Teamsters

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Teamsters Weekly Updates - Ending June 28, 2018

Teamsters Decry Supreme Court Ruling Rolling Back Public Sector Union Rights: Today, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with anti-union advocates attempting to undercut the rights of millions of public employees to negotiate with their employers for a fair return on the value of their work.

California Teamsters Oppose Public Employee Pension Transparency Act: Teamsters across California have come together to denounce H.R. 4822, also known as the Public Employee Pension Transparency Act (PEPTA) that Representative Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) will be re-introducing shortly.

Coca-Cola Beverages Florida Workers Join Teamsters Local 769: Drivers at Coca-Cola Beverages Florida's (CCBF) South Dade facility voted today by a three-to-one margin to join Teamsters Local 769. Of the 48 eligible voters, 47 participated in the representation election. 

Intermodal Transportation Workers in California Ratify First Teamsters Contract: Workers at Parsec, Inc. in Commerce, Calif. who belong to Local 986 have overwhelmingly ratified a first contract that provides substantial wage increases, a better and more affordable health care plan, real union representation and other major improvements.

Ken Hall: WV Justices Who Take Advantage of Public Funds Should Resign (Gazette): “No man is above the law and no man is below it: nor do we ask any man’s permission when we require him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor.” These prophetic words were spoken by President Theodore Roosevelt in his third annual message to Congress on December 7, 1903. 

Ohio Teamster Republic Services Workers Ratify First Contract with Company: Teamsters Local 637 members who work at Republic Services’ Pine Grove landfill ratified a first contract this week with the solid waste company after nearly two years of contentious negotiations.

Teamsters at Impark Celebrate New Four-Year Contract: We all came together as Teamsters. For Awgaw Fanta, a Local 117 parking attendant, who operates two garages in downtown Seattle, that was the highlight of this weekend's contract win.

Teamsters Don’t Mourn, We Organize!: Today, the American Labor Movement has received some tough news. The U.S. Supreme Court has issued its ruling regarding the Janus v. AFSCME case which effectively makes all public sector workers right to work under a union contract without the obligation to pay for the support of their brothers and sisters. While this decision does not impact private sector workers, we know that our opponents will stop at nothing to destroy all sources of worker power. 

Boycott Dr. Pepper Products July 4th: As you prepare for July 4th celebrations, we ask you remember to show your support for the Teamsters Local 727 drivers currently engaged in an Unfair Labor Practice Strike against the American Bottling Company, a subsidiary of Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc., by refusing to purchase Dr Pepper products. A list of some of the company’s most popular product lines and brands is included below. 

Dr Pepper Employee Targets Black Members: Early this morning, a group of black Teamsters Local 727 members, including Union steward and Bargaining Committee member Jeremy Yancey, were followed by a Dr Pepper security guard as they engaged in lawful ambulatory picketing. 

 

                                                                     NEWS ARTICLES

Teamsters Decry Supreme Court Ruling Rolling Back Public Sector Union Rights 

‘Janus’ Decision Is a Setback for Working People and Their Families 

(WASHINGTON) – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with anti-union advocates attempting to undercut the rights of millions of public employees to negotiate with their employers for a fair return on the value of their work. 

By backing the plaintiffs in “Janus v. AFSCME,” the high court’s decision is an attempt to limit the collective voices of not only government workers, but those in the private sector as well. 

“The Supreme Court’s ruling is at a time when so many Americans are struggling just to make ends meet,” Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said. “The Teamsters and our allies in the labor movement will redouble our efforts to ensure that working men and women have a voice on the job through strong unions.” 

The median salary for working people represented by labor unions is $11,000 a year more than non-union people who have no right to negotiate. 

“By overturning 40 years of judicial precedent, conservative judges endorsed an agenda supported by corporations and the wealthiest in our society to take away the right of public employees to negotiate over wages, benefits and working conditions,” said Michael Filler, Director of the Teamsters’ Public Services Division. 

For more information on the Janus decision, click here. 

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. 

Are you a Public Services Teamster Local? If you have any questions on how the Janus decision affects you and your members, call the Teamsters Public Services Division at (202) 624-8149. 

 

California Teamsters Oppose Public Employee Pension Transparency Act

Teamsters across California have come together to denounce H.R. 4822, also known as the Public Employee Pension Transparency Act (PEPTA) that Representative Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) will be re-introducing shortly.   

H.R. 4822 would impose unnecessary and burdensome federal mandates onto a system that already has extensive state and municipal accountability requirements. The passage of PEPTA would pave the road to unwarranted intrusion into local matters by the federal government. Public pensions already endure stringent accountability and transparency measures at the state and municipal level with oversight coming from Boards of Trustees, state and local officials, as well as the public. PEPTA would also threaten the stability of local economies by diverting resources to duplicative federal accountability measures as well as threaten the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds. 

H.R. 4822 serves no constructive purpose, does not save tax payer dollars, does not protect employee pension benefits, and does not provide any further transparency to the public pension system. California Teamsters stand together in opposition of H.R. 4822 and urge other lawmakers to oppose this bill. 

 

Coca-Cola Beverages Florida Workers Join Teamsters Local 769

Drivers at South Dade Facility Vote Overwhelmingly in Favor of the Union

(MIAMI) – Drivers at Coca-Cola Beverages Florida's (CCBF) South Dade facility voted today by a three-to-one margin to join Teamsters Local 769. Of the 48 eligible voters, 47 participated in the representation election. 

"This is another win for freedom and democracy," said Jorge Castillo, a CCBF driver who emigrated to the U.S. from Cuba. "This is right up there with coming here." 

CCBF is based in Tampa and is one of the most profitable companies in Florida. However, the workers sought out the Teamsters to gain a voice on the job for safer working conditions, improved wages and retirement security. 

"The real difference in this campaign is that the internal Latin family and community came together wanting this," said David Renshaw, a business agent at Local 769. "The company ran an aggressive campaign, but the workers stood together to achieve a greater voice on the job." 

Teamsters Local Union 769 represents more than 10,000 hardworking men and women across South Florida. 

 

Intermodal Transportation Workers in California Ratify First Teamsters Contract

Workers at Parsec, Inc. in Commerce, Calif. who belong to Local 986 have overwhelmingly ratified a first contract that provides substantial wage increases, a better and more affordable health care plan, real union representation and other major improvements. 

“The overall contract is a new world for these workers,” said Chris Griswold, President of Local 986 in South El Monte, Calif. 

There are 950 workers in the bargaining unit. They voted to form their union in November 2016, the first of numerous organizing victories for the Teamsters in the intermodal rail transportation industry. 

The workers will now have strong Teamster representation after being “represented” by a unscrupulous association, the National Production Workers Union (NPWU, Local 707). 

“As Teamsters, they now have a real grievance procedure,” Griswold said. “Before, they had grievance meetings over the phone with their business representative in Chicago. They now have full-time representation with Local 986. They will elect their shop stewards. 

“The wage increases are substantial and some of the workers had not received a raise in over five years,” Griswold said. “We also negotiated the Teamsters 401(k) plan with hourly contribution rates.” 

The health care plan is also improved and more affordable. 

“The workers and their families can finally go to the doctor and they have a dental plan they can use,” Griswold said. 

“The new contract has wage increases for all my coworkers, and a progression rate that will unify everyone to the same pay rate and the end of the contract, eliminating a wage-tier system that has divided us for the last 23 years,” said Rigo Pastrano, a ramp driver/crane operator who has worked at Parsec for 19 years. “We also have an upgraded medical plan that we can use without worrying about the high cost throughout the year.” 

The workers ratified the five-year contract in late May. 

 

Ken Hall: WV Justices Who Take Advantage of Public Funds Should Resign (Gazette) 

“No man is above the law and no man is below it: nor do we ask any man’s permission when we require him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor.” These prophetic words were spoken by President Theodore Roosevelt in his third annual message to Congress on December 7, 1903. 

With these words in mind, it is clear that our state Supreme Court justices are not above the law and that we, as citizens of this great state, demand their obedience to the law. As our state’s highest legal arbiters, Supreme Court justices must be held to the highest ethical standards and be accountable for the stewardship of taxpayer dollars. 

Justice Allen Loughry has been suspended from the Supreme Court and faces a 32-count complaint from the Judicial Investigations Commission. The charges are serious and have been detailed by many news outlets. And while, the pricey office renovations and stolen couch should be enough for Loughry to resign immediately, he also is charged with lying to the House Finance Committee and media outlets about the Court’s budget. 

These are serious allegations. Justice Loughry is accused of stealing from the people of West Virginia and lying to cover it up. 

Loughry’s actions undermine the public trust of those who are there to supposedly uphold the law. But the problems aren’t limited to Justice Loughry. The audit reports show other justices have failed to comply with the law, namely Justice Menis Ketchum’s inappropriate use of state vehicles for personal use. 

The entire issue is complicated by the complete lack of interest in investigating or pursuing issues with the court that were reported over the last year. 

Although Senate President Mitch Carmichael now says Loughry should resign, that was not the case back in January. When Delegate Mike Pushkin called for action on the allegations, Carmichael called it “the single dumbest, most ridiculous political stunt that I’ve seen in my time in the Legislature. It’s just a political stunt.” It turns out the Judicial Investigations Commission agreed that Delegate Pushkin’s claims were substantive. 

Why did Carmichael not only ignore early allegations but completely dismissed them out of hand? Why was there no investigation? Why did he attempt to sweep this under the rug? 

I call on Justices Loughry and Ketchum to resign immediately. This is not about politics — as I’ve supported Justice Ketchum in the past. This is about the integrity of our system of government. 

We must restore trust in the Supreme Court. That cannot begin until those who would take advantage of the people of West Virginia step down. If they refuse, I urge the Legislature to convene a special session immediately to begin impeachment proceedings. 

Ken Hall is general secretary-treasurer of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and president of Teamsters Local 175. 

 

Ohio Teamster Republic Services Workers Ratify First Contract with Company

(AMANDA, Ohio) – Teamsters Local 637 members who work at Republic Services’ Pine Grove landfill ratified a first contract this week with the solid waste company after nearly two years of contentious negotiations.

The agreement was reached only after truck drivers, heavy equipment operators and mechanics at the Amanda facility rejected what Republic called its last, best and final offer in April that would have amounted to a pay cut. Both sides returned to the bargaining table on June 14 before hammering out a tentative deal that was approved by workers.

“Despite months of frustration and hardball tactics, these workers stood together and earned a new contract that provides solid wage increases and job protections,” said Local 637 President Scott Wilson. “They should be proud of their efforts.”

Republic workers at the Pine Grove landfill voted to form a union with Local 637 in 2016. Throughout the lengthy negotiations, workers at Pine Grove received widespread support from Teamster Republic workers throughout the country. A delegation of Republic workers from Los Angeles even visited the Pine Grove landfill to pledge their support, and a worker from Pine Grove traveled to northern California to visit Teamster Republic facilities in Daly City and Richmond. 

The victory at the Ohio Republic Services’ facility is just the latest for the Teamsters, who have been busy organizing other company units across the country, including in Cleveland, Las Vegas, Dexter, Mo., San Diego and Sonoma County, Calif.

 

Teamsters at Impark Celebrate New Four-Year Contract

We all came together as Teamsters. For Awgaw Fanta, a Local 117 parking attendant, who operates two garages in downtown Seattle, that was the highlight of this weekend's contract win. 

Fanta is a shop steward who serves on our union's negotiations committee that has been meeting with the employer since April. 

This Saturday, Fanta and his co-workers had the opportunity to vote on a fully-recommended settlement offer. The four-year agreement was overwhelmingly ratified by the group. 

Members will see wage and pension increases in each year of the contract, maintenance of their health and welfare benefits, and a new shoe allowance for some classifications. 

"Everybody is happy to get a raise," Fanta said. "It's an important thing for us. It helps our families." 

For Fanta, the group's unity was key to their success. Members stuck together, attended union meetings, and supported their negotiations committee that worked long hours to achieve improvements to the contract. 

"Takele and Paul fought really hard for us," Fanta said, referring to the union negotiators assigned to the group. 

"Our members at Impark provide essential services to commuters and tourists coming to park in the downtown Seattle core," said John Scearcy, Local 117 Secretary-Treasurer. "They deserve fair pay to support their families, just working conditions and a secure retirement. By sticking together, they have achieved a contract they can be proud of." 

 

Teamsters Don’t Mourn, We Organize! 

Today, the American Labor Movement has received some tough news. The U.S. Supreme Court has issued its ruling regarding the Janus v. AFSCME case which effectively makes all public sector workers right to work under a union contract without the obligation to pay for the support of their brothers and sisters. While this decision does not impact private sector workers, we know that our opponents will stop at nothing to destroy all sources of worker power. 

This court decision is the result of decades of work by right-wing think tanks and their political allies who have spent millions of dollars pushing forward an agenda that attacks working people and seeks to accumulate more power for the top 1%. Let us be clear, this case has nothing to do with workers having more freedom; the true purpose of this case is to ensure that working people are forced into accepting poverty wages, no healthcare, and no retirement by limiting their ability to come together and bargain for something better. 

As Teamsters, we know the power of having a Union, and we are not going to back down. While many may say that this case represents the end of Unions, we know this isn’t true. We have been at this junction in history before. In the early 20th Century, workers in the U.S. including immigrants and women who were earning poverty wages with no rights under the law fought back by organizing! This powerful movement led to millions of workers organizing into Unions and the passage of fundamental laws that provide workers protections and the right to organize. During these dark times, we must remember our Teamster heritage and continue organizing in our workplaces to build worker power, and in our communities by increasing our voting power in order to elect leaders that will fight for working families. By moving forward together we can overcome these challenges and secure a bright future for workers across our country. 

Teamsters Local 396 represents UPS and Sanitation workers in Southern California. The Local Union also serves Members in other miscellaneous industries such as logistics, recycling and feed delivery services. 

 

Boycott Dr. Pepper Products July 4th

As you prepare for July 4th celebrations, we ask you remember to show your support for the Teamsters Local 727 drivers currently engaged in an Unfair Labor Practice Strike against the American Bottling Company, a subsidiary of Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc., by refusing to purchase Dr Pepper products. A list of some of the company’s most popular product lines and brands is included below. 

Avoid these brands and products: For your convenience, here is a list of the products: BOYCOTT Dr. Pepper Products!

 

Dr Pepper Employee Targets Black Members

Early this morning, a group of black Teamsters Local 727 members, including Union steward and Bargaining Committee member Jeremy Yancey, were followed by a Dr Pepper security guard as they engaged in lawful ambulatory picketing. 

While peacefully picketing, officers from the Niles Police Department approached Yancey and searched both him and his personal vehicle. The officers informed the Union that a Dr Pepper employee had reported Yancey was brandishing a gun. Despite a thorough search, no gun was found. 

“In addition to threats of sexual assault and violence, Dr Pepper employees are now disgracefully engaging in race-baiting in an effort to stop our members from exercising their constitutionally protected rights,” said John Coli, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727. “Today’s incident follows a pattern of harassment that must end now.” 

“These hardworking, honest drivers should never have to fear for their safety or their lives,” added Coli. “The Union will not stand for this behavior. Dr Pepper must take action now to quash the systemic disregard for employees among Dr Pepper leadership.” 

The Union intends to file additional unfair labor practice charges with Region 13 of the National Labor Relations Board in regards to this incident and others involving violence against members. 

On May 22, 2018, more than 150 Teamster drivers employed by the American Bottling Company, a subsidiary of Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. that is set to merge with Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. next month, initiated a ULP strike in protest of the numerous unfair labor practices used by the Company. 

Teamsters Local 727 will be increasing its presence in local media with notices running in Thursday’s RedEye, Sunday’s Chicago Tribune, and across social media channels in order to keep the public informed of Dr Pepper’s unethical actions throughout the ULP strike. 

Nothing in this article should be read as the union’s waiver of any legal argument, position or grievance. The union does not forfeit its right to make any and all supplemental arguments. 

 

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