Making gains in another busy year

By Dave Hawley —

It’s hard to believe we are already more than halfway through 2018. The last few months, in particular, have been wild. Here’s a quick update.

Primary Elections

We spent the spring planning and holding meetings and conference calls to develop our endorsements for the June primaries. Being my first go-around as President, I did not realize the time and effort required by so many of our Principal Officers, Political Coordinators, and the Joint Council’s staff. Fortunately, the candidates and initiatives we endorsed were largely successful, putting us in a good place for the upcoming General Election, which is coming right up.

November General Elections: The Joint Council will be communicating our endorsements of labor-friendly candidates and initiatives on our newly updated website ( and in the next issue of this paper. Now is a perfect time to make sure that you and your co-workers are registered to vote and contribute to DRIVE—our Democratic Republican Independent Voter Education political action committee.

Annual Seminar

Throughout my career, I have always looked forward to the education and information provided at our Joint Council seminar, and this year’s program did not disappoint. The Joint Council’s Annual Seminar in June was well-attended and the program was outstanding. These events are an important opportunity for our Local Unions’ Executive Boards and Business Agents to exchange information, interact in meetings, and socialize, building our unity and understanding of the issues we are facing.

Teamster Baseball

What a great day in Oakland with our Teamsters brothers and sisters and their families for the Battle of the Bay game between the A’s and the Giants. It’s a glorious time when members from all of our Local Unions across Northern and Central California and Northern Nevada gather in solidarity for a great barbecue and baseball game. It’s a day to celebrate our union and all that we do together to improve working conditions and create a better life for ourselves and our kids. With more than 4,000 Teamsters in attendance, it was our largest showing since the tradition was started in 2012. A special thanks to Rich Fierro and the Baseball Committee for a job well done!

UPS Negotiations

Negotiations for our UPS contract—the Teamsters largest national contract and the largest in Joint Council 7—have just concluded. The National UPS Negotiating Committee and the Northern California (Nor Cal) UPS Committee came to a tentative five-year agreement in July. Your Nor Cal Committee met for 20 days to hammer out our supplement and rider. While not perfect, these agreements protected our pension, health and welfare, and job security, and provided significant wage and benefit increases. We did not give up anything in our rider.

The International did a great job of addressing the challenges and competition UPS is facing, while protecting the membership and providing new job opportunities for part-timers. The agreement includes an increase of $5/hour ($1/hour each year) for health and pension funding alone. This will insure the maintenance of our excellent health plans and protect our Western Conference of Teamsters pension plan. The agreement will go out to vote later in August.

Jason Rabinowitz, President