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Hoffa Corruption Wrecks Possibility of Ending Government Supervision

July 27, 2005: In an embarrassing retreat from his promises to “run a corruption-free union” and “get the government out of the Teamsters,” James Hoffa has officially sacked all plans to try to negotiate an end to federal supervision of our union. On July 20, Hoffa’s General Counsel, Pat Szymanski, told the Daily Labor Report that the Hoffa administration has given up its goal of ending federal supervision until at least 2007. According to the...

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Southern California Bargaining Gets a New Look

July 5, 2005: For the first time in recent history, the grocery contracts in Southern California will be negotiated separately. If it’s done right, it will be an opportunity to address problems that have been ignored in past negotiations. In June, Teamster leaders had a meeting on how the separate negotiations would proceed. They agreed that the first target would be Stater Brothers. Stater is not a national chain, so it would be harder for...

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Electronic Leashes for Warehouse Workers?

July 5, 2005: Many warehouse and grocery workers are probably familiar with RFID technology used to track inventory, but The Guardian, a major British newspaper, reports that warehouse operators in Britain are now tagging workers also. Researchers and the union are concerned that “the new technology is raising a host of ethical issues, with the danger that the computer is taking over the human rather than humans using computers” and that “the employee is unable...

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Fooled' at Contract Vote

When our last contract was negotiated, the BA didn’t tell us the whole story. The local had a meeting where they just told us about the wages and a few other things. Months later, when we finally got a copy of the contract, we found new language that weakened our seniority rights. Isn’t this illegal? –Won’t Be Fooled Again Dear “Won’t Be Fooled,” The IBT constitution requires a secret ballot vote on contracts, and federal...

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Part-Time Pension Puzzle

I recently heard that some part-timers at UPS are in Teamster pension plans. As a part-timer I was in the company plan. After I went full-time, I didn’t get any credit toward my Teamster pension for my part-time years. After Central States announced the pension cuts, they said there are not enough active workers in the Fund. Then why aren’t the part-timers in the fund? –UPSet at UPS Dear UPSet, What you heard is true....

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Atlanta Gathering Builds Forces for Change

June 6, 2005: Teamsters from 15 different locals in the South and Southeast converged in Atlanta on July 9 to discuss plans for the 2006 IBT election and delegate races, and to learn how to be more effective Teamsters. Nearly all of the 50 members on hand are preparing to run for IBT convention delegate in early 2006. The meeting was an opportunity to share ideas and strategies for the elections.“We need to take steps...

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Members Respond to Local Officers’ Call for New IBT Leadership

June 6, 2005: In May, concerned Teamster officers announced that we were forming the New Leadership Committee, to put together the program and leadership team that can defeat Hoffa in next year’s IBT election. Since then, messages have poured in from Teamster members who want to be part of the effort to beat Hoffa in 2006 and rebuild Teamster Power. We want to hear from you with your concerns about our union’s future and your...

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Teamster Pension Funds Could Be Strengthened

June 6, 2005:It's no secret that United Parcel Service wants to pull all their employees out of Teamster pension funds. Like any corporation, they'd rather have unilateral control over their employees' pensions and convert them to 401(k) plans. UPS took a step forward on that plan in May with the acquisition of Overnite. Now they have 10,000 less-than-truckload freight workers who are not in any Teamster plan, and they plan to grow that number as...

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Central States Spin

May 4, 2005: Members of Local 407 received the letter below from their local. It’s a short summary of information provided to the local by the Central States Pension Fund. From the letter, its clear that the CSF is still spinning the numbers—if the fund’s financial situation is improving, isn’t it time to improve Teamster retirees’ financial situation? Of course spun information is better than none at all. Thanks to member pressure over the last...

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New England Fund Reverses Some Cuts

April 29, 2005: The recently announced pension cuts in New England went over like a Yankees victory in Fenway Park. The angry uproar by members and local officers has pressured the New England Pension Fund Trustees to reverse two of their most unfair pension cuts announced in July. The new is not all good. The restrictions on 25-and-out and 30-and-out pensions before age 57 remain in place. New England Teamsters who did not have enough...

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