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Teamsters Weekly Updates, Ending December 7, 2018

Lawmakers Call for House to Investigate XPO after Workers’ Miscarriages : Ninety-seven members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday called for a congressional investigation into working conditions at XPO Logistics, which operates a Memphis warehouse that several women said was rife with pregnancy discrimination.

Bus Monitors at First Student Westmont Ratify Contract with the Teamsters: School bus monitors working at First Student in Westmont, Ill. voted unanimously to ratify their first contract with Teamsters Local 777. The monitors voted overwhelmingly to join the Teamsters in April of this year.

BLET Members Proud to Work Bush Funeral Train: Members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) are proudly working as crew members aboard the special Union Pacific funeral train for President George H.W. Bush today.

Hoffa: Legislature is Ditching Workers: Lawmakers, taking advantage of the last days of their stranglehold on the state capital during a lame duck legislative session last week, decided to hammer unions and low-income workers struggling to support their families. It’s the final power play by callous elected officials being shown the door.

Hoffa: China Needs to Make Real Changes to Fix Trade Inequities with U.S. : The following is a statement from Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa about the agreement reached this week between the U.S. and China to put additional tariffs on hold while negotiating a solution to the ongoing trade imbalance between the two nations.

CDT Paratransit Workers Overwhelmingly Ratify New One-Year CBA: After months of negotiations, Teamsters Local 727 paratransit members employed by paratransit operator Cook DuPage Transportation Co, Inc., a subsidiary of National Express, overwhelmingly ratified a successor collective bargaining agreement on Monday, November 19th.  The new one-year agreement, which covers paratransit drivers, porters, dispatchers, recon, and customer service representatives, includes retroactive wage raises and an improved benefits package, as well as enhances workplace safety and job protections.

Allied Waste Daly City Unanimously Ratifies New Contract: Teamsters Local 350 representatives began negotiations for a new contract in March of 2018. After months at the table, Local 350 proposed a new and substantially improved 5-year agreement to the members employed at Allied Waste Daly City that was overwhelmingly accepted and approved. The ratified agreement maintains its Teamsters Local 350 members their Maintenance of Benefits and a significant wage increase.

Two Outstanding UPS Supplements to Be Re-Voted Soon: Two of the six outstanding UPS supplements will go to members for a re-vote soon, Teamsters Package Division Director Denis Taylor said following a conference call with the Teamsters National UPS Negotiating Committee yesterday.

Jack Cooper Acquires Assets of Sell and Auto Transport: A top executive at Jack Cooper Holdings said the company has acquired the assets of Seattle-based Sell and Auto Transport, a move that extends the car hauler’s presence in the western United States and provides more balance to the firm’s delivery network.

 

Lawmakers Call for House to Investigate XPO after Workers’ Miscarriages: Ninety-seven members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday called for a congressional investigation into working conditions at XPO Logistics, which operates a Memphis warehouse that several women said was rife with pregnancy discrimination.
Ninety-seven members of the House of Representatives on Tuesday called for a congressional investigation into working conditions at XPO Logistics, which operates a Memphis warehouse that several women said was rife with pregnancy discrimination.
The letter, sent to the top two members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, cited a New York Times investigation that revealed in October that several women who packaged Verizon products at the warehouse had miscarriages. The women told The Times that they lost their pregnancies after XPO managers refused their requests for light duty and, in some cases, ignored their doctors’ notes recommending a reprieve.
The letter was organized by two Democrats, Representatives Steve Cohen of Tennessee and Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut. The lawmakers also urged the committee to consider the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a bill that would compel employers to accommodate pregnant women unless doing so imposed an undue hardship. Under current federal law, employers have to provide light duty or extra rest breaks for pregnant workers only if they are doing so for other workers.
“We take seriously recent allegations concerning one of our warehouses and have launched an independent investigation,” Molly Morse, a spokeswoman for XPO, said in a statement Tuesday. “When the investigation is completed, we are committed to implementing any recommended improvements.”
Last month, nine senators wrote letters to the chief executives of XPO and Verizon, urging the companies to improve their workplace conditions.
In a statement on Tuesday, Ms. DeLauro said the XPO workers’ allegations about pregnancy discrimination were “egregious” and called on Congress to “act immediately to ensure pregnant women are adequately protected in the workplace.”

Bus Monitors at First Student Westmont Ratify Contract with the Teamsters First Collective Bargaining Agreement Ratified Unanimously by Membership:
(WESTMONT, Ill.) – School bus monitors working at First Student in Westmont, Ill. voted unanimously to ratify their first contract with Teamsters Local 777. The monitors voted overwhelmingly to join the Teamsters in April of this year.
“Congratulations to our negotiating committee, who worked hard over the last few months to get the improvements secured in this agreement,” Local 777 President Jim Glimco said. “We were able to get wage parity with the other First Student yards in the area by using the leverage that we have built up in this industry over time.”
The wage increases, which reach 25 percent over the lifetime of the agreement, are retroactive from the beginning of the year. In addition to the pay bump, some of the other benefit that the monitors are getting include 401(k) matching, vision benefits, a life insurance policy and paid funeral leave.
Fareeda Lush is a school bus monitor who just became a shop steward at the Westmont yard.
“Receiving the retro pay is great because it’s just in time for the holidays,” Lush said. “I’m so glad that my coworkers and I came together to form our union with the Teamsters.”

BLET Members Proud To Work Bush Funeral Train
Members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) are proudly working as crew members aboard the special Union Pacific funeral train for President George H.W. Bush today.
The two funeral trains were helmed by BLET locomotive engineers as well as SMART TD conductors. The first train — UP locomotive 4141 — is being piloted by June Nobles of BLET Division 139 (Houston, Texas). Her conductor is Randy Kuhaneck, a member of SMART TD Local 577 (Palestine, Texas). Like President Bush, Nobles and Kuhaneck are both Navy veterans. The train is now in the process of carrying the casket and members of the Bush family from the funeral in Houston to President Bush’s final resting place in College Station, Texas.
The second train was piloted by BLET locomotive engineer Aaron Braud, also of Division 139 (Houston, Texas). His conductor is Billy Blanton, also of SMART TD Local 577 (Palestine, Texas). Earlier today, their train carried non-family dignitaries from the funeral to College Station.
BLET Division 139 Local Chairman Kevin DeArment said that Sister Nobles and Brother Braud are both highly regarded engineers on the territory. “It was a great honor for both,” Brother DeArment said. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with them over the years and they are a credit to our craft.”
(Photo, from left: Conductor Randy Kuhaneck, Engineer June Nobles, Conductor Billy Blanton, and Engineer Aaron Braud.)

Hoffa: Legislature is Ditching Workers
Republicans in Lansing lost their full grip on state government last month. And now hardworking Michiganders are paying the price.
Lawmakers, taking advantage of the last days of their stranglehold on the state capital during a lame duck legislative session last week, decided to hammer unions and low-income workers struggling to support their families. It’s the final power play by callous elected officials being shown the door.
Legislation that would bar public sector employees from engaging in collective bargaining during paid work hours would require negotiations to be held during nighttime or weekend hours, even though employers and workers agreed to the current setup.
The measure, offered by state Sen. Marty Knollenberg (R), is the last-ditch effort by a longtime anti-union legislator who was voted out of office in November. Efforts to curb union release time, as it is known, are just another cheap shot at weakening unions.
Meanwhile, in even more devastating news, GOP lawmakers decided to usurp the will of the people by approving two bills that curb citizen-initiated efforts to raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour and require employers to offer paid sick leave to their workers.
The move is particularly galling because it was Republicans who rushed to implement legislation in September to avoid having the public vote on the issues on the November ballot. The Legislature approved measures that raised Michigan’s minimum wage from $9.25 an hour to $12 by 2022 for most workers and by 2024 for tipped restaurant employees. The paid sick leave law, meanwhile, mandated employers provide up to 72 hours a year of earned sick leave and provide legal protections for workers who took their earned time.
Under the changes pushed by the GOP, the $12 minimum wage won’t be implemented until 2030 for most workers, and never for tipped employees. They will be capped at $4 an hour, up just 48 cents from what they earn now. Similarly, the paid sick day requirement would be slashed to four days a year, plus one hour of additional sick time for every 40 hours worked.
These moves to revise the minimum wage and sick days in the state mark the worst in politics. First, there is a real question about whether they are even legal. While Michigan lawmakers have 40 days to take state initiatives and make them state law, such a mechanism is not meant to be used as a legislative ploy to circumvent the ballot measure process.
It is clear Republican legislators approved these two bills earlier this year and included language that they wouldn’t go into effect until next March all as part of a ploy to then come back during the lame duck session and water them down, working people be damned. Their actions are so outrageous that they might even violate the Michigan constitution!
All this devious dealing, however, only ends up hurting the people elected officials are supposed to serve, their constituents. Instead, the Republican majority in Lansing decided to give a final thank you to the corporate cronies who fill their campaign coffers.
These actions are beyond shameful. We demand that a new slate of state lawmakers, led by incoming Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, do all they can to fix it.

Hoffa: China Needs to Make Real Changes to Fix Trade Inequities with U.S. Administration Decision to Pause Tariff Hikes Should Lead to Structural Reforms:
(WASHINGTON) – The following is a statement from Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa about the agreement reached this week between the U.S. and China to put additional tariffs on hold while negotiating a solution to the ongoing trade imbalance between the two nations.
“The Teamsters commend the Administration for reaching an agreement with China that calls a truce to escalating tariffs placed on select imports by both nations, and is optimistic that the 90-day cooling off period will lead to trade progress between the two countries. Credit is also due specifically to U.S Trade Administrator Robert Lighthizer and his staff who have been doing the complicated work of balancing various trade matters.
“However, America must demand results, not just rhetoric. The U.S. needs a clear vision and must enter this process with open eyes on China revamping its trade practices. There is an urgent need for structural reform if a solution is ultimately going to be reached.
“The U.S. endured a $375 billion trade deficit with China last year. Therefore, this nation cannot naively hope that progress will just happen. The USTR must stand up to China and its threats on trade. The whole world is watching.”

CDT Paratransit Workers Overwhelmingly Ratify New One-Year CBA
After months of negotiations, Teamsters Local 727 paratransit members employed by paratransit operator Cook DuPage Transportation Co, Inc., a subsidiary of National Express, overwhelmingly ratified a successor collective bargaining agreement on Monday, November 19th.  The new one-year agreement, which covers paratransit drivers, porters, dispatchers, recon, and customer service representatives, includes retroactive wage raises and an improved benefits package, as well as enhances workplace safety and job protections.
Among the top achievements of the Local 727 bargaining committee was the successful negotiation of hourly wage raises that place bargaining unit members’ earnings at or above area industry standards.  These wage raises, which are retroactive to November 1st, will also be accompanied by a freeze on the current health care premiums for all employees who complete a biometric screening, enhanced dental and vision insurance, and an increase in paid time off.  Thanks to Local 727’s new contract, all CDT employees will now receive 5 combined sick and personal days and eligible employees may even receive up to an additional 2 PTO days.
Local 727 bargaining committee members with John Coli, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727  (front right) and Local 727 Business Representative for CDT members Donnie Von Moore (back right) on Nov. 19th as CDT members overwhelmingly vote to ratify a new one-year collective bargaining agreement.
The Union has also succeeded in completely eliminating 4 and Go’s for all CDT members.  Rather, the new collective bargaining agreement guarantees 8 hours of pay (or 10 hours of pay if the employee is scheduled to work a 10-hour shift) for all employees who arrive to work within two minutes of their scheduled start-time.
Local 727’s new agreement with CDT also improves members’ workplace protections.  Not only are members protected by a more efficient and enhanced grievance procedure, but under the new contract CDT drivers will no longer be required to transport abusive passengers or customers who refuse to wear proper safety restraints.  Additionally, CDT is now contractually obligated to keep vehicles clean and free of infestations.
Under the newly ratified agreement, CDT members can also expect to participate in a rebid of all schedules by seniority following the Company’s facility change.  As part of the rebid, 8-hour opportunities must be included for D-Van drivers, unless CDT can demonstrate these shifts are not operationally possible.
Also among the top accomplishments of the Local 727 bargaining committee was the successful blockage of a CDT proposal to drastically expand the Company’s ability to implement and utilize new technology.  Unlike many unions who have given in to National Express’s technology-related demands, Local 727 refused to budge and flatly rejected the proposal each time it was presented.
“This Union isn’t in the business of conceding ground to Companies.  We are here to protect and fight for the best interests of our members,” emphasized John Coli, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727.  “Local 727’s previous contract with CDT contained language that adequately addressed technology rights and required no alteration.  There was never a chance our Union would give in to such an unnecessary change.”
“This strong collective bargaining agreement is a direct result of the exceptional work, tremendous effort, and perseverance of the Local 727 bargaining committee,” added Secretary-Treasurer Coli.  “The negotiating process may have been long, but we truly believe it has resulted in the best contract with National Express among all Teamster locals.”
Copies of the full contract will be mailed to all Local 727 CDT members in the coming weeks. CDT members can also expect to see their retroactive pay, as well as any outstanding red light camera citation reimbursements, on their December 14th paycheck. Members with questions should contract Business Representative Donnie Von Moore at (773) 403-1032 or Donnie@TeamstersLocal727.org.

Allied Waste Daly City Unanimously Ratifies New Contract: Teamsters Local 350 Members Maintain Maintenance of Benefits & Significant Wage Increase
Teamsters Local 350 representatives began negotiations for a new contract in March of 2018. After months at the table, Local 350 proposed a new and substantially improved 5-year agreement to the members employed at Allied Waste Daly City that was overwhelmingly accepted and approved. The ratified agreement maintains its Teamsters Local 350 members their Maintenance of Benefits and a significant wage increase.
“The negotiation process was very lengthy and heated at times. Teamsters Local 350 ensured its Daly City Republic Services members were treated with respect and given the recognition as an agreement was reached"  Brother Ignacio “Nacho" Miranda, 18 year member and part of the negotiating committee says “Juan, Sergio and John worked very closely with us to make sure our concerns and demands were met and addressed to the company during negotiations. It was an experience and honor being a part of the contract negations and having witnessed our union representatives fight for its members. I’m very proud of being a member of a strong local. FIGHT TOGETHER, WIN TOGETHER"
“I am pleased with the significant improvements we made throughout the contract. Negotiations went much longer than we would have liked, but our members were strong, united and prepared to hold out as long as possible.  Ultimately, their unity paid off and the unanimous approval of the contract showed that" said Local 350 Secretary-Treasurer John Bouchard.
“I’ve seen Bob Morales (former Secretary-Treasurer) in two negotiations. Now I’m seeing John and the new union crew utilize all that they’ve learned from him. I’m proud that John has stayed Union strong.” said Brother Luis Estrada, who is an 18 year member and also part of the negotiating committee.⁣

Two Outstanding UPS Supplements To Be Re-Voted Soon
Two of the six outstanding UPS supplements will go to members for a re-vote soon, Teamsters Package Division Director Denis Taylor said following a conference call with the Teamsters National UPS Negotiating Committee yesterday.
Chairmen of the outstanding supplements provided updates to the committee regarding negotiations that have taken place since the supplements were rejected during the first vote.
The two supplements that will be re-voted soon are the Central Pennsylvania Supplement and the Upstate and West New York Supplement.
Four others are not yet ready for a re-vote, and negotiations will continue. The four are the Western Pennsylvania Supplement, the Local 243 and Metro Detroit Supplement, the Local 804 Supplement and the Trailer Conditioners, Inc. (TCI) Supplement.
The national UPS contract will not take effect until all the supplements have been ratified.
Click here for a PDF version of this update.
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Jack Cooper Acquires Assets of Sell and Auto Transport
A top executive at Jack Cooper Holdings said the company has acquired the assets of Seattle-based Selland Auto Transport, a move that extends the car hauler’s presence in the western United States and provides more balance to the firm’s delivery network.
Sarah Riggs Amico, executive chairman of Jack Cooper, said the purchase was completed Sept. 17 and includes about 100 tractor-trailer rigs but no real estate.
Terms were not disclosed.
The company will take on about 85 of Selland’s employees, including drivers, and will retain existing management, Amico said in an interview with Transport Topics on Nov. 27.
“This gives us a geographically complementary footprint in the West and will create some network efficiencies,” Amico said. “We’re always looking for opportunities to expand our operations and footprint to better serve customers.”
Selland is one of three acquisitions Jack Cooper has made since the company completed a financial restructuring in June 2017 when bondholders agreed to exchange $429.2 million in debt for a combination of cash and stock warrants as part of a plan to avert a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.
Amico declined to identify the other two acquisitions, but said one was in the company’s logistics division and the other was in a non-transportation/diversified business.
Amico also declined to say how much was paid to acquire Selland’s assets, but she noted that no money was paid to the owners for intangible assets.
“This was a business that was struggling,” Amico explained. “But it had a good asset base and we saw it was an opportunity to add to our business and save jobs.”
Selland has been in business since 1967 and provided vehicle transportation for all major auto manufacturers, Amico said.
According to a Dun & Bradstreet report, Selland listed annual revenue of $52.1 million and a net loss of $3.7 million.
In 2016, a group of about 240 drivers, owner-operators and shop employees at Selland voted to join the Teamsters union, although, according to Amico, no contract was ever negotiated.
Jack Cooper truck The company has provided transportation for all major auto manufacturers. (Davd B./Flickr)
“We’re proud to be a union carrier,” said Amico, who lost a close race for lieutenant governor of Georgia in her first campaign for public office in November.
Amico was a registered Republican until 2011 but ran as a Democrat, and in her candidate profile she touted her business experience. She is a graduate of Washington & Lee University and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.
“We buy and fix businesses that most people think aren’t ‘fixable,’ ” she wrote. “As the executive chairperson of Jack Cooper, I have learned that long-term growth and competitiveness come from investing in our people.”
While operating costs for Jack Cooper may be higher than for nonunion competitors, Amico said the company benefits from having higher quality drivers, lower turnover and greater service reliability for customers, many of whom have employees that are represented by the United Auto Workers.
Amico’s father, Michael Riggs, is CEO of Jack Cooper, and her husband, Andrea Amico, serves as president of Jack Cooper Logistics.
Jack Cooper traces its history to 1928 when the company began hauling for General Motors at the Leeds Assembly Plant in Kansas City, Mo. In 2009, the company merged with Active Transportation of Joplin, Mo., and acquired another carrier, DMT Trucking, in 2011.
Jack Cooper’s biggest acquisition came in 2013 when it acquired substantially all of the assets of Allied Systems Holdings, a prominent family-owned car hauler based in Atlanta that was in bankruptcy, for $135 million. The deal made Jack Cooper the largest car hauler in the nation based on revenue, a position it held until 2017 when it was surpassed by United Road Services.
Amico said Jack Cooper is currently operating about 2,000 tractor-trailer rigs out of a total fleet of 2,637 rigs and does not have a large presence at any of the factories where General Motors plans to end production in 2019.
Jack Cooper ranks No. 54 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of largest for-hire carriers in North America with revenue of $602.8 million in 2017.

 

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