The 28 drivers and dock workers employed by Centerline, at the San Ramon Toyota facility, ratified their first contract in October.
“In January the workers had voted unanimously in an NLRB election to become Teamsters. Their solidarity paved the way for Local 315 to negotiate a good first contract,” said Secretary-Treasurer Dale Robbins.
“Local 315 organizer Jim Sveum and Business Agent John Botalli negotiated the agreement and did a fantastic job. They teamed up and worked diligently with the organizing committee to make this a successful campaign.”
The three-year agreement provides for annual wage increases with numerous improvements, protections and guarantees that the workers wanted in their health and welfare, seniority, and other terms of employment. “We congratulate the new members and welcome them to Local 315,” said Robbins.
In the last few months, Local 533 has seen a number of firsts. “For the first time ever, our local was able to use DRIVE funds,” says Secretary-Treasurer Debbie Calkins. “We have to give many thanks to the IBT’s Mark Shumar; he really helped us along. We appreciate all his help and patience.”
And for the first time, Local 533 had a “losttimer.” Mike Alvarez worked very hard to get out the vote for the 2012 election and he did an outstanding job. Another first was that the Local teamed up with the BLET and worked with brothers Emmidio (also a lost timer) and John Passi on getting out the vote.
When Local 14 in Southern Nevada asked for help, we responded. Local 14 was fighting off a decertification vote from Coke. The company has successfully forced decertification votes on different locals, but this time Local 14 was victorious!
Local 533 President Gary Watson went down to help out. Local 14 Secretary-Treasurer Larry Griffith and President Al Ghilarducci extended their gratitude to Local 533, noting that this was the first time our local has come to help out.
Local 853 members filled the John Muir Middle School in San Leandro for the Local’s 13th annual membership appreciation meeting, on November 5. With the meeting held just before the 2012 elections, the members got one last unified push to get out to vote. Several lucky members also won TV sets and a host of gift certificates and other electronic goodies.
Teamsters Local 856 held its annual Thanksgiving Meetings on November 7, 2012 in at the Best Western Grosvenor in South San Francisco, and on November 8, 2012 at Teamsters Local 150 in Sacramento.
More than 250 members attended the annual events where every member in attendance receives a prize. The events also raised nearly $1,300 for the Local’s Solidarity Fund.
Fairmont San Francisco Shop Steward Geoffrey Brown and Westin Market St. Shop Steward Kathleen Romero collected $305 and $227 respectively from their fellow members for the fund which helps Local 856 members in their time of need.
After four months of organizing meetings, the 66 truck drivers at Foothill Packing voted, by a two-toone margin, to join Local 890. The mail-in ballots were counted on November 9.
These drivers haul produce from the fields to the coolers and salad plants for River Ranch, Taylor Farms, Dole and others. Local 890 President Crescencio Dias and Local 890 organizers Luis Flores, Roberto Sanchez and Fritz Conle met with the drivers in Salinas, Santa Maria, Mendota, Huron, Yuma, San Luis AZ, and Calexico.
“Now, we negotiate a contract,” says Diaz. “We welcome these drivers and look forward to representing them. Next, we hope to talk to the more than 1,000 farm workers who harvest the produce for this company and are currently working non-union.”
After a seven-month organizing campaign, the 400 people who make, package, market and ship products at Threshold Pharmaceuticals in Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley voted in August, 2011 to join Local 912. In September, 2012, they ratified their first contract.
“These workers wanted a union because they felt they deserved better wages, respect for seniority and a voice on the job,” says Organizer Frank Harms. “Their solid support for the union at election time last year really helped our contract negotiations. The vote was overwhelming to ratify the contract, which includes better wages, a 401K plan, funeral leave, and the voice on the job that they were looking for.”
Local 912 President Santos Lerma and Harms worked closely with the workers’ negotiating committee. “The workers deserve all the credit,” says Lerma. “They really participated in the whole process.”
Harms explained how important it was to have good communications during the negotiating process. “The company has lots of different buildings, so the workers set up a networking system amongst themselves that proved to be invaluable. Before they voted for the union, the company did all it could to intimidate them. But now they have a voice.”
Harms especially wanted to thank Joint Council 7 President Rome Aloise for his assistance and guidance. “His help was crucial for the vote and at the bargaining table,” he added.
by Christian Castro
It was a high school football game, another “Friday Night Lights.” The air was chilled and the night was broken by profound stadium lighting. Young men, whose only goal is a glorious victory, topple each other. Suddenly, the ball is hit loose and the crowd goes wild. Teamsters Local 2010 statewide officer, Stephanie Dorton, looks to the field to see a white jersey pick up the ball and take it the opposite way. To her amazement, it is her son Antoine Davis is running for his life. The result is an 80- yard fumble return for a touchdown. It was then that Stephanie knew her son was gifted.
Today Antoine Davis has new prospects. After playing high school football, he went to Contra Costa College. There, the 6’ 5”, 230-pound linebacker helped boost the defense with an impressive seven sacks, three fumble recoveries, and 45 tackles on the season. In September, he has accepted a full scholarship to play for the premiere college football program at Cal.
Maybe the old saying holds true, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” Stephanie Dorton has been an administrative assistant at UC Berkeley’ s School of Law for 16 years and Antoine recently joined Teamster s Local 315 in Martinez. A seasonal worker at UPS, Antoine’s positive attitude and work ethic moved him to a full-time position. Now both mother and son are proud Teamster members.
“He will continue to be a Teamster,” Stephanie happily boasts.
Stephanie can easily call up the fond memory of that day when she knew Antoine had something special going for him. He may be a far cry from the lights of his high school field but he remains close to his mother.
98 retirees attended the Local 2785 retirees picnic on September 14. The event was seen by all as a great success. The organizers wanted to thank the event’s sponsors for their generous donations.