)
Teamsters at ABF Freight to receive a 1% pay bonus for 2019 Jan. 31, 2020| Teamsters employed at ABF Freight System will receive a 1 percent profit-sharing bonus—negotiated by the union—after the company reported fourth-quarter results today. Under the Teamsters 2018-2023 ABF National Master Freight Agreement, if ABF Freight achieves an annual operating ratio of 96.0 or below for any full calendar year, each Teamster-represented employee will receive a bonus based on their earnings. ABF Freight reported a 95.2 percent operating ratio in 2019, which resulted in a 1 percent bonus. For example, if a member earned $75,000 in 2019, he will receive a bonus of $750… Teamsters
Applications now being accepted for 2020 JRHMSF scholarship Dec. 3, 2019| The application process is now open for the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund's 2020 college and vocational scholarship programs for the sons, daughters and financial dependents of Teamsters. In 2019, $1.2 million was awarded in academic scholarships for the children of Teamster members – including Ashley Goudy, daughter of a Local 355 retired UPS Teamster. Many scholarships to support the costs of vocational/trade school programs were also awarded. Visit the scholarship fund's website for information on who is eligible to apply and how to apply. The application deadline is March 2, 2020.
Biden campaign workers choose Teamster representation Dec. 3, 2019| Approximately 120 field organizers for Vice President Joe Biden's national presidential campaign joined Teamsters Local Union 238 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa this week, becoming the latest group of political workers to gain union representation with the Teamsters. Teamsters Local 238 has been at the forefront of organizing political workers during the presidential race, representing campaign workers with Sens. Booker and Klobuchar, and the staff who work for the Iowa Democratic Party. "Political campaign workers deserve a voice on the job as much as anyone," said Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa. "These workers, who face the prospect of long, pressure-filled hours on the campaign trail, need a strong partner like the Teamsters Union that will fight for their rights." Yahoo Finance
Teamsters prez says Dems ‘Better have a message for us’ at Iowa Forum Dec. 4, 2019| The President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, James Hoffa, is expecting more than 700 union members from across the nation to attend the Teamsters forum in Cedar Rapids Saturday, Dec. 7. [Watch the lifestream – RSVP here.] “I don’t know where we’re going to put them all. We’ll put them outside. We’ll put a TV outside,” Hoffa said in an interview with Starting Line. “It’s an exciting thing and I’m looking forward to it.” Members of the 1.4 million-strong union will hear from six Democratic presidential candidates at the forum: Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, and Tom Steyer. Hoffa said the forum is one of the final steps in the endorsement process for the Teamsters, although there is no set timeline for the IBT’s selection process… Iowa Starting Line
Why did Tribune Publishing roll over for this hedge fund? Dec. 5, 2019| Tribune Publishing directors wasted no time capitulating to an aggressive new shareholder with a record of eviscerating local newspapers. The publisher of the Chicago Tribune and eight other metropolitan daily newspapers yesterday announced an agreement to give hedge fund Alden Global Capital two seats on the Tribune Publishing board, which will expand to eight from six members…Tribune Publishing eliminated 900 jobs in the past two years alone. Don't be surprised if Alden's directors decide Tribune hasn't cut deeply enough. As board members, they'll be well within their rights to argue for aggressive... Crain’s Chicago Business
Teamsters Local 769 mourns tragic shooting of UPS driver in Miami Dec. 6, 2019| The following statement from Teamsters Local 769 is in regard to the tragic shooting of a UPS driver in Miami yesterday. “It is with a heavy heart that I write this statement this evening. We are heartbroken by the tragic events from earlier today regarding one of our Teamsters Local 769 members (UPS Driver), who was carjacked while doing his job. He was ultimately victimized in a shootout after a lengthy police pursuit with the carjackers. The cowardly actions of the criminals involved that chose to kidnap this hard-working young man to give themselves some type of “cover” or “shield” are precisely the opposite of what Teamster men and women are and stand for. We pray for the family of this young man, and as further information is available we will, of course, provide those details for Teamster members to show and provide support to his family.”
Tune in to Teamsters presidential forum on worker issues Dec. 6, 2019| The townhall event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Saturday, December 7 at 2 PM Central will be live-streamed on our Facebook page, Twitter @Teamsters, our YouTube channel, TeamstersVote.com and on Teamster.org. Six 2020 presidential candidates are confirmed to attend. We'll be asking them about the key issues affecting workers like you - including pensions, trade policy, and collective bargaining rights - and making sure they fight for the Teamsters vote. Be a part of the conversation – RSVP to watch live here: www.ibt.io/12-7rsvp#Teamsters2020
Teamsters LU 117 wins ground-breaking labor protections for Uber, Lyft drivers Dec. 13, 2019| Teamsters Local 117 has achieved a significant victory in the fight to bring workers in the gig economy a voice on the job. The Seattle-based local led the way in helping to pass a new law this November that will institute a first-ever grievance procedure for the City’s more than 30,000 Uber and Lyft drivers. This groundbreaking legislation establishes first-in-the-nation legal protections and representation for drivers who seek to contest unwarranted deactivations in termination proceedings. The law also establishes a Driver Resolution Center to provide a wide range of support services to drivers… Teamsters
Sysco warehouse workers in Virginia choose Teamsters Dec. 23, 2019| By a nearly 3-1 margin, Sysco warehouse workers voted for Teamsters Local 822 representation on Dec. 19, the fourth Teamster election win in the past several months at the nation's largest broadline foodservice provider. Drivers at this same location won their election in late August. Sysco South Florida workers in Miami and workers at Sysco-Sygma Kansas City also won their election in August. The latest group in Hampton Roads has 70 warehouse workers in the bargaining unit… Teamsters
Teamsters support improved USMCA, significant improvement over Nafta Dec. 23, 2019| Teamsters in both the United States and Canada are coming out in support of the new NAFTA following changes to the agreement made by Democrats in Congress. The Teamsters Union has long opposed the North American Free Trade Agreement. Teamsters jobs are tied to trade and our members have suffered the impact of the original NAFTA for more than a quarter-century. Teamsters want trade, but it has to be fair trade that puts working people and their families first. The USMCA includes improvements that will directly benefit Teamster members. Among these is the overdue fix to the cross-border trucking provision that threatened highway safety and the competitiveness of the American trucking industry.… Teamsters
Local 355 UPS driver brings happiness to children in hospitals Dec. 23, 2019| For 15 years Felix Guinto, a UPS driver and member of Local 355 in Baltimore, has been rallying a team of volunteers that work throughout the year to bring toys to children in area hospitals. Guinto enlists the help of dozens of other UPS drivers who volunteer their time to bring some joy to sick children. “We do this throughout the year,” said Guinto, a 26-year employee of UPS. “The hard part is keeping up the visits every month.” The Helping Hands team makes up to 65 hospital visits every year, and volunteers also serve two meals to the homeless every month in Baltimore. “It really began with my mother and I doing the work, and since she has passed away, I decided to honor her memory. Now the work has expanded to become a monthly project. My father was a 30-year Teamster member and it’s because of the union and the volunteers who sacrifice their own time that keeps the Helping Hands project so strong.” If you would like to support this project, please consider a donation through the website: guintoshelpinghands.comRead more about Guinto and Helping Hands here (scroll down) and here.
Ghost papers and news deserts: Will America ever get its local news back? Dec. 31, 2019| First they started showing up thinner than before. Then they were printed on smaller paper, with local columns replaced by more out-of-town news. Then in some places, especially rural and down-on-their-luck parts, newspapers stopped showing up altogether. Since the Internet arrived in earnest 25 years ago, almost nobody — not the savviest investment bankers, the most well-meaning editors, local entrepreneurs or generous philanthropists — has figured out a sustainable way to continue producing local news… Washington Post[Note: Local 355 represents drivers and pressmen employed at The Baltimore Sun, a Tribune publication.]
We want your video questions for presidential candidates Nov. 6, 2019| Deadline for submissions is Friday, Nov. 22 ... The Teamsters Union is hosting a Presidential Candidate Forum on Dec. 7, 2019, featuring several of the leading Democratic contenders. We want the candidates to hear directly from Teamsters members – that’s why you’re being asked to submit a video with your question for the candidates. Details here.
Joe Reichert, Teamsters Local 355 retirees club officer, activist Nov. 7, 2019| Joseph Thomas Reichert, Sr., vice president of Local 355’s Associated Retired Members (A.R.M.), passed away Oct. 31, 2019, after a long battle with cancer. A Teamster for nearly 50 years, Joe retired from Sysco in 2000. He was a familiar face around the Baltimore union hall every Tuesday, always ready to offer assistance to Local 355 officers and staff – whether it was mowing the lawn, changing light bulbs, or walking a picket line. “Besides being a dedicated Teamster, Joe was a great friend and colleague,” said Bob Eney, president of the retirees club. “He always went out of his way to be helpful and friendly to everyone. The A.R.M. executive board and I send our deepest condolences to his family. We will always have fond memories of our brother.” On behalf of Local 355 members, the Local 355 Executive Board also extended its deepest sympathy to Joe’s family on his passing. “Joe was a long term, loyal member of Teamsters Local 355. He was active in his union, was our friend and brother. He will be deeply missed.” Joe is survived by his wife, Mildred, three children, seven grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. Godspeed, Brother Joe.
Teamsters honor veterans Nov. 11, 2019| Dear Active-Duty and Veteran Teamsters: Veterans Day is a time to remember the contributions of all those who are or have served in the nation’s armed forces 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. Since World War I, Teamster members have been involved in all our nation’s wars… Continued at Teamsters
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette lays off 30 Local 211 Teamsters Nov. 15, 2019| Block Communications, Inc.’s unconscionable economic assault on unions at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette continues with the illegal laying off Sunday of about 30 Teamsters and three pressmen who are also Teamsters. Those let go have decades of service to the paper yet have only been offered a paltry maximum of six weeks severance pay. In keeping with its cruel tactics, the Toledo-based, Block family-owned media company made sure that most of the Teamsters who remain were put on part-time status, meaning they will lose their health care benefits… Teamsters
Alden Global Capital now Tribune Publishing’s largest shareholder Nov. 20, 2019| The company that owns the Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune and other newspapers said Tuesday that former chairman Michael Ferro Jr. has sold his shares to Alden Global Capital, known for slashing payrolls at other newspapers it controls. Tribune Publishing Co. said Alden purchased 9.07 million shares from Ferro and his company, Merrick Ventures, for $13 per share. The nearly $118 million purchase represents a 25.2% stake in the company and will make Alden the largest shareholder of Tribune Publishing. Its shares ended Tuesday’s trading at $9.73… Chicago Sun-Times
Teamsters working to secure bipartisan pension solution Nov. 21, 2019| The Teamsters are aware of a new multiemployer pension reform proposal just rolled out by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and are actively reviewing the proposal and its impact on Teamster funds. The Teamsters have been working with Congress to find a bipartisan solution that best protects the hard-earned pensions of its retirees and workers. House passage of HR 397 this past July was the direct result of years of advocacy on the part of Teamster members both active and retired… Teamsters
You must be a participant in the Teamsters Local 355 Health and Welfare Fund to be eligible to use Teledoc.
Oct. 22, 2019
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The power of the Public Sector Oct. 1, 2019| Listen to the latest episode of the Teamster Nation Podcast and learn how Local 1932 in San Bernardino, California stood up for its 11,000 public sector members and in the process got them better health care and pay that will improve the lives of their families for years to come.
Kraft-Heinz Teamsters ratify new contract Oct. 9, 2019| Local 355 members at Kraft-Heinz overwhelmingly approved in October a new four-year collective bargaining agreement, concluding 16 months of contentious negotiations. The agreement includes a signing bonus plus an immediate wage increase. Annual wage increases begin Jan. 1, 2020. Members will also have access to additional healthcare coverage options which may help to reduce their costs. The last contract expired in June 2018, and with extensions in place, the parties continued meeting to hammer out a mutually-acceptable successor contract. But in December 2018, members soundly rejected the employer's last, best and final offer (LBFO) and voted to authorize a strike. At issue were regressive proposals including the creation of a two-tier wage system. Working under challenging conditions, members remained on the job despite the absence of a contract. "Our shop stewards held everyone together, kept the focus on our goals and pushed back on every retrogression the employer put on the table," said Business Agent John Caparatta. "Their commitment to the process along with assistance from the International helped get us to the finish line."
Results of Jack Cooper vote released Oct. 10, 2019| Over a four-day period ending on Sunday, September 8, Teamster members employed at Jack Cooper Transport voted by a 2-1 margin to approve the Last, Best and Final Offer presented by the company. To view a spreadsheet detailing the voting totals by Teamster local, click here.
Hoffa: 'Candidates must take our voices seriously' Oct. 11, 2019| The Teamsters Vote 2020 survey conducted recently by the International revealed retirement security, collective bargaining rights, and fair trade as the most important concerns of members going into the 2020 election. The survey is just the start of Teamster efforts to make sure members are heard and respected in this election and beyond. “Candidates must take our voices seriously,” said General President Hoffa today in an email to members. “We’re demanding that all of the candidates listen to our members and support our priorities. We have the power to drive the conversation and ensure that issues that affect Teamsters and working people remain at the heart of the 2020 election.” Watch President Hoffa here to find out how the union is holding candidates accountable on members’ issues. Visit this website to learn more about the Teamsters Vote 2020 Program.
Bankruptcy court approves sale of Jack Cooper Oct. 14, 2019| The Jack Cooper bankruptcy case passed a milestone Friday, with the bankruptcy judge approving the sale of the old Jack Cooper to the Solus-backed new corporate entity JCBuyer (however, the operating name of Jack Cooper will likely remain). While the bankruptcy court approved the sale, the sale will only become finalized at a to-be-determined date likely later this month or early November. We will keep you posted when we are aware of the date. The contract modifications in the approved Term Sheet will become effective when the sale is finalized.
Stewards honor VP Emeritus Erv Williams, Joyce Johnson at biannual banquet Oct. 15, 2019| Vice President Emeritus Ervin Williams was honored at this year’s steward banquet by the Local 355 Executive Board and Shop Stewards for his many years of leadership and service to Local Union members. President Denis Taylor presented him with an appreciation plaque. Williams, a 37-year Teamster, was vice president of Local 355 from 1999 until December 2015, when he retired to his home in Chesapeake, Virginia. Veteran shop steward Joyce Williams retired last week, concluding a 44-year career with Mountaire Farms. President Taylor presented Johnson with a Certificate of Appreciation for her commitment and service to members. Among the invited guests were surviving members of Business Agent Jim Deene’s family, wife Debbie, daughter Brandi Marie and son, Edward Wetherbee, Jr. Deene passed away suddenly in May. Sponsored by Local 355 and held every other year, the Shop Steward Banquet was held Saturday, Oct. 12th at the American Legion Hall, Kent Island, Md. View photos here.
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Miners, Teamsters demand Senate fix multi-employer pensions Oct. 22, 2019| Retirees from several unions joined Democratic senators on Capitol Hill Oct. 16 to demand that the Senate act on a bill to prevent endangered multi-employer pension plans from going bankrupt. “We need you, Congress, to stop kicking the can down the road,” said retired Teamster Mike Walden of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Multiemployer funds covering about 1.3 million workers and retirees have either already slashed benefits or are in danger of insolvency. The House passed a bill in July that would have… cleveland.com
New contracts are printed and ready for distribution Oct. 24, 2019| The new Teamsters-UPS Master Agreement is available and will be distributed to UPS members by Local 355 business agents over the next few days. The Regional supplement is included, color-coded for easy reference. Check with your stewards for information on delivery locations and times. If you haven't yet had an opportunity to meet your business agent, now is a good time to do so.
Working Americans are raising the bar for 2020 candidates Oct. 25, 2019| In a column appearing in the Des Moines (Iowa) Register this week, General President Jim Hoffa wrote: “As we head toward 2020, one thing is clear: Whoever is elected president will have to confront major challenges that have a significant impact on the livelihoods of millions. For Teamsters members and working people across America, these challenges include numerous crises that threaten the existence of our diminishing middle class… Read it here.
Revamped training is needed for workers Oct. 28, 2019| The nation’s evolving workforce needs are cause for concern and must be mulled carefully to ensure that current and future workers have the skills they require to spur U.S. economic growth and support themselves and their families. While many focus on automation across a swath of industries, changes in the kind of work being done may be a bigger worry. That’s why the Teamsters and other unions have long called for improvements in vocational education so that hardworking Americans can succeed now and in the years ahead. This union has been doing its part to help in that effort, but can’t go it alone… Teamsters
Sale of Jack Cooper finalized, 2,200 jobs saved Nov. 6, 2019| The sale of Jack Cooper Transport was finalized today, a move that will protect the livelihoods of about 2,200 Teamsters and their families. Jack Cooper filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings this past summer due to extremely high debt and declining sales volumes. While Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings are meant to help companies restructure their debts so they can continue operating, they can be risky and in this case, thousands of jobs were at risk. However, to make the restructuring possible, Teamster carhaul members at Jack Cooper overwhelmingly approved a Restructuring Term Sheet that facilitated the sale to a company backed by Solus Alternative Asset Management, an existing lender in Jack Cooper’s debt structure. The new company will remain operating as Jack Cooper but have entirely new owners, significantly less debt and less future potential liabilities... Teamsters
On the picket line: (L-R) Business Agent Mark Garey, DHL clerk James Gekas, and Local 355 President Denis Taylor
Sept. 12, 2019 | A group of office clerical staff at DHL Express in Hanover, Maryland, walked off the job early Thursday over the company’s refusal to allow the workers to participate in the same Health & Welfare plan as the other Local 355 members employed as courier drivers at DHL Express.
The group recently elected to become Teamsters represented by Local 355 and have been attempting to negotiate a first contract.
Negotiations between Local 355 and DHL broke down in the face of the company’s insistence that the workers instead accept a costly high-deductible health plan. The company also refuses to agree to allow the clerical workers to participate in the same pension program as the drivers.
“A fair settlement encompasses the same benefits other union employees receive,” said Denis Taylor, President of Local 355. “This issue is the only thing holding up the contract. Union members deserve union benefits.”
Dozens of courier drivers reported to work this morning but exercised their rights under the National Master DHL Agreement and refused to cross picket lines.
“I knew there was a conversation going on about this when I came on in June but I didn’t realize the extent of the problem,” said office clerk Tijani Tajudeen (right, with Business Agent Eric Wood). Nodding toward the group of drivers across the street, he added, “Now I’m in this big brotherhood where everyone is ready to take a stand for us. We want the union health plan. We want to be treated fairly.”
Among the DHL drivers honoring the picket line are (L-R) Derrick Grady, Dan Wachter, Phillips Hall, and James Anderson
A Labor Day message from General President Hoffa Sept. 2, 2019| The American labor movement is responsible for many things we take for granted—the weekend, the 40-hour workweek and anti-child labor laws to name a few. Today, our movement is reinvigorated and working for other profoundly important things: securing wages and benefits that working families deserve and retirees earned, the continued existence of the middle class, and respect and dignity for all working people. I’m proud that the Teamsters Union is at the forefront of this effort. But make no mistake, working families are still being attacked and scapegoated. Corporate-backed politicians have mounted the most vicious anti-union attacks in memory. The labor movement, and the Teamsters Union in particular, is alive and well and is still forcing change… Continued at Teamsters
Retired members: This month's newsletter is posted Sept. 3, 2019| The September/October 2019 newsletter highlighting "50 Things Everyone Should Know" or, "50 Completely Useless Facts," is posted under the link, Retirees. Enjoy!
Hoffa: Empowering workers now through 2020 Sept. 4, 2019| This Labor Day, unions like the Teamsters find themselves in a strong position. The public’s support of the labor movement is as strong as it’s been in the last 16 years. There is an understanding by a sizable majority in this country that hardworking Americans deserve higher pay and greater respect on the job. But to ensure that continues, workers need to stand up for their rights. That’s why the Teamsters Union, some 1.4 million members strong, is currently weighing all the candidates seeking the U.S. presidency in 2020 for a possible endorsement. To earn it, those seeking to become the nation’s chief executive will have to prove that they side with workers. In an effort to get presidential contenders on the record about the topics workers care about, this union is training members and retirees … Teamsters
CANCELED: Local 355 motorcycle run Sept. 5, 2019| Due to the low number of registrations received in advance of Saturday's scheduled event, we've canceled the bike run.
Jack Cooper's last, best and final offer approved Sept. 9, 2019| An overwhelming majority of the Teamster members working at carhauler Jack Cooper have approved the company’s Last, Best and Final Offer aimed at saving 2,200 union carhaul jobs. "I want to thank all our Jack Cooper members who took the time to vote on this Restructuring Term Sheet,” said Kevin Moore, Director of the Teamsters Carhaul Division. “Approving this Term Sheet is one key piece for Jack Cooper to emerge from bankruptcy as a healthier company. That, along with substantial debt reduction and new cash investment, should better position Jack Cooper to stabilize and maintain customers and our jobs.” The final vote count will be published at a later date.
DHL Express clerks strike: 'Union members deserve union benefits' Sept. 12, 2019| A group of office clerical staff at DHL Express in Hanover, Maryland, walked off the job early this morning over the company’s refusal to allow the workers to participate in the same Health & Welfare plan as the other Local 355 members employed as courier drivers at DHL Express. Negotiations between Local 355 and DHL broke down in the face of the company’s insistence that the workers instead accept a costly high-deductible health plan. The company also refuses to agree to allow the clerical workers to participate in the same pension program as the drivers... 355 News
How a 3-person strike in B’more is taking Philly workers off the job Sept. 18, 2019| The power of a strike lies in its ability to cripple a company’s operations. So when three clerical workers at a DHL facility outside of Baltimore went on strike last week because of a dispute over benefits, it might not have sounded like a big deal. But those workers are represented by the Teamsters, whose members have the right to “honor a picket line” of their fellow DHL colleagues if the picket line shows up outside their workplace. And on Monday, the Baltimore picket line did show up, in Southwest Philly, which meant that about 100 DHL workers didn’t cross the line and instead, went home… The Philadelphia Inquirer
Teamsters stand in solidarity with Amazon workers joining climate strike Sept. 20, 2019 | More than 1,500 members of Amazon Employees for Climate Justice (AECJ) are joining the Youth Climate Strike and walking out of work to demand that Amazon management “take responsibility for the impact that our business has on the planet and on people.” It’s no coincidence that Amazon announced its “Climate Pledge” right before this walkout. This initial victory reaffirms what we know to be true – when workers come together, we have real power and this is only the beginning. Throughout the history of our union, we have seen again and again that when workers have a voice in how their companies do business, they can make transformative changes to make workplaces and communities safer, healthier and more sustainable… Teamsters
Local 355 strike at DHL strike resolved * Sept. 20, 2019 | Updated 9/23 A week-long strike by three DHL clerical workers represented by Local 355 has been resolved. The employees unanimously approved on Friday an improved offer of settlement from the company that addressed the employees’ concerns about health care. All employees have returned to work. The clerks will be covered by the National Master DHL Agreement. In addition, under the Local Union rider, they will receive wage increases, improved vacation leave, additional sick and personal days, and participation in the Teamsters 355 Health Plan in 2020. Local 355 Principal Officer Denis Taylor stated, “I’m proud of these members for taking a stand and staying strong. I’m also thankful to the other members of Local 355, Local 107 and Local 500 that honored the strikers’ picket line." Photo: At September's membership meeting, Business Agent Mark Garey, second from left, with clerks Dan DiMarcello, James Gekas, and Tijani ("TJ") Tajudeen.
Baltimore Sun delivery drivers approve new contract Sept. 24, 2019| Following a long and hard-fought round of negotiations that included numerous contract extensions and the unfortunate passing of Business Agent Jim Deene, Local 355 Baltimore Sun drivers have ratified a successor contract with a duration through December 31, 2022. Highlights include wage increases, monies to Health & Welfare, and Pension contributions over the term of the agreement. It also includes additional bid jobs and shift guarantees along with other contract language beneficial to the bargaining unit. “It was a very tough situation that we were put in with the passing of Jim Deene in the middle of negotiations,” Business Agent John Moylan said. “But the committee worked hard to get through and get this deal done.” Negotiations on behalf of the paper’s pressmen continue.
Aug. 13, 2019 | Fifteen Local 355 UPS feeder, freight, and package drivers competed recently in the Maryland Truck Driving Championships (MMTA), bringing home seven individual awards. The competition held on June 1, 2019, in Timonium, Md., included 102 drivers from all over the state. This is the first year UPS Baltimore drivers took home championship titles.
Competing for the nation’s top award, four members of UPS Team Maryland will number among 427 of the trucking industry’s best drivers from every U.S. state at the National Truck Driving and Step Van Championships in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Aug. 14th through Aug. 17th:
John Nash – 1st Place, Md. 3-Axle Champion
Eric Schiller – 1st place, Md. Step Van Champion
Victor Carter – 1st place, Md. Tank Truck Champion
Jason Trego, UPS Freight/Federalsburg – 1st place, Md. Twins Champion
Carter was also named Rookie of the Year for achieving the highest overall score among first-time competitors.
Known industry-wide as the “Super Bowl of Safety,” the truck driving competition challenges drivers’ safety skills and professionalism in nine class of trucks. The competition is “a celebration of the extraordinary skills and safety of our state’s finest truck drivers” said MMTA President Louis Campion, in a recent Transport Topics interview.
Other members of the UPS Chesapeake Division were:
Charlie Huber – 2nd Place, Flat Bed class
Mo Pleh – 2nd Place, 5-Axle class
Wayne Todd – 3rd Place, Twins class
David Schultz – 4th Place, 5-Axle class
Mike Santos – 6th Place, Sleeper class
Lakia Blackford – 10th Place, 4-Axle class
Barry Freeberger – 10th Place, Sleeper class
From UPS Freight:
Barry Holland (a former Grand Champion) – 2nd Place, 3-Axle class
Presidential debate drives Teamster action to influence election Aug. 2, 2019| The Teamsters continued its drive to getting 2020 presidential candidates focused on the needs of workers this week by having General President Jim Hoffa attend a Democratic Party debate and by holding separate events in South Carolina and New Hampshire where the union gathered insights on what issues matter most to its membership. Hoffa attended Wednesday night’s debate in Detroit in hopes of hearing from candidates where they stand on issues that matter most to Teamsters. And although several shared their thoughts on important issues such as trade and health care, there was a deafening silence when it came to an essential matter for this union – pensions. As Hoffa said on Fox Business' "Mornings with Maria" show, "what are we going to do about retirement security, those who worked hard and played by the rules? Those are the type of kitchen table issues I would like to see these debates focused on, and I’m not hearing that." … Continued at Teamsters
Leaders of Teamster carhaul locals approve a plan to save jobs at Jack Cooper Aug. 6, 2019| Leaders of Teamster carhaul local unions voted overwhelmingly today to approve sending a Last, Best and Final Offer (LBFO) from Jack Cooper to members for a vote. The LBFO is aimed at saving more than 2,200 Teamster jobs and is in the form of a restructuring term sheet. View documents
Pensions. Trade. Labor rights. What issue do YOU care about? Aug. 7, 2019| Candidates care about our support. They know working people are going to shape the outcome of this election. That’s why the IBT is conducting a member survey nationwide to hear from each and every one of us. It doesn’t matter what your politics are or who you plan to vote for – the Union wants to hear from you. By completing this survey, you’re giving the Union the information it needs to go to the presidential candidates with clear demands for what any candidate – left, right, or center – needs to do if they want Teamster support.
Leaders of Teamster carhaul locals approve a plan to save jobs at Jack Cooper Aug. 7, 2019| On Tuesday, August 6, 2019, Jack Cooper filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy which enables it to continue to operate as a going concern until a “reorganization plan” is ratified by members and approved by the bankruptcy court. This is not a surprise to us based on our due diligence since we were first contacted by Jack Cooper earlier this summer. We have been preparing for this filing and have our bankruptcy counsel and experts already engaged to monitor the developments during the bankruptcy... Read the full update
Union stands in solidarity with UFCW, condemn Mississippi raids on workers Aug. 9, 2019| The Teamsters Union stands with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) as it works to protect its members against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids that are tearing families apart. Federal authorities raided two food processing plants represented by UFCW [Wednesday] and arrested scores of union members there. Hoffa calls for an end to polices hurting workers and families… Teamsters
UPS, UPSF drivers to compete in national trucking championships this week Aug. 13, 2019| Fifteen UPS feeder, freight, and package drivers competed June 1, 2019, in Timonium, Md. at the Maryland Truck Driving Championships (MMTA), bringing home seven individual awards. Four Teamster champions comprising UPS Team Maryland will number among 427 of the trucking industry’s best drivers from every U.S. state at the 2019 National Truck Driving and Step Van Championships, August 14-17, in Pittsburgh, Pa… More at 355 News
Local 355 truck driver champions competing this week for the nation’s top award at the National Truck Driving and Step Van Championships are, (L-R) John Nash (UPS/Baltimore), 2019 Maryland 3-Axle Champion; Victor Carter (UPS/Baltimore), 2019 Maryland Tank Truck Champion and 2019 Rookie of the Year; Eric Schiller (UPS/Baltimore), 2019 Maryland Step Van Champion; and Jason Trego (UPS Freight/Federalsberg), 2019 Maryland Twins Champion.
FAQs about Jack Cooper reorganization Aug. 15, 2019| Based on the questions asked at our teleforum about the Jack Cooper Transport Last, Best and Final Offer and others that have since come in, we are providing this FAQ in addition to a summary and questions found in the Teamsters Jack Cooper Update.
Teamsters National Black Caucus celebrates 11th Annual Women’s Day Aug. 16, 2019| Teamster brothers and sisters filled the room, dressed in red to represent power, love and Teamster women on the 11th Annual Women’s Day at the Teamsters National Black Caucus Conference. This is a day strictly for the women. The women of the TNBC felt it necessary to celebrate women during the annual conference to pay homage to the women who came before them. It’s also a day to celebrate and educate themselves. “We want to make sure that you enjoy yourself, but most of all educate yourself,” said TNBC Chairman James ‘Curb’ Curbeam. “We want you to go back home and engage your members, counterparts, and communities because if we don’t talk about what we done here, it’s all for nothing...” Teamsters
Voting on Jack Cooper’s final offer scheduled for Sept. 6-9 Aug. 19, 2019| The Last, Best and Final Offer (LBFO) from Jack Cooper will be voted on by the membership over the four days of September 6, 7, 8 and 9, 2019. An informational meeting for Local 355 Jack Cooper members will be held Monday, August 30, 2019, at 6 am, and a ratification vote will be conducted Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, at 6 am. Additional details here. Votes will be tallied by the IBT tallied until Monday, Sept. 9 at 5:00 PM Eastern. The LBFO is in the form of a Restructuring Term Sheet that contains contractual modifications and other requirements from key stakeholders. That Term Sheet, along with a summary and a list of Frequently Asked Questions will be mailed to members’ homes in the next few days. The information is also available here.
Teamsters listening to candidates on the trail Aug. 20, 2019| Today, the Teamster Nation Blog kicks off a new weekly feature that will detail key issue responses from the 2020 presidential candidate field. It will highlight Teamster interactions with the candidates on the campaign trail, including answers to questions posed to them from union members and staff. We hope you find it useful. Teamster Nation Blog
Teamsters stands with AT&T workers on strike Aug. 27, 2019| The Teamsters Union stands in solidarity with over 20,000 AT&T workers who went on strike over the weekend in nine states across the Southeast. The workers are striking over unfair labor practices committed by management during negotiations for a new contract. The strike involves technicians, customer service representatives and others who install, maintain and support AT&T’s residential and business telecommunications network in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee... Teamsters Photo: Reddit.com
Born in Annapolis, Md., the Samsels moved Tyler, his older brother, and sister to York, Penn., when he was a three-year-old. The decision to move to the historic city 20 miles north of the Maryland border was prompted by their parents’ desire to raise their children where “the quality of life was better and the taxes lower.”
Tyler Samsel (right, with dad Thomas) grew up in a tight-knit family and lived in a comfortable middle-class neighborhood where children played in each other’s yards, and the woods nearby. Thomas Samsel’s youngest son turned to his school studies when his neighborhood friends moved away. Inspired by a fifth-grade math teacher, he developed an interest in mathematics which proved to be a motivating influence behind his decision to pursue a career in engineering. “Math is about solving problems,” Tyler explained. “I am interested in solving puzzles. I’ve learned that there are often multiple ways to solve a problem.”
Conversely, he didn’t like English. “I hate being forced to read things I don’t like.” Except for the science fiction genre, particularly apocalyptic science fiction.
Tyler has joined the National Guard and will head out to boot camp in August. “The Guard allows me to stay close to home with my family while focusing on my higher education.” His Guard contract requires his participation twice a month and two weeks a year which, he says, will work nicely with his online engineering studies. Initially, Tyler will enroll in an online education program, he said. He’ll later transfer to Pennsylvania State University or Millersville University of Pennsylvania, renowned for its engineering degree program.
“I just came back from a 2-day practice boot camp where I learned what to expect when I report. It challenges one’s level of self-discipline! I learned about Army values: Be loyal, honorable, dutiful to your country, have self-respect, and be courteous at all times.” But, Tyler said, it was a grueling two days. “They bring you down to build you up better. It was good prep for boot camp. Being prepared is important for everything in life.”
Tyler thinks it’s good to have options. When asked where he sees himself in five years, he said that he’d be almost finished with his National Guard tour. He might sign on for another term to further his education, or resign and focus on his job, whatever that may be. “That’s three options if I did the math right.”
“I’m very grateful to the Teamsters for my scholarship. I think it’s great that the union works to help the younger generation. It’s good to encourage education because a good education is something kids can use throughout their life to help make the world a better place.”
Ashley Goudy graduated in May from Bel Air High School in Hartford County where she excelled in Advanced Placement (AP) studies, especially in science and math classes. In her senior year, she had only one English credit needed to graduate. Ashley discovered that she could either take courses that might be fun but wouldn’t necessarily benefit her long term. Or, she could get a head start on college by spending her senior year at Harford Community College (HCC) in Harford County.
At the end of her junior year, Ashley (right, with dad, Bill) asked her parents to join her at a special meeting with her guidance counselor. During the session, Ashley was encouraged to accept a rarely-issued waiver that would allow her to take college courses during her final year at Bel Air High School. “Ashley’s counselor has been a student advisor in Harford County for over 20 years. Ashley is only the second student she has suggested for the waiver,” said her dad, Bill. “Academically, there wasn’t any benefit to spending the last year in high school, but she could still graduate with her class.”
“I loved my experience at community college,” Ashley said. “It opened my eyes because I got to take courses like an Internet computer science course and a graphic design course not offered at my school. That allowed me to explore my interests and options. It helped me focus in on what I wanted to do and what I am good at doing. I learned that even though I’m good at science and math, I realized I’m not as passionate about it as other things. And while I do love art in general - I was passionate about graphic design – it isn’t necessarily the path I wanted to take.”
Her brief community college experience opened new paths of possibility for Ashley. She will enter the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP) in September and hopes to earn a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and a Minor in Communications. She wants to work in a business arena where she can utilize her strong leadership, communication, and organizational skills. “I’ve always seen myself taking on a managerial role or executive role, so I feel a career in business suits my personality best.”
Socially, Ashley likes to move around and meet new people. She describes herself as one who can “float” among and between diverse groups. She’s comfortable with those who have different interests and ideas – people who “go with the flow.” Her dad agreed, describing his daughter as “very diversified in her friendships as opposed to cliquish.”
Ashley’s “strong desire to give back to the community” found her involved in volunteer work with groups that provide meals to the hungry and homeless. Also, having played soccer since the age of five (though a series of concussion ended her soccer career by the 10th grade), Ashley volunteered as a clinic youth soccer coach. “I was dealing with six little boys all winter,” she laughed. “And it was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had. You can learn so much from kids. You learn how much you have to give them. I discovered how much my actions could positively impact others. Helping them develop their skills and work together as a group is what leadership is about.”
Ashley said work in the creative, entertainment, or technology industries that can offer opportunities for travel and a wide variety of experiences hold the most appeal to her. “I would like to thank President Taylor and the Teamsters for this tremendous gift which helps me pursue my lifelong goals,” wrote Ashley in a followup after her interview. “Someday I hope to pay it forward. I will forever hold the Teamsters in my heart for all it has given my family.”
Brother Abney remembered during UPS safety cookout July 8, 2019| During a June 27th cookout coordinated by the UPS Baltimore hub Safety Committee, members took time to remember their friend and coworker, Damian Abney, who died suddenly while at work in the facility on June 14th. Janet Genovese, a UPS Safety Committee member and Local 355 trustee, said the cookout, timed to the 5 pm shift, was planned as a thank-you to all for working safely but also provided an opportunity for Abney’s coworkers to “take pause and reminisce together” about their well-liked friend whom they affectionately called “Bird.” In his honor, many wore Oriole or Ravens garb, while others simply wore orange or purple. Photos of Abney were on display and orange balloons hung alongside the UPS brown and gold. More photos here.
New contracts ratified at Allen Foods, J.W. Treuth, others July 11, 2019| Following months of difficult bargaining, members employed at Allen Foods and in attendance at last month’s ratification meeting unanimously approved a new contract providing a 90-cent per hour wage increase over its three-year term, improves medical, and provides retroactive pay back to January 2019. Members can also participate in the Teamster Members Pension Plan. Drivers at J.W. Truth ratified... 355 News
Teamsters stand in solidarity with striking Amazon workers July 15, 2019| Teamsters across North America stand in solidarity with the Amazon fulfillment workers striking in Minnesota. Similar to workers moving Amazon goods, many of our 1.4 million members pick and stow product in warehouses, drive trucks, and deliver packages and have fought for decades to win better working conditions, respect, and a voice on the job. This fight is ongoing. Amazon workers in Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, France and the United Kingdom have also engaged in numerous protests, strikes, or other activities to demand their rights and as Teamsters, we support this growing worker-led movement. Every worker deserves… Teamsters
Baltimore officials issue ‘Code Red’ heat emergency July 16, 2019| The heat index is forecast to surpass 100 degrees in and around Baltimore this week, prompting city health officials to declare a “Code Red” heat emergency. High temperatures are forecast in the lower to mid-90s Tuesday through Thursday and then could approach 100 degrees Friday and Saturday. Factoring in humidity, which is forecast to rise over the course of the week, it’s expected to feel like about 100 degrees for the middle of the week and potentially close to 110 degrees Friday and Saturday… Baltimore Sun Get Teamster info on heat stress.
Important Jack Cooper carhaul update July 19, 2019| The Teamsters National Automobile Transporters Industry Negotiating Committee (TNATINC) met with representatives of Jack Cooper on Tuesday, July 16 and Wednesday, July 17. TNATINC members discussed long-term structural issues that need to be addressed as part of any potential contract modifications the committee might consider. The union committee had substantive discussions on contractual items that the company has proposed. The TNATINC has not yet come to any agreements on any issues. At the close of the last session, the union committee presented a list of conditions and questions that need to be addressed before the committee can move forward. At this point, TNATINC is waiting for a response from Jack Cooper or its lenders… Teamsters
Tell your member of Congress to protect our pensions July 22, 2019| We need your help! The Teamsters Union supports the passage of the Rehabilitation of Multiemployer Pensions Act (H.R. 397), which is headed to the full House of Representatives for debate and vote on the floor THIS WEEK! This bill is vital to protecting the pensions of hundreds of thousands of active Teamsters members and retirees across the country. This is the only legislation that would fully protect their hard-earned pension. Congress must act now to help millions of Americans facing an uncertain future as their retirement security is threatened through no fault of their own. PLEASE CALL 888-979-9806 NOW to let your own representatives in Congress know that any legislative solution must keep pensions whole for both active and retired workers. The time is now! (Important Note: The Teamsters Local 355 Pension Plan is not affected by the multi-employer pension fund crisis but please support the Union and make the call anyway.)
2018-2023 contracts are available online July 29, 2019| The UPS and UPS Freight Agreements including all of the UPS supplements, are now available on the Package Division webpage in PDF format. Additionally, the agreements are posted on the UPSRising App in searchable form. The UPSRising App is available for download via Google Play and the App Store.
2019 Local 355 scholars set to follow their dreams July 29, 2019| Tyler Samsel, left, and Ashley Goudy, right, are the 2019 recipients of the Teamsters Local 355 44th Annual Scholarship Awards. The youngest son of Baltimore Sun pressman Thomas Samsel, Tyler graduated from Redline Senior High School in York, Pa. and plans to pursue an engineering degree while serving in the Pennsylvania National Guard. Ashley, daughter of Bill Goudy, UPS retired, will attend the University of Maryland College Park in September. She plans to pursue a career in marketing and communications. (Ashley also received a Hoffa Scholarship, previously reported here.) The students’ names were selected in a drawing of scholarship applications during our General Membership Meeting in May at the Baltimore union hall. Tyler and Ashley will each receive $4,000 paid out at the rate of $1,000 per academic year. Read their stories at 355 News…
Allen Foods members in attendance at last month’s contract ratification meeting unanimously approved a new collective bargaining agreement providing a 90-cent per hour wage increase over the contract's three-year term; improves medical; and provides retroactive pay back to January 2019. Members can also participate in the Teamster Members Pension Plan.
Drivers at J.W. Treuth ratified in June a three-year contract providing above-average annual wage increases, a signing bonus, and increases to the pension plan. In addition, the sick leave policy is updated to comply with Maryland law.
A successor contract with First Transit Baltimore MTA was ratified in June by members. Highlights of the three-year agreement include significant wage increases; gains in paid time off (PTO); the addition of a healthcare HMO option in the second year of the agreement that offers lower deductibles; and retroactivity back to January 2019.
Members employed at Hertz/BWI approved in June a three-year contract providing wage increases; raises start rates for all classifications; creates an overnight shift differential, and increases the afternoon shift differential; and maintains Health and Welfare. In addition, the contract provides gains in paid time off for all members.
A new contract covering drivers at Acme Paper is in place. The agreement provides wage increases in each year of the five-year term; maintains 54 employees at the top-tier pay rate; increases company contributions to the 401(k) each year and the company match in the second through fifth year; and adds sick leave at 40 hours per contract year in compliance with Maryland law.
Holly Poultry drivers ratified a five-year contract providing wage increases over the term.
Negotiations continue for a first collective bargaining agreement at Arnold Packaging.
Bargaining preparations are underway at Piedmont/American Airlines on behalf of flight dispatchers.
June 27, 2019 | Congratulations to Ashley Goudy, daughter of Bill Goudy (UPS, retired), for an award of a $10,000 scholarship from the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund (JRHMS).
Ashley has set her sights on a career in marketing and communications and will attend the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP) in September.
We’ve included below the essay Ashley wrote as part of the application requirements for the JRHMS and is a commentary on how growing up in a union household afforded her opportunities she might not otherwise have had.
In May, Ashley, and Tyler Samsel, son of Thomas Samsel (Baltimore Sun) were awarded Teamster 355 Scholarships. Local 355 has provided scholarships to children and grandchildren of Local Union members and retirees since 1974.
Watch this space for more about Ashley and Tyler.
Published with permission:
From a young age, I can remember my father working long hours and being ecstatic when he came home to wish me good night. For 30 years my dad worked for UPS and has been an honorable member of Teamsters Local 355. He also served as a Shop Steward for 17 years. My grandfather set a precedent for my father by also being a union member for 39 years. The Goudy name has always been represented by hardworking and honest people. My father instilled those same principles in me from a young age, teaching dedication and gratitude. Being a Union member has helped fortify my family by providing us with the essentials to live an honest life.
As a middle-class family, we have learned to reach our goals through our own drive and integrity. However, if we did not have the stability provided by the Union we would not have the means to realize and actualize those dreams. Not only has the Union offered a stable income, but it has given us gifts in the form of affordable healthcare and retirement security that many middle-class families are burdened by. By lifting this weight off our shoulders, the Union has allowed my family to focus our strength on our careers and family life. Without the Union, we would not have the opportunities we do today, and I would not have the honor of representing my family's name just as my father and grandfather have before me.
June 26, 2019 | If you recently received a letter in the mail from MVA about your driver's license, do not ignore it! A valid license allows you to earn a good living. Don't put it at risk. Here's what you need to know:
All Maryland drivers must have a federally compliantREAL ID driver’s license by October 2020. After Oct.1, 2020, you will be required to have a REAL ID compliant driver’s license or ID card in order to use your driver’s license to board commercial aircraft for domestic flights or to gain access to federal facilities. Getting a REAL ID requires you to present documents (see below) for secure scanning that verify proof of age and identity.
Drivers who are not scheduled to renew their licenses before October 2020 must also provide required REAL ID compliant documentation proving age and Maryland residency with the MVA beforeOctober 2020. In addition, drivers who have renewed their licenses since May 2016 but were not asked to provide the federally-required documentation will have to make a trip back to the MVA to submit the information in order to be REAL ID compliant.
Be aware that you risk having your driver’s license declared invalid if you don’t pay attention to the new requirements' deadline. A police officer will confiscate the revoked license if you are stopped for a traffic violation and you’ll have to go through the trouble to go to an MVA office with the proper documentation to get it back.
1. Original or certified copy of your birth certificate – or a valid passport. (If you have ever changed your name, you’ll also need documents such as a marriage certificate or license, divorce decree or other forms documenting the name change.) 2. Social Security card, W2, or SS 1099 that displays your name and full Social Security number. 3. Two (2) documents proving Maryland residency – such as vehicle registration, insurance card, credit card bill, mail from a government agency, utility bill, or bank statement.
Attention CDL holders: Make sure you let the MVA worker you speak with know you hold a CDL. Members have reported inconsistencies in the information received from MVA employees who may not be familiar with CDL requirements. Some have been charged $20 for a replacement license, others no charge at all. Be sure to ask questions!
It's advisable to make an appointment:Appointments for REAL ID can be scheduled using the Online Document Guide, which also walks you through the documents you’ll need and allows you to pick a branch location, date and time.
Continued from Main Page | Speaking of good things happening: Bhalala and his wife, Pinal Mistry, also a naturalized citizen, met while they were both students at Prince George’s Community College. In 2014, Bhalala said, she became a part of his life.
Secure with a good Teamster job and a happy home life, Bhalala decided it was time to take the next step: In 2018, he filed his naturalization papers. In a journey that often takes years, Bhalala’s educational and employment path had provided him with the legal requirements to complete the final step to U.S. citizenship.
Bhalala was jubilant when he received his Certificate of Naturalization. Waving his U.S. flag and hugging his wife, he said he was happy but, “Now I’m going back to work where people respect me and respect me as a union member, and I’m very proud of that.”
Union: U.S. workers deserve paid vacation time
June 3, 2019 | There’s been a lot of talk about the need for higher wages, quality health care and retirement security in this space. But what about paid time off? The U.S. is the only advanced economy that does not federally mandate any paid vacation days or holidays for workers.
Continued from Main Page| ... Negotiations for a new contract at Praxair produced a four-year contract providing a 22% wage increase over term, increased vacation time, company-paid uniforms and safety boots, among other gains... Workers at J.W. Treuth approved a three-year contract providing wage increases, a signing bonus, and maintenance of Health, Welfare and Pension.
Bargaining continues for successor contracts at Kraft-Heinz, Allen Harim Foods, The Baltimore Sun, and DHL clerica.
Negotiations are ongoing for a first contract with Arnold Packaging.
Bargaining begins this week with Hertz Corporation.
In other news...
Local Union members present at our April general membership meetings in Baltimore and Salisbury unanimously approved a motion to award Honorary Lifetime Membership posthumously to Kenny Elgert, the beloved son of (Local 355 Business Agent) Chip and Barbara Elgert, who passed away suddenly in March. Kenny was a smiling face at many Local 355 functions over the years. An energetic and spirited supporter of our union, Kenny loved to accompany his dad to meetings, picket lines, charity fundraisers, steward banquets, and other Teamster events. He was a cheerful and devoted friend to many in the Local 355 family, and his dedication to the Local are acknowledged with the Award. Photo: Kenny, third from right, was a regular supporter on the picket line in 2016 during the union's unfair labor practices strike against US Foods.
In a random drawing from 21 submitted applications for the 2019 Local 355 Scholarship Awards, the winners are:
Tyler Samsel, son of Thomas Samsel (Sun Papers) Ashley Goudy, daughter of Bill Goudy (UPS)
We’ll introduce them to you in our next newsletter.
General membership meetings suspended for the summer
Members attending the May monthly meetings in Baltimore and Salisbury approved motions to suspend the meetings for the summer. The action follows a long tradition that recognizes members and their families are away on vacation most often during the summer months.
Our next General Membership Meeting will be held, Sunday, September 8, 2019, in Baltimore, and Sunday, September 15, 2019, in Salisbury.
Eastern Shore UPS members attend the April membership meeting at the renovated Salisbury Union Hall: (L-R) Bill Huber, Erik Kyle, Aaron Skipper, David Elburn and Chris Towers
Watch the YRCW ballot count online today May 3, 2019| The proposed YRC Freight, Holland and New Penn National Master Freight Agreement ballot count will take place today at 4 pm (Eastern). You can watch the ballot count online at here. Or listen live, call 1-866-767-0669.
Teamsters back effort to revamp federal labor law to benefit workers May 3, 2019| “The Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act will restore fairness to the economy at a time when income inequality has stifled the ability of far too many hardworking Americans to earn a decent wage that allows them to support their families,” General President Jim Hoffa said in a statement issued yesterday. The legislation that would comprehensively update the National Labor Relations Act was introduced yesterday in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.). Read more at teamsters.orgAnd from Intelligencer: [The PRO Act] would ban employers from forcing hires to sign away their right to pursue collective or class-action litigation and from permanently replacing workers who go on strike. It would also require employers to begin bargaining a contract no later than ten days after a union has been certified...
National Master Contract approved; one supplement rejected May 4, 2019| Teamster-represented workers at YRC Freight, Holland and New Penn have voted to approve the national master portion of the new YRCW National Master Freight Agreement that raises wages, restores a week of vacation and protects benefits. The national master portion of the agreement, which covers about 25,000 workers, was ratified by a 60 percent to 40 percent margin. However, all but one (Joint Council 40) of the 27 regional supplemental contracts passed. The national contract will not go into effect until that supplement is resolved. The parties currently have an extension agreement in effect. Employees should report to work as usual. More information at teamster.org
Teamster leaders gather for Unity Conference May 8, 2019| With major challenges facing workers and the 2020 elections looming, the importance of mobilizing members is more critical than ever, Teamster leaders heard at the annual Unity Conference taking place in Las Vegas, Nev. Leaders have been attending important divisional meetings, where they are hearing about the latest issues facing workers and the union, and strategies for winning. The meetings continue today and Thursday … Read more at teamster.org
National Master UPS Agreement contract book is available May 9, 2019| The full contract of the newly ratified National Master UPS Agreement is now available to view online here.
Important information for UPS part-timers May 10, 2019| With the new contract now in effect, part-timers may find the information in this flier helpful. The new agreement contains significant increased start rates and wages for part-timers. Click here to learn more.
YRC Freight, Holland, and New Penn contract takes effect immediately May 15, 2019| The last supplement to the YRC Freight, Holland and New Penn National Master Freight Agreement has now been ratified by the affected membership, which means the new national collective bargaining agreement and all supplemental agreements are now fully ratified and will take effect immediately. The National Master portions of the agreement and all other supplements were previously approved by the membership on May 3. The only outstanding supplement following the May 3 vote, the Joint Council 40 Supplement, was approved this week. “The national contract will now take effect and I want to thank all our members for their support during this long process,” said Ernie Soehl, Director of the Teamsters National Freight Division. “The wage increases are retroactive to April 1 and it is anticipated that any retro pay will be distributed within the next 30 days.”
355 Update: New contracts ratified, and other news May 15, 2019| Fire battalion chiefs, deputy sheriffs, and park rangers employed by Anne Arundel County recently ratified contracts providing cost-of-living (COLA) increases and merit raises; maintenance of Health and Welfare, and other improvements specific to each unit… Poultry workers at Mountaire Farms of Delmarva, ratified a five-year contract that includes a $1.50 p/hr increase over term, participation in the Teamsters Membership Pension Program, raises for live-haul drivers with job security for the term of the contract and retroactive pay back to December 2018... A new five-year contract is in place at Contanda (formerly Westway Terminals) that provides wage increases, maintains Health & Welfare, allows members to enroll in the Local 355 Teamster Retirement Plan, and reimburses boiler operators for the cost of renewal licenses. Praxair, new owner of dry ice firm Capitol Carbonic, Bridgeville, Del., agreed to recognize Local 355 as exclusive bargaining agent for its employees. Negotiations for a new contract produced... Continued Pictured: UPS feeder drivers in Baltimore elected new stewards following the May membership meeting. (L-R) Shannon Hilderbrand, Nick Lozzi, Local 355 Business Agent Eric Wood, and Brian Rigg.
Hoffa on trade with China: “They’re keeping us out” May 16, 2019| Hoffa discusses the impact of President Trump’s tariffs, and what should be done to get tough with China on trade, during interviews with Ali Velshi of MSNBC and Judy Woodruff of PBS NewsHour… Teamsters
Local 355 mourns the passing of Brother Jim Deene (updated) May 20, 2019| Local 355 officers, staff and members are mourning the sudden loss of Jim Deene, a business agent for Teamsters Local 355 in Baltimore, Md., who passed away suddenly on May 17, 2019. Deene began his Teamster career as a driver for U.S. Foodservice. He served as a shop steward from 1997 until 2002, when he became a business agent for the Local. Friends may visit Thursday, May 23, 2019, from 2-4 pm and 6-9 pm in the Barranco & Sons, P.A. Severna Park Funeral Home, 495 Ritchie Hwy, Severna Park, MD 21146. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, May 24, 2019, at 11 am in Our Lady of the Fields Roman Catholic Church, 1070 Cecil Ave., Millersville, MD 21108. Photos of Jim can be viewed in our Photo Gallery.
The Baltimore Sun: James 'Jimmy' Deene, trucker, union official and business agent... May 21, 2019| Brother Deene was chief negotiator for The Sun's drivers and pressmen. Today it published a nice obituary for our Local 355 brother...Read it here
Teamster Podcast: United in power at Unity May 22, 2019| Listen to the latest episode of the Teamster Nation Podcast and hear how the union united for power at its annual Unity Conference in May, plus its plans for greater wins in the workplace and at the ballot box.
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.
Local Union offices will be closed Monday, April 22nd Apr. 15, 2019| In observation of the Easter holiday, our Local Union offices will be closed Monday, Apr. 22, 2019, and will reopen Tuesday, Apr. 23 at 9 am. Everyone at Local 355 wishes you and your family a safe and happy Easter holiday.
Eastern Shore union hall opens to members for April membership meeting Apr. 16, 2019| The Local Union Hall in Salisbury, Md. will be fully operational by September after being closed for necessary renovations since July of 2017. The building, originally constructed in 1940 and suffering accumulated damage from age and environmental wear, has been extensively renovated with an open floor plan. “This is a much better space for our needs,” said Denis Taylor, President of Teamsters Local 355. “It will now accommodate meetings with our Eastern Shore companies. There’s no need to rent other space; all meetings will be held here going forward.” The renovation and repair project was expensive, Taylor said, but well worth it. The Hall will be open for next month’s General Membership Meeting. Photo Gallery:2019 April Membership Meeting Salisbury
Final supplement ratified, National Agreement takes effect Apr. 28, 2019|The five-year contract covering about 250,000 Teamster-represented workers at UPS will take effect at 12:01 a.m. tomorrow, Monday, April 29, after workers in Michigan ratified the last outstanding supplemental agreement. The national contract will increase wages, protect benefits and create thousands of new full-time jobs. Economic improvements in the contract are retroactive to August 1, 2018. The company has been notified of the ratification and will attempt to implement required raises during the next weekly pay period. More info here.
Teamsters, NewsGuild warn Gannett shareholders about Alden Global Capital Apr. 29, 2019| In a letter recently released, The NewsGuild-CWA and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters urged Gannett shareholders to reject the slate of directors nominated by vulture hedge fund Alden Global Capital. Through its subsidiary MNG Enterprises, Alden made a hostile bid to buy Gannett (NYSE:GCI) in January 2019. The offer was rejected in February by the Gannett Board of Directors. Later in February, MNG Enterprises launched a fight for the Gannett board by nominating six candidates…“There is a lot at stake in the outcome of this proxy vote for Gannett shareholders and workers alike,” said George Tedeschi, President of the Graphic Communications Conference of the Teamsters. “We urge investors to vote the white ballot to protect the integrity of our business and the future of our company.” LaborPress
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