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April 26, 2015
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JIM HANSEN'S COLORADO LABOR BLOG

 www.coloradolaborblog.org

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James R Hoffa 2015 Scholarship Fund and Essay Contest

Click here for info on the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund See the Scholarship Tab on this website for the 2015 Essay Contest Info and Application.
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SAVE THE DATES! MARK YOUR CALENDARS! FLYERS BELOW

NIGHT AT THE ZOO - SAT. JULY 18, 2015 TICKETS ON SALE BEGINNING JUNE 1ST FLYER ATTACHED ZOO RAFFLE - FLYER ATTACHED GOLF TOURNAMENT - SUN. AUG. 23 2015
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U.S. SENATE AUTHORIZES CONSTRUCTION OF KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE

http://www.sharethiscontent.net/Actions/social_share_version.cfm.
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MESSAGE FROM SECRETARY-TREASURER
Steven P. Vairma

Steve Vairma's Column:

RTW could be dire consequence

Unitended and unwelcome consequences sometimes occur when people decide, for whatever reason to vote against their own best economic interests.

The three free bargaining states in Teamsters Joint Council 3 are now struggling with the dire consequences of the election last November.

In those three states - Colorado, New Mexico and Montana - anti-worker candidates won enough control of their legislatures to pose the possibility they could become right-to-work (for less) states.

That indeed is an unintended and unwanted consequence for working men and women.

If right-to-work legislation is passed and signed by the governor in any of those states, its workers will almost immediately suffer wage and benefit losses.  That always happens when a state enacts a right-to-work law....always.

Unions set the wage standards for all workers on both the national and state levels.  In free bargaining states where unions have more influence at the negotiating table, wages of union workers are 28 percent higher than they are in right-to-work states.  Union workers also receive more and better benefits and superior working conditions.

In RTW states unions, where management and labor are prohibited from negotiating for an all-union shop, unions are forced to represent nonunion workers, but are prohibited from collecting dues from them.

The problems in right-to-work states are certainly not the fault of unions operating in those states.  In fact, union leaders and rank-and-file members in right-to-work states are among the most dedicated unionists and are especially effective advocates for labor's cause.

But they are burdened by unfair RTW laws that have existed for many years with no possibility that their states' political landscape will ever change.

Good wages, hours and working conditions - bread and butter issues - are the most important concerns of working men and women in all states who depend on their income and benefits to support their families.

Why then do a large number of them either refuse to vote, or cast their ballots for anti-worker politicians - such as Tea Party zealots who use right-to-work to fire up their base?

Perhaps the reason is that some voters see other issues as more important than their livelihood.  We respect their right to believe as they wish, but to disregard bread and butter issues doesn't seem to make any sense.

More likely, though, the reason is that they expect that onerous legislation like right-to-work will never be passed in their states.  Or they believe their bosses are really good guys and would never under-value their work.  These are pipe dreams.  Profit is the bosses' bottom line; not the welfare of their workers.  And right-to-work is now the law in nearly half the states in the country.

The more union busting politicians that are elected-with, unfortunately, some help from the working class-the closer we will get to a union-free society where all workers will be chattel of the corporations.

That's when all workers - both union and nonunion-will shake their heads and ask:  What the hell happened?

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Current Campaigns
  • This web page provides information on our fight against fast-track legislation. The measure requires Congress to take only a quick up-or-down vote on secret trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and does not allow such agreements to be amended. It limits Congress’ constitutionally mandated oversight of such trade deals and lets others decide what’s best for America. The result is fewer good-paying U.S. jobs and unsafe food and products for Americans. Read more to find out why fast track is the wrong track for Teamsters and America.

  • First Student employees’ collective bargaining agreement with the company, which covers more than 21,000 workers, expires on March 31, 2015. Employees at First Student made history when they voted overwhelmingly to ratify a national master agreement on June 1, 2011, and it is time to renegotiate that agreement. Turn to this page to get the latest contract news and updates. The first round of negotiations is scheduled for January 27-28, 2015. The national contract expires March 31, 2015.

  • Teamsters are standing together to protect good jobs as Sysco, the country’s largest foodservice provider, attempts to purchase its only national competitor, US Foods. Join our campaign to demand that Sysco and US Foods honor their agreements with 11,500 Teamsters and protect the livelihoods of the men and women who make these companies leaders in the industry. LIKE our Facebook page, here.

  • Taylor Farms workers in Tracy, California are standing up against poverty wages, disrespect and severe violations of their most basic rights. These 900 food processing workers in the Central Valley cut, wash and package salads and other products for the largest supplier of fresh-cut produce in the country. They feed the customers of major grocers, retailers and restaurant chains, including Walmart and McDonald’s.

    With a revenue of $1.8 billion in 2012, Taylor Farms can afford to treat its workers in Tracy with dignity and pay fair wages, just like their Teamster coworkers have at Taylor Farms’ facilities in Salinas, California. But when workers came together to organize with Teamsters Local 601, the company responded mercilessly. It fired, harassed, and punished workers for supporting the union. The company threatened immigrant workers with deportation, hiring an army of union-busters to run a non-stop fear campaign. During an NLRB election for union representation, Taylor Farms deployed a goon squad of supervisors to intimidate workers. The company’s violations were so egregious that the Labor Board impounded ballots while it investigates hundreds of Unfair Labor Practice charges.

    Workers in Tracy, following in the footsteps of labor leader and civil rights icon Cesar Chavez, are taking their fight to the public. The workers’ struggle for a better life for their families is supported by Teamsters in California and nationwide. We are building a movement for respect for the workers who feed America.

    ¡Si Se Puede!

  • Taxi drivers in Washington, D.C. are fed up!

    After years of unfair regulations and lack of respect, we are fighting back by forming the Washington, D.C. Taxi Operators Association. Our association will be backed by Teamsters Local 922 and the 1.4 million-member International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

  • The Teamsters have stood in solidarity with worker struggles in other countries since our founding. With economic globalization, our ability to organize increasingly depends on our ability to build alliances with workers on a global scale.
    More than ever, Teamsters are organizing and bargaining with multi-national companies. A key objective of our Global Strategies Campaign is to build strong alliances with unions around the globe who organize and bargain with common employers. Our focus is on workers in the emerging global supply chains – the infrastructure of globalization.
    Globalization creates new opportunities for international worker solidarity. We seek common cause with workers around the world to build social justice for all workers and the communities in which they live.

  • Teamsters at Republic Services/Allied Waste have stood together in recent years to fight for strong contracts, including going on strike and supporting their fellow striking workers. Workers continue to fight for strong contracts that include retirement security at the second largest solid waste company. This campaign page is dedicated to those ongoing efforts.

  • Welcome to Teamster Organizing!

    You've heard it said that the best defense is a good offense. In the war on workers, Teamster Organizing is on the offensive! We're winning power for workers across industries and across North America. Join us!

  • Join the movement to stop the war on workers. Corporate CEOs and billionaires are attacking you, your family and your job. The battlefield is in statehouses throughout the country.  Our jobs, our health, our kids, our retirement and our standard of living are all at risk. Check this page frequently for updates. 

 
 
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