Teamster News

Workers deemed “essential” during pandemic need hazard pay

Local 856 won hazard pay for more than 3,000 members working in its Food Processing Division during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic—recognizing the workers who have kept the nation’s food supply functioning and the inherent dangers they have faced just by reporting to work each day.

Ashley Alvarado, Director of the Local 856 Food Processing Division, said that despite no legal means to require the employer to provide additional compensation, the Local had secured hazard pay for members at Pacific Coast Producers plants in Lodi,

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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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Clerical workers unite

Clerical workers unite

On August 17, 2020, in a mail ballot, the clerical unit at the Republic Services Ox Mountain Landfill in Half Moon Bay had their ballots counted, and by a vote of 2-0, these new members said “YES!” to join their new brothers and sisters at Teamsters Local 350.

“Whether it’s organizing two new members or 2,000 members, they are all important, and any organizing victory is a big win for labor,” said Business Representative Robert Sandoval.

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New Teamster phone app

Teamsters Local 431 has built a smart phone app that is now available for IOS or Android phones, in both English and Spanish. Download the “Teamsters 431” app today and stay informed and up to date with your Local union.

Secretary-Treasurer Peter Nuñez reports that many members are facing hardship due to the massive Creek Fire in the Sierra National Forest outside of Fresno. As of mid-September, the fire had burned more than 228,000 acres and was only 18% contained.

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Union helps company fight unfair water bill

In July, San Benito Foods suddenly received a bill from the city for $4.5 million for their use of water because the city claimed that they needed to upgrade their storm drains.

Because this would have crippled and possibly forced the company to shut down, the union sprung into action. In addition to sponsoring a demonstration at City Hall on July 14, they initiated calls to the Mayor and the City Council and sued to get the fine reduced.

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Ratification at a beer house

Business Agent Efren Alarcon reports that the 120 members at Anheuser Busch, formerly Horizon Beverage, in Oakland overwhelmingly ratified a one-year agreement in August by mail ballot.

“They got a 3% wage increase (about 85 cents/hour) and full retro pay back to April 1. Hopefully, we’ll be back to meeting and voting in person by the time this contract comes due again.”

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Local fights CSU layoffs

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Local 2010 has been fighting hard to protect members from suffering layoffs or other loss of income. The Local won paid administrative leave and prevented any layoffs of California State University members through the last fiscal year. For the current fiscal year, the Local presented CSU with a comprehensive proposal on alternatives to layoffs and pushed for additional federal and state funding for California higher education in light of economic losses due to stay-at-home orders and distance learning.

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Teamsters show up for BLM

On July 20, Teamsters joined trade unionists from across the East Bay for an event called Strike for Black Lives. The purpose was both to support Black Lives Matter and to draw attention to the plight of low-wage workers who are deemed “essential workers” during the pandemic. 

After a brief rally, the event marched from Mosswood Park to a McDonalds on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland, where workers had, at that point, been on strike for 42 days over safety and other issues.

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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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