Teamsters News Roundup

For the week of March 5-9:

March 5, 2018

Teamsters Celebrate Women’s History Month
March is Women’s History Month and March 8 marks International Women’s Day. The Teamsters Union honors women’s accomplishments during this month, while championing progress and celebrating women’s achievements year-round.

Teamsters Reach Tentative Agreement with Standard Forwarding
The Teamsters bargaining committee has reached a tentative agreement with Standard Forwarding for a new national agreement to succeed the agreement that is expiring on March 5.

BLET Members Reach Tentative Agreement with Amtrak
The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), a division of the Teamsters Rail Conference, has reached a tentative agreement with Amtrak governing rates of pay, benefits and work rules for approximately 1,400 locomotive engineers.

Teamsters Make Continued Progress at ABF Negotiations
This past week the Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) and ABF Freight resumed bargaining for a new national collective bargaining agreement, and the parties continued to make progress on issues important to members.

Teamsters Continue Push for Improvements in Fourth Round of UPS and UPS Freight Negotiations
The Teamsters National UPS Negotiating Committee pushed for improvements on a variety of issues as the fourth round of contract negotiations with UPS and UPS Freight wrapped up today.

Beverage Industry, Allies Start Campaign to Stop Seattle’s Soda Tax From Spreading
The Seattle Times
After watching Seattle’s soda tax take effect last month, the beverage industry and its allies have begun an initiative campaign aimed at stopping other Washington communities from adopting similar taxes.

Austin City Council will Give Paid Sick Leave to its Temps
Two weeks after requiring most private employers to provide paid sick leave to their staff, the Austin City Council voted Thursday to do the same for its temporary workers. Under the resolution passed Thursday, temporary city government employees who work 80 hours or more in a given year — roughly 2,900 met that threshold in 2017 — will begin accruing sick time.

Port Truck Drivers File New Class-Action Lawsuit Alleging Wage Theft, Misclassification
Press Telegram
Three Southern California port truck drivers filed a class action lawsuit Monday against a prominent logistics company accusing their management of routinely denying workers owed wages and flouting state labor laws.

‘All-In or Nothing’: West Virginia’s Teacher Strike Was Months in the Making
New York Times
Home from a long day teaching English last month at Mingo Central High School, Robin Ellis told her husband the latest talk among the teachers. They were tired of low pay and costly health benefits — and they were mulling a “rolling strike,” in which teachers in a few counties would walk out each day.

Teachers in Oklahoma Might Be Going on Strike Next
As West Virginia’s teachers strike enters its second week, educators in Oklahoma are considering walking out on the job, too.

March 6, 2018

AEI Teamsters to Vote on Contract Proposal
Leaders of local unions that represent AEI Teamsters met Friday, March 2 to review the proposed National AEI Agreement and unanimously endorsed the proposal, paving the way for members to vote this coming weekend.

How Did Women’s History Month Start?
March is National Women’s History Month, in which everybody from the Library of Congress to your local bookstore celebrates American women and their contribution to national history.

Startling Reality for Minimum Wage Workers… West Virginia Teachers Take a Stand… Trump Finally Acts on Steel Tariffs External Link
Independent News Network
Remember a couple of weeks ago when House Speaker Paul Ryan proudly tweeted about a Pennsylvania school secretary who got a $1.50 weekly raise, thanks to the Republican tax cut?

Editorial: Slashing Fair-Share Union Fees Would Be A Disservice To All Workers
Daily Bruin
In an ironic turn of events, the United States Supreme Court is considering whether to curtail workers’ First Amendment rights in an effort to uphold First Amendment rights.

Manufacturing and Construction are expanding and ready to take on Infrastructure Package
The Hill
Whether large or small, companies across both the manufacturing and construction industries have expressed positive views about their future and poised to expand this year, according to recent surveys from our organizations.

Did Job, Wage Growth Keep Momentum in February?
USA Today
The February employment report highlights a light week of economic news. While the number of job gains, as usual, will likely grab the headlines, economists and investors will also be keenly focused on wage growth after a spike in January led to fears of inflation and lower corporate earnings, sparking weeks of market volatility.

Freight Costs Rising as E-Logging Becomes Reality
The Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate that went into effect for more than 3 million commercial truckers on Dec. 18, 2017, appears to have had a significant impact on truck freight availability and costs. Questions about the new rule remain for the agricultural sector, especially livestock, which has a 90-day exemption that expires March 18.

Amazon-Partner Pinnacle Faces Federal Unfair Labor Practice Charges in RI
GoLocal Prov
The National Labor Relations Board is taking up charges filed by the Teamsters alleging that Pinnacle Logistics — the Quonset-based Amazon delivery partner — has violated the National Labor Relations Act, after the Teamsters filed charges in November against Pinnacle for what they say was retaliatory action after workers at the facility tried to organize.

Luzerne County Reaches Tentative Agreements with Five Unions
Times Leader
Luzerne County’s administration has reached tentative agreements on five new union contracts covering approximately 570 employees, county Administrative Services Division Head David Parsnik said Monday.

U. of I. Graduate Student Workers Strike to Enter 2nd Week as Mediation Effort Fails
Chicago Tribune
The graduate student workers’ strike at University of Illinois will continue into a second week after a weekend mediation session failed to produce a contract agreement, union and university leaders said Sunday night.

March 8, 2018

Durham Workers Join Teamsters Local 572
School bus drivers, monitors and mechanics who work at Durham School Services in Carson, Calif. voted by a 2-1 margin to join Teamsters Local 572. The workers will join more than 500 Durham School Services employees already represented by a Teamster contract.

Teamsters Local 1224 Secures Contract with Up to 100 Percent Gains for Pilots At Omni
Pilots at charter airline Omni Air International reached a new tentative agreement with the company on February 28. The agreement includes major increases in pay that make Omni’s starting first officer salaries the highest in the U.S. airline industry. The pilots are represented by the Airline Professionals Association Teamsters Local 1224 and have been in negotiations with the company for almost two and a half years.

Hoffa, Sanders Meet to Discuss Top Issues Facing Teamsters, Labor
Teamsters President Jim Hoffa sat down today with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to discuss the top issues facing the union including the looming pension crisis, trade and the threat that the Supreme Court case of Janus vs. AFSCME poses to public employees across the nation.

Biden Makes Appeal to Unions While Stumping for Lamb In Pittsburgh
90.5 WESA
The fight for the hearts and minds of America’s labor unions is raging in western Pennsylvania, where Joe Biden has suddenly stopped smiling.

Exclusive: Home Depot to Donate $50M to Train Construction Workers, Address Severe Shortage
USA Today
Home Depot announced Thursday that it will donate $50 million to train 20,000 people as construction workers over the next decade, helping efforts to ease a dire shortage that’s curtailing home building and driving up house prices.

West Virginia Teachers’ Triumph Offers Fresh hope for US workers’ Rights
The Guardian
West Virginia teachers expressed joy on Wednesday as officials settled a historic nine-day strike to conclude the first statewide work stoppage since 1990.

Teacher Unions see Momentum Build with West Virginia Strike
San Francisco Chronicle
As teachers in West Virginia noisily celebrated a 5 percent raise that ended their nine-day walkout, momentum was building elsewhere for similar protests over pay and benefits for the nation’s public school teachers.

Arizona Teachers Wear Red, talk Strike amid Frustration over Low Wages
AZ Central
Arizona teachers wore red to school Wednesday in protest of what many described as the state’s lethargic response to a teacher crisis that’s driven thousands of qualified educators out of the classroom.

Automated Driver Assistance Systems Helpful to Promote Safety, UPS Executive Says
Transport Topics
Automated driver assistance systems are tools the freight industry may utilize to enhance highway safety, a senior executive at UPS Inc. reminded executives at the Technology & Maintenance Council annual meeting March 6.

UPS, FedEx Ranked Most Valuable Logistics Brands Worldwide
Supply Chain Dive
UPS has been named the world’s most valuable logistics brand for the fourth year in a row with a total brand value of $22 billion, according to strategy consultancy Brand Finance.

March 9, 2018

Hoffa: Steel, Aluminum Tariffs Create Fairer Playing Field for American Workers
The following is a statement from Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa about a letter he sent to President Trump after it was announced Thursday afternoon that the U.S. would be placing tariffs on the importation of steel and aluminum from countries outside North America, with an exemption process in place for other nations.

Teamsters Joint Council 39 Endorses Rebecca Dallet for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice
Teamsters Joint Council 39 has announced its endorsement of Milwaukee Circuit Court Judge, Rebecca Dallet for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice. Dallet has over 20 years of experience in the Wisconsin Court system, both as a prosecutor and a judge, and has committed to bring independence and balance to the state’s highest court.

Brown Briefs Teamsters, Trades on a Special Committee to Try to Save Their Pensions
More than 100 Teamsters and other union retirees and active members crowded into a union hall in Canton this morning to get an update from Sen. Sherrod Brown on what it may take to save their pensions.

Florida’s Governor Will Sign Bill Expanding Workers’ Comp Benefits for First Responders
ProPublica Illinois
Like many states, Florida first responders can’t get paid time off work if they get PTSD on the job. The Legislature passed a bill to change that after the Parkland school shooting, but those diagnosed previously are out of luck.

City Workers in Newton Vote to Join Teamsters
Boston Globe
Public works and other municipal employees in Newton have joined forces with the Teamsters Local 25 union, a spokesman announced on Monday.

On BPR: Teamster Says Long Hours Make it Tough for His Drivers to Stay Safe
Brooklyn Paper Radio
Drivers behind the wheel of private garbage trucks are so overworked they can barely keep their eyes open near the ends of their shifts — which usually happen when kids are heading off to school, so parents better keep a sharp eye out, a union representative for workers at Action Carting warned on Brooklyn Paper Radio.

Teamsters Continue Push for Improvements in Fourth Round of UPS and UPS Freight Negotiations
UPS Rising
The next round of negotiations will take place March 19-22.

UPS Names Jim Barber Chief Operating Officer, Appoints Nando Cesarone President, International
UPS Pressroom
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David Abney today announced the appointment of Jim Barber as Chief Operating Officer. As UPS COO, Barber will assume responsibility for the company’s global small package, freight, supply chain and freight forwarding units and engineering.

Job Growth Boomed in February and Trucking Hires Have Begun to Improve
Freight Waves
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that hiring grew at the fastest pace since mid-2016 in February, as employers added 313,000 workers to payrolls during the month. This tops consensus estimates of 205,000 jobs added, and comes on the heels of an upwardly-revised 239,000 job gain in the previous month. Job growth was broad-based during the month, with particularly large gains in construction, retail, and manufacturing helping to bolster the overall number.