Teamsters

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Teamsters Weekly Update, Week Ending, August 2, 2019

Teamsters Local 118 Members at Wegmans Ratify Contract: New Five-Year Agreement Overwhelmingly Approved: Following a week-long contract review period, Teamsters Local 118 members employed at Wegmans Food Market distribution centers in Rochester voted to ratify a new agreement by an overwhelming 80 percent margin.

South Carolina Teamsters Rally Prior to Second Democratic Debate: Teamsters Local 509 Members, Elected Officials and Community Leaders Highlight Issues of Importance to Working People: Teamsters Local 509 members gathered on Tuesday for a member appreciation event held by the local union to discuss issues that matter to working people in the lead up to the 2020 election. Speakers at the event—held the afternoon prior to the second Democratic debate—included elected officials and community leaders.
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Workers at First Student of Irving, TX Ratify Their First Teamster Contract: Supplemental Agreement Supported Overwhelmingly by Drivers, Monitors: The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has reached an agreement in principle with Air Canada, the largest passenger carrier in Canada. The agreement covers over 700 customer service representatives, reservation assistants, air cargo workers and other employees at the company’s U.S. base of operations.

Durham Drivers and Monitors of Memphis Ratify Teamster Contract: New Agreement Covers Hundreds of Workers in Shelby County: On Thursday July 26, Durham School Services drivers and monitors in Memphis, Tenn. voted overwhelmingly to ratify their newest contract with Teamsters Local 667. The new contract will set a higher standard for close to 600 workers who provide pupil transportation for Shelby County Schools.

Crestwood Police Officers Ratify Strong Teamster Contract: Teamsters Local 610 Members Gain Wage Increases, on the Job Protections:  Police officers with the Crestwood Police Department have voted unanimously to ratify their first Teamster contract. The 20 police officers, who are members of Local 610, are the first group of Teamster-represented officers in Missouri.

Teamsters at UPS Receive Wage Increase August 1: Latest Increase Follows Recent Retroactive Increase: General wage increases for full-time and part-time UPS Teamsters of 75 cents per hour will go into effect August 1, 2019 under the nation’s largest collective bargaining agreement that took effect earlier this year benefiting 250,000 workers represented by the Teamsters. Also on August 1, part-time workers represented by the Teamsters will get a boost in their starting rate to $14 per hour.

Working Women Share Hopes for 2020 During Presidential Forum With Candidates: Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) joined working women from across the Midwest to discuss the upcoming election during a presidential forum Thursday evening sponsored by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Teamsters Warn South African Investors of Workers’ Rights Risks at XPO Logistics: Union Highlights Legal, Operational Reputational & Regulatory Risks at Investment Conference; Orbis, Fund with Deep Roots in South Africa, is XPO’s Largest Shareholder: Today, the Teamsters Union is warning South African institutional investors regarding the many risks facing investments in one of the world's largest transportation and warehousing companies, XPO Logistics [NYSE:  XPO] at the Institute of Retirement Funds Africa conference in Durban, South Africa. The conference is the largest gathering of South African institutional investors, an industry with 6.2 trillion ZAR or $440 billion USD assets under management. The union is meeting with pension fund trustees and other investment professionals throughout the conference.
 

NEWS ARTICLES

Teamsters Local 118 Members at Wegmans Ratify Contract: New Five-Year Agreement Overwhelmingly Approved: (ROCHESTER, N.Y.) – Following a week-long contract review period, Teamsters Local 118 members employed at Wegmans Food Market distribution centers in Rochester voted to ratify a new agreement by an overwhelming 80 percent margin.
The bargaining unit includes warehouse workers, drivers and skilled trades workers. The new agreement provides for a 15.08 percent wage increase over the term, including a first year wage increase of 3.77 percent. In addition, improvements were made to wage progression schedules, differential pay, stricter part-time language and other improvements that are mutually beneficial.
“While this new agreement sets a new standard with respect to wages and benefits within the grocery warehouse industry, it also addresses the quality of life issues our members deserve. It was imperative that our committee took the time and effort to communicate the many positive changes to this agreement,” said Paul Markwitz, President of Local 118. “The overwhelming approval of this agreement underscores the success of that effort.”
Local 118 represents approximately 4,300 members throughout the greater Rochester area. Follow us on Facebook at Friends of Teamsters Local 118, on Twitter @Teamsters118 or visit www.teamsterslocal118.org.

South Carolina Teamsters Rally Prior to Second Democratic Debate: Teamsters Local 509 Members, Elected Officials and Community Leaders Highlight Issues of Importance to Working People: (CHARLESTON, S.C.) –Teamsters Local 509 members gathered on Tuesday for a member appreciation event held by the local union to discuss issues that matter to working people in the lead up to the 2020 election. Speakers at the event—held the afternoon prior to the second Democratic debate—included elected officials and community leaders.
Teamsters Local 509 members will be some of the first voters to hit the ballot box in the presidential primary. They said they want to see candidates focus on a number of key issues for American workers, including retirement security, health care and infrastructure.
“We’re here because it’s so important to get involved, especially in 2020 when we need to elect labor-friendly politicians. There’s no doubt that our elected leaders in 2020 will decide the direction of our state and our country for a long time,” said James Todd, President of Local 509.
Evelena Moultrie, a Durham School Services school bus driver, was one of a number of Local 509 members in attendance.
“The biggest reason we are here to is to hear from our local elected leaders, and get a survey completed by everyone in regard to what they’re looking for in candidates who are running in 2020,” Moultrie said. “It’s important to me that the presidential candidates focus on health care, Social Security and infrastructure.”
“I champion the cause of labor. It is always a priority of mine. We need to increase living wages and drive forward the message that unions are the backbone of America,” said Pastor Thomas Dixon, candidate for mayor of North Charleston.
“I know firsthand the importance of labor; South Carolina labor is under attack. We have to do everything we can to put folks in office who understand the importance of working people,” said Rep. J A Moore (D-District 15).
“Look at politicians’ voting records and make a decision of who is on your side, who’s not, and vote accordingly. I ask you to vote for folks that are going to be on your side,” said Rep. David Mack (D-District 109).

Workers at First Student of Irving, TX Ratify Their First Teamster Contract: Supplemental Agreement Supported Overwhelmingly by Drivers, Monitors: (IRVING, TX) – With over 92 percent of eligible workers voting in favor of ratification, school bus drivers and monitors at First Student of Irving, TX have voted overwhelmingly in favor of implementing their first collective bargaining agreement with Teamsters Local 745.
“Congratulations to the members of our negotiating committee and everyone at First Student of Irving, TX who worked tirelessly to make this dream a reality,” said Local 745 Secretary-Treasurer Brent Taylor. “These workers embody the solidarity and courage that being a member of the Teamsters is all about.”
The supplemental agreement contains a number of substantial improvements to wages and working conditions. It covers over 150 workers at the Irving yard, and is in addition to the rights and protections that the workers already have under the First Student National Master Agreement. The Irving drivers and monitors ratified the agreement less than three months after joining the union, a remarkably quick turnaround time for a contract.
Vickie Thomas-Fuller is a First Student driver who voted in favor of the contract. She said that First Student drivers and monitors everywhere should join the Teamsters because these workers are the lifeblood of the company’s success.
“School bus drivers and monitors matter, so if you’re a school bus worker, don’t ever think that you don’t matter,” Thomas-Fuller said. “Go with the Teamsters.”
Teamsters Local Union 745 represents workers from a diverse group of industries and trades throughout the Dallas-Ft. Worth area.

Durham Drivers and Monitors of Memphis Ratify Teamster Contract: New Agreement Covers Hundreds of Workers in Shelby County: (MEMPHIS, Tenn.) – On Thursday July 26, Durham School Services drivers and monitors in Memphis, Tenn. voted overwhelmingly to ratify their newest contract with Teamsters Local 667. The new contract will set a higher standard for close to 600 workers who provide pupil transportation for Shelby County Schools.
“Our brothers and sisters at Durham do the difficult work that ensures our kids arrive on time and safe to school,” said Local 667 President James Jones. “This contract is a good step in making sure they get the respect that this vital work deserves.”
The victory didn’t come overnight – Jones launched the campaign to raise the standard at Durham of Memphis on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of this year. In addition to improving wages and benefits, the new contract adds holiday pay for Veterans Day and Presidents Day for all workers, along with July 4th for workers who work over the summer.
Denise Tinsdall, Felicia Walker, Jennifer Elliot and Lennette Beyah are Durham drivers who assisted with negotiating and ratifying the newest contract.
“I’m so excited with our new Teamster contract!” Tinsdall said. “We will now be guaranteed three paid days off this year and four days off every year after so that we can take care of ourselves and our families during the school year.”
“The new contract guarantees that everybody, drivers and monitors, gets one hour pay for extra stops,” Walker said.
“This was my first time sitting at the table to negotiate with the company,” said Elliot. “We stayed strong and got what we needed. I’m proud that we raised the four hour minimum pay guarantee to five hours; this will really help our brothers and sisters at Durham of Memphis."
“This isn’t our first contract with Durham, but it is our best,” said Beyah. “I’m proud of the new contract. We got the monitors to 15 dollars an hour, and the drivers will top out at 24 dollars an hour. It is definitely a new day at Durham!”
Teamsters Local 667 represents workers in a wide variety of industries throughout Western Tennessee.

Crestwood Police Officers Ratify Strong Teamster Contract: Teamsters Local 610 Members Gain Wage Increases, on the Job Protections: (CRESTWOOD, Mo.) – Police officers with the Crestwood Police Department have voted unanimously to ratify their first Teamster contract. The 20 police officers, who are members of Local 610, are the first group of Teamster-represented officers in Missouri.
“After a lengthy negotiation and a 100 percent ‘yes’ ratification vote, we finally did it,” said Jeff Hall, President of Local 610. “I’m so proud of the officers of Crestwood and the tenacity they showed by sticking together. I’m honored to represent the heroes who serve and protect the citizens of the ‘Show Me’ state.”  
“It’s been a hard negotiation, but we all stuck together, and the Teamsters never gave up on us. We achieved substantial wage increases, increased vacation time, and language that protects us as officers. Also, the Teamsters Legal Defense Fund is a very attractive benefit for our members. I’m encouraging all other police departments who haven’t unionized to call the Teamsters today and learn how much joining will help you and your department,” said
Officer Dion Olson, who has been with the Crestwood Police Department for more than 11 years and was a member of the negotiating committee.
"The City of Crestwood is pleased to have reached a three-year agreement with our police officers and Local 610. Among other matters, the contract provides for increased wages to keep our salaries competitive, which the city hopes will increase morale and employee retention,” said Grant J. Mabie, mayor of Crestwood. “The City of Crestwood and its police officers are committed to continuing to provide the public with exemplary public safety."
Crestwood, a city of more than 11,900 residents in the St. Louis metropolitan area, is one of the safest cities in Missouri in thanks to its officers and leadership.

Teamsters At UPS Receive Wage Increase August 1: Latest Increase Follows Recent Retroactive Increase: (WASHINGTON) – General wage increases for full-time and part-time UPS Teamsters of 75 cents per hour will go into effect August 1, 2019 under the nation’s largest collective bargaining agreement that took effect earlier this year benefiting 250,000 workers represented by the Teamsters. Also on August 1, part-time workers represented by the Teamsters will get a boost in their starting rate to $14 per hour.
Recently, as a result of the new collective bargaining agreement between the Teamsters and UPS, workers received retroactive wage increases estimated at $660 million for hours earned from August 1, 2018 until final ratification in April. The Teamsters agreement with UPS is the richest in Teamster history.
The Teamster-UPS contract includes wage increases of $4.15 per hour for both full-time and part-time workers over the term of the contract and will increase the part-time start rate by $5.00.
“Our members are dedicated, hardworking men and women who are the backbone of this country’s package delivery system,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. “They have well-earned all of the back pay from the company as well as the August 1 general wage increase.”
The Teamsters Package Division has advised local unions representing UPS workers that members should review their paychecks and if discrepancies are found, the union business agent should be contacted so that the matter can be resolved with the company.

Working Women Share Hopes for 2020 During Presidential Forum With Candidates: (IOWA CITY, Iowa) - Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) joined working women from across the Midwest to discuss the upcoming election during a presidential forum Thursday evening sponsored by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
The event – “Women Leaders Rising: 2020 Issues Forum” – was held in downtown Iowa City as part of The Midwest School for Women Workers’ annual training program where working women and labor leaders from several different unions develop leadership skills, discuss challenges facing them, and learn from each other’s experiences. Dozens of working women who are attending the school joined the forum.
“We are proud of the thousands of hard-working union women we represent. They are a core part of our economy and are ready to vote this election cycle for candidates who promise to lead on the issues most important to working people--such as retirement security, union rights, and fair trade,” said International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa. “We are grateful to these women, the candidates, and The Midwest School for Women Workers for providing the opportunity to hold an honest discussion about the future of our nation and the policies that closely impact everyday Americans.”
At the forum both Senators commented on the need to focus on issues such as retirement security to protect working people.
“I believe that promises made, should be promises kept,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “... There is something called the Butch Lewis Act that I strongly support and we are working to get that done. And I will continue to push for that as President.”
“The pension system our unions created is one of the most important social safety nets for workers…and to have so many pensions that are at risk right now is gravely troubling…” said Sen. Gillibrand. “...As president I would fully fund our pensions...I would guarantee that all pensions would be fully funded so that those benefits can be paid out.”

Teamsters Warn South African Investors of Workers’ Rights Risks at XPO Logistics: Union Highlights Legal, Operational Reputational & Regulatory Risks at Investment Conference; Orbis, Fund with Deep Roots in South Africa, is XPO’s Largest Shareholder: (DURBAN, South Africa) – Today, the Teamsters Union is warning South African institutional investors regarding the many risks facing investments in one of the world's largest transportation and warehousing companies, XPO Logistics [NYSE:  XPO] at the Institute of Retirement Funds Africa conference in Durban, South Africa. The conference is the largest gathering of South African institutional investors, an industry with 6.2 trillion ZAR or $440 billion USD assets under management. The union is meeting with pension fund trustees and other investment professionals throughout the conference.
“We believe XPO’s record in the USA of misclassifying workers that have led to civil and state led legal actions, violating their workers freedom of association rights and subjecting warehouse employees to work under deplorable conditions where workers allege sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination and unsafe and unhealthy conditions leaves pension funds and other investors exposed to extraordinary risk,” said International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa.
XPO’s human capital management problems persist throughout several of its business segments, with workers reporting workers’ rights violations in both Europe and North America.
This month, five drivers received roughly $900,000 from XPO in a final judgement from the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for misclassification related workplace violations; also this month a settlement for a class action lawsuit regarding denial of overtime and minimum wage claims due to employee misclassification was settled with 847 XPO drivers receiving $16.5 million.
 As of 19 July 2019 there were 26 open individual Unfair Labor Practices with U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the federal government agency that enforces labor laws, filed by or on behalf of XPO workers. On six occasions, the NLRB issued against XPO either individual case complaints or consolidated complaints involving multiple charges filed by the Teamsters.
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal has said the decision to close the Memphis XPO warehouse “sends a chilling message to workers…speaking out against unfair and unacceptable labor standards.”
A hedge fund with deep roots in South Africa, Orbis Investment Management Ltd., is the largest institutional shareholder of XPO Logistics stock, owning 23 percent of the outstanding shares.  Orbis is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment and the firm has issued its own Statement on Responsible Investing. Orbis is founded by Allan Gray, South Africa’s largest independent asset manager.  A percentage of Orbis profits are earmarked for the Allan Gray Foundation, a charitable trust.
“I worked for XPO Logistics In Memphis, Tennessee for six years under what I believe to be inhumane conditions,” said former XPO employee Tasha Murrell, “In my opinion, responsible investors should have very deep concerns about the sustainability of XPO and the reputational risk associated with investing in the company.”
 

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