Thursday, March 25, 2010

This Just In On Craig Becker....

Various news reports are coming in today speculating that President Obama will make a recess appointment of the extremely qualified Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board. Becker, a labor lawyer, is more than capable of serving on the NLRB, whose mission is to uphold the laws governing relations between unions and private sector employers.

But Republican Senators, big businesses and their front groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are fighting tooth and nail to keep Becker from being confirmed. Why? Because of writings Becker published when he was a law professor. The real reason these groups oppose Becker is because they’re afraid he will make companies abide by the rules of the NLRA.

Let's hope the news articles are true. Here's one, from the Washington Post.

Sanitation Workers Raise Informational Pickets

Sanitation Workers in King County, Washington today raised informational pickets calling on Waste Management and Allied Waste to end hazardous practices before they provoke a strike.

These workers provide a tremendous service to King County, which includes the city of Seattle and its suburbs. Let's hope the companies come to their senses soon to avoid a strike.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Welcome to Our Newest Teamsters!

Municipal employees in the New York state towns of Wappinger and Fishkill are among our newest Teamsters, joining Local 445 in Newburgh. The workers in Fishkill are employed by the Highway Department and in Wappinger by the Clerical Department. Adrian Huff, Local 445 Secretary-Treasurer, says the Local has organized nearly 1,400 people in four years. Congratulations!

Why All Teamsters Should Applaud Health Care Reform Bill

It was a big deal (editing Joe Biden here) when President Obama signed the health care reform bill. Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa supported the bill because it provides health insurance to millions of Americans who don't have it and controlling costs for millions more who do.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Nothing Refreshing About NY State Soda Tax

Hundreds of New York State Teamsters rallied today in Albany protesting the governor's proposed soda tax. The Teamsters feel the soda tax will only lead to a big decline in soda sales that will hurt small businesses and cost workers their jobs. Read more about it here.

Pension Relief

Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey has introduced a bill that would address problems with multi-employer pension plans. Casey's bill would protect pension payments of retirees of failed businesses, AND, assist companies like YRC Worldwide Inc. You can read Casey's bill here.

FAA Reauthorization Bill Passes in Senate

The creation of approximately 125,000 jobs per year is closer to reality, now that the U.S. Senate has passed the FAA Reauthorization bill. A key component of this bill is that it will create 125,000 jobs per year by providing more funds for airport construction. Congress still has some work on the bill--the House and Senate versions have to be reconciled and that could take weeks. Hopefully the final version will contain a key provision called the Express Carrier Employee Protection Act, which would place freight and package-delivery industry workers under the appropriate labor laws, making it easier for them to form unions.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Teamster Picture of the Day

You never know where you'll find a copy of Teamster magazine. This photo was taken in the Manhattan (New York) Borough Rent Office.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Unfair Labor Practices in Chicago

Water management workers in Chicago have been forced to take a furlough day in violation of their contract while private contractors were doing their jobs! The Teamsters rallied today in front of the Department of Water Management. Let's hope this unfair situation gets resolved soon.

Making Over the Labor Department

There's an interesting article in the American Prospect that details how difficult it has been to undo the damage done at the Labor Department by pro-business cronies installed there during the Bush administration. Reform is coming slowly, but positive, pro-worker changes are being implemented.

This Is Why We Are Teamsters

Sheron McCampbell is one amazing woman. She's a First Student driver in Grand Junction, Colorado who embodies the Teamster 'can do' attitude. Read Sheron's story on why being a Teamster is so important to her.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Finally, A Jobs Bill

President Obama signed the Jobs Bill today, and hopefully this will lead to the creation of good jobs for workers, and jumpstart the economy!

FAA Reauthorization Bill: Why It's Important To Teamsters

General President Jim Hoffa and Package Division Director Ken Hall have spent a lot of time on Capitol Hill urging Senate and House members to pass the FAA Reauthorization Bill. The measure will create hundreds of thousands of jobs for starters. Hoffa and Hall are also urging Congress to support the Express Carrier Employee Protection Act, which will level the playing field for all package-delivery and freight industry companies in the U.S. Read more about why this legislation is important here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Airline Worker News

The National Mediation Board could announce as early as next week a rule change that would let airline workers organize if a majority votes in favor of forming a union. Read all about it here.

Workplace Injuries: Are Stats Legit?

BusinessWeek magazine is reporting that corporations have been grossly underreporting workplace injuries for a decade. See the article here.

Celebrating in California

Meet some of our newest Teamsters, school bus drivers in Concord, California!

News You Can Use

Jason's Law: Bill Would Create More Rest Areas for Tired Truckers

Hoffa: Time Has Come to Get Health Care Reform Done

NLRB Rules in Favor of Teamsters From Local 455

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bankers Beware

Americans for Financial Reform brings together all the former U.S. presidnets on Saturday Night Live. They make the case for regulating banks so they don't rip us off with high credit card fees and deceptive come-ons. Hilarious video:

News You Can Use: Capitol Hill Update

There are some important measures being discussed in Congress: the Jobs bill, pension relief, financial reform, trade reform and the FAA Reauthorization bill. All these bills have something in common for Teamsters: stimulating the economy! To read more about Teamster efforts regarding these issues, go to the main Teamster site at

Teamsters of the Week: San Diego Lifeguards

If you're ever lucky enough to visit the beautiful beaches and bays of San Diego, find time to talk to a lifeguard (if they aren't busy rescuing someone). The lifeguards became members of Teamsters Local 911 last year and recently negotiated their first contract. Baywatch this ain't: it takes up to 7 years to become a permanent lifeguard and then you have to be selected, SELECTED, to serve. The lifeguards make about 6,000 rescues per year.

Hoffa Rallies in Support of Flint Hospital Workers

On March 12, Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa led a rally in support of about 300 technical employees, emergency technicians and licensed nurses who work at Ascension Health’s Genesys Regional Medical Center in Flint, Michigan.

These great public servants are facing potential cuts in pay, benefits and work rules. Hoffa led the rally outside Ascension Health’s corporate headquarters in St. Louis.