Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Teamsters Weekly Update, Ending February 8, 2019

Hoffa: Bipartisan Bill Can Deliver on Pension Promise: The struggle to ensure the retirements of millions of hardworking Americans continues. But the reintroduction of essential bipartisan legislation by a long-time pension protector could go a long way toward bolstering nest eggs jeopardized under the current system.

UPS Teamsters Ratify Upstate and Western New York Supplement: UPS Teamsters covered by the Upstate and Western New York Supplement have ratified the agreement.

Ken Hall: Carmichael Uses Dirty Tricks to Pass School Bill: West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, is up to his dirty tricks again. This time, it is at the expense of our children, their teachers and the community as a whole. In an attempt to ram through a bill (Senate Bill 451) that would tack harmful legislation on to the same bill providing for salary increases for teachers and school personnel, Senator Carmichael has manipulated the legislative process to achieve the outcome he wants. Rather than send the proposed legislation through the Senate Finance Committee, he bypassed the committee entirely to ensure that the legislation didn’t die. Bypassing the committee is not the usual path for passing legislation and it smacks of desperation

Warehouse Workers in Pennsylvania Join Teamsters Local 429: Workers at Americold, a temperature-controlled warehousing and logistics company, voted on Wednesday, February 6 to join Local 429 in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, near Reading.

California NFI Drivers Ratify Contract”: Twenty-seven drivers with UNFI in Gilroy, Calif., who are members of Teamsters Local 853, have voted overwhelmingly to ratify their first contract. Gilroy is the latest UNFI yard to join the Teamsters.

Lead Childcare Teachers Score Victory, Win Raises: Congratulations to the Lead Childcare Teachers of UCLA and UCSB on finishing their recent negotiations and becoming Teamsters Local 2010 members. The bargaining teams successfully negotiated raises between 1.66% – 3.66%. The new agreement also allows the Leads to be eligible for the raises guaranteed in our CX-Unit contract, including our July 2019 increase.

Pipeline Construction Steward School Convenes: More than 200 stewards and business agents from local unions in the U.S. and Canada that represent members in the pipeline construction industry are attending the 7th annual pipeline stewards school this week. The school covers a variety of safety topics, includes a review of the most recent national contract, a report about the status of the pipeline workers’ pension fund and reports on services offered by Teamster departments.

Local 391 Organizes N.C. Stericycle Drivers: By a more than three-to-one margin, drivers at Stericycle’s Haw River, N.C. facility voted late last week to join Teamsters Local 391 so they can better fight for respect and dignity on the job.

Teamsters Charge Jack Cooper Transport as a Labor Law Violator: The Teamsters National Automobile Transporters Industry Negotiating Committee (TNATINC) sent the following memo to local unions today after the committee filed unfair labor practice charges against Jack Cooper Transport

YRC Bargaining Update: Continued Progress: The Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) and YRC Freight, New Penn and Holland met this week for another round of bargaining for a new national agreement to succeed the agreement that is set to expire on March 31, and more progress was made.
 

NEWS ARTICLES

Hoffa: Bipartisan Bill Can Deliver on Pension Promise: The struggle to ensure the retirements of millions of hardworking Americans continues. But the reintroduction of essential bipartisan legislation by a long-time pension protector could go a long way toward bolstering nest eggs jeopardized under the current system.
With the new Congress now seated in Washington, the Teamsters want to let lawmakers know it is time to work together across party lines to secure the hard-earned retirements of retirees and workers. These hardworking Americans deserve to receive the benefits they were promised.
Fortunately, the Rehabilitation of Multiemployer Pensions Act would solve the problem. Introduced by Reps. Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and Peter King (R-N.Y.) last month and co-sponsored by Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) and Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.), the bill is a continuation of an effort to reform the system that first began in 2015. The seven House Republican co-sponsors understand the value of the bill and should be lauded for supporting this legislation.
There’s no time to lose. There are about 1.5 million retirees in desperate need of quick action to save the retirement nest eggs they spent decades contributing to on the premise they would be financially secure in their golden years. There also are hundreds of thousands of workers who are enrolled in these pension plans who deserve assistance, too.
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. Congress needs to find a solution that will deliver for these hardworking Americans who are paying, or have paid, into the pension pool and have played by the rules all their lives.
The measure would boost financially-troubled multiemployer pensions so they don’t fail. It would create an agency under the Treasury Department that would sell bonds in the open market to large investors such as financial firms.
The agency, the Pension Rehabilitation Administration (PRA), would then lend money from the sale of the bonds to the financially-troubled pension plans. Plans that are deemed “critical and declining,” as well as recently insolvent but non-terminated plans, and those that have suspended benefits would be eligible to apply for the program. 
Pension plans borrowing from PRA would be required to set aside the loan proceeds in separate, safe investments such as annuities or bonds that match the pension payments for retirees. For those plans needing additional help to meet retiree obligations, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation would be available to make up the difference.
As of now, the Central States fund is facing an unfunded liability of $17.2 billion, the largest of all multiemployer plan shortfalls. The Bakery and Confectionary Union pension is second with a $3.2 billion shortfall, while the United Mine Workers are third at $2.4 billion. Other threatened multiemployer plans face a total shortfall of $13.6 billion. That’s why the Teamsters are stressing the importance of Congress coming up with a solution as soon as possible.
Workers and retirees aren’t asking for a handout; they just want what is rightfully theirs. The Teamsters urge those on Capitol Hill to work together and pass a bipartisan solution that will make workers and retirees whole. They’ve waited long enough.

UPS Teamsters Ratify Upstate and Western New York Supplement: UPS Teamsters covered by the Upstate and Western New York Supplement have ratified the agreement. Voting took place over the past several weeks and votes were tallied today.
Total YES votes: 642
Percentage YES: 34.78%
Total NO votes: 1204
Percentage NO: 65.22%
Total Votes: 1846
Eligible Voters: 3979
Turnout %: 46.39%
Four other supplements remain outstanding: Central Pennsylvania; Western Pennsylvania; Local 804; and Local 243 Metro Detroit.
The national agreement cannot take effect until all the outstanding supplements are ratified. Once ratified, economic improvements are retroactive to August 1, 2018.

Ken Hall: Carmichael Uses Dirty Tricks to Pass School Bill: West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, is up to his dirty tricks again. This time, it is at the expense of our children, their teachers and the community as a whole. In an attempt to ram through a bill (Senate Bill 451) that would tack harmful legislation on to the same bill providing for salary increases for teachers and school personnel, Senator Carmichael has manipulated the legislative process to achieve the outcome he wants. Rather than send the proposed legislation through the Senate Finance Committee, he bypassed the committee entirely to ensure that the legislation didn’t die. Bypassing the committee is not the usual path for passing legislation and it smacks of desperation.
I think we can all agree that our educators and school personnel deserve to be paid fairly, and a 5 percent increase will help get them there. Unfortunately, Carmichael is trying to use those increases to justify — among other things — vouchers and other programs to take money out of our public schools. Our teachers believe that paying them fairly should not be tied to such legislation. They will not be bought off. The unions representing our teachers have come out against SB 451 and have signaled that they are willing to walk out again in order to make sure that their students have what they need to excel.
Teamsters Local 175 stands with our teachers. We demand that Carmichael take his fingers out of his ears and stop stomping his feet. He is clearly acting out in retaliation for his loss and for being forced to give in to the teachers’ demands last year. Although he has tried to take credit for it now, Carmichael fought tooth and nail against the teachers last time. No one handed the teachers wage increases and other improvements; instead they gained the support of parents, students, labor unions, community groups and even school administrators and they struck.
I am pleased to hear that Gov. Justice will veto SB 451 if it lands on his desk. But I am disheartened at the behavior of Sen. Carmichael. The senator should understand that we did not back down last time and we will not back down this time. He needs to stop playing games with the education of our children and follow the normal legislative process. Even if that means he loses.

Warehouse Workers in Pennsylvania Join Teamsters Local 429: Workers at Americold, a temperature-controlled warehousing and logistics company, voted on Wednesday, February 6 to join Local 429 in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, near Reading.
There are 124 workers in the bargaining unit. The employees at the warehouse in Leesport, Pennsylvania work as forklift drivers and janitors/porters.
"It feels great being a Teamster," said Harlen Aquino, a forklift driver and six-year employee. "Working so hard to get to this point has been an awesome experience. Now we need to negotiate a strong contract."
“We are excited to welcome the workers at Americold and we will work with them to negotiate a strong first contract that addresses their major concerns,” said Bill Shappell, President of Local 429.
The workers want an end to favoritism, are seeking fair treatment and want to negotiate quality and affordable health insurance. They also want to gain respect and have a voice in the workplace.

California NFI Drivers Ratify Contract Agreement Includes Wage Increases and Workplace Improvements.: Twenty-seven drivers with UNFI in Gilroy, Calif., who are members of Teamsters Local 853, have voted overwhelmingly to ratify their first contract. Gilroy is the latest UNFI yard to join the Teamsters.
Just a year ago, the company hired security and union busters to keep the union out.
“Today, with their first contract, the drivers gained route and vacation bidding, a grievance process, a defined work schedule, 40 hours guaranteed work and guaranteed annual increases,” said Business Agent Ray Torres.
This organizing win and first contract could not have been accomplished without the leadership and help of Teamsters Vice President, Steve Vairma.
“We also would not have been able to do this without the unity of our members and the tireless support and work our stewards have put in,” said Dennis Hart, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 853.

Lead Childcare Teachers Score Victory, Win Raises!: Congratulations to the Lead Childcare Teachers of UCLA and UCSB on finishing their recent negotiations and becoming Teamsters Local 2010 members. The bargaining teams successfully negotiated raises between 1.66% – 3.66%. The new agreement also allows the Leads to be eligible for the raises guaranteed in our CX-Unit contract, including our July 2019 increase.
“Congratulations to our dedicated childcare workers and welcome to the Teamsters,” said Jason Rabinowitz, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 2010. “This great win caps a years-long fight by these courageous workers for Union representation and fair treatment, in the face of terrible opposition from UC. When we stand together as Teamsters, we accomplish great things together!”
In an attempt to strip workers of Union protections and guaranteed rights, University Child Development Centers at UCLA, UCSB, and UCI misclassified dozens of Lead Child Care teachers out of the Teamster represented CX bargaining unit. The Lead Teachers fought back and Teamsters successfully brought them back into the CX bargaining unit.
“Teamsters proved that there is power in unity and demonstrated the importance of standing firm against unfair treatment and wage inequalities, and has allowed us to have an active voice in the workplace,” Alisa Daniels, UCLA Lead Teacher.
When pressed about these workers, the University claimed the positions were supervisory but did not give the workers the pay or authority of supervisors. The Lead Childcare workers were being misclassified by the University.
Misclassification is the practice of wrongfully labeling employees to pay them significantly less and withhold certain benefits. This is a common practice at UC where the University routinely “promotes” members out of our unit or hires new employees and labels them as supervisors or unrepresented. Misclassified workers lose out on critical union benefits such as protections against unfair discipline, having a voice at work, guaranteed raises, overtime pay provisions, and the many other protections of our Union contract.
Thank you to our Lead Early Childcare Teachers for leading the fight. We will continue to protect the work of all our members. Bargaining is ongoing for Child Development Center Teachers, including Leads at UC Irvine, and is expected to conclude this month.
If you feel you are being misclassified or have issues in the workplace, please contact your Union Representative today.

Pipeline Construction Steward School Convenes Stewards From Locals Nationwide Attend: More than 200 stewards and business agents from local unions in the U.S. and Canada that represent members in the pipeline construction industry are attending the 7th annual pipeline stewards school this week. The school covers a variety of safety topics, includes a review of the most recent national contract, a report about the status of the pipeline workers’ pension fund and reports on services offered by Teamster departments.
Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President, greeted the numerous first-time attendees with words of encouragement to keep participating in meetings such as this and at their local unions.
“Due to the tremendous work that Bubba Davis (Director of the Teamsters Building Material and Construction Trade Division) and David LaBorde (Director of Teamster Pipeline Projects) have done with this meeting year after year, the word has gotten around and people are coming here enthusiastically,” Hoffa said. “And, your training of Teamster members has taken off. Over 1,250 members trained to work on pipeline projects last year. This nation needs pipelines and these pipeline projects mean more good jobs for Teamster families. The pipeline pension fund is doing very well and that is essential. Having a strong pension fund along with the opportunity for good paying jobs means the pipeline construction industry will continue to grow.”
More Canadian local unions and members participated this year than ever before with 20 representatives from eight Canadian local unions attending.
“I am proud that we have Canadian Teamster members here representing thousands who work on pipelines across our country,” said Francois Laporte, President of Teamsters Canada. “We fight together and we build things together, and the pipeline is a good example. These projects show how unions from two nations can come together.”
General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall reported that the union is on strong financial ground. “We have over $300 million in assets,” Hall said. “We are better off financially than we have ever been. Our strike fund also has $210 million which supports our members and prevents strikes because employers know we have a very healthy strike fund.”
In addition to presentations from various Teamster departments, there will also be an overview on the status of current pipeline projects in Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, West Virginia and other states and early information on planning for future projects.

Local 391 Organizes N.C. Stericycle Drivers: By a more than three-to-one margin, drivers at Stericycle’s Haw River, N.C. facility voted late last week to join Teamsters Local 391 so they can better fight for respect and dignity on the job.
Moses Darden, Local 391’s lead organizer, said workers are demanding better working conditions, affordable health insurance and job security, all issues that will be guaranteed in a strong Teamster contract.
The organizing effort that led to victory on Feb. 1 came after workers withstood numerous mandatory captive audience meetings, visits from corporate executives and ride-alongs from management. But the Teamsters helped counter those efforts. The union’s Waste Division reached out to other locals with Stericycle workers, and in turn Locals 377, 20 and 813 sent photos and encouraging words to these North Carolina workers. Now they are Teamster Strong!
The Stericycle victory was just the latest in a string of new waste industry wins in the South. Alabama Republic Services workers recently reorganized with Local 991, while Assistant Division Director Chuck Stiles organized Republic Services workers for Local 728 in Cummings, Ga.

Teamsters Charge Jack Cooper Transport as a Labor Law Violator: The Teamsters National Automobile Transporters Industry Negotiating Committee (TNATINC) sent the following memo to local unions today after the committee filed unfair labor practice charges against Jack Cooper Transport: Today, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, managers for Jack Cooper Transport began contacting Local Unions individually by phone requesting relief from pension contributions. These benefits have been negotiated to conclusion under the current National Master Automobile Transporters Agreement (NMATA) and Supplemental agreements. A letter from T. Michael Riggs on this matter has also been sent by Jack Cooper Transport managers directly to our Carhaul membership in violation of law. Because this attempt to bypass the Local Union and the Teamsters National Automobile Transporters Industry Negotiating Committee (TNATINC) on this matter shows the bad faith of Jack Cooper Transport managers, TNATINC has filed unfair labor practice charges.
The TNATINC is outraged that Jack Cooper Transport would attempt to reach out to individual Local Unions and our Carhaul members to propose reductions to pension benefit contributions. Local Unions are directed by TNATINC to refuse any response to Jack Cooper Transport’s request for relief and refer any such matters to the TNATINC Co-Chairmen.

YRC Bargaining Update: Continued Progress: The Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) and YRC Freight, New Penn and Holland met this week for another round of bargaining for a new national agreement to succeed the agreement that is set to expire on March 31, and more progress was made.
Although the parties resolved most of the easy issues in the early weeks, they are now starting to address the more difficult ones. National Freight Director Ernie Soehl said, “This week we took up a number of challenging language issues with regard to video cameras, driverless trucks, discipline, family and medical leave, moving expenses and sick leave. We had spirited discussions with the company but eventually succeeded in resolving most national language issues.  A lot of work still remains to be done, however, including the difficult issues of economics and operations.”
The industry-wide driver shortage also remains a central topic of discussion.
“We pointed out to the company that when we start getting into economics, one obvious way to help with driver recruitment and retention is to raise wage rates,” Soehl said. The parties have multiple weeks scheduled to continue negotiations.

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