Teamsters

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Teamster Weekly Update, Week Ending May 24, 2019

Hoffa: Teens Driving Trucks Interstate Would Jeopardize Safety: The following is a statement from Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa about a proposed federal pilot program that would allow drivers as young as 18 to transport goods via trucks in interstate commerce.

Teamster Leaders Laud Lifting of U.S. National Security Tariffs: Jim Hoffa, General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and François Laporte, President of Teamsters Canada, made the following statements today on the lifting of the U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs:

Workers at First Student School Bus of Irving, TX Join Teamsters Local 745: By a margin of over 95 percent, more than 150 school bus drivers and monitors at First Student of Irving, Texas voted to join Teamsters Local 745. The drivers and monitors provide student transportation services for Irving Independent School District.

Wisconsin Teamster’s Training Helps Him Save a Life: On the morning of May 14, 2019, Teamsters Local 200 Waste Management member Chad Schreiner had an on-the-job experience that changed his life forever, and saved the life of another.

Episode 177: United in Power at Unity!: Features audio and interviews from Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa; Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak; International Vice President and Local 237 President Greg Floyd; Teamsters Public Service Division Director Jason Rabinowitz; Teamsters Organizing Director Jeff Farmer; Katie Finn, national field director for the Teamsters’ Department of Political and Legislative Action; Local 287 member Noel Martinez; Local 727 member Patrice Jefferson; Local 853 business agent Steve Beck; and Local 137 Secretary-Treasurer Dave Hawley

Port Truck Drivers, Teamsters Want Congress to Reform System: Three port-related workers from across the country came to Capitol Hill yesterday to share their stories on how companies are taking advantage of their labor by misclassifying them as contract workers and how changes need to be made to federal law to stop the practice.

YRCW Teamster Wins 2019 President's Award From Company: A 30-year freight member of Local 662 in Wisconsin has received the "President's Award" from YRCW, recognizing his hard work and safety record.

 

NEWS ARTICLES

Hoffa: Teens Driving Trucks Interstate Would Jeopardize Safety: Proposed FMCSA Pilot Program Is Not Worth Risk to Motorists Nationwide: (WASHINGTON) – The following is a statement from Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa about a proposed federal pilot program that would allow drivers as young as 18 to transport goods via trucks in interstate commerce.
“The decision by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to propose a pilot program that would lower the commercial driver’s license restriction from 21 to 18 is of grave concern to those who use the roadways as their workplace every day.
“During the last highway bill, the FAST Act, Congress dictated how FMCSA could approach this topic. FMCSA was told it could do so in a highly controlled manner using only veterans and other members of the military who had experience driving during their time in the service. That safeguard was an important step towards counter-acting the enormous safety risks inherent with having teenagers running tractor trailers across long distances. Ignoring that decision and unilaterally deciding to explore a much broader pilot program represents a dismissive wave of the hand to the will of Congress.
“This program is also being discussed under the auspices of easing a driver shortage that mainly plagues one subset of the trucking industry. Instead of discussing the rampant turnover that part of industry faces, or the low pay and tough working conditions those drivers endure, we are disappointed to see the agency only focus on how they can get more drivers into these jobs with no suggestions of how to improve the quality of the work while they are there. Younger drivers should not be expected to tolerate substandard working conditions any more than their older counterparts. Asking them to do so while also potentially jeopardizing the safety of all road users only makes this decision more troubling.”

Teamster Leaders Laud Lifting of U.S. National Security Tariffs: (WASHINGTON) – Jim Hoffa, General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and François Laporte, President of Teamsters Canada, made the following statements today on the lifting of the U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs:
Hoffa was quick to offer his support for the announced solution:  “When this overdue announcement was made, I personally thanked Ambassador Lighthizer and congratulated him for the successful resolution of this irritant in our traditionally excellent bilateral trade relations.
“We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Canada and with the Steelworkers unions in both countries.  As we all know, steel and aluminum are the backbone of North America’s integrated economy, critical infrastructure and mutual defense.”
Laporte echoed Hoffa’s response: “I spoke with Minister Freeland earlier today to congratulate her on the government’s work on getting the U.S. national security tariffs lifted. This is truly excellent news for both countries.
“These tariffs put hundreds of our members out of work, primarily in auto parts factories in Ontario and at a steel mill in British Columbia. We hope the laid off workers will be promptly reinstated, and we are currently studying ways to help get our affected members’ lives back on track as soon as possible.”
Hoffa and Laporte agree: “American and Canadian workers are united by a tight bond. We are each other’s closest trading partners and closest allies. We have worked together, fought together, and built great things together.
“Teamsters on both sides of the border lobbied their respective governments for an end to these tariffs.  Our combined efforts, against these tariffs and for Fair Trade, exemplify the international solidarity of working families, and illustrate the importance of international unions in the global economy.”

Workers at First Student School Bus of Irving, TX Join Teamsters Local 745: School Bus Yard Votes Overwhelmingly in Favor of Union Representation: (IRVING, TX) – By a margin of over 95 percent, more than 150 school bus drivers and monitors at First Student of Irving, Texas voted to join Teamsters Local 745. The drivers and monitors provide student transportation services for Irving Independent School District.
“These workers have spoken candidly,” said Brent Taylor, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 745. “What our newest members have said is that they want the job security, representation and on-the-job improvements that are guaranteed in writing with a Teamster contract at First Student.”
The Teamsters represent more than 22,000 workers at First Student. The drivers and monitors from the Irving yard will be immediately covered by the existing First Student National Master Agreement, which provides workers with industry-leading job protections.

A local supplemental agreement will be negotiated to cover wages, benefits and additional work protections. Felicia Barnett and Bessie Young are drivers at the Irving yard who said that they are looking forward to collective bargaining.
“The Teamsters are better than sliced bread,” said Barnett. “Unions are coming to the south in a big way. Let freedom ring!”
“All I can say is ‘wow,’ ” Young said. “This experience has opened up my eyes to a whole new world that I love being a part of. Teamsters are number one in my book!”
Teamsters Local 745 represents thousands of workers throughout a wide variety of industries in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan area.

Wisconsin Teamster’s Training Helps Him Save a Life: (MILWAUKEE, Wisc.) – On the morning of May 14, 2019, Teamsters Local 200 Waste Management member Chad Schreiner had an on-the-job experience that changed his life forever, and saved the life of another.
Schreiner, who works at Waste Management in Menomonee Falls, was on his route when he got out of the truck to move a safety cone in front of a customer’s home. After he collected the garbage, Schreiner returned the safety cone to its original position. That’s when Schreiner hear a faint voice asking for help.
Schreiner immediately knew something was wrong and began to look for from the source of the voice he had heard. He quickly realized that the noise was coming from inside the hopper of his front load waste truck. Falling back on his training, Schreiner followed his lock-out-tag-out procedure to prevent injury to the person in the hopper.
Schreiner then notified the company and the fire department and tried to keep the person calm until help arrived. If he had not been aware of his surroundings, the man trapped inside the hopper could have easily lost his life. The victim, who turned out to be a homeless man, was removed from the hopper by the firefighters without any injuries.
Schreiner was relieved that he was able to use his training to act quickly and decisively to address the dangerous situation before anyone was hurt. In a final gesture of kindness, Schreiner offered the homeless man his lunch. He accepted.

Episode 177: United in Power at Unity!:
EPISODE NOTES:
Listen to the latest episode of the Teamster Nation Podcast and hear how the union united for power at its annual Unity Conference in May, plus its plans for greater wins in the workplace and at the ballot box.
SHOW NOTES: Features audio and interviews from Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa; Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak; International Vice President and Local 237 President Greg Floyd; Teamsters Public Service Division Director Jason Rabinowitz; Teamsters Organizing Director Jeff Farmer; Katie Finn, national field director for the Teamsters’ Department of Political and Legislative Action; Local 287 member Noel Martinez; Local 727 member Patrice Jefferson; Local 853 business agent Steve Beck; and Local 137 Secretary-Treasurer Dave Hawley

Port Truck Drivers, Teamsters Want Congress to Reform System: Three port-related workers from across the country came to Capitol Hill yesterday to share their stories on how companies are taking advantage of their labor by misclassifying them as contract workers and how changes need to be made to federal law to stop the practice.
They told congressional staffers and lawmakers in attendance about the long hours they are expected to work for low pay and a lack of protections on the job if they are injured or sick. They also said they risk losing their rigs even after years of making payments on them if they can’t keep up with the high lease-to-own payments or necessary repairs to their vehicles.
“There are a lot of myths surrounding truck drivers,” said Javier Ramirez, an XPO Logistics driver from San Diego. “Many people think it is a lucrative business with a high reward. But that isn’t the case and is far from the truth.”
Despite working long hours, many of these workers are being driven to bankruptcy. “Can you imagine working six years, making all the payments on the truck, and not owning the vehicle?” said Fred Potter, the Teamster’s Port Division Director. “There are a lot of sad stories at the port.”
Potter noted that the misclassification practices engaged in by companies like XPO give them an unfair advantage in the marketplace that penalizes port trucking firms properly employing their workers. That’s why the Teamsters have worked to hold large retailers like Target and Walmart responsible for the practices of their trucking subcontractors engaging in misclassification.
The Teamsters and workers are urging Congress to craft legislation like a measure enacted in California that would improving working conditions both in the trucking industry and throughout the supply chain. California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, who formerly served as a state senator, introduced the legislation.

Lara told attendees his bill went after “the top of the food chain” by targeting retailers and shippers who hire port trucking companies to transport goods to inland warehouses. It holds them jointly responsible for employment violations by such firms. The state publishes a list of trucking companies violating the state’s employment law, thus giving retailers and shippers the ability to avoid doing business with them.
“It’s no longer OK in the modern world for a company to say they didn’t know,” Lara said.
House members said they realize this is a problem that needs to be addressed on the federal level. Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.) said port truckers should not be forced to work long hours for low pay. “It is unthinkable and disgraceful that companies continue to get away with it,” she said.
And Rep. Nannette Barragan (D-Calif.), who noted her brother-in-law works as a port truck driver at the Port of Los Angeles, called the situation unacceptable. “Whatever we can do at the federal level, count me in,” she said.

YRCW Teamster Wins 2019 President's Award From Company: A 30-year freight member of Local 662 in Wisconsin has received the "President's Award" from YRCW, recognizing his hard work and safety record.
Brian Mason was honored for his long, successful career with the company. In 2018, he was also honored for over 2 million safe miles travelled.
"I'm proud of Brian's achievement and I'm pleased that the company recognized his decades of hard work," said John Kaiser, President of Local 662 in Mosinee, Wisc.
Mason works at YRCW's Little Chute, Wisc. terminal. His value to the company is on display every day where he generally runs north to the Marinette/Menomonee, Mich. area. Customers such as Tyco-Johnson Controls, Menomonee Industrial and Vu Food Service have relied on the expertise Mason exhibits every day and have increased shipments with YRC mainly because of his caring, professional attitude. Mason has helped the company gain more business that might have otherwise gone to a competitor.
"With the great health insurance my family has thanks to the Teamster-negotiated contracts, I wouldn't go anywhere else," Mason said. "I'm absolutely proud to be a Teamster. Everything I have is because of the Teamsters, YRC and my customers."
 

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