Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Teamsters Call on Lawmakers to Prioritize Workers in Self-Driving Discussion

Lawmakers Craft Early Legislation on Driverless Cars

The Teamsters Union is calling for any federal legislation regarding ‘self-driving’  technology to take into account public safety and the millions of working Americans employed in transportation and related industries.

At a public hearing on Capitol Hill today, House lawmakers discussed 14 pieces of draft legislation on self-driving vehicles. The bills could be combined into a final package for introduction in the 115th Congress.

The Teamsters Union has been closely monitoring all aspects of the technology, urging lawmakers to prioritize safety and transparency in rules concerning the testing phase of self-driving vehicles. The union is calling for comprehensive federal rules regulating autonomous vehicles, including strong minimum safety standards. Under any such legislation, states and cities should retain their authority to regulate the safe operations of vehicles.

The Teamsters Union firmly believes that the interests of all stakeholders, including workers, must be taken into account by legislators and regulatory agencies as they explore and address developments in automation.

“If anyone needs to be at the table for a discussion on self-driving technology, it’s the package car driver, the longhaul truck driver and the taxi driver,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. “We are encouraged that legislators are soliciting feedback on early proposed legislation, and we firmly believe it’s important that their constituents—and that includes Teamsters—are involved in the process and listened to throughout.”

There are currently no concrete federal laws governing automated driving technology or the testing of such technology. A number of states have enacted varying rules and guidances concerning semi-autonomous and autonomous vehicle testing.

As the rules are shaped, the Teamsters Union will be continually urging lawmakers and regulatory agencies to take a thoughtful and measured approach to ensuring safety on the roads, and hold operators testing self-driving technology to high standards of transparency and accountability.

“Federal safety laws and the laws governing our roadways have been developed over many years. We see no positive outcome that could come from any rush to implement laws due to urgency from the companies that have a profit interest in the rollout of their technologies,” said Lamont Byrd, Director of the Teamsters Safety and Health Department. “Technological advancements, like automatic braking and lane departure warnings, have helped drivers in many ways, but wholescale and expansive changes that are not properly vetted and overseen by public officials will not serve anyone when it comes to safety.”

Teamsters Blast XPO Logistics’ Plan to Expand Operations, Increase Debt

Union: Serious Problems Persist at Company’s Biggest Acquisitions

The Teamsters believe XPO Logistics, Inc.’s stated plan to buy more companies and expand its global operations to Asia and beyond is fraught with risk because of the company’s record of integrating businesses while implementing unsustainable policies and practices that harms its workforce.

“My message to XPO CEO Bradley Jacobs is clear: before you buy up more companies in your endless zest to make even greater profits, fix the problems that are wreaking havoc on your existing workers,” Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said. “XPO freight workers in the U.S. have lousy health insurance, no retirement security and the company spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to deny workers their federally protected right to form a union, while port drivers are illegally misclassified as independent contractors and are subject to wage theft.”

Last month, port drivers at XPO and other companies went on strike to protest the illegal misclassification and wage theft. Meanwhile, workers at six freight terminals and one warehouse have formed their union as Teamsters, despite the company spending hundreds of thousands of dollars—$3,000 per day for each union buster it hires—to stomp on workers’ rights to form their union. The company has stooped to new lows by firing three freight workers in Trenton, N.J. who supported the successful union drive at that terminal.

During recent media interviews, Jacobs said he wants to acquire more companies. However, he is facing shareholder revolts in the U.S. and in Europe. In May, a near-majority of independent shareholders opposed XPO’s “say-on-pay” measure, and in Europe an investor called for the removal of XPO executives from the board and whose minority ownership of XPO Logistics Europe may impede Jacobs’ plan for further acquisitions.

These plans are further hampered due to the company’s heavy debt load (over $5.3 billion).
Meanwhile, Jacobs has received a $20 million mega-equity and got the board to rubber-stamp a $110 million stock-bonus plan (the largest in the U.S. in 2016) for himself and a chosen few.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Teamsters Submit Comments on NAFTA Negotiations

The Teamsters Union submitted its comments to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) on the proposed renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The union’s comments stressed the importance of the renegotiation focusing on long-standing issues that have existed in past and recently proposed agreements, including improving labor rights provisions, addressing currency manipulation and protecting highway safety. 
The Teamsters Union believes that to successfully change U.S. trade policy from the flawed “free trade” approach that has undercut American jobs and industry for decades, to one that promotes fair trade, the USTR must prioritize U.S. workers, consumers and manufacturers.
“With these negotiations, the USTR has a real chance to set a precedent that will change how the U.S. approaches future trade negotiations moving forward,” said Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa. “We have seen the damage that NAFTA and free trade policies have done to our country for the past two decades. It is time to negotiate trade agreements that encourage job growth here in the U.S. while revitalizing our manufacturing industry.”
The union also called for the USTR to prioritize transparency during the negotiations and ensure that all stakeholders are included in the process from the beginning.
“As a member of the Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations and the Labor Advisory Committee, I look forward to working closely with Ambassador Lighthizer to dramatically upgrade NAFTA,” Hoffa said. “The USTR must avoid making the same mistakes that occurred during the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations by having a fully transparent and inclusive negotiation process.”

Teamsters, XPO Workers Demand Answers Outside XPO CEO Bradley Jacobs' Speech

Employees Seek Response to Serious Questions from Top Company Official

More than 100 Teamsters and supporters gathered to raise questions and demand answers to serious concerns about their employer XPO Logistics outside the 3PL & Supply Chain Summit today where XPO Logistics CEO Bradley Jacobs was speaking. Representatives of workers who have chosen the Teamsters demanded that Jacobs respond to workers’ concerns about sustainability of the company, mistreatment, pay disparity, company mismanagement and many other issues.

“While Jacobs received $20 million mega-equity, got approval for a $110 million stock-bonus plan and has received a 481-percent bump in pay in recent years, workers are denied affordable health care, have no retirement security and the company is stomping on their federally protected rights to form their union,” said Ernie Soehl, Director of the Teamsters National Freight Division. “Workers have demanded a meeting with Jacobs, which is why Teamsters are here today, but Jacobs continues to refuse to meet over serious issues with workers.”

Jacobs is hosting an event at the summit and workers and representatives want real answers to serious questions. Freight workers at six XPO locations and warehouse workers at one location have formed their union with the Teamsters despite the company spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on $3,000-a-day union busters. At the ports, XPO continues to misclassify port and rail drivers, which results in massive wage theft. In response, courts have awarded drivers in the millions of dollars, with no end in sight.

XPO is ramping up its anti-worker, anti-union tactics by illegally firing three freight drivers at their terminal outside Trenton, N.J. XPO shareholders recently rebuked Jacobs when a near-majority of outside shareholders opposed his “say-on-pay” measure. Workers want to know what the XPO end game is – will Jacobs sell as he has other companies?

XPO workers worldwide, the Teamsters and European unions, as well as the courts and lenders are coming together to expose XPO and Jacobs as the exemplars of corporate greed in the U.S.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

YRC Freight Advises Teamsters About Operational Changes

In a meeting with YRC Freight earlier today, the company advised representatives of the Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC) about operational changes later this year.

The company is preparing a Multi-Region Network Enhancement Change of Operations and a Utility Employee Change of Operations. The company stated that it is still reviewing and finalizing the numbers and details.

In accordance with the National Master Freight Agreement (NMFA), it is expected that the company will mail the proposed operational changes to the Local Unions in early July with a hearing to be held sometime in mid- to late-August. The company anticipates an implementation date in early October.

If you have any questions, please contact the National Freight Division at (202) 624-8761.


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Stephanie D. Fisher Named YRC Worldwide Chief Financial Officer

 YRC Worldwide Inc. announces the appointment of Stephanie D. Fisher as Chief Financial Officer of YRCW, effective immediately.

"Stephanie has been a key contributor on nearly every aspect of our financial operations, including our successful refinancing efforts," said James Welch, YRCW CEO. "As CFO she will continue to build on her exemplary career with YRCW."

"I want to thank James and my fellow team members at YRCW for this extraordinary opportunity," said Fisher. "I am proud of what we have accomplished and excited to be a part of the company's future as a leader in the transportation industry."

About Stephanie Fisher

Before being named CFO of YRC Worldwide, Fisher served as Acting CFO and Vice President and Controller of YRCW since January 2017, and immediately before that as Vice President and Controller of YRCW since May 2012. She joined the company in 2004 and has more than 15 years of experience in accounting, financial analysis and corporate compliance. As Controller, Fisher oversaw a wide array of financial reporting functions and played a lead role in YRCW's operational forecasting, external audit processes, investor relations, compensation and benefits.

Prior to serving as Controller, Fisher served YRCW in a variety of roles of increasing importance, including serving as Director of Financial Reporting. She began her career at the accounting firm Ernst & Young in the assurance and advisory practice, where she served clients in the retail and consumer products industries.

Fisher earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and a master of accountancy degree from Kansas State University.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Teamsters Join With XPO Workers To Call Out Company's Executive Pay Practices

XPO Logistics, Inc. board members faced a growing tide of discontent at their annual shareholder meeting today led by the company's own workers, the Teamsters and European union leaders who called out the global logistics giant for its excessive executive pay practices.

Much of the ire was directed at Bradley Jacobs, XPO's chief executive officer, who was in attendance at the meeting held at the company's headquarters here. Jacobs was on the receiving end of a recent $20 million "mega-grant," a pay giveaway that caused leading independent proxy advisor Institutional Shareholders Services (ISS) to recently issue its opposition to XPO's advisory vote on executive pay, the so-called "Say-on-Pay" vote, that was voted on today.

"It is time for XPO CEO Bradley Jacobs to explain to company workers why he is entitled to a huge payout while he cuts the health care and retirement benefits of workers who are making this company so successful," said Monica Abraham, a quality control inspector for XPO in North Haven, Conn. who spoke at the shareholder meeting. "Workers shouldn't be punished while Jacobs gets rich off our backs!"

ISS also previously recommended investors support a Teamsters-sponsored shareholder resolution calling for enhanced disclosure of XPO's human capital management performance, among other sustainability practices. Voting results on both items were not immediately made available.

Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall said both proposals should be of interest to investors. "Shareholders have good reason to be concerned when it comes to excessive CEO pay and XPO's corporate practices," he said. "Its corporate practices are not in their best interests."

Meanwhile, European workers for the company said the fight against corporate greed and for fairness on the job is not only necessary for American workers. XPO is increasing engaging in anti-union worker behavior in Europe as well.

"It is ridiculous that Bradley Jacobs refuses to answer to his own employees about his company's corporate practices that imperil their livelihoods," said Sam McIntosh, a lead organizer with the International Transport Workers Federation. "European XPO workers stand in solidarity with their American compatriots because they too know the effects of the company's increasingly shady business practices."

U.S. workers have asked to meet with Jacobs on several occasions, to no avail. XPO is one of the world's largest global third-party logistics companies, providing transportation and logistical services to 63 percent of Fortune 100 companies.