Category Archives: International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Teamsters got your goat?

You know times are tough for unions when they’re willing to take union dues from farm animals.

The Teamsters in Oakland, California filed a grievance against Mills College, complaining that the school had violated its collective bargaining agreement by hiring non-union workers to clear brush.


The Teamsters demanded that the college either (1) award backpay to the union members who lost out on the work or (2) require the 500 non-union workers to join the union.


The only problem? The 500 non-union workers were — and we’re not making this up — goats.


“If the college opts to have the goats become members,” said a Teamsters spokesperson, “we intend to represent them in the same aggressive manner as we do every member.” [Emphasis added, though not really needed.]

This sort of gives new meaning to George Orwell’s Animal Farm, doesn’t it?
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“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.

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Filed under International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Teamsters

Dues-sucking unions threaten blood collection at Red Cross

Led by the United Food & Commercial Workers, unions including the Teamsters, SEIU, Steelworkers, CWA, and OPEIU, may be striking the Red Cross next week.

Unionized blood-services workers at the American Red Cross’ regional offices based in Toledo have notified the agency they could strike June 2 if they do not have a new contract by then.

The strike, which would involve 184 members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 75, would be one of seven walkouts being coordinated in several states by different trade unions, all to commence at 9 a.m. that day.

[snip]

However, Mr. Dudley said the UFCW is coordinating its actions with several other unions, including the Teamsters, the Service Employees International Union, the United Steelworkers, the Communications Workers of America, and the Office and Professional Employees International – representing about 1,000 workers total at Red Cross blood services offices in Michigan, California, Connecticut, Georgia, New York, and West Virginia. None of the unions reached new contracts, Mr. Dudley said.

The Red Cross has a contingency plan in the event the unions strike.

__________________
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.

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Filed under CWA, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, labor union strike, OPEIU, Red Cross, SEIU, UFCW

ABF Freight Teamsters Reject Plan to Protect Jobs, Benefits

Apparently, according to a Teamsters press release, Teamsters at trucking company ABF rejected a plan to protect their jobs and and benefits.

Teamsters employed at ABF Freight System have rejected a Wage Reduction-Job Security plan aimed at protecting the jobs of more than 7,000 workers and securing their health, welfare and pension benefits for the remainder of the National Master Freight Agreement.

[snip]

Mail ballots were sent out April 30 and counted today with the process being overseen by an independent election officer. With a final count of 3764-2936, the workers voted no on the plan with about 80 percent of the members affected participating in the vote. The plan had called for a reduction in gross wages and mileage rates of 15 percent effective next pay period and running through March 31, 2013. Negotiated wage increases (less 15 percent) and cost of living adjustments, if any, would have remained in effect for the life the plan.

Teamsters at ABF may soon be joining this illustrious list of other Teamster-represented freight companies.
__________________
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

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Filed under ABF, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Teamsters

Unions Throw a Fit, Taxpayers Take the Hit…

In a union city like Philadelphia, it really shouldn’t come as a shock that when unions pitch fits, politicians’ knees buckle, and taxpayers end up paying the price.

A few months ago, we posted on Philadelphia’s proposed soda tax that drew union protests by the Teamsters.  To be clear, we also believe the soda tax idea is a stupid idea–sort of like tea taxes were in 1773–as are most taxes today that go to pay for bloated governments.

However, instead of curbing the gorging at the public trough that has caused municipal budgets nationwide to collapse and prompting public workers’ demands to raise taxes, the Philadelphia City Council has capitulated to union demands once again.  Now, in yet another union shakedown, the residents of Philadelphia will be seeing their property taxes go up.

If you live in Philadelphia, higher property taxes and a fee for trash pickup may be two things you’ll pay for next year.

Philadelphia City Council approved Mayor Michael Nutter’s $3.9 billion budget for 2011 with a vote Thursday evening.

To fill in a $150 million budget gap, officials made several tax increases, the most notable being a 9.9-percent jump in property taxes, officials told NBC Philadelphia. That increase will only last for two years.

The 9.9 percent temporary tax hike has to get final approval from council next week.

Council also passed measures that will institute a new, yearly $300 fee for trash pickup from small businesses, duplexes and apartment buildings and a tax on cigars and smokeless tobacco.

One high-profile tax that wasn’t included in the approved budget was the proposed soda tax.

The measure — which would have put a tax of 2-cent per ounce on all soda and sugary drinks sold within the city limits — was both lauded and detested by residents.

Once again, taxpayers take a hit all because unions threw a fit.
__________________

“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.

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Filed under International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Philadelphia, public-sector unions, Soda tax, Teamsters

Teamsters accused of threatening FL mayor with smear campaign

Is a union’s political threat considered free speech? That seems to be the issue in Panama City, Florida where the Teamsters union represents the city’s police officers and now stands accused of threatening Panama City’s mayor, Scott Clemmons, over the City’s bargaining position.

A letter sent by an Alabama Teamsters Union member, Jim Gookins to Mayor Scott Clemons and Commission Billy Rader outlined a proposed benefits package. The plan he claimed could save $40 thousand a year for Panama City’s 62 union officers, was never discussed during negotiations.


Griffin responded with a lengthy letter emphasizing proper procedure, stating, “it is unlawful for an employer to engage in direct dealing with employees who have a certified bargaining agent.


A month later Mayor Clemons received a letter from Teamsters Washington D.C representative, with negative campaign ads against an unrelated politician attached.


“There’s no doubt in my mind that he was threatening me that if I did not meet with him… that they would launch this campaign,” said Clemons.


Union Council Cecil Gardner says the letters were not a threat, but free speech.


“It’s not a smear campaign at all; it’s a campaign of public education. It might very well be a campaign which indicates that the police officers union is not satisfied with what the mayor has done,” he said, “We believe that the city is trying to intimidate the police officer’s union and chill their exercise of first amendment rights.”

Yes, it’s the Teamsters union. And, yes, it represents police officers.

Go figure.
__________________
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.

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Filed under International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Panama City, Teamsters

Airline merger could spark inter-union fights

Last week, United Airlines and Continental announced they were merging.  Now, The Street reminds us that, although the majority of both airlines are unionized, in some cases, there are different unions representing the same work groups at the respective airlines, which could prompt a war:

To summarize, the IAM represents about 9,500 flight attendants (about 8,400 are active) at Continental, while the Association of Flight Attendants represents 16,000 flight attendants at United (about 13,000 are active). The IAM represents about 7,900 fleet service workers at United, while the Teamsters represent about 7,600 fleet service workers at Continental. The IAM represents 8,100 customer service agents at United, while Continental agents do not have union representation.

If fighting does break out, it is likely to be have the Teamsters at its center as there has been animosity between the IAM and Teamsters for years. 

__________________
“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.

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Filed under Continental Airlines, International Association of Machinists, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, United Airlines

It is Finished. Teamsters settle on contract with Waste Management

We’ll be updating this post as details come in,
so check back over the next day or two.

Following this story over the last few weeks has been an exercise in entertainment.

As the once-mighty Teamsters negotiated with waste giant Waste Management for a new contract covering Seattle-area members, the union was poised to flex its muscles by calling its members out on strike only to find out that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure as there were 1600 applicants ready, willing and able to take the Teamsters’ jobs.

So, as opposed to striking immediately, the Teamsters opted for displaying yard signs.

Then, in a surprise move, the Teamsters did, in fact, call their members out on strike…but then, in even more surprising move, surrendered unconditionally offered to return to work a day and a half later.  However, to try and save face, the Teamsters ridiculously claimed they returned to work to “prevent a public health crisis.”

Last night, after nearly a month of watching the Teamsters’ failed attempts at flexing their once-mighty muscles, they finally hammered out a five-year agreement with Waste Management.

After two long days of bargaining, Waste Management and union garbage haulers reached a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract, both sides said Tuesday evening.


Leaders of Teamsters Local 174 said they will urge their members to ratify the proposed contract when they vote this Sunday, both sides announced.


Neither side would disclose any specifics on how they resolved an earlier impasse over medical benefits for employees and retirees.


“We both made compromises,” said Waste Management spokeswoman Katie Salinas. “We’re extremely pleased to have reached an agreement. The agreement delivers a solid compensation package to our drivers.”


Michael Gonzales, a spokesman for Teamsters Local 174, said the union wouldn’t release details of the proposal until it shares them with its members.

Check back here as the details of the contract are released.
__________________

“I bring reason to your ears, and, in language as plain as ABC, hold up truth to your eyes.” Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776

Follow LaborUnionReport on Twitter.

For more news and views on today’s unions, go to LaborUnionReport.com.

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Filed under International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Waste Management