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February 19, 2017

On This Day in 1992:

Two locals of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Int'l Union (now UNITE HERE) at Yale University in New Haven, Conn., strike in sympathy with 1,300 graduate student teaching assistants who are demanding the right to negotiate with the university.

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Labor Headlines

US labour news headlines from LabourStart

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Updated: Feb. 19 (01:02)

James R. Hoffa Memorial College Student Essay
Teamsters Local Union No. 677
Teresa Click Passes Away
Teamsters Local 89
President's Day Holiday Closure
Charlotte Area Local APWU
Sean O’Brien Appointed To Lead Teamsters Package Division
Teamsters Local 71
Surprise Announcement Changing Keebler Distribution System Will Destroy 1,200 Jobs
Teamsters Local 71
Special Thanks to the IUEC Labor Committee
IUEC Local 18
 
     
RIP Binding Arbitration for Public Safety Members
Updated On: Jun 06, 2011

 

   In a controversial power grab initiated by County Executive John Leopold, the final say on contract disputes with nine Anne Arundel County public employee unions, including Teamsters Local 355, no longer lies with an independent third-party but with the Anne Arundel County Council. A new county law passed March 7 allows the council to reject an arbitrator’s decision, thus overturning the will of Anne Arundel County voters who overwhelmingly approved binding arbitration for county employees in a 2002 ballot referendum.

   The county council enacted a process in 2003 that forces all elected officials to accept whatever decision an arbitrator makes. The county executive wasted no time wielding his power over the newly elected council members - four of whom have never held public office or dealt with a county budget. The new law, originally introduced as Bill 4-11 in February by Council Chairman Richard Ladd (R-Severna Park) on behalf of Leopold, mobilized the county labor community.

   Teamsters Local 355 partnered with other county public sector unions under the banner The Anne Arundel County Public Safety Coalition to coordinate efforts and resources in the drive to kill the bill. Union leaders worked tirelessly behind the scenes lobbying council members to oppose the bill. The public hearings contained hours of union member testimony against it. Teamster members stood with hundreds of other public safety union workers at council public hearings February 22 and March 7 to speak out in opposition of the proposed legislation that would curtail their bargaining rights.

   In the years since the unions won their right to arbitration only four contract issues have been decided by an arbitrator, and in all four cases the arbitrator ruled for the county. So what's the problem?

   The problem is Leopold’s hypothetical assertion that an arbitrator's decision against the county could be financially devastating during difficult financial times. An expensive award would force him and the council to – as he put it – make the terrible choice between deeper cuts or a tax hike. For that reason, he argued, the county council should have the power to reject an arbitrator's decision.

   "This bill is not about restoring the council's power to make final decisions over the appropriation of public funds. The Council already has the authority to pass emergency legislation to overturn an arbitrator's decision if it would be financially damaging to the County," Deputy Sheriff and Teamster Dave Belisle (pictured second from right) reminded council members during his February 22 testimony. "This bill is more about increasing executive power and control than it is about budgets. The county administration has determined that its will supersedes the county deputy sheriffs’ rights. It wants absolute control over decisions - and the county’s unions."

   Two of the amendments that significantly diluted the bite in the bill were included in its final version. One required Leopold to present to the council a budget based on an arbitrator's final decision and not on his final offer to the unions. The second dropped a provision that specified that if any union succeeded in getting any part of the new law overturned in court, binding arbitration under the County Code would be null and void.

   These two amendments helped the final version pass unanimously.

   But two days after the council passed the Bill as amended, County Executive Leopold vetoed those critical key amendments, ignoring the will of the council and effectively gutting the binding arbitration component of the County Code. "This is a horrible abuse of power, " Councilman Daryl Jones (D-Severn) told The Capital in response to Leopold’s veto.

   The council failed to override Leopold’s vetoes during its March 21 meeting. Five votes are required to override a veto, whereas only four were needed to pass the bill. So what was given to public safety unions by nearly 80% of county voters has been taken away by Leopold and four council members doing his bidding.  

   “It has now been clearly established that the elected members of the County Council, not an outside arbitrator, will have fiscal authority regarding arbitration awards,” Leopold said in a written statement. “In this era of budgetary austerity, the taxpayer’s interest must be paramount.”

   Apparently Leopold doesn’t get it. Many of the county's public safety employees are voters and taxpayers. Local 355 and members of the Public Safety Coalition are investigating their legal options.

   It's not over.


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Current Campaigns
  • The ‘Let’s Get America Working!’ campaign seeks to restore a dynamic and prosperous middle class to drive economic growth by helping to advance policy decisions that create and maintain good middle-income jobs, guarantee retirement security, expand access to the American Dream, and ensure that the benefits of the ongoing economic recovery are felt by the many, not just the few.

  • We Are eXPOsing XPO’s Global Greed

    XPO Logistics is a top ten global logistics and transportation company with annual revenue of $15 billion and 89,000 employees, another 10,000 workers classified as independent contractors, and thousands more working for firms that subcontract with XPO. We are the REAL workers at XPO Logistics worldwide exposing the truth about the company’s global greed, illegal wage theft, unsafe conditions, and abhorrent and vicious anti-worker, anti-union tactics. 

    This greed includes mistreating former Con-way Freight workers in the United States who are being kept in the dark about terminal closures and layoffs, and the company’s illegal refusal to bargain contracts and denying their workers’ federally protected right to organize. It also includes port, rail and last-mile drivers around the country and in Southern California fighting wage theft in excess of $200 million because they are misclassified as independent contractors and denied the right to form their union. This greed has caused numerous lawsuits and strikes.  Greed also means an unsafe workplace and mistreating its warehouse employees.

    XPO’s greed extends to Europe beginning with breaking its promise to not layoff any workers for at least 18 months. French workers and the unions have been fighting back against XPO’s disrespect, lies and attempts to slash jobs. Similar struggles are taking place in Great Britain, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, and across Europe.

    Join the worldwide struggle now! Get involved with this campaign by joining the Facebook group “XPO Exposed.”

    Together, we can eXPOse the company’s global greed and win fairness, respect and dignity for tens of thousands of XPO employees around the world!

  • This webpage provides information on the Teamsters Union’s legislative advocacy at both the federal and state level as well as our field activity to support those policy positions and to get strong labor candidates elected to office.  Among other resources, you will find our federal legislative scorecard, formal statements of policy position and communications to Capitol Hill,  a weekly update on federal legislative happenings, an overview of bills we are tracking at the state level, and quick links to take action on priority issues.

  • Negotiations for the National Master Automobile Transporters Agreement (NMATA) are under way. On Wednesday, June 3, 2015 representatives from carhaul local unions met in Detroit to approve the contract proposals and the next day, Thursday, June 4, 2015 the Teamsters National Automobile Transporters Industry Negotiating Committee (TNATINC) exchanged the contract proposals with the employer group.

    The committee will work hard to protect members’ health, welfare and pension benefits, protect job security and other address other top priorities

    The National Master Automobile Transporters Agreement (NMATA) and its supplements expire on August 31, 2015. The national contract covers almost 6,000 Teamster carhaulers.

    In addition to protecting benefits and job security, other top priorities are wages, the grievance procedures and safety and health issues.

  • The IBT-Airline Division has established this page as a place to get up-to-date information about the Republic Airways Holdings (RAH) bankruptcy.  Please check here for the latest information about the bankruptcy.

  • Workers’ pensions are being endangered by both Congress and those charged with overseeing them. The Teamsters and our members are standing united to say “No!” to cuts and “Yes!” to greater retirement security!

  • The Teamsters Union represents more than 250,000 members at UPS and UPS Freight. UPS remains an active member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) despite the organization’s anti-worker and anti-union agenda that seeks to undermine and weaken worker protections.

  • 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.

  • Workers across the country at FedEx Freight and Con-way Freight are standing shoulder to shoulder to form their unions with the Teamsters to win a more secure future. Momentum is building with a first wave of victories with many more to come.

    There is growing worker resentment toward the companies after years of being treated unfairly. While the companies have suddenly made improvements since workers began to organize, workers know that without a legally binding contract the company can take these things away at any time.

    The unfulfilled promises that have been made to drivers and dockworkers over the past decade are coming back to haunt management.

    But now workers are taking action and standing up for themselves by forming their union. It's a different era now. It's Teamster Time! LIKE our Facebook page, here.

  • Teamsters are been standing together to protect good jobs at Sysco and US Foods. Our solidarity on many fronts helped to defeat the mega-merger of the two companies, which would have put thousands of jobs at risk. But challenges remain as both companies refine their plans. Join our campaign to ensure these foodservice giants honor their agreements with 11,500 Teamsters and help us bring more Sysco and US Foods workers into the Teamster family. LIKE our Facebook page, here.

     

 
 
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