Teamsters

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Teamsters Weekly Updates, Ending March 8, 2019

Hoffa: Whitmer Targets Infrastructure, Skills Training for Future: The state government in Lansing has a new leader, and she is prioritizing issues that will improve the lives of state residents and put more people to work in jobs that can support a family.

Drivers at DHL Contractor in LA Vote to Join Local 986: Drivers at KWK Trucking in Los Angeles, a contractor for DHL Express, voted 83-23 to be represented by Teamsters Local 986. There are 108 drivers in the bargaining unit and the vote took place Thursday, Feb. 28.

YRCW Bargaining Update: Economic Issues on the Table: Bargaining resumed this week for a new National Master Freight Agreement (NMFA) applicable to YRC Freight, Holland, and New Penn. The current agreement is set to expire on March 31.

Teamsters Local 287 Wins Cemex Driver’s Job Back: Teamsters Local 287 in San Jose, California has won a fired CEMEX Ready-Mix driver’s job back with back pay, benefits and no loss of seniority. The company fired the driver, Eddie Venancio, on January 25, 2018 alleging that he had “an altercation on a job site” nine days earlier after his truck was struck by the driver of a dump truck.

Teamsters Celebrate Women’s History Month: The Teamsters Union celebrates Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. Every year, we commemorate Women’s History Month in March, and March 8 marks International Women’s Day. The theme of International Women’s Day in 2019 is “Balance for Better,” because a more gender-balanced world is a better world. This is a time to reflect on women’s accomplishments in our union and communities at large.

UPS Teamsters Central Pennsylvania, Western Pennsylvania and Local 243/Detroit Metro Supplemental Vote Results: UPS Teamsters covered by the Central Pennsylvania Supplement have ratified the agreement. UPS Teamsters covered by the Western Pennsylvania and Local 243/Metro Detroit supplements have rejected those two agreements.  

Rail Workers Hazmat Training: Arizona, Western New Mexico, Southeastern California, and the Navajo Nation.: The Rail Workers Hazardous Materials Training Program is pleased to announce the following HazMat/Chemical Emergency Response Training Program. This training addresses OSHA and DOT required training in addition to procedures, different levels of response and worker protection in a hazardous materials emergency or release, weapons of mass destruction awareness and the incident command system. The training also provides completion of the OSHA 10-Hour General Industry Outreach requirements. The programs are delivered using interactive classroom instruction, small group activities, hands-on drills and a simulated hazmat response in full safety gear.

California Teamsters Call for End to Worker Misclassification: Teamsters from more than 15 locals unions within California Joint Councils 7 and 42 took part in a hearing and lobby day in Sacramento in support of legislation to help end misclassification.

 

NEWS ARTICLES

Hoffa: Whitmer Targets Infrastructure, Skills Training for Future: The state government in Lansing has a new leader, and she is prioritizing issues that will improve the lives of state residents and put more people to work in jobs that can support a family.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer outlined an agenda for Michigan last month in her State of the State address, one that stressed the importance of the state investing in improved infrastructure as well as job training programs that will better prepare Michiganders in the workforce. The Legislature would be wise to approve it.
For too long, the Great Lakes State has been taken to task for the dire conditions of its transportation and water facilities. It’s time for that to stop. These are not partisan problems, and should not be treated as such. That means it’s time for elected officials to problem solve and pass an agenda that will help their constituents.
As governor herself noted, the American Society of Civil Engineers rated Michigan’s overall infrastructure only a D+. Drinking water rated a D, while roads a D-. But those ratings are downright rosy compared to another assessment that found the state had the worst roads in the nation.
Pothole-ridden roads aren’t just an inconvenience. They cost motorists money and they endanger their lives. But they also have an effect on the economy. Poor transportation infrastructure slows commerce, drives up prices and pollutes the air. It’s unacceptable.
When it comes to water, Michigan residents know what’s at stake all-too-well. While lead and copper contamination have fallen in the last four years in Flint, the problem of clean drinking waters doesn’t end there. This state is home to more than a fifth of the world’s fresh water, yet old pipes jeopardize its availability.
The gains from making such investments go beyond the better roads and the increased availability of potable water that would result. Rebuilding, repairing and reinvestment is also about rebuilding and repairing the trust between government and workers by reinvesting in the people that have and can continue to make Michigan great. Better pay will lead to more spending and improve our quality of life. That way everyone wins.
The same can be said when it comes to beefing up efforts to have a 21st century workforce. Gov. Whitmer is rightfully setting her sights on closing the skills gap. To that end, she set a goal of increasing the number of state residents with some form of post-secondary credential from the current 40 percent to 60 percent by 2030.
Her plans to train adults for in-demand skills to help their job prospects in badly needed. And the creation of the MI Opportunity Scholarship, which gives graduating high school students who qualify two years of debt-free community college, is the hand up that many disadvantaged young people desperately need.
There was a time when building infrastructure and improving job training weren’t political issues – they were American values, something everyone could support. Michigan has an opportunity to return to that era right now. Both issues present an opportunity to break political gridlock. Now it’s time to for lawmakers to follow the governor’s lead and make it happen.

Drivers at DHL Contractor in LA Vote to Join Local 986 Workers Seek Legally Binding Contract That Will Provide Better Benefits: (LOS ANGELES) – Drivers at KWK Trucking in Los Angeles, a contractor for DHL Express, voted 83-23 to be represented by Teamsters Local 986.
There are 108 drivers in the bargaining unit and the vote took place Thursday, Feb. 28.
“It feels wonderful being a Teamster, seeing our long effort finally pay off,” said Sergio Rodriguez, a lead driver and five-year employee. “We work with drivers from DHL who have a contract that includes strong retirement security, great health care and other benefits. We want to negotiate a strong first contract that will provide these kinds of improvements.”
“The drivers remained strong and united throughout the entire process and were not fazed by the company’s union-busting tactics,” said Chris Griswold, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 986 in South El Monte. “We look forward to negotiating a strong first contract that addresses the drivers’ needs.”
KWK Trucking hired four union busters to conduct daily captive audience meetings, one-on-one meetings and attempted very hard to persuade the drivers to vote no.
There are three other non-union KWK Trucking stations within Local 986’s jurisdiction.

YRCW Bargaining Update: Economic Issues on the Table: Bargaining resumed this week for a new National Master Freight Agreement (NMFA) applicable to YRC Freight, Holland, and New Penn. The current agreement is set to expire on March 31.
This week, comprehensive economic proposals were exchanged by the parties which resulted in a vigorous review of the respective positions.
Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) Co-Chair Ernie Soehl stated that “obviously, these discussions are becoming more critical and consequential as we go into March and address the most difficult issues. Although we made some progress, the union is disappointed with the wage and benefit package the employer currently has on the table because it simply will not meet the level the members’ deserve or recognize the sacrifice of long-term employees over the past decade.”
Nevertheless, the parties have agreed to resume negotiations over the next few weeks to attempt to find a solution. We appreciate the patience of the membership as we strive for the best agreement possible.

Teamsters Local 287 Wins Cemex Driver’s Job Back: Teamsters Local 287 in San Jose, California has won a fired CEMEX Ready-Mix driver’s job back with back pay, benefits and no loss of seniority.
The company fired the driver, Eddie Venancio, on January 25, 2018 alleging that he had “an altercation on a job site” nine days earlier after his truck was struck by the driver of a dump truck.
Fortunately, because Venancio has a Teamster contract with a grievance procedure—which allows him to challenge unfair management decisions—Local 287 filed a grievance and the parties agreed to hold a hearing before an arbitrator.
At issue: was Venancio discharged for just cause?
Under Section 19 of his contract, it states: “No employee shall be discharged or suspended without just cause.”
Without a union contract, workers do not have these protections. This victory is yet another example of the importance of ready-mix drivers forming their union with the Teamsters.
In his January 17, 2019 decision, Arbitrator Robert M. Hirsch sided with Local 287’s challenge.
“In short, Cemex failed to provide admissible evidence establishing that the Grievant [Venancio] ‘had an altercation on a jobsite,’ as it concluded in the termination letter,” the arbitrator wrote.
Venancio was awarded $154,006 in back pay and benefits.
“I want to thank everyone at Local 287 who stood with me every step of the way,” Venancio said. “Being a Teamster provides me with a legally binding contract that protects my livelihood.”
“Local 287 worked extremely hard on this case and we are pleased that Mr. Venancio was awarded for his lost pay and benefits,” said Jerry Sweeney, Local 287 Secretary-Treasurer.
“Justice was served,” said George Netto, Local 287 Business Agent. “Eddie was unlawfully fired without any evidence and we were able to present the real story.”

Teamsters Celebrate Women’s History Month: The Teamsters Union celebrates Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. Every year, we commemorate Women’s History Month in March, and March 8 marks International Women’s Day. The theme of International Women’s Day in 2019 is “Balance for Better,” because a more gender-balanced world is a better world. This is a time to reflect on women’s accomplishments in our union and communities at large.
Often it’s Mother Jones or Rosie the Riveter who come to mind when we think about strong women in labor history. However, there are many more accomplished women, including Teamsters, who work every day to fight for workers’ rights. These are women who resist, press forward, lead and bring about social and economic justice. They are deserving of our respect and gratitude not just in March, but throughout the year.
Looking back to the history of our union, over a century ago, women were organizing with the Teamsters. In 1916, the union was involved in a contract for women laundry workers in Chicago, helping the workers successfully organize and create the first all-women negotiating committee. They achieved equal pay for black and white women working in the laundries.
In 1919, “equal pay for all” was a slogan within the union. The Teamsters Union has been and will continue to be a champion for equal pay, negotiating gender and color-blind contracts. Women in unions are more likely to have access to paid leave, health benefits and a secure retirement. Women of all demographics fare better economically with union representation. In 2017, union women’s median weekly earnings were $200 more than nonunion women’s.
As we honor our history, Teamsters look to the future. At the annual Teamsters Women’s Conference in Orlando in September, more than a thousand Teamsters gathered at the event whose theme was, “Dream. Believe. Achieve.” Thanks to the vision of our sisters, all Teamsters can achieve great things together for our union as we strive to uplift all workers. The Teamsters Union is proud to honor Women’s History Month.

UPS Teamsters Central Pennsylvania, Western Pennsylvania and Local 243/Detroit Metro Supplemental Vote Results: UPS Teamsters covered by the Central Pennsylvania Supplement have ratified the agreement. UPS Teamsters covered by the Western Pennsylvania and Local 243/Metro Detroit supplements have rejected those two agreements.
Voting took place over the past several weeks and votes were tallied today.

Another supplement yet to be voted on is the Local 804 Supplement. However, a tentative agreement on the Local 804 Supplement has been reached and a vote will take place in the near future.
The national agreement cannot take effect until all the outstanding supplements are ratified. Once ratified, economic improvements are retroactive to August 1, 2018.
Click here for 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.

Rail Workers Hazmat Training: Arizona, Western New Mexico, Southeastern California, and the Navajo Nation: Rail Hazmat Chemical/Emergency Response Training Programs
The Rail Workers Hazardous Materials Training Program is pleased to announce the following HazMat/Chemical Emergency Response Training Program. This training addresses OSHA and DOT required training in addition to procedures, different levels of response and worker protection in a hazardous materials emergency or release, weapons of mass destruction awareness and the incident command system. The training also provides completion of the OSHA 10-Hour General Industry Outreach requirements. The programs are delivered using interactive classroom instruction, small group activities, hands-on drills and a simulated hazmat response in full safety gear.
The Rail Workers Hazardous Materials Training Program is funded to provide this training by a federal grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). This five-day hazmat training course will provide rail workers the essential knowledge, skills, and response actions in the case of an unintentional release. These tools will allow rail workers to protect themselves, their co-workers and their communities.
The funding provides the following student expenses: travel, lodging and meals. In addition, an incentive of $175.00 per day is available to all training participants of these programs, except those who are able to secure regular pay through their employer, or are paid union officers.
To meet this training need, the Rail Program will conduct the 30 Hr. Chemical Emergency Response and OSHA 10 Hour Awareness Training Program from
Wednesday, April 10 - Sunday, April 14, 2019 in Winslow, Arizona:
Wednesday-Sunday, April 10 – April 14, 2019 – 8:00am-5:00pm
This class is open only to railroad employees in Arizona, Western New Mexico, Southeastern California, and the Navajo Nation. Attendees must drive personal vehicles... no air travel is available for this class.
Lodging will be available for those attendees traveling from beyond 50 miles of the training facility.
LOCATION
Bojo’s Grill and Sports Club 117
W 2nd Street (Back Room)
Winslow, AZ 86047

Attendees must register on-line at http://railworkertrainingprogram.org or www.rwhmtp.org
Visit the Rail Hazmat website: http://railworkertrainingprogram.org or www.rwhmtp.org
Contact Rail Workers Hazmat Training Program, (202) 624-6963 (M-F, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm EST)

California Teamsters Call for End to Worker Misclassification Teamsters Go to Sacramento in Support of Dynamex, AB 5: (WASHINGTON) – Teamsters from more than 15 locals unions within California Joint Councils 7 and 42 took part in a hearing and lobby day in Sacramento in support of legislation to help end misclassification.
More than 50 Teamsters joined the California Labor Federation at the Capitol to show their support for Assembly Bill (AB) 5. In April, the California Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. vs Superior Court of Los Angeles, referred to as “Dynamex,” simplified the test for determining whether a worker is classified as an employee for minimum wage and overtime protections. Assembly Bill (AB) 5 is legislation that would codify Dynamex into state law, and make it harder for employers to misclassify their employees as independent contractors.
“Misclassification is an attempt to weaken the bargaining power of workers. Unchecked, it will contribute to ever-widening income inequality and increased corporate power,” said Doug Bloch, Political Director for Teamsters Joint Council 7.
Bloch was a panelist on the California Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment hearing titled, “Dynamex and Beyond: Understanding the Legal and Policy Landscape of Workers Misclassification in California.”
He noted that good employers who play by the rules should not be undercut by companies that misclassify their workers as independent contractors to avoid the minimum wage, payroll taxes, Social Security, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation and more.
“We urge the passage of AB 5 to help protect and rebuild this state’s middle class,” Bloch said.

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