Teamsters for a Democratic Union

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Hoffa: What Pension Crisis? I’m Doing Great!

Wed, 08/05/2015 - 08:02

August 4, 2015: James Hoffa has given up on protecting Teamster pensions, but not his own millionaire retirement plan. In 2014 the IBT put $65,004 of your dues money into Hoffa’s pension.

You read that right, Hoffa got $65,004 paid into his pension in just one year. It would take a YRC Teamster over 17 years to earn in pension contributions what members paid Hoffa last year alone.

Hoffa’s been in office going on 16 years, so do the math. He’s taken in a million bucks in pension contributions and could retire today with a lump-sum payment of over $2 million—plus  free family health care for life.

Hoffa’s retirement windfall comes courtesy of the Retirement and Family Protection Plan, an exclusive fund reserved only for International Union officers and the International staff.

Last year the IBT put $16 million into the Family Plan to make sure those lump sum payouts are funded and fully-protected.

When union officers look after themselves, instead of Teamster members and unorganized workers, it’s time for them to go. 

With the millions in dues money they will take with them into retirement, there will be no reason to feel sorry for them. 

Issues: Hoffa Watch
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Gillian Furst: A warrior for workers

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 13:35

On July 20, I lost a friend and the Teamsters Union lost a warrior for workers, women’s rights when Gillian Furst passed away.

I met Gillian and her husband, Randy Furst, at the 1989 TDU Convention in Pittsburgh. That convention was the kick-off of Ron Carey’s campaign, and where TDU voted to endorse Carey. Gillian had worked as a Teamster for years at the Honeywell instrument factory in Minneapolis, but had no contact with TDU.

As soon as she joined, she was fully committed.

Gillian and Randy had activist experience, and when they got excited about TDU, they never looked back.Gillian was elected a delegate from Local 1145 to the 1991 IBT Convention. She rose to second a nomination for VP at-large: “When I think of fearlessness, I think of Diana Kilmury. When I think of honesty, I think of Diana Kilmury…it is with joy in my heart that I second the nomination of Diana Kilmury.”

Gillian Furst at the 1991 IBT Convention

Kilmury was the first woman ever elected to the General Executive Board, on the Ron Carey slate. Carey appointed Gillian to be a member of the IBT Ethical Practices Committee.

Gillian and Randy became key organizers for TDU in Minnesota, and she served for a time on the TDU International Steering Committee.  She has long been retired, but stayed active, until recently, when her failing health made that impossible.

She was always ready to support a strike and to help workers organize. Her home was frequently a center of activity.

As recently as this April, we held a fundraiser at Gillian and Randy’s home, where she delighted in teasing me about various things. I had a lot of fun with Gillian over the years.

Randy, true to form, remains active in TDU in Minnesota and in supporting the Teamsters United campaign.

Gillian passed away peacefully at home, at the age of 81. Our thoughts go out to Randy and Gillian’s three children.

We will try to live up to the high standard that she set for us.

Ken Paff, National Organizer of Teamsters for a Democratic Union



Issues: TDU History
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Judge blasts Emanuel ally John Coli, Teamsters, orders $2.3 million payment

Mon, 08/03/2015 - 07:25
Chicago Sun-TimesAugust 3, 2015View the original piece

A Cook County judge has handed a stinging rebuke to John Coli, a major union backer of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, ordering him and a Teamsters local that represents more than 12,000 government employees to pay more than $2.3 million to resolve a lawsuit over a broken lease for offices in Des Plaines.

Judge Raymond W. Mitchell ruled in favor of the Des Plaines building’s owners, who had sued Coli and Teamsters Local 700. The union represents city of Chicago, Cook County, state and suburban workers.

Click here to read more.

Issues: Labor Movement
Categories: Labor News, Unions

UPS Agrees to Acquire Coyote for $1.8 Billion

Fri, 07/31/2015 - 09:15
Transport TopicsJuly 31, 2015View the original piece

UPS Inc. announced it has agreed to buy truckload brokerage Coyote Logistics for $1.8 billion to expand its presence in the non-asset-based sector. The package carrier, which already has a small truckload brokerage as well as international brokerage and forwarding businesses, said in a statement that closing is expected within 30 days. Private equity company Warburg Pincus is selling the business that had $2.1 billion in sales last year and ranks No. 39 on the Transport Topics Logistics 50.

Click here to read more.


Issues: UPS
Categories: Labor News, Unions

YRCW: Concessions and Profits

Fri, 07/31/2015 - 08:27

July 31, 2015: YRCW stock jumped 25% within minutes of today’s opening, following the second quarter report on YRCW’s best period in a decade. What will it mean for 20,000 Teamsters who made it possible?

YRCW’s operating profit for the quarter was $56.9 million, compared to $20 million a year ago.  Analysts noted that YRCW’s profits are up on lower revenues, as LTL freight has declined a bit in 2015.

YRC’s operating ratio is a respectable 97.2%, and YRC’s Regionals hit the jackpot with an operating ratio of 91.9%, better than some nonunion competitors.

YRCW Teamsters have sacrificed many thousands of dollars in wages, and more than that in lost pensions. Is it time to start planning for revisiting some of the concessions – we think so. It’s also time for the IBT reps on YRCW’s board to make sure equipment is upgraded, rather than exec perks or some pet project.

YRCW Teamsters in the West have been kicked out of the Western Conference Pension Plan, with no chance of earning an early retirement (PEER 80). How about lifting that punishment of the Teamsters who made YRCW’s profits possible?

YRCW Teamsters across the country are asking if this profitability will lead to any consideration of proposals by the International Union, which has done nothing, but congratulate themselves for giving concessions.

The Hoffa administration has done nothing for freight Teamsters: no real organizing, to saving the NMFA, and they’ve completely failed to protect Teamster pensions. 

Fortunately, they can be voted out of office in 2016 – if Teamsters unite to make it happen. 

Issues: Freight
Categories: Labor News, Unions

YRC Worldwide profits rise despite a drop in revenues

Fri, 07/31/2015 - 06:49
Mark DavisThe Kansas City StarJuly 31, 2015View the original piece

Trucking company YRC Worldwide Inc. posted a second-quarter profit despite a 4.6 percent drop in sales from a year ago, when it lost money.

The Overland Park-based company said it earned $26 million, or 80 cents a share, contrasted with a loss of $4.9 million, or 16 cents a share, a year ago.

Click here to read more.

Read more here:


Issues: Freight
Categories: Labor News, Unions

OSHA orders company to pay $20,000 for retaliating against sick drivers

Thu, 07/30/2015 - 11:10
Land LineJuly 30, 2015View the original piece

A Washington trucking company has been ordered to pay more than $20,000 in punitive damages to a truck driver whom the company suspended when he reportedly refused to drive because he felt too ill.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration ordered Oak Harbor Freight Lines to stop retaliating against truck drivers who refuse to drive when they feel too ill or fatigued. The agency announced the punitive damages order in a press release on July 18.

Click here to read more.

Categories: Labor News, Unions

UPS in Talks to Buy Coyote Logistics

Wed, 07/29/2015 - 09:55
Gillian Tan & Laura StevensThe Wall Street JournalJuly 29, 2015View the original piece

United Parcel Service  Inc.  is in talks to buy Coyote Logistics LLC, a provider of transportation and shipping services, according to people familiar with the matter.

UPS could pay $1.8 billion or more for the company, according to one of the people familiar with the talks. It isn’t certain the talks will result in a deal, the people said.

Click here to read more.

Issues: UPS
Categories: Labor News, Unions

UPS Pledges to Buy 46 Million Gallons of Renewable Diesel

Wed, 07/29/2015 - 09:51
Transport TopicsJuly 29, 2015View the original piece

UPS Inc. said it will buy 46 million gallons of renewable diesel over three years, 15 times greater than prior contracts, as the company seeks to further reduce carbon emissions. In its statement, the package company said the move will enable it to buy more than 12% of ground fuel from alternative sources within two years and become “one of the largest users of renewable diesel in the world”.

Click here to read more.


Issues: UPS
Categories: Labor News, Unions

UPS Profits Jump to $1.3 Billion

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 11:19

July 28, 2015: UPS profits for the second quarter went up, even though revenue is down. The company is squeezing more profits out of every package and every worker.

UPS posted second-quarter $1.23 billion in profits after taxes. Brown’s profits were 171 percent higher than they were in the second quarter last year.

The profit spike was boosted by a one-time charge on the company’s books for last year related to retiree healthcare. But even adjusting for that, UPS profits were still up by 12 percent from last year—on less revenue.

UPS is squeezing more profits out of every package and every worker thanks to a concessionary contract from Hoffa-Hall that has opened the door to more harassment, heavier loads, more speed-up, and more subcontracting through Surepost and Access Point.

For More Information:

UPS Profits Up, Revenues Down -- Atlanta-Journal Constitution

UPS Pressroom Announcement on 2nd Quarter Profits

Issues: UPS
Categories: Labor News, Unions

UPS' Second-Quarter Net Income Rises to $1.23 Billion

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 09:37
Transport TopicsJuly 28, 2015View the original piece

UPS Inc. posted second-quarter net income of $1.23 billion, or $1.35 per share, helped by stronger results in the international sector. The results represented a 9.9% increase over last year’s second quarter, when net income was $1.11 million, or $1.21, excluding a $665 million charge for pension-related costs. Revenue dipped 1.2% to $14.1 billion, affected by fuel surcharge and currency factors.

Click here to read more.


Categories: Labor News, Unions

Central States to Propose Cuts August 31?

Tue, 07/28/2015 - 09:00

July 28, 2015: The Central States Pension Fund (CSPF) Trustees have sent a letter to the US Department of Treasury stating that they want to propose their “rescue plan” pension cuts on or about August 31.

They also state that they want to make extra-big cuts on participants who are “terminated-vested”, which means that they lost or left their Teamster jobs, and are not yet old enough to retire. If you left the pension fund when Preston or CF went down, this is you. Once they can start picking which participants to hit with bigger cuts, watch out: you could be next on their list.

They claim that it is urgent that cuts be made more quickly than the proposed regulations would allow, and – incredibly – they claim that a three month delay would cost 35,000 - 40,000 Teamsters a bigger cut by 7-10%. They want their cuts in place by March 2016.

You’ve heard that figures don’t lie but liars can figure, but this one has to win a prize in that league. First of all, who are the 35,000-40,000 (out of 400,000 participants) slated for this bigger cut? And let’s see the facts behind this nonsense. We do note that in the past six years, the fund has actually grown in assets, so how does that fact come into this tale.

We call upon Sue Mauren, the Retiree Advocate, to have her independent actuary investigate and report to Teamsters and retirees the truth behind these claims. If she can’t provide that basic information, at least have the decency to resign and let someone else do it.  

On August 31, the final regulations governing the new law (MPRA) will not be issued; in fact there is a public hearing on September 10 in Washington DC on the regulations, and Teamsters and retirees will be present in force. So CSPF plans to announce cuts based on the temporary and proposed regulations.

We note also that the CSPF letter is dated July 1 but only revealed to Teamsters three weeks later, and that they retained a high-power law firm to produce it. Apparently CSPF’s several staff attorneys were too busy lobbying against the Keep Our Pension Promises Act.

The movement to defend pensions is fighting back every day and on multiple fronts against this attack.

Want to be part of defending earned pensions? Then stay informed about the movement to save pensions, or join TDU to help support the movement.

Categories: Labor News, Unions

Judge says 2014 Chicago pension overhaul unconstitutional

Mon, 07/27/2015 - 07:19
Sara BurnettDaily ChronicleJuly 27, 2015View the original piece

A Cook County judge on Friday threw out a 2014 law aimed at reducing multibillion-dollar shortfalls in two Chicago pension funds, a decision city officials have said could leave the retirement accounts insolvent in a little more than a decade or lead to massive tax increases.

Judge Rita Novak wrote that the changes to pensions for some 61,000 current and retired municipal employees and laborers in unconstitutional. She also said workers and retirees who have been paying more into their retirement funds or have been receiving less in benefits since the law took effect on Jan. 1 are entitled to recoup their losses. Click here to read more.


Issues: Labor Movement
Categories: Labor News, Unions

New York Plans $15-an-Hour Minimum Wage for Fast Food Workers

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 06:31
Patrick McGeehanThe New York TimesJuly 23, 2015View the original piece

The labor protest movement that fast-food workers in New York City began nearly three years ago has led to higher wages for workers all across the country. On Wednesday, it paid off for the people who started it.

A panel appointed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo recommended on Wednesday that the minimum wage be raised for employees of fast-food chain restaurants throughout the state to $15 an hour over the next few years. Wages would be raised faster in New York City than in the rest of the state to account for the higher cost of living there.

Click here to read more at The New York Times.

Issues: Labor Movement
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Los Angeles is now largest city in America with $15 minimum wage

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 06:27
CNN MoneyJuly 23, 2015View the original piece

Mayor Eric Garcetti on Saturday signed into law a bill raising the minimum wage from $9 an hour to $15 over the next five years. The move was expected after city council had passed the legislation by a near unanimous vote.

The minimum wage is already set to increase to $10 per hour across California in 2016.

Click here to read more.



Categories: Labor News, Unions

UPS Makes Collision-Mitigation Technology Standard on Class 8 Tractors It Orders

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 06:22
Neil AbtTransport TopicsJuly 23, 2015View the original piece

UPS Inc. announced it is making collision-mitigation technology from Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems standard equipment on every Class 8 tractor the company orders. Atlanta-based UPS plans to take delivery of more than 2,600 new tractors this year. The technology includes lane-departure warnings, electronic stability control and air disc brakes. The systems also can alert drivers to objects in front of the tractor and to moving objects around the vehicle.

Click here to read more at Transport Topics.


Issues: UPS
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Warehouse District plaque dedicated to remember violent 1934 truckers' strike

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 07:53
Stephen MontemayorStar TribuneJuly 21, 2015View the original piece

Pickets returned to the Minneapolis Warehouse District on Saturday, nearly 81 years to the day after a strike there turned violent when police shot 67 truckers, killing two and sparking the city’s labor movement.

Their cause this time: To remember the events of July 20, 1934, by dedicating a plaque on the side of the Sherwin Williams building on 3rd Street N., where striker Henry Ness was killed by officers. Click here to read more.Issues: Labor Movement
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Teamsters, without a contract for last year-and-a-half, go on strike Thursday

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 07:48
Will BussBelleville News-DemocratJuly 21, 2015View the original piece

Some local construction sites may not be receiving concrete Thursday after about 80 metro-east laborers went on strike Thursday morning.

The Teamsters Union Local 50 in Swansea announced the work stoppage after members had been delivering ready-mix concrete while working without a contract for the past year and a half. Union president Scott Alexander said the laborers were no closer to a settlement over their wages, pension and health care benefits.

Click here to read more.

Read more here:


Categories: Labor News, Unions

Register Now for 2015 TDU Convention—and Save!

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 10:08

June 20, 2015: Reserve your spot early for the TDU Convention—Oct. 23-25, Cleveland Airport Sheraton—and save money. If you have any questions or want help booking travel, give us a call: 313-842-2600.

Click here to register today.

Categories: Labor News, Unions

Lockheed to Buy Teamster-Employer Sikorsky

Mon, 07/20/2015 - 07:47
Chad BrayThe New York TimesJuly 20, 2015View the original piece

Lockheed Martin said on Monday that it would buy Sikorsky Aircraft, the maker of the Black Hawk helicopters favored by the United States military, from United Technologies Corporation for $9 billion in cash.

The deal would further bolster Lockheed’s status as the world’s biggest military contractor, giving it another major business line in addition to its already hugely popular military equipment, including the F-35 fighter jet.

Click here to read more.

Categories: Labor News, Unions