Teamsters

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Teamsters Weekly Updates - Week Ending July 13, 2018

Teamsters Weekly Updates

James P. Hoffa: Unions want to be heard in Fight to Protect Pensions: Today on the grounds of the Statehouse, more than 10,000 union retirees and members will gather in the name of retirement security. They want to make sure that a bipartisan congressional committee set to hold a Friday field hearing here in Columbus looking at the multiemployer pension crisis hears their stories.

Teamsters Release UPS National Agreement in Principle, Highlights: “The proposed contract provides all our UPS members—full-time and part-time workers—with tremendous gains in wages, benefits and working conditions for years to come,” said Denis Taylor, Director of the Teamsters Package Division and Co-Chairman of the Teamsters Negotiating Committee. "We are releasing the proposed contract and highlights now so that our members have the latest and most accurate information.”

Hoffa Addresses Military Pathways Summit: Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa gave the keynote address today at the Military Pathways Summit in Washington, D.C.

Teamsters, Miners, Bakery Unions Join Together to Demand Pension Reform: More than 10,000 union workers and retirees assembled on the grounds of the Ohio state Capitol today to let members of a joint congressional committee set to meet here tomorrow know they need to act quickly to protect the jeopardized pensions of some 1.5 million people.

BLET Continues Fight To Save American Jobs On The Texas Border: On Friday afternoon, July 6, U.S. District Court Judge Diana Saldaña blocked a strike by members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) employed by the Texas Mexican Railway (Tex Mex), which was scheduled to begin at 12:01 a.m. on July 9, by granting a Preliminary Injunction that had been requested by Tex Mex and its multi-national corporate parent, Kansas City Southern Railway (KCSR).

BLET Asks President Trump to Intervene In Laredo: As part of its continuing fight to save American jobs on the Texas border, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) has asked President Donald J. Trump to help the union in its struggle to preserve the jobs of BLET members who work for the Texas Mexican Railway (Tex Mex). On July 9, Tex Mex unilaterally replaced U.S. citizen crewmembers with Mexican train crews between Laredo Yard and the International Bridge, more than 9 miles away.

CP’s Signal Maintainers Ratify Three-Year Deal: Signal and communications employees with Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) have voted to accept a tentative three-year deal that helped end a 33-hour work stoppage in late May.

New N.J. Film Tax Break Law Will Help Teamsters: “New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) took another big step towards helping workers in the Garden State when he signed into a law this week a measure that will provide film and television production companies tax credits for certain expenses incurred while filming in the state.

L.A. Republic Services Teamsters Approve New Contract Raising Wages, Improving Benefits: Los Angeles County Republic Services waste workers approved a five-year contract this week that will increase wages and improve the company’s contributions to workers’ health and pension plans.

The Company That Made its own Rules: Sandy Strzechowski Describes Working without a Union: In 1987, Sandy Strzechowski decided it was time to return to the work force full-time to bring in some extra income to her household. Her youngest child had just turned 16-years-old and while she worked on and off part-time while raising her three children, she wanted to help her husband, Larry, support the family.

Iowa Teamster Group Leads Tour of Civil Rights Sites, Colleges: An Iowa-based Teamster non-profit group took a busload of mostly at-risk high school students on the trip of a lifetime last month, touring civil rights landmarks and historically black colleges and universities across the southern U.S. in an effort to raise awareness about history and educational opportunities available to them.

Transervice Teamsters Ratify New Agreement: On Friday afternoon, July 6, U.S. District Court Judge Diana Saldaña blocked a strike by members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) employed by the Texas Mexican Railway (Tex Mex), which was scheduled to begin at 12:01 a.m. on July 9, by granting a Preliminary Injunction that had been requested by Tex Mex and its multi-national corporate parent, Kansas City Southern Railway (KCSR).

Listen to the UPS Teleconference Call from July 10: Teamsters Package Division Director Denis Taylor hosted a conference call on July 10 to review the highlights of the National Agreement in principal. CLICK HERE to listen to the call.

A Supreme Injustice: In a post-Janus world, the Teamsters aren’t backing down. Hear how the union is beefing up its membership despite the recent Supreme Court ruling that curbed the ability of workers to join together and bargain on the job.
 

NEWS ARTICLES

James P. Hoffa: Unions want to be heard in fight to protect pensions
Today on the grounds of the Statehouse, more than 10,000 union retirees and members will gather in the name of retirement security. They want to make sure that a bipartisan congressional committee set to hold a Friday field hearing here in Columbus looking at the multiemployer pension crisis hears their stories.
Thousands of Teamsters, United Mine Workers and Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers’ International Union members from Ohio and across the country will be in attendance. Other unions will be represented as well. I will be there, as well as UMW President Cecil Roberts and BCTGM President David Durkee. Ohio’s own Sen. Sherrod Brown will be present, as well as other lawmakers.
But while the number of attendees is expected to be impressive, what’s really important is the issue at hand. The future of more than a million retirees and workers, many of whom worked decades and contributed to their pensions under the understanding they would be supported in their golden years. That is now being called into question, and it’s not right.
America is facing a retirement crisis. Unions like the Teamsters, UMW and BCTGM have known this for years. But Congress has been slower to act. That changed this February, when it formed the House-Senate Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans. It was tasked with finding a solution to the nation’s looming pension problem and will hear from the public firsthand tomorrow.
The retirement security of as many as 1.5 million active and retired workers could be at risk if pension legislation is not passed soon. The committee, which is composed of eight senators and eight members of the House evenly divided by party, is working toward reporting a bill to solve the pension crisis.
As of now, the Teamsters’ Central States Pension Fund is facing an unfunded liability of $17.2 billion, the largest of all multiemployer plan shortfalls. Other threatened multiemployer plans face a total shortfall of $19.2 billion.
In all, there are more than 300 multiemployer plans across the nation that are in danger of failing. That’s why unions are joining together to stress to the joint pension committee the importance of coming up with a solution as soon as possible. The congressional pension panel, which is co-chaired by Sen. Brown and includes Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio as a key member, needs to find a vehicle that will deliver for these hardworking Americans who are paying, or have paid, into the pension pool and have played by the rules all their lives.
One measure that has the support of Teamsters and other unions is the Butch Lewis Act of 2017 (H.R. 4444/S. 2147), which was introduced in Congress late last year by Sen. Brown and Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., and already has received bipartisan support.
The measure would boost financially troubled multiemployer pensions so they don’t fail. It would create a new agency under the U.S. Treasury Department that would sell bonds in the open market to large investors such as financial firms.
The agency, the Pension Rehabilitation Administration (PRA), would then lend money from the sale of the bonds to the financially troubled pension plans. Plans that are deemed “critical and declining,” as well as recently insolvent but non-terminated plans and those that have suspended benefits, would be eligible to apply for the program. Pension plans borrowing from PRA would be required to set aside the loan proceeds in separate, safe investments such as annuities or bonds that match the pension payments for retirees.
One thing is for sure — what we have now is not working. Both the Teamsters and UMW are looking at pension plans going bust in the next decade. Having benefits cut by two-thirds or more will lead to retirees losing their homes and not being able to pay for essential medicines. That is not living with dignity and is unconscionable for those who spent decades toiling away to support their families.
These workers aren’t asking for a handout; they just want what is rightfully theirs. It’s time for the joint committee to find a legislative solution that will make them whole. They’ve waited long enough.
James P. Hoffa is general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Teamsters Release UPS National Agreement in Principle, Highlights
The Teamsters National UPS Negotiating Committee has released the National Agreement in Principle and highlights of the agreement. The highlights are available in this update (see below) and the agreement is available here.
“The proposed contract provides all our UPS members—full-time and part-time workers—with tremendous gains in wages, benefits and working conditions for years to come,” said Denis Taylor, Director of the Teamsters Package Division and Co-Chairman of the Teamsters Negotiating Committee. "We are releasing the proposed contract and highlights now so that our members have the latest and most accurate information.”
At press time, union negotiators are meeting to finalize the supplemental agreements. We have agreed to a contract extension that allows the leaders of local unions that represent UPS members to review the proposed national contract and supplements. Upon the leaders’ approval, members will then have the opportunity to vote electronically to ratify the National Agreement and their supplements.
“We will continue to keep our members informed as the process moves forward,” Taylor said. “We appreciate our members continued input and support. We look forward to wrapping up these long, challenging negotiations so that our members will win the security they need and deserve for themselves and for their families.”
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL AGREEMENT

Hoffa Addresses Military Pathways Summit
Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa gave the keynote address today at the Military Pathways Summit in Washington, D.C.
“It is important for us to help our military service men and women transition from active military status to the civilian world,” Hoffa said. “Our programs with the Army and Marines ensure that men and women with truck driving experience earn their CDL before mustering out. There are many other areas where we can transition their military experience to the civilian world – from health care to pilots and mechanics. They have the experience.”
The Military Pathways Summit included representatives from the Department of Defense, Department of Transportation, Department of Labor, private sector companies, nonprofits and unions to discuss ways to support career pathways and employment transitions for service men and women, veterans and their spouses.
The goal of the meeting is to emerge with an action plan for how public-private partners can work together more effectively to ensure all veterans can access opportunity in the new economy.
“Nearly 10,000 service men and women leave the military each week. These men and women are the heart and soul of our nation,” Hoffa said. “They’ve put their lives on the line for our great country. We must do everything we can to ensure that their transition to civilian life is smooth and that there are good jobs for them.”

Teamsters, Miners, Bakery Unions Join Together to Demand Pension Reform
Thousands Descend on Ohio Capitol to Let Congress Know It Needs to Act
(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – More than 10,000 union workers and retirees assembled on the grounds of the Ohio state Capitol today to let members of a joint congressional committee set to meet here tomorrow know they need to act quickly to protect the jeopardized pensions of some 1.5 million people.
Union workers and retirees joined the leaders of the Teamsters, United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) and Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers' International Union (BCTGM) in telling how cuts to their multiemployer pension plan benefits would devastate their lives and make it difficult to pay for their homes and medical costs.
Members of the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans are scheduled to hold a field hearing Friday at the state Capitol. The committee, which is comprised of eight senators and eight members of the House evenly divided by party, is tasked with reporting a bill by the end of 2018 that would solve the pension crisis.
As of now, the Teamsters’ Central States Pension Fund is facing an unfunded liability of $17.2 billion, the largest of all multiemployer plan shortfalls. Other threatened multiemployer plans face a total shortfall of $19.2 billion.
“America is facing a retirement crisis,” Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said. “Unions like the Teamsters, UMWA and BCTGM have known this for years. It’s time for the joint committee to find a legislative solution that will make them whole. They’ve waited long enough.”
“Millions of active and retired American workers depend on their pensions,” UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts said. “They earned them, they were promised them, and they already paid for them in their collective bargaining agreements. Now their pensions are threatened through no fault of their own. Congress has a responsibility to save them, and it must act now.”
“It is vital that Congress address this country’s growing pension plan funding crisis – a crisis that threatens the financial security of hardworking Americans who have made sacrifices in order to maintain the benefits that will help sustain them in their retirement years,” BCTGM International President David B. Durkee said. “We commend the Joint Select Committee for asking to hear directly from the men and women who are affected by the pension funding crisis. There is so much at stake for millions of working families and retirees.”
In all, there are more than 300 multiemployer plans across the nation that are in danger of failing. That’s why unions are joining together to stress to the joint pension committee the importance of coming up with a solution as soon as possible.
The congressional pension panel, which is co-chaired by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and includes Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) as a key member, needs to find a vehicle that will deliver for these hard-working Americans who are paying, or have paid, into the pension pool and have played by the rules all their lives.

BLET Continues Fight to Save American Jobs on the Texas Border
Judge Blocks Strike Against Texas Mexican Railway
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, July 9 — On Friday afternoon, July 6, U.S. District Court Judge Diana Saldaña blocked a strike by members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) employed by the Texas Mexican Railway (Tex Mex), which was scheduled to begin at 12:01 a.m. on July 9, by granting a Preliminary Injunction that had been requested by Tex Mex and its multi-national corporate parent, Kansas City Southern Railway (KCSR).
In dispute is the railroads’ plan to replace Tex Mex crews with Mexican train crews employed by a Mexican KCSR subsidiary (KCSM) over the 9‑mile Tex Mex line that runs between the interchange point at the U.S./Mexican border on the International Bridge connecting the two nations, and the Tex Mex Laredo Yard. The strike had been approved by 98% of voting members, and the strike date had been set by BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce and BLET Tex Mex General Chairman Chris Heise to coincide with the day the crew replacements were scheduled to begin.
Judge Saldaña held an emergency hearing in Laredo on Tuesday, July 3. The railroads argued the dispute involved interpretations of four collective bargaining agreements, and for that reason, was a “minor” dispute under the Railway Labor Act (RLA) and subject to mandatory arbitration, rather than self-help.
The Judge’s decision was in spite of the volume of evidence presented to the Court by BLET on a number of key issues. The Union definitively showed how the plan would diminish railroad safety, because it was contrary to the letter and the spirit of numerous Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) regulations. Among those were regulations governing subjects such as operating crew certification, radio communications, extraterritorial operations, and the control of alcohol and drug usage by operating employees. BLET also showed how the plan would expressly violate the terms of a 10½-year-old FRA waiver governing locomotive, freight car and air brake inspections at the border.
Further, BLET counsel rebutted the Carriers’ minor dispute claim in two ways. First, the Union pointed out, the Carriers’ “minor dispute” argument was frivolous because its cornerstone was a 9‑mile retreat from the border of the applicability of the RLA by turning the work of BLET members over to a Mexican railroad that is not a “carrier” under the RLA, to be operated by crews who are not “employees” under the RLA, under the guise of U.S. RLA-based National Agreements to which the Mexican railroad was not a party.
The Union also demonstrated that the Carriers’ claim that it was “moving” the interchange point was nothing more than an attempt to evade STB jurisdiction over trackage rights agreements.
These facts, BLET Counsel argued, proved that this is not a dispute over the relocation of an interchange point between two railroads, but the subcontracting of American jobs by an American railroad to a Mexican employer of Mexican nationals.
Despite all this evidence, the Court accepted the railroads’ argument that the dispute over foreign nationals taking the work of American citizens was a minor dispute. The judge further required the Union to notify all of its members that they could not strike if and when KCS implemented its plan.
Commenting on the ruling, BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce said, “First, I want to commend our Officers and Members on the Tex Mex for their solidarity since this dispute began. Although the Union has complied with all of the Judge’s orders, I am still convinced that our dispute with Tex Mex is a major dispute and we are currently examining all avenues of appeal.
“This fight is far from over,” Pierce added. “The loss of American jobs to foreign workers is nothing new from corporate America, but this blatant job grab on America soil is something that all American workers should find unacceptable. Promises were made to America’s working class in the last election that their jobs would be protected by the current Administration. We will take this fight to every venue we can, including to the White House if need be, and we will be asking all Union members to join us in that outreach when we do.”
A copy of the Judge’s decision can be found at http://www.ble-t.org/pr/pdf/KCS_v_BLET.pdf , and the Union letter mandated by the court can be found at http://www.ble-t.org/pr/pdf/Tex_Mex_Letter.pdf  Further news regarding this dispute will be provided as developments warrant.

BLET Asks President Trump to Intervene In Laredo
INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, July 10 — As part of its continuing fight to save American jobs on the Texas border, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) has asked President Donald J. Trump to help the union in its struggle to preserve the jobs of BLET members who work for the Texas Mexican Railway (Tex Mex). On July 9, Tex Mex unilaterally replaced U.S. citizen crewmembers with Mexican train crews between Laredo Yard and the International Bridge, more than 9 miles away.
The letter, from BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce, outlined numerous ways in which multi-national corporation Kansas City Southern Railway and its Tex Mex subsidiary are either ignoring or violating federal laws and important rail safety regulations.
President Pierce wrote, “Mr. President, we believe the railroads’ actions to give the jobs of American workers to foreign workers run counter to your own trade goals, and to your commitments to all American workers. It certainly is contrary to the joint position of the representatives of railroad train crew employees in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. A 10-mile retreat from our borders, as the railroads intend to do as this is being written, is certainly inconsistent with keeping work in the hands of American workers. On behalf of our nearly 37,000 working members — and particularly those who stand to lose the work they perform today — I respectfully request that you assist the affected American workers by giving this critical matter your personal attention.”
A copy of the letter to President Trump can be found at http://www.ble-t.org/pr/pdf/Trump_TexMex_Letter.pdf
For additional information about this issue, please see BLET News Flashes of July 9, 2018 (https://www.ble-t.org/pr/news/newsflash.asp?id=8117) and June 27, 2018 (https://www.ble-t.org/pr/news/newsflash.asp?id=8115).

CP’s Signal Maintainers Ratify Three-Year Deal
CP conductors, engineers start voting on ratification next week
Signal and communications employees with Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) have voted to accept a tentative three-year deal that helped end a 33-hour work stoppage in late May.
CP and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) System Council No. 11, which represents 360 CP signal maintainers, announced Friday the union’s CP members had voted 78 per cent in favour of the new deal.
“The hard work begins now, with CP’s commitment we will move forward together to implement the new provisions” of the memorandum of settlement, Council No. 11 senior chairman Steve Martin said in a CP release.
CP CEO Keith Creel on Friday hailed the new deal, saying it “reflects CP’s commitment to our IBEW-represented employees, ensures stability for the broader 12,000-strong CP family and provides certainty for our customers and the broader economy.”
The IBEW members, along with CP conductors and engineers represented by the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC), had hit the picket line on the evening of May 29. Rail operations resumed May 31 after CP and union negotiators reached tentative agreements with help from federal mediators.
About 3,000 TCRC-represented CP employees are scheduled to begin electronic voting Monday (July 9) on their memorandum of settlement for a four-year agreement.
E-voting on that agreement is scheduled to close July 20, the TCRC said June 25 in a letter to members on its website.
The TCRC said its bargaining committee unanimously supports the new deal and recommends its CP members vote in favour.
Grain groups had urged the federal government to intervene in the weeks leading up to May’s strike, fearing even more disruptions to grain movement off the Prairies.
“The movement of grain is so essential to the Canadian economy that it should never be disrupted by strike action,” Alberta Barley chair Jason Lenz said in mid-April. “But unfortunately, we see labour disputes almost every year.”– AGCanada.com Network

New N.J. Film Tax Break Law Will Help Teamsters
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) took another big step towards helping workers in the Garden State when he signed into a law this week a measure that will provide film and television production companies tax credits for certain expenses incurred while filming in the state.
In signing SB 122, the Garden State Film and Digital Media Jobs Act, Gov. Murphy enacted legislation that will encourage production companies to locate to New Jersey, which in turn will spur economic growth and industry development. It will also beef up opportunities for Teamsters working in the union’s Motion Picture and Theatrical Trade Division.
“We applaud the governor and the New Jersey Legislature,” said Fred Potter, President of Local 469 and a Teamster International Vice President-At Large. “It will mean more jobs for Teamsters and a boost for our economy.”
Gov. Murphy said, “The film and digital media industry is poised to become a dynamic part of New Jersey’s economy, one that will create good-paying union jobs and countless residual benefits to the economy.”
In addition to the creation of financial incentives for film and digital media companies, the bill also incentivizes companies to make significant efforts to hire diverse casts and crews. The Economic Development Authority will verify that production companies have made good-faith efforts toward that goal before receiving additional benefits.

L.A. Republic Services Teamsters Approve New Contract Raising Wages, Improving Benefits
Five-Year Agreement Will Also Beef Up Job Protection Language
(LOS ANGELES) – Los Angeles County Republic Services waste workers approved a five-year contract this week that will increase wages and improve the company’s contributions to workers’ health and pension plans.
The 700-person unit voted on Monday to back the agreement after working without a contract since January. It raises hourly pay for Republic Services drivers and mechanics. In addition, the company pledges to raise its contributions towards health and pension benefits each year of the contract.
“Thanks to their commitment, these Republic Services workers were able to win the strongest sanitation contract that has been negotiated by Local 396,” Local 396 Secretary-Treasurer Ron Herrera said. “It sets a great standard for the future and provides the strongest job protection language ever negotiated by our local union in addition to fair wage increases, medical benefits and pension contributions, allowing them to provide a better future for their families.”
The Los Angeles victory is just the latest for the Teamsters, who have been busy organizing other company units across the country, including in Cleveland, Amanda, Ohio, Las Vegas, Dexter, Mo., San Diego and Sonoma County, Calif.
Herrera, who is Director of the Teamsters’ Solid Waste & Recycling Division, said this week’s agreement serves as yet another example for thousands of Teamster sanitation workers across the U.S. who continue to fight to have dignity and respect on the job.

The Company That Made its own Rules: Sandy Strzechowski Describes Working without a Union
As we awaited the union-busting Janus decision during these last few months, Teamsters Local 700 has talked with many of our members, families and friends about the impact of the decision, as we imagined what workplaces would be like without a union. Sandy Strzechowksi, the mother of our own President Becky Strzechowski, stopped by to tell us her experience working for a family-owned company that made their own rules.
In 1987, Sandy Strzechowski decided it was time to return to the work force full-time to bring in some extra income to her household. Her youngest child had just turned 16-years-old and while she worked on and off part-time while raising her three children, she wanted to help her husband, Larry, support the family.
“I was lucky,” said Sandy. “I had a husband who was a Chicago police officer and he supported us. When I decided to get a job, I did it more to help my husband as our children were getting older and going off to college. I was fortunate that I didn’t need to worry about supporting my children on my own. The job was to bring in money, period.”
Sandy was hired to do accounting and other office work by a family-owned fashion jewelry company that was based on the North side of Chicago. The company had been in operation since 1955 when it was started by a husband and wife that went door to door selling their jewelry.
“When I started, they told me that ‘you get promoted within the company’ but after a short time I realized that there wasn’t a position that was in a higher category than what I already did,” said Sandy.
The original Chicago space was comprised of individual storefronts that the company had rented and merged together as they grew. The company’s owners lived in the North suburbs and decided to move the heart of the operation to a spacious warehouse in Schaumburg. For those that needed transportation, the company provided two vans to take people from the Chicago location to the new Schaumburg location everyday. Sandy was one of them.
“They promised we would get a $1 raise if we decided to continue working there after the move,” said Sandy. “When we got out there, they told us that the business was not doing as good as they thought and there would be no $1 raise. My husband told me to quit because they didn’t keep their promise and that I could find something closer if I wanted to.”
When Sandy told her boss that she was giving her two-week notice, he went to one of the Vice Presidents and asked to give her the raise to keep her on staff.
“I was a hard worker and I did whatever needed to get done, especially if someone else needed help,” said Sandy. “They gave me the $1 raise and told me that no one else would be getting it and asked that I not tell anyone.”
Then, more empty promises came. “They stopped the van from taking us back and forth to work for about a month and then they restarted it, “said Sandy. “I knew someone that worked in Chicago so we carpooled back and forth, but I really hated driving, especially in the winter – I was nervous. Eventually they stopped the van service completely and told us we had to drive ourselves out there.”
Inside the company’s warehouse was a factory with predominantly female workers who boxed and shipped all of the jewelry orders. The offices that were adjacent to the factory housed other employees like Sandy, who kept track of inventory and did payroll, accounting and other paper work that was needed. With the move and advance in technology, there were new systems in place that Sandy and other office staff had to teach themselves. There was never any type of class or formal training involved.
Sales reps were hired to show and sell the jewelry all over the country, and were given incentives and bonuses based on their sales numbers. There were contests between sales reps and the sales always spiked around Christmas. Once the Christmas season was over, the company would experience a slowdown and layoff employees – in the sales field, in the office and in the factory.
“Seniority played no role in who they called back after Christmas,” said Sandy. “Many of the women who worked in the factory were there for years and some of them were just not called back. If they didn’t like you, you weren’t called back.”
Sandy and the other office staff received Christmas bonuses for a few years, until they stopped giving them out and blamed poor sales on the loss. Sandy remembers when the recession hit, there were tons of orders. “I never saw that they were hurting financially,” she said. “They used that false information so that they could stop giving bonuses.”
Everyone in the office was expected to work 40 hours a week. Payroll would end every Wednesday so that the paychecks could be sent out to the sales people every Thursday. Sandy and the other office staff would typically stay until 9 p.m. on Wednesdays to get the work done.
“We worked 40 hours a week,” said Sandy. “If you worked more than 40 hours, you got overtime. But if you took a sick day during those regular 40 hours, or were an hour late due to bad weather, you did not get paid any overtime even though you worked it.
The office staff would sometimes have to come in on Saturdays – and even some Sundays – to finish the work and there was no double-time or triple-time for those hours.
Sandy remembers one time when the bathroom next to her office broke. “There was water coming out of the bathroom and I had to sit there because we needed to get the work done,” she said. “It was probably well over a week that it was like that and people were peeing in there because we didn’t have a lot of bathrooms. It was disgusting. There were other instances like that and if they didn’t fix it right away, they got around to it when they felt like it.”
The company also required a doctor’s note for anyone that took a sick day. If an employee called in sick and could not provide a doctor’s note upon returning to work, that employee wouldn’t get paid for the time they missed. No sick days or personal time was given to the employees. Sandy received a week of vacation after working there for a year and had two weeks of vacation after 10 years.
“They made rules for themselves,” said Sandy. “They would make a rule one day and change it the next.”
When Larry retired from the police force in 2001, Sandy went down to working three days a week. She left the company for good in 2004 to help take care of her new grandson.
“When I left, I walked away with nothing,” said Sandy. “They gave me a ring that had been sitting on a shelf from one of the old sales contests. There was no retirement, no pension – nothing. I was lucky that I had a husband who supported us and took care of us. I can’t imagine being a single mom – or just not having a lot of money – and having to work there and walk away with nothing. This is a company that needs a union to back the employees because of the rules changing constantly. When you start out, money is very important. You don’t think about retirement until it happens. Looking back, I wish I had a union to fight for my future.”

Iowa Teamster Group Leads Tour of Civil Rights Sites, Colleges
An Iowa-based Teamster non-profit group took a busload of mostly at-risk high school students on the trip of a lifetime last month, touring civil rights landmarks and historically black colleges and universities across the southern U.S. in an effort to raise awareness about history and educational opportunities available to them.
The eight-day trip sponsored by the Teamsters Community Action Network (TeamCAN) and Local 238 began at a parking lot in Iowa City before heading to Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia. Among the places students visited were the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tenn.; the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala.; the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala.; the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery, Ala.; and The King Center in Atlanta.
Students also took tours of the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Tuskegee University, Alabama State University, Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Spelman College, Morris Brown College and Emory University.
“It really opened the eyes of the young people on the trip for the past, present and future,” said Jesse Case, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 238. “They got full absorption of the civil rights movement, what colleges they can attend in the future, and how the past plays out in today’s political climate.”
The students also got a look into how unions operate when they stopped at Local 728’s union hall in Atlanta and met with officials there.
Attendees said the experience was eye-opening for them. “I really didn’t know a lot about Martin Luther King before I came and now I know a lot,” said Marquise Johnson, 18, who graduated Iowa City High School this spring. “In school, they really didn’t teach us that much, they just taught us the basics. Now we know what actually happened and how it happened.”
While this was the 10th year of the civil rights tour, it was the first year TeamCAN was involved. Previous efforts were headed up by an individual who could no longer handle the growing project. So he asked TeamCAN to intervene. Because of its backing by the Teamsters, the trip was expanded and allowed more adults to attend and handle the logistics associated with the trip.
“We hope to grow it and send more kids in buses throughout the year,” Case said. “Our goal is to have different buses from different parts of the state and different times of the year.”

Transervice Teamsters Ratify New Agreement
This afternoon, a group of 26 newspaper delivery drivers working for Transervice voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new 5-year agreement. Transervice is a contractor hired by the Seattle Times to deliver its newspapers.
The new agreement is a major victory for the group, who have struggled with stagnating wages for years as the newspaper industry continued to lose ground to the Internet. However, this contract breathes new life into these Teamster members’ futures, giving them meaningful wage increases as well as providing them with daily overtime, a higher pension cap, and an additional holiday. The drivers will also benefit from additional sick leave as required by the new Washington State Paid Sick Leave law.
“It was a tough bargain, but also a fair one, and we are very happy with how things turned out for our hardworking members at Transervice,” said Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks. “The company owner himself negotiated directly with the Bargaining Committee, resulting in a strong contract that benefits everyone, negotiated in just a few days of hard work. I wish more contracts could be handled this way. This is truly a win-win.”
Founded in 1909, Teamsters Local 174 represents 7,200 working men and women in the Seattle area. “Like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TeamstersLocal174.

Listen to the UPS Teleconference Call from July 10
Teamsters Package Division Director Denis Taylor hosted a conference call on July 10 to review the highlights of the National Agreement in principal.
CLICK HERE to listen to the call.

A Supreme Injustice
EPISODE NOTES
In a post-Janus world, the Teamsters aren’t backing down. Hear how the union is beefing up its membership despite the recent Supreme Court ruling that curbed the ability of workers to join together and bargain on the job.
SHOW NOTES
Featuring audio from Local 337’s Dave Hughes; Local 320’s Hannah Bernardson; Michael Filler, Director of the Teamsters’ Public Services Division; Randy Korgan, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 1932; Greg Ortiz, Political Director at Local 700; Chuck Whobrey, President at Local 215; Dr. Robin Cooper, President at Local 502; and Jesse Case, Secretary Treasurer of Local 238

Teamster Privilege Auto and Home

As a member of IBT you now have access to valuable features and benefits, including special group discounts on auto and home insurance offered through MetLife Auto & Home – a leading provider of quality auto insurance coverage.

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