Video: Thousand march in annual Wilmington Labor Day parade

ILWU - Thu, 09/04/2014 - 16:53

Thousands of workers marched in the 35th Annual Labor Day Parade in Wilmington, CA on September 1st. CBS-LA was at the event and broadcast the following report on the parade. It includes an interview with Local 13 President Bobby Olvera, Jr.

From the CBSLA website:

WILMINGTON (CBSLA.com) — A huge crowd gathered for the 35th annual Labor Day Parade in Wilmington Monday.

Thousands of union members and their families and friends marched to Banning Park, 1331 Eubank Avenue, where a rally and barbecue was held at noon.

The event featured speakers, music and food.

Many came for the festivities and fun but organizers said there was a serious message behind the get-together, whose theme was “Stop the War on Workers.”

“The working people are in a much worse place today than we have been in decades,” Los Angeles County labor movement official Maria Elena Durazo said. “So the level of poverty is deeper. The number of people in the middle class is much, much smaller.”

But with declining membership and strong opposition to new labor laws, union leaders said they’re picking their battles carefully. They’re currently focusing on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

“I think the minimum wage most definitely needs to be raised and I think that corporations need to take a vested interest in the health of their workers and their families,” ILWU Local 13 member Bobby Olvera, Jr. said.

Categories: Unions

Fast Food Strikes Hit 150 Cities

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Thu, 09/04/2014 - 10:33

September 4, 2014: Fast Food workers are walking off the job in 150 cities today to win a living wage of $15 an hour and the right to be union members. TDU stands with them! 

The walkouts are the latest in a series of coordinated strikes that began in November 2012. Today marks the first time that the actions include nonviolent civil disobedience.

Police arrested at least 19 people outside of a McDonald’s in New York City.

In Detroit, demonstrators blocked traffic at another McDonalds.

The average pay for a food prep and service worker is $8.74 an hour, or about $18,000 a year. That's roughly $5,000 lower than the Census Bureau's poverty threshold level of $23,000 for a family of four.

Today’s protests come more than a month after the National Labor Relations Board's general counsel ruled that McDonald's is a joint employer that exerts substantial power over working conditions at its franchisees.

The ruling, if upheld, means McDonald's could be held liable for labor violations at its more than 12,000 franchisee-owned restaurants.

Click here for more information. 

Issues: Labor Movement
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Industrial Worker - Issue #1768, September 2014

IWW - Thu, 09/04/2014 - 09:54


  • Baltimore Jimmy John’s Workers Announce IWW Membership
  • Portland Canvass Workers Walk Off The Job, Demand Unpaid Wages
  • Work People’s College Europe: A Huge Success


  • Fighting Patriarchy In The One Big Union
  • Review: Case Studies Of Worker Self-Organization
  • John Reed’s First Labor Love: The IWW

Download a Free PDF of this issue.

read more

Categories: Unions

Don’t Steal From Me! More Workers Say They Are Victims Of ‘Wage Theft’

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Wed, 09/03/2014 - 09:38
Ann BrownMadame NoireSeptember 3, 2014View the original piece

When you work overtime, you're supposed to get paid for it. And more employees are saying they aren't and they're suing.

A group of warehouse workers are set to get more than $20,000 in back pay each as part of a recent $21 million legal settlement with national trucking company Schneider.

Click here to read more at Madame Noire.

Issues: Labor Movement
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Why is the trucking industry so resistant to new safety regulations and technologies?

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Wed, 09/03/2014 - 09:26
Howard AbramsonFleet OwnerSeptember 3, 2014View the original piece

In my many years covering trucking, I’ve been surprised by the industry’s steadfastly antagonistic approach to government attempts to impose new regulations and requirements to improve safety. By and large, fleets seem to look upon safety regulations as a burden to be resisted when possible and to be grudgingly endured only when active political resistance fails.

While I accept that most fleets strive to reduce accidents and injuries—which executives understand will keep damage claims and customer complaints down -- carrier officials seem to lead with their chins. In fact, short-term savings gained by delaying safety improvements are quite costly to the industry in terms of the public’s perception of trucking and are often harmful to the financial performance of fleets.

Click here to read more at Fleet Owner.

Issues: Freight
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Electronic Logs Mandate: Outrage & Applause

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 07:19
Oliver PattonTruckinginfo.comSeptember 2, 2014View the original piece

Comments on the proposed electronic logging device mandate cover the full spectrum of reactions, from outrage and disdain at Big Brother government to applause for a sensible and long-overdue safety rule.

Most of the 2,213 comments are from individuals who do not like what the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is planning to do. Many include substantive suggestions for how to improve what the agency is proposing.

Click here to read more at Truckinginfo.com

Issues: Freight
Categories: Labor News, Unions

#HANDSUPDONTSHIP: IWW UPS Workers Organize Against Police Brutality

IWW - Mon, 09/01/2014 - 10:06

Starting on Friday, August 22nd, IWW workers at a UPS sorting facility in Minneapolis began organizing against their and their coworkers' labor supporting the ongoing police violence against the population of Ferguson, Missouri in the aftermath of the murder of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man. In a series of actions aimed at a local company shipping questionable shooting-range targets to law enforcement agencies nationwide, workers stood up to the idea that they should have to support racism, brutality, or murder in order to make ends meet. This action was organized in conjunction with, and under the banner of Screw Ups, a rank-and-file newsletter published by IWW workers at the facility for the past year.

read more

Categories: 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!):

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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:

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

Appeals Court Rules Some FedEx Ground Workers Are Employees

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:21
Transport TopicsAugust 28, 2014View the original piece

In the latest decision on worker status, a federal appeals court in California ruled that 2,300 workers at FedEx Corp.’s Ground unit were employees and not contractors to the package delivery company.

The 35-page decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, ruled that the Ground workers were misclassified as independent contractors, in violation of California law.

Click here to read more at Transport Topics.

Issues: Grocery
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

Ex-Kroger CEO Admits He Was Paid A 'Ludicrous' Amount

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 07:02
Kevin ShortThe Huffington PostAugust 27, 2014View the original piece

CEO pay has skyrocketed over the last few decades, and corporate leaders are usually tight-lipped on the subject.

But we were offered a rare moment of candor last month from David Dillon, chairman and former CEO of the grocery chain Kroger, who called his own eight-figure paycheck "ludicrous" during an Aspen Ideas Festival panel.

Click here to read more at The Huffington Post.

Issues: Grocery
Categories: Labor News, 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

Starbucks: Give us a fair work week!

IWW - Tue, 08/26/2014 - 07:46

Please sign and share our petition calling on Starbucks to provide fair schedules for their employees!

The IWW Starbucks Workers Union (SWU) has been working with the media since August 10th to bring attention to scheduling practices in the Food and Retail Industry, and Starbucks in particular.

read more

Categories: Unions

Baltimore Jimmy John’s Workers Stop Work, March on Boss

IWW - Sun, 08/24/2014 - 15:37

By the IWW Jimmy John's Workers Union

BALTIMORE, MD- On Friday morning, August 22nd, Jimmy John’s workers at Pratt Street engaged in a short work stoppage and marched on the boss to demand the right to organize without retaliation. They gathered in front of the store at approximately 10:30 AM. Workers and supporters made speeches outside of the store. The workers told stories of their working conditions and retaliation for organizing.

read more

Categories: Unions

IRB Charges All Local 710 Officers

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Thu, 08/21/2014 - 10:01

August 21, 2014: The Independent Review Board (IRB) has moved to bring charges against all the officers of Chicago Local 710. According to the report of charges dated August 15, all members of the Executive Board violated their fiduciary duty when they repeatedly approved the purchase of excess visa gift cards under the control of Local Secretary Treasurer Pat Flynn.

Flynn was charged in July, and on July 30 the local was put into trusteeship following a recommendation by the IRB. Those actions are detailed here.

The new charges hit Local 710 president Mike Sweeney and fellow officers Gerald Pauli, Charles DeCola, Larry Alexander, Anthony Lamy, and Kevin Wagoner. They were already removed from office when the trusteeship was imposed. Now they face a hearing and possible expulsion or suspension from Teamster membership.

The report states that between 2008 and September 2013, the officers breached their fiduciary duty and failed to protect the members’ assets. For example, in November 2011 they approved the purchase of 1000 visa gift cards to be given to meeting attendees, but only 600 members were present, and the remaining 400 cards were under Flynn’s personal control.

Hoffa appointed International vice president John Coli as Trustee of Local 710. Coli has no experience in representing the UPS, freight, trucking, and grocery Teamsters who make up the 13,000 member local. He has political operative Brian Rainville running the local. Rainville was paid $178,080 in 2013 by the International and Chicago Joint Council 25. Some 7000 UPS Teamsters in Local 710 rejected a concessionary contract last February by 73% No vote, and have heard nothing since about negotiating an improved contract.

Issues: Local Union ReformHoffa Watch
Categories: Labor News, Unions


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