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June 15, 2024

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News Items - June 2019
Updated On: Jul 19, 2019

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. So as a result, companies don’t prioritize it, and nearly a quarter of the nation’s workforce doesn’t receive any paid time off, according to an updated report by the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)…

Freeman succeeds Tedeschi as GCC president
June 4, 2019 George Tedeschi, president of the IBT’s Graphic Communications Conference, retired June 2 after 60 years of union service. He was succeeded by Kurt Freeman, a highly regarded labor veteran who became secretary-treasurer/vice president of the GCC/IBT in 2017. Tedeschi, 79, made his retirement official at the North American Newspaper Conference, the GCC/IBT division representing craft workers and journalists in the publishing industry. He played a central role in the 2005 merger of the former Graphic Communications International Union with the Teamsters, a move he called “one of the most important accomplishments of my career.” He will continue as an IBT international vice president-at-large… Teamsters  (Note: Local 355 represents Baltimore Sun members who are among the publishing workers in the GGC/IBT Division.)

Status on UPS back pay
June 5, 2019 The company expects the back pay to be issued the first pay period of July. This contract was the richest in Teamster history and the back pay just for the nine months between August 1, 2018 and April 29, 2019 is approximately $660 million. The company is currently calculating back pay for 250,000 employees with various hours worked, multiple classifications and pay rates. Many employees work more than one classification with different pay rates in one week or even within one day. Any time a member works in more than one job in any one day, it triggers a calculation requiring someone to manually calculate the pay rate figures. The company estimates that there will be over 200,000 manual calculations required to ensure that the back pay is accurate and they will be working on this through June. UPS is keeping us informed and is working to make this happen as quickly as possible. UPS Rising

Former Capitol Carbonic members proud of a new contract with a new owner, Praxair
June 7, 2019 When Local 355 received word in February of Capitol Carbonic’s intent to sell its Bridgeville, Delaware location to Praxair Distribution Inc., Business Agent John Moylan reported that the Local was concerned it was going to be another plant closing and we were going to lose those jobs and our members.” But in a positive turn of events, talks with Praxair resulted in an agreement to recognize Local 355 as the bargaining agent for its drivers and warehouse workers. “The only condition was that the new employer wanted to negotiate a contract of its own with new terms and conditions,” explained Moylan. “We succeeded in negotiating – then ratifying – a new four-year deal in just over two months.” Highlights of the new agreement provide a 22% wage increase over term, increased vacation time, company-paid uniforms and safety boots. “Very concerned about losing their jobs back in February, our members are now grateful for the new start, and are looking forward to working with their new employer going forward.” Pictured (click image to enlarge): L-R John Moylan, business agent; Timothy Figgs; Robert Thompson, shop steward; and Matthew Figgs

DHL driver Nirav Bhalala proud to be a new U.S. citizen 
June 10, 2019 | (UpdatedAfter a twelve-year journey to citizenship, Brother Nirav Bhalala was among 62 applicants from 32 countries sworn in as United States citizens on May 20, 2019, at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services District Office in Baltimore, Md. The momentous day, he said, was the end result of a “great, proud, and long journey” from his arrival in New York in 2007. Traveling to the U.S. on a student visa, Bhalala left behind his native India to continue his education in the U.S. He moved to Maryland in 2009, transferred his student visa to a work visa so he could work as a hotel manager, and enrolled in Prince George’s Community College. He graduated in 2014 from the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) with a degree in Business Administration. Bhalala received his green card in 2015 and renewed it in 2017. At the urging of a DHL district manager he met at UMUC, Bhalala applied and was subsequently hired at DHL in October 2015. He's been a Teamster ever since. “Joining the Teamsters was one of the first good things to happen to me here,” Bhalala said proudly… Continue at 355 News (Photo: Bhalala received his Certificate of Naturalization after the swearing-in ceremony.)

Teamster leaders meet for Warehouse Division Conference
June 11, 2019 About 150 Teamster leaders from local unions that represent warehouse workers met in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho last week to discuss the major issues and campaigns affecting the more than 200,000 warehouse Teamsters. "We have many challenges ahead, but by working together--the local unions, the Joint Councils and the International Union--we will take these challenges head-on to make sure our members' interests are protected," said Steve Vairma, Director of the Teamsters Warehouse Division. Leaders discussed the national organizing campaign underway at Sysco, and the campaigns to protect Teamsters at US Foods/FSA and UNFI/Supervalu… Teamsters

Sysco-Boston drivers ratify contract that improves and secures jobs
June 18, 2019 Drivers at Sysco near Boston voted overwhelmingly to ratify their first contract that provides improved and affordable health insurance, seniority protections, annual wage increases, a grievance and arbitration system and many other improvements. Steve Vairma, Teamsters International Vice President and Warehouse Division Director, said the contract victory sends a clear message to Sysco management that workers demand to be treated fairly. “Across North America, unrepresented Sysco workers are tired of unaffordable health insurance, unfair working conditions and poor treatment, and they are saying ‘enough is enough.’” … Teamsters

Local 355's bi-annual golf event draws 68 participants
June 19, 2019 | Local 355 golfers turned out for our Spring Golf Outing Saturday, June 8th, at the Queenstown Harbor Golf Course in Queenstown, Md. in numbers not seen since 2012. It was a picture-perfect day for members to kick back for a few well-deserved hours of relaxation and brotherhood. (Where our golfing sisters??) Congratulations to First Place winners Shawn McCoy, Tony Petraglia, Tim Duffy, and Jason Swartzendruber (UPS)... 355 News

Local 355 mourns the passing of Damian 'Birdman' Abney, UPS 
June 20, 2019 | Damian Abney, a full-time UPS Baltimore Hub employee for nearly 25 years, passed away suddenly Friday, June 14, 2019, while on the job. The Hub stilled the building Wednesday, June 19 at 6:30 pm and union members stood together with management in silence for a full two minutes to honor Abney's memory. Friends may pay their respects on Thursday, June 27, 2019, from 4-8 pm, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services PA, 5151 Baltimore National Pike, Baltimore 21229. A wake will be held Friday, June 28, 2019, at 10:30 am. Funeral services follow at 11 am in the Empowerment Temple at Vaughn Green Funeral Services PA. (Updated to correct date of Abney's passing.)

Retirees’ bi-monthly newsletter available online
June 24, 2019  The Association of Retired Members of Local 355 (A.R.M.) is a very active organization of retired Local 355 Teamsters, numbering more than 600 members. The organization mailed its bi-monthly newsletters for many, many years, and we’ve posted them here since 2010. Beginning this month, mail delivery will cease and the newsletters will be delivered here online only. A.R.M. However, President Bob Eney assured members in last month’s print edition that members who still wish to have the newsletter delivered by mail can call the Local office at 410-566-5700 to request mail delivery... Retirees

Do you have your REAL ID license yet?
June 26, 2019 If you recently received a letter in the mail from MVA about your driver's license, do not ignore it! For many of you, a valid license allows you to earn a good living so don't put it at risk. The deadline for being REAL ID compliant is fast approaching. If you are not REAL ID compliant by Oct. 1, 2020, 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. Here's what you need to know... 355 News

Water. Rest. Shade.
June 27, 2019 The stagnant hot, humid air over our region is contributing to poor air quality. A "Code Orange" Air quality alert is in effect Thursday, indicating unhealthy conditions for sensitive groups, including children, the elderly and people with heart or lung illnesses. Temperatures around Baltimore are forecast to reach the lower 90s Wednesday and Thursday, could approach the mid-90s on Friday, and again reach the lower 90s Saturday. Little relief is in the forecast beyond that, with temperatures in the mid- and upper-80s going into next week... Baltimore Sun Heat illness can be deadly. If you work outside you need to protect yourself: Drink water often. Rest in the shade. Report symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Both heat illnesses require emergency care… Teamster Fact Sheet on Heat Stress 

Hoffa Memorial Scholarship awarded to LU 355 retiree’s daughter
June 27, 2019 Congratulations to Ashley Goudy, daughter of Bill Goudy (UPS, retired), for her award of a $10,000 scholarship from the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund (JRHMS). She 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 here the essay Ashley wrote as part of the application requirements for the JRHMS. It is a moving tribute to the vital role the Teamsters Union has played in her young life… 355 News

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