- A street festival on Saturday, July 19 from 4 to 10 p.m. at 7th Ave and 3rd St. Music will include acoustic folk, classic rock and hip hop, along with speakers and an historical display.
- A family picnic on Sunday, July 20 from noon to 4 p.m. at Wabun Picnic Area D, at Minnehaha Park. There will be short speeches, free lunch, children's games, an historical display and music. Strike descendants will be honored.
Never Let Them See You Sweat“Managers use harassment to get results. If it’s not working, they’ll stop wasting their time on you. “Try not to let management get under your skin—and never let them know it when they do. “If you turn into a runner after you get called into the office, you're teaching your manager that harassment works.” Thomas Oliver, Steward, Local 804, New York
What Is Management by Stress?Invented by Toyota and now championed by UPS, management by stress is a strategy for boosting productivity (and profits) by keeping employees under constant pressure. Management-by-stress techniques include intense monitoring of the workforce, and constantly demanding more production, in less time, with fewer employees. Other management-by-stress strategies are constantly changing how work is done or mounting revolving campaigns on different methods that that must be followed or mistakes that need to be eliminated at any given time.
Issues: UPSTeamster Voice: Teamster Voice 290 June/July 2014
Over the past four decades, women have played increasingly important roles as breadwinners in their families. At the same time, women’s share of unpaid care work and housework has remained high. A new report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), “Women, Working Families, and Unions,” explores the role unions play in addressing the challenges facing working women and families in balancing their work and family responsibilities. The paper looks at trends in unionization for women; the impact of unions on wages, benefits and access to family and medical leave; and the role of unions in addressing work-life balance issues.
“There are few other interventions known to improve the prospects for better pay, benefits and workplace flexibility as much as unions do. Anyone who cares about the well-being of women workers and working families should also care about unions,” states Nicole Woo, a co-author of the report.
Click here to read more at CEPR.Issues: Labor Movement
For the first time, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters is asking a federal judge to end 25 years of strict oversight intended to root out corruption and alleged Mafia influence in the union's highest ranks.
"The union's rank-and-file members and duly elected officers should be allowed to reclaim control of their union's affairs," Teamsters lawyer Viet Dinh wrote in a June 4 letter to Judge Loretta Preska of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Federal prosecutors indicated in their response that they would support scaling back government control over the union but not eliminating the measures.
"Corrupt and undemocratic practices persist at all levels of the union," Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara La Morte wrote in a June 12 letter to the judge.
A union spokesman disagreed with that assertion.
The 1.3-million-member Teamsters entered into a consent decree in 1989 to settle a racketeering lawsuit brought a year earlier by the Justice Department. Then-U.S. Attorney Rudolph Giuliani sought to remove top officers of the union, alleging it had made a "devil's pact" with the Mafia by allowing it to control officer elections. The suit named as defendants 18 members of the union's executive board and 26 alleged organized crime members, 25 of whom had been convicted of crimes such as extortion, embezzlement and illegal union payoffs. No one was charged criminally in the Giuliani suit.
The union agreed to oversight including a court-appointed supervisor who oversees the election of top Teamster officers and an independent review board to investigate allegations of corruption.
There is no clear timeline for the case. The union and prosecutors still have to file motions that would precede a hearing.
In addition, a rank-and-file group called the Teamsters for a Democratic Union, a frequent critic of current union President James P. Hoffa, is fighting the effort. "The IBT has made progress, but it is not yet a stable and reliable democracy," the group wrote in a June 9 letter to the judge.
Teamster officials have lobbied unsuccessfully in the past for an end to the decree, including through negotiations with the Clinton administration.
The current effort grew out of talks with the U.S. Attorney's office that didn't result in an agreement, Teamsters spokesman Bret Caldwell said. "The effort to rid the union of organized crime has been successful, and it's time to move on," he said.
The union retained two legal heavyweights who served in former President George W. Bush's administration: Paul Clement, former U.S. solicitor general, and Mr. Dinh, former assistant attorney general.
Mr. Dinh wrote that charges investigated by the review board, which doesn't have prosecutorial power and refers cases back to the Teamsters for disciplinary action, have plummeted. Cases that involved alleged racketeering or other activity that prompted the consent decree fell to 33 in the past decade, from 144 in the first five years of the consent decree, he wrote.
Prosecutors said misconduct by Teamsters was far from sporadic in recent years and alleged that it involved high-ranking officers. They cited several examples, including a Teamster local president and his son who were found by the review board's investigator to have allegedly looted the local from 2007 to 2012 and was disciplined by the union for embezzlement, among other things. The local president was also a vice president of the international union for part of the time in which the misconduct occurred, prosecutors said.
"We vehemently disagree with the U.S. attorney's assertions that corruption remains in the teamsters union," Mr. Caldwell said. He said the cases the U.S. Attorney points to aren't related to organized crime or its influence, the reason for entering into the consent decree.
President Barack Obama supported ending the consent decree in 2008 when he was a candidate for president. At the time, a spokesman for the then-candidate said organized crime influence had drastically declined. On Tuesday, a White House spokesman declined to outline the president's current position and referred questions to the Justice Department.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York said the office had no comment beyond the letter it has filed with the judge.Issues: Labor Movement
A crew of nine marijuana legalization canvassers walked off their jobs and into the Portland office of the Industrial Workers of the World June 5, looking to form a union.
The workers at the Oregon Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp had been refused paychecks they were owed. This was on top of several past bounced paychecks. After their checks did not arrive on the late schedule and management would not even discuss it, they walked out.
With IWW support, the canvassers have formed the United Campaign Workers. In a joint statement they pointed to a “culture of secrecy and information repression that make incidents like this an ongoing problem.”
BIOME Thessaloniki workers are fighting a recent court action that is attempting to expel them and return their worker-run factory back to its former employer – bosses who had vanished two and a half years ago!
The former employers were given a total of 126 months of imprisonment for debts to workers. Now, however, in collaboration with the appointed trustee, they are asking that BIOME be given a “bankruptcy” status to avoid paying what they owe to the employees, to Social Security, and to the public. They are also requesting that the plant be evacuated of all workers.
This is an outrage to the workers of Greece!
UPS today announced that, beginning December 29, 2014, in the United States, dimensional weight will be utilized to calculate the billable weight of a shipment on all UPS Ground services and UPS Standard to Canadapackages. UPS already applies this method for UPS air services (domestic and international), UPS Standard" to Mexico ground services and for UPS Ground packages and UPS Standard to Canada packages measuring 3 cubic feet in size or larger.
"UPS has been researching the potential expansion of dimensional-weight pricing for a number of years because it enables us to more appropriately align rates with costs which are influenced by both the size and weight of packages," said Alan Gershenhorn, UPS executive vice president and chief commercial officer.
Click here to read more at Seeking Alpha.Issues: UPS
June 16, 2014: Teamsters, along with many other groups, are fighting back against a proposal Congress is considering to allow troubled pension funds – like the Central States Fund – to slash existing benefits. You can help by signing a petition to the U.S. House of Representatives Education and the Workforce Committee. Help preserve the federal anti-cutback law to protect our pensions.
Click here to sign the petition.
Call TDU: 313-842-2600 to get petitions to circulate in your area.
Pension Action Committees have formed in Northeast Ohio and the Twin Cities. If you want to form a committee in your area, click here.
To learn more about this threat and what you can do, click here.Issues: Pension and Benefits
June 13, 2014: How to document violations and make Hoffa-Hall and UPS deliver on their SurePost promises.The new contract includes restrictions on SurePost that are supposed to mean fewer packages diverted to the Post Office and more fulltime Teamster driving jobs. So far, drivers report a different story. “I deliver to the Post Office on my route,” said Michigan Local 243 Teamster Marty Labut. “I still see SurePost packages on dead-end streets where I already have deliveries. I see SurePost packages right next door to stops on my route. We are supposed to be delivering these parcels.” “Hoffa and Hall have had months to work out the details on enforcement. The SurePost language should have been implemented as soon as the contract was forced through,” Labut said. Enforcement Tips It’s time to enforce the contract. Under the new language:
- SurePost packages are contractually limited to 10 lbs. in weight and less than three cubic feet in size.
- SurePost service is for business-to-residential shipments only.
- SurePost packages are supposed to be put on a package car for final delivery by a Teamster whenever they are being delivered to the same address or in the vicinity of an address where there is a UPS package for delivery. If you deliver to the Post Office, you’re in the best position to help enforce the contract.
- Take a photo of any SurePost package you see that is addressed to a location close to where you deliver UPS Ground.
- Take a photo of any SurePost package that is more than three cubic feet or weighs more than 10 lbs.
June 13, 2014: A group of rank-and-file reformers, Local 584 Members First, are organizing to empower members, defend their jobs, and take back their union.Dairy Teamsters in Local 584 have had a rough go of it. A change in state law has allowed nonunion competitors to flood the New York City milk market. Aside from the nonunion competition, the big winner in this has been Elmhurst Dairy. Local 584 officials gave concessions to Elmhurst and Teamster dairy jobs have been cut as companies lease operations to nonunion competitors, in violation of the contract. More than 250 dairy Teamsters have lost their jobs in the last two years. Rank-and-file members first got involved with TDU in late 2012, when 42 Teamsters at Elmhurst Dairy were fired and replaced with new hires off the street. TDU activists organized co-workers to pressure the union to launch a public campaign and do outreach to the community to defend their jobs. But the union called off a planned rally and told members to wait on the arbitrator to settle the dispute. They lost the arbitration and members uncovered a slew of secret Memoranda of Agreement that had stripped away seniority protections and members’ rights. The union has been nonexistent for members who are demanding help in enforcingthe contract. “We can’t afford to wait any more,” says Stephen Mohan, TDU member and a leader of Members First. “The Elmhurst firings and loss of jobs pushed a lot of members to start demanding a plan from the union. Members began asking questions. They see that our officials are not up to the task of standing up to the companies and fighting for us.” Members First organized to reform the local’s bylaws this spring to give members the right to elect negotiating committees, vote on trustee appointments, and have contracts translated into Spanish if members request it. A clear majority of members voted in favor of the proposed reforms, but the local’s leadership refused to put them in place and invoked the clause that proposals need twothirds approval to pass. “We used the campaign to reach out to members and say what we stand for,” said Robert Ortiz, a member from Derle Farms. “The bylaws campaign showed the true colors of our current officials, who actively opposed measures to give more rights to our members. It’s obvious they don’t want us to be informed.” Members First are building their campaign throughout the summer. They're reaching out to stewards and members across the local and meeting with members from New Jersey to Long Island to learn what changes they want to see in the union. The campaign is also planning a BBQ and soft-ball game for late June. The Members First campaign is about building a strong union that involves everyone. Close to 250 members, including many Latina and immigrant women, work at a food processing plant on Long Island and have long been marginalized from the union. “Some members are just excited to see us come out and hear their issues because they feel like they've been ignored by the union for so long,” said Manny Garcia, a member from Tropicana. “Our support is growing everyday.”“We can’t afford to wait any more. “Members are asking questions and they see that our officials are not up to the taskof standing up to the companies and fighting for us.” Stephen Mohan, Rollin Dairy “Members are excited to see us come out and hear their issues because they feel like they’ve been ignored by the union for so long. Our support is growing everyday.” Manny Garcia, Tropicana
Issues: TDUNY-NJ TDUTeamster Voice: Teamster Voice 290 June/July 2014
June 13, 2014: The Chicago TDU Chapter hosted a discussion and fundraiser for TRF (TDU’s nonprofit educational sister organization) on May 17 with Ken Paff, TDU’s National Organizer. The event drew TDU members, supporters of Teamster reform, and allies from other unions and netted $2,600 for TRF.“We had a good discussion on where our movement is headed and it was great to see the support and interest from members from other unions and organizations who are inspired by TDU’s work.” Frank Pesce, Central States PensionFund, Local 743, ChicagoIssues: TDUTeamster Voice: Teamster Voice 290 June/July 2014
June 13, 2014: The NY Chapter raised more than $6,000 at a Bowl-athon in May. Members sold raffle tickets to help pay a $500 team-entrance fee and team captains recruited more than 60 bowlers.“Members really got into the Bowl-a-thon,” says TDU member and Local 814 organizer Julian Tysh, who helped organize the event. “It was a fun way to build some solidarity and get to know one another better. We’re going to make it an annual event.”Issues: TDUNY-NJ TDUTeamster Voice: Teamster Voice 290 June/July 2014
Members are holding Take Back Our Union meetings in New Jersey, Philadelphia and Western Pennsylvania to reach out to concerned Teamsters and organize for change.
Teamster are tired of Hoffa, Hall and contract concessions. Members have launched Take Back Our Union to organize for change.
UPS, UPS Freight and freight Teamsters are leading the effort to reach out to Teamsters in all industries
Take Back Our Union meetings are being organized for next weekend. Invited guest speakers include Teamster local leaders Sandy Pope, Fred Zuckerman and Tim Sylvester.
For more information on these meetings, email takebackourunion2016 [at] gmail [dot] com
Take Back Our Union—New JerseySaturday, June 2110 a.m.Hilton Garden Inn50 Raritan Center ParkwayEdison, NJ 08837
Take Back Our Union—PhiladelphiaSaturday, June 214 p.m.Holiday Inn ExpressPhiladelphia Airport101 Taylor Ave.Essington, PA 19029
Take Back Our Union—PittsburghSunday, June 221 p.m.West View VFW386 Perry HighwayPittsburgh, PA 15229TDU
November 7-9, 2014Campaign Summit: Special training held at TDU Convention for members who want to learn how to run for delegate, build a local campaign committee, and be an active part of a national campaign.
Early 2015The Election Supervisor will be appointed to oversee the entire process and decide all pre-election protests. The updated Election Rules will issue for the 2015-2016 delegate and IBT officer elections. See www.IBTVOTE.org for the 2011 Rules and other information.
June-August 2015Accreditation Petition Drive to collect some 50,000 signatures, spread out over five regions, to officially “accredit” a coalition slate of candidates. Accredited candidates get access to the Teamster magazine and the entire Teamstermembership list.
September-October 2015Accredited Candidates get to publish campaign pages in the Teamster magazine which is mailed to all members, and four additional times over the next year. In October, the Election Supervisor will publish a list of dates and election plans for local union delegate elections to be held January-March 2016.
January-April 2016Convention Delegate elections held in almost all local unions These elections are overseen by the Election Supervisor. The winners have the power to officially nominate candidates at the Teamster Convention so members have a choicein the election.
June/July 2016IBT Convention in Las Vegas. The entire IBT Constitution will be up for review and amendment. Nominations for General President, Secretary Treasurer and all Vice Presidents and Trustees. Five percent of delegates from the relevant region, and overall, are needed to nominate candidates.
October 2016Mailing of ballots to all Teamster members.
November 2016Counting of ballots for all International officer positions.
Click here and contact us to find out more about how to get involved in the IBT Election.
Issues: Hoffa WatchTeamster Voice: Teamster Voice 290 June/July 2014
June 13, 2014: The next International Union election will be held in 2016. What will it take to elect new Teamster leadership?
Two years from now, the IBT Convention will be held in Las Vegas to nominate candidates for General President and all 28 International officers.
Will there be reform delegates from your local union? Who will be nominated there? What will it take to win and how can we get started now?
The Vote No movement showed that a majority of Teamsters in key industries oppose Hoffa-Hall’s concessions. What happens now that the national contracts have been settled and, in the case of UPS, imposed on the members?
Will Teamsters opposed to concessions become a force for change? That depends on what Teamsters like you do now. Being fed up won’t do the job.
We need a united, national campaign organization of members in every industry working together to channel that anger into votes for change.
Members are forming a network, Take Back Our Union, to start the education process, build local committees of members who will run for convention delegate and nominate and support a coalition of candidates.
Initial meetings are being held and more will be scheduled.
Why Start Early
Hoffa and Hall have a built-in campaign organization: they have a huge payroll with over 100 officials getting multiple salaries from the IBT. Hoffa and Hall don’t have to start early because they have already have a fundraising and campaign patronage machine.
We need a different kind of machine, a grassroots army of Teamster volunteers.
How the Election Works
The IBT Election is governed by Election Rules and overseen by an independent Election Supervisor.
Ballots will be mailed to all Teamsters in October 2016, but the election process starts nearly two years before that, when an Election Supervisor is named.
Next June (2015) petitioning starts to accredit candidates; accreditation entitles candidates to get a copy of the Teamster membership list and to reach members through campaign pages in five issues of the Teamster magazine.
Members in every local union elect convention delegates to represent them at the Teamster Convention where candidates for International Union office are officially nominated.
In the last election, many locals where members voted against Hoffa were represented at the convention by officers who nominated Hoffa-Hall and tried to keep all opposition candidates off ballot.
It’s up to active members to make sure that doesn't happen again. We need to start organizing now and forming local committees.
What it Takes to Win
Hoffa has been able to win the last three elections with 60-65 percent of the vote. To defeat him, it will take about 200,000 votes. What will it take to achieve this goal?
- A Grassroots Army. Hoffa has a top-down machine; we need a grassroots army. TDU has analyzed the local-by-local results from the last six IBT elections. In each election, members voted for reform in local unions where Teamsters were actively campaigning for reform candidates. We need boots on the ground to win.
- A Campaign War Chest. We do not have to outspend Hoffa because we will outwork him. But we need to raise enough money to pay for campaign mailings to the membership and other Get Out the Vote costs. It will take at least $500,000 to win.
- A Full Slate and Coalition Effort. Last time anti-Hoffa forces split into two camps. Together, they carried a majority of the votes in over 100 locals. There is growing momentum toward a united coalition that includes not only TDU but everyone who wants to rebuild Teamster power. That is what Take Back Our Union is all about.