Saturday, March 14, 2015
A group of 50 drivers at FedEx Freight's Stockton, Calif., terminal have voted to join Teamsters Local 439. The vote took place Thursday, March 12 and today, and the workers voted 33 to 12 to become Teamsters.
"The company spent huge amounts of money and time to try to get us to vote no, but we remained focused on changing how FedEx treats us so that we can have a say on the job," said Mel Mendieta, a FedEx Freight driver.
"We know that the only way to win job security, an improved health plan and strong retirement security is to stand together as Teamsters," said Jorge Lopez, a driver.
"I am proud of the workers here in Stockton for sticking together despite the company's pressure," said Ken Guertin, Local 439 Secretary-Treasurer. "We will work hard to negotiate a strong contract that gives these workers their rights and protections in writing."
This victory follows three previous ones in 2014: On November 19, a group of 222 drivers at FedEx Freight in Charlotte, N.C., voted to join Teamsters Local 71; on Oct. 31, a group of 113 drivers at FedEx Freight in South Brunswick, N.J., joined Teamsters Local 701 in North Brunswick, N.J.; and on Oct. 14, a group of 47 drivers in Croydon, Pa., voted to join Teamsters Local 107 in Philadelphia. Other campaigns at FedEx Freight and at Con-way Freight are under way across the country.
"This latest victory in Stockton shows the growing worker resentment toward FedEx Freight for years of being treated unfairly," said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. "This campaign continues to gain momentum and we are excited to be working with FedEx Freight employees across the country to help them improve their lives."
The workers' campaigns to join the Teamsters have already paid off. At FedEx Freight, the company announced an 80-cent-per-hour raise a few days after Local 107 filed for an election, and the company got rid of its overly punitive driver scorecard, which gave drivers infraction points for errors. Also, after organizing got under way at Con-way, the company announced it would increase truck driver pay by $60 million in 2015, and other improvements.
"The companies are offering pay raises and other improvements at the same time we are organizing, but the workers know that these things can be taken away just as quickly without a legally binding contract," said Tyson Johnson, Director of the Teamsters National Freight Division. "The unfulfilled promises that have been made to drivers and dockworkers over the past decade are coming back to haunt management."
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
The Teamsters Union filed a legal challenge to the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) recent decision to open the border to Mexican trucks. The union was joined by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and the Truck Safety Coalition.
The lawsuit, filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, contends that the DOT’s final report to Congress violated the Administrative Procedures Act because its conclusion—that Mexico-domiciled carriers operate at a level of safety equal to or greater than U.S. and Canadian carriers—is arbitrary and capricious in light of the admitted lack of significant data from a pilot program Congress required DOT to conduct.
The DOT announced in January that it would move forward with opening the border to trucks domiciled in Mexico later this year despite the DOT Inspector General (IG) issuing a report which acknowledged that it had been unable to develop statistically significant data in the pilot program. Due to the lack of significant data, the IG could not have determined with any degree of confidence the future safety performance of Mexico-domiciled carriers.
“It is disappointing that the DOT has chosen to ignore the findings of the Inspector General and is moving forward with opening the border to Mexican trucks. The Teamsters Union will continue to fight for highway safety; the safety of our roads cannot be compromised based on this failed program,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President.
In a letter to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman last week, Hoffa called on the administration to protect highway safety and reopen negotiations over Mexican cross-border trucking as part of the ongoing Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks.
Only 13 carriers participated in the Mexico Cross-Border Trucking Pilot Program, which expired in October. The pilot program failed to test the safety of long-haul operations originating in Mexico and traveling throughout the United States beyond the commercial zones where Mexican trucks are already permitted to travel. Most of the data was obtained from within those commercial zones.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Recent labor standoffs resulted in congestion and backlogs at U.S. West Coast ports. Delays are causing serious challenges for supply chain managers across North America. Even though a tentative agreement on a new 5-year contract between the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) has been reached, shipment delays will continue.
Keith Prather, Managing Director of Armada Corporate Intelligence, states, "PMA officials continue to reiterate that it will take 8-12 weeks to clear the backlog of shipments sitting off the West Coast. Many shippers will need to expedite loads once they hit the port to make it in time for the spring retail season."
YRC Freight established the hotline in an effort to help customers, both current and new, stock retail shelves without losing any more time. "Our company has built its reputation on transporting freight safely, quickly and on-time. We understand the time-sensitive nature of shipping, and we have a broad portfolio of services like Time-Critical™ focused on expedited delivery. In order to get the supply chain moving again and help avoid additional revenue loss, we are ready with time and cost effective shipping options," explains Howard Moshier, Senior VP of Operations for YRC Freight.
Customers calling the hotline with urgent delivery needs can take advantage of air, dedicated equipment, and expedited ground services to expedite freight from port to points across North America. Delivery windows range from by noon and by 5 p.m. to a 1 to a 24-hour window. Time-Critical™ Weekend Advantage offers Friday pick up and Monday delivery between most U.S. and Canada points for a cost-effective alternative to air freight service.
Monday, March 09, 2015
Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall delivered a rousing speech to thousands of rallying protesters in his home state of West Virginia on Saturday, urging workers to continue their fight against the legislature’s anti-worker agenda currently being pushed by state lawmakers.
More than 1,000 Teamsters came out to show their support and stand shoulder-to-shoulder in solidarity with their brothers and sisters in the labor movement.
“The working people of West Virginia deserve better from our politicians, and we won’t sit back as out-of-state interests try to strip us of our bargaining rights, drive down our wages and weaken job protections,” Hall said to the packed crowd. “All workers deserve dignity and respect, and that’s why Teamsters across the country will be standing with West Virginians to stop this horrible assault on workers.”
Hall was joined by other national labor leaders including: National AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, United Mine Workers President Cecil Roberts, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen Garcia.
Union leaders thanked West Virginia workers for their efforts to form a united voice in opposition to lawmakers seeking to establish right to work legislation, roll back coal mine safety protections, lower the prevailing wage and diminish public education.
“I’ve always believed what’s bad for one union is bad for all unions. Fortunately, workers were ready for this fight months in advance throughout the legislative session,” said Gary Legg, a member of South Charleston, W.Va.-based Teamsters Local 175, noting that Teamsters joined with miners, teachers and building trades members throughout the session as part of a shared fight to stop this harmful legislation.
“We have fought too hard and too long in the struggle for workers’ rights to become a right to work state. It's time for delegates to realize that West Virginians don't support this agenda. The assault on workers this session is bad for working-class families and it's bad for our economy. It's an assault on the entire state,” Hall said.
The following is the official statement from Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa on Wisconsin becoming a right-to-work state.
“Today, Gov. Scott Walker ignored the will of Wisconsin’s working families, signing a right-to-work bill into law that was fast tracked through the state legislature.
“As we all know, right-to-work laws are designed to do one thing and one thing only – attack working families and the middle class by weakening their strongest advocate, labor unions. Their goal is to weaken bargaining rights, drive down wages and benefits and roll back rights on the job.
“Wisconsin is now the 25th state to adopt right-to-work laws as politicians like Walker push forward the agenda of their right-wing task masters. The Koch brothers, through Americans for Prosperity and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have poured millions of dollars into states across the country to push right-to-work legislation.
“These corporate interests will not stop in Wisconsin – they continue to attack working families, moving from state to state. We must remain strong and fight them wherever right-to-work legislation is introduced.
“I make this pledge to you – the Teamsters Union will not stand on the sidelines – we will fight right-to-work wherever it is introduced and protect working families.”