TeamsterSUMMER 2020 - AMERICAN HEROES - International ...

TeamsterSUMMER 2020 - AMERICAN HEROES - International ...
                 SUMMER 2020

           Teamsters on
AMERICAN   Front Lines Respond
           to Coronavirus Crisis
TeamsterSUMMER 2020 - AMERICAN HEROES - International ...

 10                                                                               20                                                                        26

10 American Heroes                                                            2        News
      Teamsters on Front Lines Respond                                        •        Teamsters Mark End of Final                                                              International Brotherhood of Teamsters
                                                                                                                                                                                25 Louisiana Avenue, NW
      to Coronavirus Crisis                                                            Order Transition Period                                                                  Washington DC 20001-2198
                                                                              •        Local 135 Member Honored for                                                             202-624-6800

20 Teamsters Get Out the Vote                                                          Saving Co-Workers                                                         The Teamster (ISSN 1083-2394) is the official publication
                                                                              •        Profit Sharing at ABF                                                     of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, 25
      Union Mobilizing Members and Holding                                                                                                                       Louisiana Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20001-2198. It
      Candidates Accountable                                                  •        Teamster Invents Truck Brake                                              is published quarterly (January, April, July, October).
                                                                                                                                                                 Periodical postage paid at Washington, DC and at
                                                                                       Releaser System                                                           additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Send address
                                                                              •        Back on the Road in Minnesota                                             changes to The Teamster, Affiliates Records Department,
24 From the Shop to the Top                                                                                                                                      25 Louisiana Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001-2198.
      Teamsters Use Worker Volunteers                                         •        Teamsters March on Selma
                                                                                                                                                                          SUMMER 2020 / VOLUME 117, NO 2
      to Drive Organizing Victories                                           •        Division Director Appointments                                            ©2020 International Brotherhood of Teamsters. All rights
                                                                                                                                                                 reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written
                                                                              •        Remembering Ron Rocha                                                     permission is prohibited. Subscription rates: $12 per year.
                                                                              •        Local 14 Offers Members Free                                              Single copies, $2. (All orders payable in advance.) Mem-
26 The Future is Now                                                                   Health Benefits                                                           bers should send address changes to their local union.

                                                                                                                                                                                Like us on Facebook
      Teamsters Lead on Tech,
      Workforce Developments
                                                                              32 IDO Report                                                                           

30 Sign o’ the Times                                                                                                                                                            Follow @Teamsters on Twitter.
      GCC Members at Mosaic Learning                                          40 Election Supervisor’s Report
      Envision Bright New Future                                                                                                                                                SIGN UP FOR UPDATES—
                                                                                                                                                                                Text “IBT” to 86466
                                                                                                                                                                                (message and data rates may apply)

                                                                                                                                                                                Follow @teamsters on Instagram.

James P. Hoffa           VICE PRESIDENTS            Fred Simpson             TEAMSTERS               CENTRAL REGION           EASTERN REGION           SOUTHERN REGION            WESTERN REGION              TRUSTEES
General President        AT-LARGE                   41475 Gardenbrook        CANADA                  Bill Frisky              William Hamilton         John Palmer                Rome Aloise                 Jim Kabell
25 Louisiana Ave. N.W.   Gregory Floyd              Road                     Stan Hennessy           6511 Eastland Rd.,       12275 Townsend Rd.       25 Louisiana Ave. N.W.     7750 Pardee Lane            1850 E. Division
Washington, D.C. 20001   216 W. 14th St.            Novi, Michigan           1 Grosvenor Square      Suite 120                Philadelphia, PA 19154   Washington, D.C. 20001     Oakland, CA 94621           Springfield, MO 65803
                         New York, NY 10011         48375                    Delta, B.C.             Brook Park, OH 44142
Ken Hall                                                                     Canada V3M 5S1                                   Dan Kane Sr.             Kimberly Schultz           Ron Herrera                 Kevin Moore
General Secretary-                                  George Tedeschi
                         George Miranda             25 Louisiana Ave. N.W.                           Tony Jones               1308 Pierce St.          11705 Boyette Rd,          880 Oak Park Rd.,           2741 Trumbull Ave.
Treasurer                55 Broad St, 11th Floor                             François Laporte        555 E Rich St.           Rahway, N.J. 07065       Suite 409                  Suite 200                   Detroit, MI 48216
25 Louisiana Ave. N.W.                              Washington, D.C.
                         New York, N.Y. 10004       20001                    1750 Maurice-Gauvin     Columbus, OH 43215                                Riverview, FL 33569        Covina, CA 91724
Washington, D.C. 20001                                                       Street, Suite 400                                Sean M. O’Brien                                                                 Denis Taylor
                         John Murphy                Steve Vairma             Laval, Quebec H7S 1Z5   Robert Kopystynsky       544 Main St.                                        Rick Middleton              1030 S. Dukeland St.
                         348 D St.                  10 Lakeside Lane,                                25 Louisiana Ave. N.W.   Boston, MA 02129                                    460 Carson Plaza Dr.        Baltimore, MD 21223
                         Boston, MA 02127           Suite 3-A                Craig McInnes           Washington, D.C. 20001                                                       Carson, CA 90746
                                                    Denver, CO 80212         275 Matheson Blvd. E.
                         Fredrick Potter                                     Mississauga, Ontario    Avral Thompson
                         3400 Highway 35                                     Canada L4Z 1X8          3813 Taylor Blvd.
                         Executive Plaza, Suite 7                                                    Louisville, KY 40215
                         Hazlet, N.J 07730
TeamsterSUMMER 2020 - AMERICAN HEROES - International ...

            TEAMSTER STRONg

     eamsters are heroes. It has never been                 Our Safety and Health Department has devel-
     more apparent than during the COVID-19             oped numerous resources for members on our
     pandemic.                                          website at Further, every trade divi-
    From the moment it was clear how serious this       sion and conference is providing updates on the
crisis was, members sprang into action, putting         latest developments in Teamster industries.
their health on the line for the greater good.              The work of your union continues. Every shop
    I have never been prouder of Teamster mem-          steward, business agent and officer at every local
bers and am encouraged that the general public is       union and the officers and staff of the International
finally looking on essential workers as the heroes      Union are working nonstop on your behalf.
they are.                                                   Legislatively, the Teamsters Union is working to
    Teamsters have been on the front lines of the       ensure that any economic relief that comes out of
crisis every day across a range of industries, in-      D.C. goes directly to workers rather than just bail-
cluding health care, waste, freight, bakery, brewery,   ing out corporations.
food processing, package delivery and others.               This is not the first time the Teamsters Union
    While many Teamsters are toiling on the front       has faced adversity. As in the past, members are
lines, others have been furloughed or had their         showing solidarity and compassion when it is most
hours cut. Some industries have seen mass layoffs.      needed. It’s impossible to know how this unprece-
Your union is working at every level to ensure con-     dented crisis will unfold, but through our solidarity
tinuous employment. There are innovative agree-         and hard work, the Teamsters Union will endure.
ments being worked out where furloughed                     Stay safe and stay informed.
Teamsters from one industry are being temporarily
employed by union employers who need workers
in another industry.
TeamsterSUMMER 2020 - AMERICAN HEROES - International ...

    Hoffa Completes Pledge
    to Return Control of Union
    to Members

                      Teamsters Mark End of Final Order Transition Period

    eb. 17, 2020, marked the end of the transition pe-     day one and am proud to have accomplished for
    riod of government oversight established by the        our great union. All members can be proud that the
    Final Order negotiated in 2015, bringing closure to    Teamsters Union’s commitment to democratic princi-
more than 30 years of government involvement in the        ples and to the highest of ethical standards stands as
union’s internal affairs.                                  an example for the labor movement and other mem-
    Five years ago, Chief Judge Loretta Preska of the      bers of our community.”
United States District Court for the Southern District         As part of the Final Order, the union agreed to
of New York approved an agreement that ended more          establish and maintain effective and independent su-
than 25 years of government oversight of the Teamsters     pervision of the IBT International Union Officer and
Union. The agreement resulted in dismissal of the          Convention Delegate elections and an effective and
Civil RICO case that was brought by the government         independent internal disciplinary mechanism. This
in 1988, ended the Consent Decree which had been           ensures that the union’s commitments in its Constitu-
in effect since 1989, and replaced it with a Final Order   tion to democratic elections for its leaders and for a
which allowed for the government’s involvement in          union free from corruption can be fulfilled.
the internal affairs of the union to be phased out             For the first time since 1991, the union has now
over a five-year transition period which ended             appointed the Election Supervisor and Appeals Mas-
in February.                                               ter for the 2021 International Union Officer elections
    “This is a historic day for the Teamsters,” said       without the need for the government’s agreement or
James P. Hoffa, Teamsters General President. “The          consent. The union will also now have the right to
union has been returned to the members and will            appoint, again without government agreement or
operate without government involvement for the             consent, its Independent Disciplinary Officers when
first time since 1989. This is a promise I made on         their terms of office expire on February 17, 2021.

2    Teamster | Summer 2020 |
TeamsterSUMMER 2020 - AMERICAN HEROES - International ...
A HONEY OF A SAVE |                                   Local 135 Member Honored for Saving Co-Workers

     eing a truck driver is a job that   only had time to act.
     requires an innate ability to          “I was in the construction zone
     react quickly and demonstrate       doing my job and radio chatter
immense grace under fire. Local          from a co-worker was that there
135 driver William Honey demon-          was a police chase in the zone—a
strated those abilities flawlessly       car going south in the northbound
one late summer night last year,         lanes,” Honey said in an interview
and it saved his co-workers from         on CBS. “I placed my truck to cre-
certain death.                           ate a barricade in hopes to stop the
    Honey was at a construction          guy, not to get hit by him. I was try-
site late in the evening, when all of    ing to protect my co-workers on
a sudden a black Pontiac was ca-         the ground. It was instantaneous.
reening toward the area where he         There was no time to think—it
and his co-workers were on Inter-        was in a matter of just seconds.”
state 65 in Indianapolis. The Indi-         Unfortunately, the car didn’t
ana State Police said that the           stop and it slammed right into
driver of the car was intoxicated        Honey’s dump truck, an impact
and he was fleeing the scene.            that was devastating to both vehi-
Honey didn’t have time to think, he      cles. Fortunately, nobody was            killed or even injured. The state
                                                                                  police arrested the driver of the
                                                                                  Pontiac for driving while intoxi-
                                                                                  cated, unlawful operation of a ve-
                                                                                  hicle in a work zone and a few
                                                                                  other charges.
                                                                                      Honey’s heroism prevented
                                                                                  children from being orphaned,
                                                                                  spouses from being widowed
                                                                                  and a man from potentially
                                                                                  spending the rest of his life in
                                                                                  prison for vehicular homicide.
                                                                                  His actions embody a level of
                                                                                  courage that most of us can only
                                                                                  aspire to, as we all hope that we
                                                                                  may someday act as he did were
                                                                                  fate ever to call us into action on
                                                                                  behalf of our fellow man.
                                                                                      In addition to bravery, humility is
                                                                                  also a trait that Honey embodies, so
                                                                                  he doesn’t exactly see it that way.
                                                                                      “When I saw he wasn’t stop-
                                                                                  ping at all, I just held on to the
                                                                                  steering wheel as hard as I could
                                                                                  and braced for impact,” Honey
                                                                                  said. “I don't consider myself a
                                                                                  hero at all. I was just looking out
                                                                                  for my friends and my co-workers.
                                                                                  I'd just rather be a dump truck

                                                     | Summer 2020 | Teamster               3
TeamsterSUMMER 2020 - AMERICAN HEROES - International ...

                           Profit Sharing at ABF
                   ABF Freight Teamsters Receive Union-Negotiated Bonus

     eamsters employed at ABF
     Freight System received a
     1-percent profit-sharing
bonus—negotiated by the union—
after the company reported fourth-
quarter 2019 results in late
    “This bonus was a great sur-
prise,” said Lori Limone, a cus-
tomer-service representative at
ABF and member of Local 701 in
North Brunswick, N.J. “Freight
Division Director Ernie Soehl and
the negotiating committee did a
great job of writing the bonus into
the contract.”
    Limone, a 15-year ABF em-
ployee, said she received a bonus
of more than $600 before taxes.
    Under the Teamsters 2018-2023      resulted in a 1-percent bonus.       sters General President.
ABF National Master Freight                For example, if a member             “Our National Negotiating
Agreement, if ABF Freight              earned $70,000 in 2019, the mem-     Committee worked hard to negoti-
achieves an annual operating ratio     ber received a bonus of $700.        ate a strong contract for our mem-
of 96.0 or below for any full calen-       “Our members at ABF Freight      bers, including this bonus, and we
dar year, each Teamster-repre-         work hard every day to make the      are very excited that our members
sented employee will receive a         company successful and we are        were rewarded for the company’s
bonus based on their earnings.         pleased that they shared in the      success,” Soehl said. “This is the
ABF Freight reported a 95.2-per-       company’s financial success with     first time our ABF members have
cent operating ratio in 2019, which    this bonus,” said Jim Hoffa, Team-   received the bonus.”

                                              Check out the Teamsters
                                                Union’s podcast at
                                                 For more information,
                                              to listen or subscribe, visit
                                            or scan the QR code with your
         News for                         smartphone’s camera or QR reader
                                                   (available for free).
      Working Families

4    Teamster | Summer 2020 |
TeamsterSUMMER 2020 - AMERICAN HEROES - International ...
Teamster Invents Truck
    Brake Releaser System

     efore he was a Te
                       amster truck driver for the city of   ing con
                                                                  conditions. It is a portable device and can be used
     Chicago, Bob Allen drove semi-trailers for a living     to either release already frozen brakes or pre-treat
     and would often travel across state lines. One          trailers to reduce the risk of frozen air brake lines.
afternoon, during a blizzard, he was driving through              “If a driver breaks down, it could be a three- or
Indiana in whiteout conditions when his truck jack-          four-hour wait to get a service call, plus the cost of
knifed. Without being able to stop, Allen almost hit         service,” Allen said.
and killed a state trooper.                                      Allen made a licensing deal with Milton and the
    While jackknifed truck accidents can occur for a va-     Brake Releaser® hit the market last year. The product
riety of reasons, one of the most common reasons is          has patents in both the U.S. and Canada and Milton
improper brake maintenance or adjustment. When               just applied for a European patent.
the brakes are not functioning properly, it causes the           In the city of Chicago, the invention has been pur-
axles to lock up, particularly when braking hard. The        chased in some of the Water Department yards and
truck then drags the trailer with locked brakes, so it is    has been used on some lowboy trucks that carry the
pushed out to the side of the cab.                           heaviest equipment. Several Local 700 members have
    For nearly 30 years, Allen had been thinking of cre-     used it while working and the product has already
ating a system that would make it easier for truck           saved the city money by avoiding service calls.
drivers to prevent frozen brake lines before trekking            A proud Teamster for more than 25 years, Allen still
across the country. A few years ago, he finally put his      acts as an ambassador for Milton while he works for the
idea on paper and borrowed half a million dollars to         city. He is working on trying to get the Brake Releaser®
get the product into tooling to create a prototype. Un-      mandated into Illinois state law so that it is required to
fortunately, Allen ran out of money to keep it going,        be used by truck lines as a safety tool for drivers.
but instead of giving up, he received interest from              “I’ve personally known Bob for many years from
Milton Industries and kept his dream alive.                  working in the Water Department and his knowledge of
    Milton makes high-quality pneumatic accessories          trucking and his invention is a true testament of his char-
and fittings, covering a broad range of applications in      acter,” said Robert V. Santana Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of
various industries, such as automotive, fleet mainte-        Local 700. “We are all very proud of Bob and commend
nance, construction and manufacturing. Pneumatics            him for his work and dedication to the trucking industry
is a branch of engineering that makes use of gas or          and his fellow Teamsters on the road.”
pressurized air in systems. Milton took Allen’s almost-          “I’ve been driving trucks for nearly 35 years, and
finished product into retooling and development and          when I was out on the road and had to pull over for
soon after, the Brake Releaser® was born.                    any reason, the only people that would stop and help
    Allen’s invention of the Brake Releaser® is de-          me were Teamsters,” Allen said. “Teamsters will al-
signed to dissolve ice crystals in the air brake system      ways help other Teamsters.”
and serves as a backup to the cab’s dryer unit in freez-

                                                    | Summer 2020 | Teamster                5
TeamsterSUMMER 2020 - AMERICAN HEROES - International ...

    Back on the Road

     ocal 320 Teamsters employed                                             ployees. Family coverage will
     by the St. Louis County Public                                          save employees as much as $500
     Works Department were forced                                            per month.
to engage in a county-wide strike                                                “The agreement that was rati-
during the coldest portion of win-                                           fied is groundbreaking for St.
ter. After standing strong in the                                            Louis County employees,” Aldes
face of a recalcitrant employer,                                             said. “The vacation accrual has
Teamsters got a great contract.                                              been standardized for all bargain-
    “This was a tough decision for                                           ing unit employees and sick leave
the membership to make,” said                                                accruals have been increased.”
Brian Aldes, Local 320 Secretary-                                                The county also agreed to an
Treasurer, when the strike was                                               employer-financed Health Savings
first called. “However, the Team-                                            Account and two more personal
sters employed by St. Louis                                                  days for the bargaining unit em-
County deserve parity of benefits     most folks avoid inclement weather,”   ployees. Plus, the agreement will
with the civil service and merit      said Erik Skoog, Local 320 Record-     provide wage increases every year
employees.”                           ing Secretary and chief negotiator.    of the contract.
    The work stoppage began on        “These employees spend nights,             “We want to thank all the
January 15, 2020, and affected        holidays, and weekends clearing        elected leaders, candidates, and
every Public Works Department         roads in dangerous conditions and      St. Louis County Board members
location within St. Louis County,     will not continue to be second-class   who stood with us during these
Minn. Not a single Teamster crossed   employees.”                            difficult days,” says Sami Gabriel,
the picket line during the strike.                                           President of Local 320 and Team-
    “Teamsters want the opportu-      Unanimously Ratified                   sters Joint Council 32 DRIVE (De-
nity to do what we do best, keep      On January 20, Local 320 unani-        mocratic, Republican, Independent
our roads clear and safe,” said       mously ratified the tentative agree-   Voter Education). “We also must
plow truck driver Cory Garden dur-    ment with the St. Louis County         thank the countless labor unions,
ing the strike. “We want to make      administration.                        churches, neighbors, community
sure families across the county are      The county agreed to allow the      groups, and regular citizens who
safe to travel.”                      group to join the Teamsters Joint      supported striking Teamsters with
    “These hardworking employ-        Council 32 Health and Welfare          donations and encouragement.
ees make a daily commitment to        Plan, including dental and vision      The response from the community
drive into blizzard conditions when   coverage for bargaining unit em-       has been outstanding.”

6   Teamster | Summer 2020 |
TeamsterSUMMER 2020 - AMERICAN HEROES - International ...
Teamsters March on Selma

      n March 1, Teamsters on the Human Rights               Before the anniversary march, Teamsters prepared
      and Diversity Commission (HRDC) participated        food bags for 1,500 children in need in Selma at Ed-
      in the 55th anniversary of the March on Selma       mundite Missions. Teamsters HRDC also donated
in Alabama.                                               $1,000 to the mission for any needs they may have to
    The march commemorates the events of "Bloody          continue the support they provide to the community.
Sunday" in 1965 when civil rights protesters led by Dr.      Teamsters at the Selma march also attended work-
Martin Luther King were brutally attacked by local po-    shops, educational sessions on the history of “Bloody
lice as they marched across the Edmund Pettus             Sunday,” and discussed future goals of the HRDC.
Bridge demanding voting rights.                              The Teamsters Human Rights Commission was
    “It was incredible marching across the Edmund         established in 1999 and the Diversity Committee
Pettus Bridge with my fellow Teamsters, remember-         was established in 2001. In 2016, at the 29th Interna-
ing and honoring those who came before us,” said          tional Convention, it was decided to merge them
Marcus King, Director of the HRDC and President of        into one entity.
New Jersey’s Local 331.

                                Get the Latest
                                The Teamsters Union has the latest news on the coronavirus and how it’s
                                affecting members. Visit or scan the QR code for:
                                •   Coronavirus-related podcasts;
                                •   Updates from every Division and Conference;
                                •   Safety and Health factsheets for specific industries;
                                •   News updates;
                                •   Stories in the media featuring Teamsters; and
                                •   Much more.

                                                 | Summer 2020 | Teamster           7
TeamsterSUMMER 2020 - AMERICAN HEROES - International ...

                                                                       In Memoriam
                                                                 Ron Rocha (1940-2020)

       Ron Herrera and Chuck Stiles

                                                                     eamsters are mourning the loss of
        to Lead Teamster Divisions                                   Ron Rocha, a California Teamster
                                                                     who passed away on Jan. 20, 2020.

     he Teamsters Union has appointed longtime leaders
                                                                Rocha, a Bay Area native, was born in
     to new positions with the Port Division and the Solid
                                                                Oakland and was a longtime member of
     Waste and Recycling Division.
                                                                Local 70.
    Ron Herrera, who currently serves as International Vice
                                                                   After graduating from high school, he
President and Secretary-Treasurer of Local 396 in Covina,
                                                                enlisted in the Army. He then followed in
Calif., has been appointed to serve as the Director of the
                                                                his father’s footsteps and became a
Teamsters Port Division.
                                                                Teamster as a PMT driver. In his decades
    “A tireless champion of working families, Brother Her-
                                                                with Local 70, Rocha served as a stew-
rera is a natural leader who I know will continue doing
                                                                ard, trustee, dispatcher, business agent
great work in his new role,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters
                                                                and Vice President.
General President.
                                                                   Rocha also served as an International
    Herrera has previously served as Director of the Solid
                                                                Representative and Co-Chair of the Ser-
Waste and Recycling Division, which will now be led by
                                                                geant-at-Arms Committee for four Inter-
Chuck Stiles.
                                                                national Conventions.
    Stiles, who currently serves as Vice President of Local
                                                                   “Brother Rocha was a devoted Team-
728 in Atlanta, will now serve as the Director of the Solid
                                                                ster, a family man and a pillar of his
Waste and Recycling Division.
                                                                community,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters
    “Brother Stiles has been an important part of the Solid
                                                                General President. “His dedication to the
Waste and Recycling Division since it began. He’s the right
                                                                union, and his friendship, will be missed.”
person for this division right now,” Hoffa said. “I look for-
                                                                   Rocha is survived by his wife Marie,
ward to working closely with Brother Herrera and Brother
                                                                three children (including another mem-
Stiles to organize new members, negotiate strong con-
                                                                ber of Local 70) and one granddaughter.
tracts and represent members in the workplace.”
    For more information, visit

8     Teamster | Summer 2020 |
Wellness in the West

      year ago, Local 14 in Las        five years now. We wanted to try a       Healthcare to open two Teamsters
      Vegas opened a wellness          new way of providing health and          Local 14 Family Wellness Centers.
      center for their members. It’s   welfare benefits to our members,”            “So far it has been working out
a place where members and their        said Larry Griffith, Secretary-Trea-     great,” Horvath said. “The amount
dependents can get primary care—       surer of Local 14.                       of Local 14 members immediately
and many other health and well-            It wasn’t as easy as just build-     using the wellness center showed
ness benefits—at no cost.              ing a health clinic, though. They        us the need was there. Before long
   It was so popular that the local    needed to partner with an organi-        it was obvious that we needed a
opened up another one just a few       zation with experience; they             second location.”
months later. There are now loca-      needed a location; they needed ap-           “Our members love it. They
tions of the Teamsters Local 14        proval by the trustees; they needed      have developed a good relation-
Family Wellness Center in Las          a staff. Griffith brought in Fred Hor-   ship with the staff there, who are
Vegas and in Henderson, Nev.           vath, Local 14 Vice President and        fantastic. We hear all the time, ‘I
   “We’ve been trying to get this      Trustee of the Local 14 Security         can’t believe you did this for us,’”
done for our members for four or       Fund, who worked with Activate           Griffith said.
                                                                                    Both clinics have a full MD on
                                                                                staff as well as several physician
                                                                                assistants and medical assistants.
                                                                                There are also lab facilities at the
                                                                                    “Local 14 now provides pri-
                                                                                mary care and some urgent care to
                                                                                our members without involving in-
                                                                                surance companies,” Horvath said.
                                                                                “This is at no cost to members,
                                                                                there are no deductibles, and if
                                                                                they’re prescribed any of the 75
                                                                                generic drugs we have in stock,
                                                                                they can leave with that at no cost.”
                                                                                    Though the second location has
                                                                                only been open since May 2019,
                                                                                there is already talk of expanding.

                                                   | Summer 2020 | Teamster              9
     Teamsters on Front Lines Respond
     to Coronavirus Crisis

10    Teamster | Summer 2020 |
       im Campbell
        is a Teamster
       on the front
 lines of the COVID-
 19 pandemic. As
 an emergency room
 respiratory therapist,
 her own health is on
 the line every sec-
 ond she’s at work.
     “It has been
 rough and stress-
 ful,” said Campbell,
 a Local 332 Team-
 ster in Michigan. “I
 am the emergency
 room respiratory therapist, so whenever they call
 me, it’s always because of respiratory distress like a
 cough or shortness of breath. So yes, my week has
 been rough.”
     As the mother of an immunocompromised
 daughter, she can’t afford to let her guard down.
     “With my daughter, I have to take precautions
 because she’s in chemotherapy. I wear a mask
 when I’m in the room with her,” she said. “It’s hard
 because I’ve had to distance myself from my
 daughter. I don’t want to expose her to anything be-
 cause she’s so compromised so we can’t be around
 each other much. I see her for maybe two minutes
 in the morning when I open the door and tell her I
 love her.”
     In mid-March, the first week of major nation-
 wide shutdowns, Campbell and her co-workers
 were told not to wear face masks because they
 were too limited and needed to be conserved.
     “I let them know that was unacceptable. I got on
 the phone with my union and they also said it was
 unacceptable. Now we have protective gear,”
 Campbell said.
     “Now more than ever it’s important for people
 on the front lines to have representation,” said Jim
 Hoffa, Teamsters General President. “Teamsters are
 working hard every day to make sure America
 keeps rolling. We always have—from world wars to
 September 11 to Hurricane Katrina, Teamsters
 stand strong.”

 Boots on the Ground
 The Teamsters Union is working closely with local
 unions, employers and lawmakers to ensure safe
 working conditions and continuous employment
 for members during the COVID-19 pandemic. Every
 Division and Conference within the union is actively
 engaged on behalf of their members. | Summer 2020 | Teamster            11
“While millions of Americans      This is what brave Teamsters con-      Waste Workers
have transitioned into telework to    tinue doing, every day, during this    The pandemic has made many
avoid exposure, most Teamsters        unprecedented crisis.                  people more appreciative of work-
haven’t had that option. Their            “Teamsters are performing a        ers they had taken for granted be-
boots have been needed on the         critical duty just by doing their      fore, like waste workers. These
ground each and every day,”           jobs,” said Ernie Soehl, Freight       frontline workers are constantly at
Hoffa said. “The public is starting   Division Director.                     risk but whose jobs are essential.
to realize how many everyday he-          “I would like to salute the work       “In this industry, there’s always
roes they took for granted before.    of the hundreds of union represen-     been a focus on safety and dealing
I salute all the brave Teamster       tatives, stewards and officers of      with issues of hygiene. We are the
brothers and sisters who have         Teamster local unions who have         guys who make sure the commu-
had to work through these difficult   been working nonstop to continue       nities are up to standard. So that’s
times.”                               representation,” said Ken Hall,        nothing new,” said Jerome West-
    Since the union’s founding in     General Secretary-Treasurer. “I’m      point, a Local 728 Teamster at Re-
1903, members have sacrificed         proud to see how Teamsters             public Services in Atlanta. “But we
themselves on countless occasions     across the board have gone over        have never faced a pandemic, so
and have shown bravery in helping     and beyond the call of duty during     in that sense, this is something
others during tragic circumstances.   this crisis.”                          new. You can’t prepare for these

12   Teamster | Summer 2020 | | Summer 2020 | Teamster   13
Agreement Reached for UPS, UPS Freight Teamsters

    he Teamsters UPS and UPS Freight National Ne-     government has entered into an agreement with
    gotiating Committees and UPS have reached an      UPS to provide transportation and logistical sup-
    agreement to protect members at UPS and UPS       port for coronavirus drive-through testing sites.
Freight who may be affected by the COVID-19 pan-      The role of UPS Teamsters will be limited to the
demic. In summary, the agreement provides for         pickup and delivery of test kits and supplies.
paid leave for any worker who is diagnosed with          For details on how this affects
COVID-19 or required to be quarantined or if they     attendance, health and welfare
are quarantined due to a family member’s illness.     contributions and pensions for full-
   UPS has altered delivery requirements to mini-     and part-time UPS, UPS Freight and
mize direct contact with customers by not requir-     CSI Teamsters, visit or
ing signatures from the customer. Also, the federal   scan the QR code.

14   Teamster | Summer 2020 |
types of things, but you have to be    Everybody needs to do their part       this situation is like nothing we
ready. In our line of business, we     and take the necessary steps and       have ever seen before.”
are trained to be ready.”              be responsible. Everyone is ac-            The rest of the nation can learn
    Westpoint said that while there    countable for their own hygiene        a lesson from union members,
have been big changes in his job       right now, so be respectful of our     Westpoint said.
since the pandemic hit, safety is      health and safety too. Don’t just          “We know we have to work to-
still a priority. The union under-     dump your trash on the curb. We        gether as a unified group. Check in
stands that, too.                      are all in this together,” Westpoint   on co-workers, help each other
    Early on in the national emer-     said. “We have our concerns just       out. We need to be more unified
gency, Chuck Stiles, Director of the   like everyone else who is out work-    than ever before,” he said. “We
Teamsters Solid Waste and Recy-        ing right now, but we also know        have to work as a community now
cling Division, contacted waste
employers and outlined a list of
recommendations at each com-
pany so that Teamsters are pro-           California Governor Thanks Teamsters
tected on the job and able to safely      The important role Teamster members are playing
meet the needs of the communi-            during this unprecedented public health crisis was
ties they serve.                          recognized by California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
    “People need to understand            Watch the video at or scan
that there are real people servicing      the QR code.
your waste and we need to come
back home the same way we left.

                                                   | Summer 2020 | Teamster           15
more than ever. We need to be            the stores, getting them what they     Costco. It’s like helping my family,”
there for each other, and we need        need. Here, you don’t see panic, you   Orellana said.
to be good to each other. This is        see organization.”
our hour to be unified.”                     Orellana said a surprising as-     Teamsters Deliver
                                         pect of the coronavirus is he has      As more people are staying at
Caring Side                              seen the caring side of a lot of       home and heeding advice to self-
When mass closures started               people, including himself.             quarantine, and more businesses
worldwide, countless Americans               “I look out for my family as       are closing their doors to the pub-
had at the top of their to-do list a     much as I can. I help my mother        lic, UPS Teamsters have dealt with
trip to Costco. Stores nationwide        and my sisters, and I think about      the results.
were packed beginning in early           how our Costco members and                  “Things have changed pretty
March, including the Teamster lo-        their families are in our ware-        drastically, and there are changes
cation in Beltsville, Md.                houses looking out for their own       daily now. We’re seeing scaled back
    “It’s really busy right now,”        families. I hear stories from people   commercial deliveries but residen-
said Edgar Orellana, a Local 570         purchasing for elderly family or       tial deliveries are picking up. We’re
Teamster at the Beltsville Costco.       neighbors who can’t make it out,”      seeing more people at home at
“But we’re staying safe and have         he said. “People have been good        times they usually wouldn’t be. In
implemented six-foot rules and           about saying, ‘Thank you so much       some ways it’s just craziness,” said
have been very vocal on explaining       for what you’re doing.’                Dale Pink, a UPS Teamster with
the importance of it. Each shopping          “I’m grateful that we’re here to   Local 355 in Baltimore.
cart is sanitized by staff. We’re very   help people in a time of real need.         There are safety measures in
organized about getting people into      I’m fortunate to be working for        place from the moment he gets to

16   Teamster | Summer 2020 |
Teamster Power Brings
  Needed Policy Changes

      he Teamsters have been actively working behind the
      scenes to help Congress craft coronavirus-related legis-
      lation that keeps workers safe on the job and ensures
those who need economic help get it.
    While actions on Capitol Hill remained fluid at press
time, it was clear a bipartisan collection of lawmakers in the
House and Senate were taking action to give workers the
help they need. That included cash payments for middle-
class families, enhanced unemployment benefits and ex-
panded paid sick and family leave.
    “Hardworking Americans nationwide are facing an un-
precedented health calamity that is challenging our way of
life,” Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa said. “Working
families not only need to worry about potential illness, but
the loss of wages due to sickness and from businesses being
shuttered. We are glad to see Congress is responding.”
    Three stimulus bills passed or heading toward passage
in March ensured that displaced workers were given quick,
reliable access to unemployment insurance. Workers who
have not traditionally had access to unemployment bene-
fits, like independent contractors and furloughed workers,
were included. Additionally, the maximum weekly benefit
was increased by $600 to better meet the financial needs of
working families
    The measures also provided billions of federal dollars to
hospitals and community health centers to be used for medical
supply shortages—hospital beds, ventilators and personnel.
    The Teamsters have prioritized worker safety in its advo-
cacy. That means not only members of the union’s Health
Care Division, but those working in all essential industries,
including freight drivers, those working in sanitation, med-
ical waste and the public sectors.
    The union has called on the federal government to out-
line standards that would ensure workers’ personal safety
in the midst of this COVID-19 crisis.

  | Summer 2020 | Teamster             17
Get the Latest
The Teamsters Union has
the latest news on the
coronavirus and how it’s
affecting members. Visit or
scan the QR code for:
•    Coronavirus-related
•    Updates from every
     Division and Conference;
•    Safety and Health fact
     sheets for specific
•    News updates;
•    Stories in the media
     featuring Teamsters;
•    Much more.

18     Teamster | Summer 2020 |
work, Pink said. He and co-workers
no longer communicate face to face,
and for the time being customers
don’t need to sign for packages.
    “I see a lot of businesses clos-
ing down every day. That’s a big
change for us,” said Nick Hart,
another UPS Teamster with Local
355. “It’s a ghost town downtown
right now, but in some ways, it’s
business as usual.”
    Hart said he is more mindful now
of keeping his distance from cus-
                                         and so quickly that it’s hard to keep     fraction. I’m a steward so I’ve got to
tomers, sanitizing his hands when-
                                         up,” she said. “It’s good to see our      be there for the members. That’s
ever he takes his gloves off, washing
                                         union figuring out how to maintain        what being a Teamster is,” she said.
his uniform after each wear.
                                         our status and keep people safe.”             “It has been a madhouse here,”
    “I am very cautious about social
                                             Sapienza has been working at          said Kim Cox, a registered nurse in
distancing with my customers,”
                                         the zoo since 1992 and became sen-        a surgical intensive care unit in
Pink said. “I carry disinfectant wipes
                                         ior groundskeeper and a steward           Michigan. She’s also a Local 332
and hand sanitizer on my truck. I’m
                                         in 2003.                                  Teamster and chief steward for her
washing my hands way more often.
                                             “It used to be just the primate       bargaining unit.
At the end of the day I wipe down
                                         department that would have to                 On top of her usual duties—
the steering wheel and seat and
                                         wear PPE masks and safety glasses         which have been hectic lately—her
door handles and anything else I
                                         because the primates can spit or          steward duties have also grown.
might have touched.
                                         throw feces,” she said. “Now we               “It’s a 24-hour job being chief
    “I’m encouraged by the fact that
                                         all have to be that aware.”               steward. I get calls at 3 a.m. be-
the Teamsters and UPS have come
                                                                                   cause that’s when some people
together and have a plan in place if
any UPS worker comes down with           Double-Duty for Stewards                  are working. I’m always going to
                                         As a steward, Sapienza is also            answer that call. Right now more
the coronavirus. There was serious
                                         helping co-workers who fear being         than ever, the staff here needs to
dialogue and resolution to ease con-
                                         laid off or have safety concerns.         know that someone is listening to
cerns that a lot of us had about how
                                             “It doesn’t matter if we’re talking   them and cares about them and is
the company was going to handle
                                         about the coronavirus or a lock in-       trying to help them,” Cox said.
this,” Pink said.

Zoo Workers
The pandemic has given the public a
new appreciation for people in many            Red Cross Urgently Needs Donors
lines of work—including some they

                                                     s blood drive cancellations increase due to coronavirus
had never considered before.                         concerns, healthy individuals are needed more than ever
    While Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo                   to give blood or platelets. The American Red Cross,
has been closed, the animals still             where 1,495 Teamsters work nationwide, reported the urgent
have to be fed and the grounds                 need as blood drives have temporarily stopped during this
have to be kept. That’s where Car-             pandemic. A blood shortage could impact patients who need
rie Sapienza and her co-workers                surgery, those suffering from cancer, victims of car accidents
come in.                                       and other emergencies. Volunteer donors are the only source
    “There are a lot of zoo employ-            of blood for those in need.
ees that are able to work from                     Some Teamsters, like Joe Piccone, a business agent with
home right now. That’s not the                 Local 340 in Maine, have already done their part to help. On
case for us,” said Sapienza, a sen-            April 7, Piccone conducted a blood drive at his local union.
ior groundskeeper at the Brookfield                To make an appointment to donate blood visit RedCross-
Zoo and member of Local 727.         , download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, or call
    “Working through this has been             1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
odd in a lot of different ways. It’s
hectic. Things change so drastically

                                                      | Summer 2020 | Teamster              19
                  GET OUT THE

      he Teamsters Union has taken an active role in
      the presidential primaries and caucuses, making
      sure everyone exercises their right to vote and
gets involved in this election cycle. The union has
been working behind the scenes to get members to           for a long time.
the polls and to elect union-friendly candidates.              “Our local has been at this for a while. In the sum-
    Teamster volunteers visit worksites to talk to their   mer, we started deciding what we wanted to get to
co-workers about the union’s top concerns and about        our members,” said Mike Sanchez, Local 710 Trustee.
getting out to vote. There has been an unprecedented       “We’re also trying to hit events where there are presi-
effort to mobilize members, retirees and their families    dential candidates, encouraging our members to vote,
to have an impact on the policies taken by candidates.     getting as much information to them as we can.
    “The Teamsters are taking our role in helping          We’re hoping it leads to more workers being engaged
shape this country’s path forward seriously,” said Jim     in the election process.”
Hoffa, Teamsters General President. “It’s why the              Members have said that their main concerns going
union rolled out a plan to get involved early in the       into the next presidential election are pension reform
2020 election cycle and it’s why our members and re-       and collective bargaining rights. There is an unprece-
tirees have been crisscrossing early primary states as     dented effort to make sure those voices are heard.
well as general election battleground states to get the        At press time, the Teamsters Union had not en-
candidates on the record on issues that matter most        dorsed a candidate yet, but that hasn’t stopped the
to working Americans.”                                     union from getting members out to vote.
    As candidates have campaigned across the coun-
try, Teamsters have been there every step of the way.
                                                           Early Primary
Members have been holding candidates accountable
and pressing them to take pro-worker positions.            In the days leading up to the New Hampshire primary,
    In an effort to make workers’ issues front and cen-    Teamsters handed out fliers and encouraged workers
ter during the primaries, in December the union            to get out and vote at nearly two dozen different
hosted the Teamsters Vote 2020 Presidential Forum,         worksites.
co-sponsored by The Guardian and the Storm Lake                On a cold and dank Monday morning before the
(Iowa) Times newspapers. Six Democratic presiden-          state’s primary, members of Local 633 were outside a
tial candidates argued why they would be the best          Nashua UPS facility talking to workers about why
choice for workers before an audience of 700 Team-         they should vote the next day as package drivers and
sters and retirees.                                        pre-loaders were coming on and off the clock, some
    Now, worker and union issues are front and center.     of the 210 Teamsters who work there.
Candidates wouldn’t be talking about pensions or bar-          Similar conditions met volunteers and workers at
gaining rights unless the union and rank-and-file          the Chelmsford, Mass. UPS facility, the biggest in
Teamsters had pressed them.                                New England with about 1,500 workers. About 40 per-
    The primary season is near its end, but the            cent of those who work there live in New Hampshire,
Teamsters have been preparing for this election            so Local 25 members were on hand to make sure they

20   Teamster | Summer 2020 |
would be turning out to vote.                               house and second-generation Teamster with Local
    Local 633 volunteers, meanwhile, closed out the         120, was already looking forward to casting his vote
day at a First Student facility in North Hampton,           in Minnesota’s primary.
where 59 bus drivers were showing up for the after-              “We are excited to make our voice heard. This
noon shift.                                                 election isn’t about one particular party or candidate,
    Dennis Caza, the local’s political coordinator and      it’s about the issues facing workers. This election is
retired President, said getting out the vote is impor-      about policy over politics—for me and my co-workers,
tant, even in a primary where the union hasn’t en-          it is all about who will look out for workers,” Tettin
dorsed a candidate.                                         said, noting that he plans to vote for the candidate
    “We’re trying to elect people who will do good          who “understands the importance of workers having
work for the unions, and people in general,” he said.       a union in their corner.”
“We need to build up the middle class.”                          A couple of days later, warmer air had returned to
                                                            the state and Local 120 was at it again, with Slattery
‘No Excuse’                                                 cooking hotdogs and encouraging workers at UNFI to
Temperatures had sunk to negative digits in Min-            make sure their voices were heard on Super Tuesday.
nesota before the state’s March 3 presidential pri-              “Teamsters in Minnesota are united this election
mary. It was a freezing Friday morning but Teamsters        when it comes to voting for candidates who support
in the North Star State refused to let a frigid forecast    workers and understand the value unions bring to this
get in the way of the early voting effort.                  country,” said Tom Erickson, President of Local 120.
    For Local 120 Political Director Paul Slattery, the
weeks leading up to Super Tuesday would be critical,        Top Issues in S.C.
especially in Minnesota—one of the few states in the        South Carolina takes their early primary seriously, and
country with the luxury of early voting by mail. For        the Teamsters took advantage of that to make their
the previous week, he had been crisscrossing the            voices heard. Throughout 2019, Local 509 members
state, traveling from worksite to worksite to urge          traveled around the state to raise questions to candi-
members to vote in the primary.                             dates and push them to stand by unions. They suc-
    In just a few days, Slattery visited Kemp’s Dairy in    cessfully met every Democratic candidate for
Rochester, First Student yards in Oakdale and Arling-       president and got them on the record on a number of
ton, and First Transit yards in Roseville and Burnsville.   important issues.
    “The local is here to remind you all to vote in the         “We’re a right-to-work state here in South Car-
primary on Super Tuesday and give you the opportu-          olina and it’s no joke,” said Local 509 business agent
nity to vote by mail,” Slattery told the crowd of Local     and political coordinator Sebrina Isom. “It gets much
120 members at Murphy’s Warehouse in Shakopee.              harder to organize when you’re getting the police
“There is no excuse not to vote in this election.”          called on you for trying to talk to workers. We need a
                                                            candidate who will stand up and make sure the
Policy Over Politics                                        NLRB is serving those who are trying to organize
John Trettin Jr., a forklift operator at Murphy Ware-       here in South Carolina. People shouldn’t have to

                                                   | Summer 2020 | Teamster            21
be afraid or intimidated at work for trying to form        as was the case in Las Vegas at the end of February.
a union.”                                                  Presidential hopefuls made a point to visit hundreds
   Like many Teamsters across the country, pensions        of union members that were practice picketing out-
and collective bargaining rights are at the forefront in   side the Palms Resort and Casino.
South Carolina.                                                Members from Teamsters Local 986, the Culinary
   “For me it’s about pensions,” said Lynnwood             Workers Union Local 226, the Bartenders Union and
Perry, shop steward at AGY, a manufacturing plant in       the International Union of Operating Engineers Local
Aiken, S.C. “I’ve been working for a long time paying      501 staged a practice picket line outside the casino
into this pension, and I’m not one of those young          to protest the continued refusal of the Station Casi-
guys, my time is coming and I need to know that my         nos-operated property to negotiate contracts with
pension will be there for me.”                             the unions.
                                                              “Las Vegas is a union town, and the Democratic
Candidates Show Support                                    presidential candidates understand the importance of
Candidates for president want the support of the           having labor’s support,” said Chris Griswold, Secre-
Teamsters Union. When the field was more crowded,          tary-Treasurer of Local 986. “Having the majority of
sometimes several candidates would show up at              the candidates turn out to participate in the picket
union events or strikes to show support for workers,       with us the day of the debate showed they can walk

22   Teamster | Summer 2020 |
the walk and not just talk the talk.”                  political coordinator for Local 631. “We’ve spoken
     Then-candidates Sens. Elizabeth Warren and        to hundreds of Teamsters, encouraging them to
Amy Klobuchar, Vice President Biden, Mayor Pete        participate in the process. It doesn’t matter who
Buttigieg and Tom Steyer all marched with pick-        they support, only that they exercise their right to
eters during the action. Each one spoke briefly to     caucus.”
the union members and press, all promoting their           Jose A. Sosa, a Local 631 member and steward
pro-labor platforms and making their case to po-       at Rinker Materials in Las Vegas, has been doing his
tential participants in the caucus on Saturday.        part to spread the word and help educate his fellow
     “I thought that the candidates that marched       workers about the caucus and the candidates.
with us were doing their part to show their support.       “We encourage the guys to get out and vote,
It felt great,” said Damian Serrano, a Local 986       give them fliers with information about the team-
member and Palms valet that has worked at the website where they can get even
casino for 10 years. “I have noticed an increased      more details about the issues and the candidates,”
focus on union members by the Democratic candi-        Sosa said.
dates this time around and they are at least show-         Sosa, who immigrated to the United States in
ing now that they will stand by us in our fight.”      2003 from Mexico, became an American citizen at
                                                       the end of February. And while he wasn’t able to
Las Vegas Teamsters GOTV                               caucus this time around, he will be able to vote in
While the candidates were doing their best to con-     the election in November.
vince union members to support their campaign,             “I am really excited about the election, and nerv-
Teamster organizers and political coordinators         ous at the same time,” Sosa said. “The emotion I am
were pounding the pavement across Las Vegas to         feeling about having a voice in choosing our next
encourage members to caucus for pro-worker             president is hard to describe. I just want our next
candidates.                                            president to do their best to help union members
    Early morning and late-night visits to Teamster    and the middle class.”
worksites enabled representatives of Locals 631 and
986 to speak with members about the importance of
the caucus.                                                   For the latest, visit
    “We have been hitting worksites across the city  or
for the last few weeks to get our members out for             scan the QR code.
the caucus,” sad Francisco Miranda, organizer and

                                                | Summer 2020 | Teamster              23
to the Top
                         e Shop
                  From th

          Teamsters Use Worker Volunteers to Drive Organizing Victories
          eamster organizing is a bottom-up enter-              volunteering in his free time.
          prise—so much, in fact, that “every Teamster              “I started working as a driver with Uber and
          an organizer” is an unofficial mantra of the          Lyft, and after a while I noticed, and started asking
      union.                                                    questions, ‘Why aren’t we getting paid well?’
         At a time when unions are under attack and             ‘Why don’t we have rights at work?’” Ahmed said.
      many are fighting just to exist, Teamsters who            “I found out that we all need to fight this fight so
      work in passenger transportation are not just sur-        all Uber and Lyft drivers can have rights on the
      viving, but thriving.                                     job. I know that most of the drivers have the same
         Critical to this is the fact that organizing in this   potential to stand up as I do, to demand a voice.”
      sector comes from rank-and-file workers who vol-              “Having our movement to organize Uber and
      unteer their time and know what it’s like to drive a      Lyft be led by those who work or have worked for
      bus or a taxi.                                            Uber and Lyft is critical to our mission of bringing
                                                                respect, dignity, and proper legal protections to
      Emerald City Teamster Power                               these jobs,” said John Scearcy, Secretary-Trea-
      Uber, Lyft and other “gig” economy businesses             surer of Local 117 in Washington state.
      have presented a unique challenge to labor                    Ahmed and Local 117’s hard work is already
      unions because of the way they treat their work-          paying off. At the behest of lobbying from the
      ers: by treating their drivers as independent con-        Teamsters, last year the city of Seattle passed a
      tractors instead of employees, they present a legal       law that will institute a first-ever grievance proce-
      roadblock to unionizing.                                  dure for the city’s more than 30,000 Uber and Lyft
         In Seattle, Local 117 has fought back not just         drivers.
      with lawsuits and legislation, but by empowering              This groundbreaking legislation establishes
      Uber and Lyft drivers as volunteers.                      first-in-the-nation legal protections and represen-
         Lata Ahmed is a former Uber driver who now             tation for drivers who seek to contest unwar-
      works as a Local 117 organizer; he started by             ranted deactivations in termination proceedings

24   Teamster | Summer 2020 |
and establishes a Driver Resolution Center to provide     that successfully brought the Teamsters to drivers and
a wide range of support services to drivers (see page     monitors who transport students for Hamilton County
29 for more on these protections).                        Public Schools.
                                                             “With Tennessee being a right-to-work state, this
Leaders of Tomorrow                                       wasn’t easy,” Pepper said. “Still, the workers really
One of the most successful uses of volunteer organiz-     wanted to be members of the union, and they were
ers has been in the private school bus industry. Local    ready to conquer any challenge that came their way.”
777 in Lyons, Ill. developed a volunteer organizing
committee (VOC) that puts the movement into the           A Rising Tide
hands of its members—house visits, committee meet-        Local 777 isn’t the only place where Teamsters are
ings and the various other components of a campaign       using VOCs in the school bus industry: Local 955 in
are led by school bus drivers and monitors.               Kansas City, Mo. developed a VOC as well, and it was
    Local 777 President Jim Glimco is also the Central    critical to winning an election at Apple School Bus in
Region Coordinator for the Passenger Transportation       nearby St. Joseph, Mo.
Division, and he said that the VOCs have been critical        Local 955 Shop Steward Stacey Arbuckle is a
to the success of organizing school bus workers.          member of the Local 955 VOC who used to work at
    “Being in the labor movement, you do a lot of dif-    the Apple School Bus yard they were organizing, so
ferent things, but I think organizing is the most fun,”   she was an invaluable resource during the campaign.
Glimco said. “We’ve really turned this into a great           “The membership understands what school bus
organizing powerhouse for what we do. When our            drivers are going through every day because we’re
members and our stewards go out and talk to work-         out there driving a bus just like they are,” Arbuckle
ers at these other locations, they really enjoy it.”      said. “We’re able to relate to them better than any-
    Deena Williams is a Local 777 shop steward who is     one because we encounter the exact same issues at
a part of the VOC. She’s been a school bus driver for     work.”
four years, and she brings her granddaughter with             “Our members are in a unique position to make
her to volunteer sometimes.                               our organizing campaigns successful,” said Jerry
    “I’m very honored to work with such great people,”    Wood, Local 955 President.
Williams said. “The people at Local 777 are so profes-        “Increasing our density isn’t just good for new
sional, caring and giving, so I wanted to give back.”     members, it’s also good for the members who have
    Phyllis Pepper is another First Student steward       been under a contract for a number of years,” Wood
who serves on the VOC. Two years ago, she joined          said. “The more members we have in a given area,
her fellow VOC members on a trip to Chattanooga,          the better our collective bargaining agreements be-
Tenn., where they were part of the organizing team        come. A rising tide lifts all boats.”

                                                  | Summer 2020 | Teamster          25
The Future
                         is Now

          he future of work is being shaped in the pres-   major step by passing AB5, legislation that will
          ent, as companies work on developing au-         expand employment protections to thousands of
          tomation in industries from trucking to          workers who are currently misclassified by their
     warehousing. The Teamsters are making sure            employers as independent contractors.
     worker voices are heard, and working to protect           He testified before the New Jersey Senate
     jobs and preserve good working conditions.            Labor Committee recently in support of S4204, a
        Teamsters around the country are vocal on the      bill that would end misclassification of workers in
     future of work, with several Teamster leaders         New Jersey. New Jersey Teamsters also supported
     representing workers by providing critical guid-      an historic legislative package, passed in the legis-
     ance to leaders in their states.                      lature and signed by the governor in January, which
        In New Jersey, Teamsters International Vice        will help protect workers from misclassification.
     President Fred Potter was recently appointed by           The week the bill was introduced, New Jersey’s
     Gov. Phil Murphy to the state’s Future of Work        Department of Labor and Workforce Development
     Task Force.                                           said Uber misclassified its drivers as independent
        The select group of 25 leaders in economics,       contractors and owes $650 million in unpaid em-
     labor and industry, is tasked with planning and       ployment taxes and fines.
     policy recommendations to prepare for the                 “The Teamsters Union has supported workers
     future of work. The group will look at how to         in their fight against misclassification for years be-
     support and protect workers and prepare for           cause it’s an illegal practice that hurts working
     advancements in automation and robotics.              people and communities,” Potter said.
        “While many new technologies will have posi-           For the latest information on various misclassi-
     tive impacts on workers’ daily lives, the risk of     fication bills in the states, visit
     worker displacement and job loss should not be
     overlooked. Unions and workers should have a          ‘Prepared for the Future’
     prominent place in policy discussions related to      In California, Joint Council 7 Political Director Doug
     automation,” said Potter, who is also President of    Bloch was appointed to the state’s Future of Work
     Local 469 in Hazlet, N.J.                             Commission by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
        “I’m ready to go to work to represent Teamster         There are 21 members of the commission who
     members and the workers of our state in these im-     are leaders in business, technology and labor. They
     portant discussions on how the future of work will    will make recommendations to help California
     be shaped in New Jersey. It must be an economy        leaders plan for the jobs of the future, while en-
     that works for everyone, and that includes work-      suring workers and their families are part of that
     ers,” Potter said.                                    success.
                                                               “The California Teamsters have led the nation
     Misclassification                                     by championing laws that preserve good jobs and
     Potter noted that California recently took a          challenging the efforts of corporations to avoid

26      Teamster | Summer 2020 |
You can also read