Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Teamsters Weekly Update, Week Ending April 26, 2019

Campaign Workers Are Now Teamster Strong!: Like many working men and women in the U.S. the staff of political campaigns and state parties experience pressures on the job and like all workers in America, these campaign staffers deserve to have a strong voice on the job. The Teamsters Union has a proven record when it comes to delivering on strong contracts for all of our members.  The Teamster are proud to welcome our newest members – the Teamster Campaign Workers.

Teamsters Dispatchers Ratify Contract with Allegiant Air: With close to 90 percent of eligible workers participating, flight dispatchers at Allegiant Air have voted overwhelmingly to ratify their first collective bargaining agreement as members of Teamsters Local 986.

Teamsters Local 528 Members Strike at Sysco over Violations of Workers’ Rights: More than 400 Teamsters Local 528 members employed at Sysco are now on strike at the company’s College Park, Ga., distribution center after management unilaterally changed working conditions for employees and prevented the members from communicating with each other about ongoing contract negotiations.

Teamster Nurses Keep on Truckin': There were hugs, cheers and smiles all around the night that the votes were counted, and registered nurses with St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Lewiston, Idaho, found out they were officially Teamsters.

Workers' Memorial Day 2019: The Teamsters Union, and trade unionists around the world, recognize April 28 as Workers' Memorial Day — an international day of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured or made ill by their work.
 

NEWS ARTICLES

Campaign Workers Are Now Teamster Strong! We are currently living at a critical juncture in American history. Income inequality is at an all-time high. Corporations are making billions of dollars in profits while ordinary working families are struggling to put food on the table. Our dreams of being able to provide a better future for our families and contribute to our local communities are quickly fading away with the reality that it is becoming harder every day to make a living.
Nowhere is this disparity more evident than in our domestic supply chain, the skeletal frame of the U.S. economy where hard-working men and women load, unload, and transport consumer goods from ports, railyards, and warehouses to store shelves. Since 1980, U.S. imports increased by more than 500 percent, creating millions of new jobs in trucking and warehousing. Yet despite their importance in the economy, since 1980 the median wage for truck drivers has plummeted by 21- 50 percent (depending on the sector), largely the result of a scheme to de-unionize the industry following the deregulation of the trucking industry in 1980, which resulted in widespread misclassification of drivers as “independent contractors.” And for warehouse workers, the majority of whom are non-union, on-call “temps” toiling in unsafe conditions, workers’ income averages less than $20,000 per year with few having health insurance for themselves or their families.
The epidemic wage theft in trucking, coupled with the division of workers through staffing agencies, have allowed American retail giants like Lowes, TJ Maxx, and Amazon to generate explosive corporate profits at the expense of hard-working families and the communities in which we live. Thus, it is no coincidence that income inequality in the U.S. is at an all-time high while the percentage of workers able to unite to improve their wages, secure affordable health care, and achieve retirement security is at an all-time low. In 1965, one-third of American workers belonged to a union, which ensured that they earned good wages and benefits and lifted the standards for all workers in the U.S. Over the last 40 years, with widespread schemes to divide workers, aggressive anti-union tactics, and a lack of enforcement of U.S. labor laws, private sector union membership has declined to less than 6 percent. Nevertheless, today’s labor unions are strong and a growing number of Americans believe that unions are the best hope to rebuild our struggling working class. The communities in which these crucial supply chain workers live are among some of the most impoverished in America. The majority of these workers are immigrants and people of color, and face the brunt of the assault on working families. Ground zero for this economic disaster is at NFI Industries’ operations at the Port of Los Angeles, where hundreds of warehouse workers and port truck drivers who haul and handle imports for major companies such as Lowe’s, Rio Tinto, TJ Maxx, and Amazon have gone on strike seven times in the last five years to demand a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work. After years of attempting to work with the company and urging customers to demand that NFI provide safe working conditions, comply with the law, and treat workers fairly, NFI chose to abandon its workers and the community rather than clean up its act.
Angelenos from diverse backgrounds have come together to demand a radical change to the status quo that has gone on for far too long. For years, corporate America has told elected officials and community members that they should be happy to have jobs and that they have no right to make any demands. Now, working people are pushing back. Our communities don’t want just any job; we are demanding a job that pays a living wage and allows families to thrive and prosper.
There is now a tremendous opportunity for a high road, law-abiding logistics company to move onto the Port’s prime Wilmington property. The Port of Los Angeles has issued a Request for Proposal for a new tenant and, with the City’s leadership, we are hopeful for the future. However, the responsibility isn’t just that of the trucking and warehousing companies; it’s also up to the shippers and retailers to live up to their codes of conduct and contract with companies that play by the rules and treat their workers with dignity and respect. We call on Lowe’s, TJ Maxx, Rio Tinto, Best Buy, Puma, New Balance, and Amazon to immediately end their business relationships with NFI Industries because of its egregious record of abuse towards port drivers and warehouse workers. At the end of the day, it is companies like Lowe’s and Rio Tinto that hold the power in our supply chains, and we will hold them accountable to ourselves as the workers hauling and handling their cargo, to our families, and to our communities from which they profit so handsomely.

Teamsters Dispatchers Ratify Contract with Allegiant Air Members Vote Overwhelmingly in Favor of First Contract: (LAS VEGAS) – With close to 90 percent of eligible workers participating, flight dispatchers at Allegiant Air have voted overwhelmingly to ratify their first collective bargaining agreement as members of Teamsters Local 986.
“I’m proud of our dispatchers,” said Capt. David Bourne, Director of the Teamsters Airline Division. “These workers stuck together at the bargaining table to negotiate and ratify their first contract. Congratulations to everyone who worked hard to make this happen.”
“I’d like to thank the negotiating committee for all of their hard work,” said Bob Fisher, Airline Division International Representative and Lead Negotiator. “They were able to work professionally and proficiently with the company to reach an agreement that was amenable to all parties involved.”
“Local 986 is proud of the dispatchers for standing strong and getting an agreement that gives these new Teamsters outstanding health benefits and job security,” said Chris Griswold, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 986.
The new contract becomes amendable in five years. It includes a number of substantial perks, including more paid time off along with significant improvements to the dispatchers’ salaries and benefits – the total wage increase for the entire group is more than $900,000 over the lifetime of the agreement. In addition to the dispatchers, the Teamsters also represent mechanics and pilots at Allegiant Air.

Teamsters Local 528 Members Strike at Sysco Over Violations of Workers’ Rights: (ATLANTA)—More than 400 Teamsters Local 528 members employed at Sysco are now on strike at the company’s College Park, Ga., distribution center after management unilaterally changed working conditions for employees and prevented the members from communicating with each other about ongoing contract negotiations.
Pickets went up around 5:45 p.m. Thursday night.
“We are on strike to protest Sysco’s attempt to bully us,” said Kip Cortez, a warehouse worker at Sysco Atlanta.
“There is no excuse for Sysco management to violate these workers’ rights. The company needs to let these workers talk to each other about what they want in their new contract and why they joined the Teamsters Union,” said Maurice Cobb, President of Teamsters Local 528.
Sysco Corporation (NYSE: SYY) is an American multinational corporation involved in marketing and distributing food products to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, hospitality businesses like hotels and inns, and wholesale to other companies that provide foodservice.

Teamster Nurses Keep on Truckin': Idaho Nurses Stay United in Campaign to Join Local 690: There were hugs, cheers and smiles all around the night that the votes were counted, and registered nurses with St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Lewiston, Idaho, found out they were officially Teamsters.
On that night of April 11, the previous months of teamwork had paid off. The nurses voted overwhelmingly to join Teamsters Local 690 in nearby Spokane, Washington.
Brandi Fiorino has worked at St. Joseph for 17 years, the past eight years as a registered nurse.
During their campaign to organize, she and her co-workers were faced with mandatory hospital meetings and fliers discouraging them from forming their union with the Teamsters.
“One flier said the Teamsters Union would be a bad choice for us because Teamsters are truckers,” Fiorino said.
The nurses were prepared, having already discussed as a group with Teamster representatives about what to expect and how management might try to dissuade them from becoming Teamsters.
Rather than look negatively at the fact that the Teamsters Union has many members in transportation, the nurses turned management’s negative into a positive by embracing the union’s diverse membership, which happens to include thousands of health care workers in addition to truck drivers.
During the holidays, the various hospital departments have a tradition of decorating trees or wreaths, which are then auctioned off as a fundraiser. The nurses in the Emergency Room decorated their tree with a truck driver theme. It included truck driver hats and truck decorations, and won the prize for raising the most money for the fundraiser.
“We got the idea to make these hats that say, ‘Keep on Truckin’ and made 50 of them to give out,” Fiorino said. “Everyone wears scrubs at work, but on 'Teamster Tuesdays' we wore our Teamster shirts to and from work that said 'Nurses Rights: Right time, right place, right union,' and we wore bracelets that said ‘Organize’.”
Fiorino is pictured here with Nina Bugbee, Director of the Teamsters Health Care Division, who provided the full resources and support of the union to the nurses in Lewiston as they organized.
Fiorino also credits the support of Local 690 and Teamster organizers, and the unity of her co-workers, in their successful effort to join the union. Local 690 also represents nurses in Sandpoint, Idaho.
“We have great nurses who are strong employees and leaders. When you hire good nurses because you provide good pay and patient ratios, that gives security to the patients as well as the nurses. We are the patients’ advocates and being Teamsters gives us a great platform to be able to advocate,” Fiorino said.
St. Joseph was sold two years ago, making it a for-profit hospital for the first time in its more than 100-year history.
“As health care operations are bought out by corporations, this provides an opportunity for unions to increasingly enter the health care world to keep patients safe and stand up for health care workers, including nurses like us,” Fiorino said.

Workers' Memorial Day - April 28, 2019: Mourn for the Dead, Fight for the Living:
Safe Jobs, Every Worker’s Right
The Teamsters Union, and trade unionists around the world, recognize April 28 as Workers' Memorial Day — an international day of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured or made ill by their work.
Workers' Memorial Day is an opportunity to highlight the preventable nature of most workplace injuries and illnesses, and to promote the fight for improving health and safety at each and every workplace. To help mark this important day, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) is providing the following resources to help with the planning of activities at local unions and workplaces.
Background
Decades of struggle by workers and their unions have resulted in significant improvements in working conditions. But the toll of workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths remains enormous.
Since 1989, the U.S. labor movement has observed Workers’ Memorial Day to remember those who have suffered and died on the job. April 28 was chosen because it is the anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Workers' Memorial Day has been officially endorsed by the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) and the International Labor Organization (ILO), and is now observed in nearly 100 countries.
About 5,147 workers were killed on the job in 2017 (a 7-percent increase from 2015).  Another 50,000 to 60,000 workers died from occupational diseases.  This is the fourth consecutive increase in annual workplace fatalities and the first time more than 5,000 fatalities have been recorded by the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) since 2008.
Each year, millions of workers are injured – like truck drivers, sanitation workers and warehouse workers who suffer epidemic rates of repetitive motion injuries.
In 2017, 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by private industry employers, and about 700,000 injuries and illness cases were reported among state and local government workers. Work injuries involving transportation incidents remained the most common fatal event in 2017, accounting for 40 percent (2,077).  Slips, trips and falls were the second largest major event for fatal injuries. Violence and other injuries by persons or animals remained high as the third largest major event for fatal injuries. Violence and other injuries by persons or animals remained high (becoming the second-most common fatal event in 2017).
Resources
To help mark this important day, the IBT is providing the following resources to help with the planning of activities at local unions and workplaces:
Statement from James P. Hoffa, Teamsters General President
Letter from Lamont Byrd, Teamsters Safety and Health Director
Tell Us About Your Event
Workplace Fatality Report Form
Fatal Occupational Injuries
Behavior-Based Safety
Safety and Health Management Guidelines
Opioids in the Workplace
Fact Sheet for Workers' Memorial Day Activities
General Talking Points
Sample Letter to the Editor
Sample Media Advisory
Sample Press Release After Event
A Collection of Workers' Memorials
Fact Sheet on Your Rights as a Whistleblower
Fact Sheet on Whistleblower Protection for Commercial Motor Carrier Workers
Fact Sheet on Whistleblower Protection for Railroad Employees

 

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