Local 533

Local greets UPS CEO with a rally

On August 24, Carol Tomé, the CEO of UPS, decided to grace the Reno UPS hub with her presence. She was greeted with a rally by Local 533 drivers who were protesting the lack of air conditioning, both in the building and in the package cars. 

“We have had drivers go down to heat-related injuries in record numbers,” says Secretary-Treasurer Debbie Calkins. “One driver had to go to the ER three times in less than a month;

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Fighting back with pride

When UPS took no action after the union reported that a supervisor made a homophobic comment, Local 533 jumped into action. The Local has started an LGBTQ+ group, which is growing rapidly.  

“We are determined to make a difference both in the community and workplace for all members or allies in support of the LGBTQ+ community,” says Secretary-Treasurer Debbie Calkins. 

This logo will be screen-printed onto t-shirts and tank tops and will be available to purchase for $20.00. 

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Keolis Transit settles 40 labor board charges

Keolis Transit has come to terms and settled 40 labor charges with Teamsters 533 for violations of the National Labor Relations Act. 

“These 40 charges, all resolved in the union workers’ favor, paints a clear picture of how the contractor for the Regional Transportation Commission mismanages public transit operations,” said Teamsters Local 533 President Gary Watson. “The settlement agreement was obtained as a result of our members’ dedication and resilience by standing strong together.”

The agreement includes a monetary settlement for two members who were retaliated against for honoring the picket line.

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Third strike’s the charm: Contract finally reached for transit workers

On December 2, Local 533 members employed by Keolis Transit for the Reno-Sparks-Washoe transit agency ratified a new contract agreement. Getting there took three unfair labor practice strikes and 60 days on picket lines, beginning with the Hot August Strike, winding through Striketober and into December.

“This new deal will eliminate the need for further ‘repetitive and harmful strikes’ caused by Keolis,” says Local 533 President Gary Watson. “From day one, this has always been about the safety of our members and riders and improving working conditions in our profession.”  

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Ten-day strike for health care

The fixed-route transit members of Teamsters Local 533 stood strong for ten days on an unfair labor practices strike that lasted from August 3-12, in Reno, Nevada. The members were on strike for the right to maintain their healthcare that is ever so valuable during a global pandemic. 

The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC Washoe), and its contractor Keolis Transit, the 70% French government-owned company that operates the bus services in Reno/Sparks and Washoe County,

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Credit union opportunity

“Getting new benefits and services for members is an always important goal,” says Secretary-Treasurer Debbie Calkins. “That’s why Local 533 recently became a preferred partner with Sierra Pacific Credit Union, enabling members to join this credit union”

Calkins says that Sierra Pacific has the best money market rates in our town that she have been able to find. They also offer free notary services to account holders.

Local 533 members may apply on-line at SierraPacificFCU.org/533.

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Union sues for bus driver safety

As reported in the last issue of this paper, Local 533 filed a lawsuit against Keolis Transit for not mandating that bus customers wear masks to ensure the safety of both drivers and passengers. This failure has resulted in more than two dozen drivers and some support workers contracting COVID-19 over the last several months.

“Social distancing seems to be a thing of the past,” said Local 533 President Gary Watson. “Some buses pack in passengers like sardines at peak hours but the foreign-owned management contractor will not dispatch additional vehicles to relieve overcrowding.

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Local sues over Washoe Bus System COVID-19 dangers

On September 11, Local 533 took legal action in the federal court system, filing for injunctive relief and fast-track arbitration to compel the Washoe County Regional Transportation bus system to enforce Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak’s (D) mask mandate.

“This is an extreme measure because this is an extreme emergency and no one has responded all year,” said Teamsters Local 533 President Gary Watson.

“Our patience evaporated when we learned that a passenger was refused boarding because his pants were down but maskless passengers were allowed on the bus,” Watson said.

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UPS Stewards supply PPE

UPS Package car stewards Ross Kinson, Christina Phoenix, and Jason Sarmiento knew that they and the members needed a variety of PPE in order to work safely through the pandemic, but the company was dragging its feet to supply it.

Instead of waiting, the three dug deep into their pockets to purchase sanitizer, masks, and other key items and then spent their weekend putting together PPE kits for their fellow drivers.

The company would not reimburse the three generous stewards,

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Largest economic settlement with Sysco in the nation

In March, the members who work at Sysco Foods in Northern California and Nevada ratified a new six-year agreement that offers the largest economic settlement with the company in the nation. The negotiations took more than four months to complete, in large part due to the company’s aggressive attempt to remove language that protects working conditions. The offer was only possible because of a coordinated effort between the IBT Warehouse Division, Joint Council 7, and Locals 137,

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