Teamster News

Sand & Gravel Teamsters Vote Overwhelmingly in Favor of Strike Action

July 22, 2017

It has been a busy week for votes here at the Teamsters Local 174 Union Hall, and last night the streak continued as Teamsters employed in the Sand & Gravel industry voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike action.

This nearly-unanimous vote comes after a long week of contract negotiations that have led nowhere. The group had the Friday night meeting marked on their calendars for nearly a week – but everyone was originally hoping that the vote would be on a complete contract proposal from their Employers. Since no agreement was reached, the gathered employees instead voted to authorize a strike.

Sand & Gravel Teamster casts a ballot

“We really wanted to put a recommended proposal in front of our members at this meeting, but the Employers didn’t seem interested in cooperating with us on that goal,” said Local 174 Director of Negotiations Patty Warren. “Every proposal was met with ‘reject, reject, reject.’ They acted like the sky was falling with every proposal we made, which is outrageous behavior for an industry in the middle of a record-setting boom. I’ve never seen such blatant disrespect from an Employer in all my years of negotiating contracts.” (more…)

100% Unanimous Strike Authorization at O.M.A Construction

July 19, 2017

This past Sunday, Teamsters Local 174 members employed at O.M.A Construction voted unanimously in favor of a strike action – for the second time in their brief history as Teamsters. The first strike vote came in October of 2016, and led to a one-day strike on October 20, 2016.

O.M.A Construction group on strike October 20, 2016

On August 24, 2016, The National Labor Relations Board certified Local 174 as the representative of the group of drivers and mechanics after a long and drawn-out election certification process. The battle that began before they even became Teamsters has only gotten worse since then, as the group fights an Employer who has refused to give them a fair and equitable contract.

The fight reached its first peak in October of 2016 when the group held an Unfair Labor Practice strike at O.M.A. They braved near-monsoon conditions while holding picket lines in Seattle and Sumner. O.M.A vehicles in the Company’s lot sat empty for the day, costing their Employer more money with each minute they were not out earning revenue.

The strike, while brief, was enough to get O.M.A Construction owner Barry O’Young’s attention and bring him back to the bargaining table – but not for long. While he came back to the table to resolve the unfair labor practices, he was not willing to continue contract negotiations.

O’Young apparently has a short memory, as he quickly forgot about the money he lost while his employees were on strike. Progress in negotiations has been at a standstill, with the Company still refusing to pay the construction standard on private jobs in wages or pension, and in many other areas of the contract such as daily overtime. (more…)

Teamsters Announce Memorial Fund for Victims of San Francisco UPS Shooting

June 19, 2017

International Union to Donate $50,000 to Families of the Victims

(WASHINGTON) – Today, International Brotherhood of Teamsters Joint Council 7 in Northern California announced the establishment of the “All Charities Teamsters Memorial for W. Chan/M. Lefiti/B. Louie” fund to help raise money for the families of the victims of the June 14 tragedy at the San Francisco UPS facility that resulted in the deaths of three members at the hand of their fellow driver.

“The Teamsters Union will donate $50,000 to this fund in order to help the families during this difficult time,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. “Our union mourns the loss our brothers to this senseless act of violence and stand ready to assist those they have left behind in any way we can.” (more…)

“Best Pizza Chain In America” Joins Clare Rose Boycott

June 16, 2017

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza Will No Longer Carry Anheuser-Busch Products Due to Worker Abuses at Beer Distributor Clare Rose

GREAT NECK, N.Y. – Called “The Best Pizza Chain in America” by USA Today, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza is now a leader in the fight to save good jobs at local beer distributor Clare Rose. Workers at Clare Rose have been on strike for nearly two months after the company cut drivers’ wages by 30 percent and ended their pensions. Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza joins Belmont Park and over three dozen local bars, stores, and restaurants in boycotting Clare Rose.

“Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza’s Long Island locations are boycotting Clare Rose and Anheuser-Busch products because of how the company has treated its workers,” said Anthony Bruno, owner of Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza. “It’s not acceptable to cut wages and pensions, then fire your workers when they stand up for themselves. I know that my restaurants are only successful because of the support we get from our community. When our community needs our support, we are there for them too.”
(more…)

West Contra Costa School District Workers Join Teamsters

June 15, 2017

Teamsters Local 856 Welcomes More Than 1,800 Members Following a Year-Long Organizing Campaign for Strong Representation

(SAN BRUNO, Calif.) – Classified employees of West Contra Costa Unified School District voted overwhelmingly today to join Teamsters Local 856 as they push for improved wages, health care and other benefits. The workers voted by mail over the past month and ballots were counted today at the regional office of the Public Employment Relations Board. There are more than 1,800 members in the bargaining unit.

“With this vote, workers at West Contra Costa Unified have come together to send a message: they deserve better,” said Peter Finn, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 856. “We will aggressively represent these new members and bring forward demands for fairness and respect on the job. As Teamsters, their voices will be amplified and the district should hear them – they are ready to fight and they have a strong union to back them.” (more…)

More Than 400 Illinois School Bus Workers Ratify 3 Teamster Contracts

June 14, 2017

Teamsters Local 777 Wins Fair Wages for First Student Drivers and Aides

(CHICAGO) – More than 80 percent of First Student school bus drivers and aides have voted to approve new contracts in Glen Ellyn, Elk Grove Village and Villa Park, Ill., increasing wages and other benefits for more than 400 school bus industry workers.

The drivers and aides are members of Teamsters Local 777, which fought to secure higher starting wages for workers and give First Student employees raises across the board. (more…)

Hoffa Statement on Workplace Shooting at UPS in San Francisco

June 14, 2017

The following is a statement from Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa on the tragic shooting that occurred today at a UPS facility in San Francisco.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and their families of this tragedy. The safety of our members is our top priority. As is usually the case with these situations, details are still forthcoming. In the meantime, we are working closely with our local Teamsters Union to assist all of our members who are affected by this senseless act.”

Belmont Stakes Boycotts Anheuser-Busch and Clare Rose Over Strike

June 9, 2017

Beer Delivery Workers Have Been on Strike Since April 23 Over Wage, Pension Cuts

(ELMONT, N.Y.) – On the eve of the Belmont Stakes, Belmont Park joined the boycott of Anheuser-Busch distributor Clare Rose over the company’s poor labor practices and ongoing strike. Clare Rose drivers and warehouse workers, members of Teamsters Local 812, have been on strike since April 23rd, when the company illegally cut drivers’ wages by 30% and ended the workers’ pension.

Going forward, the beer vendor for Belmont Park is Manhattan beer, which will supply Coors products to replace the Anheuser-Busch products previously supplied by Clare Rose. Belmont Park notified Teamsters officials of the decision on Thursday. (more…)

Teamster Local 179 Bus Driver, Monitor Save Children from Fire

June 8, 2017

Teamsters Local 179 members Joyce Marfell, left, and Monica Lally, right, saved four children from a school bus fire

Members’ Heroism a Prime Example of Teamster Commitment to School Bus Safety

May 22, 2017 was just a normal day for Bus Driver Monica Lally and Monitor Joyce Marfell. They were on their way to Patterson Elementary School, transporting four students as they normally do. But then, disaster struck unexpectedly.

Lally and Marfell were on their way to pick up the fifth and final student when Lally noticed smoke coming from the hood of the vehicle.

“I radioed to the yard to make sure they knew about the situation. The smoke started and quickly grew, and then it turned black,” Lally said. “I turned to Joyce, and I said ‘it’s time to evacuate.’ This is the first time anything like this has ever happened, I’m glad everyone ended up being OK.” (more…)

Union Warns Against Driverless Trucks Hauling Hazardous Material

June 8, 2017

Airgas Workers Concerned Trucks Could Turn into ‘Driverless Bombs’

(EAST GREENWICH, R.I.) – Hazardous material drivers and gas cylinder fillers who work at Airgas here have been negotiating a new contract since the current agreement expired in February. After continued bargaining and several contract extensions, the workers went on strike May 31.

The workers, represented by Teamsters Local 251, are concerned about their families’ health care and a secure retirement. Additionally, Airgas’ proposed contract language would allow the company to operate driverless trucks transporting dangerous materials through our communities and on America’s highways. (more…)

YRC Freight Advises Teamsters About Operational Changes

June 7, 2017
In a meeting with YRC Freight earlier today, the company advised representatives of the Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) about operational changes later this year.

The company is preparing a Multi-Region Network Enhancement Change of Operations and a Utility Employee Change of Operations. The company stated that it is still reviewing and finalizing the numbers and details.

In accordance with the National Master Freight Agreement (NMFA), it is expected that the company will mail the proposed operational changes to the Local Unions in early July with a hearing to be held sometime in mid- to late-August. The company anticipates an implementation date in early October.

If you have any questions, please contact the National Freight Division at (202) 624-8761.

Fighting the Beverage Tax: Seattle City Council Votes 7-1 in Favor of Amended Beverage Tax

June 6, 2017

Yesterday, in a move that was as disappointing as it was unsurprising, the Seattle City Council voted 7-1 in favor of a tax on sweetened beverages. The amendments that had been made to the tax prior to the last Council meeting – to exclude diet soda, and to include $1.5 million for retraining of workers displaced by the tax – thankfully survived and were included in the final proposal that passed the Council.

Teamsters Joint Council 28 Political Director Lily Wilson-Codega testifies before the Council

The lone vote against the tax was Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who had proposed amendments to lower the tax and broaden its application. She felt that the proposal in its current form – a 1.75-cent-per-ounce tax on only sugar-sweetened beverages – was unduly regressive, as it targeted only the poorest communities with a tax high enough to be considered punitive. However, her amendments were rejected by the Council, pushing her to vote against the proposal in its entirety.

Councilmember Kshama Sawant was not present at the meeting.

Teamsters Joint Council 28 Political Director Lily Wilson-Codega gave testimony at the meeting, thanking certain Councilmembers for taking the Teamsters’ concerns seriously enough to at least include measures in the tax to help protect our members.

Teamsters Local 174 Business Agent Pete Lamb testifies before the Council

Teamsters Local 174 Business Agent Pete Lamb also gave testimony in which he thanked those Councilmembers who had worked with us, but lambasted those who had cut deals, and who seemed to be proposing amendments designed to aid certain special interests rather than the community at large.

Despite the Teamsters’ months of hard work fighting against this tax, the prospect of an extra $15 million a year in the city’s coffers was too enticing for the Council to resist.

“We knew this was going to happen. It was like free money to them. How could they say no?” said Teamsters Joint Council 28 President Rick Hicks. “It is extremely disheartening to hear your elected officials essentially say, ‘I agree that this tax will hurt working people, but I don’t care.’”

The tax is now expected to go into effect in January of 2018. However, there will likely be more hiccups along the way for proponents of the tax – namely, that opponents may put a referendum on a public ballot and let the residents of Seattle decide whether or not they want to be taxed on their soda consumption. The measure is also likely to wind up in court, just like it has in Philadelphia.

“Rest assured, our fight does not end here,” Rick Hicks continued. “Teamsters have long memories.”

Founded in 1909, Teamsters Local 174 represents 7,200 working men and women in the Seattle area. “Like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TeamstersLocal174.

Media Coverage:

The Stranger article including quote from Local 174 Business Agent Pete Lamb
My Northwest article with great two-part quote from Pete Lamb
Seattle Times article with quote from Pete Lamb and picture of Teamsters at the podium
KIRO 7 article and news coverage

Mondelez Teamsters Vote Unanimously to Authorize Strike Action

June 5, 2017

On June 3, 2017, Mondelez Teamsters from Local 174 and Local 117 all stood together in solidarity and voted unanimously to authorize a strike action if necessary. The group of workers includes Local 117 members working in a warehouse, and Local 174 members who deliver Mondelez products to stores. These workers have been in contract negotiations for several months with a Company that seems intent on giving them as little as possible — despite making billions of dollars in annual profit and having a stock price that has gone up more than 37% over the past three years.

“They came to us at the bargaining table crying poor. But there’s just one problem: their financial information is public and they are anything but poor,” said Mondelez employee and Bargaining Committee member Mick Fleming. “Their CEO made well over $15 million last year. Now they want to take that money out of MY pocket? No way.”

In 2016, Mondelez reported $25.9 billion in revenues and $2.57 billion in operating profit. Meanwhile, the Company is not even willing to provide its employees with sick leave.

(more…)

Striking Airgas Teamsters Extend Picket Lines Throughout New England

June 2, 2017

Airgas Teamsters Across Region Refuse to Cross R.I. Teamsters’ Picket Lines

(EAST GREENWICH, R.I.) – Airgas USA employees who went on strike Tuesday extended picket lines to four additional Airgas locations yesterday and today: Hingham and Billerica, Mass.; Salem, N.H.; and Bangor, Maine. No Airgas Teamsters in those locations have crossed the extended picket lines.

The striking Teamsters are members of Local 251 in Rhode Island. They work as truck drivers and gas cylinder fillers, supplying gases to many Rhode Island hospitals as well as Veterans Administration facilities in Providence and Bristol, the Air National Guard, Naval Base Newport, Raytheon, Fuji Film and Electric Boat. (more…)

Airgas Teamsters Begin Strike in Rhode Island Over Health Care, Retirement

June 1, 2017

Workers Walk Out to Protest Airgas’ Refusal to Consider Fair Healthcare, Retirement Proposals

(EAST GREENWICH, R.I.) – Truck drivers and gas cylinder fillers who are members of Teamsters Local 251 went on strike yesterday morning against Airgas USA, following Airgas’ refusal to consider the workers’ proposals for affordable healthcare and secure retirement during contract negotiations.

The workers supply gas to many Rhode Island entities including: Rhode Island Hospital; Roger Williams Medical Center; Memorial Hospital, Miriam Hospital; Newport Hospital; the Veterans Administration facilities in Providence and Bristol; the Air National Guard; Naval Base Newport; Raytheon; Fuji Film; and Electric Boat. (more…)

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