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June 18, 2019

On This Day in 1872
Unions legalized in Canada.
- Union Communication Services

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Local and National Union News

Teamster leaders meet for Warehouse Division Conference
June 11, 2019 | (UpdatedAbout 150 Teamster leaders from local unions that represent warehouse workers met in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho last week to discuss the major issues and campaigns affecting the more than 200,000 warehouse Teamsters. "We have many challenges ahead, but by working together--the local unions, the Joint Councils and the International Union--we will take these challenges head-on to make sure our members' interests are protected," said Steve Vairma, Director of the Teamsters Warehouse Division. Leaders discussed the national organizing campaign underway at Sysco, and the campaigns to protect Teamsters at US Foods/FSA and UNFI/Supervalu… Teamsters

DHL driver Nirav Bhalala proud to be a new U.S. citizen
June 10, 2019 | (UpdatedAfter a twelve-year journey to citizenship, Brother Nirav Bhalala was among 62 applicants from 32 countries sworn in as United States citizens on May 20, 2019, at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services District Office in Baltimore, Md. The momentous day, he said, was the end result of a “great, proud, and long journey” from his arrival in New York in 2007. Traveling to the U.S. on a student visa, Bhalala left behind his native India to continue his education in the U.S. He moved to Maryland in 2009, transferred his student visa to a work visa so he could work as a hotel manager, and enrolled in Prince George’s Community College. He graduated in 2014 from the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) with a degree in Business Administration. Bhalala received his green card in 2015 and renewed it in 2017. At the urging of a DHL district manager he met at UMUC, Bhalala applied and was subsequently hired at DHL in October 2015. He's been a Teamster ever since. “Joining the Teamsters was one of the first good things to happen to me here,” Bhalala said proudly… Continue at 355 News (Photo: Bhalala received his Certificate of Naturalization after the swearing-in ceremony.)

Former Capitol Carbonic members proud of a new contract with a new owner, Praxair
June 7, 2019 When Local 355 received word in February of Capitol Carbonic’s intent to sell its Bridgeville, Delaware location to Praxair Distribution Inc., Business Agent John Moylan reported that the Local was concerned it was going to be another plant closing and we were going to lose those jobs and our members.” But in a positive turn of events, talks with Praxair resulted in an agreement to recognize Local 355 as the bargaining agent for its drivers and warehouse workers. “The only condition was that the new employer wanted to negotiate a contract of its own with new terms and conditions,” explained Moylan. “We succeeded in negotiating – then ratifying – a new four-year deal in just over two months.” Highlights of the new agreement provide a 22% wage increase over term, increased vacation time, company-paid uniforms and safety boots. “Very concerned about losing their jobs back in February, our members are now grateful for the new start, and are looking forward to working with their new employer going forward.” Pictured (click image to enlarge): L-R John Moylan, business agent; Timothy Figgs; Robert Thompson, shop steward; and Matthew Figgs

Status on UPS back pay
June 5, 2019 The company expects the back pay to be issued the first pay period of July. This contract was the richest in Teamster history and the back pay just for the nine months between August 1, 2018 and April 29, 2019 is approximately $660 million. The company is currently calculating back pay for 250,000 employees with various hours worked, multiple classifications and pay rates. Many employees work more than one classification with different pay rates in one week or even within one day. Any time a member works in more than one job in any one day, it triggers a calculation requiring someone to manually calculate the pay rate figures. The company estimates that there will be over 200,000 manual calculations required to ensure that the back pay is accurate and they will be working on this through June. UPS is keeping us informed and is working to make this happen as quickly as possible. UPS Rising

Older news items are posted on 355 News.

Elsewhere in the News
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  • Growing number of Latinos broaden Labor’s mission, political power
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Teamsters Stand Up for Trucker Safety at House Hearing
June 14, 2019 | HEALTH & SAFETY | The trucking industry is facing numerous challenges that are jeopardizing the well-being of drivers that must be addressed to ensure highway safety is a top priority for the traveling public, a Teamster official said today. Lamont Byrd, the Teamsters’ Director of Safety and Health, told members of a House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee today that company pressure on drivers to be more productive, combined with the distressed state of infrastructure in this country and the effort of industry to lessen regulations could have a dire impact on all those on the nation’s roadways. “These pressures come from many sources and some are related to policies that either don’t exist or haven’t kept pace with a changing transportation system,” Byrd said. “Specific policy issues related to infrastructure, driver compensation, hours of service, driver harassment, driver health, driving training and retention, automation and globalization all contribute to these pressures.” Teamsters
Size of Undocumented Workforce is Shrinking in the US
June 13, 2019 | JOBS | US immigration hawks have long complained that undocumented workers take Americans’ jobs and lower wages. Some good news for them: the size of the undocumented labor force is shrinking, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center. From 2007 to 2017, the number of undocumented workers dropped 7.6 million from 8.2 million. So, immigrants now make a smaller share of the US workforce. It’s yet another sign of how immigration to the US is changing. There are fewer people coming overall. Employers have already started to feel the drop...Quartz
To Secure Pro-Workers Legislation, Hold Politicians’ Feet to the Fire
June 11, 2019 | OPINION | … As the 2020 campaign heats up, there will be a big debate over whether Trump has been good or bad for America’s workers. But there’s a surefire way to determine whether Trump or any candidate is good for such voters. The nation’s unions and other worker groups should draw up a Contract for the American Worker and make it clear they will only endorse candidates, Republican or Democratic, who endorse such a deal. Such a “Contract” could call for… This proposed contract would aim to end what I call “America’s anti-worker exceptionalism…The Guardian
How LGBTQ Union Activists Transformed the Labor Movement
June 10, 2019 | LABOR HISTORY | As Pride Month is recognized around the world this year, the rainbow-hued celebration will be colored by hope, fear for the future, and reverence for the queer liberation movement’s radical past. This year has already seen the murders of at least nine Black trans women in a slow-moving genocide that continues to ravage the community. The Trump administration is still forcing its agenda to deny basic human rights to queer people, especially those who are trans and non-binary. Around the world, queer people face brutal repression and inequality. Through it all, the community has stood strong, and even when faced with constant attacks by a homophobic, transphobic right-wing government, LGBTQIA people in the U.S. do have a formidable ally: labor unions… Teen Vogue
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  • Teamsters applaud passage of Dream and Promise Act in the House
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We Need Stronger Labor Unions to Protect the Middle Class
June 6, 2019 | OPINION | Labor law in our country is profoundly broken. The National Labor Relations Act is the federal statute that protects the right of employees to join a union, engage in collective bargaining or just stand together with coworkers to have a say in what happens at work. Congress passed the law in 1935 to “encourage collective bargaining.” But the NLRA is failing to fulfill this purpose…The NLRA needs a major overhaul. Recent efforts to amend it have been more in the category of tinkering with than rewriting the rules. The last major effort to amend the NLRA came at the beginning of the Obama Administration with a push to pass the Employee Free Choice Act… Newsweek
Teamsters Local 355
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