Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Teamsters Weekly Updates, Ending August 3, 2018

ABF Teamsters' New Contract Provides Pay Increases, Subcontracting Protections and More: Teamsters employed at ABF Freight System, Inc. have won major gains in their newly ratified contract that covers approximately 8,500 drivers, dockworkers, mechanics and office workers.

Teamsters, Citing CVS Abuses, Demand Return Of Face-To-Face Negotiations: Teamsters Local 727 has demanded a return to face-to-face negotiations with CVS (NYSE: CVS) following nearly two years of company negotiators stalling and refusing to bargain in good faith during federal mediation.

Hoffa, Flint Teamsters To Rally In Support Of Gretchen Whitmer For Governor: Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa & Teamsters JC 43 President Nowak to Join Teamster Members, Labor Community to Get Out the Vote for Whitmer

Teamsters Local 92 Ready-Mix Drivers on Strike at D.W. Dickey & Son: Following the rejection of D.W. Dickey and Son’s most recent offer on July 25, Teamsters Local 92 members have gone on strike at the company’s Columbiana, Lisbon, East Liverpool and Steubenville, Ohio locations. The workers deliver ready-mix concrete for the company.

Swire Coca-Cola Workers in Phoenix Ratify First Teamster Contract: Warehouse workers and checkers who work at Swire Coca-Cola have voted to ratify a first-time, three-year agreement. The workers, who are represented by Teamsters Local 104, voted 97 percent in favor of the contract.

Teamsters to Vote on Strike Authorization at Rite Aid's Only Midwest Distribution Center: Teamsters working for Rite Aid’s Waterford, Mich., distribution center will vote Sunday, Aug. 5, to authorize an unfair labor practice strike protesting management’s retaliation against workers for informing the public about Rite Aid mismanagement; failing to provide information and bargaining in bad faith.

Retired Teamster asks Congress to Save Troubled Pension Funds: A Milwaukee man who has been among leaders of a movement to secure government help for troubled pension plans urged members of Congress Wednesday to “think, pray and do what’s right” for retirees threatened with loss of much of their pensions.

NOW THIS: Pension Fight: These Workers Were Moved to Tears over Their Pensions

Union Plus Scholarship Winners: Five children of Teamster members recently won Union Plus Scholarship awards. Arthur Sawyer won a $750 scholarship; Shaelyn R. Marx, Austin B. Maxwell, Ashley L. McMahan and Aidan P. Morrison each won $500 scholarships.
 

NEWS ARTICLES

 

ABF Teamsters' New Contract Provides Pay Increases, Subcontracting Protections and More

Teamsters employed at ABF Freight System, Inc. have won major gains in their newly ratified contract that covers approximately 8,500 drivers, dockworkers, mechanics and office workers.

The agreement consists of the national master portion as well as 27 regional and/or job classification supplements.

The last outstanding supplement to the national contract was ratified in late July. Consequently, the new collective bargaining agreement has been approved and took effect on July 29. Pay increases will be retroactive to July 1 as per the new agreement.

“We got a lot of things back in this contract: the vacation, the pay increases and other gains, including the benefit contributions and protections against subcontracting,” said Paul Krenz, a city driver and 16-year ABF employee who is a steward and member of Local 120 in Minnesota.

“The big thing for me was getting the week of vacation back,” said James Rogers, an eight-year ABF employee who is also a steward and member of Local 120. “It’s tough to get anything back once you give it up. Getting raises is also a big plus.”

ABF members initially voted on the tentative new national agreement in April and early May.

The bargaining committee put together to represent Teamsters in negotiations with ABF was made up of dedicated and experienced Teamsters from all regions of the country. Each member of the committee was connected with the ABF membership. Some members of the committee were former ABF employees with significant insight into ABF’s operations. Attorneys, economists and administrative staff were made available to assist the bargaining committee and the committee made full use of these resources throughout the process.

Prior to the start of negotiations, the Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) conducted member surveys, solicited and accepted proposals from every affected ABF local union, and spoke with many ABF members and local union business agents. TNFINC’s economists studied the company’s finances as well as the state of the economy. The initial exchange of proposals took place in December 2017. The parties met for multiple weeks from January through March for negotiations. The union’s negotiating team worked hard. Ultimately, 100 percent of the committee supported and endorsed the tentative agreement. Multiple Improvements

Below are some of the more significant changes contained in the new agreement.

Vacation Restoration: Restoration of the vacation week that was previously given up under the last contract was a top priority of the members. TNFINC was successful in gaining back the 2008-13 vacation schedule based on eligibility and years of service. Because each ABF supplement addresses the earning and accrual of vacations differently, the removal of the one week was also handled differently across the U.S. during the 2013 and 2014 period. To ensure fairness and compliance with the contract, the vacation schedule will essentially be restored in a similar manner to which it was removed so that no member is disadvantaged under a particular supplement’s rules.

General Wage Increases and Bonus: The union successfully opposed the company’s attempt to have only a bonus in the first year of the agreement and no wage increases for the life of the agreement.

Instead, effective each July 1 of the agreement, hourly wages and mileage equivalents will increase by 30 cents, 35 cents, 40 cents, 45 cents and 50 cents in the last year. Total increases, absent any COLAs, will grow by $2 per hour or 5 cents per mile for road drivers over the term of the contract.

In addition, the union was able to also leverage the recently enacted tax cut legislation and secure a $1,000 lump sum signing payment for all active, full-time employees upon ratification (casuals who worked 300 hours between Sept. 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018 get a $500 bonus). Lastly, casuals will see annual wage improvements each year of the contract after seeing their rates frozen for long periods at various points over the last two NMFAs.

Health and Welfare Funds Preserved: The union’s negotiating committee knew that maintaining superior health benefits for members and their families was a top priority for ABF Teamsters coming into talks. From the outset, however, the company was looking to radically alter how all benefits are delivered to Teamsters and was insisting on having all future health and welfare contributions be “fixed” with hard numbers at rates lower than what it was paying to most funds. In the end, the union’s negotiating committee prevailed in requiring the company to continue to stay in all health and welfare plans.

More Protections against the Use of Purchased Transportation: The red circle protections have been increased and updated and a method established for backfilling the red circle list.

Additionally, the overall amount of allowable purchased transportation has been reduced.

Other provisions of the new agreement include maintaining pension contribution rates; improved paid-time-off protections; improvements to equipment and safety; tightened disciplinary standards regarding alleged “dishonesty”; and leave of absence protections.

In addition to the many improvements, the union committee was able to defeat several attempted company takeaways, including demands for no wage increases, taking away holidays and overtime cuts.

“The union held its ground and made it clear we would not accept concessions and that we needed to address our members’ priorities, both of which we were able to achieve,” said Ernie Soehl, Director of the Teamsters Freight Division.

Teamsters, Citing CVS Abuses, Demand Return Of Face-To-Face Negotiations

CHICAGO, July 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Teamsters Local 727 has demanded a return to face-to-face negotiations with CVS (NYSE: CVS) following nearly two years of company negotiators stalling and refusing to bargain in good faith during federal mediation.

Following six months of negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement, Local 727 and CVS began federal mediation on Sept. 22, 2016. Despite the union's willingness to bargaining in good faith, CVS has repeatedly delayed progress by ignoring requests for meeting dates, refusing to make any movement from the company's 2016 proposals or explain what movement it can make, and declining to provide Local 727 with a last, best and final offer.

Stooping to a new low, CVS recently refused Local 727's requests in the last two mediation sessions to merely meet face-to-face to discuss both Parties' positions. As such, it has been more than four months since company representatives have even spoken directly to their employees on the bargaining committee during mediation.

"Pharmacists have been working without a contract and without raises for more than two years because CVS has continued to employ delay tactics," said John Coli, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727. "It appears that CVS has been using the mediator as a shield to avoid hearing from their employees and having to respond. The union will not allow this blatant abuse of the mediation process to continue. Things are going to change."

In every negotiation prior to this, Local 727 and CVS have been able to reach tentative agreements quickly and efficiently. Now, however, the company has hired a new lead negotiator who has stalled negotiations by refusing to move off of a proposal to essentially convert bargaining unit positions into non-union positions.

"The union has made it clear to CVS that cutting bargaining unit positions is a non-starter for our members and securing bargaining unit work is a top priority for this group," said Coli. "If the company continues to fixate on this unrealistic demand, and ignores requests to meet with the Union bargaining committee, they're going to have a major problem on their hands. Pharmacists are tired of CVS's games—they will not sit idly by while the company refuses to treat them with respect and reach a fair deal."

Teamsters Local 727 has demanded negotiation dates from the company. CVS has not yet responded.

Teamsters Local 727 represents nearly 10,000 hardworking men and women throughout the Chicago area.

Hoffa, Flint Teamsters To Rally In Support Of Gretchen Whitmer For Governor
Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa & Teamsters JC 43 President Nowak to Join Teamster Members, Labor Community to Get Out the Vote for Whitmer

(FLINT, Mich.) – Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa, Teamsters Joint Council 43 President Greg Nowak, union and political leaders, Teamsters and community members will rally at the Teamsters Local 332 building in Flint on Thursday, August 2, in support of Gretchen Whitmer, the Democratic frontrunner for governor.

The Teamsters Union officially endorsed Whitmer in March for her strong support of Michigan's workers. Whitmer has stood with working people to pass a higher minimum wage, and is the right candidate to grow the state's economy, create jobs, repair infrastructure and put Michiganders first.

Teamsters Local 92 Ready-Mix Drivers on Strike at D.W. Dickey & Son

(LISBON, Ohio) –– Following the rejection of D.W. Dickey and Son’s most recent offer on July 25, Teamsters Local 92 members have gone on strike at the company’s Columbiana, Lisbon, East Liverpool and Steubenville, Ohio locations. The workers deliver ready-mix concrete for the company.

“These drivers work hard, putting in 60 hours a week, and what was offered was a slap in the face,” said Local 92 President Doyle B. Baird. “The economy is doing great, construction is everywhere, and these workers deserve a pay scale that’s commensurate with the skill level of their trade.”

At issue with the workers is that the company is proposing a flat $2,000 signing bonus for ratifying the one-year extension agreement rather than agreeing to a one-dollar raise in their hourly rate. The demand for concrete is seasonal, so it’s especially important that the drivers get an hourly pay raise during the busy season to carry them through the winter, when construction demand drops off significantly.

George Slates is a Local 92 member who spoke to the Herald-Star from the picket line on Saturday.

“We are just here for fair wages,” Slates said. “The price of everything has gone up and it costs more to live.”

The company and the union are expected to meet again for negotiations on August 1.

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

Swire Coca-Cola Workers in Phoenix Ratify First Teamster Contract

(PHOENIX)—Warehouse workers and checkers who work at Swire Coca-Cola have voted to ratify a first-time, three-year agreement. The workers, who are represented by Teamsters Local 104, voted 97 percent in favor of the contract

The workers have shown strength and determination in the 17-month battle for a first-time agreement. When they had their first organizing meeting, the workers at Swire Coca-Cola had been working for four months straight without a day off. The workers also had major safety concerns that were not being addressed by the company.

This is the first Swire Coca-Cola location in the nation to choose Teamster representation after the buyout from Coca-Cola Refreshments.

“Swire took all of the paid time off we had earned and didn’t care what we had done for the company. Some of us have worked here over 30 years and now have to start over,” said Richard Nicosia, a Swire checker. “All we want is what is fair.”

During the past 17 months, Local 104 has filed over 50 unfair labor practice charges against Swire Coca-Cola.

“This was a true ‘David vs. Goliath’ story,” said Local 104 Business Representative Russell Medigovich. “The newest members of Local 104 have fought a long and hard fight, but in the end accepted nothing but the best as a first-time contract.”

“It has been a long fight, but the workers at Swire Coca-Cola showed diligence and true unity,” said Local 104 Vice-President Josh Graves. “They defeated the company’s anti-union campaign not once but twice. This allowed our committee to continue the fight and deliver a great first-time contract with industry-setting language and benefits.”

This first-time agreement secured an 8 percent pay increase over the three-year agreement, an hourly contribution to the company 401(k) plan, a 40-hour guarantee, strike language, safety improvements, seniority language, time-and-one-half on the first sixth day worked and double time on each consecutive day worked after that and strong production standards language.

Teamsters Local 104 Secretary-Treasurer Karla Schumann offered her congratulations.

"Teamsters Local 104 is proud of the workers at Swire Coca-Cola for having the courage and tenacity to stand up and fight tirelessly for improvements and a fair contract. Their efforts, along with their negotiating committee, will prove to be beneficial for all workers for years to come. Great work!"

Teamsters Local 104 represents over 8,000 members in Arizona from airlines to UPS. Follow us on Facebook: Teamsters Local 104.

Retired Teamster Asks Congress to Save Troubled Pension Funds

A Milwaukee man who has been among leaders of a movement to secure government help for troubled pension plans urged members of Congress Wednesday to “think, pray and do what’s right” for retirees threatened with loss of much of their pensions.

Kenneth Stribling, a retired Teamster covered by the Central States Pension Fund, a plan teetering on the brink of insolvency, testified in Washington, D.C., before a joint committee tasked with recommending steps to alleviate the mounting crisis in multi-employer pension plans.

Many of those plans, which cover union workers in fields such as trucking and construction and receive contributions from multiple employers, are on the verge of crashing financially.

And the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. projects its backstop program for multi-employer plans will itself be out of money by 2026.

In 2017, some 1 million Americans were covered by multi-employer plans that the PBGC said were on the road to insolvency and were deemed “critical and declining.”

Chief among those troubled plans is Central States, which covers nearly 400,000 people, including about 23,000 in Wisconsin.

Expected to be insolvent by 2025, Central States has suffered as the deregulation of trucking eroded union clout over the past few decades and the numbers of workers and companies contributing to the fund shrank drastically.

In 1980, with deregulation just beginning, Central States had four working Teamsters for every retiree. Today, the plan pays benefits to five retirees for every worker.

In 2015, Central States proposed to preserve the plan by slashing promised pensions. Many retirees, including Stribling, would have seen their pensions cut by more than 50 percent.

The Treasury Department rejected that proposal in May 2016. But the woes faced by Central States and other multi-employer plans have continued.

To address those problems, Stribling and others have called for passage of legislation introduced late last year and named for Butch Lewis, a former Ohio Teamster leader active in the pension fight. Under the legislation, a new Treasury Department agency would borrow money to finance loans to help distressed pension plans.

Wednesday, Stribling called the Butch Lewis Act “the right solution.”

He told members of the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans of how he was “devastated” when Central States proposed cutting his monthly benefits by 55 percent.

“You have no idea what it’s like to be retired on a fixed income and suddenly be told your monthly check will be cut in half,” Stribling said.

Then, he said, his wife, Beverly, a retired teacher, learned last November that she was terminally ill with pancreatic cancer. She continues to fight the disease.

Like everyone, Stribling said, the Teamster retirees “endure life’s storms – death, illness, physical and mental health challenges. Now we also have the burden of traveling through our golden years with an uncertain financial future, a future that had been promised to us.”

He said the issue is “about fairness – keeping promises to working Americans who did everything right and are simply asking you to preserve what is due us now.”

The joint select committee is to make its recommendations by Nov. 30.

NOW THIS: Pension Fight
These Workers Were Moved to Tears over Their Pensions

Union Plus Scholarship Winners
Five Children of Teamsters Win Money for Education
Five children of Teamster members recently won Union Plus Scholarship awards. Arthur Sawyer won a $750 scholarship; Shaelyn R. Marx, Austin B. Maxwell, Ashley L. McMahan and Aidan P. Morrison each won $500 scholarships.

Since 1991, the Union Plus Scholarship Program has awarded more than $4.3 million to students of working families who want to begin or continue their post-secondary education.
Over 2,900 families have benefited from our commitment to higher education. The Union Plus Scholarship Program is offered through the Union Plus Education Foundation, supported in part by contributions from the provider of the Union Plus Credit Card. (You do not need to be a Union Plus Credit Card holder to apply for this scholarship.)

The students selected for university, college, trade or technical school scholarships represent a wide sampling of backgrounds, union affiliations, goals and accomplishments. The selection process is very competitive—Union Plus receives more than 5,000 applications each year.

For more information on the scholarship, including who is eligible, evaluation criteria, application dates and more, visit the Union Plus Education Foundation.

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