June 22, 1918: A total of 86 passengers on a train carrying members of the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus are killed, another 127 injured in a wreck near Hammond, Indiana. Five days later the dead are buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Forest Park, Ill., in an area set aside as Showmen’s Rest, purchased only a few months earlier by the Showmen’s League of America.
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.
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.
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, Director of the Teamsters Package Division… teamster.org
... 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.
Md. House Labor And Employment Committee kills proposed RTW legislation
Apr. 3, 2017 | Anti-union forces in Maryland again introduced on January 30, 2017, right-to-work legislation 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. 3, 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
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… 992news
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.
WASHINGTON (PAI) — Citing the need for better education of construction firms and workers about how to battle exposure to cancer-causing crystalline silica dust, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) delayed the start of enforcement of its new silica exposure rule by three months.
In its April 6 statement, the agency said it needs “to conduct additional outreach and provide educational materials and guidance for employers” because of “the unique nature of the requirements in the construction standard.”
So enforcement will start on Sept. 23, 2017, not June 23, the agency said. OSHA’s new standard would cut worker exposure to silica, now 100 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an 8-hour shift, to 50 micrograms/cubic meter. Workers who inhale the dust can develop silicosis or lung cancer.
The delay upset the AFL-CIO which, like the building trades, has lobbied for years to curb worker exposure to silica dust.
“The labor movement has fought for decades to win this lifesaving rule, and any further delay is unacceptable. The longer the Trump administration delays, the more workers will suffer and die. This action alone will lead to an additional 160 worker deaths. We will do everything possible to make sure this commonsense rule is not taken away. Workers’ lives are at stake,” Federation President Richard Trumka said.
OSHA did not say what it would do about the enforcement start for silica exposure for other industries, in 2018. And the delay doesn’t mean OSHA will walk away from cutting construction worker exposure to silica dust.
“OSHA expects employers in the construction industry to continue to take steps either to come into compliance with the new permissible exposure limit or to implement specific dust controls for certain operations as provided in Table 1 of the standard,” it said. “Construction employers should also continue to prepare to implement the standard’s other requirements, including exposure assessment, medical surveillance, and employee training.”
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 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 scholarship awards up to $2,000, depending on financial need. (See scholarship amount details in the applications.) “We’d like to see more of our kids further they 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 and hit send. But you have to do it before the March 31, 2017 deadline.”
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!?
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 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
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
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...
Pa. Senate approves ‘paycheck protection’ bill Feb. 13, 2017 | The Pennsylvania Senate last week approved legislation to stop public employers from deducting political contributions from workers’ paychecks The Senate voted 28-22 to send the bill on to the House, which is scheduled to return for its next session day mid-March. Union officials have said the contributions are voluntary, and Democrats argues in the Senate that the proposal is intended to silence workers… post-gazette.com
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
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.
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.
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
UPS freight drivers trained to spot human trafficking Jan. 12, 2017 |UPS drivers will be trained to recognize and report human trafficking in collaboration with the Truckers Against Trafficking organization, the company announced Wednesday. UPS’s 8,000 freight drivers will receive the training, which began last month, by the end of the year, according to UPS spokeswoman Kara Ross… courier-journal.com
Hoffa: Withdrawal from the TPP the right choice for U.S. trade policy Jan. 24, 2017 |[Yesterday], President Trump made good on his campaign promise to withdraw the United State from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. With his decision, the president has taken the first step toward fixing 30 years of bad trade policies that have cost working Americans millions of good-paying jobs… teamster.org
President Hoffa interview with Fox News host Neil Cavuto Jan. 27, 2017 |On Wednesday, Hoffa discussed jobs, trade, infrastructure investment and minimum wage increases on Fox News. Watch the interview here.
Teamsters add gender identity to non-discrimination policy Jan. 27, 2017 |The IBT instructed its locals across the United Stated to update their bylaws this year, declaring that members can no longer discriminate against a fellow worker based on mental disability or gender identity. Members of the union took an oath under the old laws that had them swear to not “discriminate against a fellow worker on account of race, color, religion, sex, age, physical ability, national origin or sexual orientation.” The addendum to the bylaws, which went into effect on January 1, now says that workers can’t discriminate against “any other legally protected group” either... newnownext.com
Teamsters Union disappointed in latest pipeline decision Dec. 5, 2016 |The Teamsters Union is disappointed in a decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to not grant an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline. The decision blocks two years of review, approvals by four states and approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and two federal courts upholding the project. The decision will have a direct and negative impact on the hardworking men and women – including Teamsters and other union members – who have invested their lives in building the infrastructure that makes this country run… teamsters.org
Applications now being accepted for the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Dec. 5, 2016 |The James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund is now accepting applications for scholarship awards. The Fund is committed to distributing $1.4 million in 2017. Along with the Academic Scholarship, the Find has initiated a Training and Vocational Programs scholarship. The training and vocational programs must be related to work in a Teamster-represented industry, class or craft. The deadline for receipt of completed materials is March 31, 2017. Materials will be sent to the Local Union office, but if you would like additional information and application materials for download, click the Hoffa Scholarship link in the right column.
Alliance for Retired Americans launch campaign to protect Medicare from privatization Dec. 7, 2016 |Alarmed by the House Congressional Leadership’s plans to dismantle Medicare, the Alliance for Retired Americans today kicked off a grass roots campaign to block any attempts to cut or convert guaranteed, earned health benefits into a voucher or privatized scheme. Continue reading…
‘Tis the season for labor organizing Dec. 15, 2016 |Efforts to unionize port truck drivers around the country have been met with resistance from private trucking companies, sometimes with the support of public servants. Last June, local police ran a group of organizers out of Port Wentworth for handing out leaflets outside of XPO Cartage, a subsidiary of XPO Logistics, the port’s largest trucking company with over 150 contract drivers. Three members of Teamsters Local 728 were charged with impeding traffic in a public roadway, though the incident took place on a dead end street… connectsavannah.com
Merry Christmas! Dec. 23, 2016 |Teamster 992 will resume posting on Wednesday, January 3, 2017. Have a safe and happy holiday season.
IBT vote count is underway Nov. 17, 2016 |The ballots are in and the count began on Monday. To get the latest on the vote results, click here.
Hoffa-Hall re-elected to five-year term to lead union Nov. 21, 2016 | Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa, General Secretary-Treasurer, International Vice Presidents At-Large, International Trustees and International Vice Presidents in the Eastern, Southern and Central Regions were elected Friday night in the 2016 Election of International Union Officers, according to unofficial results provided by the Office of the Election Supervisor. “This was a hard-fought campaign and a historically close election,” Hoffa said. “Though we have many challenges before us, now is the time to join together as brothers and sisters and stand strong against those who would destroy the labor movement and deny worker’s the gains that have struggled to achieve. We will continue to lead the fight to organize the unorganized, ensure strong health care, good wages, a secure retirement and holding employers and politicians accountable.” Continue reading…
Trucking, auto industries praise Elaine Chao transportation secretary nomination Nov. 30, 2016 |… The Teamsters told Trucks.com they are not commenting on Trump’s proposed policies and cabinet nominations. But the union was critical of Chao when she was labor secretary. James P. Hoffa, the Teamsters’ president, said she was pushing many anti-union proposals and was against a higher minimum wage…
Your vote is your voice in the election of top officials in your union On Oct. 6th the Office of the Election Supervisor (OES) mailed ballots for the International Officer election to all members of the IBT. Watch for your secret ballot in the mail. When you receive it, follow the directions to cast your own vote then mail your secret ballot yourself using the postage-prepaid envelope. The secret ballots must be returned to a post office box controlled by the OES by 9am Monday, Nov. 14th. Important: If you do not receive your ballot by Oct. 17th, contact the OES toll-free at 1-844-428-8683 to request a ballot. The count is scheduled to start Monday, Nov. 14th.
Drivers, warehouse workers at XPO Logistics are choosing Teamster representation Oct. 13, 2016 |Workers across the country are standing shoulder-to-shoulder to fight for fairness and respect at one of the world's largest transportation and logistics companies. Seventy-four drivers at the former Con-way Freight in Aurora, Illinois, join workers in Miami; Laredo, Texas; and Vernon, California. Warehouse workers in North Haven, Conn., became the first warehouse workers at the company to form a union in the U.S.
Teamsters call for government intervention in LA ports crisis Sept. 6, 2016 |The bankruptcy of Hanjin, a major Korean shipper, is causing chaos at the Port of Los Angeles with dozens of ships and a half million cargo containers stranded at sea of the Port of Los Angeles. The livelihoods of many workers, from ship crews to workers who handle the cargo at the dock are threatened. Members of Congress, the Chair of the Federal Maritime Commission and labor leaders are calling on government action on the cargo delivery crisis… uslabornews.com
Hoffa: Don't let GOP curb new pro-worker rule Sept. 6, 2016 |…The Teamsters have been out front on these issue, even passing a resolution of support during its 29th International Convention in June. Why? Because the union believes in the fundamental principle that employers who receive federal taxpayers' money should comply with federal labor law. That means rejecting wage theft, safety violations and discrimination on the job… teamster.org
This week is National Truck Driver Appreciation Week Sept. 13, 2016 |This is the time to remind everyone of the sacrifices and skills of professional truck drivers who keep America moving. Teamsters are celebrating the hard work of the men and women behind the wheel who labor on our nation's roads and highways. The IBT is asking Teamster truck drivers to send in photos of you and your truck! Post them at www.facebook.com/Teamsters. Don't forget to say what company and Teamster local you're with. Later this week all our photos will be presented in a video on teamster.org and on the Teamster Facebook timeline. Ready? GO!
Today is #StopTPP call-in day: Make the call against this job-killing trade deal Sept. 14, 2016 |We urge all Teamsters to join in this action and flood Congress's phone lines today with calls to every lawmaker asking them to pledge their opposition to the TPP. The TransPacific Partnership is a 12-nation corporate power grab that will ship thousands of jobs overseas, lower wages in the U.S. and undermine laws that protect workers and the environment. Please call your senators and representatives now at 844-394-8431 – tell them to commit to standing firm against the TPP.
Self-driving trucks threaten one of America's top blue-collar jobs Sept. 26, 2016 |…Carmaking giants and ride-sharing upstarts racing to put autonomous vehicles on the road are dead set on replacing drivers, and that includes truckers. Trucks without human hands at the wheel could be on American roads within a decade, say analysts and industry executives…latimes.com General President Jim Hoffa: "...It's not going to happen…"
Teamster women take over Hollywood... Sept. 28, 2016 |Hundreds of Teamster women marched through the streets of Hollywood, California on Friday, Sept. 23, in support of University of California (UC) Teamsters [Local 2010], and their fight for better wages. Teamsters attending the union’s annual women’s conference joined the rally where they called on the UC system to deliver a fair contract… peoplesworld.org
Combating 'drowsy driving' requires keeping trucker standards Aug. 12, 2016 |The Teamsters have been leaders in standing up for proper rest breaks for truck drivers. After all, union drivers know all-to-well what can happen when forced to work too many hours on the road. But now a new report shows the true dangers that come from "drowsy driving." teamster.org
Local news update... Aug. 17, 2016 |Members employed at U.S. Silica approved a two-year agreement after months of negotiations during which the Union succeeded in convincing the Company to withdraw its proposal to weaken the union security clause. (West Virginia became a right-to-work state effective July 1st.) Highlights of the contract include… Continued
Trucker driver job-related injuries in overdrive Aug. 18, 2016 |When you think of dangerous jobs, what comes to your mind? Police officers, firefighters and construction workers might top the list for most people. Tractor-trailer truck drivers probably don't come to mind, but Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that driving a truck is risky in ways you might not expect… blog.dol.gov
Watch last week's Teamster Leadership Debate Aug. 30, 2016 |Fred Zuckerman and Ken Hall, candidates for Teamster top offices, participated in a debate last Thursday at the National Press Club. c-span.org
Teamsters Union endorses Hillary Clinton for President Aug. 30, 2016 |The Teamsters General Executive Board last week unanimously voted to endorse the former senator and secretary of state. "We are proud to endorse Hillary Clinton for President of the United States," said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. "She is the right candidate for the middle class and working men and women across the country. She will stand strong for the workers of America by fighting to reject job-killing trade deals, enforcing labor laws and working to provide retirement security for millions of people who have sacrificed so much for the chance to retire with dignity…" teamster.org
Teamster convention approves slate of resolutions on final day July 6, 2016 |Attendees at our union's 29th annual convention approved resolutions that clarify the union's policy stances on everything from airline organizing to worker misclassification. A full slate of resolutions can be read here. (Note: The convention is the highest governing body of the union, subject to the right of referendum by the membership. The General Executive Board has the authority to carry out the policies and directives approved by convention action.)
Teamsters, AFL-CIO mourn shooting death of Philando Castile July 8, 2016 | Teamsters Local 320 and the Minnesota AFL-CIO have issued statements mourning the shooting death of Philando Castile, who was killed Wednesday night after his car was stopped by police in Falcon Heights. Castile was a member of Local 320 since 2002 and worked as a nutrition services supervisor at J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School in St. Paul. "The 11,000 members of Teamsters Local 320 are saddened and grieving the loss of Teamster brother Philando Castile," Local 320 said in a statement. "This is a tragedy on every level and all Teamsters are encouraged to keep the Castile family in our thoughts and prayers."… workdayminnesota.org
Teamsters increase strike benefits July 13, 2016 |Strike benefit increases approved by delegates at the 29th International Convention become effective on July 1, 2016. Under the new constitutional provisions, which were unanimously approved by delegates on June 30, 2016, the changes raise strike benefits, increase minimum benefits and allow for benefits to begin earlier than in the past… teamster.org
Midwest Teamsters win surprise victory, force gov't not to slash their pensions
June 8, 2016 | In a stunning demonstration of the power of grassroots organizing, retired Teamster union members across the Midwest have forced the federal government to back down on plans to slash pensions on thousands of retired workers.
Stand with CWA/IBEW strikers at Verizon May 5, 2016 |On April 13, 2016, General President Jim Hoffa declared that the Teamsters stand united with the CWA and the IBEW’s strike against Verizon. Today he urges Teamster Local Unions and members to support our union brothers and sisters at Verizon. “It’s more important now than ever to show Teamster solidarity in standing up to corporate greed. We have our own battles with corporate giants like US Foods where multiple Teamster Local Unions are on Unfair Labor Practice strikes, and at a Supervalu-owned distributor that services Kroger stores in Colorado. By having a strong Teamster presence supporting CWA and IBEW and helping those unions win their battles, we will help our union win current and future battles against these corporate giants.” Sign the petition to “Stand with Striking Workers.”
Teamsters at largest USF facility in US honor picket lines May 26, 2016 | Locals 355 and 570 extended their picket lines to Metro New York (Perth Amboy), the largest US Foods facility in the country. Three hundred and twenty Teamster warehouse workers and drivers from Locals 202 and 282 have the right to honor the picket line by refusing to work. More than 2,500 Teamsters employed by US Foods have either gone out on strike or honored the picket lines at some point this month. Facebook.com/SyscoUSFworkers
Most YRCW employees receive wage increases – first since 2013 Apr. 1, 2016 |Teamster-represented workers at the YRC Worldwide, Inc. (YRCW) are receiving wage increases as part of the first negotiated increases to kick in under the Extension of the Restructuring Agreement. The increases apply to the majority of Teamster-represented employees. Non-CDL employees hired after February 2014 will not receive the increases. Most workers will receive increases of 34 cents an hour or .850 cents per mile, effective April 1, 2016. It is the first increase in wages for YRCW employees since 2013.
Fulton County commissioners use taxpayer money to avoid settling grievances Apr. 4, 2016 |In a press release issued today, Local 992 accuses elected County commissioners for refusing to resolve two outstanding grievances valued at just over $500, [deciding instead] "to spend potentially thousands of hard earned taxpayer dollars for an outside attorney to fight the Union..." Read the full release here.
Maryland sick leave bill gains new momentum on final day of session Apr. 11, 2016 |After being declared all but dead last week, a bill that would require bosses to grant sick leave to their employees picked up new momentum on the final day of the Maryland General Assembly session on Monday. A version of the bill already cleared the House of Delegates, but has remained bottled up in the Senate Finance Committee. baltimoresun.com
Teamsters Locals 355 and 570 strike US Foods facility in Severn, Md. Apr. 28, 2016 |At 2pm yesterday, Teamster members of U.S. Foods in Severn, Md., walked off the job and commenced an unfair labor strike against the Company. The dispute centers around the Company's failure to bargain in good faith, its use of out-of-state and non-bargaining unit employees to perform work normally performed by the Teamsters, and the Company's attempt to deal directly with its employees concerning effects bargaining. US Foods employs approximately 190 Teamsters in both the warehouse and delivery operations. More at teamsters355.com and team570.org.
UPS workers protest against supervisor Mar. 3, 2016 |UPS employees claim that they have been victims of racial slurs and discrimination at the company's warehouse in Riviera Beach, Fla. Warehouse workers and Teamsters protested Tuesday morning outside the facility. Employees said they've filed several grievances against their supervisor, but he was only moved to a different position. wpbf.com
The fight against the corporate agenda begins now Mar. 7, 2016 |Corporate cronies for years have sought to do everything they can to push their platform to the public in hopes of getting more anti-worker policies passed at all levels of government. But a new report shows that effort might be succeeding… The agenda of the right wing includes takeovers of federal, state and local governments through extensive and permanent political organization down to the local precinct level and destruction of foes – notably unions – who oppose the corporate program. Its agenda includes everything from enacting so-called "right to work" laws to fighting school district taxes. It's encase of such efforts that the Teamsters are debuting a new program for activists… teamster.org
Local news update Mar. 10, 2016 |The contract with U.S. Silica in Berkley Springs, West Virginia expired in September 2015. The parties have had 17 bargaining sessions to date and no agreement is in sight. The Local has filed three unfair labor practices (bad-faith bargaining and a Weingarten violation). At issue is the union security clause. Effective July 1, 2016, West Virginia will become the 26th right-to-work state. The company has demanded a one-year contract; past contract terms have been for three years. Members voted to authorize a strike. Meanwhile, talks continue. Bargaining also continues at Cinetic Landis. Interest arbitration is scheduled in April for the Franklin County contract. The Local’s collective bargaining agreement with Shenandoah Pride Dairy expires in February; bargaining for a new agreement will begin in March.
Supreme Court upholds Tyson Foods workers class-action suit Mar. 23, 2016 |This Supreme Court case and the justices' ruling perfectly illustrates why the nomination of worker-friendly Supreme Court justices are so important to the future of working men and women in America. It is also a strong affirmation of workers' right to band together to sue their employer for its failure to follow federal law. (More than 3,000 employees sued Tyson Foods for not properly compensating them for hours worked.) The New York Times reports "The Supreme Court on Tuesday sided with thousands of workers at an Iowa pork processing plant who has sought to band together in a single lawsuit to recover overtime pay from Tyson Foods… The Tyson workers performed tasks that were "grueling and dangerous" at a plant in Storm Lake, Iowa, Justice Kennedy wrote, slaughtering hogs, trimming the meat and preparing for shipment. They sought to be paid for the time they had spent putting on and taking off protective gear to prevent knife cuts…"nytimes.com
42 years later, OSHA OKs rule protecting workers from silica Mar. 28, 2016 |...New workplace limits for a lung-damaging and ubiquitous substance called silica are about to take effect, decades after federal health experts warned that the nation's existing rule was dangerously lax. Silica, found in rock and sand, poses a hazard when pulverized to a fine dust and inhaled -- a problem on construction sites, during hydraulic fracturing operations and at a variety of other workplaces... Truthout
Reminder: Hoffa scholarship application deadline is tomorrow, March 31 Mar. 30, 2016 |Deadline for the application is Thursday, March 31, 2016. Applications must be received by this date or will not be considered. Email the application as one PDF to email@example.com OR it can be faxed to (202) 624-7457, or mailed to the following address: James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund 25 Louisiana Ave NW Washington, DC 20001. Finalist notification will be given by June 2016 via email. Awards will be disbursed to the student's school by August 2016.
Paid sick leave bill gains key approval in Maryland House Mar. 30, 2016 |A bill that would require companies to offer sick leave to workers is advancing in the House of Delegates. The bill would require companies with at least 15 employees to allow workers to earn up to seven days of paid leave per year – a change from 10 employees in the original bill. Smaller companies would only be required to offer unpaid sick leave... Baltimore Sun
Union plumbers installed water filters for Flint residents for free Feb. 2, 2016 |This is solidarity in the truest sense of the word. Due to the inaction of state and federal officials, thousands of people in Flint have been exposed to unsafe levels of lead in their water. Now a group of union plumbers are taking matters into their own hands. On Saturday, 300 plumbers from unions across the country descended on Flint to install new faucets and water filters for free. thinkprogress.org
Teamsters and others fight pension battle over the multi-employer fund Feb. 4, 2016 |A half mile from their union hall, over 220 retired members of Teamsters Local 346 gathered at Holy Family Catholic Church in Duluth's West End in late January to fight for their pensions. But this isn't just a Teamsters fight. They're one of the unions under the knife now, but 200 multi-employer pension funds covering 1.5 million American workers could be in jeopardy for a number of reasons. peoplesworld.org
Reauthorization legislation would roll back truckers’ mandatory rest time Feb. 5, 2016 |Click here to read President Hoffa’s response to a provision included in new FAA reauthorization that would curb states’ ability to require mandatory meal and rest breaks for truck drivers.
Call now and urge Congress to say NO to job-killing TPP
Feb. 10, 2016 |Last week, trade ministers gathered in New Zealand to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). But signing the TPP is not the same as it being ratified by Congress. This week, Teamsters from all of the country are flooding Congress with calls demanding they reject the massive trade deal. If we put enough pressure on our Congress members, the entire thing can still be derailed. That's where you come in: Please call the toll-free number 1-844-394-8431 now to join thousands of others urging Congress to oppose the TPP.
Hall: WV legislature sides with corporate interests over workers Feb. 16, 2016 |In statement released last Friday following the West Virginia Legislature’s override of the governor’s veto of so-called right-to-work legislation, Secretary-Treasurer and Local 175 President Ken Hall said, “This is a dark day for our state. Lawmakers have chosen to side with out-of-state billionaires over hard-working West Virginians. The Teamsters, together with other union members and working West Virginians, turned out to strongly oppose these bills because we understood passing them would do nothing to help workers earn a fair living…” teamster.org West Virginia becomes the 26th RTW state on July 1, 2016.
Rollback of mandatory driver rest time has no place in bill Feb. 29, 2016 |President James P. Hoffa on Friday applauded Sen. Barbara Boxer's call to remove a measure from FAA legislation that would curb states’ ability to provide higher wages and basic meal and rest breaks for truck drivers. “Yesterday, Sen. Barbara Boxer [D-Calif] took a stand for trucker safety by denouncing a rider that was attached to the House FAA bill that would override meal and rest break rules in 22 states. This threat to highway safety is nothing but an attempt by the American Trucking Association to keep drivers on the clock and behind the wheel as much as possible, yet again prioritizing profits ahead of people…" teamster.org Related: Bitter battle erupts on Capitol Hill over bathroom breaks for truck drivers.
L.A. port drivers win $7 million in back pay; end misclassification
Jan. 5, 2016 | The underpaid, exploited port truck drivers at the nation's largest cargo terminal, Los Angeles-Long Beach, have won another round in their long fight for fair pay and job protections.
Teamsters statement on San Bernardino County shootings Dec. 3 2015 | The Teamsters Union is deeply saddened by the tragic event in San Bernardino County, Calif., which has taken the lives of 14 people, injured 21 and shaken the community at large. As the news continues to unfold, we are saddened to learn that some of the victims were members of Teamsters Local 1932. “Today is a sad day, as we join the San Bernardino community with a heavy heart in mourning this tragic loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and everyone impacted by this senseless tragedy,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. Continued...
Chicago Teamsters strike Coca-Cola over unfair labor practices Dec. 3, 2015 | More than 300 Teamsters Local 727 members are initiating an unfair labor practice strike against Coca-Cola Refreshments at 5 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 3, after the beverage industry behemoth intimidated workers and engaged in bad faith bargaining during negotiations for a new contract. Local 727 represents 319 production and warehouse workers and transport drivers at Coca-Cola Refreshments facilities in Niles and Alsip, Ill. Read more here. Also, Teamsters International approves strike benefits for Coca-Cola workers.
Applications for the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship are available now Dec. 4, 2015 | The James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund is now accepting applications for scholarship awards. Scholarship applicants compete in one of the five geographic regions where the Teamster Member Relation’s Teamsters Union affiliate is located. One category of awards totals $10,000 each. The deadline for receipt of completed materials is March 31, 2016. Materials will be sent to the Local Office, but if you would like to download the materials, click the scholarship link on the right column.
Coca Cola Refreshments strikers hold solidarity rally Dec. 15, 2015 |Three hundred striking Coca Cola Refreshments Teamsters workers rallied Monday in Niles, Illinois as supporters from Chicago and northwest Indiana joined them in solidarity. The Teamsters say this unfair labor practice strike is about the company refusing to negotiate in good faith and in some cases using illegal intimidation tactics. "Managers will walk around carrying baseball bats asking workers about the status of ongoing negotiations,” said Will Petty, communications director for Teamsters Joint Council 25. LaborPress.org
Thousands of drivers in Seattle's for-hire industry win collective bargaining rights Dec. 16, 2015 |Because of their disputed status as independent contractors, for-hire drivers don't have the ability to unionize through a traditional National Labor Relations Board election process, and they aren't covered under Seattle's wage theft, sick leave or new $15 an hour minimum wage law. To address these inequities, drivers approached Teamsters Local 117 for assistance in getting organized. Taxi drivers formed the Western Washington Taxicab Operators Association in 2012. In 2013, drivers for app-based dispatch companies formed the App-Based Drivers Association. Both organizations work closely with Teamsters Local 117 to ensure that drivers are treated fairly… Teamster.org
Teamsters support spending bill that protects worker rights, health care Dec. 17, 2015 |The Teamsters back a $1.1 trillion spending bill approved today by Congress for fiscal year 2016, saying it ensures workers retain their rights to organize on the job and will continue to receive comprehensive health insurance from their employers without being financially penalized. "This omnibus package is a step in the right direction for workers," General President Jim Hoffa said. "Although the Teamsters didn't get everything we wanted, Congress rejected attempts to turn back the clock on employees seeking union representation and makes sure those with good health insurance won't be punished by the federal government in the short term."… teamster.org
Trade deal will lock in high drug prices, hurt seniors Dec. 17, 2015 |Older Americans should be deeply concerned about this deal. If implemented, TPP will maintain high drug prices for America's seniors and undermine the sustainability of public health programs like Medicare and Medicaid. The TPP would enact unprecedented protections for Big Pharma. It would lock in patent exclusivity for biologics – specialty drugs used to treat diseases such as cancer and rheumatoid diseases… The Hill
992 Update: New contract at Pacific Rail; talks with U.S. Silica continue Nov. 3, 2015 | The second contract between Pacific Rail and Teamsters Local 992 was unanimously ratified recently. Additionally, the Local successfully bargained a Memorandum of Understanding giving the union card-check neutrality at a second plant in Green Castle, Penn., a rare achievment in today’s labor relations environment. Bargaining with U.S. Silica is ongoing. The company went to the table with a proposal that would in effect destroy more than a third of the contract rather than build on it. Bargaining continues at Cinetic Landis. Negotiations for a contract with Franklin County (Pa.) has moved to interest arbitration.
"Unions aren't needed anymore." Nov. 3, 2015 | How how often have you heard that lately? Here's an excellent video reminder from our Canadian brothers and sisters that there's nothing new, and nothing true, about that all-too familiar line. Click here to watch.
New bill prevents harassment during labor disputes Nov. 6, 2015 | On Thursday, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed a bill that will ensure the end of stalking and harassment during labor disputes. This law came about after Philadelphia Ironworkers union members intimidated people and vandalized property. A sponsor of the bill says that this will not affect peaceful labor disputes. However, Democrats are concerned that this law could affect freedom of speech rights among union members. Full story…
21 organizations fighting for labor rights in the food system Nov. 19, 2015 | … In Tracy, California, Teamsters members are fighting poverty wages and severe violations of basic rights at Taylor Farms. And more than 11,000 Teamsters workers have united to defeat a mega-merger of U.S. Foods and Sysco, which would have jeopardized thousands of broadline food service and transportation jobs… Read more here.
High court rulings could affect workers Nov. 20, 2015 |The future of workers on the job could be shaped significantly by a spate of causes set to be considered by the U.S. Supreme Court during its current term. And it is something more everyday Americans need to be aware of and consider. … The Teamsters represent about 273,000 public sector workers, and other union represent millions more. These government employees are everyday Americans just trying to earn a living and support their families. But that will be increasingly difficult if union rights are curtailed nationwide. Full story here.
Ford workers narrowly ratify UAW contract Nov. 23, 2015 | Workers at Ford narrowly ratified the company’s four-year labor deal with the United Auto Workers, the labor union announced late Friday. A defeat for the contract could have left ford facing a strike for the first time in 39 years. The UAW had been looking to claw back some concessions that were made eight years ago to help the U.S. carmakers survive the recession. Industry Week
The just-released TPP text is actually worse than we imagined. Here are just a few examples of how the TPP will undercut jobs and wages.
• The TPP forces U.S. employers into competition with companies exploiting workers in places like Vietnam, where the minimum wage is just a third of what it is in China’s manufacturing centers, and Malaysia, where an estimated one-third of all electronics workers are victims of human trafficking.
• The TPP enables products assembled from parts made in “third party” countries that are not subject to any TPP obligations, such as China, to entire the U.S. duty-free, undercutting U.S. manufacturing.
• The TPP includes procurement provisions effectively barring Buy American and Buy Local government purchasing preferences.
• The TPP includes controversial investor-state dispute resolution (ISDS) provisions that make it safer — and, in fact, create incentives — for U.S. firms to offshore jobs to foreign countries where they can exploit low-wage labor under privileged foreign investor status rather than be forced to deal with the countries’ regulator processes and courts.
• We also know that the TPP fails to include the currency safeguards demanded by a bipartisan majority in Congress that would prevent known currency manipulators like Vietnam, Japan and Malaysia from devaluing their currencies to gain an unfair trade advantage over U.S. employers.
Reminder for members, stewards Oct. 5, 2015 | Every Monday we post new information under the Member Info and Shop Steward Info tab in the left column. Today's educational tips offer information about the union's right to strike and the differences between the two types of strikes.
Webcast Oct. 7: Domestic violence as a critical workplace issue Oct. 5, 2015 | When domestic violence enters the workplace, it can have significant repercussions for the targeted individual and the work environment. Union stewards and fellow coworkers can all be affected by, and have a role to play in, dealing with intimate partner violence as a critical workplace issue. A free one-hour webcast on Wednesday, Oct. 7th, beginning at 12 noon will explore labor's role in addressing domestic violence in the workplace. The webcast is a joint initiative between the ILR School's Scheinman Institute of Conflict Resolution and The Worker Institute at Cornell University. Click here to learn more and register.
Hoffa says tenuous TPP agreement does not listen to workers' concerns Oct. 5, 2015 | Bum trade deals like NAFTA have killed upwards of 1 million U.S. jobs, many of which moved abroad. And that’s the concern with the looming TPP. These big business handouts continue to hollow out the manufacturing base of communities and destroy middle-class jobs in their wake. The Teamsters and many, many others just don't see any value in what TPP brings to this country. First and foremost is the deal won't create any new jobs here. Full statement...
Teamster port truck driver to speak at White House summit Oct. 7, 2015 | Alex Paz, a Local 848 member, will be a panelist at the first-ever “White House Summit on Worker Voice” tomorrow in Washington. As a nonunion port truck driver, Paz was misclassified for years as an independent contractor but fought for, and won, the right to be recognized as an employee. Paz, who is based in Los Angeles, was selected among nominees from around the country to lend his voice to the summit. The event will focus on how workers can make their voices heard in the workplace, and energize a new generation of Americans to come together and recognize the potential power of their voice at work. The summit will be livestreamed starting at 10:30 a.m. EDT here: www.whitehouse.gov/live.
Central States Pension Fund files plan to cut retiree benefits under new law Oct. 7, 2015 | …The huge pension fund, which administers retirement benefits for some former and current Teamster truckers, said the reductions are the only way to save the plan from insolvency. Under the proposal, pensions for Central States’ 407,000 participants would be cut by an average of nearly 23 percent. “Pension fund participants and beneficiaries did not cause the problem of underfunding,” James P. Hoffa, general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, wrote in a letter to Central States. “They worked day in and day out to earn their pension credits. It is monstrously unfair that they will end up holding the short end of the stick.” Full story…
We need to tell Congress to protect our pensions Oct. 12, 2015|Some of the nation's retirees are facing enormous cuts to their pensions, but we can help them by convincing Congress to pass Keep Our Pension Promises Act, S. 1631/H.R. 2844, that will protect hard earned pension benefits. Additionally, the Senate's Pension Accountability Act, S.2147, will give plan recipients a meaningful voice when plans are considering making cuts. The Teamsters Union has been working with several members of Congress to develop the legislation that would prevent massive cuts to some pension beneficiaries. We urge you to email your Senators and Representative now to ask them to sign on to S. 1631/H.R. 2844, Keep Our Pension Promises Act, and S.2147, the Pension Accountability Act. Click here to send your emails to Congress. Read this, too:Hoffa, union leaders call on Central States to recall pension cut proposal, improve transparency for retirees.
Penn. Senate OKs limits on union dues, PAC collection Oct. 15, 2015 | Legislation that would weaken the ability of public-sector unions to collect full dues and political action committee contributions from members' paychecks is on the move in the Pennsylvania Legislature. The GOP-controlled Senate approved the legislation Wednesday, 26-23, and sent ot to the House of Representatives. All 19 Democrats and four southeastern Pennsylvania Republicans opposed it. It's opposed by Gov. Tom Wolf. Similar legislation failed last year in the Senate, 20-28. An amendment to exempt police and firefighters' unions failed. Continued...
Making public sector jobs RTW will gut wages Oct. 19, 2015 | Public-sector employees have become a punching bag for anti-union forces who are trying to cripple the movement. But with the U.S. Supreme Court getting ready to consider a lawsuit that could allow workers to opt-out of paying union dues while still receiving representation, a new report shows just how much value union membership brings to workers' paychecks. Continued...
Highway safety should come before higher trucking industry profits Oct. 21, 2015 |General President Jim Hoffa today joined a bipartisan collection of lawmakers and truck safety advocates at a Capitol Hill press conference to denounce efforts to extend the length of tractor trailers nationwide, saying the move jeopardizes highway safety. Allowing trucks to pull 33-foot trailers would add an additional 10 feet to the length of existing double trailers, making it harder to pass these trucks and harder for truck drivers to see who's beside them. Continued…
Hoffa: Teamsters won't cross picket lines if UPS pilots strike Oct. 22, 2015 | General President Jim Hoffa and Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall sent a letter this week to the Independent Pilots Association pledging support for its 2,600 members. "If a strike is necessary, we will not cross your lines, but will stand with you on them." The IPA will announce the result of its strike authorization vote tomorrow morning. More…
Stand with Safeway Teamsters in their drive to keep jobs in Maryland Oct. 28, 2015 | Safeway plans to move up to 900 good union jobs from Prince George's County to a low-wage, non-union grocery warehouse in Pennsylvania. Maryland has been devastated by companies shipping out good jobs. It is painful to see that Safeway plans to join their ranks and put hundreds of Teamsters – members of Local 730 and 629 – out in the cold just days before Christmas. Stand with Safeway Teamsters – sign the petition asking the company to delay its decision and work with elected officials and its employees to try to find a way to keep these jobs in Maryland. Click here to sign.
The policy of the United States is "to protect the exercise by workers of full freedom of association, self-organization, and designation of representatives of their own choosing, for the purpose of negotiating the terms and conditions of their employment or other mutual aid or protection." But current law effectively denies these fundamental rights to tens of millions of Americans.
As a result, we are falling behind our industrial competitors in many significant ways. Our real wages, once the highest in the world, have fallen below the levels of the early 1970s. Our manufacturing sector is in sharp decline, as large corporations move production facilities to underdeveloped countries to take advantage of exploitative wages and minimal environmental and safety standards.
The Workplace Democracy Act strengthens the federal laws designed to protect workers and close the legal loopholes which now deprive working people of their right to organize on behalf of their wages, their benefits and their working conditions. By amending the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and by establishing a National Public Employment Relations Commission, The Workplace Democracy Act provides a vehicle to achieve a comprehensive reform of American labor law.
Establishes card checkoff recognition. Once a majority of workers has declared its wish to be organized by conducting an election or by signing membership cards, legal recognition shall be given to their designated representative.
Guarantees the right to first contract. If by 45 days after certification, no collective bargaining agreement has been reached, the union then has the right to binding arbitration.
Strengthens and expands the enforcement authority of the National Labor Relations Board. Violations of labor law are violations of law, and must be both speedily prosecuted and remedied. Current penalties for violating the National Labor Relations Act are insufficient to serve as effective deterrents. The Workplace Democracy Act strengthens NLRB enforcement in the following ways:
Instructs the National Labor Relations Board to use its injunctive power whenever it finds an unfair labor practice.
Gives employees wronged due to such violations the right to be "made whole" for any economic losses they incur as a result.
Requires immediate reinstatement of discharged employees when unlawfully discharged.
Provides for treble (3x) back pay for employees who suffer economic hardship due to unfair labor practices.
Requires debarment of companies from Federal Government contracts for willful unfair labor practices.
Requires the National Labor Relations Board to assess civil penalties of not less than $10,000 against employers for each willful violation of the Act.
Repeals the prohibitions against strikes, boycotts and hot cargo agreements. Taft-Hartley provisions that prohibit one group of workers from engaging in actions in sympathy or concert with other groups of workers are eliminated, as well as the Landrum-Griffin Amendment that prohibits "hot cargo" agreements (when an employer and a union agree to refrain from handling any products of any other employer). The right to common situs picketing is thereby restored as well.
Prohibits state preemption of federal labor laws. Repeals Section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act, concerning "right to work" laws. All workers shall enjoy the rights guaranteed them under federal law, regardless of where they live.
Secures equal treatment for all employees. Repeals the exclusion of plant guards from bargaining units with other employees where they work.
Ensures equal protection under the law for state and local public sector employees. Establishes the National Public Employment Relations Commission to ensure that public sector employees of states, territories, possessions or political subdivisions thereof, are guaranteed the right to collective bargaining, to binding arbitration, and to strike. Establishes a mandatory impasse procedure for public safety officers and fire fighters.
Provides workers the right to act as guarantors of their financial future. Provides for workers to serve as trustees on pension plans which cover their retirement.
Extends NLRA coverage to workers for U.S. owned companies that operate in Free Trade Agreement countries. Gives workers in countries that are party to a Free Trade Agreement with the United States the right to file unfair labor practice complaints against the United States owned parent company of their employer either under the NLRA or under the laws and procedures of that country.
Minimum-wage debate heats up in Pennsylvania Sept. 1, 2015 |Nineteen U.S. cities and counties experienced mandated wage increases this year; 29 states and Washington, D.C., already require employers to pay workers more than $7.25. Pennsylvania isn’t part of this group – yet. There are five bills pending in the state Legislature proposing to raise the minimum wage, with different methods and standards ranging from $8.75 to $15. Full story...
Hoffa: New platform makes unions strong, America stronger Sept. 2, 2015 |Today, more than 1.4 million members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are compensated for their skills and hard work with salaries and benefits that give them dignity and allow them to live a middle-class lifestyle. If this were true of more American workers, our economy and our country would be better off. This is a message the Teamsters intend to bring to the entire American workforce as part of the union’s new “Let’s Get America Working” campaign — if our nation is to prosper it must be union strong, America stronger. The Teamsters are unveiling a plan to help achieve those goals. Continued...
Teamsters call out UPS over ALEC politics Sept. 4, 2015 |The U.S. Teamsters Union has joined a broad-based coalition of 84 investor, public interest and civil rights groups to persuade the United Parcel Service (UPS) to cut its ties with the controversial American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Launched in 1973, ALEC says it is a think-tank that provides a "constructive forum for state legislators and private sector leaders to discuss and exchange practical, state-level public policy issues. It also develops model policies and resolutions on economic issues". However according to public interest non-profit SourceWatch, ALEC is a corporate "bill mill" dominated by Republican politicians that enables corporations to provide state legislators wishlists that benefit their bottom line: "Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations and pay for a seat on [its] task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve 'model' bills," claims SourceWatch. Continued...
OSHA is still working on silica Sept. 4, 2015 |Obama may join other presidents who have tried and failed to contain industrial dust...The struggle to control silica is part of a pattern of weakness that characterizes OSHA. “They aren’t able to address a long list of commonsense problems, because the process of addressing them is just too hard,” says Harris, now a private attorney and a distinguished scholar at Cornell. The agency has a small budget and an ever-lengthening list of bureaucratic boxes it needs to check each time it wants to toughen regulations. “We made silica a priority from the beginning of the Obama administration, and it still takes seven or eight years,” says OSHA head David Michaels. “We will get it out before the end of President Obama’s term.” Continued...Why does this matter? Local 992 represents workers employed at U.S. Silica, a leading producer and supplier of silica sand, frac sand and other industrial minerals.
UAW in no rush to negotiate with Detroit automakers Sept. 9, 2015 |UAW President Dennis Williams said Monday the union is making progress with all three Detroit automakers and is not ready yet to pick a target in its contract negotiations, even though there are only seven days left before contracts expire for about 141,000 autoworkers.. This year, the UAW also has the difficult task of meeting the expectations of many union members who haven't had a raise in 10 years. Continued…Related:Hoffa pledges solidarity with UAW in Big Three negotiations. “I know you haven’t picked a target yet, but it’s one of those three,” Hoffa said. “If the UAW goes on strike, I make a pledge on behalf of the 1.4 million Teamster members – we will honor your picket lines."
Labor Dept. awards Teamsters $4.6 million training grant Sept. 16, 2015 | The Teamsters Safety and Health Department has been awarded a $4.6 million grant by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to establish apprenticeship programs for workers in the trucking industry. The grant will be awarded over a five-year funding cycle. Continued...
Teamsters protest as Treasury debates allowing pension cuts for 1.5M retirees Sept. 21, 2015 | The retired Teamsters are among a group of as many as 1.5 million retirees from a long list of different labor unions nationwide that could see their pensions slashed under a new law quietly approved late last year. The immediate target of the angry Teamsters was the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which is in charge of administering the new law, the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA)…[the] MPRA allows pension fund trustees new freedom to reduce promised benefits in cases where the long-term solvency of the fund is in danger. Full story… Also, Hoffa joins Congressional leaders, retirees at rally to stop pension cuts. Watch the video.
Increased job deaths show need to focus on workplace safety Sept. 28, 2015 | Why do we need unions? The reasons are many, but a key statistic released last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) highlights an often-overlooked one – to monitor workplace safety. Too many people die at the workplace. The Labor Department reported that 4,679 workers were fatally injured on the job in 2014., up two percent from the previous year… Labor Secretary Tom Perez said the numbers are not acceptable. Continued...Shop stewards, see this week's Steward Tip.
Battle against TPP heads to Atlanta Sept. 30, 2015 | Trade officials involved in the negotiations of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) may believe they are nearing the end of the process with meetings in Atlanta this week. But the Teamsters and other fair trade allies aren't going down without a fight... As the Teamsters have said before, there are just no good reason for everyday Americans to support this agreement. First and foremost is the deal won't create any new jobs here. Full story...
We need you to tell UPS to sever ties with ALEC Aug. 4, 2015 | Call (855) 974-4180 to have your voice heard by UPS's top executives, and let them know you want UPS to sever its relationship with ALEC. ALEC is bad for UPS and it hurts hardworking Teamsters like you who make UPS successful. How? ALEC's promotion of misclassification legislation at the state-level could put your UPS job in jeopardy by putting UPS's business model at a disadvantage against FedEx and the regional delivery Why would UPS be involved with an organization that hurts its own workforce. Call now!
Congress needs to prioritize infrastructure Aug. 13, 2015 | The Teamsters have been (and will continue to be) leading advocates in the need for the U.S. to improve its transportation infrastructure. It starts with coming up with a long-term funding plan. But right now, Congress is failing in its duties... Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said it is time for a united front on the issue that gets people working and improves road and rails for workers and travelers alike. Full story...
Teamsters take on Silicon Valley Aug. 17, 2015 | Under the leadership of Joint Council 7 President Rome Aloise, the Teamsters are on the front lines in the fight against income inequality in Silicon Valley [California]. Full story...
Teamsters applaud National Labor Relations Board on joint employer ruling Aug. 27, 2015 | Our Union today applauded the National Labor Relations Board on its “joint employer” ruling in the case of Browning-Ferris Industries, Inc., as an additional step to protect and provide a voice to millions of American workers by holding employers that rely on temporary or contracted workers accountable. The ruling resulted from a 2013 case brought by Teamsters Local 350 in Daly City, Calif., against Browning-Ferris, a waste management company that is owned by Republic Services—the second-largest waste services company in the U.S. The union maintained that Republic had control over wage and working conditions for its workers employed through Leadpoint Services, a staffing agency, and counted as a joint employer with that agency. Full story…
Bring the Teamsters to Fed Ex Freight Aug. 31, 2015 | “We need to restore unity in this country. One way to begin is restoring it in labor. If we get the labor movement back and get the jobs back into this country we will all grow the economy and prosper. If we stay divided in the work place then we are divided throughout. Corporations have been winning at division for a while now. You see it every day at FedEx. I also see the unity at the 4 places that voted [union]. So it proved that as we stand united together we can conquer. Stand tall, people, with your brothers and sisters and unite – not divide – and organize.” It’s Teamster Time! Like our Facebook page here.
Local shop news update...
July 6, 2015 | An overview of some of the latest contract settlements is available here.
Hoffa: A blueprint for getting America back on track
July 6, 2015 | The American economy is not working. As the Teamsters have stated repeatedly, there needs to be a commitment to boost and expand America's middle class, which is the lifeblood of our country.
Teamsters! This really IS the time for action June 3, 2015 | The public is starting to pay more attention to the negotiated-in-secret TPP deal and what its passage will mean for the nation. Fast Track proponents are trying to move quickly, pushing to bring the legislation for the job-killing TPP to a vote in the house. Granting a Fast Track rubber-stamp for the TPP would only accelerate a global race to the bottom in wages and working conditions that nobody wins – except, of course, for big transnational corporations that are eager to exploit labor abuses abroad to pad their obscene profits. But we can win this fight. Literally thousands of organizations – representing the environmental, family farm, civil rights, consumer, LGBT, student and other movements – have united with labor in saying NO to Fast Track. We need your voice, too. Make the call to your Representative now at 888-979-9806 and urge them to vote NO on Fast Track. Then send an email too.larger, heavier trucks. Full story…
Hoffa: TAA will offer little help to workers hit hard by trade June 10, 2015 | For years, the Teamsters have been strong supporters of Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) legislative efforts that have offered support to thousands of workers who have lost jobs due to bad trade deals. But not this time…
Hoffa: Overworking truckers is dangerous June 10, 2015 |Highways across Michigan and the U.S. have become increasingly dangerous for motorists. And that will only get worse if Congress approves a transportation spending bill that effectively keeps the suspension of rules in place that allow truck driver to work longer hours, that permits larger double-trailers and that prevents the U.S. Department of Transportation from raising minimum insurance standards that have been frozen on place for three decades. The fate of those provisions, tucked inside a $55 billion federal transportation spending bill, is now being considered on Capitol Hill. Full story…
Former Sparrows Point steelworker speaks out on impact of failed trade policies June 11, 2015 |This new ad from the AFL-CIO and USW highlights how the loss of manufacturing jobs due to bad trade policies has hit manufacturing workers like former Sparrows Point craneworker, Mike Lewis, especially hard.
Hoffa applauds trade package vote but warns fight isn't over yet June 15, 2015 |In a press release issued last week, General President Hoffa said that in rejecting the Trade Adjustment Assistance portion of the trade package, "a resounding bipartisan majority of lawmakers agreed that workers don't want to be retrained for a new career – they want to keep the good middle-class jobs they have now." However, the battle didn't end Friday. "The Teamsters and others who stand with American families must remain resolute. Corporate cronies are likely to try to get TAA and fast track through the house again" this week. Workers voices' need to continue to be heard on Capitol Hill. Read more at teamster.org. Related: Liberals deal Obama a stunning blow on trade -- but one more showdown awaits.
Teamsters endorse pension protection bill June 18, 2015 |The IBT issued its support today for new legislation that will protect earned pension benefits for retirees and boost multi-employer pension plans for workers and participating employers.The “Keep our Pension Promises Act,” sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), will roll back provisions slipped into the fiscal 2015 spending bill approved by Congress last year that made earned pensions benefits vulnerable to cuts. The measure would restore anti-cutback rules so that recipients in financially troubled multi-employer pension plans will be protected from having their benefits cut. Continued…
House panel approves union-related bills on straight party-line vote June 24, 2015 | A state House committee passed a pair of bills Tuesday that Republicans say are aimed at increased government transparency, but Democrats say they are anti-union and aimed at undermining the powers of a newly elected Democratic governor. The legislation would require the state Independent Fiscal Office to analyze the cost of any collective bargaining agreement proposed for workers under the governor’s jurisdiction. The other bill would require public employers to post proposed collective bargaining agreements online at least two weeks before the signing of the contracts. Full story ….
Pennsylvania Senate OKs public employee collective bargaining bills May 7, 2015 | Republicans on Wednesday gave Senate approval to two bills that they said would increase transparency in collective bargaining for public employees, but which Democrats equated to union-busting. One bill would require the state Independent Fiscal Office to analyze the cost of any collective bargaining agreement proposed for workers under the governor's jurisdiction. Full story...
At Unity, Teamsters look ahead to a bright future May 11, 2015 | Some 1,600 Teamsters brothers and sisters from across North America gathered together Sunday as part of the 12th annual Unity Conference to share their success stories and speak truth to power about the increasingly perilous state of workers across the continent. Follow the days' reports and photos here.
Senate success against fast track push!* May 13, 2015 | Senate Democrats took a stand today against efforts to ram fast track trade authority through the chamber, denying an effort to move forward with consideration of the legislation. The vote further delays big business' desire to pass fast track and raises serious doubts about the future of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Full story... *May 15: “A simple up-or-down vote on a trade deal of this magnitude is not in the best interest of middle class Americans. They have seen firsthand the real impact of unfair, unbalanced trade agreements over the past 20 years. I call on every member of Congress to vote down fast track and do their part to protect our country from another bad trade agreement." President Hoffa's full statement..
Teamsters, allies voice outrage at attempts to gut truck safety laws May 18, 2015 | Teamsters joined forces last week with safety advocates, crash victims, and law enforcement allies for a press event on Capitol Hill to speak out against proposed rollbacks of major truck safety regulations. The event was held as the Appropriations Committee considers this bill, which includes "riders" that will force truck drivers to work longer hours and drive
Pa. lawyers working for attorney general press for unionization May 20, 2015 | A unionization effort by the 189 attorneys that work for Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane is taking shape. The American Federation of Teachers Pennsylvania has invited the lawyers to a May 27th meeting at which they can discuss "workplace issues." The move to unionize could have been partially sparked by Kane's actions since being elected... Full story
Fast Track vote in Senate may happen today May 22, 2015 |Yesterday the Senate voted to end debate, meaning that a final vote could take place today. We cannot let up in the fight against Fast Track. Please send another email to your Senators right now to ask that they oppose Fast Track when it comes up for a final vote.
Memorial Day magazine preview: Teamsters Military Assistance Program May 25, 2015 |This Memorial Day, as we honor the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country, we are paying tribute to our Teamster military heroes and the Teamsters Military Assistance Program (TMAP). Learn more...
Teamsters applaud veto of destructive Senate resolution blocking NLRB rule Apr. 1, 2015|The Teamsters applauded President Obama's decision to veto a resolution backed by Congressional Republicans that would have blocked the National Labor Relations Board's rules designed to speed up the time it takes to unionize workers. The NLRB rule is scheduled to go into effect April 15, 2015. A description of the new rule and its reforms can be found here.
Horseshoe Baltimore Casino workers bet on union Apr. 8, 2015|The Horseshoe Baltimore Casino is now officially union. The cards were counted last week and a strong majority of Horseshoe workers voted in favor of representation by the National Gaming Workers Coalition, comprised of Unite Here Local 7, Teamsters Local 355, Operating Engineers Local 37 and the UAW. The Horseshoe has recognized the union and dates will soon be set for negotiations on wages, benefits and working conditions.
Failed fast track is nearly upon us – again Apr. 13, 2015|Despite the Teamsters and our allies making clear that U.S. residents will be hurt if fast track can be used to quickly push secret trade deals like the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) through Congress, some lawmakers had decided to side with big business instead. But unfortunately, the fight doesn't end there. [The TPP Fast Track bill will be introduced in the Senate Tuesday.] This union and others who care about hard-working Americans are gearing up for a fight, and will need everyone who can to join in. Read on… [The TPP will outsource jobs, undercut workers' rights, dismantle labor, environmental, health, food safety, and financial laws, and allow corporations to challenge our laws in international tribunals rather than our own court system.]
Teamsters take stand against fast track Apr. 16, 2015| The Teamsters joined some 1,200 fellow union members and far trade advocates at a Capitol Hill rally yesterday to call on Congress to stop pushing for fast track trade promotion authority that would allow a quick up-or-down vote on bad trade deals like the TPP… Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers, called on workers to head to the halls of Congress and let their members know their thoughts on fast track: "You make sure you tell them you put them there and you can take them of of there!" Full story...
Breaking news: Fast Track legislation introduced in Congress today Apr. 16, 2015|The fast track bill hit Congress today and we need your help to stop it. This bill will put good Teamster jobs in jeopardy. The TPP, the "NAFTA of the Pacific," will mean even more jobs sent overseas, lower wages for the jobs that remain, unsafe food and possibly a ban on our "Buy American" procurement laws and regulations. If Fast Track becomes law, however, Congress won't be able to change a single provision of the agreement. Please email your Representative and Senators right now and ask that they oppose Fast Track if it's brought up for a vote. The Teamsters Union has stopped Fast Track before. With your help, we will stop it again.
Sick and tired workers: An epidemic of corporate greed Apr. 17, 2015|Snaking its way through the Pennsylvania legislature is a bill that will block local governments from requiring companies to provide sick leave, even if unpaid, that is more than required by state or federal regulations. There are no Pennsylvania or federal regulations requiring companies to provide sick leave. Full story...
Every Monday: New information for members and stewards Apr. 20, 2015|Members, do you know what a contract campaign is? Or why it's important to file a grievance in a timely manner? Stewards, need a refresher on your rights as a shop steward? When past practice is relevant? Worried about confidentiality issues? Every Monday we provide answers to those questions and more with tips to help you learn more about your role in the Local Union. Available under Members Resources - Weekly Tip for Members and Weekly Steward Tip. (Note: Forgot your password? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.)
Pennsylvania House passes union anti-intimidation bill Apr. 22, 2015|The Pennsylvania House of Representatives approved a bill Tuesday to remove special harassment expeditions of labor unions in the state. House Bill 874, also known as the Labor Anti-Injunction Act, was passed in the House by a 109-84 vote and now moves to the state Senate for consideration. …The president of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO said the bill is overreaching and will have a negative effect on union rights. Full story…
Today is Worker’s Memorial Day: ‘Speak Out for Safe Jobs’ Apr. 28, 2015|The Teamsters Union, and trade journalists around the world, recognize April 28 as Workers’ Memorial Day – and international day of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured or made ill by their work. To help mark this important day, our union has provided background information on this day of remembrance and these resources to help you start a conversation with coworkers or plan activities in your workplaces.
Senate to vote today to undo labor union rule* Mar. 4, 2015|The Senate will vote Wednesday on a GOP-backed motion that would undo a controversial National Labor Relations Board rule that makes it easier for workers to hold union elections. Republicans are using the Congressional Review Act that allows lawmakers to undo regulation through a motion of disapproval, which needs a majority vote in both chambers. The motion can't be filibustered or amended, which will help it bypass Democratic opposition. If the bill gets to his desk, however, the White House says President Obama will veto it. Full story...*Update: The bill passed the Senate Wednesday in a 53 to 46 vote. The legislation now goes to the House where it is expected to pass. However, it doesn't appear the Senate has the two-thirds majority required to overrule a presidential veto.
RTW in Wisconsin is another step down the wrong road for working families Mar. 10, 2015|"Wisconsin is now the 25th state to adopt right-to-work laws as politicians like Walker push forward the agenda of their right-wing task masters," Hoffa said Monday in an official statement. "The Koch brothers, through Americans for Prosperity and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have poured millions of dollars into states across the country to push right-to-work legislation. These corporate interests will not stop in Wisconsin – they continue to attack working families, moving from state to state. We must remain strong and fight them wherever right-to-work legislation is introduced." Read the full statement...
Teamsters organize another FedEx Freight terminal Mar. 21, 2015|A group of 50 drivers at the FedEx Freight terminal in Stockton, Calif., on Tuesday, March 10th voted to join Teamsters Local 439… This is the fourth union victory since the Teamsters began their campaign to improve conditioned for workers at FedEx Freight and Con-Way. Beyond the organizing victories, the campaign has helped raise wages for all drivers at the two companies. Full story...
Tell your senators to protect pension benefits Mar. 26, 2015|Vermont's Senator Bernie Sanders will be offering an amendment to the budget resolution bill that would protect the pensions of thousands of retirees in multiemployer pension plans. The Amendment allows the flexibility to honor a long-standing promise, particularly for fixed-income seniors that can least afford to have their financial security at risk, and to find other sources of revenue to shore up the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Please email your Senators today and ask them to support the Sanders Amendment should it come up for a vote.
REMINDER: Scholarship application deadline Mar. 27, 2015|The deadline for submission of your student's application for the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund scholarship is Tuesday, March 31st. Don't miss it!
Teamsters call for defeat of Fast Track and TPP Mar. 31, 2015|Statement by General President Jim Hoffa: "The 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has for years been shrouded in mystery. But last [week], WikiLeaks gave U.S. workers a real gift when it pulled back the curtain on a portion of the proposed trade deal that shows what a boondoggle the agreement would be for big business. … the average worker is going to get screwed. The provisions will give corporations the ability to do an end-around on U.S. laws they don't like. How is that fair? What about the rights of the American people? What about democracy?…" Full story…
Black history is the story of every Teamster Feb. 3, 2015|[Editor's note: February is Black History Month.]… From the inception of the union, many Teamsters understand that racial divisions play into the bosses' ploy to divide and weaken the working class. Black unionists were at the center of the Teamsters since our founding in 1903. At a time when Jim Crow held sway in the south and discrimination against African Americans was commonplace nationwide, the Teamsters called for "no color line" in the union as early as 1906. Learn more here.
Boston GCC Teamsters halts deportation of Salvadoran refugee Feb. 3, 2015|Demonstrating the importance of community outreach, Graphics Communications Conference/IBT Local 3-N in Boston has worked successfully with the local Jobs With Justice branch, elected officials and faith-based organizations to halt the threatened deportation of a Salvadoran GCC/IBT press operator. Full story here.
Hoffa: 'Walking Man' not alone in his struggle Feb. 11, 2015|Sometimes real life can seem like a movie. Such is the case with James Robertson, the 56-year-old Detroit man who walked 21 miles roundtrip to his factory job in Rochester Hills each day after his car died and his job moved further into the suburbs. The Michigan and even the national media have become enamored with Mr. Robertson's story, and rightfully so. It is inspirational and a testament to this gentleman's fortitude… But it shouldn't have come to this. We should be under no illusions that Mr. Robertson is the only worker facing such challenges… Continue reading...
Remembering a leader who changed the future for working men, women Feb. 16, 2015| Each year in February, Teamsters take a moment to reflect upon and remember James R. Hoffa, born February 14, 1913. Hoffa served as General President of the Teamsters Union from 1957 to 1971. In that time, he inspired thousands to stand up and let their voices be heard. His words, spoken more than 50 years ago, resonate jet as profoundly today as they did then: “While working men and women have long known the value of a dollar – it is a lesson well taught to one who labors for a living – it has taken a long, long time to teach employers the value of a human being, and in many cases has not yet been successfully taught. Few give though to what happens to displaced workers, but they can analyze to the penny what the profits will be.” Learn more...
Teamsters congratulate Walmart workers Feb. 20, 2015|Walmart workers who spoke out and took action won a raise for 500,000 Walmart workers nationwide. The Teamsters have supported Walmart workers since the first Black Friday strikes in 2012. "When you fight, you can win," said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. "I'm so proud of the members of OUR Walmart for pushing Walmart to commit to raising their wages. I'm also proud of the thousands of Teamsters who stood side-by-side with them in the fight for justice." Full story… (See related story below in "Elsewhere in the News.")
Union dues issue returns to spotlight in Pa. Senate Feb. 25, 2015|The battle to end government collection of union dues is on again in Pennsylvania. The Senate State Government Committee on Monday voted 6-5 along mostly partisan lines to approve a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban the collection of union membership dues and political contributions from paychecks of state government and school district employees. Full story…
No. There are no immediate cuts to any pensions. Jan. 5, 2015| The IBT has compiled a list of frequently asked questions about how the omnibus spending bill could affect you and your family. The big question: “Will my pension check be reduced?” No. The legislation does not mandate pension cuts. And for those funds that might seek to implement pension cuts, there are a number of procedural steps that have to be followed before they can do so. Learn more here.
ObamaCare and Bargaining: Local Union leaders seek answers to tough questions Jan. 11, 2015| The Affordable Care Act (ACA) – commonly referred to as ObamaCare – and our union members' healthcare plans have recently become a major issue for union negotiators bargaining successor contracts. Officers and trustees of the six local unions comprising Teamsters Joint Council 62 recently spent the better part of a weekend reviewing and discussing specific sections and requirements of the extremely complex healthcare law, as it pertains to employer plans and Taft-Hartley Benefit Plans. Some of the troublesome ACA provisions become effective this year. Information about how the provisions apply is complicated and, in some cases, may conflict with provisions of current plans. Continue reading here.
Leaked memo: YRC seeks to outsource unprofitable runs Jan. 29, 2015|YRC Freight is looking to increase its use of purchased transportation to increase its profitability, according to a leaked internal memo. A Dec. 18, 2014, memo obtained by the Kansas City Business Journal, details a change-of-operations request to the Teamsters that would allow the company to increase its use of interline carriers – third-party transportation providers – in areas currently served by YRW employees. …No YRC employees will be laid off as a direct result of the change of operations. Full story here.
Anti-union grocer slashes benefits, pensions for 1,100 Pa. Teamsters Dec. 4, 2014| In a new version of the old ploy of manipulating federal bankruptcy courts to bludgeon unions into economic concessions or givebacks, the nation's largest grocery wholesaler used sped-up court procedures to make a quick buy of one of its regional competitors last month – and, in the process, slash the pensions and benefits of 1,100 truck drivers and warehouse workers. Full story here.
Teamsters take a stand against unfair TPP, Fast Track Dec. 9, 2014| The Teamsters joined hundreds of labor and fair-trade activists yesterday in calling on the U.S. government not to move forward with the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or fast-track trade promotion authority that would speed its consideration… "The voices of millions of working, middle-class Americans cannot be ignored," said General President Jim Hoffa. "They are tired of being the casualties of bad trade deals that send good-paying jobs overseas. The Teamsters Union will continue the fight against Fast Track authorization and the Trans-Pacific Partnership – American workers cannot pay the price of another bad trade deal." Full story and photos here.
Friday deadline looms in behind-the-scenes battle over truck safety Dec. 10, 2014|More people will die if Congress weakens truck safety to make the trucking industry happy. And Congress may just do that as it races to meet the Dec. 12 deadline to pass a budget bill. Read here what the Teamsters are doing to stop the proposal. Click here to tell Congress to protect pensions and vote NO on the spending bill.
Call your senator NOW! Dec. 12, 2014|Tell them to vote NO on the Cloture and NO! on the Omnibus to protect Teamster pensions and jobs. Call 888-979-9806 to be connected to your senator. The Teamsters Union is opposed to the Omnibus Spending Bill. It keeps government open on the backs of hardworking Americans and retirees. Click here to learn what the legislation would do, then call your senator at 888-979-9806. Do it right now.
Call your senator NOW! Dec. 12, 2014|Tell them to vote NO on the Cloture and NO! on the Omnibus to protect Teamster pensions and jobs. Call 888-979-9806 to be connected to your senator. The Teamsters Union is opposed to the Omnibus Spending Bill. It keeps government open on the backs of hardworking Americans and retirees. Click here to learn what the legislation would do, then call your senator at 888-979-9806. Do it right now.
Teamsters denounce Senate passage of Omnibus Spending Bill Dec. 15, 2014| “With the passage of the omnibus spending bill by the Senate, we have witnessed the latest attack by corporate interests on working families, " said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa in response to the Senate's passage of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill. “Big business and Wall Street have bought and paid for influence and access that has allowed them to continue to enrich corporations at the expense of the middle class... We can only hope that President Obama rethinks his present course of action, recognizes the destructive nature of the provisions in this bill and vetoes it when it reaches his desk.” Full statement here.
What the CRomnibus Law means for multiemployer pension plans Dec. 16, 2014| … The law states that plans in”critical and declining status” can temporarily or permanently suspend current and future benefits. This suspension can include benefits already accrued for vested participants and benefits already being paid to retirees and beneficiaries…The law sets limits. For example, the monthly benefit of any participant or beneficiary may not fall below 100% of the PBGC’s guaranteed monthly benefit. Participants and beneficiaries aged 75 and older are afforded special protections, as are those with benefits based on disability. Full story here. Related: Those pension cuts and what you need to know.
Take two and call me in the morning Dec. 24, 2014| The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is reminding all employers and workers of the importance of maintaining a healthy, influenza-free workplace this season and throughout the New Year. Check out the Department of Labor's 7 simple ways you can help prevent seasonal flu in your workplace.
FedEx Freight workers in New Jersey vote to join Teamsters Nov. 1, 2014| A group of 113 drivers at FedEx Freight’s South Brunswick, N.J., terminal voted today to join Teamsters Local 701. The vote was 66 to 42. “This victory is for all of us,” said Mike Thiemer, a driver. “We are tired of the unfair and inconsistent work rules and policies handed down by management. It comes down to wanting to be treated with respect and dignity.” Full story here.
The ballot box is the great equalizer for workers Nov. 3, 2014|American workers are facing significant challenges. Whether it's low pay, a system that favors corporation over citizens, a gender wage gap, the effects of unfair trade or a voting system that hampers the most disadvantaged among us, these problems are real. But will those most affected the most bother to do something about it? The public has heard it before, and they will hear it again from me as well – vote. But are people going to do it? Continue reading General President Hoffa here.
Teamsters called to action on Fast Track legislation this week Nov. 10, 2014|As Congress returns to Capitol Hill for the lame-duck session, there has been some chatter about an attempt to pass Fast Track legislation before the end of the year. If Fast Track is passed, job-killing trade agreements like the TPP that have been negotiated largely in secret could become law by a simple "yes" or "no" vote, without the possibility of amendments. The TPP would mean even more jobs sent overseas and possibly a ban on our Buy American laws. Please help us tell Congress that Fast Track is the wrong track by signing the Teamster petition today. And please share the petition with your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers.
Teamsters step up union drive at FedEx Freight, Con-way Nov. 11, 2014|The push by the Teamsters comes as a shortage of experienced drivers in the trucking industry is prompting companies to hike pay and offer improved working conditions… Five ballots are scheduled at FedEx Freight facilities this month, with the next due Nov. 12 in Newark, New Jersey. Full source story here.
Hoffa's message to Teamster active duty military and veterans Nov. 11, 2014|T"For more than a century – from World Wars I and II to Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Golf and, most recently, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – the Teamsters have proudly welcomed our fighting men and women home and back to work. And on this Veteran's Day, the Teamsters Union wants all of our veterans to know how thankful we are for their service to our nation..." Continue reading here.
Facebook bus drivers vote to join Teamsters Nov. 21, 2014|Contract shuttle drivers who serve Facebook’s employees voted 43-28 Wednesday to joint the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, marking a victory in Silicon Valley for one of America’s largest unions. Of the 87 shuttle-bus drivers who work for Loop Transportations, 43 voted in favor of representation by Teamsters Local 853…Continue reading here.
This Black Friday, will you stand with striking Walmart workers? Nov. 26, 2014|Walmart’s owners, the Walton heirs, have more wealth than 42 percent of the United States. Yet Walmart employees aren’t able to afford to feed their families. Just recently in Oklahoma, a Walmart store actually put out a food bin to collect canned goods for its hungry employees. Walmart workers deserve better treatment than this. They want a raise, not charity. So this Black Friday, there will be protests at 1,600 stores across the country to show solidarity. It’s simple to join their protests: Go to BlackFridayProtests.org to find an action near you. Bring a sign and your cellphone, and take a selfie. Post it on your Facebook page or send it to the Facebook page of the Walmart workers organization, Organization United for Respect at Walmart (Our Walmart).
Teamsters at Castle Oil about to lose their jobs - Help save them! Nov. 26, 2014|Teamster drivers and mechanics for many years kept New York warm delivering fuel from the Bronx for Castle Oil. Now, just before Christmas, they’re about to be thrown out into the cold. Corporate giant Sprague Energy is buying Castle Oil, and 50 members of Teamsters Local 553 are losing their jobs in the process. They’ll be replaced by non-union, low-wage contract jobs. You can help: Please take a minute to sign this petition, urging Sprague Energy’s CEO David Glendon to keep these good, middle-class jobs in New York. Your support will be greatly appreciated by the 50 Teamsters at Castle Oil who fear a bleak Christmas.
Learn about the influential people in our Labor history Sept. 1, 2014| The workplace rights and protections we enjoy today were won for us by generations of America's working heroes. The brief biographies of some the greatest figures in working America history – César Estrada Chávez, Joe Hill, Mother Jones, Frances Perkins and others – may inspire you to join in and continue the fight for American Labor.
'Be strong and believe in yourselves' Sept. 8, 2014|"Employers will continue to shock you with unfair labor practices and it is possible that your employer will do you wrong, but the Teamsters will fight for you. And you will win." Laura Lucafo, a pharmacist and member of Teamsters Local 727 in Chicago, told her story of unfair treatment at last week's 2014 Teamsters Women's Conference. "I was called into the office at my work one day, when I was three months pregnant with my first child, and terminated. I was told my termination was effective immediately. There was no notice or cause given. I was shocked…" Read an excerpt from her story here.
Teamsters aim to organize FedEx Freight Indy drivers Sept. 11, 2014| The Teamsters union is trying to whip up pro-union sentiment among 250 local FedEx Freight drivers as it lays the groundwork for a possible unionization vote. An organizing campaign that began in January "is going absolutely great," and an election could be coming for the drivers to vote on unionizing, said Jeff Combs, an organizer for Teamsters Local 135 in Indianapolis… The Teamsters have already filed with the NLRB to hold secret ballot union elections for FedEx workers in eight cities… Full story here.
Teamsters celebrate Truck Driver Appreciation Week - again! Sept. 15, 2014| Last year, we asked Teamsters to submit photos of themselves and their trucks to the Teamsters Facebook page. The response was overwhelming Hundreds of Teamsters sent in photos, along with their comments. This year, the Union is asking you again to send photos of you and your trucks, either by posting directly to the Teamsters Facebook page or by sending a direct message to the page. Go ahead, do it!
Con-Way Freight workers in Texas join Teamsters LU 657 Sept. 15, 2014| On September 12, 2014, drivers and dockworkers at Con-Way Freight in Laredo, Texas voted to join the Teamsters Local 657. “This is a great victory for the workers at Con-Way and we hope this campaign spreads,” said Frank Perkins, President of the San Antonio-based Local 657. “These workers are seeking fair wages, respect on the job and job security. They also want to have a pension and improved health care coverage…We choose Laredo because it is the busiest inland port in the United States. Seven thousand trucks cross the border with Mexico every day.”
Leaked memo: YRC tweaks discipline policy; union takes exception Sept. 16, 2014| The IBT is taking exception to a new discipline policy at YRV Worldwide Inc., according to a leaked internal memo. The memo, shared on industry message board TruckingBoards.com, details a new, zero-tolerance policy concurring actions that will harm its DOT safety scores. Full story here.
Labor poised to unseat Pennsylvania’s Corbett in Nov. elections Sept. 16, 2014| A new election poll last week brought good news for Pennsylvania unions. The latest data… shows Tom Wolf, a pro-labor Democrat running for governor in Pennsylvania this November, trouncing the conservative Republican incumbent by more than 30 points. If the poll proves predictive come Election Day, Wolf’s win would be a historic one, defying the trend of near-automatic reelection of incumbent governors, and ushering in a huge victory for the state’s unions. Continue reading here.
Burning landfill near a nuclear dump? Sign this petition to Bill Gates! Sept. 26, 2014| Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is the dominant shareholder of Republic Services, which owns the burning landfill. He has the power to convince Republic Services to evacuate families living next to the burning landfill. State health investigators found a high rate of brain and nervous system cancers among the children in the area near the landfill. The Teamsters represent about 9,000 of Republic’s workers and despite a contentious relationship with the company, has joined the call for buyouts and removal of the waste. Bill Gates can help protect families living in the nearby community. Please sign the petition here.
Teamsters Union endorses Tom Wolf for Pennsylvania governor Aug. 4, 2014|"We all saw what Gov. Corbett's failed policies have done to Pennsylvania," said William Hamilton, Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters President and Eastern Region International Vice President. "We went from seventh in the nation in job creation to 47th on Corbett's watch and saw him push through legislation that is designed to attack public employees. It's time for positive change and Tom Wolf is the right man for the job. As a successful business owner, he knows what it will take to create jobs and turn our state around." Read more here.
Teamsters praise Obama crackdown on companies that abuse workers Aug. 4, 2014|The International Brotherhood of Teamsters strongly supports President Obama's executive order to crack down on corporations that break laws but still win government contracts. Two members of the Teamsters Union stood with President Obama last Thursday to announce the new policy: Mike Petro of Baltimore (fourth from left), a UPS driver with Teamsters Local 355, and Etta Epps of Landover, Md., also a UPS driver, with Teamters Local 639. "I am so proud of how my union makes sure I earn a good wage, health care benefits and retirement security," Petro said. Continue reading here. Watch the video here. (Note: Local 355, like Local 992, is a member local of Teamsters Joint Council 62.)
Teamster: Trade deal caused refugee crises at border Aug. 12, 2014|The nine-year-old CAFTA trade deal caused thousands of desperate children to flock to the U.S. border seeking safety, Teamsters legislative representative Mike Dolan explained recently on the Thom Hartmann Show. He calls them 'CAFTA kids.' They are actually the second generation of economic refugees to leave their land and their homes. The first wave came after NAFTA took effect on Jan.1, 1994. Continue reading here. Related:Blame CAFTA for children at the border
Teamsters assisting global efforts to organize DHL, FedEx, UPS Aug. 18, 2014| The International Transport Workers Federation's (ITF) 43rd global conference wrapped over the weekend in Sofia, Bulgaria. The ITF consists of 360 unions from 116 countries. It has 4.5 million members. Time Beaty, IBT Director of Global Strategies spoke with Canada's Radio Labour about global efforts to organize workers at delivery companies like DHL, FedEx and UPS.
UFCW president issue's statement on the mother of Michael Brown Aug. 22, 2014| Joe Hansen, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), today released the following statement regarding UFCW member Lesley McSpadden whose son Michael Brown was shot and killed by police in Feguson, Missouri.
1934 Minneapolis Teamsters strike, one key precursor to Wagner Act Aug. 26, 2014| The tensions had been simmering for months in Minneapolis. The Teamsters, trying to organize the city's truckers - who were key to transportation of food and industrial goods all over the Upper Midwest - had been browbeaten by the bosses. The so-called Citizens Alliance, a secret able of leading businessmen, was confident it could beat the Teamsters - particularly Local 574 - again. After all, the alliance's virulent and sometimes violent anti-unionism had ruled labor relations in Minneapolis since the early 1900s. This time, in 1934, it didn't turn out that way. Continue reading here.
Hoffa: Weary U.S. workers are still experiencing hard times Aug. 26, 2014| Some naysayers have tried to brush off the income inequality discussion as a trumped-up effete to agitate Americans. However, while they might have wanted to ignore such calls from the Teamsters and other worker advocated, they cannot turn their back on the debate when their friends with ties to the financial world sound the alarm. Full story here.
Noon to 4 p.m.
Fellowship at Noon - Food at 1 p.m. - Games & Prizes at 2:30 p.m.
The Wilson Ruritan Club
16204 National Pike, Hagerstown, MD 21740
You need a dish to share
and a wrapped gift for a game.
The chicken will be there
and paper and utensils the same.
Come reminisce and reconnect,
Let's all share in the fun,
for old friends should
be special to everyone.
While this is called the Retirees' Reunion, we would like to extend this invite to others. Some people left Roadway to work at other jobs and some are still working for YRC and though not retirees, they remain people with whom we have ties.
Please feel free to contact any of those people you may think of. Or contact me (info below) with their contact information and I will be happy to make sure they're invited. Also, feel free to contact me with suggestions and/or questions.
Look forward to seeing you on the 20th of September!
Take care, and God Bless!
Donna Sue Dorsey email@example.com
"It takes a long time to grow an old friend." ~ John Leonard
Spy vs. sp … trucker? July 1, 2014|A case to be heard by the NLRB on August 25th revolves around California trucking company Green Fleet Systems who the Teamsters union claims has used threats, coercion, and the termination of two employees to squash unionization efforts among misclassified independent contractors. Green Fleet Systems is also accused of illegal surveillance of its workers, including using anti-union agents who allegedly made death threats and taught other workers how to harass pro-union drivers…Continue reading. Photo: Green Fleet port drivers fight abusive employer/Image via TeamsterNation. Click image to enlarge.
CA port truckers strike 'indefinitely' over misclassification, right to organize July 7, 2014|MSNBC reports that California truck drivers for three major transportation companies went on strike Monday morning to protest labor law violations. Over 120 drivers are taking action at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, two of the West Coast's largest supply points which handle roughly 40 percent of the nation's imports…Rampant misclassification in the trucking industry is at the heart of the matter. The unscrupulous corporate behavior denies drivers benefits while leaving them on the hook for astronomical maintenance costs. Full story here. Related: This is the fourth strike initiated by the drivers with the backing of the Teamsters union…
Tell Congress to bring the jobs home July 21, 2014|Did you know that U.S. companies can currently receive a tax deduction for certain relocation costs when they move jobs overseas? At a time when the nation's unemployment rate is still too high, why are we rewarding companies for shipping our jobs out of the country? It doesn't make any sense! Senators John Walsh of Montana and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan are trying to right this wrong by introducing the Bring the Jobs Home Act. If passed, U.S. companies that move jobs or business operations to America from other countries would receive a tax break, not the other way around. The tax loophole for companies that ship jobs overseas would be closed. A vote on the Bring Jobs Home Act is expected in the Senate this week. Please email your Senators now and ask that they "Bring Jobs Home" by supporting this legislation.
Workers limited to 6 minutes in the bathroom, Teamsters head to NLRB July 23, 2014|In Chicago, a showdown over bathroom breaks between WaterSaver Faucet Company workers and management has made it to the National Labor Relations Board. New regulations from the company allots six minutes per day for each employee to use the bathroom and violators are being forced to discuss their bathroom activities and face discipline including suspension and termination. Teamsters Local 743 argues that this is an invasion of privacy. Continue reading here. Now, the company is refusing to negotiate a new contract until the workers keep quiet about the discriminatory policy.
Labor lessons from Mississippi Freedom Summer July 25, 2014|(Click image to view.) It's the 50th anniversary of Mississippi Freedom Summer: the 1964 campaign, led by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, to register large numbers of African Americans to vote. Not only hundreds of Black and white college students and other out-of-state volunteers but also thousands of Mississippians bravely joined the effort. Many endured arrests, beatings, bombings. Some were murdered. But in the process, they embarrassed the U.S. on the world stage and moved the country to end Jim Crow. While that summer's campaign focused on political rights, the organizing holds plenty of lessons for unionists. Some, like Larry Rubin, carried those lessons into the labor movement themselves. Read his story here. (Pictured: Freedom Summer activists before leaving training sessions at Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio, for Mississippi in June 1964. Photo courtesy NPR)
It's possible some retro check contain errors June 2, 2014|The International reports it was notified by UPS that some employees in progression or had a job change during the retroactive pay period may have received incorrect retroactive pay. The error has resulted in some employees being underpaid and some overpaid. UPS has committed to informing affected members and will have underpayments corrected this week. They will work with those who may have been overpaid. Stay tuned here as more information becomes available.
Webinar June 17: How to make college more affordable June 3, 2014|Union Plus invites union members and union leaders to resister for a free, upcoming webinar June 17 at 1pm EDT where you'll learn tips and strategies for making college more affordable, college counseling discounts, college test prep discounts, free student loan counseling and more. Sign up here for "Learn Your Way to Earning Your Way. It's free! Check out Union Plus on Facebook too.
Enter essay contest and win cash for class! June 6, 2014|The Teamsters annual Essay Contest has been announced for students attending college – community, 4-year institution, or technical/vocational program – who are age 23 and younger and are the children or financial dependents of eligible Teamster members. Sponsored by the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund, this year's Easy Contest topic is: "The vast majority of union members make more than the minimum wage. Why should Teamsters care what the minimum wage is?" The deadline for essay submission is September 30, 2014. Download the application and instructions here.
Teamsters call on House of Representatives to protect highway safety June 10, 2014|In a letter to U.S. House of Representatives members sent yesterday, Teamsters General President Hoffa urged them to oppose potential floor amendments that would force drivers behind the wheel longer, and allow bigger trucks on the nation's highways. "The tragic accident that claimed the life of comedian Jack McNair and injured many others including actor Tracy Morgan, could have been prevented had Walmart's driver been properly rested rather than reportedly going 24 hours without a break," Hoffa said. Read more here.
NLRB accuses port trucking firm of 50+ labor violations June 20, 2014|The federal government has accused a trucking company in Carson, Calif., of more than 50 unfair law violations, including firing drivers for union activity, relating against pro-labor employees and planting an anti-union operative amid its workforce. The company denied all the Board’s allegations, stating that it has complied with federal labor laws and that the majority of the firm’s drivers do not support the “heavy-handed” organizing efforts of the Teamsters Union. Full story here.
Safety report on Tracy Morgan crash raises new questions June 23, 2014|"The NTSB's preliminary findings in this case clearly show that truck drivers are pushing beyond the limits of the current hours of service rules," Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa said. The safety board report said investigators were still probing into Roper's activities in the days leading up to the crash to determine the amount of rest he received… Full story here.
Good news for highway safety: Spending bill stalled in the Senate June 25, 2014|Good news for tired truckers: a spending bill in Congress has stalled and may not be put to a vote. The bill includes an amendment by Sen. Susan Collins of Maine that would allow truckers to drive 82 hours a week. The Teamsters fought hard against the Collins amendment. Learn more here.
Union dues deduction advances in Pennsylvania June 25, 2014| Business-backed legislation that would restrict labor union deductions from the paychecks of unionized public employees is advancing in the Pennsylvania state Legislature…The bill passed the House State Government Committee along partisan lines. Unions have labeled it an “attack on workers’ rights.” Full story here.
Members, Stewards: Helpful information posted every Monday June 30, 2014|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 Member Info and Shop Steward Info. 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. Don't forget to check in every Monday for something new you can use.
Government needs to save workers from these Wall St. wolves April 1, 2014| Wall Street just can't help themselves. Elite traders, not satisfied with the deluge of dollars they already were taking in on behalf of hedge funds, are screwing rank-and-file workers by using high-speed networks to find out what stocks others are buying and then buying them first. This rigging of the system – perfectly legal under current rules – allows them within milliseconds to buy and then sell shares and take in tiny profits, over and over again…Government cannot expect hard-working Americans to buy into a system that is crooked. Full story at teamsters.org.
Shop news update: New contracts in place at Pepsi, Redland Brick, others April 3, 2014| Local 992 members have ratified new agreements at several locations, and the Local continues to bargain successor contracts for other Teamster 992-covered shops. Details here.
Union is a symbol of our rights April 7, 2014| …. A union is you. It is me. It is the ideology that we have a voice; that we all have the right to due process. A union is the ability to say, “I am a human being and I have certain inevitable rights as an American.” It is a feeling of self-respect and the knowledge that I am my brother’s keeper. A union is the logic that we have responsibilities to help the less fortunate among us. It is a passion that drives us to do the right thing so our world will be a better place… Read more at thegazette.com (Iowa).
Teamsters: Stand up, fight back against ALEC April 8, 2014| (click image to enlarge) Our union provides important information and helpful talking points about ALEC, the secretive organization that wants to make us poorer. “In every state, the corporate-sponsored American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC, works behind the screens to pass laws that empower billionaires and corporations. ALEC pushes laws to strip workers of their rights, eradicate public education, outsource everything that can’t be nailed down, weaken environmental and consumer protections, suppress voting and increase taxes on the poor and working class while slashing them for the wealthy and for large corporations.” How does ALEC work? Learn more at teamsters/war on workers.org.
Teamsters reach settlement with UPS over fired LU 804 members April 10, 2014| Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa and General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall announced yesterday that Hall and International Vice President Sean O'Brien met with Teamsters at the UPS Maspeth (New York) facility. Hall and O'Brien met yesterday with Local 804 officials and UPS management to resolve the situation. The parties have come to a settlement regarding the termination of 250 Local 804 members that occurred after a job action took place in February.
Teamster horse-carriage drivers win more support in New York April 17, 2014| Our endangered Teamster brothers and sisters who drive horse-carriages in New York City are winning support from some powerful friends, including The New York Times editorial board, actor Liam Neeson and the New York Daily News. They are defending some 300 horse-carriage drivers from animal rights extremists and Mayor Bill de Blasio, who want to ban horse-carriages and throw the drivers out of work. Full story at teamsternation.org.
NPR story: UPS monitors drivers' every move April 17, 2014| UPS is using technology in ways that may soon be common throughout the economy…When you hear people talk about technology increasing workers' productivity, this is what they're talking about: same guy, same truck – lots more deliveries. In the long run, as workers have gotten more productive, their pay has gone up. UPS drivers make about twice what they made in the mid '90s when you add up their wages, health care and pensions, according to the head of their union… Full story at npr.org.
Memo: Teamsters urge 'no' vote on YRC compensation package April 22, 2014| Leaders of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are asking YRC shareholders to vote against a number of proposals concerning executive compensation at YRC Worldwide Inc. The Kansas City Business Journal obtained a letter dated April 4 addressed to YRC shareholders and signed by Ken Hall, general secretary-treasurer of the Teamsters. On behalf of the union, the letter asks shareholders to withhold support for [three members of] the board's Compensation Committee, to vote against a proposal approving executive compensation and to vote against a proposal that would endorse YRC's amended and restated 2011 incentive and equity award plan. Continue reading at bizjournals.com.
PA Teamsters stand against Paycheck Deception bill March 7, 2014| Teamster members and leaders joined with York County legislators to dennouce what has been termed the ‘Paycheck Deception Bill’ (House Bill 1507) at a press conference today…’HB 1507 has one purpose and only one purpose – to weaken unions and lower our wages,” said Danny Grace, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 830 in Philadelphia. Full story at teamster.org. Related:‘We’re Teamsters, we’re Republican and we vote – but not for anti-worker politicians.’
Teamsters back school bus drivers in fight against 'rampant' wage theft March 11, 2014| More than 350 Baltimore-area bus drivers are preparing to celebrate victory in a $1.24 million wage theft case against Durham School Services, an Illinois-based business contracting company with operations across much of the country…The settlement of the U.S. District Court case should be finalized April 4, with distribution of the stolen wage money following immediately afterward, says Moe Jackson, a union organizer for Teamsters Local 570. The Teamsters initiated the wage theft case on behalf of the workers. Full story at inthesetimes.org.
Teamsters host UPS workers union network meeting March 14, 2014| The Union is hosting an international delegation of representatives from trade unions that represent UPS workers worldwide to share information and coordinate strategies. Learn more at teamsters.org
IBT: Time for Congress to move on income inequality March 17, 2014| A Senate committee took up discussion of income inequality during a hearing last week focused on how to improve the lives of working families. But unfortunately, not everyone agreed that Capitol Hill needed to lend a hand to lift wages. Full story at teamster.org.
Historic hearings begin at OSHA re new regs to limit silica dust exposure March 18, 2014| Hearings begin today in Washington, D.C. on a new regulation – the first major health and safety standard in years – to limit workers’ exposure to silica dust. OSHA's new regs are vital to prevent cancer and disease for workers in construction, foundries, hydraulic franking and other industries. Exposure causes silicosis, lung cancer and lung and kidney disease. Experts say the new limits on exposure could save 680 lives a year.
Application deadline for Hoffa Scholarship is March 31. March 24, 2014| The James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund awards annual scholarships to qualifying high school seniors who are children or dependents of Teamster members. One category of awards totals $10,000 each. These four-year scholarships are disbursed at the rate of $2,500 per year and are renewable annually. Other awards are one-time $1,000 grants. These scholarships are disbursed to the college or university at the beginning of the recipient’s freshman year. Guidelines for scholarship application. Download application here.
A brief glimpse of human rights advances in the Teamsters March 31, 2014| Women and minorities have always been active in the labor movement. Much of the critical legislation that has been passed over the years started as grassroots movements from within one or more of these groups, even though they frequently did not receive credit or recognition for their efforts. Click here for information and stories that provide examples of the activities, issues and concerns of women and minutes, and how they are viewed and supported by the Teamsters.
YRC announces $300M debt reduction plan after Teamster labor agmt
Feb. 4, 2014 | YRCW has closed a deal to attempt to reduce its debt by $300 million, per an announcement from the company Jan. 31, in which it will issue $250 million in new stock and convert $50 million in convertible notes to common stock and use the proceeds to reduce its roughly $1 billion of debt….
This week's member and steward tips posted today Jan. 2, 2014| Your website administrator was off for the holidays so postings resumed today. Be sure to check back for a new helpful tip every Monday.
Teamsters urged to boycott Yuengling beer Jan. 6, 2014| The IBT General Executive Board recently voted to support a Teamsters Union boycott of Yuengling beer over the owner's push for anti-union laws. The owner of D.G. Yuengling & Sons, Inc., based in Pottsville, Pa., publicly stated that Pennsylvania should become a "right-to-work" for less state. Click here for Yuengling beer products to boycott, and substitutes that Teamster members either produce or deliver.
UPS Freight ratification vote scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 12 Jan. 8, 2014| Teamster Local Union leaders representing workers UPS Freight workers across the country endorsed a new tentative agreement yesterday. A ratification vote will be conducted at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 241 Railway Lane, Hagerstown, on Sunday, Jan. 12th, at 12 noon. The new agreement can be viewed here. A summary of highlights of the agreement can be viewed here. If you have questions about the TA, contact Principal Officer Tom Krause.
YRCW Teamsters reject company’s proposed modification to MOU Jan. 10, 2014| Teamsters at YRCW rejected the company’s proposal that would have extended and modified the existing memorandum of understanding. The proposed extension and modification was voted down 61 to 39 percent. “Our members have sacrificed billions of dollars in wages and pension benefits over the past five years and yet the company has been unable to recover from the disastrous policies of the previous management,” said Teamster General President Jim Hoffa. Vote results here.
Massive trade bill filed in Congress; you can help stop it Jan. 10, 2014| Legislation was filed yesterday to make it easier to pass job-killing trade deals like NAFTA…Here’s what you can do: Click on this link and send an email to your representatives in Congress. Do it now. We cannot allow Congress to give a rubber stamp to the TPP and other bad trade deals by allowing Fast Track to pass. (Read the full post at teamsternation.org.)
UPS Freight Teamsters approve new national contract Jan. 13, 2014| UPS Freight Teamsters have voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new national five-year master agreement that increases wages, significantly strengthens pension benefits and takes on the issue of subcontracting. The vote, which was 5,195 to 2,094 as of Sunday night, was held at local union halls during the weekend. Participation was 69 percent, which far exceeded the previous ratification vote last June, which was 58 percent. More at teamster.org.
Teamsters announce tentative agreement with YRCW Jan. 20, 2014| The IBT announced Friday that it had reached a tentative agreement with the company that, if ratified by the membership, will provide a pathway for substantial debt reduction and refinancing initiatives that will permit the company to protect and preserve more than 30,000 jobs. Details of the revised proposal will be reviewed at a meeting of local union officials to be held on Tuesday, Jan. 21. It is up to that committee to approve sending the revised proposal to the membership for a ratification vote. Learn more here.
Teamsters honor legacy, celebrate contributions of Martin Luther King, Jr. Jan. 20, 2014| Teamsters across the country are honoring the legacy of civil rights and labor leader Martin Luther King, Jr. today. King devoted his life to securing rights for minorities and eliminating segregation in society. He believed that the path to economic freedom and social justice were one and the same and strongly supported the labor movement…Under the leadership of General President James R. Hoffa, the Teamsters donated more than $25,000 to King in 1961 and sent supplies to marchers and other civil rights workers camped out in Selma and Montgomery, Alabama, and other locations along the Freedom Ride routes. King was supporting union sanitation workers in Memphis on the day he was assassinated. Learn more at teamster.org.
Local Union leaders endorse YRCW tentative agreement Jan. 21, 2014| Local Union leaders representing YRCW employees overwhelmingly recommended to approve a tentative agreement and to send it out to the membership for a vote. The tentative agreement with YRCW, if ratified, will provide a pathway for substantial debt reduction and refinancing initiatives that will permit the company to protect and preserve more than 30,000 good American jobs. The tentative agreement contains significant improvements over the company’s prior rejected proposal. Details here.UPDATE: A ratification meeting has been scheduled for YRC Freight members to vote on the tentative contract agreement, Saturday, January 25, 2014, from 9am to 12 Noon, at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 241 Railway Lane, Hagerstown, MD., across from the Outback Steakhouse. Questions? Contact the Local at 301-739-7550. A copy of our posted notice is here.
Members approve agreement Jan. 26, 2014| YRCW Teamsters have approved a tentative agreement aimed at protecting more than 30,000 jobs. Workers voted this weekend after rejecting a prior company proposal. Teamsters at YRCW approved this latest proposal by a vote of 12,267 to 6,314. More at teamster.org. YRC wins key refinancing ingredient with Teamster vote.
Union growth should serve as signal to elected officials Jan. 27, 2014| The union movement is growing. In the last year, thousands of workers took to the streets to protest low pay and their lack of ability to organize. They have stood up to the nation's largest retailers saying they demand respect in the workplace. And new U.S. Labor Department numbers released Friday back that up. Continue reading at teamster.org.
Applications are available for The James R. Hoffa 2014-2015 Scholarship Jan. 28, 2014| The Union offers scholarships through the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund for high school seniors. The Fund is established solely to provide scholarships to the child or financially dependent grandchild of a member of the Teamsters. The application deadline is March 31, 2014. Click here to download the application and academic record form. Additional information here.
Teamsters lead massive PA Statehouse rally against RTW4Less Jan. 29, 2014| Thousands of Teamsters packed in the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg yesterday to oppose a paycheck deception bill that would put the state on a path to right-to-work-for-less. They were joined by steelworkers, firefighters, EMTs, police officers, electricians, lunch aides — you name it….The bill would ban public employees from negotiating payroll deduction for union dues, fair share fees, and voluntary political contributions. Read it at Teamster Nation. Related: Dark-money groups building campaign for "right to work" in Pa.; Labor unions pack Pa. Capitol over paycheck bill.
Teamsters to take part in tomorrow's Day of Action against Fast Track Jan. 30, 2014| Tomorrow, Jan. 31st, people across North American will be taking part in an Inter-Continental Day of Action against Fast Track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is another bad trade deal that could become the law of the land without any debate or amendments if Fast Track legislation is allowed to pass. We can;t let that happen! Please be sure to call your Representative and Senators tomorrow at 1-888-979-9806 and tell them to vote NO on Fast Track. And if you're able to, please join one of the many events that are being planned nationwide for tomorrow. A listing can be found here. For more information, go to Fast Track is the Wrong Track for Teamsters.
Black Friday protests held at 1,500 Walmart stores; more than 100 arrested Dec. 2, 2013| OUR Walmart, the non-union group arguing for labor protections, confirmed that protests were held at 1,500 stores on Black Friday to protest pay and calling for a minimum annual salary of $25,000 and better health care for hourly workers. (The average worker makes $8.81 an hour, forcing many to rely on taxpayer-funded public assistance programs to make ends meet. ) The protests took place in large cities — Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Alexandria, Va. and D.C., Boston and Orlando — and stores in smaller cities and towns like Lakeside, Co., Granbury. Tx., and Hyattsville, Md. The company brought in $17b in profits last year. More at CBS News. Related: DC area Walmart workers, community supporters join protests. Also: Walmart's latest lie: "Unions paid $50 to anyone who protested." — Pictured: Brother Gilbert Castillo, IBT Local 396, arrested last month at a Los Angeles protest in support of Walmart workers. More at TeamsterNation.
Buy Made in America (or Canada) this holiday season Dec. 3, 2013| We know we don't have to remind you to shop at Costco, buy-union made beer and ship your holiday packages by UPS. You can also buy union-made Teamster gear at the Teamster Fund store: Teamster Power golf shirts, Teamster flip flops, Teamster earrings, Teamster trailer hitch cover, and our fav – the Teamster Hero T-shirt (shown at right). More ideas for gifts produced by American workers at Teamster Nation.
UPDATE: UPS Freight negotiations Dec. 7, 2013| The UPS Freight National Negotiating Committee met with the company earlier this week to discuss outstanding issues that members have identified as concerns. Another meeting is expected soon as both sides work toward an agreement that can be brought to the membership for a vote.
Teamster Local Union leaders approve holding member vote on YRCW proposal Dec. 7, 2013| Leaders today from Teamster local unions that represent members at YRC Worldwide, Inc. (YRCW) approved providing their members the ability to vote on the company’s proposed changes to the current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The company is proposing to extend and modify the current restructuring agreement from March 31, 2015, when it is scheduled to expire, until March 31, 2019...Ballots are tentatively scheduled to be mailed on or about December 10 and will be counted on or about January 8, 2014. More info here.
Hoffa: Detroit bankruptcy doesn't change pension obligations Dec. 13, 2013| The effects of the judgment are dire for Detroit municipal government retirees, and the precedent that such a decision sets cannot be overlooked. A spokesman for the Detroit Police and Fire Retirement System told The New York Times that if it could happen in Michigan it could happen anywhere. "If this ruling is upheld, this is the canary in a coal mine for protected pension benefits across the country," he said. "They're gone."… That cannot be allowed to happen. Read General President Hoffa's commentary here.
Teamster-backed D.C. taxi drivers achieve major victory Dec. 20, 2013| Due to the strength and unity of the Washington, D.C. Taxi Operators Association, affiliated with Teamsters 922, the Washington, D.C. government has extended the passenger-console deadline from Dec. 1, 2013 to Jan. 15, 2014?On Oct. 29, more than 1,000 drivers met to form their association. Since that time, the association has stood with drivers who are seeking more input into the rules and regulations imposed by the city. Read more about their victory at teamsters.org.
Sign up today for news and information you can use Nov. 4, 2013| This week in Weekly Tip for Members we talk about the contract criteria under which your employer can cut hours or lay off employees. A new steward might be interested to know when a contract actually becomes a contract and that information plus other helpful steward info can be found in Weekly Steward Tip. To access helpful tips and news you can use, sign up today!
Teamsters support Walmart Black Friday strikes Nov. 13, 2013| Teamsters are out front supporting Walmart workers protests in the run-up to nationwide strikes on Friday, Nov. 29, also known as Black Friday. Teamsters are encouraged to join actions supporting the workers. It's very easy to find out what's gong on near you. Just click on BlackFridayProtests.org and type in your zip code in the giant box.
YRC to Teamsters: Make a deal or else Nov. 13, 2013| YRC Worldwide Inc. boiled down its case to Teamsters officials on Nov. 5 as a stark choice: The union could give the company "room to breathe" or drive it off a cliff. The company told national and local leaders of the Teamsters that YRC needs to refinance its looming debt — and fast. The company and the union are operating under a labor agreement that lasts through March 2015. YRC wants to extend the pact. Full story at Kansas City Business Journal. Watch this space for IBT information, further developments.
Lawmakers increasingly realize Fast Track is a fraud Nov. 14, 2013| The Teamsters for years have been an outspoken critic of fast-track authorization which allows bad proposed trade agreements to move through Congress on just a quick up-or-down vote. And in the last week, we were joined by 185 House lawmakers who feel the same way.…Fast track is an attack on democracy. Americans have been kept out of the loop on how the TPP will affect their everyday lives. The last think we need is for politicians to fast-track a Pacific trade deal through Congress that allows them to build in secret provisions that help their campaign contributors, but hurt working- and middle-class families. Full commentary by General President Jim Hoffa at The Huffington Post. Related: Word is getting out that the pending Trans Pacific Partnership "is toxic". [Note: Please educate yourself about TPP. It matters in more ways than you can imagine.]
Teamster local unions support discussions with YRCW Nov. 15, 2013| On a conference call on Tuesday, Nov. 12, Teamster Local Unions that represent YRCW Freight members voiced support for the Teamster National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) to meet with the company. The decision to meet with the company comes after the Local Union leaders heard from the YRCW leadership team on Tuesday, Nov. 5 and after they held meetings with their YRCW members throughout the week and weekend. Learn more here.
Why L.A. port truckers are striking Nov. 15, 2013| "We are on strike today to have respect and dignity at work," says Walter Melendez, one of approximately 40 Los Angeles port truck drivers who walked off the job at 5 a.m. yesterday morning in protest of alleged unfair labor practices. The strikes featured the rolling "ambulatory pickets" that the truckers have excelled at — chasing down trucks as they leave the port and setting up picket lines in front of them….The drivers have filed a complaint with the NLRB charging that the company retaliated against them for pushing forward with a drive to join the Teamsters. Full story at In These Times.
Truckers support Walmart workers ahead of Black Friday Nov. 22, 2013| Hundreds of workers' actions against Walmart nationwide will occur of Black Friday, Nov. 29. All the actions are important indicators of the rising discontent nationwide against low wages, bad benefits, income equality and the corporate-engineered "race to the bottom" — with Walmart leading the way….On the ground, more than one third of non-union "independent contractor" truck drivers at the Port of Los Angeles walked out against three firms whose fleets truck imported goods from the port inland to Walmart's warehouses, and to warehouses for other retailers. The walkout "put a serious crimp in their operations," Teamsters Local 848 Secretary-Treasurer Eric Tate, who coordinated the action, said in a phone interview… Continue reading at People's World.
7 tips for staying on budget this holiday season Nov. 27, 2013| Do you overspend during the holidays? Holiday spending isn't a competition. Forget what you gave and how much you spent (and received) last year. Create and stick to a budget based on what you can afford this year. Union Plus has seven helpful tips and discounts to keep you within this year's budget.
Teamsters YRCW local union leaders to meet on Dec. 6 Nov. 27, 2013| The Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) has called a meeting with Teamster Local Unions that represent YRCW members on Dec. 6th to review a forthcoming proposal from YRCW that modifies the existing Restructuring Agreement that is not scheduled to expire until March 31, 2015. Consistent with the IBT Constitution and past practice, Local Union leaders, after reviewing the details of the proposal, will then decide whether to submit the proposal to its membership to vote in a mail ballot referendum. Details of the proposal will be released after it has been reviewed with the Local Union leaders Dec. 6th. Stay tuned here.
Bargaining with your future Oct. 18, 2013| The government shutdown that began on October 1 once again [showed] right-wing extremists in the U.S. House of Representatives favor ideology over their constituents. [During those] two-weeks, hard-working Americans had their livelihood threatened with furloughs, the suspension of vital services. Behind closed doors, lawmakers have considered a reckless proposal to enact the "Chained-CPI" measure to Social Security, cutting a vital source of income for our elders by thousands of dollars. Our fiscal challenges cannot be solved on the backs of America's seniors. Continue reading...
Teamsters stop FMCSA attack on truck drivers Oct. 21, 2013| The Teamsters Union helped score a victory for truck drivers this week when H.R. 3095 was signed into law compelling the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to follow the formal rulemaking process to set strict guidelines for when they can require screening, testing and treatment for sleep apnea…"This law, which passed the House with a unanimous vote, protects millions of working men and women who turn a key for a living from being forced to spend money on a test they may not need at the whim of a federal agency," said General President Jim Hoffa. Read more at Teamster.org.
Top 5 reasons to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 5 Oct. 25, 2013| Election day is coming. Are you registered? It's important — and not only because people have gone on hunger strikes and been murdered so their fellow Americans can vote. Voter registration is one of the most powerful means union members use to make our voice heard, and it's a priority of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Click to learn why it is important for you to register and show up on November 5.
Shop news update, Local Union officers election Oct. 29, 2013| Local 992 shop news in brief are available at the Members Info tab on the left. We are conducting an election of Local Union officers. Ballots were mailed October 23 and will be counted Nov. 15. Ballots will be picked up at the post office at 8 p.m. and then counted at the Holiday Inn Express in Hagerstown.
YRC requests meeting with Teamsters to talk about company's future Oct. 30, 2013| The company announced late on Monday it has reached an agreement with the Teamsters to hold a "company update" in Dallas on Nov. 5 at the request of the company. Read more at Kansas City Business Journal.
ABF Central Region members reject strike authorization Oct. 30, 2013| IBT statement: In a vote with 77 percent turnout, a majority of the membership covered by the Central Region Local Cartage Supplement has overwhelmingly (70% to 30%) chosen not to authorize a strike at ABF. Consequently, in accordance with the IBT Constitution, TNFINC is going to poll the ABF Master Negotiating Committee within the next 24 hours to determine whether to accept ABF’s final offer on the last remaining open supplement. ABF statement.
New website has latest information on UPS agreements Sept. 4, 2013| The IBT has launched a new website, upscontractfacts.com, to provide UPS members with the latest information on the National Master Agreement, its supplements and riders, and the most asked questions and answers about the contract and ratification process. You can read the contract highlights, browse the full agreement, the supplements and riders, and get additional information on TeamCare, the national Teamster Health Plan.
TeamCare improvements announced for UPS Teamsters Sept. 5, 2013| Local union leaders representing UPS Teamsters who currently receive TeamCare health care benefits and those moving into the TeamCare plan met Sept. 4th in Chicago to learn about the improvements made since the UPS National Master Agreement was ratified in June. The improvements apply to all UPS Teamsters covered by TeamCare, existing participants and new participants. You will receive via mail an information packet, including a DVD that will explain the improved benefits. Additionally, you can go to www.MyTeamCare.org and click on the UPS link. Read the IBT announcement here.
TTP: Out of the shadows! Sept. 17, 2013| Lead negotiators for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement will be meeting in Washington, DC this month for several days of horse-trading aimed at speeding the massive pact towards conclusion. This round is even more secretive than the last three years of closed-door negotiations, in that they are not even including a stakeholder process. Please join representatives from the environmental, labor, family farm, faith, consumer, public health and other social justice movements for a lunch-hour rally that lets TPP negotiators know that people are watching and will hold them accountable no matter how far underground they take their negotiations. Rally - 12:00 Noon, Friday, September 20, 2013 - Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, 600 17th St. NW, Washington, D.C. Can't make it? You can still make a difference by telling friends in the DC area, and by writing your Members of Congress urging them to oppose Fast Track for the TPP. Click here for the fact sheet. Here's why it matters.
Reminder!New Maryland cell phone, seat belt laws in effect Oct. 1 * Sept. 27, 2013| Effective Tuesday, October 1, if you are caught driving while talking on your hand-held cell phone, you will be pulled over and issued a $75 ticket. Previously, police could only ticket a driver for cell phone use if the driver was stopped for a primary offense, such as speeding. Maryland's new get-tough law upgrades the state's existing hand-held cell phone law to primary status. A second offense will cost you $125, a third and subsequent offenses, $175. Additionally, the new seat belt law requires all passengers to wear a seat belt while traveling in the backseat of any vehicle. It is a secondary law and carries a $50 fine. (The primary law covers an unrestrained driver and/or passenger in the front seat.) * The Baltimore Sun: New law cracks down on cellphone chatting while driving
RE the UPS contract and UPSF negotiations August 5, 2013| The national UPS agreement was approved last month by a Teamster majority, however 17 supplements and rider were not. Until all of them have been approved, wage and benefit increases, language improvements and the increase in the starting wage for part-timers cannot be implemented. Read the full IBT update here. The UPS Freight National Negotiating Committee met July 31st in Arlington, VA to discuss issues and concerns that the members have raised with the TA that was rejected. Read the update here.
Court rules short-haul drivers exempt from rest-break requirement August 11, 2013| The U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. affirmed last week the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) 2011 hours-of-service rules for drivers except for a provision that requires a 30-minute break for short-haul drivers. Bottom line: If you're a short-haul driver, you are no longer required to comply with the FMCSA 30-minute rest break rule. If you're a long-haul driver, you must continue to comply with the regulation. If you have questions, see your supervisor or shop steward.
IBT Essay Contest Topic: What would you say to someone who says… August 21, 2013| "Unions were important at one time, but we don't need them anymore." Teamsters kids can win cash for class by writing a response in essay form and submitting it for consideration to win one of 50 $1,000 James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarships. The applicant must meet these eligibility requirements, complete this application and forward it to the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund office by September 30, 2013. Good luck!
Cinetic Landis got this right: The Union DOES work for you August 21, 2013| When Cinetic Landis Grinding failed to fill the vacated positions of bargaining unit employees who retired in May under the company's retirement offering, Local 992 filed a grievance requesting that the Company post the job vacancies because the work previously performed by the retired employees is now being done by remaining employees. In response to our grievance, the Company presented its position and view of the Union's action directly to our members via an undated, unsigned letter. Local 992 Principal Officer Tom Krause laid out all the facts of the situation in a letter to Cinetic Landis Teamsters. He signed the letter, too.
Wage increase, other improvements await passage of area supplements August 22, 2013| The provisions of the UPS National Master Agreement approved in June, including a 70-cent per hour wage increase, were negotiated to take effect August 1. Members may have noticed the raises have not been reflected in their paychecks yet. That's because the national agreement does not take effect until all regional supplements and riders have been approved. The IBT provides details in this UPS update. Also, UPS members are not impacted by the company's decision to eliminate healthcare coverage for spouses of nonunion employees.
When you and the President sought our support for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you pledged that if we liked the health plans we have now, we could keep them. Sadly, that promise is under threat. Right now, unless you and the Obama Administration enact an equitable fix, the ACA will shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class.
Like millions of other Americans, our members are front-line workers in the American economy. We have been strong supporters of the notion that all Americans should have access to quality, affordable health care. We have also been strong supporters of you. In campaign after campaign we have put boots on the ground, gone door-to-door to get out the vote, run phone banks and raised money to secure this vision.
Now this vision has come back to haunt us.
Since the ACA was enacted, we have been bringing our deep concerns to the Administration, seeking reasonable regulatory interpretations to the statute that would help prevent the destruction of non-profit health plans. As you both know first-hand, our persuasive arguments have been disregarded and met with a stone wall by the White House and the pertinent agencies. This is especially stinging because other stakeholders have repeatedly received successful interpretations for their respective grievances. Most disconcerting of course is last week’s huge accommodation for the employer community—extending the statutorily mandated “December 31, 2013” deadline for the employer mandate and penalties.
Time is running out: Congress wrote this law; we voted for you. We have a problem; you need to fix it. The unintended consequences of the ACA are severe. Perverse incentives are already creating nightmare scenarios:
First, the law creates an incentive for employers to keep employees’ work hours below 30 hours a week. Numerous employers have begun to cut workers’ hours to avoid this obligation, and many of them are doing so openly. The impact is two-fold: fewer hours means less pay while also losing our current health benefits.??
Second, millions of Americans are covered by non-profit health insurance plans like the ones in which most of our members participate. These non-profit plans are governed jointly by unions and companies under the Taft-Hartley Act. Our health plans have been built over decades by working men and women. Under the ACA as interpreted by the Administration, our employees will treated differently and not be eligible for subsidies afforded other citizens. As such, many employees will be relegated to second-class status and shut out of the help the law offers to for-profit insurance plans.
And finally, even though non-profit plans like ours won’t receive the same subsidies as for-profit plans, they’ll be taxed to pay for those subsidies. Taken together, these restrictions will make non-profit plans like ours unsustainable, and will undermine the health-care market of viable alternatives to the big health insurance companies.
On behalf of the millions of working men and women we represent and the families they support, we can no longer stand silent in the face of elements of the Affordable Care Act that will destroy the very health and wellbeing of our members along with millions of other hardworking Americans.
We believe that there are common-sense corrections that can be made within the existing statute that will allow our members to continue to keep their current health plans and benefits just as you and the President pledged. Unless changes are made, however, that promise is hollow.
We continue to stand behind real health care reform, but the law as it stands will hurt millions of Americans including the members of our respective unions.
We are looking to you to make sure these changes are made.
James P. Hoffa
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Local stewards sharpen their representation skills at seminar June 25, 2013| On Saturday, June 22, 2013, Local 992's shop stewards attended a day-long training session in Hagerstown, Md., designed to provide new and veteran stewards with critical information and specialized skills to help them represent their coworkers more effectively. Read more at 992 News.
Members rejected the UPS Freight agreement. So what's next? June 26, 2013| According to an IBT release issued today, the Teamsters National UPS Freight Negotiating Committee will be scheduling negotiations with UPS Freight soon in order to address member concerns. That agreement, which covers about 10,000 union-represented workers, will then need to be voted on again by the members. Stay tuned.
Members approve ABF agreement, some supplements June 28, 2013| The IBT has reported that Teamsters employed at ABF Freight System, Inc. approved the national master portion of the ABF National Master Freight Agreement and 21 of 27 supplements. The Teamsters negotiating committees responsible for the supplements that were not approved will be talking with the members in those areas to work on obtaining majority member approval. All local/area supplement agreements must be approved by members before the national agreement can be implemented. Note:The Maryland/DC Supplement was approved.
Teamsters, UPS agree to extend current UPS National contract June 28, 2013| The Teamsters Union and UPS have agreed to an extension of the current UPS National Master Agreement and all Supplements, Riders and Addenda. The extension does not have a specific end date, but can be terminated by either side with a 30-day notice. This means that all of the current Agreements will remain in place until the Supplements that did not receive a majority of votes have been re-voted and agreed to. Any increases in wages, pensions and health and welfare contributions that were agreed to in the new National Master Agreement will be made retroactively to August 1, 2013 but will not take effect until the Supplements have been re-voted and agreed to. In addition, UPS has agreed not to implement the increase in retiree contributions to retiree health insurance on August 1, 2013 as set forth in letters that were sent out to Retirees in December of 2012.
(Click image to enlarge.) First row, L-R: Dave Krug (YRC), Pam Albertson (UPS), Troy Fleagle (UPS), Brent Smiley (Franklin County, PA), Doug Delaughter (UPS Freight). Back row, L-R: Larry Brake (Cinetic Landis), Josh Switzer (Cinetic Landis), Tina Bowman (UPS Freight), Ron Woodcock (Cinetic Landis), Daryl Jamison (UPS), Ronnie Wharton (UPS Freight), Jerome Phillips (Smith's Baking), Steve Starliper (UPS), Jeff Sechrist (Kellogg's).
June 25, 2013
On Saturday, June 22, 2013, Local 992 shop stewards attended a day-long training session in Hagerstown, Md., designed to provide new and veteran stewards with critical information and specialized skills to help them represent their coworkers more effectively.
Stewards received intensive training on their roles and responsibilities in the workplace, education regarding their legal rights as union representatives, procedural information on grievance handling and arbitration, their legal obligations under the Duty of Fair Representation, and valuable guidance about discrimination and harassment in the workplace.
In addition, stewards received valuable instruction about other relevant federal laws and statutes important in their understanding of their role, and the rights of their members.
"Education is power," said Secretary-Treasurer Tom Krause at the beginning of the morning session. "What you do every day - the role you play in the day-to-day struggle with employers - is critically important for your members."
At the conclusion of the seminar, attendees were presented with completion certificates from Tom Krause and Local President Bob Fahenstock.
Additional photos are available in the photo gallery.
Pictured above (L-R): Local Union attorney Jon Axelrod, Local 992 Principal Officer Tom Krause, Local 992 President Bob Fahenstock. Right, Ron Woodcock (Cinetic Landis).
Tell Congress: Leave our 40-hr work week and OT pay alone! May 1, 2013| The House of Representatives has renewed its decades-old attack on the 40-hour work week. Once again, some members of Congress are pushing so-called "comp time" legislation that would allow employers to stop giving workers extra pay for working overtime. The "The Working Families Flexibilty Act" (H.R.1406) would eliminate overtime pay and replace it with "comp time." This bill is not about providing employees with greater flexibility. It's all about giving employers more flexibility and control over workers. Employees compensated with time off rather than time-and-a-half cash premium would see a reduction in their take-home pay. Passage of the bill would mean longer hours, unpredictable schedules, and employer control of when a worker can use accrued "comp time." Call Congress today and tell your representative to oppose H.R. 1406! Call now: 1-888-866-2561.
Tentative contract agreement reached with ABF May. 6, 2013| The Teamsters National ABF Negotiating Committee announced Friday, May 3, that the Union and ABF has reached a tentative agreement. No details will be available until leaders from Teamster local unions that represent ABF members meet in the near future to review the TA and decide whether to endorse it. Read the IBT press release here.
Local Union leaders recommend tentative agreements for ratification May. 8, 2013| Teamsters Local Union leaders representing UPS and UPS Freight workers across the country unanimously endorsed the tentative national agreement today, clearing the way for ballots to be prepared and sent to members. Details of the tentative agreement with the company were outlined at the "two-person" meeting, attended by two representatives from each Local Union. Ballot packages will be mailed to all members at the end of May for ratification of the master agreement and will tentatively start being counted on or about June 20. View changes to the UPS contract and tentative agreement highlights. View changes to the UPS Freight contract and tentative agreement highlights.
Re YRCW efforts to acquire ABF freight division May. 10, 2013| Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa issued a statement today regarding recent reports that YRC Worldwide Inc. attempted to acquire ABF Freight Systems. Read it here. Note: In response to our YRC members' request for Local 992 comment, a written memo was issued to all 992 YRC Teamsters. Read it here.
Contract information and review meetings scheduled May. 13, 2013| Meetings for UPS package and UPS freight drivers will be held Saturday, May 18, 2013, to review the tentative agreements' highlights and contract language changes. UPS Freight members will meet 9 a.m. to 11:30 am and UPS package members will meet 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, 1718 Underpass Way, Hagerstown, MD 21740.
Local leaders unanimously endorse tentative agreement May. 21, 2013| Leaders from about 160 Teamster local unions that represent ABF members unanimously endorsed a tentative master agreement and supplements today that covers 7,500 workers. The vote to support the tentative agreement and supplements paves the way for a vote by the members. The Teamsters were able to defeat numerous attempted takeaways sought by the company, including major cuts to health, welfare and pension benefits. The tentative agreement does call for a 7 percent wage reduction, but that will be entirely recouped by the fifth year of the contract. Ballots will be mailed out on or about June 3 and are due back on or about June 27 and will then be counted. Read the IBT announcement here.
Many of you have requested Local Union 992 to comment on the shocking news that YRC Freight recently made a preliminary proposal to acquire Arkansas Best Freight, (ABF).
First and foremost, Bob Fahnestock and I are totally appalled and repulsed about this news. YRC has been rebuffed at this time in its move to acquire ABF. We both learned of this shocking development from General President Hoffa’s statement on Friday, May 10th.
It is our opinion that a company in such poor financial condition should not be trying to purchase another company when its own employees gave us so much to just keep the company afloat. Furthermore, as we all recall, the company did an extensive PR campaign when it was requesting the extraordinary concessions calling for 15 percent wage cuts and an 18-month suspension of the company’s pension contributions.
YRC resumed contributions in 2011, but at levels 75 percent below what it was contributing prior to the 2009 deal. Full pension payments are set to restart in 2015.
The real unanswered question is how is it possible that a company in this type of financial condition have those type financial resources/assets to purchase a large competitor.
President Hoffa called it “unconscionable.” We call it “irresponsible.” YRC should now do the responsible thing and use any cash that they have accumulated and set aside to restore wages and pension contributions for all of its employees to the 2009 levels, with increases as required by the 2008 National Master Freight Agreement.
In our opinion The Teamsters National Negotiating Committee should request an immediate reopening of the amended collective bargaining agreement so that YRC can adopt the wages and benefits additionally negotiated and agreed to and approved in the 2008 National Master Freight Agreement.
Furthermore, YRC Freight should have to give a full accounting of its thought process and decision in trying to acquire ABF.
Please be reminded, it was the International Union, not Local 992, who spearheaded the efforts to save YRC when it came very close to closing its doors. The National Negotiating Committee, not Local 992, negotiated the amendments to the National Master Freight Agreement that were required to keep YRC open so that 40,000 Teamsters could remain employed. We endorsed those efforts because we believed that they would save good Union jobs when our members had no real other employment options. We are pleased that YRC has grown and is hiring new employees. However, let me be crystal clear, YRC should not use the financial sacrifices of its employees to finance corporate expansion without restoring wages and benefits.
We thought that YRC’s management would understand that most of YRC’s problems stem from the merger between Yellow and Roadway. Management should focus on correcting those problems and restoring YRC’s reputation and operational structure instead of attempting another merger.
We will keep you informed of any further developments in connection to this most important matter as they unfold.
Tentative agreements reached with UPS, UPS Freight Apr. 26, 2013 | The Teamsters negotiating committee has reached tentative agreements on new 5-year national contracts for package and freight workers that protect their health care benefits, provide substantial wage increases and significantly increases funding for pensions, health and welfare funds. In the UPS tentative agreement, workers will get substantial pay increases, including a significant increase in the starting wage for part-timers. The union also won the creations of more than 2,000 full-time jobs from the ranks of part-timers. The tentative agreement for UPS Freight resolves subcontracting work by putting all laid-off road drivers back to work. UPS Freight workers will receive substantial wage increases and lower co-pays for health insurance. The agreement provides the ability for more part-time workers to become full-time. Read more at teamsters.org.
Teamsters will decide soon on YRC network changes * Apr. 23, 2013 | The IBT is expected to decide whether to adopt YRC Worldwide Inc.'s sweeping change of operations request by the end of the week after meeting with union leadership in Dallas on Friday…Now that the representatives of the affected locals have had their say, approving or negating the move will be up to the Teamsters' change of operations committee. Read more at Kansas City Business Journal. *Update: Teamsters sign off on restructuring.
Another 30-day extension for ABF contract Apr. 22, 2013 | The Teamsters negotiating committee met last week in Dallas, and it is disappointed with the company's initial economic proposals that seek significant reductions in health and welfare and pension benefits as well as deep wage cuts. "While we've made progress on major local and over-the-road work rule issues over the last few months, the company's new proposals this week are very disappointing and place our progress at risk," said Gordon Sweeton, Teamsters ABF National Negotiating Committee Co-Chairman. "We've put millions of dollars worth of operational relief on the table but that apparently is not enough." Read the full update here.
Negotiations update; talks will resume Monday, April 22 Apr. 19, 2013| UPS — The Company and Union exchanged economic proposals. Health care remains the major issue in negotiations. Many issues remain but both sides are committed to reaching an agreement by the end of next week. UPS Freight — The Union made a counter-proposal on economics. Much of the week was spent discussing subcontracting and we moved closer to reaching an agreement. Read the full IBT update.
Maryland lawmakers pass tougher cell phone use law Apr. 11, 2013| A get-tough bill that upgrades enforcement of the state's existing handheld cell phone law to primary status becomes effective October 1. The law significantly increases fines for distracted driving violations. Read more at 992 News.
Don't buy your drugs at chains like CVS and Rite Aid... Apr. 10, 2013| It's costing you big time. According to a new Consumer Reports investigative study, there is rampant variation in the price of generic drugs as large U.S. pharmacy chains—including CVS, Rite Aid, and Target—marking up the prices of generic drug versions for common medications by as much as 18 times what wholesale chains like Costco charge. That price variance ends up costing Americans, who spend an average of $758 out-of-pocket on drugs every year, hundreds of dollars in unnecessary spending each month. Full story here. (Note: You don't need to be a member to use Costco's pharmacy.) Related stories: It pays to shop around for prescriptions drugs...
'Sinful and evil' legislation is Un-American at its core Apr. 3, 2013| The following opinion piece by Frank Bankard, director of Organizing, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 542 ran in today's phillyBurbs.com. It is an excellent explanation of the so-called "right-to-work" laws: "…For those unfamiliar with unions or the proposed Right to Work legislation, it can be explained by the following analogy. People who are members of a local fitness facility and who use all the facility equipment and the pool, decide they don’t want to be 'paid' members anymore. They simply then would renounce their paid membership, but still would be able to use the training facility and all its features. The paying members would then pick up the cost for everyone. Furthermore, if the non-members feel they didn’t get proper use of the gym, they can then sue the fitness facility, which would have to pick up the cost of litigation whether they prevail or not! These are the facts under Right to Work regarding unions. With that analogy, or more so this hidden agenda, how long would a paying member continue to pay his dues while watching a freeloader get the same services? In addition, how long could any business operate under this legislation?…" Full story here.
Members with CDLs: Take this safety survey and be eligible for a free iPad3 Apr. 2, 2013| John Hopkins University is recruiting IBT members who are full-time commercial drivers for a study on distracted driving. By taking this quick, 10-minute online survey, you can enter a drawing for a free iPad 3. All answers are confidential. You must be over 18 and able to read English to participate. Don't wait! John Hopkins will only take the first 500 drivers who complete the survey. Questions? Contact the study staff at JohnsHopkinsDriving@gmail.com
Is your financial advisor working in your best interest? Apr. 1, 2013| How can you tell? Selecting someone who is being paid to provide you with investment advice is a crucial decision. You want to make sure that the advisor you select is working in your best interest and that your retirement savings are protected. Asking the right questions, up front, will help you protect yourself and your assets. The DOL has a fiduciary guide fact sheet available here.
Labor Notes' coverage of UPS bargaining Mar. 25, 2013| Jane Slaughter, editor of Labor Notes, writes that bargaining for a settlement in the largest private-sector union contract in the U.S., covering nearly 250,000 Teamsters, is expected to wrap up in early April. The contract expires July 31 "but UPS wants an early agreement to keep FedEx from luring away customers scared about a possible strike. Read it here.
No to right-to-work (for less) in Pennsylvania! Mar. 26, 2013| Wisconsin. Michigan, Indiana. Now Pennsylvania?! NO! Corporate-backed RTW lawmakers introduced right-to-work legislation (House Bill 50) in the Pennsylvania State House - a dangerous bill that threatens to steal away hard won gains by generations of union men and women. A Day of Action has been called for Saturday, April 20th, at 9 am at the Coyle Library in Chambersburg, PA. We need all Local 992 members to join in this day of solidarity with our brothers and sisters from other Teamster locals and the UAW, IBEW, Steelworkers, SEIU and other unions. We must hit the streets to keep Pennsylvania a union-powered state. Please read this appeal from Secretary-Treasurer Tom Krause. And take a look at this fact sheet on why right to work is wrong for everyone. See you April 20th!
UPS and UPS Freight bargaining updates Mar. 28, 2013| Updates from the Teamsters National Negotiating Committee for UPS Package and UPS Freight bargaining were posted today. The Union told the Company it is prepared to return to the table the weeks of April 15th and April 22nd "provided the Company is prepared to reach an Agreement acceptable to our members during those two weeks."
YRC change of operations info; contract extension at ABF Mar. 28, 2013| YRC's proposed "Network Optimization 2013" change of operations will be heard April 19, 2013 in Dallas. Read the YRC update here. The Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee agreed to grant a 30-day extension so that negotiations with ABF could continue. Any economic improvements in a new contract will be retroactive to April 1, 2013. Read the ABF contract update here.
Maryland distracted driving update: A get-tough bill that upgrades enforcement of the state’s existing handheld cell phone law to primary status has cleared the House and Senate. The measure also would make significant increases in fines for distracted driving violations.
First offenses will bring a $75 fine. A second offense could bring a ticket of up to $125, and a third to $175. The current fine for violations range from $40 to $100. The plan to assign points was removed by amendments.
The removal of the secondary enforcement provision of the handheld cell phone law means police can stop and cite violators for that reason alone.
The bill, sent to the governor on April 8, was a rerun of previously unsuccessful legislation by Del. James Malone. “They can’t have (a cell phone) in their hand whatsoever,” Malone says. The legislature did water down the penalties in the original bill.
Two other 2013 bills also sought to remove the secondary enforcement limitation on the state’s existing handheld cell phone law.
State Sen. Nancy King puts a spin on the enforcement issue. Her Senate Bill 193 of 2013 specifies primary enforcement if a child under the age of 8 is in the vehicle when the driver violates Maryland’s handheld cell phone law. King, D-Montgomery County, also sponsors a bill seeking to increase penalties for not safely securing a child in a vehicle.
The state made several technical adjustments to its existing distracted driving laws during the 2012 legislative session.
They included a separation of cell phones and texting devices under the legal definition of a “wireless communication device.”
Text messaging prohibited for all drivers.
Handheld cell phone use banned for all drivers.
Fines between $40 and $100.
Drivers under the age of 18 prohibited from any use of cell phones.
Tell Congress to stand up to the hostage takers Feb.13, 2013| Congressional Republicans are taking the economy hostage again–threatening to blow it up unless to get their way on painful cuts to vital services and programs important to working families. Call your members of Congress tomorrow, February 14th and ask that they stop heartless cuts that will affect the middle class. Call 1-888-659-9401 to be connected to your members of Congress. Tell them to stand up to these bullies and reject benefit cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Tell them to cancel the across-the-board budget cuts food and workplace safety, education and more. Tell them to close tax loopholes for Wall Street and the richest 2%–especially loopholes that encourage job offshoring, allow corporations to pay no taxes, enrich the already wealthy and bar government from negotiating with drug companies to lower prices. Call tomorrow and make your voice count. For more info, click here.
Franklin County talks stall; union files for arbitration Feb.6, 2013| Despite our good-faith efforts to negotiate a successor contract with Franklin County (Pa.), the County's continued delays and refusal to work with us on our most reasonable proposals has forced us to move the negotiation process to interest arbitration for resolution. The process could take a few months. It appears that rather than working with us to find solutions, the County doesn't mind spending taxpayer money on unnecessary arbitration and legal fees, money that would indeed be better spent on providing good services to County residents and decent wage and benefits to you for the valuable work you do in the service to the County. Click here to read Secretary-Treasurer Krause's letter to affected members.
Hoffa on Obama's immigration reform proposal Jan. 30, 2013| Yesterday President Obama announced his proposal for immigration reform and challenged Congress to act quickly. Teamsters President Jim Hoffa said the the President's plan offers a straightforward approach to a problem that can no longer be ignored. "The President's plan offers a more complete approach to addressing challenges that are at the root of the problem…For the first time, we have a proposal that will hold all parties accountable – undocumented workers, unscrupulous employers and the federal government…" Please read President Hoffa's full statement here.
Call to action! Preserve Social Security, Medicare and education Jan. 27, 2013| Teamsters everywhere are needed to step up in this IBT Call to Action: Extremist lawmakers on Capitol Hill are calling for cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and education as ways to reduce the national deficit…Reducing the deficit on the backs of the middle class is just plan wrong. On January 30th, events will be held across the country to send Congress a clear message: No cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and education. Instead of cutting vital programs, Congress needs to make sure that big corporations and the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share. Find an event in your area here. If you can't join a direct action, you can send a loud message to Congress by joining our Thunderclap.
White House urged to act swiftly on silica exposure Jan. 24, 2013| Workers have been dying from silica on the job for about 100 years, with an estimated 1.7 million U.S. workers exposed to this serious hazard. Last week a public petition was posted on the White House website urging immediate release of a proposed OSHA rule to protect workers from silica exposure – which can cause both lung disease (silicosis) and cancer – on the job. Releasing the proposal for publication is just the first step in a lengthy review process….The petition requires 25,000 signatures by February 11th to elicit a formal response from the White House. ~ Crossposted from dclabor.org
UPS negotiations recess; will reconvene Jan. 28 Jan. 18, 2013| Two weeks of negotiations with UPS and UPS Freight wrapped up yesterday in Washington with progress made on both contracts. In UPS Freight negotiations, the committee addressed seniority and work issues as well as protections for medically disqualified drivers. In UPS negotiations, progress was made on 9.5 language, military leave and stewards' rights. More info here.
Reduce your debt and get your budget in shape Jan. 14, 2013| Managing your money and credit doesn't have to be risky business. But conquering debt may be more challenging than ever in today's economy. The good news: union members have access to expert tools and resources to help them cut debt and improve their financial health. The advice is designed and discounted especially for union members. Services include free budgetary analysis, personal budgeting tools and savings tips, and experienced credit counselors available 24/7. Click here for helpful information from Union Plus.
ABF, Teamsters in talks again this week Jan. 11, 2013|Bargaining began Tuesday, and talks are scheduled to run until March. The current contract expires March 31. When the parties met in December, they ended negotiations far apart. Gordon Sweeton, the co-chairman if the Teamsters' National ABF Negotiating Committee said the union is disappointed with ABF's proposals so far. Read more here.
UPS retiree health care cost hike is outrageous Jan. 7, 2013| General Secretary Treasurer Ken Hall says he is outraged by UPS's move to hike the cost of health care to retirees in company-sponsored plans. In a memo to UPS Locals, Hall said the issue will be dealt with at the bargaining table. Negotiations have resumed in Washington today.
Jan. 25, 2013 | Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit issued a decision finding that the Jan. 4, 2012 recess appointments of three members to the National Labor Relations Board were invalid. In response, Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce issued the following statement:
"The Board respectfully disagrees with today’s decision and believes that the President’s position in the matter will ultimately be upheld. It should be noted that this order applies to only one specific case, Noel Canning, and that similar questions have been been raised in more than a dozen cases pending in other courts of appeals.
In the meantime, the Board has important work to do. The parties who come to us seek and expect careful consideration and resolution of their cases, and for that reason, we will continue to perform our statutory duties and issue decisions."
The U.S. Senate is where good bills go to die. The chart below is telling, isn't it?
"The supermajority required just to begin debate–60 of the 100 Senators–creates gridlock and ignores the fundamental American principle of majority rule." ~ CommonCause.org
Next week, the Senate may be taking up Resolution 4, a bill to reform the filibuster process and make it more transparent. If enacted, this reform would mean Senators would actually have to speak and debate publicly on the floor of the U.S. Senate in order to keep a filibuster going, just like Jimmy Stewart did in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. As it stands now, a Senator can simply send an email to continue a filibuster.
We need more accountability of our elected officials, and if they wish to block legislation, they should be required to put real time and energy into it.
Here's what we need you to do: Call your Senators TODAY and ask that they fix the Senate by fixing the filibuster! Tell them to vote FOR Senate Resolution 4.
You can reach your Senators by calling the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.
And it's a fight that we need to participate in if we are to win. We must apply community pressure to the company. Here's why:
In June, workers at Shenandoah's Pride alerted the Local Union of their employer's intent to consolidate brand and private label milk products at Martins Food Stores through the use of non-union drivers.
You can imagine what the result of that decision will be.
Good paying, full-time jobs will be lost. Workers unemployed. Families negatively impacted.
The Union responded swiftly, filing a Grievance and an Informational Request. The Company's intent became obvious when it denied the grievance before a meeting was scheduled to discuss the violation. In addition, the Company has to date failed to respond to the bulk of the Union's informational request, which it is required to do by law.
A grievance meeting was in fact held in September, but the Company again denied both grievances. The Union has filed for arbitration of both grievances and is awaiting selection of an arbitrator and hearing dates.
It appears that Shenandoah's Pride is placing more value on its place in the community than it is on the well-being of its workers and their families. We offered creative solutions that would satisfy the company's need to maintain customer service and satisfaction but also protect our work, but it refused to discuss them.
So if they won't listen to us at the grievance table, we need to tell the people who buy their milk what the Company is doing to its workers.
At a time when the corporate war on workers is striking in every corner of every state, we can't sit back and rely solely on the legal system to adjudicate our contractual dispute with this employer.
We must take ownership of it and get out there. More and more people are taking issue with companies' outsourcing local jobs. These days, they are more likely to listen to the employee being impacted by anti-worker tactics.
So download the flyer linked below to give to family members and friends and ask them help you pass them out so the community learns about the very real threat to your job.
In these times we can't leave it to the next guy. Everyone needs to be all in!
If you have any questions, please contact Secretary-Treasurer Tom Krause at 301-739-7550.
There's a lot at stake for Teamsters, our families and the nation's middle class
Nov. 5, 2012 | Mitt Romney tauts himself as one of the strongest anti-union candidates in history, and proof of that is in his roadmap to dismantle workers' rights. His anti-union agenda includes supporting states pursuing right-to-work laws which make negotiating contracts more difficult while lowering wages and eliminating benefits. Last February Romney's campaign said: "Once upon a time, labor unions fought to secure important protections for American workers and help our economy grow. Unfortunately, today they too often stand as obstacles to growth and fight against the workers they are supposed to serve." Romney also said he would sign a national right-to-work law if it came across his desk.
He would amend the National Labor Relations Act to guarantee the secret ballot in every union certification election (killing card-check neutrality), and further amend it to guarantee that all organizing campaigns last at least one month (providing more time for employer anti-union campaigns). He'll prohibit the right of union members to use payroll deductions for political purpose which would take away workers' rights to political free speech (think Maryland Teamsters PAC and D.R.I.V.E.).
The Romney/Ryan ticket has doubled down in their hostility to unions and would continue to slash and burn collective bargaining. (Remember what anti-worker Republicans have done in Anne Arundel County, and in Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania.) Romney/Ryan would restrict what they consider OSHA's "overreaching regulation agenda" which would put workers' safety and health at risk. Worker pensions would be dumped in favor of high-risk retirement savings programs. Campaign for America's Future wrote "the GOP platform mocks workers' pensions as useless artifacts which were "born in an old industrial era beyond the memory of most Americans." Remember too, that Romney has off-shored thousands and thousands of American jobs.
What guarantee do we have that would not continue?
Although we've clashed with President Obama over foreign free trade agreements, budget cuts and the deficit, and his failure to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, he believes the right to organize and collectively bargain with employers is a fundamental American right. Unlike his opponent , President Obama champions the American worker and believes the economy is stronger when collective bargaining rights are protected.
Obama preserved more than 160,000 Teamster and middle class jobs by saving the auto industry. There have been 31 straight months of job growth. He cut taxes for millions of us in the middle class. With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), we won't lose our coverage if we get a serious illness, and we don't have to spend out hard-earned wages supporting under-funded drug costs for our parents and grandparents.
President Obama appointed labor advocates to the National Labor Relations Board and the National Mediation Board who understand the importance of standing up for workers' rights. He appointed Hilda Solis, daughter of a former Teamster, to be U.S Labor Secretary. And he has opposed any and all right-to-work legislation.
Moving forward, President Obama's goals include creating a million new manufacturing jobs and doubling exports within 2 years, eliminating tax breaks for companies that are shipping our jobs offshore and instead, will offer tax breaks to companies that invest in American products and the workers who produce them. His agenda also includes making it easier for American workers to invest in workplace retirement savings that have portability so you won't lose your pension when you change jobs. And he will continue to oppose right-to-work and paycheck protection legislation efforts.
Got family and friends living in other states? Jump over to Teamsters.org for the list of registration deadlines and website addresses for every state and pass that info along to your folks.
Why is it important? From the IBT:
"In states across the country, new laws have gone into effect that could potentially prevent you from voting. The conservative crusade for voter identification laws is little more than a way to disenfranchise poor people and minorities. It's important to know the laws in your state."
This election is likely to be the most important one in our lifetime. Please do your part to ensure everyone you know has the opportunity to cast their ballot in November.
Oh and by the way, Our Time (Standing Up for Young Americans) is a great website for the under thirty-somethings in your life. Pass it on.
Sept. 17, 2012 | Fifty-five Galliker's/Potomac Farms Dairy employees and members of Teamsters Local 453 went on strike September 12, 2012 in response to the company's implementation of it's final offer that ended contributions to the employee pension plans.
"Our members are united and we've had great support from the public," said Local 453 President Larry Wolfe. "No one has crossed the picket lines except management and non-union staff."
The union provided the company with a 48-hour strike notice Monday, Sept. 10. The company has yet to respond.
The previous collective bargaining agreement expired in February 2011 but the parties agreed to continue contract talks. According to Local 453 President Larry Wolfe, the company made its final offer in May but the members voted overwhelmingly to reject it and voted to authorize a strike. The company refused to meet with the union and imposed its offer in June.
"We've been at the table for a year and a half. Not only is the pension issue of great concern, but 15 months of retroactivity and holiday pay is at stake as well," Wolfe said.
Local 453 represents drivers and production workers at the Cumberland dairy plant and others working in Virginia and West Viginia. The company provides dairy products to local schools and convenience stores.
The Teamsters have represented workers at Potomac Farms for decades, and the relationship with the employer has always been a good one. In 1984, the Galliker Dairy Company of Johnstown, Pa., acquired the Potomac Farms Dairy operation. Since then labor management relations have been handled by the corporate parent. "This is the most anti-worker company we've had to to deal," Wolfe said.
Support for the Potomac Dairy strikers is growing, said Wolfe, as family, friends and members of the public join the picket line.
Local 453 is a member local of Teamsters Joint Council 62.
August 31, 2012|In his Labor Day message to Teamsters, General-President Jim Hoffa wrote: "This Monday, we pay tribute to the millions of dedicated men and women who make our world better and keep our country working. Each and every year, Labor Day is a time for reflection. The American labor movement is responsible for many things we take for granted—the weekend, the 40-hour work week 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, the continued existence of the middle class, and respect and dignity for all working people. I’m proud that the 1.4 million members of the Teamsters Union are at the forefront of this effort.
But make no mistake, working families are being attacked and scapegoated like never before. Public employees are being blamed for bad economies. Pensions and health care benefits are demonized as excessive perks of the past while the richest among us enjoy tax rates that are some of the lowest in our nation’s history.
Corporate-backed politicians have mounted the most vicious anti-union attacks in memory. Government workers are being stripped of their collective bargaining rights. Right-to-work-for-less laws to destroy unions are becoming law in many states. And if Mitt Romney is elected president, he has promised a federal Right-to-work law as payback to his big business backers. If this scares you, it should. In fact, at this very moment the Republican National Convention is meeting in Tampa where there message seems to be, “The Middle Class Hasn’t Suffered Enough”. And if they have to take away hard-fought health care benefits, pensions and the rest of our social safety net to pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest people on the planet, that’s just what they’ll do—if we let them.
The ultimate goal of these extremist politicians is to further concentrate wealth and power in the hands of a few. These elite few may have the money, but we have the numbers. I urge you to fight back by getting involved. You can make a difference by talking to workers in organizing drives; attending rallies; urging politicians to support issues such as fair trade; voting for pro-labor candidates; and by becoming a member of DRIVE, our powerful political action committee. Be proud of our legacy, and tell others what it means to be in a union — solidarity, democracy, and respect. Because if we don't educate the public, no one will.
On this Labor Day, I ask you to get involved and build support for working Americans — Our country’s true everyday heroes.
Join your Teamster brothers and sisters in Philadelphia on Saturday, August 11 for the first-ever Workers Stand for America rally. Union and non-union workers from across the nation will converge on Philadelphia for an all-day event in the heart of the city that will refocus attention on the needs of America's middle-class, and all working families. During the rally workers will sign a Second Bill of Rights, the centerpiece of the rally. The document demands full employment and a living wage, full participation in the political process, a voice at work, a quality education for all, and a secure and healthy future. Click here and here for more info. Sign the Bill here.
Walmart's abuses are getting ridiculous: Angela WIlliams was fired last week for talking "too much" manager-approved sick leave to care for herself and her ailing grandmother. Another coworker was also fired, while a third was given his "final warning." Not coincidently, all three had been speaking publicly about the abuses they faced on a daily basis
No, Angela has been evicted, forcing her daughter to scrape by with her grandmother while Angela looks for a new job and a new place to live.
Meanwhile, Mike Duke and Rob Walton have their jobs despite reports of their involvement in a reported bribery scandal and a high-level executive cover-up of the incident!
It's time to put an end to Walmart's double standards.
You can help Angela and workers like her. Visit a Walmart store near you on Friday, June 1st to collect petition signatures to demand Walmart end its abuses of workers and our laws. Click here for instructions.
February 8, 2012 | Already this year, state lawmakers have opened brutal new fronts in the war on workers. And America's workers are fighting back as never before.
In Michigan, anti-worker bills aimed at weakening labor unions are gaining traction in the House. HB 5025, for example, would require employees' annual written authorization to have their union dues deducted from their paychecks.
Working families in Indiana, Florida and Arizona are under especially fierce attack. State politicians loyal to their Wall Street paymasters are trying to lower workers' wages, benefits and safety. They're trying to turn taxpayer assets over to for-profit corporations, along with fat contracts and tax giveaways, at the expense of government employees.
Gov. Mitch Daniels supported a law to make Indiana a right-to-work-for-less state, breaking a campaign promise that earned him labor's endorsement. Last week, he signed the law in secret and held no press conference to announce the deed. That's not what I'd call bold leadership.
Hoosiers will see falling wages, increased poverty and more dangerous workplaces — for now. They will also be engaged in one hell of a fight. Even during protests against the right-to-work-for-less bill, working people were registering voters inside the Capitol. The ballot box is where they'll punish lawmakers who voted against them.
It's happened before. Indiana lawmakers who voted for a right-to-work law in 1957 faced a stiff backlash. Many lost re-election. Eight years later, it was repealed. More recently, Ohio voters overwhelmingly fought back another blatant attack on working families.
In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott and some lawmakers want to turn many of the state's correctional facilities over to a private corporation with a poor track record of safety and savings. The proposal would save less than one-half of 1 percent of Florida's corrections budget — and that's if those savings actually materialized, which is doubtful. For that tiny savings, prison privatization would put 4,000 correctional officers out of work. Nearly all of them live in poor, rural counties where good jobs just don't exist.
Florida's working families are bringing the fight to Tallahassee. Correctional officers come almost daily to the Capitol to lobby against the bill, joined by hundreds of other workers, including nurses and teachers who fear they'll be next.
Radical politicians in Arizona are trying to ban collective bargaining. What's being proposed is worse than what Gov. Scott Walker rammed through in Wisconsin last year.
Lawmakers would make collective bargaining illegal for government bodies and employee groups. Automatic payroll deductions for union dues would be banned.
Gov. Jan Brewer also wants to strip civil-service protections from state employees. Arizona could soon become the next Wisconsin. The state's working families are making plans for protests, Capitol sit-ins and possibly a recall of Brewer.
Michigan politicians contemplating similar anti-union legislation should proceed at their own electoral peril. Michigan's working families are mobilizing right now and will certainly remember in November.
We may not win battles in every state this fall. It may take years, but in the end, I'm confident we'll win the war on workers.
First Choice knows that there are many homeowners who are eligible to refinance under HARP and those are the borrowers we want to reach.
The program has been updated allowing more homeowner’s to take advantage of the program. The New HARP Mortgage Program Guidelines, beginning December 1, 2011 have several benefits for home owners:
• The program has been extended until December 31, 2013.
• The maximum Loan to Value (LTV) cap has been removed on homeowners looking to refinance in to a fixed rate mortgage.
• However, for homeowners looking to refinance in to an adjustable rate mortgage the maximum LTV is set at 105%.
• The appraisal process has been streamlined; in cases where an automated value can be determined an appraisal would not be required.
Building on the industry’s experience with HARP over the last two years, First Choice has identified several changes that will make the program accessible to more borrowers with mortgages owned or guaranteed by the Enterprises. Our goal in pursuing these changes is to create refinancing opportunities for these borrowers, while reducing risk for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and bringing a measure of stability to housing markets.
First Choice Lending is recommending homeowners to call in and see if there loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, to determine there eligibility. ??
Please call 215-750-6190 today to see how we can assist your members with the Union Mortgage program.
Dec. 28, 2011 | The new rule announced last week by the Dept. of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) revises the hours-of-service (HOS) safety requirements for commercial truck drivers.
The new HOS final rule reduces by 12 hours (from 82 to 70) the maximum number of hours a truck driver can work within a week.
In a press release issued immediately following the DOT announcement, General President Hoffa said: "We said all along that an hours of service rule has to protect highway safety and our truck drivers' health. We are reviewing the new rule, and in the coming wells we will meet and discuss it with our allies and, if necessary, determine our next course of action."
The rule requires drivers take a break of at least 30 minutes after driving 8 hours, and can take the 30-minute break whenever they need rest during the 8-hour period. The rest requirement is part of the rule's 34-hour restart, a provision that allows drivers to use the restart provision only once during the 7-day period. The final rule retains the current 11 hour-daily driving limit.
FMCSA officials said tat commercial truck drivers and companies must comply with the HOS final rule by July 1, 2013.
View the rule provisions and compliance information at the FMCSA's website here.
There seems to be a right way to complain about your boss on Facebook, and a wrong way. Do it the right way, you’re protected by the law. Do it the wrong way, you could find yourself looking for a new job to complain about.
What's Going On...
? With the help of a federal mediator, an agreement with Maryland Metals was finally reached in June that improved the money package. The tentative agreement was ratified unanimously by the workers the following day.
A new date to resume negotiations with Cinetic Landis Grinding after members rejected a second tentative agreement has yet to be scheduled. Though the second agreement preserved their 5th week of vacation and the current contribution rate for health insurance premiums, it called for changes to the attendance policy that were unacceptable to the members. Those changes and the company's proposal that would not provide a raise in the first year of the three-year agreement torpedoed the TA, with every member voting to reject it.
"Negotiations for a new contract been going on for a long time," said Local Secretary-Treasurer Tom Krause. "Two membership votes have been taken. Both times the employees have unanimously rejected the agreements. And management's posture during these negotiations has been wretched. I have been very unimpressed and disappointed in the company's negotiating tactics. Negotiating in an economic climate as we have before us is tough enough without the employer treating the negotiations like a side show."
When the members rejected the first agreement, the Local sought assistance from the International. On Local 992's behalf, Teamster leaders reached out to Cinetic Landis' European parent in an effort to exert much-needed pressure to get the company back to the table. Additionally, the local chapter of the UAW worked through its own International to reach out to the automakers that rely on machine parts from Cinetic Landis.
"The company's actions indicate a disrespect for the negotiations process and a lack of respect for the dignity and well-being of the workers, such as I have never seen before," Krause said, adding, "I believe they think it is all about them."
The company had a different attitude when it came back to the table. Talks were tense, but the two sides worked late into the night to reach the second agreement.
The hard work begins again. Krause and other bargaining committee members have no illusions about what it will be like to go back and try to hammer out a final agreement that members will accept. Of paramount importance, said Krause, is the work being done now to mobilize the members and get a strategy in place that will convince the company it must work with the union to produce a fair and acceptable tentative agreement that the members will finally approve.
- A tentative agreement has been reached with Cinetic Landis Grinding, whose company reps walked out of negotiations in March. Ratification is scheduled for May 4, with recommendations from the bargaining committee.
- A 3-year agreement covering 61 Pepsi-Cola drivers, warehouse and merchandisers was unanimously approved in April; the pact provides retro pay, wage increases, adds a sick leave benefit, and includes various language improvements.
- A 6-month contract extension approved by members at Maryland Metals expires in June 2011; bargaining proposals are being drafted.
- -Upcoming Negotiations: Potomac Construction, Smith Baking Co., and Fulton County (domestic relations officers and probation officers). Check back for updates.
- An arbitration is scheduled June 2, 2011 for a member unjustly discharged for allegedly texting while driving.
- The Local also has two organizing drives underway.
Maryland lawmakers endorsed most of Gov. Martin O'Malley's (D) fairly ambitious agenda as they wrapped up the state's 428th legislative session this month.
O'Malley signed 163 bills into law, among them the alcohol tax law, and a law which bars employers from using a job applicant's credit history in the hiring or promotion process. Credit reports are also now off the table for assessing a current employee's compensation or other employment privileges. The law makes exceptions for certain positions, such as those requiring the handling of money.
Also signed into law and effective October 11, 2011 was legislation extending compensability under workers' compensation laws to Anne Arundel County deputy sheriffs suffering from an occupational disease - specifically heart disease or hypertension (high blood pressure) - in the line of duty. Proposed by Teamsters Local 355 and deputy sheriff Dave Belisle, and introduced to the Legislature by Delegate Robert Costa (District 33B), the law will provide the same benefit to the county's deputy sheriff's as it does for other state counties public law enforcement personnel. (More on this in the next newsletter.)
Proposed right-to-work legislation didn't survive committee hearings that were heavily attended by Labor advocates and members – including representatives from Teamsters Joint Council 62. Alcohol Tax: Unfortunately, effective in July we'll see the tax on beer, wine and spirits rise for the first time since 1972. The revenue from the tax will go to education aid, the developmentally disabled and school construction in the biggest counties. That's the good news. As to the bad news, we'll just have to wait to see how the tax increase affects tour alcohol distribution employers' bottom line. Health Care: Also at the top of O'Malley's list was a pair of bills that will make the Old Line State the third in the country to create a health care exchange in line with the requirements of the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). Maryland follows California and West Virginia in creating the exchanges, which are intended to offer consumers a one-stop marketplace from which to access a number of health insurance options. O'Malley waited barely 12 hours after the final session wrapped up to ink his name to the two measures: SB 182/HB 166, which establishes the exchange as a public corporation and lays out its basic governance framework, and SB 183/HB 170, which aligns several state laws with ACA requirements, including allowing young adults to stay on their parents' health coverage until age 26 and barring insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. Cell phone use while operating a motor vehicle: The existing ban on writing texts while driving is now expanded to include reading them, as well. A bill that would have allowed the police to pull over motorists for using their phones or hand-held devices failed. A driver must also be committing another offense to be issued a citation for using the phone. Interlock for drunk drivers: Inebriated drivers who far exceed the blood-alcohol limit will be required to use ignition interlock devices on their vehicles. Drivers who decline to take a breathalyzer test would also be required to use the devises. Anyone who declines to participate would have their license revoked. Presidential primary date changed: Under pressure from the Democratic and Republican parties, Maryland moved the date for the 2012 presidential primary to April. (The 2008 primary was in February.) Less taxes, more fees:Lawmakers mulled a multitude of tax increases, but in the end turned to an assortment of fees to balance the state's $14.6 billion budget. They voted to double charges for recording land deals, obtaining birth certificates, registering vehicle titles and having personalized license plates.
Sources: Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Washington Business Journal, StateNet, Daily Record.
Unions, Supporters Honor Dr. King, Rally for Workers' Rights
All across the country, thousands of Teamsters turned out April 4th for rallies commemorating the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
More than 1,000 mobilizations nationally were organized under the “We Are One” umbrella, in which more than a million workers stopped business as usual either at work or after work to join vigils at their workplace, community rallies or marches at statehouses, coordinated by the AFL-CIO and many unions, community, religious and student groups. About 2,000 people marched from the Treasury Department to the offices of Kock Industries, headquarters of right-wing funders Charles and David Koch. Demonstrators carried signs saying "I Am A Man," "I Am A Woman" and "I Am A Worker," which linked "the current struggles with the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers strike King was supporting when he was assassinated. More here hereat TeamsterNation and at LaborNotes Day of Action pro-worker activities made headlines all across the nation. Take a look over at LaborStart.US and nytimes.com
TEAMSTERS LOCAL 992 IN HAGERSTOWN, MARYLAND SUPPORTS FIGHT FOR WORKERS’ RIGHTS
Teamsters Local Union 992 in Hagerstown, MD is standing with workers throughout the United States who are fighting an unprecedented attack on working families that has been launched across the country.
“We’re not going to let them get away with it,” said Tom Krause, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 992. “By launching this corporate-funded attack against all working people, the forces who want to deny workers their rights and dignity have united us. We are saying ‘enough is enough.’ We are going to make sure we defend the rights of workers in our area and those throughout the United States.”
Local unions throughout the United States are stepping up and standing with the workers in Wisconsin and other states that are under direct attack. We have a saying in the labor movement, ‘an injury to one is an injury to all.’ We will fight for as long as it takes to defend workers’ rights and say no to this coordinated attack. This is not just about public employees—this fight involves all workers.”
Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, including thousands of law enforcement officers in over 1,400 departments and agencies.
March 25 - The right-to-work legislation (and its companion bill, SB 660) would prohibit an employer from refusing to employ or continue to employ an individual based on membership or nonmembership in a labor organization; prohibits an employer from requiring an individual to refrain from joining or from requiring an individual to become a member of a labor organization; prohibits an employer from requiring an individual to pay specified charges to a labor organization.
The house bill (HB 743) was referred to the Economic Matters Committee February 10, 2011. The committee issued an Unfavorable Report March 15.
Attacks on working families and their unions continue around the nation. Right-to-work legislation has been introduced in Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia.
Tax bills HB121 and SB168 introduced in January in the Maryland State Legislature would raise alcohol beverage taxes by more than 790%.
The hike would translate to price increases for the consumer, resulting in lost sales and lost jobs that are directly provided by alcohol industry producers, distributers and retailers.
The cost of a case of beer will go up $2.41. It will cost $1.01 more for a 1.5 liter of wine. The price of a 1.75 liter of liquor will increase by a whopping $3.94.
Bottom line: This so-called "Dime a Drink" tax increase proposal would threaten the jobs of all employees in the alcohol/liquor distribution industry.
The tax proposal will most likely be in the mix until the end of the Legislature session which will adjourn on or around April 11th. We need you to contact your legislators right now (it will only take about 30 seconds) and urge them to vote NO on HB121 and SB168 that would raise fees on beverage alcohol and result in the destruction of our jobs. Here's how:
1. Go to savemymdjob.com/take-action
2. Enter your zip code, email address, mailing address, and name (to verify you are a constituent)
3. Click "Send Email Letter"
Members at WTMA (Washington Township Municipal Authority) ratified a 3-year agreement in January that provides an increase in wages, protections to health care minimum costs, and language improvements.
At Redland Brick, a brick making company that took a big hit during the 2008-2010 recession, employees succeeded during recent negotiations in protecting their health care cost share - a top priority. In costing out the offered wage increase, they determined they would be further ahead in forgoing the increase and maintain their HC cost share. With the HC secure and improvements made to contract language, members overwhelming approved the tentative agreement.
No dates have yet been set to continue bargaining with Cinetic Landis Grinding, a French-owned company whose specialty is building grinding and retooling machines for the Big Three auto makers. The company moved a few years ago to Hagerstown from Waynesboro, PA where it employed 700 people. The company's Hagerstown plant employs 40 people who are in talks for a their second contract. Three days of negotiations last month produced little, with the company walking out on talks the third day. An extension agreement (with retroactivity) is in place until a successor contract is reached.
Negotiations with Pepsi-Cola are proceeding with non-economics wrapped up and economic issues still to be bargained. An extension agreement is in place. Local 992 represents 50-60 Pepsi drivers, warehousemen and merchandizers.
The Local Union is in negotiations for a first contract with the newly organized RailLink employees.
An unjust discharge of a member employed by Kellogg is scheduled for a June 2, 2011 hearing. The company alleges that the member was texting while driving.