Teamsters News Headlines

  • Motion Picture Teamsters in the Spotlight
    by Daniel Moskowitz on May 10, 2022 at 1:53 pm

    Wander onto the sets of some of the most popular films or television shows at any major studio, and you will see Teamsters playing an integral role in the production. Name your favorite show or movie, and there is a good chance that members of the Motion Picture and Theatrical Trade Division work behind the scenes.  There are literally hundreds of jobs on the set of a production—each with specific duties—that the Teamsters represent: drivers, location professionals, casting directors and associates, animal trainers/handlers and wranglers, dispatchers, DOT admins, mechanics, chef drivers and chef assistants and more. The division also represents members who support the production of feature films and television, like warehouse workers and union vendors that service the industry. “Our members are essential to any production. They are skilled, dedicated workers who are critical to keeping this industry running,” said Lindsay Dougherty, International Vice President and Director of the Teamsters Motion Picture Division. “This is a high-profile industry, and we have an opportunity to increase the visibility of Motion Picture Teamsters across North America.” Dougherty hit the ground running in her first month leading the division, implementing a new structure to support the 74 Teamster locals that represent members in the motion picture industry. Last week, she announced the appointments of five regional representatives: Western Region & Canada: Joshua Staheli (Local 399, Hollywood, Calif.); Southern Region: Vinnie Thrift (Local 728, Atlanta); Eastern Region: Brian Salomone and Jimmy Whalen (Local 817, New York City); Central Region: Jim Parrinello (Local 337, Detroit). “I’ve been around for some time. I can honestly say this is an exciting moment to be a Teamster working in this industry,” said Ron Schwab, Assistant Director of the Teamsters Motion Picture and Theatrical Trade Division. “Lindsay has put together an experienced team that understands this industry firsthand. I’ve known and worked with each of them for many years, and I have confidence that given the opportunity, they will strengthen our division and do right by the members. Remember, a boat only makes a wave when it’s going forward. It’s time to make some waves with these employers to protect our members.” Currently, the Motion Picture Division consists of 12,000 members across the U.S. and Canada. Although most productions are currently in Los Angeles (Local 399), New York City (Local 817), Atlanta (Local 728) and Vancouver, Canada (Local 155), states like Texas, Montana and Oklahoma have seen increasingly more filming in recent years. “We are committed to identifying new targets and finding new and creative ways to organize,” Dougherty said. “In recent years, Local 399 has been aggressive with organizing—not just productions, but also the vendors that service the industry. We plan to implement this organizing model on a national level.” Setting the Stage The sun beams over Malibu as a production crew gathers atop a rocky cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It’s a perfect Southern California afternoon, and Dougherty is on set of the HBO series Perry Mason to meet with members and share her vision for Teamsters in the motion picture industry. A parade of actors dressed in 1930s costumes walk by as Dougherty exchanges hugs and handshakes. The camaraderie amongst the crew is palpable. There is a shared passion for the work; they enjoy the job as well as each other’s company. “Our division will succeed through collaboration and solidarity. That has always been our greatest strength as Teamsters in this industry,” Dougherty tells the crew. “I look forward to building on our solidarity by keeping members informed and involved in the fights ahead.”  For Taylor Terrell, a Group 1 Driver on Perry Mason, the change in leadership is exciting—a chance to bring even more power to workers in the industry.  “We are looking forward to more opportunities under Lindsay’s leadership,” Terrell said. "She understands our passion and our drive because she’s worked these jobs, too. She knows what we need, and she’ll fight for us to get it.”   Working in Hollywood is both a childhood dream and a family legacy for Terrell. She grew up in Los Angeles in a Teamster family; her father worked as a tram driver at Universal Studios for 40 years.   “I wanted to drive trucks on movies since I was a little girl. When I was in my early 20s, I became a Teamster and started working on sets. I love my job. I love the excitement and being where the action is,” she said. “You can count on Motion Picture Teamsters to be focused and disciplined. We are proud of what we do.” Terrell and her fellow drivers cling to their walkie-talkies, ready to go at a moment’s notice to assist in the production. “When you have little time to spare for error, adhering to a schedule is of the utmost importance,” said Trevor Mann, a Local 399 member also working on the HBO series. “It’s up to us to keep production moving and on time.”   The Reel Deal   A second-generation Teamster from Detroit, Dougherty is considered “one of the fastest-rising stars in Hollywood labor circles.” She got her start in the industry while attending Oakland University, working as a transportation dispatcher on feature films. After college, she moved to Los Angeles to continue her work as a dispatcher on major blockbusters (The Island, Transformers: Age of Extinction and Star Trek) and to begin her career at Local 399. Since then, she has served in nearly every union position at Local 399—organizer, business agent, Recording Secretary and, as of May 1, Secretary-Treasurer and Principal Officer. “I’ve been working under a union contract since I was 21, and I’ve been under a Teamster health care plan my entire life,” Dougherty said. “I’ve been in this industry for many years, since the first time I was around a movie set when I was 12. I’ve grown up in this industry.” Earlier this year, General President Sean M. O’Brien announced Dougherty’s appointment as Director of the Teamsters Motion Picture Division—the first woman to serve in the position.   “Lindsay is the perfect fit for this job. She’s dedicated her working life to this industry and she’s a true Teamster. Like me, she grew up in a Teamster family and learned the importance of fighting for workers from an early age,” O’Brien said. “She understands what workers in the entertainment industry need and deserve, and she will lead this division into the future.” Ready to Bargain Dougherty was appointed lead negotiator at Local 399 last December. By February, she had already secured a new contract for more than 4,000 Motion Picture Teamsters across the 13 Western states—a three-year ‘Black Book’ Agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) that covers drivers, dispatchers, animal trainers/handlers, wranglers, mechanics, auto service and, just recently, DOT administrators. “Our rank-and-file members were an active part of the negotiating process and with us every step of the way. That engagement translated into a historic turnout for the ‘Black Book’ Agreement, with 67 percent voter turnout and 89 percent of members voting in favor,” Dougherty said. In early March, shortly before taking office, Dougherty negotiated a new Location Managers Agreement with the AMPTP. The contract took effect March 13 and covers location managers, key assistant location managers and assistant location managers. “Together, we were able to creatively make economic gains. Our goal was to address our members’ core issues and leave no money on the table,” she said. “As a division, we need to come together to ensure our members have the same golden standard of wages, benefits and working conditions. I look forward to bringing my negotiating experience to all Motion Picture Teamsters and vow to fight for them at the bargaining table.”  Dougherty is currently in negotiations with the AMPTP for casting directors at Local 399. When it comes to contracts, she is equally focused on protecting members after the bargaining effort. “Contract enforcement is one of our immediate priorities for the division. We need to make sure employers are held accountable and that our members are working under the highest standards,” Dougherty said. “Teamsters know that the fight doesn’t stop after a contract is ratified. There are always more issues to be addressed and gains to be achieved for our members.”  New Landscape, New Opportunities  TV and film production is at a historic all-time high. New media streaming companies like Netflix, Amazon, Disney+ and Apple are competing for viewers and content. While the new platforms have created more work for members, they are also sticking point for the union. “Streaming has changed the media landscape, allowing for new opportunities as well as new fights. We are going to be vigilant in our fight to make sure our members receive the best standards possible when working on productions for these new platforms,” Dougherty said. The streaming boom was in full swing when the pandemic hit and brought the entire industry to an abrupt halt. With millions of Americans forced to stay home, the need for content became an essential service and Motion Picture Teamsters were back on set by Summer 2020. “For someone that doesn't know Hollywood, I could understand how it could be a little puzzling, like, ‘We aren’t saving lives, so why are we essential workers?’ My thoughts are that the content that is put out on the internet—through streaming, through TV, through network stations—gave people hope during a difficult time. People have lost family members, people have gotten the virus, people have lost their jobs. There was a lot of peril going on, especially at the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown. New content from TV, movies and even commercials helped people get away, and to me, that’s essential,” said Philip Quansah, a Group 1 Driver and Local 399 Trustee. The pandemic drastically changed the old model for releasing movies. Subscriptions to streaming services, which jumped 14 percent in 2020, reached a global total of 1.3 billion, a new record high. The streaming war is far from over and production continues to thrive, creating good paying union jobs for Teamsters across a variety of classifications. On the Horizon   It can take years to learn what each person does on the set of a production. But one thing remains constant: the more you learn, the more you earn. The best way to attract good paying motion picture projects is to have skilled workers. Most of these skills can be gained by simply coming to work, but Local 399 has given its members the resources to stay ahead of the game. “We’re engaging members in a different way through technology. It’s allowed us to build a stronger and more united membership. We plan to continue the use of these communication tools and scale them on a national level to help tackle the challenges that lie ahead,” Dougherty said. Dougherty has long known the importance of educating members who work in production. Local 399 has developed a series of classes ranging from contract education to leadership training. During the pandemic these classes transitioned from in-person to being hosted digitally via Zoom where more members were able to take part.  This summer, Dougherty plans to hold a division meeting with General President Sean O’Brien inviting rank-and-file Motion Picture Teamsters to hear updates and a rollout of the official strategy for rebuilding and strengthening the division. Sign up via the link below to ensure you are aware of the important updates and next steps for the Motion Picture and Theatrical Trade Division across North America. CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR DIVISION UPDATES  https://youtu.be/9pN__maJ5f8 The post Motion Picture Teamsters in the Spotlight appeared first on International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

  • Teamsters Urge UPS Drivers to Sign Up for 9.5 List
    by Brian Tierney on May 6, 2022 at 2:25 pm

    The Teamsters Package Division is urging eligible UPS package drivers to protect themselves from excessive overtime by signing up on the 9.5 list, as required by the National Master Agreement. The requirement was suspended during the pandemic, but as of June 5 the company will no longer honor the current 9.5 list. That means drivers need to sign up to get on the list to protect their rights. “The 9.5 list is a tool that helps prevent abusive over-dispatching and gives drivers the right to file grievances over pay when they are dispatched more than 9.5 hours more than twice a week,” said Sean M. O’Brien, Teamsters General President. “Our goal is to stop UPS from overworking drivers and to make UPS pay drivers when it violates their 9.5 rights.” When UPS violates 9.5 rights, Article 37 of the National Master Agreement calls for the company to adjust the driver’s work schedule and pay triple time – instead of time and a half – for time worked in excess of 9.5 hours in a day. The Division is sending out palm cards and leaflets for UPS local unions and members to use at their centers to encourage eligible package drivers to sign up. The deadline to sign up is June 5th. DOWNLOAD THE LEAFLET HERE. “The palm cards supporting the 9.5 sign-up campaign should be distributed by locals to all package drivers who are covered by 9.5 language ahead of the June 5 deadline,” said Fred Zuckerman, Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer. “Drivers should talk to their stewards to sign up.” It is the responsibility of all eligible package drivers to sign up on the 9.5 list. Once on the list, drivers are advised to file a grievance any time they work more than 9.5 hours three times a week. “We need locals and shop stewards to get as many eligible drivers on this list as possible to show the company that we are unified as we build a campaign for a new contract in 2023,” O’Brien added. If you have any questions, please contact the Package Division at Package@teamster.org. The post Teamsters Urge UPS Drivers to Sign Up for 9.5 List appeared first on International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

  • Training Day
    by Brian Tierney on May 4, 2022 at 2:08 pm

    From April 23 through May 1, the Teamsters Training and Development Department embarked on a whirlwind of events across the country, hitting locals from the East Coast to the Midwest. Under its new leadership, the department has been working non-stop to strengthen the skills of local union leaders, business agents and shop stewards at more than 20 training programs from coast to coast. “It’s been wonderful to see our 2022 schedule rapidly filling up, said Paul Trujillo, Director of the Teamsters Training and Development Department. “We are developing new programs and platforms to make sure union leaders have the resources and knowledge they need to represent the membership.” Since April, the department has held steward seminars and trustee trainings in New York, Ohio, California, Massachusetts, D.C., Minnesota, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri and North Carolina. Last week, the department held a weeklong training for business agents in D.C. “Our staff has been crisscrossing the country doing training after training. These road warriors bring their expansive knowledge and skills to locals around the country,” Trujillo added. Watch: Hear what recent training participants had to say about the program. Last week alone, the department conducted steward seminars, business agent trainings and history presentations at Local 638 in Minneapolis; Local 142 in Gary, IN; Local 243 in Plymouth Township, Mich.; Local 41 in Kansas City, Mo.; Local 71 in Charlotte, N.C.; and the IBT headquarters in Washington, D.C. "This training has been very insightful and you can tell how much work went into covering so much information," said Daniella De Leon, a business agent with Local 773 in Pennsylvania who attended last week's business agent training in D.C. "I'm especially looking forward to applying the skills around contract costing to help members understand what's in a new contract. With great speakers, a lot of hands-on exercises and being able to collaborate in person with other business agents from around the country, this training really helps us serve the members." In addition to upcoming steward seminars in other cities over the next few months, Training and Development will conduct a three-day training program for newly-elected local union Presidents, Secretary-Treasurers and Trustees at the IBT headquarters later in May. In June, the department will hold a Teamsters Leadership Academy course for preparing and presenting at a grievance panel or arbitration hearing. “This is my first training as a new local union officer and the information and feedback has been truly helpful for me,” said Jesse M. Ruiz, the newly-elected principal officer of Teamsters Local 19 in Houston, Tex. who attended the recent business agent training. “The different sessions in this week’s training give you a deep understanding of how to run a strong contract campaign, enforcing contracts, understanding ‘just cause’ and more.”   For more information on upcoming trainings or to contact the department, please visit https://teamster.org/training-and-development/. The post Training Day appeared first on International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

  • 2022 Workers’ Memorial Day Statement from Peter Finn, Director of the Food Processing Division
    by KC Cypress on April 27, 2022 at 6:11 pm

    PDF Version Teamster members working in the Food Processing Division ensure food is on the table in our homes by helping prepare, process and move just about every kind of food you find at the grocery store, including dairy, meats, vegetables, fruits and grains. This essential work is often done in difficult conditions, with long hours. As a Union, we fight every day to protect the fundamental right to health and safety of Teamster members at work. Unfortunately, every year members are injured, and lives are lost on the job, providing a stark reminder that our fight to protect health and safety can never stop.  On April 28th of each year, the Teamsters Union recognizes Workers’ Memorial Day, a time of remembrance for our brothers and sisters that have lost their lives, suffered injuries, become ill, or have been disabled while at work. Today we honor the sacrifice of our fellow Teamsters and recommit to continue to fight for safe working conditions.  Over the last two years, COVID-19 has brought challenges we have had to face for the first time, with the virus impacting family, friends, and co-workers. Throughout the pandemic, Teamsters working in the food supply chain showed up day-in and day-out to get their important work done and demonstrated the essential nature of their work. As the demands of work changed and became more dangerous, food processing and dairy members have stepped up with strength and determination, and in doing so, illustrated what it means to be a Teamster. COVID-19 has made it clear that more than ever, we need to continue to demand and win worker safety protections. Together as Teamsters, we can make that happen. The IBT has developed Workers’ Memorial Day activities and resources for Teamster members. For more information, go to: http://ibt.io/2022WMD The post 2022 Workers’ Memorial Day Statement from Peter Finn, Director of the Food Processing Division appeared first on International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

  • Attention CWA-IBT Agents
    by KC Cypress on April 27, 2022 at 5:51 pm

    Due to the pandemic, bargaining was delayed until this year to ensure we would not be bargaining concessions. Our Union bargaining team and American management will begin negotiating a new collective agreement soon. The survey can be found, here. View the flier, here. The post Attention CWA-IBT Agents appeared first on International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

  • 2022 Teamsters Women’s Conference – Save the Date!
    by KC Cypress on April 27, 2022 at 5:34 pm

    Conference registration and hotel room block information will be forthcoming. View the flier, here. The post 2022 Teamsters Women’s Conference – Save the Date! appeared first on International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

  • USF Holland Teamsters Secure Settlement 
    by Brian Tierney on April 25, 2022 at 5:32 pm

    Hundreds of Teamster members at USF Holland (YRC Freight) will receive compensation as part of a settlement reached with the company over dispatch problems that caused Holland road drivers to miss work opportunities.  “The Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) is pleased to announce that we have resolved the dispute with Holland. The company will pay a total of nearly $570,000 in wages to hundreds of employees affected by the company’s dispatch miscues,” said John Murphy, Freight Division Director. Holland has also substantially addressed the dispatch issue as part of the settlement. In January 2022, the company implemented various changes to its dispatch system that caused many road drivers to miss their runs and lose work opportunities. At the same time, Holland continued to use purchased transportation (PT) in many areas. The TNFINC invoked the “spigot” contained in Article 29 of the contract and completely shut off Holland’s ability to use PT. “I told the company if they wanted the purchased transport option turned back on, Holland had to get our road drivers back on the road and compensate them for the missed work opportunities,” Murphy added. Murphy went back and forth with the company, fighting for the largest possible award for the members. The amount of money Holland is paying and the number of individuals receiving compensation far exceed the initial damage calculations for contractual violations related to the dispatch problems.    Under the settlement, the union is again allowing Holland to use PT in accordance with the contract. But the company is now required to meet regularly with the TNFINC to discuss its continued need for and use of PT. “This is a strong settlement. This victory shows the importance of holding the company accountable. Rest assured, we will be closely monitoring Holland’s use of PT and will not hesitate to shut it off again if warranted,” Murphy said.  The post USF Holland Teamsters Secure Settlement  appeared first on International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

  • Safety Reminder for Drivers, Conducting Pre- and Post-Trip Inspections
    by Brian Tierney on April 22, 2022 at 9:35 pm

    The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is dedicated to ensuring the safety of all our members. We have updated the safety training curriculum for our Commercial Driver’s License training program and other courses that are offered to our driver membership to ensure that it includes information concerning advanced safety technologies that are installed on many of the vehicles that Teamster members drive. We would like to remind all Teamster drivers to conduct thorough pre-and post-trip safety inspections, along with documenting and reporting to the appropriate manager any deficiencies that violate federal or state regulations, standards, or orders, to include advanced safety features.   When documenting the results of your pre-trip and post-trip inspections, please be sure to report the deficiencies to the appropriate manager and enter the correct information into the system. If the Driver Vehicle Inspection Report does not have a specific section to include deficiencies identified regarding advanced safety technologies, document the deficiency in the “Optional” section. For more information, please go to www.teamstersafety.org The post Safety Reminder for Drivers, Conducting Pre- and Post-Trip Inspections appeared first on International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

  • Listening to the Members
    by Brian Tierney on April 20, 2022 at 2:29 pm

    During the first month of their administration, Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien and General Secretary-Treasurer Fred Zuckerman have been barnstorming the country, visiting with rank-and-file members and shop stewards at local unions nationwide. O'Brien and Zuckerman have made visiting with Teamster members their top priority as they chart a course for the union's future. At UPS, the two leaders have been focused on getting members' feedback on what they want to see in the upcoming UPS contract. Although they have been in office for less than a month, O’Brien and Zuckerman have already visited UPS members in New Hampshire, Florida, Maryland, Georgia and Minnesota. “Our first job as leaders of this International Union is to listen to the members who put us here,” O’Brien said. “Whether it’s UPS or any other employer, we have to make certain we hear members’ concerns so we can bring those issues to the bargaining table.” Zuckerman added, “These visits around the country with the rank-and-file members are essential when it comes to rebuilding a fighting Teamsters Union. Sean and I are working to make sure that the members’ voices are at the center of everything that we do.” Strike Lines, Steward’s Seminars and More Beyond UPS, O'Brien and Zuckerman spent their fourth day in office traveling to Seattle to join Local 174 members on strike at Stoneway Concrete. The members - and those at five other concrete companies in Seattle - had been on strike since November. O'Brien and Zuckerman presented the members on the picket line with $1,000,000 in support from the International to help the workers and their families who faced hardship during the strike. This week, O'Brien and Zuckerman visited Local 385 members at Disney in Orlando and joined Local 728 President Matt Higdon in Atlanta to speak with members at ABF Freight, USF Holland, Emory University and Red Cross.  Last week, the General President was joined by International Vice President Bill Hamilton to speak with Local 929 members at the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market. O’Brien and Hamilton also visited Local 107 members at an automobile processing plant. And earlier this month, O’Brien visited Local 633 Department of Public Works members in Hooksett, New Hampshire as well as Local 633 members at First Student and Coca-Cola. More to Come O’Brien has also met with shop stewards in recent weeks to talk about the importance of steward-member communication. He spoke with Local 186 shop stewards recently at their shop steward’s seminar in Ventura, Calif. and attended Baltimore, Maryland Local 570's steward's training and seminar on March 30. O’Brien attended Local 25’s steward’s seminar in Boston on April 10 as well. Separately, Freight Division Director John Murphy, International Vice President Danny Avelyn and Central Region Freight Coordinator Mike Hienton walked the docks at YRC and Holland in Indianapolis last week to talk with members of Local 135 about the freight contract. More meetings with the membership are planned, with O’Brien visiting members in Minnesota and Ohio next week. To follow along as O’Brien and Zuckerman continue visiting with and listening to members, follow the updates on the Teamsters Facebook page and Instagram.  The post Listening to the Members appeared first on International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

  • General President Sean O’Brien: “Amazon is an Abusive Employer.”
    by KC Cypress on April 12, 2022 at 3:36 pm

    (WASHINGTON) - Teamsters General President Sean M. O'Brien issued the following statement in response to a new report from the Strategic Organizing Center showing that Amazon’s overall injury rate increased by 20 percent from 2020 to 2021 and Amazon’s operations continue to be dramatically more dangerous for workers than the rest of the warehouse industry. "Amazon is an abusive employer. They show total disregard for working people. Injury rates at Amazon continue to climb, which is why workers are taking action and organizing. Enough is enough. It's time to face the bully head-on,” O’Brien said.   Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.2 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters. The post General President Sean O’Brien: “Amazon is an Abusive Employer.” appeared first on International Brotherhood of Teamsters.