UPS Master Contract Now Available

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Tue, 05/27/2014 - 10:56

May 27, 2014: The IBT has not made the new UPS Master Agreement available. TDU has produced one for Teamsters to use to enforce the contract.

TDU has compiled and posted the 2013-2018 UPS Master Agreement for Teamsters to download and use.

We combined the new negotiated changes with the old language. To make it easy to spot the changes, the new language appears in bold type. Deleted language is not indicated.

This contract download is an unofficial document prepared by Teamsters for a Democratic Union for use by UPS Teamsters, stewards and local union reps. It has not been approved by the IBT.

In the past, the Hoffa-Hall administration has always taken over a year (!) to print up contract books. Apparently contract enforcement is a very low priority to them.

Your contract consists of the National Master and also a regional supplement and in some areas a local rider. Because there are dozens of supplements and riders, we have not been able to compile and post 2013-2018 versions them. The changes to those supplement and riders are available here.

Issues: UPS
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Recruiter looks for drivers for trucking giant YRC Worldwide

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Tue, 05/27/2014 - 07:04
Mark DavisThe Kansas City StarMay 27, 2014View the original piece

The newest hire at trucking company YRC Worldwide Inc. is a recruiter whose job is to find drivers.

Chief executive James Welch revealed the hiring Wednesday during an industry panel discussion held in New York by Wolfe Research. He said it was the first time the Overland Park company had put a recruiter for drivers on its payroll.

“We have a lot of applications for drivers, but they can’t pass the drug test. They can’t pass the background checks,” Welch said. “Or they don’t have the mental faculties that you want to put behind an 80,000-pound rig going down the road.”

Click here to read more at The Kansas City Star.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2014/05/21/5038302/recruiter-hunts-drivers-for...


Issues: Freight
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Longshore solidarity delegations walk the line in Pacific Northwest

ILWU - Fri, 05/23/2014 - 10:28

A solidarity delegation of members from ILWU Locals 10 and 13 joined the ILWU Longshore Locals from the Pacific Northwest in Portland and Vancouver, WA the weekend of May 3rd to walk the picket line with locked-out members of Locals 4 and 8 who are in a protracted struggle to get a contract with the Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers’ Association (PNGHA).

A delegation of ILWU members from Hawaii Longshore visited the lock-out lines a few weeks before and Locals 94 and 63 have also been sending delegations to stand with their locked-out brothers and sisters on the picket lines.

“It’s been really energizing for us to have these solidarity visits from our brothers and sisters in the ILWU. It shows us that our struggle here has not been forgotten and that we are not alone,” said Cager Clabough, President of Local 4.

ILWU members have maintained strong, round-the-clock picket lines since Japanese-owned Mitsui/United Grain Corporation (UGC) locked-out members of ILWU Local 4 in Vancouver in February 2013 and Japanese-owned Marubeni/Columbia Grain (CGI) locked-out ILWU Local 8 members in Portland in May of 2013.

“It’s important for rank-file-members to see firsthand what is happening to our brothers and sisters in the Northwest. They are bringing their stories back to the local to help everyone understand that the ILWU is under attack from the North to the South,” said Local 13 President Bobby Olvera, Jr., who was a part of the Local 13 delegation to the Northwest.

He added that a solidarity delegation of rank-and-file Local 13 members will be visiting the Portland and Vancouver every two weeks.

Categories: Unions

Download the Docket for the UPS National Grievance Panel

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Thu, 05/22/2014 - 12:31

The next UPS National Grievance Panel will be held June 2-5, 2014 in Boston. TDU is making the complete list of the cases to be heard at the panel available to concerned Teamsters.

Click here to download the cases before the National Grievance Committee.

Click here to download the cases before the Joint National Air Committee. 

Issues: UPSUPS National Grievance Decisions and Dockets
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Schneider Logistics to Pay $21 Million to Dockworkers in Class-Action Lawsuit

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Thu, 05/22/2014 - 10:58
Jonathan S. ReiskinTransport TopicsMay 22, 2014View the original piece

Schneider Logistics will pay $21 million to settle a class-action civil lawsuit brought by about 1,800 Southern California dockworkers who claimed they were not paid properly.

A “notice of proposed settlement” was filed May 13 in the U.S. District Court of Judge Christina Snyder in Los Angeles, and was signed by lawyers for Schneider, Wal-Mart Stores and the plaintiffs. Terms of the settlement were worked out after two days of nonbinding mediation between the parties in San Francisco.

A final arrangement still must be certified by Snyder and probably will take effect at the end of this year or in early 2015, said Theresa Traber, lead attorney for Everado Carrillo and other members of the litigation class.

Schneider Logistics, a division of trucking and logistics company Schneider of Green Bay, Wisconsin, has run Wal-Mart’s Mira Loma distribution center in Riverside County since 2006. Schneider also hired two smaller logistics companies, who in turn hired the dockworkers, or lumpers, who eventually started the legal action.

The case was filed in 2011 based on actions dating to 2001.

Schneider ranks No. 10 on the Transport Topics Top 50 list of logistics companies in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Issues: Labor Movement
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Dedication honors ILWU leader LeRoy King

ILWU - Thu, 05/22/2014 - 10:53

With almost 70 years of experience in the ILWU and Bay Area politics, pensioner LeRoy King has built a substantial reputation. On May 17, 2014, he received permanent recognition when the City dedicated their 108 year-old carousel in his honor at a ceremony held in the Yerba Buena Gardens, a location shaped by King who served on San Francisco’s Redevelopment Commission (now the Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure) for 34 years – making him the City’s longest-serving commissioner.  King says he plans to stay active in his Pensioners group and city politics, with no plans to slow down or change priorities.

“I’m not as old as that merry-go-round,” said King, who turns 91 this September – making him 17 years younger than the antique carousel which carries dozens of children on the backs of 60 hard-carved animals. The ride was recently overhauled to the tune of $300,000, which should allow it thrill a new generation of children.

King credits his success to the first generation of ILWU activists who welcomed him into the union during the mid-1940’s and provided him with training – including classes at the California Labor School which was run by ILWU members. “Not many blacks were active in Local 6 then,” said King, who helped build a community coalition with black churches that changed San Francisco’s political makeup.

In King’s oral history, collected by historian Harvey Schwartz and published in the book, “Solidarity Stories,” he told of the repression that followed him and other ILWU activists in the 1950’s when leftists were attacked both by their government and by other unions who led “raids” against the ILWU.  King recalls the FBI agents who used to park in front of his house and follow him around town. He also recalls working for a year and a half to defeat a Teamster raiding campaign – which he won by educating ILWU members to resist raids with community support that included churches.  He also recalls helping Paul Robeson in 1947 after the great singer and left-wing activist was banned from performing in San Francisco’s opera house. That insult spurred King and others to organize performances in local Black churches.

King’s bitter experiences with racism included his service in a segregated Army unit during WWII and being unable to rent a home in San Francisco because he was black and his wife, Judy Paton, was white. Their interracial marriage forced them to move nine times during one year in the early 1950’s. King also battled racial injustice within the ILWU which he helped overcome by forming a coalition of Local 6 members that included Curtis McClain, who helped pass reforms that made it possible for black members to win elections and appointments in their union.

“I still get up every day and think about the union,” says King, who still makes a daily habit of calling his list of union contacts to ask “what’s new?”

“My hearing isn’t as good, and my legs get sore, but I’m still an ILWU man and always will be.”

Categories: Unions

ILWU members & friends volunteer to clean-up Oakland neighborhoods & build public support

ILWU - Thu, 05/22/2014 - 10:24

Residents of Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood woke up Saturday morning, May 3rd, to find dozens of ILWU volunteers busy cleaning their streets, hauling away trash and planting new trees and flowers.

Helping those who help us

The May 3rd effort was jointly organized by Oakland City Council member Noel Gallo and the ILWU. Gallo has won respect in his working class council district by spending most weekends dressed in work clothes, helping residents haul-away huge piles of illegally-dumped trash. Besides fighting for more city services and stable funding for municipal employees to do those jobs, Gallo is a strong advocate for workers’ rights and has taken a personal interest in helping Oakland’s low-wage recycling workers win better pay and more respect.

Previous successful effort

Six weeks earlier, ILWU members pitched-in to assist another “friend-of-working families” who serves on the Oakland City Council: Lynette Gibson McElhaney. She organized an impressive community clean-up in her Council District on March 22 that included trash collection and tree trimming. Like Gallo and Council member Dan Kalb, McElhaney has been helping Oakland’s low-wage recycling workers by backing a Council resolution that calls on City recycling contractors to dramatically improve pay for recycling workers.

Building public support

Local 10 Business Agent Richard Mead encouraged Longshore volunteers to join the clean-up because so many members live in Oakland and work at the Port. Mead thanked Local 10 volunteers for participating and explained how supporting community clean-up campaigns can help build public support for union causes – including the Longshore contract that is now being negotiated.

Recycling worker power

Oakland’s low-wage recycling workers have been volunteering at several community clean-ups during the past year. “We’re working with the City Council to try and improve our wages, so it makes sense to help with these community projects,” said Mirella Jauregui, a recycler who works for Waste Management and encouraged her coworkers to participate.

ACI workers mobilize

An even larger contingent of volunteers came from Alameda County Industries (ACI), where employees are organizing with the ILWU to build a union and stop the company from cheating them out of pay and benefits.

ACI has been violating the City of San Leandro’s “living wage” ordinance for years by paying a few pennies over minimum wage – $8.30 an hour – and providing no health benefits. Marlene Guzman was one of sixteen current and former ACI workers who attended the event Children and family members were encouraged to attend the May 3rd clean-up that honored two important dates: May Day that honors working families and Cinco de Mayo, that honors the popular Mexican holiday.

After the clean-up, food and drinks were served, everyone was thanked, and important relationships were built between workers, neighbors and elected officials.

Categories: Unions

UPS Black Friday Surprise

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Wed, 05/21/2014 - 15:32

May 21, 2014:  UPS announced it will implement full ground and air service on the Friday after Thanksgiving even though Black Friday is a holiday under the contract.

UPS has always suspended ground deliveries on Black Friday, with Teamsters getting premium pay to do air pickups and deliveries. But this year, UPS plans to have full ground service too, according to a memo that is being read by UPS management at morning meetings called PCMs.

“We were totally, blindsided,” said Kathy Duffy, a driver from Local 384 in Willow Grove, Pa. “We’ve been fighting for more time with our families. This is the only quality family holiday that a lot of UPSers get because we’re all so exhausted at Christmas.”

UPS management says they're implementing the change to "help clear the UPS system and prepare us for the first wave" of holiday season peak volume. 

“This is a total over-reaction to what happened last year. All UPS has to do is hire more people. Instead, it’s like we’re losing a holiday,” Duffy said.

Under nearly every supplement and rider, UPS can force employees to work on a holiday if there are not enough volunteers. (The Local 804 Supplement is a notable exception.)

Pay for Teamsters who work the holiday is governed by your supplement or rider.  In some supplements, Teamsters who work the holiday get double-time with an eight-hour minimum, plus eight hours of holiday pay. In other supplements, it is time-and-a-half plus the holiday pay.

Ken Hall and the IBT just issued a press release bragging UPS will have to cut down excessive overtime and deal with “embarrassing staffing shortages during the last holiday season” by hiring more drivers.

Apparently UPS management has other ideas.


Issues: UPS Files PCM--Friday After Thanksgiving.pdf
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Another UPS Contract Loophole Exposed

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Wed, 05/21/2014 - 11:26

March 21, 2014: UPS made $4.5 billion in profits last year. So why will some package car drivers make less than new hires under the new contract?

Before UPS contract negotiations, Ken Hall promised, “The more they make, the more we take.” So why will some UPS drivers make less than new hires under the new contract?

Starting pay under the new contract was raised for package drivers to $18.75 an hour. But incredibly, Hall is allowing UPS to continue to pay a lower rate to more senior drivers who were making less under the old contract.

Depending on where they fall in the progression, package car drivers will make 30¢ an hour less than drivers hired a year or more after them thanks to this pro-company loophole in the new contract.

New Package Drivers get screwed under the contract too. It now takes four years to get to top pay, instead of three. 

Before the contract, Hall vowed, “We’re not going to be talking about concessions, we’re going to be talking about improvements.” But actions and results speak louder than words and promises.

The pay rate for Package Drivers who were in the progression as of last August 1 is spelled out in this chart from the IBT.   

Issues: UPS
Categories: Labor News, Unions

TDU says: Increase Support for Pension Guarantees!

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Wed, 05/21/2014 - 10:51

May 21, 2014: The Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is calling for reforms that would help secure union members pensions. TDU backs this proposal and Teamsters should, too.

The Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is calling for a major increase in insurance premiums paid by employers to provide more security to pension funds that cover Teamsters and other union members. 

Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) supports this proposal and urges its adoption.

The PBGC exists to provide earned pensions for workers whose pension funds become insolvent, but it is badly underfunded, and unlike the FDIC which guarantees personal bank accounts, it is not backed by the US treasury. 

A big increase in premiums would be a healthy first step in a package of changes to protect the pensions of millions of workers, including Teamsters.

Josh Gotbaum, the PBGC director, points out that the premiums of $12 per year per participant are far too low to sustain the pension program. 

“Unlike the FDIC and other Federal insurance programs, Congress has continued to set PBGC premiums and has done so in ways that both underfunds PBGC and is convincing some companies they shouldn't offer pensions at all,” Gotbaum noted in a May 14 statement.

Presently the PBGC only guarantees a maximum of $12,870 per year for a 30-year Teamster in a multi-employer fund who may have earned a pension of $36,000 or more per year. And, it is too underfunded to back up a huge fund such as the Central States Pension Fund.

A PBGC fact sheet shows the problem.

The linked fact sheet for single employer plans notes that the PBGC guarantees pensions up to $59,320 per year for a single employer plan – nearly five times as high as for a multi-employer plan.

Big business, including the Chamber of Commerce, is opposed to any increase in PBGC premiums. They are comfortable with squeezing workers pensions to the minimum or out of existence.

TDU members are actively fighting back against a proposal to allow troubled pension funds to slash existing benefits. We are supporting positive alternatives. Adequate funding for the PBGC is a first step.

Teamster members are organizing committees to make sure Congress understands that working and retired Teamsters are dead set against reductions to their pensions. To learn more and to get involved in organizing to defend the pension in your area, contact TDU at 313-842-2600 or click here for more information

Issues: Pension and Benefits
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Can The Teamsters Save Union Pensions?

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Wed, 05/21/2014 - 08:08
Frances DenmarkInstitutional InvestorMay 21, 2014View the original piece

As Pamela Gaskill walked through San Francisco's blighted Tenderloin district one day in 2000, she had an epiphany.

Observing impoverished residents of single room occupany hotels, she realized she had no financial resources for her own retirement. Gaskill, a slendor, weathered woman who has driven trucks since the 1970's thought, "This is what happens if you don't have a pension. People end up in a tiny little room with nothing."

Click here to read more.

Issues: Pension and Benefits
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Feds move to help truckers pressured to violate safety regs

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Wed, 05/21/2014 - 07:49
Benjamin GoadThe HillMay 21, 2014View the original piece

The Department of Transportation (DOT) moved Monday to crack down on trucking firms who press their drivers to skirt safety rules. 

The proposed rule is the latest in a series of steps by the Obama administration to tamp down on dangerous practices in the trucking industry. 

Click here to read more at The Hill.

Issues: Freight
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Biggest Fast-Food Worker Strike Yet Covers Six Continents

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Tue, 05/20/2014 - 14:25
Amien EssefIn These TimesMay 20, 2014View the original piece

It’s 6 a.m. in Chicago, and the bitingly cold, drizzly weather seems oblivious to the fact that it’s May 15th. And yet, a crowd of more than 100 people wearing red ponchos has formed outside of a McDonald’s restaurant downtown, where they’re dancing to mariachi music. 

“Fifteen and a union!” cries someone over a bullhorn.

Today, these protesters have joined fast-food employees in an estimated 150 American cities who walked off the job, according to organizers from the two-year-old Fight for 15 campaign. They're demanding a $15-an-hour minimum wage and the right to form a union without retaliation. And such momentum isn’t limited to the United States. Workers have staged strikes or other actions to demonstrate global solidarity in cities on six continents.

In Chicago, workers striking at McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s traveled downtown to the Rock N Roll McDonald’s—a colossal restaurant-museum that was once one of the busiest McDonald’s restaurants in the country—accompanied by many fellow fast-food workers who were not on strike, but were still demonstrating for the same demands. 

“I’m out here because we're sick and tired of the poverty wages that they’re giving us,” says Adriana Alvarez, who works at a McDonald’s on the South Side of Chicago. “We’ve got people who’ve worked there 10, 15 years and they’re still getting $8.50 an hour. It's unfair.”

Alvarez heard about the Fight for 15 campaign this year after an organizer spoke with her in the parking lot of her workplace. “Ever since then ... I got really involved,” she says, noting that this is her first time on strike. 

The campaign to win $15 an hour for fast-food workers has no official history. The first major demonstration, though, took place in November 2012, when workers in New York City walked off the job on a one-day, non-union strike—the now-signature move of the Fight for 15 campaign, which is backed by the Service Employees International Union. TheNew York Times called it “the biggest wave of job actions in the history of America’s fast-food industry.”

On August 29, 2013, the first nationally coordinated strikes took place in 60 cities; a few months later in December, fast-food employees walked off the job in 100 cities. As for today’s events, though no official count has been made, organizers say they planned walkouts in 150 American cities along with solidarity actions in more than 30 other countries—making it the largest event to date of the fast-food worker campaign.

As the movement has gained more media attention, debate around raising the minimum wage has surfaced on a policy level, too. The Vermont legislature voted this week to hike the state minimum wage up to $10.50 an hour, so far the highest in the country. In Seattle, Mayor Ed Murray is backing a $15 municipal minimum wage, more than $5 more than the current minimum. And President Obama himself recently went so far as to push—but fail to pass—an increase in the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10.

Activists credit the national Fight for 15 campaign for many of these initiatives, citing the fact, for example, that Obama announced his minimum wage agenda on the eve of the December strikes. They also point out that Murray came out with his plan for Seattle's increase “quite late in the game.”

According to Jess Spear of Seattle’s 15 Now campaign, “There was a number of factors that led to [Murray’s plan], one of which, of course, is the brave fast-food workers who went out on strike in May 2013 here in Seattle, and then they did that again in August.” Spear notes that both actions took place “during an election year for the City Council seats in Seattle as well as the mayoral election.”

Seattle fast-food workers went out on strike again today, in conjunction with workers in New York, Miami, Orlando, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Boston and Phoenix, among other cities. 

Meanwhile, the global strikes and actions, which included protests in Switzerland, the Philippines, Japan and New Zealand, were coordinated earlier this month at an international conference in New York City called by the federation of unions known as IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations). 

One of the conference’s attendees, Joe Carolan, who helped organize demonstrations in Auckland, New Zealand, said in a statement, “New Zealand is one of very few countries that have union agreements covering fast food workers. Many of the conditions workers in other countries are struggling to win—we have already achieved here. We are taking action today to support Fast Food workers in the [United States] and other countries who are fighting for these same conditions.”

In response to the protests, McDonald’s spokesperson Heidi Barker Sa Shekhem contends that the hamburger chain offers “competitive pay based on the local marketplace and job level”.

She continues, “McDonald’s and our owner-operators are committed to providing our respective employees with opportunities to succeed, and we have a long, proven history of providing advancement opportunities for those who want [them].” She also notes that “approximately 80 percent of our global restaurants are independently owned and operated by small business owners, who are independent employers that comply with local and federal laws.”

Although one of the demands of today’s international action is for the right to form a union without retaliation from the company, Barker Sa Shekhem maintains that McDonald’s workers already have that: “We respect the right of employees to choose whether or not they want to unionize.” Organizers with the Chicago Fight for 15 say that this is not the reality, at least when it comes to many franchises around the country.

Barker Sa Shekhem adds that “to right-size the headlines, the events taking place [today] are not strikes. Outside groups have traveled to McDonald’s and other outlets to stage rallies.”

While it is true, however, that in Chicago workers who walked off their job this morning were joined by community supporters at a central McDonald’s, several workers confirmed that they were scheduled to work at either McDonald’s or Burger King today but had not gone to work in order to strike. 

One of these strikers, Regis Harris, was a no-show at his Burger King job at 78th Street and Columbus Drive, where he hasn’t had a raise in a year. Harris “decided to come on out” because “you can’t live off [minimum wage]. You can’t even pay the heat in the wintertime in the house ... for $8.50 an hour.” 

He says this uncertainty requires him to keep up several jobs at a time: lawn care, snow removal, painting, dry-walling and electrical work, to name just a few. He believes $15 an hour would help him feel more secure and independent.  

 “I could pay my bills. I could make my own bills,” he jokes. “It would help everybody out.”

Issues: Labor Movement
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Truck drivers at Port of L.A. would like to see a fair shake delivered

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Tue, 05/20/2014 - 07:10
Steve LopezLos Angeles TimesMay 20, 2014View the original piece

It was just after 2 p.m. and two truck drivers were hanging out at a burger joint in Carson, hoping their phones would ring. When a call comes in, they go to work. When the phones are silent, the stress and the bills pile up.

That's the daily routine for Byron Monzon and Santiago Aguilar, who had reported for duty at 6 a.m. Wednesday to their truck yard near the Port of Los Angeles. They never know how many loads they'll haul from one day to the next, and they don't get paid for waiting. They each had one quick delivery at 7 a.m., and they might not get another before calling it quits around 8 p.m.

Click here to read more at the Los Angeles Times.

Issues: Freight
Categories: Labor News, Unions

How to read your pension plan's annual funding notices

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Mon, 05/19/2014 - 12:10
Pamela YipHow to read your pension plan's annual funding noticesMay 19, 2014View the original piece

If you’re a participant in a pension plan, you’ve probably received or will soon receive what’s called the plan’s “annual funding notice.”

The notice, which employers are required to send each year to all plan participants, tells you:

How well your pension is funded.

The value of your pension plan’s assets and liabilities.

The total assets and liabilities of the plan for the current year and the two preceding years.

The key question we all want answered is: Does the pension plan have enough money to pay its participants? Specifically, will it be able to pay me my benefits when I retire?

The annual funding notice is supposed to give an idea of the plan’s financial health, but it’s not that easy to understand.

“The intent was to provide meaningful information, but it’s a challenge to interpret,” said Bruce Cadenhead, chief actuary for the U.S. retirement, risk and finance business of Mercer, a consulting firm. “You’ve got two sets of numbers, and they look very different.”

Before I get into those two sets of numbers, it’s important to understand pension plans and how interest rates affect a fund’s obligations.

“A pension plan is a series of payments that companies are going to make in the future — as many as 50, 60, 70 years out into the future,” said Donald Fuerst, senior pension fellow at the American Academy of Actuaries.

To ensure that the plans have enough money to pay those future benefits, they must comply with minimum funding rules.

If the value of the plan’s assets is lower than its funding target, employers must contribute to the plan to cover the funding shortfall.

Contribution amounts are based on complicated formulas that take into account current and projected interest rates.

Low interest rates mean that employers have to contribute more money than expected into their pension plans. When rates are low, companies will earn less interest and so need to contribute more money today to cover future pension benefits.

Conversely, when rates are high, employers are able to earn more interest and need to contribute less money to the pension plan.

This is why interest rates are key to interpreting the two figures that Cadenhead referred to, both of which are found in the “MAP-21 Information Table” portion of the pension funding notice.

MAP-21 stands for the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, which became law in 2012.

The law is primarily known for authorizing funding for the nation’s highways and for extending low interest rates for federal student loans. But it also included a package of pension provisions.

The law changed the required interest rate that companies use to calculate their pension liabilities to one based on a 25-year average.

Since the 25-year average rate is higher than today’s market rate, the end result is that employers are required to contribute less money to their pension plans.

So in the MAP-21 information table, you have two figures: one that calculates how well your plan is funded using the MAP-21 interest rates, and one calculated without.

Which figure gives a more accurate picture of a pension’s financial health?

The one calculated without the MAP-21 rate, Fuerst said.

“Look at those for the three years [the current year plus the two preceding]. They’re based on market rates, and that gives you some meaningful insight into how the funded status of the plan is changing over those three years,” he said.

“You hope that it’s improving. A constantly decreasing funded ratio is a bad sign.”

Beyond those figures, a critical question to ask is how well your employer is doing overall.

“Is your company in financial trouble in other ways?” said Nancy Hwa, spokeswoman for the Pension Rights Center, a nonprofit consumer organization. “They’re not necessarily always a parallel relationship because there are companies that have been in severe financial trouble but have well-funded pension plans because they made the contributions and invested well.”

On the other hand, “just because your company is doing well doesn’t necessarily mean that your plan is doing well.”

Issues: Pension and Benefits
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Negotiations for a new Longshore & Clerks Contract start in San Francisco

ILWU - Mon, 05/19/2014 - 10:03

International President Bob McEllrath led the ILWU’s 16-member Longshore & Clerks Contract Negotiating Committee who sat down with their employer counterparts from the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) on May 12 to negotiate a new pact. The talks are expected to last many weeks, with the first sessions taking place at the ILWU headquarters in San Francisco then alternating weekly between the ILWU and PMA offices.

“We’ve got an excellent negotiating team and solid support from longshore and clerk members who mapped out their priorities and gave us their marching orders to secure a good contract,” said McEllrath.

Among the key issues conveyed by workers through their elected Caucus delegates to the Negotiating Committee are:

• maintenance of health care and retirement benefits;
• respect for ILWU jurisdiction;
• fair raises; and
• improved safety provisions.

The current contract dates from July 1, 2008 and covers a workforce of nearly 20,000 registered and casual workers at 29 west coast ports. It will expire at midnight on June 30, 2014.

In 2002, employers united with shippers and giant retailers to support a ten-day lockout that shut west coast ports for ten days until the White House sought a federal court order to end the employer lockout. The Dispatcher will follow developments in the negotiations and provide updates as they become available.

Categories: Unions

Six protestors attacked by private security guards while leafleting at ICTSI terminal

ILWU - Sun, 05/18/2014 - 10:39

Violence flared at Manila in the Philippines on April 24 when port truckers were attacked while passing out fliers at a facility operated by International Container Terminal Services Incorporated (ICTSI).

The Philippine Daily Inquirer said six men were injured—including officers of a trucker advocacy group— after being attacked by armed port security officers who carried truncheons, rifles and shotguns.

A leader of the truckers organization was among those who suffered head and shoulder injuries during the attack by security officers who tried to stop fliers from being distributed at the Manila International Container Terminal, a facility operated by ICTSI. The paper reported that the RVV Security Agency guards were from ICTSI. RVV Security members at the site reportedly declined comment when approached by the Inquirer.

The truckers’ organization, known as “ACTOO” represents about 700 members operating 2,500 trucks at the container terminal. They have been protesting a new policy restricting trucker access to the port. The group held a three-day strike in February.

Categories: Unions

Fleet Memo for May 10 2014

IBU - Fri, 05/16/2014 - 14:07
Categories: Unions

UPS Freight National Grievance Panel June 3-6

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Fri, 05/16/2014 - 09:38

Thirty-six grievances have been carried over to be heard at the national grievance panel in Boston in June. A number of them address the serious problem of subcontracting. There is one new case from the Eastern Region addressing premium pay for Sunday work, along with a few new cases from the Central and West and South.

The link for the docket is here.

Issues: TDU UPS Freight NetworkUPS National Grievance Decisions and Dockets
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Doug Mims: A Teamster with Guts and Principles

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Thu, 05/15/2014 - 10:42

May 15, 2014: We lost a good friend yesterday, when Doug Mims passed away in Atlanta at the age of 75.  Doug had been sick for quite some time.

Doug was a tireless activist and a leader of the TDU movement and of the Teamsters Union.

Doug started his union activity when he was a road driver in South Carolina. Later he transferred to Atlanta Local 728, where he joined TDU in 1984 and helped form an Atlanta TDU Chapter.

Doug and his wife Joyce were an organizing team. Joyce brought organizational and leadership skills to complement Doug’s ability to inspire and involve Teamster members.

TDU began to reach out and grow in Georgia.

The TDUers put together a slate to run in Local 728, but the election was stolen. To my surprise, the US Department of Labor did a very thorough investigation and proved that hundreds of ballots had been marked with the same pen on extra ballots that were secretly printed.

Facing defeat in a supervised election, the Mathis family, which ran Local 728 for years, had the IBT divide the local in two to maintain control of half of it. But the Labor Department then forced the phony new Local 928 to reunify back into Local 728. The TDU group swept the election in the spring of 1990, with Doug Mims elected vice president

“I'm now vice president of the Mathis family business," a fired-up Mims told the 1990 TDU Convention.

At that very convention, some of us suggested that Doug be on the Carey Slate. It was an easy sell, and Doug was one of the first running mates selected.

Joyce became the southern coordinator of the Carey campaign, and at various times over the years both Doug and Joyce served on the TDU Steering Committee. Both have been TDU members for 30 years; in fact, just days ago I wrote a short note to Doug on his membership renewal notice.

Joyce was appropriately honored in early 1992 when she was asked by Ron Carey to give his introduction at the big inauguration of Ron, along with Doug and the whole Carey Slate, on the steps of the Marble Palace.

I became friends with them and several times enjoyed warm visits at their home, and hosted them in Detroit. Many Teamsters could say something similar.

Doug served as an International VP until 1999. He ran on the Leedham Slate in 1998 for Southern VP, and then returned to work for Local 728 for a short while after that. Doug then retired from the Teamsters, but remained active in other work and in their community.

Doug Mims was a Teamster with guts and principles, who did his part in making labor history. We miss him and we honor his life’s work as we carry it on.

-- Ken Paff, TDU Organizer

Issues: TDU HistoryTDU
Categories: Labor News, Unions


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