MV Transportation of Livermore celebrated its drivers for 100 days of safe driving, and Local 70 was there.
The drivers serve local routes, express routes, and school tripper routes. Safe driving is always a priority, but 100 days of accident-free driving by workers in this type of industry is definitely something to be acknowledged. “Our Teamster drivers recognize that, when serving the public, doing it right as well as safe is what matters,” said Business Agent Mark Hawkins.
Congratulations to all the drivers of MV Livermore!
On March 11, Teamsters Local 287 celebrated its members in San Jose with lunch and a raffle. One lucky member took home a 55” flat screen TV.
Teamsters Local 431 UPS shop stewards attended the Nor Cal Stewards meeting at Local 386’s Modesto office in March to provide input on UPS’ planned Saturday deliveries. More than 100 shop stewards discussed how to frame the Nor Cal UPS Committee’s response.
“The Committee was steadfast in assuring the shop stewards that any changes regarding a Tuesday through Saturday workweek would have to be in accordance with the current labor agreement scheduled to expire on July 31, 2018,” said Local 431 President Peter Nuñez.
After the meeting, Local 386 treated the stewards to a delicious barbecue.
The drivers for Get Bus, Bakersfield’s public transportation system, have a new five-year contract with Local 517 that not only includes big raises, but also moves more part-timers into full-time status. The contract was ratified by 95% of the members.
“When we started negotiations, there were two separate seniority lists—for the full-timers and flex (part) timers,” explains Secretary-Treasurer Greg Landers. “We were able to merge the lists and now true seniority is being honored.”
This change had important ramifications. Immediately, 17 part-timers moved up to full-time, getting a $27,000/year increase, with full time benefits. This represents a $9/hour wage increase.
“We started with 70 full timers and 160 flex-timers. With this contract, we’ll bring up 5 full-time drivers each year. By the end, we’ll have 117 full timers and 120 flex timers,” Landers says. “Additionally, the drivers will get a 13.25% increase over the five years.”
The members were forced to strike for their last contract, so everyone is pleased with this turn of events. Landers thanked the negotiating team and Get’s Management. “They worked closely with us to make this happen.”
When you read about people who are missing, you never expect that they’ll be in your family. But Daniel Yeoman, a Local 601 member who works at Sunsweet Growers in Yuba City, learned on March 30, that his 20-year-old daughter Alycia “Aly” was missing.
Aly, a Gridley resident and Yuba College student, was last seen driving away from her home. She was reported missing after she failed to report to work as scheduled for two days.
The Sheriff’s Office is asking for the the public’s help in the ongoing search. Anyone with video or photos, including surveillance footage – from Butte House Road in Yuba City north to the Butte County line in Live Oak, between 9 p.m. March 30 and 2 a.m. March 31 – is asked to call the Sutter County Sheriff’s Office, 530-822-7307. The FBI also set up a tip line at 800-225-5324 to receive information pertaining to the case and is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the location of the missing woman.
Yeoman’s family established a GoFundMe account, www.gofundme.com/find-alycia-yeoman, to help bolster the reward offered by the FBI. At press time, the GoFundMe site showed donations totaling $10,478.
More than 400 drivers, sorters, helpers, mechanics, and administrative staff for the North Bay Corporation, have signed cards and attended meetings to discuss the next steps to becoming Teamsters.
“These men and women have been employed under sub-standard working conditions, relative to solid waste Teamsters in the Bay Area, for many decades,” said Local 665 Secretary-Treasurer Mark Gleason. “After years of attempting to bring Teamster membership to these workers, we believe we’re finally on the path to a union contract.”
Solid waste and recycling workers in Sonoma County currently work in 15 separate incorporated or county jurisdictions. Some of the contracts are currently up for bid, and the current employer is up for sale.
“The county and some incorporated cities are examining the solid waste franchise as it is currently structured,” Gleason said. “We have been working with elected officials in Sonoma County to make sure that they review working conditions before they make a decision to grant new solid waste franchises. New awards must include worker protections.”
Gleason recognized the IBT Organizing Department for it’s help with this large effort. “We couldn’t have gotten to this point without their assistance and diligence. We greatly appreciate the help.” The organizing drive, which includes public hearings and testimony, is scheduled to continue throughout the summer.
Teamsters Local 853 is now the union representative for 30 shuttle bus drivers working at WeDriveU, after workers there chose the union. The contractor supplies drivers for tech companies like LinkedIn and Twitter.
Negotiations for a firsttime contract will begin immediately. Local 853 will negotiate with WeDriveU over operational specifics based on client needs.
Wage rates, health benefits and economic working conditions for all Teamster members working in the tech shuttle bus industry are virtually the same. Drivers have seen initial increases in pay of about 25 percent after joining the union.
“We’re pleased that yet another group of tech industry workers have chosen to become Teamsters, after seeing the tremendous gains that Teamster members have made in this industry,” said Rome Aloise, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 853. “We’re ready to get to work on another contract that vastly improves the lives of workers who help make Silicon Valley so successful. This continues our progress toward creating a level playing field with all the transportation contractors.”
The workers join drivers at Yahoo, Facebook, Salesforce, Apple, Genentech, eBay, Cisco, Amtrak, Netflix, Zynga, and PayPal, who have all joined the Teamsters since 2014.
In April, Teamsters 856 announced the launch of its “Stand With 856” campaign aimed at fighting outsourcing in all its forms: offshoring, privatization of public services, and the subcontracting of in-house jobs to cheap outside agencies. The campaign increases awareness of the different types of outsourcing, and also educates members, elected officials, and the general public on the short and long-term dangers outsourcing poses to the local economy and community.
Personal stories featuring Local 856 members on the campaign’s website and social media, highlight the invaluable contributions Local 856 Teamsters are making in both the private and public sector. From hotel front desk workers who go above and beyond to ensure out-oftowners have a special stay in San Francisco, to school bus drivers who treat the children they transport as though they were their own, experience and dedication makes a tangible difference.
“When workers have a voice on the job and are compensated fairly with good pay and benefits, there is less turnover, which leads to experience and a better quality of service and product,” said Peter Finn, Teamsters 856 Principal Officer and Secretary-Treasurer.
Although Teamsters 856 members work in a wide variety of professions, outsourcing could have a significant impact in all industries where 856 members work, as employers attempt to pad bottom lines at the expense of qualified and devoted employees.
“Outsourcing the skill, knowledge, and experience of dedicated in-house employees who are committed to quality work leads to a poor product and reduced service levels,” said Finn. “The end result is that customers and the public suffer.”
Teamsters 856 Steward and United Airlines Mechanic Mikey Albertin puts it this way: “Outsourcing is for quitters.”
Albertin, who has spent decades in the airline industry, where outsourcing has become all too commonplace, has seen the devastating effect firsthand: thousands of people put out of work, good middle-class jobs shipped out of the local economy, degradation of the quality of the service, pensions stolen, morale crushed, and pride in working for the company stripped away.
“All this based on the decision of greedy corporate executives to chase short-term profits over investing in quality and the people that keep the flying public safe,” Finn explained. “The decision to outsource is management’s decision to give up. They are deciding to quit on their employees, quit on the local economy, and quit on the public.”
Several prominent elected leaders at the federal, state, and local levels, including Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and Congressman Jared Huffman, have already pledged their support through videos available on the campaign’s website, StandWith856.com.
“We need to do everything in our power to educate elected officials and members of the community and call on them to stand with 856 to fight outsourcing,” said Finn. “As the campaign ramps up over the coming months, we’ll be reaching out to members at their worksites with more information on how we can preserve good, middle-class jobs and combat outsourcing in our communities,” said Finn.
Find out more at StandWith856.com.
As spring arrives, Local 890 members once again make their way back to the Salinas area to start the 2017 harvesting season. Local 890 represents a large portion of the agriculture industry including farm workers in the fields, truck drivers, and workers at the salad plants, among others.
About 2,000 members work at Taylor Fresh Foods, also known as Taylor Farms in Salinas. From April 1-5, the company held two orientation sessions each day for their returning employees. Secretary-Treasurer Juan Cabrera, and Business Agents Luis Flores and Jesus Rangel staffed a table outside where they greeted members, answered questions, and distributed contracts and scholarship applications. They also used this opportunity to inform the members about the May 1 March on International Labor Day to raise awareness of how the current U.S. immigration policies have affected our local economy and how America’s Salad Bowl needs workers for our local farmers.
Through organizing and a massive display of strength at worksites statewide, Teamsters Local 2010 ratified two contracts with the University of California for the 800 Skilled Trades workers at UCLA and UCSD and reached a tremendous tentative agreement covering the bargaining unit of over 12,000 Administrative, Clerical, and Support workers (CX-Unit).
“We are proud to have contracts and an agreement that benefit all of the 13,000 members of our Local,” said Secretary-Treasurer Jason Rabinowitz. “Our activists and leaders won these deals for our members by building real union power and strength in their workplaces, culminating into direct actions. The active support of our members is what pushed us across the finish line to our settlements.”
These historic achievements did not come easily; they were due to the hard work, dedication and unwavering commitment of Local 2010 members, activists, and leaders. Over years of strategic organizing, Local 2010 showed their strength through member power building campaigns, numerous legislative visits, and countless workplace actions which escalated as negotiations progressed.
One-day strikes were held by the Skilled Trades workers on November 16, 2016 at UCLA and on November 17, 2016 at UCSD. Later, as negotiations stalled, UCLA Skilled Trades workers held a five-day strike from January 6-10, 2017 and were joined by the statewide CX-Unit who struck all ten campuses and five medical centers across the state, including UCSF and UC Berkeley, both in protest of unfair labor practices committed against them, as well as in solidarity with Skilled Trades workers on the final day.
Here are some of the gains won in the CX-Unit Tentative Agreement: Guaranteed 6.1% raise, plus $1200 lump sum by July 2017, with total increases of 19.4% over the life of the contract; all raises are guaranteed, not subject to “merit” or favoritism, or being “topped out.” The contract contains new limits and protections against increases in retirement and medical contributions, and parking fees; protections for guaranteed retirement and health benefits and improvements in workplace rights, including the right to progressive discipline before termination for misconduct.
Skilled Trades workers overwhelmingly ratified their contracts with over 98% of UCSD members and 91% of UCLA members voting to approve the deals.
“After going four years without a contract, the Teamsters were able to come in and settle a fair deal with great increases,” said Jon Kramer, UCLA Plumber. “I am proud to be part of a great organization. I am proud to be a Teamster.”
“Everything changed once we became Teamsters,” said Herman Ricks, UCSD Electrician. “We showed the University that we are strong and well-organized. Through the work of all of the Teamsters, we won a contract that we can all be proud of.”
By standing together as Teamsters, Local 2010 members showed the true power of solidarity. Now the Local will build on these victories and continue to strengthen the Union through internal and external organizing.
By a vote of 38-2, drivers and warehouse workers at Clock Freight in South San Francisco overwhelmingly voted on Thursday, April 13, to join Teamsters Local 2785.
The workers are fighting for better wages with overtime pay, affordable health care and respect on the job. They are currently forced to work 12-14 hours a day with no overtime pay. They have to pay an average of $1,000 a month for a sub-standard health care plan. Most have not seen a raise in almost five years and recently 10 workers were terminated for no apparent reason. They have no retirement plan and are fighting for the opportunity to negotiate their terms and conditions of employment.
“It’s a great day and I can’t wait to negotiate a contract that I can be proud of that protects me and my family’s future,” said Sam Veafue, a 7-year Clock driver.
“It’s about time this company takes these workers seriously,” said Joe Cilia, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 2785. “The company is definitely committing wage theft by not paying overtime and the drivers are also forced to work more hours than allowed by DOT.”
“I was promised a raise three years ago and haven’t seen it yet,” said Jose Sol, a seven- year warehouse worker. “I make $16 an hour and have to work two jobs to provide for my family. The Bay Area isn’t cheap.”
“We welcome the Clock Freight employees and we will assist Local 2785 in negotiating a contract that addresses the workers’ needs,” said Ernie Soehl, Director of the Teamsters National Freight Division. “These workers deserve to be treated with respect and dignity for the job they do every day.”