Teamster News

Starting new year with mixed election bag

2020 began with such promise on both the work and political fronts. The economy was strong and labor was united in its political goals. However, after nine months of pandemic lockdowns, the economy has been booming for some and devastating for others.

Politically, while we’ll be able to count on a new Presidential administration—one that is much friendlier to workers and unions, at this writing, which party holds the Senate majority is in the hands of Georgians.

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Teamsters win public office

In November, three more rank and file Local 856 members were elected to office after each not only won their race, but were also the top vote-getters in their respective contests. In addition, Local 856 Staff Attorney Malia Vella was re-elected to the Alameda City Council. As the top vote-getter in her race, she will serve as the city’s vice mayor. 

 “It’s important for working families to have a seat at the table,” says Vella.

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Union welcomes 1,300+ new members

Teamsters Local 2010 is on a roll, winning union representation for more than 1,300 workers in the span of about a month in late 2020! First, over 1,000 Administrative Officer 2s won the right to Union representation with the Teamsters. Local 2010 staff and organizers worked hard to show the State Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) how the UC consistently misclassifies our bargaining unit work in order to deny overtime, layoff protections, and the benefits of a union contract.

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New Teamsters get first contract at Smart Transportation

On October 11, the drivers at Smart Transportation overwhelmingly voted to ratify their first contract with Save Mart Corporation. The contract secured wage raises, health benefits and pension for the next four years. “The workers at Smart Transportation have been fighting for years to organize and we are very proud of the contract we were able to negotiate for them,” says Local 439 President Rob Nicewonger.

Teamsters Local 439 has also just organized the drivers and driver helpers at Yosemite Foods in Stockton and are eager to get to the bargaining table for these future Teamsters.

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Spin’s electric scooter workers ratify first contract

Workers for e-scooter company Spin voted overwhelmingly in November to ratify their first union contract with Local 665.

The workers joined Local 665 via card check agreement in late 2018. As the pandemic raged, the union held negotiating sessions over Zoom to reach a three-year agreement that contains a number of important firsts. The agreement includes annual wage increases of more than 3% per year; six paid holidays, vacation days based on years of employment,

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Member retires after 51 years at same company

Salvador Ruvalcaba retired this year after 51 years of service at R & K Industrial Products. This manufacturing company, located in Richmond, makes industrial wheels for light-weight applications such as hand trucks and carts, to much heavier and demanding applications and accessories. The company has been employee-owned since 1977.

First hired in November 1969, Salvador worked in the Machine Shop. He has also been a steward in several negotiations. “Local 315 wishes Salvador a long,

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Health care for airport workers

When the national agreement for Gate Gourmet and other airport service companies was first negotiated, the unions agreed to waive the health care provisions for San Francisco, because, at that time, the company offered excellent health care.

However, the tide for benefits began to change and the local Teamsters and Hotel and Restaurant Employees (HERE) unions wanted to eliminate the waiver to ensure that their members got excellent health coverage.

Local 2785 Business Rep Terry Mullady worked with HERE’s Mike Casey and the Service Employees International Union to lobby the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

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Making progress

Teamsters Local 431 is heading into negotiations with Sun•Maid Growers, Rich Products and recently ratified an agreement with BMC West, reports Secretary-Treasurer Peter Nuñez.

Nuñez also thanks Northern California Construction Coordinator Stu Helfer for his help in a recent arbitration against High Speed Rail Contractor TPZP. “The decision protects Teamster work and provides earned benefits for our members,” he says.

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Food distribution for those in need

Members from Taylor Farms Retail, Dole Fresh Vegetables, and Organic Girl distribute food to members of the union and to field workers from the Salinas Valley.  “Local 890 has held several food distributions in collaboration with the Monterey County Food Bank to help families in these challenging times,” reports Business Rep Juan Cabrera.

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