Author: Joint Council 7

The American Rescue Plan Act: What Teamsters should know about the COVID relief bill

On March 11, President Biden signed into law the “American Rescue Plan Act,” to spark the recovery of the economy from the COVID pandemic. There’s a lot in the $1.9 trillion Act, but the changes described below are things you and your family should know about because they mean money in your pocket.

FREE COBRA

COBRA is the law that allows you to pay to continue your health plan when your employer no longer has to pay on your behalf.

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Elections have consequences; this time they’re good

As nearly 6,000 workers at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama are voting in a union representation election, on February 28, President Biden released a remarkable video statement supporting the right of workers to join unions — perhaps the most forceful support of unions from a U.S. President in nearly a century.

“I have long said that America wasn’t built by Wall Street; it was built by the middle class…and unions built the middle class.

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Sign petition to support union drive at AAA

AAA insurance sales agents across Northern California have filed for their Teamsters Local 665 election with the National Labor Relations Board. The 460 insurance agents are seeking a more secure future and a strong voice on the job. As the insurance industry evolves, COVID-19 has exposed the need for security and protections for workers. AAA workers in Northern California are experts in providing customers with insurance to protect themselves and their families, but these workers feel increasingly unprotected themselves on the job and are seeking Teamster representation to protect their futures.

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President makes forceful statement in support of union representation; Teamsters respond with pride and hope

In a remarkable video statement supporting the right of workers to join unions, recorded on February 28, President Biden has completely upended not only his predecessor but almost every president over the last century. The statement was released as nearly 6,000 workers at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama are voting in a union representation election.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZpUD9KgYc4&feature=youtu.be

“I have long said that America wasn’t built by Wall Street; it was built by the middle class…and unions built the middle class.

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Like father, like son in solid waste and recycling industry

“Watching my dad work as a garbage man since I was four years old and loving his job inspired me to follow in his footsteps,” says Pedro Ponce about his father, Toribio Ponce.

The Solid Waste and Recycling industry is one of those unique industries that can span generations within families—fathers working with sons, nephews/nieces working with uncles, cousins working with cousins. It becomes a proud family affair of hard-working men and women who help serve their community,

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Q&A about the COVID vaccine

How do I get the vaccine? 

At press time, vaccinations are available to people over 65 years old, or people who work in education (teachers, school employees, school bus drivers) and in agriculture and the food industry, as well as people with underlying health issues. As more vaccines become available, the state will start lowering the age limit for vaccine eligibility.

To find out if you’re eligible for vaccination, call your health care provider to schedule first and second doses,

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Light at the end of the long COVID and Trump tunnels

Finally, some upbeat news to report after a year of pandemic shutdown and horror stories about the over 500,000 deaths in our country from COVID—too many of them our members. We’ve seen story after story about the hardships many of you have had to endure due to the COVID collateral damage to jobs, the economy, and to many of the companies you work for. However, things are finally looking up.

Members who have been out of work are being called back.

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Politics matter!

As this paper goes to press, the U.S. Congress just passed legislation unlike any we’ve seen in our lifetimes. As reported in this issue’s cover story, the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan (ARP) will protect Teamster pensions in struggling plans-—a victory the union has fought long and hard for through 20 years of Democrat and Republican administrations.

Thankfully, our Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Fund is in strong shape but, to keep it that way,

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Lots of new contracts

Local 517 has completed negotiations on several contracts and members have ratified them. Members at Land O Lakes in Tulare and at Ventura Coastal in Tipton now have new five-year contracts. The members at Bright Now Dental in Visalia and Myovich Trucking in Fresno have new three-year agreements. Those at the City of Farmersville Fire Department have a new one-year agreement.

“All of our negotiated contracts were a step forward for our members,” said 

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