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Trusteeship Hits Chicago Local 710

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 08:15

July 31, 2014: James Hoffa yesterday imposed an “emergency” trusteeship over Local 710, and appointed Chicago Teamster boss John Coli as trustee. The trusteeship follows a July 17 report by the Independent Review Board on the lack of financial controls in the local union.

Many members of Local 710 are eager to clean house in the next election, and want to know how this trusteeship will affect those efforts.

A trusteeship is “presumed invalid” after 18 months, so we fully expect an election on that time schedule. That will be in early 2016, just the same time that Local 710 – and almost all locals – will elect delegates to the 2016 IBT Convention where candidates will be nominated to run for General President and all IBT offices, including Coli’s office.

A majority of the local’s 13,000 members are employed by UPS, ABF, UPS Freight and YRC. All of those groups of workers have rejected concessions by big margins in the past year, and are ready for real changes. Many have contacted Teamsters for a Democratic Union since yesterday to talk about future plans

The local includes all UPS Teamsters in Illinois outside the Chicago area, as well as Northern Indiana and Davenport, Iowa.

Those 6,000 UPS Teamsters rejected their contract last February by a 73% margin, and since then have been in the dark. The union falsely put on the ballot that a rejection would lead to an immediate strike. 

Trustee John Coli will now oversee bargaining with UPS. Coli supported every concessionary deal that the IBT has served up at UPS, UPS Freight, ABF and YRC.

The IRB Report details the charges against Local 710 secretary-treasurer Pat Flynn for purchasing $58,000 worth of gift cards over several years, without any accounting of what happened to those visa cards. It goes on to note that the local entered into leases and car purchases without executive board approval; that the trustees on the executive board did not review the cancelled checks compared to the books; and that the local financial reports failed to disclose $494,468 in “commissions” owed to officers. That liability would have led to the local reporting large negative net assets.

Members of Local 710 interested in being kept informed of developments can contact TDU by calling 313-842-2600 or emailing info [at] tdu [dot] org


 

Categories: Labor News, Unions

ABF Reports 14 Percent Revenue Increase

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 07:57
John LovettTimes RecordJuly 31, 2014View the original piece

Fort Smith-based ArcBest Corp. reported a 14-percent increase in revenue for this year’s second quarter led by performances at its two largest operating companies, ABF Freight and Panther Premium Logistics.

ArcBest’s second-quarter 2014 revenue was $658.6 million compared to revenue of $576.9 million in the second quarter of 2013, an increase of 14 percent. Second-quarter net income was $17.2 million compared to second-quarter 2013 net income of $4.9 million. On a per-share basis, this represents ArcBest’s most profitable quarter in six years, a news release states.

At ABF Freight, second-quarter revenue rose to $492.9 million from $446.8 million, while operating income increased to $22.8 million from $5.5 million in second quarter 2013. Cost as a percentage of revenue improved to 95.4 percent following implementation of the new labor agreement in November 2013, compared with 98.8 percent in the year-ago period.

ArcBest’s emerging, non-asset-based businesses, including Panther, grew combined revenues at a rate of 28 percent. During the second quarter, these businesses equaled 27 percent of total consolidated revenue compared to 24 percent during the same period last year. Second quarter 2014 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) at the non-asset-based businesses was $10.2 million, an increase of 47 percent compared to EBITDA in the second quarter of 2013.

“Our second-quarter results improved significantly from both the first quarter of 2014 and the year-ago quarter, which was welcome news as we emerged from the harsh winter weather earlier this year,” ArcBest President and CEO Judy R. McReynolds stated in the release.

McReynolds noted as the economy picked up in the second quarter, ABF Freight saw better pricing conditions and a positive impact from the new labor agreement with the Teamsters union.

“Panther reported one of the strongest quarters in its history,” she stated. “We are also seeing more customers buying at the enterprise level, when they require two or more ArcBest services.”

McReynolds said the company’s new brand identity, logos, advertising campaign and tagline, “The Skill & The Will” — which were launched on April 30 — have been well-received by customers and employees. A new website, TheSkillandTheWill.com, will be launched in early August to tell the stories of customers who have “benefited from employees’ willingness to go above and beyond, every day, to solve complex logistics challenges,” and “the broader story of the company’s culture through the eyes of the customer,” McReynolds said.

- See more at: http://swtimes.com/business/arcbest-reports-14-percent-revenue-increase#...

Fort Smith-based ArcBest Corp. reported a 14-percent increase in revenue for this year’s second quarter led by performances at its two largest operating companies, ABF Freight and Panther Premium Logistics.

ArcBest’s second-quarter 2014 revenue was $658.6 million compared to revenue of $576.9 million in the second quarter of 2013, an increase of 14 percent. Second-quarter net income was $17.2 million compared to second-quarter 2013 net income of $4.9 million. On a per-share basis, this represents ArcBest’s most profitable quarter in six years, a news release states.

At ABF Freight, second-quarter revenue rose to $492.9 million from $446.8 million, while operating income increased to $22.8 million from $5.5 million in second quarter 2013. Cost as a percentage of revenue improved to 95.4 percent following implementation of the new labor agreement in November 2013, compared with 98.8 percent in the year-ago period.

ArcBest’s emerging, non-asset-based businesses, including Panther, grew combined revenues at a rate of 28 percent. During the second quarter, these businesses equaled 27 percent of total consolidated revenue compared to 24 percent during the same period last year. Second quarter 2014 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) at the non-asset-based businesses was $10.2 million, an increase of 47 percent compared to EBITDA in the second quarter of 2013.

“Our second-quarter results improved significantly from both the first quarter of 2014 and the year-ago quarter, which was welcome news as we emerged from the harsh winter weather earlier this year,” ArcBest President and CEO Judy R. McReynolds stated in the release.

McReynolds noted as the economy picked up in the second quarter, ABF Freight saw better pricing conditions and a positive impact from the new labor agreement with the Teamsters union.

“Panther reported one of the strongest quarters in its history,” she stated. “We are also seeing more customers buying at the enterprise level, when they require two or more ArcBest services.”

McReynolds said the company’s new brand identity, logos, advertising campaign and tagline, “The Skill & The Will” — which were launched on April 30 — have been well-received by customers and employees. A new website, TheSkillandTheWill.com, will be launched in early August to tell the stories of customers who have “benefited from employees’ willingness to go above and beyond, every day, to solve complex logistics challenges,” and “the broader story of the company’s culture through the eyes of the customer,” McReynolds said.

- See more at: http://swtimes.com/business/arcbest-reports-14-percent-revenue-increase#...

Fort Smith-based ArcBest Corp. reported a 14-percent increase in revenue for this year’s second quarter led by performances at its two largest operating companies, ABF Freight and Panther Premium Logistics.

ArcBest’s second-quarter 2014 revenue was $658.6 million compared to revenue of $576.9 million in the second quarter of 2013, an increase of 14 percent. Second-quarter net income was $17.2 million compared to second-quarter 2013 net income of $4.9 million. On a per-share basis, this represents ArcBest’s most profitable quarter in six years, a news release states.

At ABF Freight, second-quarter revenue rose to $492.9 million from $446.8 million, while operating income increased to $22.8 million from $5.5 million in second quarter 2013. Cost as a percentage of revenue improved to 95.4 percent following implementation of the new labor agreement in November 2013, compared with 98.8 percent in the year-ago period.

ArcBest’s emerging, non-asset-based businesses, including Panther, grew combined revenues at a rate of 28 percent. During the second quarter, these businesses equaled 27 percent of total consolidated revenue compared to 24 percent during the same period last year. Second quarter 2014 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) at the non-asset-based businesses was $10.2 million, an increase of 47 percent compared to EBITDA in the second quarter of 2013.

“Our second-quarter results improved significantly from both the first quarter of 2014 and the year-ago quarter, which was welcome news as we emerged from the harsh winter weather earlier this year,” ArcBest President and CEO Judy R. McReynolds stated in the release.

McReynolds noted as the economy picked up in the second quarter, ABF Freight saw better pricing conditions and a positive impact from the new labor agreement with the Teamsters union.

“Panther reported one of the strongest quarters in its history,” she stated. “We are also seeing more customers buying at the enterprise level, when they require two or more ArcBest services.”

McReynolds said the company’s new brand identity, logos, advertising campaign and tagline, “The Skill & The Will” — which were launched on April 30 — have been well-received by customers and employees. A new website, TheSkillandTheWill.com, will be launched in early August to tell the stories of customers who have “benefited from employees’ willingness to go above and beyond, every day, to solve complex logistics challenges,” and “the broader story of the company’s culture through the eyes of the customer,” McReynolds said.

Categories: Labor News, Unions

Black SEIU 1021 BART workers find racist threats on lockers, lawyer says

Current News - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 19:57

Black SEIU 1021 BART workers find racist threats on lockers, lawyer says
http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Black-BART-workers-find-racis...
By Michael Cabanatuan
July 30, 2014
A group of African American BART track maintenance workers say they were subjected to racist death threats at work last month - the latest incident in a continuing pattern of racial discrimination and harassment.
An attorney for the workers says racist incidents have continued even after a lawsuit was filed on behalf of the workers late last year. In the latest episode, graffiti was sloppily scrawled with a black marker on three of the workers' lockers on June 27, said Jody LeWitter, the attorney representing workers. It read: "F- you (first name of worker) dies N-."

LeWitter said that BART has been slow to investigate the incident, which came several months after the workers filed suit in Alameda County Superior Court in December, alleging discrimination in promotions and training, as well as racist graffiti scrawled on lockers and in restroom stalls.
While BART ignored prior incidents, dismissing them as "horseplay," the transit agency is investigating the latest, LeWitter said. But the investigation has taken more than a month, which she described as unusually long.
BART officials did not respond to multiple requests for comments on the incidents and the lawsuit Tuesday and Wednesday.
The workers said in a statement that they considered the graffiti "threatening, racist, retaliatory, hateful and criminal," and that they feared the potential of violence while working on tracks at night. The workers said they declined to report to work after the June incident but have since returned, under protest, after being ordered to do so.
LeWitter described the incidents as an ongoing problem that BART managers have failed to address.
"This seems to be racism at the lowest levels of employees with lower-level managers who either engage it or ignore it," she said. "And up the chain, managers ignore it as being just part of the work environment."

Michael Cabanatuan is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail: mcabanatuan@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @ctuan

Tags: seiu 1021BARTracism
Categories: Labor News

Hoffa Escalates Attack on the Right to Vote

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 12:12

july 30, 2014: The Hoffa administration is escalating its attack on Teamster voting rights. Hoffa administration lawyers are filing new papers with Judge Loretta Preska in a bid to end fair, independently supervised elections in the Teamsters. The case could be decided as early as September.

Judge Preska can’t just hear from Hoffa. She needs to hear from us.

More than 3,000 Teamsters have signed an Open Letter to Judge Preska, including 1,744 who have signed online.

We’ve set a goal of delivering 10,000 petition signatures to Judge Loretta Preska by Labor Day.

Can you help us reach our goal and save the right to vote by:

Clicking here to sign the petition?

Emailing a link to the petition to your friends and asking them to sign and sharing it on your Facebook wall?

If you’d like copies of the petition form and a leaflet explaining the issue to distribute, please contact TDU at 313-842-2600 or info [at] tdu [dot] org and we’ll be happy to mail you a packet immediately.

You can click here to read more background on this campaign and on the importance of independent oversight in protecting members’ rights.

Categories: Labor News, Unions

Take Back Our Union Meetings Ohio and Kentucky

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 11:24

Members are holding Take Back Our Union meetings in Ohio and Louisville 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. 

Two Take Back Our Union meetings are organized for Saturday, August 9. Invited guest speakers include Teamster local leaders Sandy Pope, Fred Zuckerman, Tim Sylvester, and Tony Jones.

For more information on these meetings, email takebackourunion2016 [at] gmail [dot] com

Take Back Our Union—Dayton

Saturday, Aug.99:30 AMHilton Garden Inn3520 Pentagon Park Blvd. Beavercreek, Ohio Click here to download a flyer with Ohio meeting details.Take Back Our Union—Louisville Saturday, Aug. 93:30 PM—5:30 PMCrowne PlazaLouisville AirportCrowne C Room830 Phillips Lane, Louisville Click here to download a flyer with Louisville meeting details.

 

Categories: Labor News, Unions

County will not provide escorts for state inspectors across ILWU picket Lines in Port Of Vancouver, WA

Current News - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 10:22

County will not provide escorts for state inspectors across ILWU picket Lines in Port Of Vancouver, WA
http://www.columbian.com/news/2014/jul/29/clark-county-sheriff-explains-...
Sheriff explains grain inspector decision
County will not provide escorts for state inspectors across ILWU picket Lines in Port Of Vancouver, WA

An ILWU local 4 supporter holds a sign outside the main gate to United Grain as a vehicle enters May 1 in Vancouver. (Troy Wayrynen/The Columbian)Buy this photo
By Aaron Corvin, Columbian port & economy reporter
Published: July 29, 2014, 1:16 PM
Updated: July 29, 2014, 8:08 PM
Document

Sheriff Lucas responds to request for grain inspector escorts

Citing neutrality among other reasons, Clark County Sheriff Garry Lucas on Tuesday explained why he declined an offer by United Grain Corp. to pay his office to escort state grain inspectors past picket lines to the company’s facility at the Port of Vancouver.

Lucas, who is out of the office until Aug. 5, outlined his reasons in a letter issued by Undersheriff Joe Dunegan to United Grain, Clark County government officials and The Columbian. The two-page letter delves into police authority, early 19th-century battles between management and labor, and the role of law enforcement.

“My position is that the law enforcement role is a neutral enforcement role that preserves the peace, protects life and property, and protects the rights of the parties as it relates both to the law and the Constitution of the United States,” Lucas wrote in the letter dated Tuesday. “It becomes difficult to maintain neutrality when a police agency is a contractor/employee of one of the parties.”

The letter comes amid a 17-month-long labor dispute between United Grain and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. It elaborates on a statement issued by the sheriff’s office last week saying it would not provide security escorts for inspectors with the state Department of Agriculture.

Last week’s statement was in response to formal requests by United Grain and the Clark County Board of Commissioners to consider providing security escorts to grain inspectors. Those requests came in the aftermath of a decision by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to stop using the Washington State Patrol to ferry grain inspectors past picket lines at a gate on the port’s east side.

After the governor’s decision in late June, the state Agriculture department, citing safety concerns, discontinued grain inspections on July 7. Subsequently, United Grain’s operations came to a halt. Although shippers may use other grain terminals in the region, farmers and export groups have raised concerns about their ability to ship products overseas, given the situation at the Port of Vancouver.

In a statement emailed to The Columbian on Tuesday, Pat McCormick, spokesman for the Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association — whose membership includes United Grain — said, in part, that “we agree that the sheriff’s department does not have primary jurisdiction over these issues, and we sincerely appreciate their efforts in trying to address any legitimate safety concerns that (state Agriculture department) inspectors might have in relation to (the Longshore union’s) behavior.”

McCormick said the company’s operations remain shut down.

Primary jurisdiction
In his letter, Lucas notes the request for security escorts “came directly from United Grain” and “not from the (state) grain inspectors.” The company “even offered to reimburse the county for costs associated with … performing these escorts.”

In addition to his position that the sheriff’s office must maintain neutrality, Lucas wrote that the city of Vancouver has “primary jurisdiction” in the matter. “We become involved if and when conflict grows to the point that Vancouver Police can no longer deal with it on their own and call for mutual aid.”

The city’s police department has made no such request. “If they should,” Lucas added, “we would be the first logical mutual aid responder.”

Lucas said the sheriff’s office has never — “and as long as I’m the sheriff never will” — provide security escorts “to a private company involved in a labor dispute to transport or escort management staff, subcontractors or third parties onto management’s property. It is my belief that there are private security firms available to provide such a service.”

Lucas also wrote that federal and state laws regulating management-labor relations grew out of “tremendous unrest” in the early part of the 19th century. “The working class felt that they were the victims of terrible working conditions and were the victims of the manufacturing moguls,” according to Lucas. “I won’t go into who was right and who was wrong. The point is that there was no lawful mechanism to resolve differences. The result was violence, bloodshed, and atrocity committed by both sides.”

He went on: “Cronyism was rampant, and those with power and influence convinced the political machine to use the police as a means of controlling those demonstrating against them. Neutrality and a sense of fairness lost.”

As a result, Lucas wrote, there’s “an established framework of law” by which management-labor conflicts may be resolved. He urged United Grain and the Longshore union to “avail themselves of that framework.” However, he wrote, “I will not become the employee of either side.”

‘Ultimate responsibility’
In his statement to The Columbian on Tuesday, McCormick, the spokesman for the Grain Handlers Association, said “we understand and accept that (Gov. Inslee) has the ultimate responsibility to protect Washington state employees, including with police services if necessary, from (Longshore pickets’) inappropriate and sometimes illegal behavior.”

Jennifer Sargent, spokeswoman for the Longshore union, has told The Columbian that state grain inspectors don’t feel safe at the picket lines because of conditions created by United Grain, and that “they are union members themselves who generally do not want to cross picket lines.”

Jaime Smith, a spokeswoman for Inslee, has said the governor authorized the State Patrol escorts last fall in hopes it would give United Grain and the Longshore union time to negotiate an agreement. But eight months of negotiations were unsuccessful, she said, and it was clear the escorts weren’t producing the intended results.

Smith has also said the governor was clear with both United Grain and the Longshore union that the State Patrol services were temporary.

Aaron Corvin
Columbian port & economy reporter
• 360-735-4518
• @col_econ
• Send an Email

Categories: Labor News

FedEx indicted for drug dealing. Not a delivery guy — the whole company

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 07:56
Justin MoyerThe Washington PostJuly 30, 2014View the original piece

There might be something more interesting than a tennis ball in that FedEx package.

File that illicit drug revenue under “miscellaneous.”

That’s more or less the policy the shipping giant FedEx followed starting in the mid-aughts, according to a 15-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court in California on Thursday. According to prosecutors, the company knew the shipping services it provided to two Internet pharmacies ran afoul of the law.

Click here to read more at The Washington Post.

Categories: Labor News, Unions

Update: Shahabi released to civilian hospital

ITF - Wed, 07/30/2014 - 02:14
It has now been confirmed that Reza Shahabi, the imprisoned Iranian trade unionist and prisoner of conscience, has called off his hunger strike following his release on medical grounds to a civilian hospital on 11 July.
Categories: Union Federations

Iran: Update: Shahabi released to civilian hospital

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 07/29/2014 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: ITF Global Union
Categories: Labor News

An Uphill Climb

Pittsburghers for Public Transit - Tue, 07/29/2014 - 10:31
PPT and the Baldwin campaign made the first page of the Post Gazette on Saturday:

SEE ARTICLE HERE
Categories: Labor News

Big Brown Gets Busy in 2nd Quarter

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Tue, 07/29/2014 - 08:53

July 29, 2014: UPS made $454 million in after-tax profits and transferred liability for future retiree healthcare costs to Teamcare.

UPS announced $454 million in profits for the 2nd quarter today. That’s down from $1.07 billion for the same period last year.

But don’t cry for Big Brown just yet. The company’s 54% drop in profits is explained by a one-time charge. 

UPS posted a one-time $665 million after-tax charge on its books related to the company’s transfer of retiree healthcare benefits to Teamcare for all Teamsters who retire January 1 this year or after.

That Teamcare transfer aside, UPS made $1.2 billion for the quarter, an increase over last year. U.S. revenue rose by 5.2 percent to $8.67 billion. Daily package volume grew by 7.4 percent. 

UPS Freight and supply chain revenue rose by 7 percent to $2.35 billion.

Volume is expected to grow. UPS is investing $175 million in peak operations to avoid a repeat of last year when the online sales boom caught the company flatfooted and humiliated executives in Atlanta. 

In one negative, profit per package is actually down. The rapid growth in UPS SurePost was the primary cause of the reduction, Nasdaq reports.

The contract includes new language on SurePost that Hoffa and Hall claim will mean fewer packages diverted to the Post Office and more fulltime Teamster driving jobs. But will they enforce it? Click here for tips on documenting violations and pressing Hoffa and Hall to deliver on their Surepost promises.

For more press coverage on UPS profits, check out:

UPS invests $175 million in peak operations

UPS 2nd qt profits improve, excluding pension charge

 

Issues: UPS
Categories: Labor News, Unions

UPS invests $175 million in peak operations

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Tue, 07/29/2014 - 08:23
Hadley MalcolmUSA TodayJuly 29, 2014View the original piece

After a holiday shipping fiasco that left thousands of customers without packages in time for Christmas last year, United Parcel Service will invest $175 million in peak operations for the rest of 2014, the company announced Tuesday as part of its second quarter earnings statement.

UPS said it will increase operating expenses for "capacity and peak related projects," including for operations on Black Friday and software that optimizes delivery routes.

Click here to read more at USA Today.

Issues: UPS
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Fast-Food Workers Intensify Fight for $15 an Hour

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Tue, 07/29/2014 - 05:39
Steven GreenhouseThe New York TimesJuly 29, 2014View the original pieceAs labor gatherings go, this one was highly unusual — 68 workers arrived on charter buses from St. Louis, 100 from New York City and 180 from Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas. Fifty flew in from Los Angeles and two dozen from Seattle. These were not well-paid carpenters or autoworkers heading to their annual convention, hoping to sneak in a round of golf. Rather they were fast-food workers — 1,200 of them — from McDonald’s, Burger King and other chains, eager to pursue their ambitious goal of creating a $15-an-hour wage floor for the nation’s four million fast-food workers. Click here to read more at The New York Times.Issues: Labor Movement
Categories: Labor News, Unions

Counting on Members’ Frustration, Rivers Opposes Local 237’s Floyd

Teamsters for a Democratic Union - Tue, 07/29/2014 - 05:33
Dan RosenbaumThe Chief-LeaderJuly 29, 2014

IDENTIFYING WITH STRUGGLING MEMBERS: Jakwan Rivers is challenging Teamsters Local 237 President Gregory Floyd in the union's October election. Speaking during a July 23 campaign event, he said that the union’s leadership was unresponsive to the members’ needs and that raises expected for members would not meet the cost of living. ‘You struggle every day,’ he said. ‘You work in, and for, a city that you can hardly afford to live in.’

During a July 23 meeting held by a dissident slate fighting to oust Teamsters Local 237 President Gregory Floyd, as many as 125 people filled the room and crowded the doorway of the Jackie Gleason Room of the Marriott Hotel in downtown Brooklyn as presidential candidate Jakwan Rivers kicked off his campaign.

He is challenging Mr. Floyd in an October election, contending the labor leader has run a union that is unresponsive to members’ needs while he and other board members receive six-figure salaries but many rank-and-file members suffer economically.

‘Not Getting Leadership’

“The circumstances that we’re working under and the conditions that we’re working under have brought you here today,” he said. “You look for guidance and the leadership from your union and get nothing.”

The local is currently working to secure a contract with the de Blasio administration. If it matches the pattern sustained by District Council 37, announced last month, workers would get a $1,000 ratification bonus, a 1.5-percent raise this year as well as subsequent raises of 2.5 percent in 2015 and 3 percent the following year, plus three retroactive 1-percent raises. Mr. Rivers said that would not be enough to pay for increasing rents, but predicted the local would use a new pact as a political tool.

“They’re going to lie, they’re going to drag it on, because this is what they do,” he said. “Desperate times call for desperate measures and they know we’re hungry, so they’re going to dangle money.”

Mr. Floyd, speaking to this newspaper after the meeting, said that most of Mr. Rivers’s contentions were untrue, noting executives hadn’t gotten pay raises in four years and salaries have been publicized in the union’s newspaper since 1993.

‘Raises Tied to Members’

“We get increases as the members get increases,” he said. “And that’s a policy.”

He also said that Mr. Rivers hasn’t seen the contract, and shouldn’t complain about any hypothetical bargain.

“I understand that people always want more and the union would always like to get more for its members,” he said. “However, we’re negotiating a contract for Local 237. Mr. Rivers has no idea what that contract is because it hasn’t been revealed yet.”

The meeting was originally scheduled at Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams’s office, but was moved after Local 237 protested the venue because it looked like an official endorsement from Mr. Adams. Mr. Rivers said that his slate, All Members For Change, wouldn’t change the neighborhood and instead “brought it to a better place.”

With more than 20,000 members, the local covers Housing Authority and Health and Hospitals Corporation employees as well as School Safety Agents and peace officers. It also includes non-city workers in Long Island and at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.

Perennial Challengers

Mr. Rivers and his running mate, Eunice Rodriguez, have challenged the leadership going back a decade. Ms. Rodriguez ran for president against the late Carl Haynes in 2005 and Mr. Floyd—who was appointed after Mr. Haynes stepped down in 2007—in 2009. Mr. Rivers, originally aligned with Mr. Haynes, switched allegiances to run for vice president with Ms. Rodriguez five years ago.

“...when he went into that union and became a business agent, he saw the same thing up there,” Ms. Rodriguez said of Mr. Rivers’s time working for the union. “He saw the complacency, the do-nothingness, he saw all of that. And he decided, ‘I’m out of here.’’’

Mr. Floyd contended that he personally fired Mr. Rivers in 2009 because he had an agenda counter to the local’s.

The 2009 fight, as in this cycle, focused on allegations that the union’s leadership failed to properly advocate for the members. It turned uglier in its final weeks as a flyer appeared falsely accusing Mr. Floyd of sexual harassment. Mr. Floyd ultimately took 3,647 votes to Ms. Rodriguez’s 3,325. The incumbent vice president, Richard Hendershot, narrowly defeated Mr. Rivers by 282 votes.

Reconsidered Retiring

“I was going to retire this year, but when I saw the plight of my members, you kept drawing me back in,” she told her supporters.

Mr. Rivers took questions from the audience, which included a mix of supporters and members curious about the slate. Some said they were angered that the local’s business agents, who enforce contracts and grievances, often speak first to managers before reaching out to the union members. Mr. Rivers said if elected he wouldn’t tolerate agents who did that.

Ms. Rodriguez said the union should let members borrow from an annuity fund in emergencies.

“It’s not like it’s going to be a free-for-all, but if you have a problem, you should be able to come to your union and take care of it,” she said.

In an interview, Martin Lockwood, a slate ally and Exterminator at the Housing Authority, said the leadership is more concerned with “going through the motions” and expressed similar complaints with the business agents.

‘In Bed With Boss’

“We don’t want a union that’s in bed with management,” he said.

Jocelyn Walton, a School Safety Agent in the 108th Precinct in Queens, was annoyed members hadn’t seen raises in years—a problem shared by all city workers during Michael Bloomberg’s third term as Mayor—and was dissatisfied with a lack of resolution for a lawsuit regarding SSAs. The union sued on behalf of 5,000 SSAs in a gender-equity lawsuit. SSAs, 70 percent of whom are women, make $7,000 less than comparable peace officers.

“I know that they’ve been at it for quite some time and nothing’s really coming from it,” she said. “So, it seems like it’s just been in deliberation forever. And no one’s making any moves.”

Mr. Rivers pointed out the lawsuit hadn’t been settled, but when pressed about it by a member, he said he wasn’t briefed on the details and declined to criticize the pace.

“The way I feel about it, if you get it, you get it and you run and move on,” adding he supported elevating blue-collar workers and peace officers to uniformed status, making them eligible for better equipment, injury pay and other benefits.

Mr. Floyd pointed to the SSA lawsuit, filed a year after the last election, as proof that the leadership was working for its members outside of the campaign cycle, and said it was “relatively quick compared to most lawsuits.”

“The fact that we’re at the point where we are now, is nothing short of hard work,” he said. “And the fact that the city recognizes that we have a valid point is hard work.”

A Rivers spokesman said the slate is planning borough-wide meetings in The Bronx, Queens and Staten Island and hoped its challenge would spur encourage reforms within the union.

Issues: Local Union Reform
Categories: Labor News, Unions

UK: Tax workers stage more strikes over job cuts

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: PCS
Categories: Labor News

Nigeria: Medical consultants caution govt against use of military doctors to break strike

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: The Guardian
Categories: Labor News

Bangladesh: Garment workers begin fast until death

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Prothom Alo
Categories: Labor News

Palestine: IUF backs ITUC call for immediate ceasefire in Israel and Gaza

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: IUF
Categories: Labor News

Global: Red Card Child Labour

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: ILO
Categories: Labor News

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