Teamsters News Roundup (3/12-3/16)

For the week of March 12-16

March 12, 2018

Hoffa Announces Teamsters Endorsement of Gretchen Whitmer for Michigan Governor
Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa joined Teamsters Joint Council 43 President Greg Nowak in announcing the union’s endorsement of Gretchen Whitmer for governor of Michigan. The announcement was made at an event in downtown Detroit attended by Teamsters and community members.

California HSR: Successful Economies Demand Effective Transportation Systems
The following is a statement by Dennis Pierce, President of the Teamsters Rail Conference, regarding the California High Speed Rail Authority’s 2018 Business Plan:

National Freight Rail Bargaining Update from BMWED
The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division (BMWED) President Fred Simpson, SMART-Mechanical Officers Charles and Joe Fraley, and BMWED negotiators Don Griffin and Peter Kennedy, provided a video update regarding the upcoming binding arbitration around National Freight Rail Bargaining

55-Year Teamster Honored for 5 Million Accident-Free Miles
Bobby Elrod, a 55-year Teamster who has driven for YRC Freight—and Roadway before that—for 45 years, was honored by the company recently for driving 5 million consecutive miles without a single accident.

Teamsters Local 385 Disney Workers Confront Company Leaders about Poverty Wages
Disney cast members employed at both Disneyland and Disney World, including members represented by Local 385 in Orlando, attended the Walt Disney Company shareholders meeting in Houston on Thursday to protest the poverty-level wages they receive.

Schuette Submits Signatures; Whitmer Snags Union Endorsement
Daily Journal
Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Schuette has submitted 26,000 voter signatures to qualify for the August primary, the same day Democratic rival Gretchen Whitmer secured another union endorsement.

Allegiant Air to Launch Nonstop Flight from Oakland to Memphis
Santa Cruz Sentinel
Mechanics and related technicians at Allegiant Air voted this week to be represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, meaning the union will negotiate for them on issues like contracts and safety. According to the Tampa Bay Times, the mechanics have expressed concerns over Allegiant’s safety practices following the 2015 issues.

Paid Sick Leave? A Union Can Give You That
Having missed a couple of work days recently as a casualty of this nastier-than-normal flu season, I’ve been thinking that what we need, besides better vaccines, are unions.

Cedar Falls Schools, Teamsters Begin Bargaining
The Courier
Custodial and skilled trade staff proposed a $1.25 hourly wage increase for current employees during initial bargaining Thursday with Cedar Falls Community Schools administrators.

Teamsters, Truck Groups Want ELDs by December 2019
Teamsters Canada, the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC), and Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) have joined together in a call for a quick mandate of electronic logging devices (ELDs).

Molson Brewery Workers Ratify New Collective Agreement
Markets Business Insider
Workers at the Molson Brewery on Notre-Dame Street in Montréal voted in favor of their employer’s final offers at a union meeting on Sunday.

March 13, 2018

SoCal Teamsters Urge Continued Support for New LA Waste Program
Southern California Teamsters working in the solid waste industry joined with hundreds of worker and environmental allies late last week outside Los Angeles City Hall in support of the city’s new commercial waste and recycling system which is improving the lives of workers and residents.

BLET Reaches Tentative Agreement With Connecticut Southern Railroad
The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) has reached a Tentative Agreement with the Connecticut Southern Railroad (CSOR) governing rates of pay, benefits and work rules for operating employees.

City Workers in Newton Vote to Join Teamsters
The Boston Globe
Public works and other municipal employees in Newton have joined forces with the Teamsters Local 25 union, a spokesman announced Monday. The decision comes against the backdrop of ongoing contract negotiations with the city and a close mayoral race that Ruthanne Fuller won without union support last fall.

Independent News Network Newsletter, 3.13.2018
Independent News Network
In today’s edition: Workers Aren’t Buying Trump and the GOP’s Tax Scam…Teachers Around the Country Demand More from Their Government… GOP Tax Law Incentivizes Outsourcing American Jobs…Republicans May Cause Your Healthcare Premiums to Go Up

How Mediators Are Using Loss Aversion To Push UPS, Teamsters to New Contract
Inside Louisville
The negotiations between UPS and the mechanics union, the Teamsters Local 2727, began in October 2013. They affect about 1,300 employees, including about 550 in Louisville, and play a pivotal role in the operations of one of the logistic giant’s North American hubs.

Millennials, white-collar workers bringing new life to unions
The Boston Globe
Millennials and professionals are bringing new energy to the movement, especially in New England, where more than half of union members are doctors, lawyers, teachers, architects, and other white-collar employees. Workers across many industries are increasingly banding together and standing up against management as part-time and contract work grows, automation amps up, and wages barely budge, labor observers say.

The West Virginia Teachers Strike Shows That Winning Big Requires Creating a Crisis
The Nation
Dignity and respect are the root cause of every serious labor struggle. This was certainly the case in West Virginia’s unprecedented nine-day statewide education strike.

Why Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren Are Eyeing Ohio in 2018
New York Times
At a union hall in Dayton last month, Mr. Brown found an audience seemingly friendly both to Mr. Trump and his own campaign. Addressing a Teamsters local about the union’s pension crisis, Mr. Brown was introduced by a pair of labor activists who borrowed from the president’s message to suggest Washington had overlooked them.

Michigan Gov. Race: Gretchen Whitmer Has Endorsements On Lock
50 States of Blue (Blog)
The Teamsters, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, and Michigan’s Democratic Congressional delegation have all lined up behind former Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer.

Pennsylvania Democrats aim to draw in union workers who voted for Trump
The Guardian
As Democrats rev up their Get Out the Vote machine for Conor Lamb, Democratic nominee for the political dynamite special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district on Tuesday, they are relying heavily on organized labor, which has over 80,000 members in the district, to turn out the vote.

March 14, 2018

Teamsters Military Assistance Program Offers Job Opportunities To Military Spouses
The Teamsters Military Assistance Program (TMAP) has partnered with FirstGroup America and the U.S. Military to create job opportunities for veterans and their spouses. FirstGroup America is the largest passenger transportation company in the nation, providing school and community transportation at over 700 locations across the US and Canada. FirstGroup is just the latest Teamster company to join the portfolio providing employment transition assistance to veterans and their families through TMAP.

Unions Show Their Force In Pennsylvania District Won By Trump
Over 200 coal miners, family members and local activists crowded into a hall at the Greene County fairgrounds Sunday afternoon in Pennsylvania’s rural southwest corner. The attendees, many of them retirees in their 60s and 70s clad in the United Mine Workers of America’s signature camouflage-patterned regalia, were there for one last get-out-the-vote rally for Democrat Conor Lamb.

Brown, Hatch Announce Organizing Meeting of Joint Select Committee on Pensions
Office of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D – Ohio)
“There are more than a million workers and retirees all across the country who are counting on us to protect their retirement security,” said Hatch and Brown. “We’re ready to get to work on a bipartisan solution and make sure that those who participate in a retirement plan through their employer can adequately save for their future.”

Drones Are Watching: Railroad Irks Workers With Unmanned Aircraft
Wall Street Journal
Union Pacific Corp. UNP -1.02% riled employees recently when it started flying drones over some of its railroad yards to ensure workers were following safety guidelines.

Companies Are Disclosing How Much Less They Pay Workers Than Executives
The 2010 Dodd-Frank law requires publicly traded companies to calculate the ratio of their chief executive officer’s compensation to the median pay of the companies’ employees. After a series of delays, firms are finally disclosing their pay ratios in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Some of the numbers are shocking.

Spain’s Amazon Workers Call 2-Day Strike Over Wages, Rights
Over one thousand Amazon workers in Spain plan to stage their first strike with a two-day walkout to protest what unions claim are efforts to reduce employees’ rights, union Comisiones Obreras (CCOO) said on Tuesday. The strike, which has been called by Spain’s largest union CCOO together with other unions, will take place March 21 and 22 and will include 1,100 workers at Amazon’s San Fernando logistic warehouse on the outskirts of Madrid, CCOO said.

February Imports Soared at Los Angeles, Long Beach Ports
Wall Street Journal
U.S. freight networks saw a steady flow of inbound goods and materials last month, as shippers topped up inventory ahead of an annual weeklong factory shutdown in Asia during the Lunar New Year.

Truckers Added 5,600 jobs Last Month, Boosting Payrolls at the Fastest Pace in Nearly Three Years
Wall Street Journal
Trucking companies hired new workers at the fastest pace in nearly three years in February as operators rushed to keep up with a red-hot U.S. freight market.

UPS Chatbot Now Available Via the Google Assistant
Globe Newswire
UPS (NYSE:UPS) today announced it has launched its popular chatbot on the Google Assistant, giving customers another convenient way to retrieve information on package deliveries and other UPS services via the Assistant on Android phones, iPhones, smart speakers like Google Home and other compatible devices.

Amazon and UPS are betting Big on Drone Delivery
Business Insider
The logistics are complex and intense. The regulatory hurdles are steep and covered with red tape. And like autonomous vehicles, the technology is already capable of the task at hand – however, it will take time to build acceptance and trust with customers to allow drones to fly onto their property for any purpose.

March 15, 2018

Teamsters: Joint Select Committee Must Follow Through on Pledge to Put Aside Party Politics to Find Pension Solution
Today, the members of the Joint Select Committee on Solvency of Multiemployer Pension Plans convened for its initial meeting, pledging to work together to find a bipartisan solution to the pension crisis.

Scholarship Program for Sons and Daughters of Teamsters
Deadline is March 31
Applications for 2018 are now being accepted by the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund. The application process must be completed through the on-line portal found on the Fund’s website: (the “Key” for the JRHMSF applications is JRHMSF)

Local 630 Workshop Helps Teamster Families Apply for Citizenship
On Saturday, Teamsters Local 630 in Los Angeles held a workshop to assist immigrant members and their families with citizenship applications. More than 50 Teamsters and family members applied for citizenship during the one-day workshop with the help of immigration attorneys and volunteers from Local 630 and the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund.

Women’s History Month: A Look Back in Time
In honor of Women’s History Month, we bring you this photograph from 1955. Pictured here is a Teamster picker at Knaust Mushroom Company. Many of the workers at the company were women. They wore rigging and headgear lamps to help them navigate through darkness. The workers at the Catskill, New York, company were members of Local 294.

Philadelphia’s ‘Black Market’ for Sugary Drinks
Danny Grace, Teamsters 830 secretary-treasurer explains how an underground market for sugary and sweetened drinks has sprung up in Philadelphia since a beverage tax was introduced.

For Gig Economy Workers in These States, Rights are at Risk
Currently they aren’t. And many of the online apps and platforms that offer the goods and services these workers provide would like to keep it that way. That frees these companies from having to offer benefits, pay a host of taxes and abide by certain labor laws.

How Amazon’s Bottomless Appetite Became Corporate America’s Nightmare
Amazon makes no sense. It’s the most befuddling, illogically sprawling, and—to a growing sea of competitors—flat-out terrifying company in the world.

Union Battle to Represent Boeing’s North Charleston Workers Goes Before NLRB
The Post and Courier
Charleston entertained almost 6.9 million visitors last year, a number that blows previous estimates out of the water because it includes short-term rentals for the first time, according to a new report.

A Democrat Declares Victory in Trump Country
The Atlantic
Democrat Conor Lamb has declared victory in the Pennsylvania special election. “It took a little longer than we thought, but we did it. You did it,” Lamb told supporters at his election night party early Wednesday morning. With 100 percent of precincts in district 18 reporting, Lamb leads Republican Rick Saccone by only 579 votes—less than half a percentage point. Most media outlets have not yet called the race for Lamb, and Saccone still hasn’t conceded. But Democrats are already celebrating.

Liquor Industry is pushing to get Self-Driving Cars on the Road
Automakers and tech firms have long been the ones hustling to get self-driving cars onto streets. Now they’ve been joined by a surprise ally: America’s alcohol industry.

March 16, 2018

Teamsters Local 502/CASA Statement Opposing School Violence, Arming of School Staff
Teamsters Local 502/Commonwealth Association of School Administrators (CASA) is opposed to the arming of teachers to combat possible school shootings.

Standard Parking Cashiers Join Teamsters Local 251
More Standard Parking workers at T.F. Green Airport were certified as Local 251 Teamsters earlier this month. With a 26-0 vote, the cashiers joined the shuttle drivers and maintenance workers who became members of Local 251 in January.

Swissport Workers Join Teamsters Local 174
Nearly 150 aircraft fuelers, dispatchers and mechanics employed by Swissport have finally received word that they were successful in their effort to join Teamsters Local 174. The mostly-immigrant workgroup is based at SeaTac airport, and is responsible for fueling all commercial aircraft departing from that airport.

Teamsters, ABF Grapple with Detailed Economics
The Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) and ABF Freight System began discussing wages and benefits this week and the Teamsters remain committed to fighting hard to protect members’ interests.

Teamsters Local 17 wins $160,000 Settlement, Reinstatement for Sheriff’s Deputy
Teamsters Local 17 has won a $160,000 back-pay settlement and reinstatement for a sheriff’s deputy who was wrongfully terminated.

Teamsters Local 284 Files Lawsuit against Republic Services for Wage Violations
Teamsters Local 284 members employed by Republic Services of Columbus, Ohio, filed suit in U.S. District Court on Tuesday, March 13, to recover unpaid overtime for hours they were forced to work off-the-clock in violation of federal and state wage and hour laws.

With School Walkouts, Ohio Students Get Crash Course in Political Organizing
Last weekend, Gayathri Mudigonda, Meena Jani and Noah Spaulding-Schecter gathered in a house to talk about why it had to happen—why, in just a few days, they would get up and leave class for exactly 17 minutes.

Teamsters Turn Out the Vote in Big House Win
Teamsters (Blog)
Teamsters and other labor allies in western Pennsylvania worked long hours in the days leading up to a special U.S. House election this week letting union members in the district know there was only one candidate who would stand up for their families. And the effort paid off.

Airline Food Employees Organize Protest at SFO
San Francisco Weekly
Believe it or not, there are actual people behind the food served to you on airplanes — and they’re demanding better pay.

UPS Building New Flight Simulator Facility for Pilot Training in Louisville
United Parcel Service (UPS) pilots have to be ready for everything, from storms to bird strikes. And the UPS hub in Louisville is working on a new space for pilot training.

UPS to Add Plug-Ins to Fleet in US
Just Auto
In late 2018, delivery firm UPS will introduce a fleet of 50 plug-in delivery trucks in the US with the expectation of an even larger fleet in 2019. It says the cost of EVs relative to diesel is rapidly falling.