The combination of a smart business and dedicated employees promises a bright future for the Local 150 Teamster family.
When Crystal Creamery, a long-time Teamster employer closed, many Teamsters found themself without a job. Fortunately, that status has ended for 45 former Teamsters, when Hood Dairy converted the fresh milk plant that Crystal operated for 100 years to a state-of-theart, Extended Shelf Life (ESL) and Aseptic dairy and non-dairy product plant.
Hood, which owns three other ESL plants on the East Coast, chose Sacramento to be their platform of growth for the Western U.S. Hood expects the Teamster workforce to soon exceed 200 Teamsters. “The Company credits much of their success to the great employees who take pride in their work and appreciate having a good job,” says Local 150 Secretary-Treasurer Jim Tobin.
The Sacramento plant produces several ESL brands sold nationally, including Lactaid Lactose-Free Milk and Almond Breeze Almond Milk. Hood Dairy also produces the very popular Muscle Milk.
So remember, when you buy those products, you’re helping Teamsters keep good jobs.
On January 8, 2014 at Local 315’s hall in Martinez, former Secretary-Treasurer Carolyn Robinson swore in the newly elected Officers and Executive Board. (From left) Vice President Donna Fernandez, Recording Secretary Lisa Logoteta, Business Agent Henry Gonzalez, Business Agent Nick Berry, President Carlos Borba, Secretary- Treasurer Don E. Garcia, Business Agent John Bottali, Business Agent Dustin Baumbach, Trustee Bill Vice, Trustee Pat Guy, Business Agent Frank Coppa Jr., Trustee Andrew Griffith, and Business Agent Thomas Clark
More than 300 members attended Local 350’s December 18 membership meeting at the San Jose Garden Inn. After regular union business was completed, Secretary- Treasurer Bob Morales and others addressed key issues facing Labor in the coming year, including Obamacare, politics and the continuing attack on unions and our pensions. Finally, the local raffled off a range of prizes including TVs, tablets, DVD players, jackets, t-shirts, gift baskets and gift cards. All in all, it was a huge success.
On December 12, 2013, Teamster members and fired Taylor Farms workers launched a one-day Unfair Labor Practice strike to protest the gross workers’ rights violations being committed by Taylor Farms at its Tracy facility. Community allies, faith leaders and supporters, including California Assembly member Roger Hernandez and Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva, joined Teamsters and workers for a morning rally.
Taylor Farms workers are calling on the company to stop its vicious campaign of retaliation and threats against immigrant workers who are organizing for respect, living wages and humane working conditions. They are also demanding that the company reinstate three workers who were fired for engaging in legally-protected union activity.
“This community and the state of California will not accept the abusive, illegal practices that Taylor Farms is alleged to have committed against its workers,” said Hernandez. “Companies like Taylor Farms cannot get away with attacking immigrant workers who stand up for their most basic rights as workers and as human beings.”
Picket lines in front of Taylor Farms’ facilities held up trucks and also extended to Teamster-represented companies that are customers of Taylor Farms. Pickets targeted companies such as Raleys, C &S Wholesale Grocers and others where Taylor Farms trucks make deliveries, informing other Teamster members and the public about unfair labor practices against workers at Taylor Farms.
Teamsters Local 601 has filed charges for hundreds of Unfair Labor Practice violations on behalf of the workers, including the three workers who were unjustly fired.
“I was fired after four years of working at Taylor Farms,” said Julian Camacho. “We have the right to stand together and organize for better working conditions, but Taylor Farms clearly does not respect that and it doesn’t respect its workers—they just want to silence us.”
“Taylor Farms treats its workers in Tracy like dirt,” said Eddie Rodriguez, who was also fired for union activity. “I wanted a better life for me and my coworkers and for that I was fired.”
Taylor Farms workers cite numerous concerns at their workplace, including poverty wages and safety issues. Workers report that the company routinely fires injured workers, fails to accommodate pregnant workers, denies workers meal breaks and pressures them to not use the restroom during their shifts.
One worker at the morning rally said he has been working at Taylor Farms in Tracy since he was 9 years old. He is now 19 years old and the company will not give him time off to go to school. Another worker said he is forced to live out of his car so he can pay out-of-pocket for his daughter’s health care.
“Instead of addressing these workers’ concerns and respecting their rights on the job, Taylor Farms is punishing immigrant workers for exercising their rights,” said Art Pulaski, Executive Secretary- Treasurer of the California Labor Federation, who also attended the rally. “The company uses immigration status and the threat of termination to scare workers into silence.”
Assemblymember Hernandez said the community is putting Taylor Farms on notice that its actions may violate new immigrant anti-retaliation laws – AB 263, AB 524 and SB 666—which took effect on Jan. 1, 2014. The laws, which Hernandez helped pass, could result in criminal penalties for Taylor Farms for its recent and ongoing attacks on immigrant workers.
“We’re here to stand with Taylor Farms workers and to let the company know we will not be silent until they start treating their workers with the respect and dignity that all workers deserve,” said Ashley Alvarado, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 601.
Teamsters Local 665 members Soloman, Ronald and Lawrence Cunanan display their new union shirts. They are all part of the new 120-member group working for City Park at Stanford Hospital.
Local 70 Secretary-Treasurer Marty Frates (R) was on hand to swear in Local 853’s officers for a new term on January 9. (From left) Trustee Ray Torres; President Bob Strelo; Secretary-Treasurer Rome Aloise; Recording Secretary Antonio Christian, Vice-President Bo Morgan, and Trustee Scott Gonsalves.
More than 500 Local 856 members working in over 20 hotels across San Francisco have secured employer-paid healthcare, retroactive wages and pension increases thanks to their recently ratified fiveyear agreement.
The new agreement maintains benefit levels, including retiree coverage, through the Teamsters Local 856 Health and Welfare Trust Fund, without members contributing to monthly healthcare premiums.
“We are extremely fortunate to have employer-paid healthcare,” said David Leung, a sales assistant at the Grand Hyatt San Francisco.”As we have seen from the recent BART strike, it’s not easy to have these kinds of benefits. I have added my wife and my two kids to my healthcare plan and it cost me nothing to do that. This is HUGE! We are fortunate to have skilled negotiators on our side to have these excellent benefits," the 14- year member said.
“This is an industry-leading contract,” said Local 856 President Mike Lagomarsino.”I’ve had the honor of representing our hotel members for nearly ten years, and know firsthand their dedication to both their jobs and their union. They deserve nothing less than the highest industry standards.”
Shop Steward Flora Zayco, who has been a guest services representative with the Holiday Inn Fisherman's Wharf since the 1990s, agrees with Leung on the significance of employer-paid healthcare. “It's wonderful having these benefits, especially for our members to have coverage for their families and partners,” she said.
Local 856 Secretary-Treasurer Peter Finn said this contract is the culmination of years of unity on the part of San Francisco hotel members.
“The solidarity that our hotel members have shown in the industry fights over the past 15 years has resulted in this significant achievement,” said Finn, who along with Lagomarsino, bargained the agreement. “Five years of healthcare security is particularly meaningful in light of the current uncertainty in the healthcare market,” he said.
This is the first five-year contract with San Francisco hotels in Local 856 history.
Nancy Briggs, who has been with the Mark Hopkins Hotel for more than 40 years, is pleased with the length of the agreement.”I like that it’s five years, that way we don’t feel like we’re constantly negotiating,” the shop steward said.
In addition to health and welfare, the contact calls for retroactive wage increases back to January 2013 and increased employer pension contributions all without modifying the current language protections.
Briggs adds that a collective bargaining agreement insures balance in the workplace so that workers have respect on the job and can earn a fair living and benefits.
“That’s what you go to work for—to take care of your family,” she said.
Local 2010 visited the Chancellors at UCLA and UCSB December 19, 2013 to sing special carols about the UC holiday pay cuts, also known as “winter closures.” The University closes campuses and departments during the holidays, and union members are not permitted to work or to be paid; they must use their own vacation pay instead.
Joined by the Grinch, members regaled the Chancellor with such holiday classics as “I’m Dreaming of a Full Paycheck,” and “The Four Days of Closures.”
Members also delivered a letter from Executive Director Jason Rabinowitz containing a serious message:
“We are asking you to end the unfair practice of cutting our pay during the holidays due to winter closures. We understand the University wishes to curtail operations to save on energy costs. But in doing so, the University should not impose pay cuts on those of us least able to afford them, and at the worst possible time of year.”
Thanks to all of our members who stood strong for the right to fair pay—and carried a tune pretty well too!
Local 2785 hosted a holiday luncheon for its retirees in December at the union hall.