Patty’s Corner, June 17, 2014

By: Patty Warren, Senior Business Agent
corlis-flyer-thbIt’s been a while since I updated you on what’s going on in my corner. You have read about the ratification of the First Student contract. That was a long battle and we are all relieved it’s over. While that one is done, our battle with Corliss continues. Here is an update on Corliss and information on what else I’m working on now.

Unfair Labor Practice Charges. In March, the Judge’s decision finally issued. We had seven days of hearings at an unfair labor practice trial last August and it obviously took the Judge a long time to wade through all that information. The government shutdown didn’t help any. The decision found Corliss guilty of numerous violations of Federal labor law. Among other things, Corliss violated employee rights by:

  • Unlawful termination of Don Sturdivan in retaliation for union activities
  • Removing Jeff Cope from his truck in retaliation for union activities
  • Threatening to never agree to a contract with the Union
  • Threatening to retaliate against pro-union drivers
  • Threatening to fire union supporters
  • Interrogating employees about their support for the Union

We weren’t happy with some aspects of the decision, so we filed an appeal and are waiting for a ruling from the NLRB.

Click HERE to read the decision

Sound Transit PLA grievances. When Corliss was awarded a piece of the Sound Transit job last fall, they had to sign an Agreement to abide by the PLA contract between Sound Transit and 174. They refused to sign the necessary documents to make the Pension and Medical payments and they refused to use 174’s hiring hall, both required by the contract. We filed grievances and those grievances were set for arbitration the morning of May 16. In a “Courthouse steps” settlement, Corliss agreed to sign the subscriptions agreements to enable the benefit payments, agreed to have their drivers working on the Sound Transit job register at the Hiring Hall and pay the necessary fees, and they agreed to make back payments to the hiring hall to July of 2013 and to the Pension and Medical Trusts to August 2013. In return, the Local agreed to a one-job contract covering the PLA work and agreed to allow Corliss to use its own drivers on that job.

We continue to represent the dump truck drivers and are working toward a first contract. Our recent victories have certainly shown Corliss Local 174 is up for a fight!

We began bargaining a first contract for the Hertz drivers. They deliver primarily heavy equipment to construction-related companies and are a great fit for the Local. Hertz recently announced a spinoff of the HERC division into a separate company. That should happen early next year. Stay tuned for more news on that front.

Negotiations have begun for new agreements in Sand & Gravel. Our last contract had a third-year opener for wages and benefits and we added on a fourth year at that time, so this is the first full negotiation for this group since 2010. Things are in the early stages but, as always, expectations are high. Those contracts expire at the end of July. We just got Cadman to voluntarily recognize the Local for representation of the Quality Control employees and they are going to join us at the bargaining table. Welcome to the Local Cadman QC!

Safeway negotiations begin next week. We will be doing joint bargaining on common issues with several other Teamster sister locals, including on economics, as well as bargaining separately on 174 issues. That contract expires mid July.

We are involved in State Coalition bargaining with a number of other Unions for a contract covering our four new members working at the State Patrol. The CVEO 4’s supervise all the CDL programs in the state, including the school bus safety program. State bargaining is always slow and tedious, but we have to have an agreement ratified by October 1st in order to get the contracts in front of the State Legislature next year to approve the funding. The Washington State Patrol has started their relationship with us by attempting to take away wages and benefits these employees have enjoyed for years.   We expect to take that fight to the Governor’s office soon.

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