Teamsters for a Democratic Union

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Updated: 5 hours 19 min ago

105 years old, still drawing a pension

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 08:25
Barry B. BurrPensions & InvestmentsOctober 22, 2014View the original piece

She is more than 105 years old and still collecting pension benefits from the Teamsters Central States, Southeast & Southwest Conferences Pension Fund.

The Rosemont, Ill.-based Central States fund, which had $18.7 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, has been paying a pension to her for 41 years.

Click here to read more.

 

Issues: Pension and Benefits
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Sending packages via UPS will soon cost more

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 11:51
Tom Huddleston, Jr.FortuneOctober 21, 2014View the original piece

Shipping packages with United Parcel Service will cost a little bit more starting at the end of this year after the package delivery company just announced its latest rate hike.

UPS said Monday that it plans to increase rates by an average of 4.9% for services within and between the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. The new rates go into effect December 29 and will be applied to ground, air, international and freight services.

Click here to read more.

Issues: UPS
Categories: Labor News, Unions

FedEx Ground: Employees or "contractors"

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 07:54

Five days a week for 10 years, Agostino Scalercio left his ouse before 6 a.m., drove to a depot to pick up a truck, and worked a 10-hour shift delivering packages in San Diego. He first worked for Roadyway Package System, a national delivery company whose founders included former United Parcel Service managers, and continued driving trucks when FedEx bought RPS in 1998. FedEx Groung assigned Scalercio a service area. The company, he says, had strict standards about delivery times, the drivers' grooming, truck maintenance, and deadlines for handing in paperwork, and deducted money from his pay to cover the cost of his uniform, truck washings, and the scanner used to log shipments.

Click here to read more.

Issues: Labor Movement
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Poll: 80% Don’t Want Truckers’ Restricted Driving Hours Relaxed

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 11:47
Michele FuetschTransport TopicsOctober 17, 2014View the original piece

A new poll commissioned by a coalition of highway safety groups found that 80% of Americans believe Congress should not raise the number of hours a truck driver can be on the road to 82 hours from 70.

American Trucking Associations called the results “misleading,” while Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) called them a “game changer” that shows the public understands “too many hours on the road” leads to crashes.

Click here to read more at Transport Topics.

Issues: Freight
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Supreme Court to Take Up UPS Pregnancy Discrimination

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 11:26

October 17, 2014: UPS Teamsters across the country have their eyes on a crucial case that the Supreme Court will take up this December on pregnancy discrimination at UPS. 

The case could impact thousands of women who load trucks or deliver packages at UPS, and millions more working women in the U.S.

The case involves Peggy Young, a pregnant UPS Teamster who requested an alternative work assignment so she would not have to burn her vacation and FMLA leave before the birth of her child.

UPS management refused, saying that Young did not qualify for light duty because she had not suffered an on-the-job injury.

Angry Teamster women have fought UPS’s unfair pregnancy policy for years. The Hoffa administration has refused to take up the issue.

Now the Supreme Court is taking up Young’s case, which will swing on the court’s interpretation of the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which bars companies from discriminating against pregnant women.

UPS argues that forcing pregnant women to work at their regular positions is not discrimination because UPS also denies alternate work to male employees (who can’t get pregnant).

Peggy Young, thousands of UPS women Teamsters and women’s rights activists say the PDA says the same benefits (“light duty” or alternative work) should be made available to all employees according to their ability or inability to work.

Pregnant women should not be held to a different standard than other employees who are offered light duty because of an injury.

Click here and here to read more on this important case.

Issues: UPSWomen Teamsters
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Policy Change Punishes Pregnant Women

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 11:18

Teamster Local 554 member Sarah Miles, the daughter of another Nebraska UPS Teamster Jeff Benson, found out what UPS management thinks of its pregnant workers. Put on a weight restriction by her doctor, Sarah was told by UPS that no light-duty work was available, and that she did not qualify for Family Medical Leave. 

And Sarah isn’t the only one. When North Carolina UPS driver Nichele Fulmore was told by her doctor that she could not lift more than 20 pounds during her pregnancy, she assumed that UPS would make accommodations so that she could continue working, as they had done for others in the past at her center. 

But UPS said they would not provide light duty work. So Nichele found herself out of work, and after 26 weeks on disability, out of health benefits, with three months to go until her due date. 

These are not isolated incidents. UPS is imposing a company-wide policy change that denies pregnant woman with health restrictions the right to perform alternate duties. In the process, UPS management is denying women access to medical benefits (which run out after six months on disability leave) and, frequently, the right to use their Family Medical Leave (FMLA) benefits. 

FMLA lets employers deny benefits to workers if they have fewer than 1,250 hours worked in the previous year. The majority of UPS’s workforce is part-time. That means that many women who are planning to use their FMLA benefits after the birth of their child may come up short on hours if they are refused the right to keep working during their pregnancy. 

In the past, UPS generally provided light-duty work to pregnant employees with work restrictions. This practice was written into the union contract in 1997. But now UPS claims that they only have to honor the contract in states that have their own laws regarding pregnancy and light-duty work. It’s a good deal for them: the only state known to have such a law is California. 

The IBT has refused to fight over the issue, claiming that a bad arbitration decision makes it a done deal. 

But members and families see it differently, and aren’t ready to give up. Last month, Sarah Miles’ mother Susan Benson conducted a one-person picket in front of UPS in Omaha, Nebraska, and got noticed by UPS management in the process. She went back the next week, this time after notifying the media. Management really started paying attention. 

“They just ticked me off,” Benson said. “You don’t take a young woman who’s worked hard for you for three years, and kick her into the street with no pay and no insurance because she’s pregnant. My husband works for UPS, and we’ve had to deal with them for 24 years on insurance issues. Now they’re hurting my daughter.” 

Getting management’s attention is one thing, getting this issue resolved is another. Pressure needs to be brought to bear on management, through the union and the public. UPS’s actions need to be brought out in the open. 

To make that happen, we need to gather information. If you have been affected by UPS’s policy or know of other pregnant UPS Teamsters who have been, please contact TDU
 

Issues: UPSWomen Teamsters
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Historic Wins at FedEx Freight and Con-way

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 09:30

October 17, 2014: FedEx Freight workers in Philadelphia voted for this first time to join the Teamsters. Con-way workers in Laredo did the same. How can we build on this momentum?

For the first time in years, there’s excitement in the air about Teamster organizing in the trucking industry. Can we turn that into some real Teamster power?

Local 657 organized the Laredo Con-way terminal. Local 107 lost a vote at FedEx Freight in New Jersey, but then won the NLRB vote at the Philadelphia terminal. These were the first-ever organizing wins at FedEx or Con-way terminals. 

The companies are starting to respond, with both threats and pay hikes.

Other locals are taking action. There are organizing votes scheduled at several FedEx Freight and Con-way terminals in the next few weeks, from Los Angeles to Harrisburg Pa. Leaders of several locals report that FedEx Freight and Con-way workers in their areas are ready to organize.

Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) supports this organizing in a core Teamster industry and urges locals and members to get involved and turn this into a movement.

So far, the International union has not put major resources in the campaign: no financial backing to locals, no boots on the ground. 

The IBT Organizing Department has held biweekly conference calls for locals to exchange information, and designed leaflets and signs. That’s a start. But no local union’s resources can be a match for the anti-union campaigns of these corporate giants.

Local unions and freight workers are stepping up to take action. The IBT needs to get behind this movement and help drive it to victory.

The Hoffa administration has to put some power behind our freight Teamsters. The best field organizers are freight Teamsters who are proud of our union. 

Troy Justis, an ABF driver in Columbus Local 413 summed it up: “It’s great that we’re finally making some gains in organizing FedEx Freight and Con-way. But if we’re going to win on a wide scale, we need to shore up Teamster pride in freight. That starts with much better contract enforcement.”

Issues: Freight
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Got Unfair Labor Practices? Put 'em to use

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 09:14
Robert M. SchwartzLabor NotesOctober 17, 2014Employer unfair labor practices (ULPs) are violations of worker and union rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and similar public sector collective bargaining laws. For many unions, they are a familiar experience. Some, however, have discovered that a ULP can be a gift in disguise, providing a defense against the most dangerous employer weapons. A union that plays its cards right can use ULPs to help win contract campaigns, strikes, and other confrontations. Click here to read more.   Rights & Resources: Steward's Toolbox
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Fed Ex, Con-way battling inroads by Teamsters union

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 12:52
John D. SchulzLogistics ManagementOctober 15, 2014View the original piece

FedEx Freight and Con-way Freight, two of the largest non-union LTL carriers in the nation, are battling organizing efforts by the Teamsters union in a closely watched unionization effort.
  
Workers at FedEx Freight’s Philadelphia facility recently voted 28-16 in favor of representation by the Teamsters union. That follows a rejection of union organization weeks earlier by FedEx Freight workers in Cinnaminson, N.J., a suburb of Philadelphia.

Click here to read more at Logistics Managment.

Categories: Labor News, Unions

FedEx Freight Workers Vote for Union in Pennsylvania

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 10:14
Transport TopicsOctober 15, 2014View the original piece

FedEx Freight drivers at a Philadelphia terminal voted in favor of Teamsters representation, becoming the first workers at the less-than-truckload carrier to become union members.

The vote by a reported 26-18 margin came four days after drivers at the Cinnaminson, New Jersey, terminal voted against becoming Teamsters. The New Jersey vote was the first-ever unionization balloting at the nation’s largest less-than-truckload company. No vote count was disclosed for the New Jersey vote.

Click here to read more at Transport Topics.

Issues: Freight
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Veteran NYC Bus Drivers, Matrons Rally At City Hall

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 08:20
CBS New YorkOctober 14, 2014View the original piece

Veteran New York City school bus drivers and matrons took to the steps of City Hall demanding the mayor do something to help save their jobs.

Hundreds rallied Friday morning, angry that the private bus companies that employed them laid them off and replaced them with less experienced workers with lower wages.

Click here to read more at CBS New York.

Issues: Bus Drivers
Categories: Labor News, Unions

EEOC Sues FedEx Ground for Nationwide Disability Discrimination

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 06:47
Kansas City infoZineOctober 13, 2014View the original piece

Shipping giant repeatedly failed to provide needed accommodations to deaf and hard-of-hearing package handlers and applicants, federal agency charges.

Baltimore, MD - infoZine - Shipping giant FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., (FedEx Ground) violated federal law nationwide by discriminating against a large class of deaf and hard-of-hearing package handlers and job applicants for years, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit it announced today.

Click here to read more at Kanas City infoZone.

Categories: Labor News, Unions

TDU Convention & the 2016 Election

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 11:29

Teamsters who are looking for new leadership and a new direction in our union in 2016 will be making plans at the TDU Convention, Nov. 7-9.

In 2014, Teamsters Voted No in massive numbers to reject concessions at UPS, UPS Freight, and in the freight industry.

Will 2016 be the year that members vote for new leadership and a new direction in our International Union?

That topic is on the mind of Teamster activists across the country—and it will be on the agenda of the TDU Convention, Nov. 7-9 in Cleveland.

Teamster local union leaders Sandy Pope, Fred Zuckerman, Tim Sylvester, and Tony Jones have been meeting with Teamsters across the country and they will all be attending the TDU Convention.

To win in 2016, it will take a coalition effort and rank-and-file Teamsters who are ready to get involved, build local campaign committees, run for delegate to the IBT Convention and more.

The TDU Convention will include workshops and discussions like: How Teamster Elections Work and What it Will Take to Win in 2016, Running for IBT Convention Delegate and TDU and the 2016 Teamster Election.

You do not have to be a TDU member to attend the Convention. But you do need to register in advance.

Saturday-only registration is available. Speakers on Saturday include Sandy Pope, Fred Zuckerman and Tim Sylvester as well as Teamsters speaking about the Vote No movement, the attack on pensions, and Teamster reform. 

The TDU Convention also features workshops on contract enforcement, grievance handling, pensions, rank-and-file organizing, Teamster elections and more.

To find out more about the TDU Convention, call TDU at 313-842-2600 or click here to send us a message and we’ll call you.

Click here to register for the Convention.

Issues: TDU
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Workshops, Education & Inspiration

Fri, 10/10/2014 - 11:20

The TDU Convention, Nov. 7-9 at the Cleveland Airport Sheraton, features the best Teamster educational programs in our union.

We will be posting a Convention program guide and schedule soon.

For now, here’s a sneak peak at some of the workshops and meetings at this year’s Convention.

 

Contract Enforcement & Grievance Handling

Beating the Boss in Discipline Cases

Winning Your UPS Grievances at Panel or Arbitration

Dealing with Difficult Supervisors

 

Legal Rights & Pensions

Labor Law for Teamster Members

Defending Our Pensions from the Central States to Capitol Hill

 

Organizing for Union Power

Organizing a Winning Contract Campaign

Bridging the Teamster Generational Divide: Getting Members Involved & Working Together

Using Facebook & Social Media to Organize Teamsters

Building Part-Time Power at UPS

 

Teamster Elections

TDU and the 2016 Election

Running for Convention Delegate

The 2016 Teamster Election—How it Works; What it Will Take to Win

 

To find out more about the TDU Convention, call us at 313-842-2600 or click here and we’ll get in touch with you.

Click here to register for the TDU Convention.

Issues: TDU
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Con-way Freight Raises Driver Pay Ahead of Union Votes in California

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 12:38
Rip WatsonTransport TopicsOctober 8, 2014

Con-way Freight announced a driver pay increase Sept. 30, several weeks before scheduled union representation elections at three Southern California terminals.

Con-way, whose less than truck load unit is the third largest in the United States , said the increase and faster progression to the top rate was tied to the driver shortage.

Click here to read more.

Issues: Freight
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Teamsters Warehouse Workers Face a Bankruptcy Court Designed to Protect Bosses, Not Workers

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 12:26
Bruce VailIn These TimesOctober 8, 2014View the original piece

Leaders of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are mobilizing their forces in the wake of an unexpected attack by a notoriously anti-union warehousing company looking to undermine workers with back-room tactics in federal bankruptcy court.

The Keene, New Hampshire-based C&S Wholesale Grocers’s actions could prove to be an immediate threat to the livelihoods of about 1,100 Teamster members in the Mid-Atlantic region, the latest in a series of damaging anti-union maneuvers by the company. The action also highlights the growing market power of C&S, a low-profile company that has quietly grown into the nation’s largest warehousing corporation.

Click here to read more at In These Times.

Issues: Warehouse Newswire
Categories: Labor News, Unions

The Great Wage Slowdown of the 21st Century

Wed, 10/08/2014 - 07:03
David LeonhardtThe New York TimesOctober 8, 2014View the original piece

American workers have been receiving meager pay increases for so long now that it’s reasonable to talk in sweeping terms about the trend. It is the great wage slowdown of the 21st century.

The typical American family makes less than the typical family did 15 years ago, a statement that hadn’t previously been true since the Great Depression. Even as the unemployment rate has fallen in the last few years, wage growth has remained mediocre. Last week’s jobs report offered the latest evidence: The jobless rate fell below 6 percent, yet hourly pay has risen just 2 percent over the last year, not much faster than inflation. The combination has puzzled economists and frustrated workers.

Click here to read more at The New York Times.

Issues: Labor Movement
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Is that a ghost employee?

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 11:42

October 7, 2014: A review of the IBT’s financial report – or the $150,000 Club Report posted on this website – shows that an International Organizer made a salary of $250,000 last year. Could this possibly be true?

 

Some members have asked that question, and the answer is No, it’s not true. But that’s what’s reported on the IBT financial report.

 

Former Teamster organizer Tim Lewis was fired by the Hoffa administration in 2010.  He went to court against his unlawful termination and the IBT had to pay over $1 million to Lewis and his attorney’s fees and costs.

 

That was paid from members’ treasury, not by the officials who did the deed.

 

Apparently, the International union was still paying for this fiasco in 2013 and chose to list Lewis as an “employee” on the 2013 LM-2 financial report, three years after he was terminated.

 

Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) listed Lewis in our report, to conform with data on the LM-2 form filed by the IBT with the Department of Labor. But no, he was not an organizer in 2013 and certainly was not paid an annual salary of $250,000. 

Issues: Hoffa Watch
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Justices Weighing Wages for After-Work Screenings

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 07:59
Steven GreenhouseThe New York TimesOctober 7, 2014View the original piece

After his 12-hour shifts at an Amazon warehouse in Las Vegas, Jesse Busk says, he and 200 other workers typically waited in line for 25 minutes to undergo a security check to see whether they had stolen any goods.

Upset that the temp agency that employed him refused to pay workers for that time, Mr. Busk sued. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments about this hotly contested issue.

Click here to read more at The New York Times.

Issues: Labor Movement
Categories: Labor News, Unions

TDU Convention, Nov. 7-9, Cleveland

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 09:27

Get the tools you need to enforce our contracts, defend our benefits, and build a stronger union.

Register today.

Categories: Labor News, Unions

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