Teamsters

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Teamsters Weekly Updates - Ending June 21, 2018

Allegations of Sexual Harassment, Gender Discrimination Dominate XPO Europe Annual Meeting as French Employees Strike: At XPO’s European annual general meeting (AGM) in Lyon today, a former Memphis-based XPO worker addressed the board of directors and shareholders about sexual harassment, gender discrimination and dangerous conditions in the workplace.

Statement of Solidarity with Teamsters Canada on Canada-U.S. Trade Issues: The International Brotherhood of Teamsters stand in solidarity with our Canadian brothers and sisters in calling for an end to the personal attacks on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a permanent exemption of tariffs on Canadian aluminum and steel.

Hoffa Pledges Solidarity with UAW during Speech at Union's Convention: International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa today addressed the 1,100 delegates at the United Auto Workers (UAW) 37th Constitutional Convention at the Cobo Center in Detroit.

Greece Central Teamsters Overwhelmingly Approve Four-Year Agreement: After 15 months of negotiations, Greece Central School District Members of Teamsters Local 118 overwhelmingly ratified a new four-year contract.

School, City Leaders Join Teamster Administrators in Calling Out Violence: Public school and elected officials joined with Teamster school administrators today to address the growing scourge of schoolhouse violence in Philadelphia, most recently in an assault on a principal and vice principal just last week.

Teamsters Join Legal Challenge to Presidential Executive Orders that Impair Union and Employee Rights: Today, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters joined with 12 other labor unions in bringing a lawsuit to stop the implementation of three executive orders issued by the President on May 25

African Immigrants Call on City to Revoke License of Trash Hauler Tied to Cover-up of Worker’s Death: Leaders of African immigrant communities are calling on the City to revoke the license of Bronx trash hauler Sanitation Salvage. Last November, the company was involved in the covered-up death of Guinean immigrant Mouctar Diallo. On Wednesday, leaders in the Guinean and other African communities held a press conference on the steps of the Bronx Supreme Court, alongside supporters from the Teamsters Union, immigrant rights organizations, and sanitation reform advocates.

 

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Allegations of Sexual Harassment, Gender Discrimination Dominate XPO Europe Annual Meeting as French Employees Strike
XPO workers from U.S. and Spain confront European board about toxic working conditions; French XPO workers walk off the job to protest gender pay gap, show solidarity with U.S. workers

(LYON, France) – At XPO’s European annual general meeting (AGM) in Lyon today, a former Memphis-based XPO worker addressed the board of directors and shareholders about sexual harassment, gender discrimination and dangerous conditions in the workplace. She was joined by workers from Spain and leaders from unions throughout Europe and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters who raised concerns about the abuses and called for management to start resolving the issues. This came as XPO workers from warehouses across France went on strike to protest the company’s unwillingness to deal with a gender pay gap and show solidarity with workers who’ve experienced harassment and discrimination in the U.S. and other countries.

XPO Logistics is a $9 billion international company that packages and distributes products for Verizon, Disney, Nike, Home Depot, and other major retailers across the world -- including in France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, U.K., and the U.S. Eight workers from Memphis, Tenn. who work at an XPO warehouse that services Verizon recently filed charges of sexual harassment and gender discrimination with the EEOC. In the filings, workers reported supervisors groped them, grabbed them and made relentless comments about their bodies. Workers also have the support of leading #TimesUp organizations who wrote a letter to Verizon and helped prompt the company to investigate conditions at its contracted XPO warehouses.

“I came to call on XPO to be transparent and clean house of sexual harassment and discrimination in its U.S. and global warehouses. In my warehouse in Memphis, XPO must commit to bringing on an independent party to assess and report incidents, and it must stop covering up complaints raised by workers,” said Tasha Murrell, a former Memphis XPO worker.

During the shareholder meeting, Murrell called on the board to personally visit with the women at the Memphis warehouse to hear about their grievances firsthand. She also asked the board if there was a system in place at XPO that communicated every sexual harassment complaint to them on a regular basis.

The workers handed the board and meeting attendees a report detailing systemic discrimination at XPO in Spain. The report, ‘Women’s Wellbeing at XPO,’ describes gender bias at an XPO warehouse that handles an Amazon contract -- including evidence that women are paid less than and not given the promotion opportunities of men, and find their skills and experiences ignored.

Veronica Silvera, an XPO worker and member of the Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT) in Spain, told shareholders “When experienced logistics workers enter XPO, there are conditions they've never seen before in their lives. The discrimination, precariousness and abuses XPO Logistics employees suffer are a strong reason enough to call for immediate measures to put in place decent conditions for workers of a 21st-century logistics company.”

“This report shows a shocking record of discrimination at XPO. The company is paying women less than men for doing the same job. Women are hiding pregnancies because they fear dismissal,” said Valerie Latron, a member of the International

Transport Workers Federation, CDFT union member and a representative of the ITF women’s committee. “XPO is undermining women’s wellbeing, their finances, their rights and their dignity.”

“We are proud to support a global effort by XPO employees who are speaking out about sexual harassment and standing up for women facing dangerous conditions on the job,” said James P. Hoffa, General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. “XPO’s board and shareholders must look closely at XPO’s global record on sexual harassment and its toxic culture and ask hard questions of the company’s plans to resolve these issues. It is well past time for XPO’s CEO and board to correct course and do right by the workers that keep company warehouses running smoothly.”

“The ITF is proud to support our brothers and sisters across the globe who are taking a stand against the shameful behavior by XPO,” said Steve Cotton, General Secretary of the International Transport Workers Federation. “The board must take what was shared with them by our delegation very seriously and take decisive action to change their corporate culture to one that supports and values its workforce.”

Statement of Solidarity with Teamsters Canada on Canada-U.S. Trade Issues

(WASHINGTON) – The International Brotherhood of Teamsters stand in solidarity with our Canadian brothers and sisters in calling for an end to the personal attacks on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a permanent exemption of tariffs on Canadian aluminum and steel.

The Teamsters believe that the ongoing negotiations to replace NAFTA provide an opportunity to raise the living standards and improve the lives of workers throughout North America. Implementing tariffs at this critical point in negotiations will only serve to derail that process and to subsequently harm workers – including working families in the United States. Negotiations should never be personal.

The U.S. had an $8.7 billion trade surplus with Canada in 2017 – including a $518 million surplus in the dairy industry. Using the Canadian agricultural supply management scheme as justification for implementing the aluminum and steel tariffs is simply misguided and potentially harmful to steelworkers and dairy workers in both countries.

The implementation of these tariffs and the inevitable retaliatory tariffs by Canada will immediately harm workers in both nations.

Canada is our nation’s oldest ally and we must treat them as such. Now is the time to reverse course, go back to the negotiating table and treat our neighbors with the respect they have earned. Our Canadian brothers and sisters deserve nothing less.

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.

Hoffa Pledges Solidarity with UAW during Speech at Union's Convention

(WASHINGTON) – International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa today addressed the 1,100 delegates at the United Auto Workers (UAW) 37th Constitutional Convention at the Cobo Center in Detroit.

“There is no greater solidarity than that between the Teamsters and the UAW,” Hoffa said. “Next year is a pivotal moment for the UAW as you head into negotiations with the Big 3. I am here to tell you that the 1.4 million members of the Teamsters Union will be there to stand shoulder to shoulder with you.”

Hoffa also invoked the role the Teamsters and the UAW had with civil rights leaders and promoting the civil rights movement in light of the recent events surrounding the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Dr. King understood that civil rights and labor rights are the same,” Hoffa said. “He knew that you couldn’t have one without the other. That is why he was in Memphis standing with the striking sanitation workers.”

Hoffa praised the actions of UAW President Walter Reuther and Teamsters General President James R. Hoffa in providing financial support to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the NAACP, the Poor People’s Campaign and other organizations.“They understood that we could never achieve labor rights without civil rights,” Hoffa said.

Hoffa praised UAW President Dennis Williams who is retiring later this week after 40 years with the union, the last four as its leader.

“Dennis has been a tremendous partner in the fight for fair trade and worker rights and he is a good friend,” Hoffa said. “He grew the UAW’s membership and balanced the budget. He has dedicated his life to his union brothers and sisters and will be missed.”

Williams is expected to be succeeded by Gary Jones.

“I look forward to continuing our relationship with your new leadership,” Hoffa said. “I know that Gary and I will work closely together in the continued fight for working families.”

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, including over 200,000 public employees. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.

Greece Central Teamsters Overwhelmingly Approve Four-Year Agreement

(ROCHESTER, N.Y.) – After 15 months of negotiations, Greece Central School District Members of Teamsters Local 118 overwhelmingly ratified a new four-year contract.

The ratified agreement provides for annual wage increases of three percent, including a retro-active payment effective July 2017. In addition, the agreement stabilizes health care costs, provides for paid emergency closure days for 10-month employees, increases comp-time and bereavement leave provisions, along with other improvements.

“There was nothing easy about reaching this agreement, but our committee representing nearly 750 members covering numerous operating areas remained united at winning the best agreement possible,” said Local 118 Secretary-Treasurer and lead negotiator Chris Toole.

Local 118 represents approximately 4,300 members throughout the greater Rochester area. Follow us on Facebook at Friends of Teamsters Local 118, on Twitter @Teamsters118 or visit www.teamsterslocal118.org.

School, City Leaders Join Teamster Administrators in Calling Out Violence

(PHILADELPHIA) – Public school and elected officials joined with Teamster school administrators today to address the growing scourge of schoolhouse violence in Philadelphia, most recently in an assault on a principal and vice principal just last week.

School District of Philadelphia Superintendent William Hite and Philadelphia Councilwoman Helen Gym were just two of the more than 200 union and community members gathered at the rally organized by Teamsters Local 502, also known as the Commonwealth Association of School Administrators (CASA).

“Administrators are school leaders, and we can’t have our school leaders being assaulted,” said CASA President Dr. Robin Cooper. “So we are asking for additional support, including looking at security personnel in schools, safety training for all staff, and an honest assessment of our current policies that too often punish leaders trying to protect students and themselves.”

The union asked state legislators to revisit a policy that removes administrators, teachers and staff from schools if they intervene to break up fights between students and look at how it is applied. “There’s no protection in the line of duty,” Dr. Cooper said.

She added that the small percentage of adults who engage in violence must be prosecuted under the full extent of the law.

CASA asked community members to attend the “Safe Schools are Great Schools” event in order to stress the importance of school safety while continuing to provide a great education in a safe environment.

Teamsters Join Legal Challenge to Presidential Executive Orders that Impair Union and Employee Rights
Union Seeks to Enjoin Government Actions that Violate Civil Service Law

(WASHINGTON) – Today, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters joined with 12 other labor unions in bringing a lawsuit to stop the implementation of three executive orders issued by the President on May 25.

Two of the orders impair long-established federal labor relations procedures by limiting the ability of federal workers and their union representatives to perform union business and by weakening the process for negotiating contracts on behalf of unionized federal employees. The third order seeks to impair the due process rights of employees alleged to have performance problems.

The federal rules governing labor-management relations and personnel matters were codified into law in 1978 with the passage of the Civil Service Reform Act.

“The rights of federal employees and the unions that were democratically-elected to represent them are being unjustly singled out,” said Michael Filler, the Director of the Teamsters Public Services Division.  “Neither national security nor the quality of service to the public will be improved by ignoring the law and relevant legal precedent; therefore, the court should declare all three executive order invalid and unenforceable” Filler added.

The Teamsters represent 1.4 million workers throughout North America, including approximately 2,000 civilian federal employees in six states, who are employed by agencies such as the Department of the Navy, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.

African Immigrants Call on City to Revoke License of Trash Hauler Tied to Cover-up of Worker’s Death

Leaders of African immigrant communities are calling on the City to revoke the license of Bronx trash hauler Sanitation Salvage. Last November, the company was involved in the covered-up death of Guinean immigrant Mouctar Diallo. On Wednesday, leaders in the Guinean and other African communities held a press conference on the steps of the Bronx Supreme Court, alongside supporters from the Teamsters Union, immigrant rights organizations, and sanitation reform advocates.

The community is also demanding that the driver be punished and that the company apologize to the family of Mouctar Diallo for covering up his death.

“We understand accidents happen at any workplace. What we don’t understand is the lack of responsibility. Why is Sanitation Salvage refusing to take responsibility? Is it because Mouctar is an African immigrant that he is treated like a nobody? Well we have news for them. Mouctar Diallo was not and has never been trash,” said Mamadou M. Bah, President of Guinean Community. “He is our son, our nephew, our brother. He was loved and cherished. He was his mother’s hope and dreams. We will not rest until Sanitation Salvage takes full responsibility for their actions.”

“The death of Mouctar Diallo should be a wakeup call to all Africans in the city to stay vigilant, to not stay silent, and to demand action whenever there is injustice. Sanitation Salvage must be held accountable for their actions,” said Bourema Niambele, Vice President of Muslim and Immigrant Coalition for Justice (MIC4Justice). “The life of Mouctar Diallo is just as valuable as anyone else’s, and we will fight to get the justice that he deserved.”

Diallo was a 21 year old immigrant from Guinea, who had been working off-the-books on a Sanitation Salvage truck, collecting commercial trash, for over a year. When he was run over by the truck he was working on in November 2017, police were originally told that Diallo was unknown to the company and he was reported to be a “crazed homeless person.”

“Sanitation Salvage cannot treat its workers worse than than the trash it discards. We stand in solidarity with African and all other immigrant workers in their fight for safety, respect, and justice for Mouctar Diallo,” said Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition.

The driver who ran over Diallo and participated in the cover-up continued to work for the company and then, April 27, 2018, hit and killed 72–year-old Leo Clarke (known as Leon to his neighbors). Clarke, a resident of the John Adams Houses, was crossing the street mid-block with a cane.

“Leon Clarke was a beloved neighbor with many friends in the community. He should still be alive,” said Ronald Topping, President of the John Adams Houses Tenants Association. “I hope Sanitation Salvage will admit that what they did was wrong. The truth shall set them free. Now we can begin to heal.”

Recent media investigations have exposed flagrant worker rights violations at Sanitation Salvage. Workers told ProPublica that they work shifts as long as 18 or 20 hours. Off-the-books workers are often hired off the street and are paid $80 a shift or less, workers say. The company has been hit with lawsuits over unpaid workers compensation and wage theft.

“Sanitation Salvage treats workers and community members like they are disposable. It’s unacceptable,” said George Miranda, President of Teamsters Joint Council 16, which represents sanitation workers in New York. “New York City should give these families justice and take away Sanitation Salvage’s license. Further, the City should implement the strongest reforms possible to force the other bad companies in the industry to shape up or move out.”

City regulators and law enforcement have known for months about the cover up of Diallo’s death. The Business Integrity Commission, which is charged with licensing and regulating the private carting industry, has the power to suspend a carter’s license if the company “creates an imminent danger to life or property.” The BIC has said it is investigating, but no action has yet been taken against the company.

The revelations of abuses by Sanitation Salvage come as City leaders consider reforms to the industry. Legislation in the City Council, sponsored by Council Members Stephen Levin and Antonio Reynoso of Brooklyn, would cap the amount of trash that can be dumped at waste transfer stations in the South Bronx and other overburdened neighborhoods, with the goal of reducing garbage truck traffic in the communities.

Mayor Bill de Blasio committed two years ago to transform the industry through a commercial waste zone policy that would limit one carter to each zone of the city, improving accountability while decreasing truck traffic and speeds. Under pressure from carters like Sanitation Salvage, the Department of Sanitation has indicated it may weaken the policy, but advocates are calling on the City to recommit to reforms.

“In 21st Century New York City, it’s tragic and unacceptable that two people – 21-year-old Guinean immigrant Mouctar Diallo, and 72-year-old black Bronx resident Leon Clarke – died within six months under the wheels of garbage trucks owned by the same company, and still we see no accountability,” said Maritza Silva-Farrell, Executive Director of ALIGN. “The night-time collection of commercial trash is a broken system.  It operates in stark contrast to the day-time collection of residential waste, which has not seen a death since 2014. It’s only through systemic reforms – in the form of exclusive commercial waste zones – that we will see the improvements for workers, for the environment, and for safety on our streets that are so desperately needed.”

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