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Teamsters Local 61
Stronger Together 2014
 
 
April 21, 2014
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Current Campaigns
  • Welcome to Teamster Organizing!

    You've heard it said that the best defense is a good offense. In the war on workers, Teamster Organizing is on the offensive! We're winning power for workers across industries and across North America. Join us!

  • Taxi drivers in Washington, D.C. are fed up!

    After years of unfair regulations and lack of respect, we are fighting back by forming the Washington, D.C. Taxi Operators Association. Our association will be backed by Teamsters Local 922 and the 1.4 million-member International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

  • The Teamsters have stood in solidarity with worker struggles in other countries since our founding. With economic globalization, our ability to organize increasingly depends on our ability to build alliances with workers on a global scale.
    More than ever, Teamsters are organizing and bargaining with multi-national companies. A key objective of our Global Strategies Campaign is to build strong alliances with unions around the globe who organize and bargain with common employers. Our focus is on workers in the emerging global supply chains – the infrastructure of globalization.
    Globalization creates new opportunities for international worker solidarity. We seek common cause with workers around the world to build social justice for all workers and the communities in which they live.

  • UPS Teamsters ratified the National Master UPS Agreement on June 26, 2013. The five-year contract includes increases in wages, health care and pension contributions and many other improvements. Several local Supplements and Riders did not pass, and the union is working through an internal, democratic process to resolve the issues. At UPS Freight, members overwhelmingly approved a new national five-year contract on Jan. 12, 2014. 

  • There are about 350 of us who work at EXAL in Youngstown, Ohio, where we manufacture aluminum bottles for large customers like Budweiser and Coca-Cola. We are uniting with Teamsters Local 377 to improve respect and working conditions at our company. Thank you for following our webpage. Fill in the “Join Our Fight” box below with your information to receive text message updates.

  • This web page provides information on our fight against fast-track legislation. The measure requires Congress to take only a quick up-or-down vote on secret trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and does not allow such agreements to be amended. It limits Congress’ constitutionally mandated oversight of such trade deals and lets others decide what’s best for America. The result is fewer good-paying U.S. jobs and unsafe food and products for Americans. Read more to find out why fast track is the wrong track for Teamsters and America.

  • This is a list of Teamster locals whose members are either on strike or locked out by the employer. We will update this list on a monthly basis.

     

  • In July 2011, the plan to restructure YRC Worldwide Inc. (YRCW) aimed at saving more than 25,000 Teamster freight jobs was successfully completed. The restructuring has saved good Teamster freight jobs. This page is dedicated to providing our YRCW members updates about developments that affect them.

  • Teamsters at Republic Services/Allied Waste have stood together in recent years to fight for strong contracts, including going on strike and supporting their fellow striking workers. Workers continue to fight for strong contracts that include retirement security at the second largest solid waste company. This campaign page is dedicated to those ongoing efforts.

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Monthly Membership Meeting
The monthly membership meeting will be held Saturday May 10, 2014 at Teamsters Local 61 union hall. The Membership meeting begins at 10:00am, please plan on attending for workplace information updates.
NO RTW

Maine lawmakers reject proposal for right-to-work zones

It got stopped in Maine
Maine lawmakers got the message and today voted down a proposal to create right-to-work zones in the states.

By a vote of 91-55, the Maine House of Representatives decided right-to-work doesn't create jobs.

The Associated Press reports:
Maine lawmakers have rejected Gov. Paul LePage's proposal to offer business tax breaks and workers the ability not to pay labor union fees in certain parts of the state. 
The Republican governor's proposal aims attract companies that invest more than $50 million and create at least 1,500 jobs to the former Loring Air Force Base and Brunswick Naval Air Station. Businesses would get tax and energy cost relief and assistance to help train and recruit workers. It would also create "right-to-work zones," meaning non-union employees wouldn't have to pay fees to negotiate or administer contracts. 
Don Berry, president of the Maine AFL-CIO, called LePage's proposal a re-election stunt because it wouldn't support workers and businesses already in the state:
We should be building our economy from the bottom up and the middle out.  That means supporting Maine businesses and workers who are here.  This bill gives away the store to big business from away but does nothing for the small businesses and workers who are here. 
Victory

Woo-hoo! NY Teamsters ratify historic 5-year contract with Phoenix/Lobo Beverages

Phoenix Beverages Owner Rod Braymen, Local 812, Recording Secretary John Ulrich and the members of the Phoenix Beverages Negotiating Committee after endorsement.
Here's great news from our brothers at Teamsters Local 812: They ratified a terrific contract that solidifies job security, pay increases, pension and medical protection. 

They all work for Phoenix/Lobo Beverages in Brooklyn and Montgomery, N.Y. Brother John Ulrich, lead negotiator, and the local's executive board spent four days going over the entire contract proposal with members. Handouts were issued in English and Spanish, and Angel Martinez, business agent, was on hand for members who needed more translation. The contract was approved by a 3-1 margin. 

Ed Weber, president of Teamsters Local 812, said the executive board is extremely happy the company was able to rebound after suffering $30 million in damage from Hurricane Sandy last year. He said, 
We as the 812 executive board unanimously endorsed this contract proposal in its entirety and are happy to see the hardworking 812 members at Phoenix/Lobo achieve their goals and have five years of job security as well.
"Congratulations to John and the rest of the agents on a job well done," said Joe Vitta, secretary-treasurer of Local 812. 

Brother Ulrich, who has negotiated more than 100 contracts, said the negotiations were the best he'd ever been involved in because both sides wanted it to work. 

??Phoenix/ Lobo Beverages employs over 400 Local 812 members and delivers products such as Heineken, Miller, Guinness, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Brooklyn Brewery, Newburgh Brewery, Polar Beverages, Snapple, Canada Dry, RC Cola and Diet Rite from Long Island, all of New York City through Westchester County all the way up to Columbia County in upstate New York.

Here are some comments about the contract from members of Teasmters Local 812: 

Jim Surdi, business agent: 
This new agreement at Phoenix/Lobo Beverages catapults the 812 members employed here right to the top of the New York beverage industry in every category. They will see the difference right away like the Coke drivers did in 2006.
John Ulrich, lead negotiator/recording secretary:
This contract truly solidifies Phoenix Beverages as leader of the New York beer/soda and beverage industry. The owners were receptive and heard their employees concerns. We as the membership also heard the company loud and clear. Mr. Braymen reinforced that if he was going to have the best contract, he wanted the best workers in the trade.
Joe Sancricola, driver/shop steward:
This is the best contract I have even seen in my career at Phoenix Beverages. ... I have seen firsthand what John and the rest of the board have done to make this happen. When we were organized by Local 812 we were making $100 a day. It seems like a lifetime ago. I see what I have now and I am really grateful for having Local 812. I will be able to work another 10 years with the addition of bulk routes as well.
Mike Radway, Phoenix order builder:
The company is giving me the opportunity, that is all I can ever ask. ... because I work harder we will give you am extra weeks vacation and pay me the average week instead of just the base pay. That's what I am talking about. I am very happy.
Larry DeBellis,?? business agent: 
This contract is a real game changer, the number of issues resolved and the amount of progress made is huge. It was great that owners Rod and Greg Braymen were at the table and listened while explaining the changes on their end of the business. ...  To achieve this type of contract is incredible.
Angel Martinez, business agent:  
There was tremendous communication from both sides of the table and we worked together to fix problems we’ve encountered over the past five years instead of just finding problems and blaming each other. 
David Acosta, Phoenix shop steward: 
Mr. Braymen and his son Greg came to every negotiation. They explained their position and their concerns. They told us "they understand this is not an easy job and know how hard we work but they need consistency and need responsibility." I agree with that or we all be out of a job.
Local 812 represents approximately 4,000 members throughout, New York City, Long Island and Upstate New York exclusively in the Brewery & Soft Drink arena.
 
NLRB Election

Teamster election disrupted by spitting, swearing, gun-wielding goons


Gun-toting goons hired by Taylor Farms so disrupted a Teamster representation election last week that the NLRB impounded the ballots.

Taylor Farms, the largest supplier of fresh-cut produce in the country, hired 12 union busters to run a vicious campaign against the 900, primarily Latino workers.

During the two-day election, according to the Teamsters,
...the company deployed a goon squad of supervisors and lead workers to intimidate workers and restrict their movement during the voting period. The company stationed armed guards in full view of workers who were voting and called police who parked their squad cars in front of the facilities, adding to the climate of fear during the election. 
Meanwhile, company goons spat on union t-shirts, yelling obscenities and threats at union organizers and workers. One report claims a plant manager called terminated pro-union workers telling them they would be rehired if they came in and voted no against the union. 
Other reports suggest that workers were sent to vote twice under different names or to vote for workers on vacation. 
This extreme hostility by the company and its likely violations of the law forced the NLRB to intervene as final ballots were being cast on Friday evening. The Board removed ballots to a more secure location at its offices in Oakland while it investigates the company’s unlawful conduct.
The Teamsters  filed claims covering hundreds of Unfair Labor Practice violations by the company, including the retaliatory firing of union supporters, threatening workers around immigration status and telling immigrant workers they could not vote.

Ironically, the attack on Taylor Farms workers comes almost exactly on Cesar Chavez's birthday. Caitlin Vega notes in the Labor's Edge blog:
The struggle of the workers at Taylor Farms is exactly la causa that Cesar Chavez devoted himself to. That every worker has the right not just to dream of a better life but to stand up for one. That those who work with their hands to get food to our tables deserve also to feed their children. They are fighting not for themselves, but for their co-workers, for their families, and for a better future. They too are leaving a legacy that will inspire generations to come.

It is discouraging to see that the labor contractor system that Cesar Chavez fought to abolish has instead multiplied. But Cesar would not lose hope, even in the face of employer intimidation of workers and interference in their right to a free and fair election. As he said in a speech in 1984, “Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot un-educate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.”
Si se puede!
 

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Current Campaigns
  • Welcome to Teamster Organizing!

    You've heard it said that the best defense is a good offense. In the war on workers, Teamster Organizing is on the offensive! We're winning power for workers across industries and across North America. Join us!

  • Taxi drivers in Washington, D.C. are fed up!

    After years of unfair regulations and lack of respect, we are fighting back by forming the Washington, D.C. Taxi Operators Association. Our association will be backed by Teamsters Local 922 and the 1.4 million-member International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

  • The Teamsters have stood in solidarity with worker struggles in other countries since our founding. With economic globalization, our ability to organize increasingly depends on our ability to build alliances with workers on a global scale.
    More than ever, Teamsters are organizing and bargaining with multi-national companies. A key objective of our Global Strategies Campaign is to build strong alliances with unions around the globe who organize and bargain with common employers. Our focus is on workers in the emerging global supply chains – the infrastructure of globalization.
    Globalization creates new opportunities for international worker solidarity. We seek common cause with workers around the world to build social justice for all workers and the communities in which they live.

  • UPS Teamsters ratified the National Master UPS Agreement on June 26, 2013. The five-year contract includes increases in wages, health care and pension contributions and many other improvements. Several local Supplements and Riders did not pass, and the union is working through an internal, democratic process to resolve the issues. At UPS Freight, members overwhelmingly approved a new national five-year contract on Jan. 12, 2014. 

  • There are about 350 of us who work at EXAL in Youngstown, Ohio, where we manufacture aluminum bottles for large customers like Budweiser and Coca-Cola. We are uniting with Teamsters Local 377 to improve respect and working conditions at our company. Thank you for following our webpage. Fill in the “Join Our Fight” box below with your information to receive text message updates.

  • This web page provides information on our fight against fast-track legislation. The measure requires Congress to take only a quick up-or-down vote on secret trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and does not allow such agreements to be amended. It limits Congress’ constitutionally mandated oversight of such trade deals and lets others decide what’s best for America. The result is fewer good-paying U.S. jobs and unsafe food and products for Americans. Read more to find out why fast track is the wrong track for Teamsters and America.

  • This is a list of Teamster locals whose members are either on strike or locked out by the employer. We will update this list on a monthly basis.

     

  • In July 2011, the plan to restructure YRC Worldwide Inc. (YRCW) aimed at saving more than 25,000 Teamster freight jobs was successfully completed. The restructuring has saved good Teamster freight jobs. This page is dedicated to providing our YRCW members updates about developments that affect them.

  • Teamsters at Republic Services/Allied Waste have stood together in recent years to fight for strong contracts, including going on strike and supporting their fellow striking workers. Workers continue to fight for strong contracts that include retirement security at the second largest solid waste company. This campaign page is dedicated to those ongoing efforts.

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