Friday, January 13, 2006

United Farm Workers leaving AFL-CIO

The United Farm Workers union has left the AFL-CIO and will join a group of breakaway unions known as the Change to Win Coalition, in a move the UFW hopes will boost recruiting efforts, officials said Thursday.
The UFW, with about 27,000 members, joins the Service Employees International Union, the Teamsters, the United Food and Commercial Workers, UNITE HERE and the Carpenters in forming the dissident Change To Win Coalition. The Laborers International Union of North America also is part of the new federation, but has not left the AFL-CIO.
"We view this as a positive step in fulfilling our twin commitments of focusing more resources on organizing and finding new ways to pursue employers that fiercely resist the right of workers to organize," said Marc Grossman, a UFW spokesman. "No employers more fiercely resist the right to organize than agriculture."
UFW already was allied with the Change to Win unions, but sent a letter two days ago informing the AFL-CIO, a federation of more than 50 unions, of its plans to leave.
"We regret to see them leave the federation because there's a lot of history there," said AFL-CIO spokeswoman Denise Mitchell. "It's a union with a proud legacy that got a lot of support from the entire movement, especially the AFL-CIO. I hope we will make history together again in the future."
The farm workers union was founded by Cesar Chavez, an agricultural worker. He died in 1993.
The breakaway movement started last summer with the departure of the Teamsters and the Service Employees International Union. The departure of a half-dozen unions has left the labor federation with more than 50 unions representing almost 9 million workers.

Hoffa: Government Should Protect Retirees

As the 2006 North American International Auto Show opens to the public this weekend, we are reminded of what put the motor in Motor City—union labor.
The hard-working men and women of Detroit built the cars that built our hometown. In return for their hard-earned years on the job, union members have been able to count on a decent retirement to keep them out of poverty in their golden years.
But now those promises, in the auto industry and in many others, are being thrown onto the scrap heap. Full story here.........

2006 Roadway Change of Operations

For those interested in reading the Roadway Change it can be found here..........

Roadway Express Receives Patent for Sealed Divider Service

The United States Patentand Trademark Office has granted a patent for Roadway Sealed Divider Service.Available only from Roadway Express, this innovative service provides completeprotection and verifiable security for customers' goods during transit. "Roadway Sealed Divider Service was developed to address specific customerneeds, such as safe transport of fragile products and verifiable security tomeet new, stricter government regulations. We are proud to be the onlyprovider to offer a patented solution for shipment protection and security tothe marketplace," said Roadway President and CEO Mike Smid. "Roadway SealedDivider Service is just one example of our efforts to provide personalizedsolutions, fast responses and flexible service to our customers. Weconstantly innovate to meet the needs of our customers," added Smid. "It isgratifying to see this particular innovation acknowledged by the granting of apatent." Roadway Sealed Divider Service features a numbered rod-lock seal system.This seal system verifies a shipment travels undisturbed from pickup todelivery. At the time of pickup, a shipment moving under Roadway Sealed DividerService is isolated in the nose of a trailer by a customized barrierconstructed behind it. The barrier creates a protected environment for theshipment and prevents mingling with other shipments on the trailer. Twonumbered rod lock seals secure the barrier. The seal numbers are recorded on aplacard and the freight bill. Once sealed on a Roadway trailer, the shipmentis not touched until arrival at its final destination. At delivery, thereceiver compares the seal numbers to the numbers on the placard and freightbill. The matching numbers verify the shipment traveled undisturbed. Roadway Sealed Divider Service is ideal for products that are difficult orexpensive to package for shipping, are of high value, or need verifiablesecurity throughout transit. Companies from a wide range of industries -- frompharmaceuticals to furniture to electronics -- benefit from the secureshipping environment Sealed Divider Service provides. Roadway is the only transportation provider to use a numbered rod-lockseal system to secure a shipment. Sealed Divider Service (U.S. Patent No.6981828) gives Roadway customers a level of protection unique to themarketplace. Furthermore, a customer pays only for the space the shipmentoccupies within the trailer. Roadway Sealed Divider Service is a cost-effective solution for customers who need extra protection and verifiablesecurity for their shipment of raw materials or finished goods. For an on-line demo of Roadway Sealed Divider Service, visit , and click on the see-through trailer image inthe middle right of the screen.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Roadway Layoffs May be Overcome

Economic developers in the Poconos say nearly 200 layoffs at Roadway Express is certainly a loss for the area but they're not overly concerned because Monroe County leads the state in job creation.
That doesn't comfort truck drivers working for trucking company. About 20 percent,or 187, stand to lose their jobs at the company's Stroudsburg terminal in March.
The union is still working with the company to try to save as many jobs as possible but news of the likely layoffs has workers worried.
"Technically I don't know if I'm going to lose my job but I'm fourth from the bottom of the list. So obviously I'm going to lose my job," said driver Fred Barkalow. "I don't know what I'm going to do now. It was an opportunity to come here and I thought and I'll have a job for life here. I don't know what I'm going to do from here."
A spokesman for Teamster's Local 229 representing Roadway workers said those who may be laid off will be offered the chance to transfer to other locations."Hopefully maybe I can transfer to a different terminal, if not I'll just have to find a job somewhere else," Barkalow added.
"From a jobs perspective it really does hurt when you lose quality jobs like Roadway. We're disappointed that they made the decision," said Chuck Leonard, executive director of Pocono Mountains Industries. But, he added, Monroe County has a lot of strength in attracting other businesses.
"Our net job creation rate was the best in the state of Pennsylvania which is related to our ever-growing population and also the fact that many businesses are expanding here," Leonard said.Even though Monroe County does have a lot of jobs available, it's not clear if any laid off Roadway Express workers will be able to find similar jobs in the Poconos.

Roadway says 201 jobs could leave Hagerstown

A proposal to shift trucking jobs to other parts of the country could affect about two-thirds of the workers at Hagerstown's Roadway Express terminal, a union official said Wednesday.
"They're not going to be lost, a lot of these folks, a lot of these people are going to be given the right to transfer," said Tom Krause, the secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 992, which represents workers at the Oak Ridge Drive facility.
In all, 201 jobs could be transferred from Hagerstown, Krause said.

According to Suzanne Dawson, who works at a New York City public relations firm that represents Roadway, the company is restructuring its operations. Workers across the country who are affected by the changes would have the opportunity to accept jobs at other locations, she said.
"The details and ultimate impact on the facility are part of continuing discussions in the ongoing change-of-operations process," Dawson said, quoting Roadway President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Smid.
Members of a change-of-operations committee made up of union and company representatives will decide whether to carry out changes and which jobs and locations will be affected, Krause said. The committee meets Feb. 9, and changes would be implemented March 12, if the committee votes to move forward with the proposal, Krause said.
Though he opposes the plan, Krause said he can understand the company's reasoning. The change of operations is designed to speed up deliveries and improve service, he said.
"We're going to protest it; we're losing 201 people," Krause said.
Messages left for Smid at the company's Akron, Ohio, headquarters were routed to Dawson.
According to Tim Troxell, executive director of the Hagerstown-Washington County Economic Development Commission, the city was notified Tuesday by letter of the changes. According to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act letter, Troxell said the Hagerstown terminal would lose 201 jobs.
"It's a permanent layoff, and it will affect 201 people at the Oak Ridge Drive facility," Troxell said.
The facility has operated in Hagerstown since 1971, Troxell said.
According to Krause, dock workers, road drivers, mechanics, office employees and switchers, who are responsible for backing tractor-trailers into the docks, all could be affected by the possible changes. City drivers, maintenance workers and janitors, and mechanics who work on trucks used for city routes would remain at the terminal, he said.
In all, about 292 people work at the terminal, Krause said. Teamsters members fill all of the positions that could be affected, and the union contract contains language that would make them eligible for jobs added at other locations, Krause said.
Workers at Hagerstown's terminal earn about $18 an hour or more, Krause said. He said he was not sure how many workers would follow their jobs to other locations if the Hagerstown terminal's positions are moved.
"The Tri-State's growing, you know. There are jobs out there that would be comparable, but I can't say what they would be at this time," Krause said.

Roadway to lay off 187 locally

TANNERSVILLE — Roadway Express plans to lay off 187 workers when it closes a loading dock at its Tannersville terminal in March.Roadway is the second-largest private employer in Monroe County, with a workforce of more than 1,000 at its freight-handling facility off Route 715 in Pocono Township.The terminal will stay open, according to Roadway Express President and CEO Michael J. Smid.
"This Tannersville facility will still maintain a substantial operation," Smid said in a statement. "We remain very committed to providing premium service to the area."The layoffs, scheduled to take effect March 12, include 89 dock workers, 63 truck drivers and dozens of support personnel.Most of those workers will be offered the chance to transfer to other Roadway locations, said Jack McGrail, business representative for International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 229, Scranton, the union that represents the workers. Full story here.....

OOIDA files court challenge against US HOS rule

Last year, it was public interest and safety groups that took U.S. regulators to court over new hours-of-service rules. Now, North America's largest independent trucker group says it will challenge the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's latest HOS regulation before a judge.
Following the FMCSA's denial of a petition to reconsider two aspects of the new HOS regulations, the Virginia-based Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association plans to appeal the rule in court, reports Land Line magazine, the official publication of OOIDA.
The association has vocally opposed the split sleeper-berth provision and its effect on team drivers ever since the re-written rules were published in August 2005 and went into effect Oct. 1, 2005. Full story here.........

Goodyear to Supply YRC Regional Transportation

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company announced today it has been awarded a supply arrangement by YRC Worldwide Inc. to provide commercial tires to some of its operating companies within YRC Regional Transportation, also based in Akron.
Under the arrangement, Goodyear will supply replacement and retread truck tires and tire services in North America for several of the operating companies through 2008. YRC Worldwide was formerly known as Yellow Roadway Corporation.
Steve McClellan, Goodyear vice president of commercial tire systems, said, "Our long-term relationship with Yellow Roadway and our ability to offer a comprehensive service package of original equipment, replacement and retreaded tires as well as value-added services are key to this new agreement. We're obviously excited to be working with YRC Regional Transportation companies."
YRC Regional Transportation delivers nationwide service in the next-day, second-day and time-sensitive markets, which are among the fastest-growing transportation segments. YRC Regional Transportation is a division of YRC Worldwide and was created in May 2005 when the company acquired USF Corp. The USF operating companies handled nearly 20 million shipments last year in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
"We believe that by using our national network of commercial tire centers, YRC Regional Transportation will improve its efficiency in maintaining its fleet. Our collection of fleet management tools puts YRC Regional Transportation in complete control," McClellan said.

Yellow Roadway to Enhance Presence in China

Yellow Roadway Corp. vows to boost its truck transportation services in the fastest-growing Chinese market.The company also announced plans to rename itself as YRC Worldwide Inc.Wal-Mart and Home Depot are expected to be its key accounts, citing the world's largest retailer and biggest home improvement retailer will be hungry for reliable transportation partners in China, said the company's chief executive in an interview.

The US service provider will first let loose approximately one hundred of trucks in China to serve four or five US clients in China.It will be responsible for transportation of electronic products, garments, toys and shoes to China and US ports, added the senior executive.As a Fortune 500 company, Yellow Roadway has already had 1,000 branches around the world, and it has extended reach to more than seventy countries and territories so far.