Unions

Phone Blast Action To Support Jimmy John's Workers!

IWW - Sun, 08/31/2014 - 11:52

On Labor Day - Monday, Sept. 1st - workers at a Jimmy Johns franchise in Baltimore, Maryland are taking action with their union - the IWW Jimmy Johns Workers Union! They will be flyering outside of their store today in order to press for their demands. Lets give their action a little more oomph and show the bosses that we union members stick together! We will be in front of the store from noon (12:00) EST until 2:00 EST, lets keep the phones ringing! A couple of ground rules: no threatening, try to avoid profanity, and most importantly call often!

Here are the numbers to call:

Mike Gillett (franchise owner): 410-404-5684
Daniel Dolch (franchise owner): 443-797-2472

And here is what you should say (feel free to add more though!):

read more

Categories: Unions

Happy Labor Day Weekend

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 12:58

August 29, 2014: Happy Labor Day Weekend, from your brothers and sisters in Teamsters for a Democratic Union.

On Labor Day, we celebrate the union movement—the folks that brought you the weekend, the 8-hour day, retirement with dignity and the middle class.

Employers and corporate politicians want to roll these gains back. To defend them, we’ve got to put more movement back in the labor movement. That’s what TDU is all about.

Enjoy the long weekend with family and friends. Wear your Teamster colors proudly at the Labor Day Parade. Then let’s hit the ground running this fall working to rebuild union power.

TDU members are gearing up for our 2014 Convention in Cleveland from November 7-9.

Now’s the time to book your travel and make plans to attend 3-days of the best educational workshops for Teamsters around and join the growing movement to Take Back Our Union.

Click here to register for the 2014 TDU Convention today. Or give us a call at 313-842-2600.

Categories: Labor News, Unions

Casino Teamsters Bet on Solidarity and Win

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 09:51

August 29, 2014: Teamsters at the Twin River Casino took a gamble that solidarity could beat corporate greed at Twin River Casino. Now they’ve beaten the house.

The money never stops flowing at Twin River Casino, the largest gambling and entertainment venue in Rhode Island.

But the winnings always stopped when it came to Local 251 members who work as parking valets at the Casino. Until now.

With their old local union leadership cozy with management, the odds were stacked against them. Teamster parking valets took concessionary contracts that created three tiers of employees.

The lowest tier of workers made just $2.89 an hour (plus tips). If they wanted family healthcare they had to pay for the coverage themselves.

This summer, Local 251 members at the Casino bet that solidarity could pay off—and they won a new contract with higher wages, work rule improvements and affordable healthcare for members and their families.  

How They Did it

Local 251 members elected new union leadership this year and embraced a new approach to contract negotiations. For the first time, rank-and-file members sat on the negotiating committee.

When Twin River Casino management refused to budge, members Voted No to reject the Casino’s concessionary contract offer.

Then workers took their case to the public. They leafleted the Casino and talked to customers. They launched a social media campaign under the theme “Poverty Wages are a losing bet” that targeted fans of the Casino’s own Facebook page. 

Local 251 joined forces with the Working Families Party to launch an online petition telling “Twin River Casino should pay its parking valets a fair wage and provide affordable healthcare coverage for their families."

The Working Families Party (WFP) is a grassroots political party of unions and community groups, including some Teamster locals. They teamed up with Teamsters Local 804 in another winning campaign to save the jobs of 250 Teamsters fired by UPS in New York City.

More than 5,000 public supporters signed the Twin River Casino petition in less than 24 hours. The day after the petition was launched, management sat down with the Local 251 bargaining committee and the Casino folded.

The new contract raises wages and delivers affordable family healthcare coverage to workers and their families.

In addition the new contract improves members’ rights and protections on the job, including stronger job security, the right to honor primary picket lines, a better grievance procedure, fairer disciplinary policies, and improvements in union access, job bidding, seniority, and more.

When Twin River management walked into the first bargaining meeting they said, “We like things the way they are.” Members called their bluff. The Casino had nothing. Thanks to rank-and-file unity and organized public support, members had a full house!

Issues: Local Union Reform
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Hoffa Targets Teamster Voting Rights

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 09:42

August 29, 2014:  Hoffa administration lawyers are filing a motion before Federal Judge Loretta Preska in a bid to curtail fair, independently supervised elections in the Teamsters.

Judge Preska can’t just hear from Hoffa. She needs to hear from us.

More than 10,000 Teamsters have signed an Open Letter to Judge Preska—including over 3,700 online signatures. 

Help defend our right to vote:

Sign the petition online and make your voice heard.

Email a link to the petition to your friends and asking them to and sharing it on your Facebook wall?

Issues: Hoffa Watch
Categories: Labor News, Unions

We've Topped 10,000!

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 09:28

August 29, 2014:  More than 10,000 Teamsters have signed the petition to save the Right to Vote for International Union officers. There's still time to make our voices heard.

Hoffa administration lawyers are filing a motion before Federal Judge Loretta Preska in a bid to curtail fair, independently supervised elections in the Teamsters.

We launched a petition drive to the judge and set a goal of 10,000 signatures by Labor Day—and we have topped that goal!

More than 10,600 Teamsters have signed petitions to save the Right to Vote for International Union officers. This includes more than 3,600 Teamsters who have signed our online petition as well as 7,000+ petition signatures that have been collected by TDU members.

More signatures are coming in every day and there's still time to make our voices heard.

What Happens Next

The Hoffa administration is filing papers with Judge Preska. Some time in September, Judge Preska is expected to meet with attorneys for the Hoffa administration and the U.S. Attorney. 

Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) will present our position to the court—and we will deliver petition signatures from over 10,000 members. A decision from the Judge could come in early Fall.

There’s still time for Teamsters to make their voices heard.

Members have until September 10 to sign the online petition or mail in their petition signatures. 

Help defend the Right to Vote.

Sign the petition online and make your voice heard.

Copy and Email this link  to your friends sharing it on your Facebook wall.

Download a petition to collect signatures and a leaflet to give to other Teamsters.  

Mail your completed petitions to:

TDU
PO Box 10128
Detroit, MI 48210

If you’d like to help with this petition effort, contact TDU at 313-842-2600 or info [at] tdu [dot] org. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and mail you a packet of materials immediately. 

Issues: TDUHoffa Watch
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Shipping containers: 60 years in the box

ILWU - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 10:04

Gene Vrana, pictured in the bandanna, working on drums cargo at Pier 32, San Francisco, 1980.

On the 60th anniversary of the patent of the shipping container, the website, Tomorrow, collects seven stories with different perspectives on shipping containers and how they have changed the world. One of those perspectives is ILWU pensioner and former ILWU Education Director, Gene Vrana:

 

My generation, the guys that came in in the mid to late ’60s, just saw it change right before our eyes. Not only was the technology changing but the relationships on the job changed because you were no longer working in a gang of eight to 12 guys. You were working maybe two together, or even solitary, dealing with different aspects of either machinery or gear associated with machinery for moving the containers on and off the ship.

With the change in the social aspect, along with the technology, it just felt that the work experience within any day was just not the same.

I worked in a gang that only worked the old general break, bulk cargo up until ’82. Those of us that were in a gang and working with 12 other guys and talking politics and talking family and whatever, had a very different work life than guys who were driving cranes or other container moving technology where they were isolated during the work shift.

A more unpredictable schedule was more common with the container ships. The ships would come in and turn around – and we’re talking now about the ’70s and ’80s – in between 32 and 36 hours, max. The overtime shift occurs on the last shift in order to finish working the ship, getting it ready to sail.

So if they’re sailing with more frequency, the frequency of working late is greater. That kind of thing had more of an effect than on the old fashioned ship that would be in port for 7-8 days and you would go to the same ship and even the same hold of the ship day after day working from 8 ’til 5.

Read the full article here. 

Categories: Unions

PMA and ILWU Update on Contract Talks: Tentative Agreement Reached on Health Benefits, Negotiations Continue on Other Issues

ILWU - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 09:38

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (August 26, 2014) – The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) announced today that they have reached a tentative agreement on terms for health benefits, subject to agreement on the other issues in the negotiations. The parties have agreed not to discuss the terms of this tentative agreement as negotiations continue.

Maintenance of health benefits (MOB) is an important part of the contract being negotiated between employers represented by the PMA and workers represented by the ILWU.

The contract being negotiated covers nearly 20,000 longshore workers at 29 West Coast ports. The previous agreement expired at 5 p.m. on July 1, 2014. Talks began on May 12 and are continuing

 

Download a the press release here. (PDF).

Categories: Unions

Longshore Workers’ Vote Ratifies Northwest Grain Agreement;  Union Workers to Return to Jobs on Wednesday

ILWU - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 08:59

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (August 26, 2014) – Longshore workers who load grain in Pacific Northwest export terminals have voted to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement with several multinational grain companies. The vote included members of ILWU Local 8 in Portland, Ore., and Local 4 in Vancouver, Local 21 in Longview, Local 19 in Seattle, and Local 23 in Tacoma, Wash., who collectively voted 88.4% in favor of a tentative agreement with Louis Dreyfus Commodities, United Grain Corporation and Columbia Grain Inc. that will be in effect until May 31, 2018. Members voting in favor totaled 1,475; those voting against numbered 193.

Negotiations for the new agreement began in August of 2012, involved 70 separate sessions, and included lockouts at Portland’s Columbia Grain and Vancouver’s United Grain facilities. Terms of the agreement include work rule changes and wage increases over the life of the agreement.

ILWU members will resume their jobs at the locked-out facilities on Wednesday. All picketing has ceased, and the parties have agreed to drop all pending NLRB and other legal actions associated with the dispute.

Bargaining was difficult, but in the end, both sides compromised significantly from their original positions, resulting in a workable collective bargaining agreement that preserves the work of the ILWU-represented workforce and fosters stability for the export grain industry.

The men and women of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have loaded grain for export in the Pacific Northwest since 1934.

Categories: Unions

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