Teamsters

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Teamsters Weekly Updates, Ending November 9, 2018

UPS Freight Contract Call - Nov. 11: Join an important call to discuss the UPS Freight vote results and the next steps.

Big Wins for Teamsters in Election Day Results: Election Day came in like a lion this Tuesday, and for those who support pro-worker candidates, it left like one too.

Hoffa: Election Results Are a Victory for the Concerns of Working Families: Across the Nation, Winning Candidates Sided with Teamsters on the Issues: The following is a statement from Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa about last night’s election results, where pro-worker candidates – including Teamster members themselves – prevailed in key races.

The Rules of the Economy Are Taking a Tragic Toll on Women and Their Pregnancies: Recently, The New York Times published a report about women who, while working in physically demanding jobs, lost their pregnancies after requests for less-strenuous assignments were denied. The profile is a tragic example of the steep toll levied on women, and particularly women of color, who face economic and social rules that are rigged against them—rules that ultimately prioritize profit over life.

Hoffa: Congress Has No Time to Delay Pension Fix: Election season is officially over. The bickering and back-biting of candidates will no longer fill the airwaves. For many of us, that brings a sense of relief.

Tucson Teamsters Give Voters Free Rides to the Polls: The City of Tucson will offer free transit fares all day on Tuesday, November 6th, to make it easier for citizens to vote on Election Day. Drivers for Sun Tran, Sun Link and Sun Van are represented by Teamsters Local 104.

Teamsters Local 118 Calls on Wayne County to Negotiate Fair Sheriffs Agreement: Wayne county Prematurely Seeks Mediation Help to Shortchange Deputy Unit: After participating in a mere two meetings, Wayne County is declaring impasse with respect to reaching a new labor agreement with the 60 road deputies, sergeants and investigators. Wayne County is controlled by a Board of Supervisors representing each of the townships within the county.

Longtime McKesson CEO to Step Down: McKesson Corp. MCK -0.10% said its longtime Chairman and Chief Executive John H. Hammergren will retire next year, capping a 17-year reign in which he helped build one of the country’s largest pharmaceutical wholesalers despite weathering shareholder criticism over his compensation and handling of the opioid crisis..
 

NEWS ARTICLES

UPS Freight Contract Call - Nov. 11: Join an important call to discuss the UPS Freight vote results and the next steps. To be connected to the call on Nov. 11 at 9pm Eastern: 866-767-0669. Click here for a PDF of this update. Download and sign up for the UPS Rising mobile app here to find the current UPS contract, along with all the UPS contract updates and other news. Visit the UPS Rising Facebook page where members can see the latest updates. Text “UPS” to 86466 to receive text message alerts (message and data rates may apply).

Big Wins for Teamsters in Election Day Results: Election Day came in like a lion this Tuesday, and for those who support pro-worker candidates, it left like one too.
The victory column filled up with candidates backed by the Teamsters. In Wisconsin and Illinois, for example, Tony Evers and J.B. Pritzker defeated two mortal enemies to the labor movement – Govs. Scott Walker and Bruce Rauner. Combine that with big victories by numerous female candidates such as Gretchen Whitmer running for governor in Michigan; Jacky Rosen running for U.S. Senate in Nevada; and Minnesota’s two U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, and it was a very good day.
“From coast-to-coast, a historic number of hardworking Americans showed up and had their voices heard at the polls,” Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said.  “And taken together, they made it clear that the status quo that has favored the powerful in government is no longer acceptable.”
Of course, there was still plenty of more winning to be had. Democrats will now hold the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, assuring that unions will get a check on any legislation that tries to tamp down on workers’ rights.
Not only did Teamster-backed candidates prevail at the top of the ticket, but it trickled down to the statehouse level as well. Democrats flipped the Colorado Senate, Maine Senate, Minnesota House, New Hampshire House, New Hampshire Senate and New York Senate yesterday and now have full control of government in Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Nevada, New Mexico and New York because of it.
Teamsters, however, also delivered. At least four will be heading to their state Capitols in the coming months. Former Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Division 391 President Jeff Kurtz, for instance, won his Iowa District 83 seat, and pledges to stand up against the state’s decision to curb collective bargaining in the state. “We stagnating raises, it makes no sense to curtail the bargaining power of unions,” he said.
In Nevada, Susan Martinez, a 30-year employee at the Flamingo Hotel and a shop steward for Local 986, won the House District 12 seat by a comfortable 11 percent margin. Her top priorities during the campaign were improving the educational system and repealing the state’s right-to-work law. “I want to encourage people and businesses here to have respect for labor unions and their contracts,” she said.
Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, two Teamsters prevailed in their statehouse races. Dave Delloso, principal officer of Local 312 in Chester, won the District 162 seat by four percentage points, while Steve Malagari, a Local 830 member who is employed at Gretz Beer and is a member of the Lansdale Borough Council, won his District 53 seat by three percentage points.
“I want to go to Harrisburg and represent a class of people that are tired of being forsaken,” Delloso said. Malagari said, “I am opposed to right-to-work legislation in Pennsylvania.”
They weren’t the only Teamster victors, however. At least five other union members won local races, including Luis Arroyo Jr. for Cook County (Ill.) Board of Commissioners; Roger Parsons for at-large commissioner for Swain County, N.C.; Lori Frugoli for Marin County (Calif.) District Attorney; Demnlus Johnson II for Richmond (Calif.) City Council; and Esther Lemus for Windsor (Calif.) Town Council.

Hoffa: Election Results Are a Victory for the Concerns of Working Families: Across the Nation, Winning Candidates Sided with Teamsters on the Issues: (WASHINGTON) – The following is a statement from Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa about last night’s election results, where pro-worker candidates – including Teamster members themselves – prevailed in key races.
“From coast-to-coast, a historic number of hardworking Americans showed up and had their voices heard at the polls yesterday. And taken together, they made it clear that the status quo that has favored the powerful in government is no longer acceptable.
“Whether it was the defeat of virulent anti-union GOP governors like Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Illinois’ Bruce Rauner; the onslaught of inspiring victories by women candidates such as Gretchen Whitmer for governor of Michigan or Jacky Rosen for U.S. Senate in Nevada; or the retaking of the House of Representatives by Democrats, Americans have sent a message that lawmakers haven’t been standing up for them. That has to change.
“Not only did Teamster-backed candidates prevail at the top of the ticket, but it trickled down to the statehouse level as well. Democrats flipped the Colorado Senate, Maine Senate, Minnesota House, New Hampshire House, New Hampshire Senate and New York Senate yesterday and now have full control of government in Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Nevada, New Mexico and New York because of it.
“Our own members helped lead the way, with key victories by Teamsters like Jeff Kurtz in the Iowa House; Susan Martinez in the Nevada House; and David Delloso and Steve Malagari in the Pennsylvania House, among others.
“Too many elected officials have chosen to attack unions in recent years. But that’s going to stop right now. Workers first proved in Missouri last August that terrible laws like so-called right to work can’t be shoved through by elected officials against the will of the people. Yesterday’s vote reinforces that position.
“Hundreds of Teamsters mobilized across the country to get these new union-endorsed lawmakers elected. Now, the Teamsters stand ready to help chart a new course for this nation, one that prioritizes workers by advocating for better pay, respect on the job and a secure retirement. Let’s get to work!”

The Rules of the Economy Are Taking a Tragic Toll on Women and their Pregnancies: Recently, The New York Times published a report about women who, while working in physically demanding jobs, lost their pregnancies after requests for less-strenuous assignments were denied. The profile is a tragic example of the steep toll levied on women, and particularly women of color, who face economic and social rules that are rigged against them—rules that ultimately prioritize profit over life.
The Times investigated the stories of workers at XPO Logistics, a Verizon-contracted warehouse near Tennessee’s border with Mississippi, piecing together the picture of a cruel and punishing work environment. In one case, a 23-year-old woman, whose proactive requests for a lighter workload upon learning that she was pregnant were denied, miscarried after eight hours of heavy lifting. She was in the second trimester of her first pregnancy.
For many American workers and families, the experiences of the women in this story are not uncommon. In fact, the Times investigation is a stark demonstration of the collision of three dangerous trends in our economy that threaten women.
First, we’ve seen a decades-long decline in workers’ voice and agency resulting from the rapid erosion of unionization and labor rights. The workers at the Tennessee XPO warehouse are—despite efforts to unionize—part of the growing majority of employees in the United States who lack union representation. Over the past 40 years, union membership has plummeted from 20.1 percent of workers in 1983 to just 10.7 percent in 2017. This decline wasn’t inevitable. It was driven by a broken labor law system that ignores entire sectors of the economy and by harmful corporate ideology, behavior, and practices that put the interests of shareholders above all others.
Unions remain a key foothold for worker power in our economy and society, securing higher and more equitable pay, more generous benefits, safer conditions and more predictable schedules. Historically, union jobs helped pave the way to the middle class for millions of people, especially for women and people of color. However, union power today is vastly overshadowed by the outsized influence that corporations and wealthy individuals wield in politics and policymaking.
The decreasing power and protection of workers is even more harmful when combined with the second trend of the 21st century economy: unchecked employer influence in the labor market. Known as monopsony among academics, this trend occurs when fewer and fewer companies within and across labor markets mean that employers unilaterally set the terms of employment, including working conditions.
What did this mean for women at XPO? It meant they were not only stripped of their voice at the workplace, but, that even when faced with threats to their pregnancies and overall health, they stayed in their jobs because they needed a paycheck and had a hard time imagining where another one might come from.
The economic trends of de-unionization and outsized employer power are set against the backdrop of a cultural disdain for women. Conservatives are relentlessly threatening the health and economic security of women and their families: attacks on reproductive health and rights, on the Affordable Care Act, and on the safety net, just to name a few. They quickly extinguished their feigned deficit hatred to pass a $1.5 trillion tax package designed to line the pockets of those at the top. But they continue to scoff at paid sick and family leave, affordable childcare and education, universal health care and pregnancy protections for all workers—policies that would raise the floor of wellbeing for all families. This economic system—one built by and for white men—contributes to the toxic stress that generates a U.S. maternal mortality rate that is the highest in the developed world, with black women dying from pregnancy-related causes at a rate 3 to 4 times that of white women.
The Times pulls back the curtain on an economy that has been structured to empower and enrich the few at the expense of the majority and that disregards the value and dignity of women in particular. As we approach the midterms and continue full speed ahead to 2020, progressives must recognize that gender inequality and economic inequality are two sides of the same coin. It’s high time for lawmakers to rewrite the rules so that carrying a pregnancy to term—and raising a healthy, economically secure family–does not depend on the humanity or generosity of an employer. Those features are apparently in short supply. We must do better—for the lives of women, their families, and the benefit of all of us.

Hoffa: Congress Has No Time to Delay Pension Fix: Election season is officially over. The bickering and back-biting of candidates will no longer fill the airwaves. For many of us, that brings a sense of relief.
For members of Congress, it is time to get back to work. A top priority must be handling pension reform, which a joint committee was tasked with finding a solution for before Nov. 30. There is not a moment to waste.
The bipartisan House-Senate Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans was created earlier this year and ordered to work on a fix to the looming pension crisis. But so far, despite hearings and rallies around the country, there is little to show for their efforts.
Workers and retirees are rightfully concerned about their future. Many worked for 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.
The Teamsters want to remind lawmakers they need to get down to business. So next week, upwards of 150 members from Michigan and elsewhere will head to Capitol Hill to lobby their elected officials to support legislation that would provide a lifeline for faltering multiemployer pensions.
As it stands, there are more than 300 multiemployer plans across the country — including the Teamsters’ Central States Pension Fund — that are in danger of failing.  The issue has real implications here in Michigan, where some 43,000 residents could be devastated by pension failures.
The Teamsters are fighting for a legislative solution and working with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. The union supports the passage of the Butch Lewis Act of 2017 (BLA) which was introduced in Congress in November 2017 by Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts and has received bipartisan support.
The BLA would boost financially-troubled multiemployer pensions so they don’t fail. It would create an agency, the Pension Rehabilitation Administration, under the Treasury Department that would sell bonds in the open market to large investors such as financial firms.
Opponents of the bill have attempted to poke holes in it by saying it would cost too much. Some had estimated the 10-year cost would be upwards of $100 billion. However, the Congressional Budget Office in September put the decade-long cost at $34 billion instead. The Teamsters’ own evaluation of the bill places the cost at $30.1 billion.
While that might seem a lot, the cost would be far less than if the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), which serves as a backstop for pensions if they go bust, needed to pay out to retirees. In that case, the PBGC would have to pay $58.3 billion over 10 years. It would also result in $7.9 billion in lost federal tax revenue, as well as $137 billion in lost economic activity to cities and towns during the same time.
And if the PBGC were to go bankrupt, as many believe it would if multiple pensions failed? The costs to taxpayers would be far, far worse. The nation’s social safety net would be strained, with hundreds of thousands seeking food stamps, utility subsidies, and for those with dependents, even Medicaid assistance.
There is no more time for delay. Congress, please take action on pension reform now!

Tucson Teamsters Give Voters Free Rides to the Polls: TUCSON, Ariz. – The City of Tucson will offer free transit fares all day on Tuesday, November 6th, to make it easier for citizens to vote on Election Day. Drivers for Sun Tran, Sun Link and Sun Van are represented by Teamsters Local 104.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for voters to get to the polls,” said Mayor Jonathan Rothschild. “The right to vote is so important, and we want to ensure that everyone who’s eligible to vote has the opportunity to vote.”
I think it’s great that the city is willing to give people free rides to exercise their civic duty,” Teamsters Local 104 Business Agent Kevin Hampton said. “Our members are happy to participate in this program and we are grateful for their service.”
Everyone is welcome to ride Sun Tran, Sun Express, and the Sun Link streetcar for free. For Sun Van paratransit passengers, rides will also be free. Sun Shuttle and Sun Shuttle Dial-a-Ride are not participating in the Free-Ride Day, so those riders will pay the regular fare.
To find their polling place, registered voters can visit the Pima County Elections Department website. The polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Passengers are encouraged to plan their route before Election Day.

Teamsters Local 118 Calls on Wayne County to Negotiate Fair Sheriffs Agreement: Wayne County Prematurely Seeks Mediation Help to Shortchange Deputy Unit: (ROCHESTER, N.Y.) – After participating in a mere two meetings, Wayne County is declaring impasse with respect to reaching a new labor agreement with the 60 road deputies, sergeants and investigators. Wayne County is controlled by a Board of Supervisors representing each of the townships within the county.
Despite clear and convincing evidence that the deputy unit is substantially undercompensated and grossly overworked, the Wayne County employer negotiating committee continues to balk at union proposals that fairly address economic inequities that have resulted in recruitment, retention and public safety concerns.    
“We firmly believe that the county would rather roll the dice at arbitration in order to shortchange the deputy unit than do the right thing and negotiate a fair contract that the deputies deserve. We also take exception with the county’s lead negotiator seeking off the record proposals and counter proposals that imply to us that the County Board of Supervisors are oblivious to the crisis situation that exists within the sheriffs’ department,” said  Teamsters Local 118 Lead Negotiator Chris Toole.    
Local 118 represents approximately 4,300 members throughout the greater Rochester area. Follow us on Facebook at Friends of Teamsters Local 118, on Twitter @Teamsters118 or visit www.teamsterslocal118.org.

Longtime McKesson CEO to Step Down: Hammergren Weathered Shareholder Criticism Over his Compensation and Handling of the Opioid Crisis: McKesson Corp. MCK -1.95% said its longtime Chairman and Chief Executive John H. Hammergren will retire next year, capping a 17-year reign in which he helped build one of the country’s largest pharmaceutical wholesalers despite weathering shareholder criticism over his compensation and handling of the opioid crisis.
Mr. Hammergren, 59 years old, will step down April 1 of next year and will be succeeded as CEO by Brian Tyler, the company’s current president and chief operating officer. Edward Mueller, McKesson’s lead independent director, will take over as chairman of the board, the company said Thursday.
“This is the right time to turn the leadership reins over to the next generation and no one is better equipped than Brian to lead McKesson into the future,” Mr. Hammergren said in a written statement.
The company praised Mr. Hammergren for quadrupling McKesson’s revenue since he was became CEO in 2001, and delivering shareholder stock returns of more than 400%.
McKesson, based in San Francisco, is expected to turn a net profit of $1.56 billion on sales of $214.41 billion in its fiscal year ending March 31 of next year, according to analyst estimates compiled by FactSet. The majority of the company’s revenue comes from distributing pharmaceuticals to U.S. pharmacies, doctors and hospitals.
Last year, shareholders rejected McKesson’s executive compensation packages, including Mr. Hammergren’s $21.1 million package, in a nonbinding “say-on-pay” vote. The negative vote was supported by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which argued that McKesson’s compensation policies insulated Mr. Hammergren from the “legal, political and reputational risks surrounding the company’s role in the opioid crisis.”
McKesson had previously made corporate governance changes in response to shareholder criticism of Mr. Hammergren’s pay and other issues.
Mr. Hammergren’s retirement pension from McKesson is worth $114 million, according to the company’s most recent proxy filing. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2013 that Mr. Hammergren’s pension was worth a record $159 million, but the company reduced the package the next year to a fixed amount of $114 million.
McKesson, like other drug distributors, is facing a reckoning over criticisms that it failed to act quickly enough to stem the rising tide of opioid abuse in the U.S. Last year, the company agreed to pay $150 million fine to settle Justice Department allegations that it failed to report suspiciously large orders of prescription opioids from its pharmacy customers.
McKesson is also contending with more than 1,000 civil suits across the U.S. related to its distribution of controlled substances. The company said it expects to spend more than $100 million this year on opioid-related costs, including litigation.
Shares of McKesson rose 1.1% to $130.50 in after-hours trading on Thursday following the announcement of Mr. Hammergren’s retirement; shares are down 17.2% year-to-date.
 

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