Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Teamsters Weekly Updates, Ending November 30, 2018

Workers at Durham School Services in Wattsburg, PA Join Teamsters Local 397
“Congratulations to our newest members,” Local 397 President Steve Getz said. “We are thrilled that they have chosen to form their union with the Teamsters and we look forward to beginning the process of negotiating the first union contract at this yard.”

Teamsters and Anheuser Busch Joint Statement, November 29, 2018
Anheuser-Busch and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters continued national bargaining this week and focused on economic issues. Our discussions were productive and we are pleased with our progress this week.  We plan to continue our focus on economic issues when negotiations resume on December 10.

After Devastating Wildfires, California Teamsters are in Desperate Need. Here’s What You Can Do to Help
The 2018 wildfire season is the most destructive wildfire season on record in the history of California. More than 7,500 fires have destroyed over 2,600 square miles of land – an area more than five times the size of Los Angeles. Most (not all) of the fires have been contained at this time, but people in the affected areas are only beginning to get acclimated to life in the aftermath of the disaster.

California Port Truck Drivers Request Investigation of Employer for Violating LA Minimum Wage Law
Port truck drivers employed by NFI Industries subsidiary California Cartage Transportation Express, commonly known as “Cal Cartage Express,” today filed minimum wage violation claims with the City of Los Angeles Office of Wage Standards. These claims allege that Cal Cartage Express – a trucking company with approximately 100 drivers within the NFI/Cal Cartage group of companies that together comprise the largest trucking operation at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach – violates Los Angeles’ minimum wage laws by failing to pay the LA minimum wage and failing to provide paid sick leave days. The company is currently operating without a permit or lease on City/Port property in Wilmington, Calif., following the LA City Council’s revocation of the permit over serious concerns of labor violations and resulting labor disruptions.

Should Pharma Execs Pay for the Opioid Crisis?
Cardinal Health’s shareholders — or at least some of them — want the pharmaceutical distributor’s executives to be held accountable for legal and compliance risks.

NY Times Podcast: The Human Toll of Instant Delivery
With the rise of online retailers like Amazon, consumers’ expectations about the speed of delivery have been transformed.

Teamsters Win New Contract at Action Carting
Today Teamsters Local 813 announced a new contract for sanitation workers at Action Carting, who collect commercial trash in New York City. The contract caps months of negotiations and ensures good jobs for Teamsters members at Action Carting in a private sanitation industry under increasing scrutiny for dangerous conditions and low wages.

Costco Bargaining Update
The Union has met with Costco Company on five (5) occasions thus far during these negotiations. We continue to work on language issues which, as always, are very time consuming. We are scheduled to reconvene negotiations on December 11, 2018. Further updates will be forthcoming.

Teamsters Reach Tentative Agreement with URS Federal Services, Inc.
Teamsters
Teamsters Local 631 has reached a tentative agreement covering pilots who work for the URS Federal Services, Inc., a company that provides services for the U.S. Federal Government. The agreement will go to the membership for a ratification vote on December 15.

Senators Ask Verizon and XPO About Pregnancy Discrimination
New York Times
Nine senators, led by Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, wrote letters to the chief executives of Verizon and XPO Logistics demanding that the companies account for the conditions in a Memphis warehouse where several women suffered miscarriages.

In Ohio, Another Effort to Institute RTW
Teamsters
Some lawmakers in Ohio were up to their old tricks again last week when a hearing was held to discuss a so-called right-to-work (RTW) bill. But the Teamsters and other unions showed up and made it clear that the Buckeye State doesn’t need any more laws that infringe on the rights of workers.
 

 

Workers at Durham School Services in Wattsburg, PA Join Teamsters Local 397 Durham Workers Join Growing Movement of Support for Teamsters Union –
(ERIE, Pa.) – Drivers at Durham School Services in Wattsburg, Pa. have voted overwhelmingly to join Teamsters Local 397.
“Congratulations to our newest members,” Local 397 President Steve Getz said. “We are thrilled that they have chosen to form their union with the Teamsters and we look forward to beginning the process of negotiating the first union contract at this yard.”
Lisa Larson is a driver at the Wattsburg yard. She said that the election brought her and her fellow drivers closer together.
“I’m so happy to be a Teamster,” Larson said. “I feel that this is going to be a good thing for us.”
The workers are part of a growing movement of drivers and monitors at Durham School Services who are organizing with the union because of the representation and benefits that come with a Teamster contract. Durham workers in Wright City, Mo.; Carson, Calif.; Ann Arbor, Mich. and Chattanooga, Tenn. have all voted to join the Teamsters Union within the past year.

Teamsters and Anheuser Busch Joint Statement, November 29, 2018
Anheuser-Busch and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters continued national bargaining this week and focused on economic issues. Our discussions were productive and we are pleased with our progress this week.  We plan to continue our focus on economic issues when negotiations resume on December 10.

After Devastating Wildfires, California Teamsters are in Desperate Need. Here’s What You Can Do to Help
The 2018 wildfire season is the most destructive wildfire season on record in the history of California. More than 7,500 fires have destroyed over 2,600 square miles of land – an area more than five times the size of Los Angeles. Most (not all) of the fires have been contained at this time, but people in the affected areas are only beginning to get acclimated to life in the aftermath of the disaster.
Roughly 2,000 Teamsters that are under the jurisdiction of Joint Council 7 live in the affected areas. Reports that have been received so far indicate that over 100 members have lost their homes and many more are among the 52,000 displaced who don’t yet know if they have a home they can return to. The entire town of Paradise, home to many Teamster members, was destroyed in the inferno.
The recovery process will be long and arduous, and our members are in great need of donations to assist them through this difficult time. Any assistance that can be provided will go a long way towards getting our membership back to some level of normalcy following the blaze.
Donations can be made online to the Teamsters Disasters Relief Fund at http://tdr.teamster.org/. They can also be mailed to: IBT Disaster Relief Fund 25 Louisiana Avenue NW Washington, D.C. 20001
The charity fund is a 501(c)3. Donations are tax deductible.

California Port Truck Drivers Request Investigation of Employer for Violating LA Minimum Wage Law
(LOS ANGELES) – Port truck drivers employed by NFI Industries subsidiary California Cartage Transportation Express, commonly known as “Cal Cartage Express,” today filed minimum wage violation claims with the City of Los Angeles Office of Wage Standards. These claims allege that Cal Cartage Express – a trucking company with approximately 100 drivers within the NFI/Cal Cartage group of companies that together comprise the largest trucking operation at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach – violates Los Angeles’ minimum wage laws by failing to pay the LA minimum wage and failing to provide paid sick leave days. The company is currently operating without a permit or lease on City/Port property in Wilmington, Calif., following the LA City Council’s revocation of the permit over serious concerns of labor violations and resulting labor disruptions.
The claims filed allege that NFI/Cal Cartage Express, on average, fails to pay drivers at least one hour a day, every day. This is the result of their misclassification by their employer as “independent contractors” and a piece-rate payment system that fails to compensate workers for required duties done outside of the piece-rate movement. Such duties include conducting daily inspections, cleaning, repairing, painting containers, completing paperwork and filling up gas tanks – all duties for which they are not compensated. Additionally, the company does not provide any paid sick days to its drivers. For these reasons, NFI/Cal Cartage Express drivers are requesting that the Los Angeles Office of Wage Standards conduct a company-wide investigation to ensure that the approximately 100 port drivers employed by the company are being properly paid for their work as required by the city’s laws.
“I have worked exclusively for Cal Cartage Express for the last 10 years, driving 300 miles a day, 6 days a week, hauling containerized borax for the company’s biggest customer, Rio Tinto, from Boron, California, to the ports. Every day, Cal Cartage directs me to perform work on the property that they lease from the port and they refuse to pay me for my time. That’s wage theft and it’s a violation of city law. I’m sick and tired of it, so today I filed a claim with the City of LA to make sure I get what I have earned,” said Jesus Maldonado, a misclassified port truck driver for NFI’s Cal Cartage Express.
“Sitting in a truck for long hours – more than 300 miles a day for the last 13 years hauling borax for the company’s biggest customer, Rio Tinto – led to painful kidney stones. Not only did NFI/Cal Cartage refuse to give me any sick leave, but because they don’t provide health insurance I had to go to El Salvador for surgery. No one working at the Port of LA, particularly on City of LA property, should have to endure what my family and I did – it’s wrong, and it’s illegal. That’s why I’ve filed a claim with the City of LA to make sure that no other drivers have to go through what I went through,” said Jose Garcia, a misclassified port truck driver for NFI’s Cal Cartage Express.
NFI Industries’ port trucking subsidiaries, which despite being prominently featured in an explosive USA Today series for cheating drivers, was acquired by NFI in 2017. The new owner, NFI, continues to face multiple claims in the courts and government agencies for misclassifying port truck drivers as “independent contractors.”  The continued violations have led to repeated labor disruptions at both the trucking and warehousing operations, which recently led the Los Angeles City Council to revoke NFI/Cal Cartage’s lease. For example:
Agencies, including the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) and the California Employment Development Department (EDD), have determined that NFI’s port truck drivers are in fact employees. At NFI/Cal Cartage Express alone, there are currently 14 pending claims at the DLSE for $5.2 million in wage theft violations.
In January 2018, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer sued three of the five NFI/Cal Cartage trucking companies, K&R, CMI, and Cal Cartage Express, for violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law by evading paying taxes and misclassifying port truck drivers as independent contractors.
In NFI’s warehouse division, NFI/Cal Cartage has also faced scrutiny from government agencies:
In 2018 the US Department of Labor (DOL) fined a Cal Cartage warehouse in Carson $3.5 million for failure to pay federal prevailing wages.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued an administrative law judge decision against the NFI/Cal Cartage warehouse in Wilmington.
California’s health and safety agency, Cal/OSHA, has repeatedly cited the warehouse for health and safety violations.
Nevertheless, the company is still operating on port property without a lease.

Should Pharma Execs Pay for the Opioid Crisis?
Cardinal Health’s shareholders — or at least some of them — want the pharmaceutical distributor’s executives to be held accountable for legal and compliance risks.
Through a shareholder proposal, which was taken up for a vote earlier this month, investors faced the question of whether they should adopt a policy that would “not exclude legal and compliance costs for purposes of determining executive compensation” in the payments, which ranged from around $3 million to $13 million last year.
The vote failed, with roughly 17% of shareholders in favor of the measure. However, shareholder advocacy nonprofit As You Sow’s program manager, Rosanna Landis Weaver, points out, “this is a reasonably good showing for a first-time proposal.”
The proposal is opening up questions about how executives should be incentivized — and held accountable when the company comes under fire.
“The only way to effect change in a major corporation is to affect their bottom line,” International Brotherhood of Teamsters general secretary Ken Hall tells Agenda. The proposal was co-filed by the union and Rhode Island state treasurer Seth Magaziner on behalf of the state employees’ retirement system.
“Why should the shareholders of the company bear the brunt of the losses? Why do the leaders of the company suffer no loss? If their top officers understand their pay is going to be affected, they’re going to do something about it,” says Hall.
Hall points to pharmaceutical wholesaler McKesson as another example of where executive pay should be linked to risks taken on by the company. In 2017, McKesson settled with the Drug Enforcement Agency for $150 million after failing to report suspicious orders; it had been fined $13.5 million for similar reasons a decade earlier.
The Teamsters’ Hall continues, “Why should all the money being spent be excluded from the calculation of what a CEO and other top officers are paid? If this was another industry where the company shows losses for whatever reason, they would [dock pay] — but not at these big drug companies.”
Cardinal Board Responds
In Cardinal’s annual proxy statement, the board urged shareholders to vote against the proposal, arguing that it did not account for whether the company prevailed in litigation and went on to say “this type of broad and indiscriminate restriction reflects an inappropriate standard that could apply far beyond its stated objective of preventing senior executives from being ‘insulated from legal risks.’”
Cardinal Health’s board of directors doesn’t find the proposal to be “an appropriate response to the opioid crisis facing our country,” the proxy states.
“Our Board and the entire Cardinal Health team care deeply about the devastation opioid abuse is inflicting on our families and communities. We are working to help solve this complex national public health crisis. We understand and take seriously our responsibility to maintain a rigorous anti-diversion program, while ensuring that medications are available for patients who need them.”
In the proxy, the board points to its formation of an ad hoc committee of independent directors earlier this year for the purpose of assisting the board in its oversight of opioid issues. The committee is tasked with “engaging with executives and management regarding our response to the nationwide problem of prescription opioid abuse, and provide advice, regular reports and recommendations to the Board in connection with those issues.”
McKesson’s Trimmings
Despite the loss, the Teamsters say they are proud of the progress the union has made so far, with Carin Zelenko, director of its capital strategies department, recalling a conversation at Cardinal Health’s November shareholders meeting. “I know from talking to the chairman and CEO at the meeting this is an issue they’re discussing at the board level,” she says. “At this point they’re not prepared to adopt it, but I think they know they have a problem here.”
A spokesperson for Cardinal declined to comment for this article.
Last year, at distributor McKesson, the union felt it scored some victories, although the effects were not immediate. After the Teamsters asked the pharma giant to separate the CEO and chairman roles, longtime CEO John Hammergren ended up announcing his retirement in 2019, a win for shareholders, according to Hall. When he was replaced, the roles were split. In 2018, McKesson states in its proxy how it has reinforced and codified its policy to include legal and compliance costs as a factor in executive comp, and cut Hammergren’s long-term incentive plan payment this year by nearly $2 million.
...As You Sow's Landis Weaver says that now there is often an overreliance on performance pay. In fact, she thinks that comp committees at big pharma companies should rethink how they reward performance.
“You need to be really careful about what metrics are chosen and how metrics are used. Was their pay structured so that they were encouraged to turn a blind eye to the larger social costs of what they were doing? They were focused on a short-term push,” she says, comparing the incentivized executive pay to “almost like a high.”
The more profits the company sees from drug sales, the more leadership is paid.
“You get a short-term high but then you get addicted,” she says. “It’s not the way to run a business.”
This article by Stephanie Forshee originally appeared in the Financial Times'

NY Times Podcast: The Human Toll of Instant Delivery
The Human Toll of Instant Delivery” was produced by Clare Toeniskoetter with help from Michael Simon Johnson, and edited by Paige Cowett and Lisa Tobin.
“The Daily” is produced by Theo Balcomb, Annie Brown, Jessica Cheung, Lynsea Garrison, Michael Simon Johnson, Andy Mills, Neena Pathak, Rachel Quester, Ike Sriskandarajah, Clare Toeniskoetter and Alexandra Leigh Young, and edited by Larissa Anderson, Paige Cowett and Wendy Dorr. Lisa Tobin is our executive producer. Samantha Henig is our editorial director. Brad Fisher is our technical manager. Chris Wood is our sound engineer. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly.

Teamsters Win New Contract at Action Carting
Sanitation workers will have two new holidays – including MLK Day – in addition to higher wages, lower healthcare costs, and a shorter workweek
Today, Teamsters Local 813 announced a new contract for sanitation workers at Action Carting, who collect commercial trash in New York City. The contract caps months of negotiations and ensures good jobs for Teamsters members at Action Carting in a private sanitation industry under increasing scrutiny for dangerous conditions and low wages.
“We stood together and demanded a fair contract – and we got it,” said Jamel McLean, a sanitation worker at Action Carting. “For too many years, private sanitation workers in this city have been going backward with low wages and unsafe jobs. With a strong union like the Teamsters, you can get the fair treatment you deserve.”
Over the life of the four-year agreement, wages will rise 13-25%, with the greatest raises coming to the lowest paid positions. Workers will also gain Martin Luther King Day and Veterans Day as paid holidays. The addition of MLK Day was particularly important to the workers, as this year is the 50th anniversary of the civil rights leader’s assassination while supporting striking Memphis sanitation workers.
“The vast majority of this industry’s workforce is black and Latino and we know that we are part of a long history of sanitation workers fighting for racial and economic justice,” said Sean T. Campbell, President of Teamsters Local 813. “I thank Action Carting for bargaining in good faith. This agreement is the next step toward raising standards in this industry.”
The contract will also reduce workers’ healthcare premiums and increase the company’s weekly contribution to their retirement. Workers will receive additional safety equipment. The company and the union have also committed to work together to make a five-day work week available for the workers who want it. Mandatory six-day workweeks have become commonplace in New York City’s private sanitation industry.
“These Teamsters won big wage increases, cheaper health care, and new holidays. That’s not happening for most workers, union or not,” said George Miranda, President of Teamsters Joint Council 16, which represents 120,000 workers in Downstate New York, including Local 813. “It’s a tribute to the solidarity of the Teamster members at Action to fight for the contract they deserve.”
Recent media reports and government investigations have found abusive working conditions at many of New York City’s waste haulers. What was a middle-class job a generation ago is now often low-paying and exploitative. In addition to six-day workweeks, many companies require shifts of over 12 hours per night.
“The workers who collect our trash every night have been underpaid and mistreated for too long,” said City Council Sanitation Committee Chair Antonio Reynoso. “They and their families deserve fair wages and safe jobs. The Teamsters are leading the fight to get justice for private sanitation workers and I am proud to partner with them to reform and elevate working standards in this industry.”
Mayor de Blasio and the Department of Sanitation recently announced a commercial waste zone policy that will transform the industry by mandating higher working standards and cutting truck traffic. The Teamsters are part of the Transform Don’t Trash NYC coalition, which is campaigning for the strongest commercial waste zone possible, with wage standards and one carter per zone.
“This contract is a big step, but we are committed to bringing good jobs to every private sanitation worker in this industry,” said Campbell. “I urge workers who want to fight for better jobs for themselves and their families to contact Teamsters Local 813.”

Costco Bargaining Update
Teamsters Committee, Company Have Met Five Times So Far In Negotiations
Your National Negotiating Committee has concluded five sessions with Costco Corp. in negotiations.  We continue to work on language issues which are time consuming. We are scheduled to reconvene negotiations on December 11 and 12, 2018. Further updates will be forthcoming. Thank you.

Teamsters Reach Tentative Agreement with URS Federal Services, Inc. Agreement Covering Pilots is One of a Kind.
(LAS VEGAS) – Teamsters Local 631 has reached a tentative agreement covering pilots who work for the URS Federal Services, Inc., a company that provides services for the U.S. Federal Government. The agreement will go to the membership for a ratification vote on December 15.
“Congratulations to everyone who worked hard to reach this tentative agreement,” IBT Airline Division Capt. David Bourne said. “Contracts like this are why more and more workers across the airline industry are choosing to affiliate with the Teamsters.”
“We were able to reach this agreement in record time thanks to everyone’s hard work at the bargaining table” Local 631 Secretary-Treasurer Tommy Blitsch said. “I’d especially like to thank business agents Darrin Bradburn and Ashley Smith as well as the pilot members of the bargaining committee for their hard work on this contract.”
The contract is one of a kind in that the pilots fall under the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) rather than the Railway Labor Act (RLA), which covers almost every other union member in the airline industry. The agreement comes with substantial wage and benefit increases, work rules, license protections, a grievance procedure and a number of other benefits that are at or above the average standards for airline contracts negotiated under the RLA.

Senators Ask Verizon and XPO about Pregnancy Discrimination
Nine senators, led by Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, wrote letters to the chief executives of Verizon and XPO Logistics demanding that the companies account for the conditions in a Memphis warehouse where several women suffered miscarriages.
The senators’ inquiry was spurred by a New York Times investigation last month that revealed that six women had lost their pregnancies after being denied breaks from heavy lifting at the warehouse. The facility is operated by XPO Logistics and handles cellphones, tablets and other gadgets that Verizon ships to customers on the East Coast.
“In light of this latest disturbing report that chronicles XPO turning a blind eye to pregnant workers, we urge XPO to re-evaluate its priorities with its work force and make immediate changes to its current, allegedly deleterious workplace practices,” the senators wrote to XPO’s chief executive, Bradley Jacobs.
In a letter to Verizon’s chief executive, Hans Vestberg, the senators urged the telecommunications giant to push XPO to change its practices.
The letters ask both companies whether they have policies about providing accommodations for pregnant workers and whether they train their managers to deal with requests for job adjustments from expecting mothers. The senators — eight Democrats and an independent, Bernie Sanders of Vermont — also asked whether Verizon had initiated an investigation into the XPO warehouses that handle its products.
The senators asked the companies to respond to their questions by Dec. 4.
Representatives of XPO and Verizon didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
In last month’s Times article, a Verizon spokesman said the company was “deeply troubled” by the issues raised by The Times and said it would open an investigation. An XPO spokeswoman said at the time that workers’ allegations about their treatment at the warehouse “are unsubstantiated, filled with inaccuracies and do not reflect the way in which our Memphis facility operates.”
This story originally appeared in the November 21, 2018 print edition of the New York Times.

In Ohio, Another Effort to Institute RTW
Some lawmakers in Ohio were up to their old tricks again last week when a hearing was held to discuss a so-called right-to-work (RTW) bill. But the Teamsters and other unions showed up and made it clear that the Buckeye State doesn’t need any more laws that infringe on the rights of workers.
While state Rep. John Becker (R) tried to peddle to the public that the legislation, known as HB 53, would only enshrine into state law the recent “Janus v. AFSCME” decision handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court in June, labor and pro-worker allies weren’t having any of it. Ohio, they noted, rejected RTW in a 2011 referendum vote, and there was no reason to consider the issue again.
“Right to work bills like HB 53 are big government interfering with public sector unions,” said Tim Price, Chairman of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen’s Ohio State Legislative Board. “The public sector should be able to make agreements with the employees that best suit their business model.”
Democrats on the House Finance Committee also pushed back on the bill, saying Becker was not being forthcoming on the true ramifications of the legislation. Hannah Halbert, a researcher for Policy Matters Ohio, echoed that point.
“Rep. Becker says that HB 53 will only codify a Supreme Court decision that eliminated fair share fees,” she said in a tweet. “This is absolutely untrue.”
Among other things, the legislation would make “an appropriation to be used by the State Employment Relations Board to pay the costs of developing, producing, and distributing written information explaining a public employee's rights and options under the Public Employees Collective Bargaining Law.”
What that means is taxpayers would be doling out scarce public dollars to enforce union busting. That’s not a good use of precious funds and certainly goes beyond anything spelled out under “Janus”.
Efforts to impose RTW in Ohio have popped up several times in recent years, but thankfully haven’t gone anywhere. And it appears this latest attempt won’t either. Current Gov. John Kasich and incoming Gov. Mike DeWine said they don’t support such efforts, given voters’ rejection of the ballot measure seven years ago.
That said, unions must remain vigilant in fighting against such anti-union measures. Workers in RTW states have lower wages, higher poverty, less access to health care and poorer education for their children.
When will corporate crony lawmakers learn? You’d think the stinging rebuke issued by Missouri voters in August, when they defeated a no-rights-at-work ballot measure by a more than two-to-one vote, would have sent a message.
RTW is a ruse. Workers mustn’t let elected officials forget it.

Sign Up For Action Alerts

Mobile alerts from Teamsters. Periodic messages. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to 86466 to stop receiving messages. Text HELP to 86466 for more information.Terms & Conditions