Sunday, December 30, 2012

Are you falling under constructive termination?

Conway starting to put more strict rules on employees, making it impossible for workers to feel not wanted. The company starting to harass employees and making us employees fall under a constructive termination evironment. Also your medical benefits are so ridiculous, making the employee pay 65% and company pays only 35% for medical, what ever happen to the old fashion 80/20 ? Now it seems we are paying cobra prices for our medical benefits. But in over all we must be cautious to our work status, connect your dots and cross your tee's...don't fall under the constructive termination conditions, self terminate or just fall on the cross fire. One last thing, look up Constructive Termination on Wikipedia and know what is all about, remember you are an at will employee without a Collective Bargaining wise and organize.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Get hurt and lose your seniority

Attention Con-way drivers, as many of you already know, there's a new "policy" in place at work. If you get hurt at work and you miss time while recovering, don't count on coming back to your same spot, or even same terminal. Apparently the company will at the least, send you to the bottom of the roster. Think that's bad enough? No, they will even make you go to work at a different terminal! You applied to work at a certain terminal because it was close to home. Say you live in San Fernando, well the company will send you to work in San Bernardino. Don't like it? Then quit! That's the point. They want you to know that the penalty of getting sick or getting hurt will be to lose your spot or your job. That's why we need a union contract, stuff like this wouldn't be happening.

Love Twinkies ?

Wall street vultures are blaming workers for getting rid of your sweets—and that’s just not right.
You might have heard that Hostess Brands, the company that makes Twinkies, Ding Dongs and other desserts, filed for court permission to go out of business, and that its blaming a worker strike for the shutdown.
The Wall Street hedge fund managers who run the company have squeezed every cent out of Hostess for eight years. And they’ve put their friends with no experience in the baking industry in high-level management positions.
Hostess workers believe in their company, and we need to stand with them—sign our pledge to support workers, not greedy CEOs who will cut and run for a quick buck.
What’s happening here is a classic Bain Capital-style assault—blame the little guy to cover the greedy corporate policies that are gutting the middle class.
It’s not just happening to the workers who make the great products Americans love. What’s happening at Hostess is happening to workers all over this country. It’s wrong. And it has to stop.
Crony capitalism and poor management drove Hostess into the ground, not the workers who are now paying the price. In this struggling economy, the greedy corporate executives are willing to let 18,000 people lose their jobs—just so they can pad their pockets.
Hostess' executives are now blaming workers who’ve offered their company multiple concessions and want it to succeed. This is what’s wrecking our country.
Workers have borne the brunt of bad decision-making by executives who didn’t know anything about the baking business. And they’re the ones getting fired?
These brave workers need to know we stand with them—and we’ll stand with everyone who will take a stand against the corporate race-to-the-bottom.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Learn About Unions

Members of the National Taxi Workers Alliance receive their AFL-CIO charter. A union is a democratic organization of employees in a workplace who choose to join together to achieve common goals. By forming unions, employees can work collectively to improve working conditions, including wages and benefits, hours and job safety, to resolve disagreements of employees and employers and to find the best ways to get the work done.Unions also represent members and all people who work by advocating working family-friendly laws and policies through legislative and political action. Most people who work in this country have the right to form and join unions under the 1935 National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which encourages union formation. Yet millions of workers, such as farm laborers, domestic workers and managers, are not covered by the NLRA. Many of them, though, are organizing and partnering with the AFL-CIO to gain workplace rights.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Wal-Mart walkouts: New ballgame for labor?

Wal-Mart doesn't seem to have a lot of friends as lightning strikes and walkouts spread throughout the country in the past few weeks. The Naked Capitalist yesterday ticked off the actions (overlooked as usual by the mainstream media) taken in support of the workers. She commented, ...nobody in the press seems to be quite sure how big this thing is.

 Here are some clues:
The opening of a Walmart Neightborhood Market in San Ramon last month is one of the reasons some Walmart workers went on strike at five Bay Area stores on Tuesday, union organizers said.

 ...there have been protests in Dartmouth, Raynham and Fall River the past few months over Walmart's labor practices.

 About 75 South Florida Walmart employees on Thursday joined the hundreds nationwide that have staged protests outside Walmart stores and corporate headquarters over the past few days.

 About 90 workers walked off their jobs from 12 cities on Wednesday including Dallas, Miami, Orlando, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles. Others walked off their shifts in Tennessee and Kentucky.

Raw Story explains how the Wal-Mart walkouts show why conservatives should support unions: They allow workers to bargain for living wages so they don't have to depend on the government. One of the problems striking workers cite is the lack of access to full-time working hours, which prevents them from obtaining even the meager health benefits the company offers. The National Consumer’s League (NCL) told Raw Story that Walmart’s refusal to provide those benefits by exploiting part-time labor leads to a number of spillover costs that taxpayers ultimately pick up. “Many Walmart workers are dependent on public assistance programs due to their low wages and not having access to full time jobs and being denied benefits because they’re not working the number of hours required to get access to those benefits, or the benefits are just so expensive that on their low wages they just can’t afford them,” NCL Executive Director Sally Greenberg said in an exclusive interview. “Walmart has a record of even working with employees to sign them up for public assistance programs, which we think is really atrocious.” She added that Walmart’s position of keeping wages low in order to pass the savings along to consumers doesn’t wash either: “Companies that pay a decent wage and provide benefits to their workers help create a middle class that is able to buy the kinds of products that Walmart sells,” Greenberg explained. “It is actually a plus for companies if they provide fair compensation to workers. It’s also better for consumers when they’re able to actually afford housing, healthcare and have access to benefits of the kind we think Walmart, with all its success and profits, ought to be able to pay workers.

 Support Wal-Mart workers by signing this declaration here

Friday, October 5, 2012

This is what we union THUGS do when Catholic Charities needs help

We fill their trailers with donations and then we drive them to Northern Maine. Maine Teamster THUGS (Those Helpful Union Guys and Gals) are coordinating with Catholic Charities to get two trailers from southern to northern Maine next week, carrying donations to benefit those in need. The Joint Council 10 truck will do the hauling. Here's an email from a grateful Dixie Shaw, program director for Maine Catholic Charities Home Supplies & Food Bank: This is the second happy dance this year thanks to the Teamsters! First we had the record- breaking food collection that the Teamsters did in July and now a mere two months and two weeks later! Another happy dance as you all come to the rescue of our poor often forgotten County up here at the top of Maine!!!! I had such a challenge ahead of me. We received some grant money to purchase two trailers which we got in Scarborough for a great deal but now we needed to get them to the County! I called all my resources, some of my personal friends with trucks, you name it, and I pretty much had tried it until last Saturday when who should happen in my path but Traci Place and Teamsters Local 340. I thought, hmmmm I wonder? Well now you look! We have a coordinated effort that not one but both of the trailers will be hauled back to the County by the Joint Council’s beautiful truck. Everything we do is to ultimately Feed The County and this is a BIG DEAL to us. Thank you Teamsters 340 for all you have done for the people of Aroostook County.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Here's how a union creates jobs

Jack Taylor posted his dad's union card from Teamsters Local 299 on our Facebook page. His message was so important we're sharing it here too: I was cleaning up old records from my parents house today. I came across my dads membership card to Local 299 signed by Otto Wendzel. Thank you Teamsters for helping my dad to provide me with a good home, food on our table and a college education. Without the unions my dad would never had been able to do all of that with an eighth grade education. He was never rich, but he was paid a fair days wages for a fair days work. Thank you Teamsters........ I will always be a union man even though I'm not an employee but an employer and job creator. Thank you, John.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Thanks to the Teamsters, CDL drivers can go to traffic school.

Teamsters Sponsored Bill Signed Good news. One of our sponsored bills was signed.

AB 1888 (Gatto) would allow commercial drivers who get a ticket in their personal vehicle to attend traffic school every eigthteen months to eliminate a "point" from being placed their driving record.

This is a big deal because federal law, until recently, prevented commercial drivers from in any way masking citations or attending traffic school. The US DOT issued an advisory opinion allowing states to let commercial drivers who get a ticket in their private vehicle (not the commercial vehicle) to eliminate the point associated with the violation by attending traffic school. This could stop a driver from sliding into "negligent operators status," which could result in a license suspension and loss of employment.

We actually co-sponsored this with the California Trucking Association, in a rare show of labor-management cooperation.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Should the 401(k) Be Reformed or Replaced?

Published: September 11, 2012

JOHN GREENE worked for 30 years at an Oscar Mayer plant in Madison, Wis., deboning hams and loading boxes of hot dogs. His401(k) plan grew to $60,000, and soon after retiring he began withdrawing $3,600 a year from it, money that allowed him and his wife to take what he called a wondrous two-week trip to Scotland, his ancestral homeland.
But when the financial markets plunged four years ago, his 401(k) dropped to less than $18,000.
“We lost more than 70 percent,” he complained, even though a highly recommended investment firm was managing his 401(k). “They’re very risky.”
For Mr. Greene, 77, the money he withdrew each year provided him and his wife some breathing room — and comforts — on top of the $29,000 they receive annually inSocial Security and pension payments.
But though it has rebounded a little, his nest egg has declined so much that he withdraws far less than he used to. The result: “We can’t do trips like Scotland anymore,” he said.
Like millions of Americans, Mr. Greene has suffered losses from his 401(k) even as such plans have largely supplanted traditional pensions and become the central pillar of America’s employer-sponsored retirement system, with 60 million workers participating in them.
Now, although Social Security and Medicare generate far more political heat, a quieter, more nuanced debate of large consequence engulfs 401(k)’s, the voluntary, privately financed plans that some see as a savior of American retirement and others see as an impediment: Should 401(k)’s be fine-tuned and expanded or should they be replaced entirely? And for many looking to retirement after the Great Recession, there is this pressing question: What to do about woefully underfunded 401(k)’s now.
David L. Wray, president of the Profit-Sharing/401(k) Council of America, an association of companies that sponsor retirement plans, said that 401(k)’s — and the Individual Retirement Account system that many people roll their retirement money into — worked well, despite some shortcomings. These 401(k) plans now hold $3.3 trillion in assets, seven times the level two decades ago. “If the goal here is to accumulate money, this system has accumulated more money than any system ever,” he said. “It’s been an incredibly effective accumulator of assets.”
But many investment experts and economists give the 401(k) system low marks. They note that fewer than half of the nation’s private sector workers are in 401(k) plans and that nearly a quarter of businesses with more than 100 employees do not offer 401(k)’s. Moreover, many Americans put only 3 percent of their earnings into 401(k)’s when investment experts often recommend saving 10 or even 12 percent.
The typical worker age 55 to 64 had just $54,000 in a 401(k) in 2010, according to a new report by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, and households with workers in that age group had $120,000 in retirement savings on average, if the money rolled into I.R.A.’s was included. That $120,000 is less than one-fourth the savings recommended by many retirement experts. Moreover, the center calculated, that $120,000 would provide an annuity of a paltry $7,000 a year.
Teresa Ghilarducci, an economics professor at the New School and a leading critic of 401(k)’s, said, “Every good retirement system needs to have adequate accumulation for individuals, the money needs to be invested appropriately and the payout needs to meet the needs of retirees for life. Unfortunately, 401(k)’s fail in all three categories.”
She criticized giving $80 billion in tax breaks annually to 401(k) participants to nourish a system that does not provide secure retirement savings for all. Moreover, she said, 60 percent of those tax breaks go to the top 10 percent of earners — people who would probably save even without the tax breaks.
John C. Bogle, the founder of the Vanguard Group and an esteemed figure in the world of investing, also voiced sharp criticisms. “We have a 401(k) system that is profoundly flawed even as it has moved to the position of pre-eminence in our retirement system,” he said. “There are elements of the 401(k) system that are just unacceptable if you’re trying to build a system that accumulates for retirement.”
In his new book, “The Clash of Cultures: Investment vs. Speculation,” Mr. Bogle rattled off a list of 401(k) shortcomings, among them excessive Wall Street fees, misguided asset allocation and failure to deal with longevity risk; for instance, someone living to age 92, but emptying a 401(k) by age 82.
Mr. Bogle ridiculed how easy it was, despite withdrawal penalties, to take money out of 401(k)’s — whether for a down payment on a house, to send children to college or to buy a new rug. Likening 401(k)’s to savings plans, he said making it so easy to withdraw money was the opposite of what retirement plans should do.
Even fierce critics like Mr. Bogle readily give advice on what investors should do to improve their chances for adequate retirement savings. An early champion of index funds, he recommends them for 401(k)’s; they typically have lower annual fees than, and perform as well as, many aggressively managed funds.
Mr. Bogle said many investment funds charged around 2 percent in annual fees, although he noted that some index funds charged one-twentieth of that — just 0.1 percent a year. He calculated that if one obtained a 5.5 percent annual return when inflation was running at 2.5 percent, then the net return would be 3 percent. With considerable chagrin, he noted that a 2 percent investment fee “would consume fully 67 percent of that annual return.”
study by Demosa liberal research center, found that a median-income couple that invested in 401(k)’s for 40 years with fees averaging 1.6 percent a year would achieve $354,850 in assets at average savings rates, but only after paying $154,794 in investment fees.
Alicia H. Munnell, director of the Boston College center, recommends that people jump at the opportunity to join 401(k) plans as soon as they can. “The trick is to contribute from Day 1 if your employer has a plan, and leave the money there,” she said. She voiced concern that 21 percent of workers whose employers offered plans declined to participate and that for those age 20 to 29, 40 percent declined.
Stephen P. Utkus, director of the Vanguard Center for Retirement Research, said most Americans saved far too little. “Certainly by your 30s, you should be saving 10 percent,” he said
He said many Americans emptied their 401(k)’s after they were laid off, leaving them with far too little savings for retirement. “You can’t invest your way out of a savings problem,” Mr. Utkus warned. “To catch up, you have to save more or maybe work longer. My general advice for people is, save 3 percent more of your income each year and plan to work three more years.”
He advised 401(k) participants to put money in balanced funds, like target-date funds, that decrease the ratio of investments in risky stocks as investors age. But Mr. Bogle warned that target-date funds often charged one percentage point a year more than other funds.
According to a report by the Congressional Research Service, 38 percent of 401(k) participants age 55 to 64 have 80 percent or more of their 401(k) assets in stocks — even though many experts say it is unwise to invest heavily in stocks so close to retirement age because a large chunk of one’s savings could quickly evaporate in a market downturn.
Jack VanDerhei, research director at the Employee Benefit Research Institute, recommends that all Americans, as they age, step back and do a thorough assessment of their retirement savings and retirement plans — perhaps at age 50. He suggested visiting a financial planner or using a Web site on retirement planning.
“Figure out where you think you need to be at whatever age you think you want to retire,” Mr. VanDerhei said. “Then figure out what that’s going to translate into in terms of what you’re going to need in 401(k) accumulation at that time.”
Mr. VanDerhei stressed that all 401(k) participants should invest at least the amount needed to qualify for the maximum employer match to avoid leaving money on the table. In other words, if an employer is offering a dollar-for-dollar match up to 6 percent of pay, then an employee would be ill-advised to put just 3 percent in a 401(k).
As the debate continues over how well 401(k)’s function, some policy experts have called for scrapping the 401(k) system and replacing it with a more universal, less risky system. One system might, like Social Security, require that some percentage of an employee’s paycheck be withheld to finance a new, government-managed retirement plan. But other critics, convinced that Congress would never enact such vast changes, call for enacting incremental steps to improve the system — for instance, steps to encourage more small businesses to offer 401(k)’s, like allowing them to aggregate their plans to save on administrative costs.
Professor Ghilarducci has won the backing of many labor and liberal groups with her proposal for “Guaranteed Retirement Accounts,” which would require that 2.5 percent of each worker’s pay be withheld to finance a new retirement plan on top of Social Security. (A $600 refundable tax credit would help soften the hit.)
She also calls for requiring employers to match that amount, a mandate that businesses would surely oppose. Such a system would be managed by the government and subsidized by it and would guarantee a 3 percent annual return. Ms. Ghilarducci said her plan would give Americans nearly 25 percent of their preretirement earnings. In other words, someone who retired after earning $75,000 a year might receive $19,000 a year in Social Security and another $18,000 annually from this new plan.
Ms. Munnell of the Boston College center also supports creating a new tier of retirement savings by requiring new deductions from employee paychecks. But unlike Professor Ghilarducci, she does not support a mandatory employer match and she would preserve the 401(k) system, creating a new system on top of Social Security and 401(k)’s.
“We need a new tier,” Ms. Munnell said. “Our retirement system isn’t big enough. Not enough people are in it, and many people aren’t saving enough. No matter how much you try to spruce up 401(k)’s, they’re never going to provide enough retirement income.”
In July, Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa, proposed a plan that would be financed by pretax funds from workers’ paychecks, although workers could opt out. Employers would have to contribute. Mr. Harkin noted that half of all Americans had less than $10,000 in retirement savings and that 75 million workers were without access to a workplace retirement plan. “We face a retirement crisis,” he said.
Mr. Wray of the 401(k) council said critics were too quick to condemn the 401(k) system and propose far-reaching changes. He said 401(k)’s had many underappreciated advantages. They generally allow people to pass on far more of their retirement money to their heirs than traditional pensions usually do. Another big advantage of 401(k)’s, Mr. Wray said, is that many corporations are embracing them over traditional pensions because pensions, unlike 401(k)’s, can cause companies to owe millions of dollars in unanticipated liabilities when the stock market falls.
“The great thing about 401(k)’s is the enormous flexibility,” Mr. Wray said. “They’re voluntary. You can structure a plan that works for you,” He acknowledged that many people nearing retirement age had not saved enough in their plans, but he said that was because many had saved for only 20 years, not for their entire career.
“If you consistently participate in these programs over 40 years, you’re home free,” he said.
When created in 1978, 401(k)’s were a way for highly paid executives to shield income from taxation. Later Congress adapted them so they could provide supplemental retirement income for millions of workers on top of Social Security and traditional pensions. It was not foreseen that 401(k)’s would evolve into the nation’s main employer-sponsored retirement system.
“This system just hasn’t produced the type of participation you’d like to see,” Ms. Munnell said. “I think this argument that these plans are new is getting old. They’re not new.”
David John, a pension expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation, dismisses the likelihood of enacting far-reaching changes like those supported by Senator Harkin and Ms. Ghilarducci. Partly because of industry opposition, he said, “starting something wholly new would be virtually impossible.”
Mr. John argued that it would be wise to keep the 401(k) system, imperfect as it is, and improve it. With some reservations, he praised the automatic enrollment features of the Pension Protection Act of 2006, which allows companies that offer plans to automatically enroll new employees,, typically at 3 percent of pay, although workers can opt out.
He also praised the law’s automatic escalation provisions, which enable companies to ratchet up employees’ contribution rate from 3 percent in an employee’s first few years unless workers opted out. He criticized Congress for essentially setting 3 percent of pay as a default investment level. “The 3 percent level is a huge mistake,” he said.
He wants Congress to raise the automatic enrollment’s default participation rate to 6 percent. That, he said, would hardly reduce enrollment and would create a larger nest egg for retirement.
The battle over whether the 401(k) system needs some fine-tuning or radical surgery is still gathering force. “A czar would be able to fix this easily,” Mr. Bogle said. “Whether politicians can fix this is something else again.”
A version of this article appeared in print on September 12, 2012, on page F1 of the New York edition with the headline: 401(?)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Conway mobility...Camera install in tractor

Conway Mobility Conway (page 26)

Monitor for fatigue

Presented an approach for the detection of fatigue based on biosignals acquired from the driver electroencephalogram (EEG), electrocardiogram (ECG), electrooculogram (EOG), and video monitoring. The majority of relative works is based on in-lab experiments, mainly focusing on face monitoring and blink detection to calculate eye activation [2], while the vehicular experiments serve for indirect fatigue recognition through its impact on driving issues (speed maintenance, steering control). The impact of fatigue on the driver's performance should not be estimated using only driving measures, but additional parameters, associated with the driving performance, are needed (such as perceptual, motor, and cognitive skills)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Is this what you want Conway doing to you?

Without a Pension's Security
Once, Americans could expect enough money to take care of themselves after a life of work. The promise was pulled away.

by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele

In “The Betrayal of the American Dream,” Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele revisit their 1991 Inquirer series, “America: What Went Wrong,” in which they forecast a decline of the middle class. Now, they document how actions going back three decades have left millions of Americans in economic ruin. Excerpts from their book continue in Currents every Sunday through Aug. 19.

Of all the statistics that show how the rules are changing for middle-class Americans, here is one of the most alarming: Since 1985, corporations have killed 84,350 pension plans - each of which promised secure retirement benefits to dozens or hundreds or even thousands of men and women.

Corporations offer many explanations and excuses for why they are cutting down a vital safety net for Americans, but it all comes down to money. The money saved by not funding employee pensions now goes for executive salaries, dividends, or some pet project of a company's CEO. Congress went along and even compounded the betrayal by pretending that the change was in employees' best interest.

What this means is that fewer and fewer Americans will have enough money to take care of themselves in their later years. As with taxes and trade, Congress has been pivotal in granting favors to the most powerful corporations. Lawmakers have written pension rules that encourage businesses to underfund their retirement plans or switch to plans less favorable to employees.

These rules deny workers the right to sue to enforce retirement promises. Lawmakers have also written bankruptcy regulations to allow corporations to scrap the health-insurance coverage they promised to employees who retired early - including workers who were forced into early retirement. Congress has enacted legislation that adds to the cost of retirement. One by one, policies that once afforded at least the possibility of a secure retirement to many seniors have been undermined or destroyed, while at the same time Congress has allowed corporations to repudiate lifetime-benefit agreements.

for more information go to:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Woo-hoo! Another Teamster Organizing Victory In CA!


Please welcome our over 200 new brothers and sisters who work at Marquez Brothers Inc. in Hanford, CA. They voted to join Local517 in Visalia on Friday, July 20th. Marquez is the largest distributor of Mexican consumer products in the United States.

The Teamsters represent more employees in California’s food chain than any other union, and with this election victory Joint Council 7 celebrates over 10,000 new members organized in the last two years.

This new unit of employees joins more than 35,000 Teamsters employed in dairy production throughout California and the United States. Work in the dairy industry proves to be both difficult and dangerous, and Teamsters are able to make a living wage with good benefits andretirement security in return. The employees at Marquez knew they deserved the same.

For Marquez Brothers employees, organizing was not an easy feat. The company held daily meetings to try and influence their employees against joining the union. Marquez Brothers is now challenging the election results and spreading fear throughout the workplace in hopes of coercing employees into calling for a new election. Additionally, on the Monday after the election, Marquez Brothers began telling the employees that representatives from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would be at the plant on Friday checking immigration status as workers picked up their paychecks.

“99% of the employees at Marquez are Latino,” said Chester Suniga, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 517. “It’s outrageous that a Latino company appears to be taking advantage of our broken immigration system to deprive their employees of a voice at work.”

Rome Aloise, President of Joint Council 7 and Director of the Dairy Conference and Food Processing Division, is reaching out to Latino elected officials to ask for their support in future negotiations with Marquez. Joint Council 7 understands that organizing is part of a long-term project to build power for Latinos in the Central Valley. The same week that the employees at Marquez Brothers in Hanford voted to join our Union, a Teamster-supported project registered over 500 Latinos to vote in the City of Hanford itself. “Our Union is steadfastly committed to Latinos having representation at their workplace and in local government,” stated Aloise.

Fortunately, the new Teamsters at Marquez have refused to be persuaded or discouraged by their management. These employees understand and appreciate the many advantages of being Teamsters.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Federal Judge orders Los Angeles recycling firm to stop threatening union supporters and offer reinstatement to fired employees

August 02, 2012
Office of Public Affairs

A federal judge has ordered American Reclamation, Inc., a Los Angeles trash hauling and recycling service, to stop violating federal labor laws by threatening employees with dismissal for supporting a union, among other things, and to offer interim reinstatement to three employees who were fired.

Judge Dean D. Pregerson of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California issued the temporary injunction on Tuesday at the request of the NLRB, while the case is pending before Administrative Law Judge William Kocol. The injunction will remain in effect until the NLRB process is complete.

A complaint issued by the NLRB Regional Office in Los Angeles in April alleged that American Reclamation engaged in multiple unfair labor practices beginning in early October 2011, during a union organizing campaign. The company allegedly threatened employees that they would be fired for supporting the union and that the company would be closed or sold if the employees voted for the union. In addition, company officials unlawfully promised improved working conditions, including better safety equipment, to discourage their support for the union.

Two employees who openly supported the union were discharged in October 2011, and a third was discharged in January 2012 after photographing hazardous materials and encouraging employees to voice concerns about hazardous materials they were handling. The injunction orders the company to offer reinstatement to the three employees, and to read the order to all employees.

Attorneys Juan Carlos Ochoa Diaz and J. Carlos Gonzalez represented the Board in this matter in the District Court.

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Must Read For Organizers, Managers, Supervisors And Kiss A....

July 24, 2012 Contact: Office of Public Affairs 202-273-1991

Baked-goods manufacturer Sterling Foods, LLC, has agreed to pay more than $58,000 in back pay and interest to six employees who were discharged in the fall of 2011 following a union organizing campaign. Three of the employees have also accepted offers of reinstatement to their previous jobs.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local Union No. 455 filed charges alleging the employer engaged in multiple unfair labor practices during and after the union’s attempt to organize about 500 employees at the San Antonio, Texas facility. An election petition was not filed.

Following an investigation by regional staff, NLRB Regional Director Martha Kinard issued a complaint alleging that, in response to the union’s campaign, Sterling Foods unlawfully discharged six employees, threatened to terminate other employees, solicited an employee to report on union activities, offered an employee a financial benefit if he reported the union activities of employees, engaged in surveillance of employee union activities, called the police on employees and union organizers engaged in union activity, prohibited employees from accepting union literature and directed employees to throw away union literature. A hearing on the complaint had been scheduled to start on August 6, 2012 in San Antonio.

The Regional Director had also filed a petition with the U. S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division, seeking a temporary injunction against Sterling Foods’ unfair labor practices and an interim order of reinstatement of the six discharged employees. A hearing on that petition had been scheduled for July 19, 2012.

The settlement, signed on July 13, 2012, eliminates the need for both hearings. Sterling Foods also agreed not to engage in such unfair labor practices in the future, to post a notice to that effect at its San Antonio facility, and to mail a copy of the notice to all employees.

Monday, July 16, 2012



Study Finds Union Representation In Trucking Linked To Higher Safety Performance

In case there was any doubt, a recent study by researchers at the University of Maryland confirmed that unionized motor carriers are superior to nonunion carriers when it comes to safety performance on our nation’s roads and highways.

“Union membership has a statistically positive impact on both driver and vehicle safety performance,” the study found.

Led by Dr. Thomas M. Corsi and his colleagues at the UMD Robert H. Smith School of Business, the researchers looked at existing safety performance data for more than 150,000 interstate carriers to determine if there was any link between unionization and the safety performance of trucking companies.

“After reviewing a substantial amount of crash data and other safety performance indicators that were collected by the federal government, the researchers concluded that unionized motor carriers demonstrate better safety performance than their nonunion counterparts,” said LaMont Byrd, Director of the Teamsters Safety and Health Department.

While it’s not surprising that safety standards tend to be higher among union carriers, Dr. Corsi’s report is the first of its kind to look directly at the relationship between unionization and actual performance data.

In addition to reviewing records from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s SafeStat performance ranking system, the study examined health and safety provisions in Teamster master agreements with carriers like UPS and others covered in the National Master Freight Agreement.

The study has important implications for the trucking industry. Even though fatal motor carrier crashes have decreased over the last 12 years, accidents continue to have a serious impact on the business. And while the 1980 Motor Carrier Act led to a huge drop in union membership, the better safety performance of unionized carriers makes the case for why it is in the public interest to reverse deregulation.

Night and Day

Low rates of safety violations and crashes can be directly linked to collective bargaining. As the study noted, contract language typically requires compliance with government safety regulations related to equipment standards, driver safety, and hours-of-service regulations. Defining “workday” and “workweek” limitations in a union contract goes a long way in reducing the risks associated with driver fatigue.

Dr. Corsi’s research team confirmed what union truck drivers have known for a long time.

“It stands to reason,” said John Hasley, a 33-year veteran carhauler who has seen both sides of the industry. “Higher safety procedures secured and enforced by a contract means better safety performance.”

Hasley, who has since retired, worked as a nonunion owner-operator for several years before becoming a Teamster in 1978.

“The difference between professional and cut-rate carriers is night and day. With a union, the drivers are protected. They can say to the boss, ‘No, this equipment is not safe.’ Without the backing of a union, you could be fired for doing that.”

Of the 157,292 firms whose safety records were reviewed by Dr. Corsi and his colleagues, 78 were union carriers. They consistently had better scores than the non-union companies in data measuring unsafe driving, fatigued driving, driver fitness, vehicle maintenance and cargo securement.

According to the study, the difference can be attributed to formalized safety procedures written into collective bargaining agreements in the industry. For example, the national master agreement for UPS Teamsters prevents the company from requiring drivers to operate unsafe equipment, giving workers the right to refuse to drive a vehicle that is not up to government regulatory standards.

Workers are required to report all accidents and the employer is responsible for investigating reported accidents within a 20-day period.

“Drivers are on their own without a contract,” Hasley pointed out. “At union firms, you have more supervision and other folks checking equipment and making sure loads are secured properly.”

Better overall working conditions secured in a contract are another likely factor that raises safety performance among union carriers.

As Dr. Corsi’s team noted in their report, “Unionized motor carrier drivers contribute to, and help ensure, a more stable and structured working environment which, in turn, contributes to increasingly safe operations.”

Drivers protected by a union contract tend to enjoy better pay and benefits in addition to more regular hours. By contrast, nonunion drivers are more likely to experience dissatisfaction with their compensation and other workplace conditions, resulting in higher turnover rates for nonunion truckload carriers. And high turnover, the study observes, significantly impacts on-the-road safety as companies need to spend more money on recruitment and training instead of transportation safety.

The Union Difference

Dr. Corsi’s study is an academic validation of the union difference. And longtime drivers like Hasley are personal illustrations of that difference.

After more than three decades in the industry, Hasley says he is “living the dream” in retirement, enjoying his golden years at his lakeside home and spending afternoons on his boat. The safety protections that a union brings on the job contribute in no small way to the benefits of a healthy retirement.

“The fact is the companies always want to take shortcuts because of economics,” Hasley said. “The union is really a buffer against these companies’ desire to cut corners for profit. That means the drivers’ desire to ensure the safe delivery of goods is more of a priority. Workers and the public are better off because of that.”

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Wonder if EVERYTHING really is on the table when it comes to cutting the deficit?


Salary of retired US Presidents .............$450,000 FOR LIFESalary of House/Senatemembers..........$174,000FOR LIFESalary of Speakerof theHouse .............$223,500 FOR LIFESalary of Majority/Minority Leaders .....$193,400 FOR LIFE

Average salary of a soldierDEPLOYED IN AFGHANISTAN - $38,000

Average income for seniors on SOCIAL SECURITY - $12,000

I think we found where the cuts should be made! If you agree...

They all have "contracts"
But your GOP leaders and including your CEO of Conway oppose against your rights to have union rights, and a fair contract.
Shame on you Mitch Mcconnell, John Boehner, and your past Presidents.

Monday, June 18, 2012

NLRB launches webpage describing Protected Concerted Activity

The National Labor Relations Board today made public a webpage that describes the rights of employees to act together for their mutual aid and protection, even if they are not in a union.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

We deserve better

Fellow Southern California UFV, UIV, ULA, ULB, ULX, UOR, USB, USD, UVC, now is the time to organize to combat favoritism, discrimination, abuse of power by supervisors, and punishment for insignificant things. It's time for a stress-free environment, to be treated humanely and not as a number. We need to communicate, educate and inform ourselves. We don't need to be in fear of fighting for our working rights. We deserve better treatment, respect, and dignity. Let’s organize to have a voice and stop this hostile work environment.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Myths About Union Pension Plans

You’ve seen the headlines saying that Teamster pensions are poorly funded. That just isn’t true. In fact, the Western conference of teamsters pension plan is a well-designed and responsibly funded pension plans. It provides Teamster members with a way to save for and earn a financially secure future. Let’s take a look at some of the myths surrounding the Teamster pension plans.

Myth # 1: Pensions are poorly funded.
While some pensions have gotten into trouble for not funding their benefits, this is not true of all pensions. The Western conference of teamsters pension plan is nearly 95% funded which make it among the top pension plans nationally.

 Myth # 2: All pensions are the same.
Plan designs among pensions vary. In fact, if we vote to form a union at Conway, we will decide if we want a pension plan and how to manage it. For example, if we want to keep the existing 401k plan we can keep it, instead of getting a pension plan.

Myth #3: All pension plans should be converted to 401(k)-like plans.
Opposition groups (i.e. wall street, corporate interests, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ) have made it their mission to switch pension plans to a 401(k)-type plan under the premise that it is a cost savings measure. The Purpose of this is to put more stock into provide hands and have that serve as a cushion for them when times get rough. If they lose money, you lose money.

Myth #4: Pension plan would go to YRC members
YRC is under the Master Freight Agreement. Conway would not join that contract. The only companies bounded to Master Freight are YRC and ABF. Conway would have it’s own separate agreement and separately funded pension plan.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Monday, May 14, 2012

Can you please show us anti union tactics part 2

Can You Please Show Us Anti Union Tatics Part Two


What is a union buster? A union buster is a firm or individual hired by an employer to thwart a union organizing drive by employees.

Why do Companies hire union busters? One simple word . . . control. With a Union, employers lose the ability to totally control the workforce, since employees collectively gain rights with a union.

Why don't we hear about the union buster? This is one of the ways a union buster operates - behind the scenes. If you get letters signed by management that imply bad things happening with a union, you can bet that letter was written by a union buster.

How does the union buster operate? A union buster seeks to achieve two things: One, to create a sense of dissention and division among employees during an organizing campaign; and, two, to spread the greatest amount of misinformation about the union possible.

During EVERY Union campaign, beware of the fact that your Employer DIRECTED BY THEIR UNION-BUSTERS will try everything in their power to deceive you in their attempts to keep control. In principle, no employer wants to give up control to its employees. That is why employers will use every tool at their disposal. They'll use letters, rumors, threats, phony committees, captive audience meetings, special perks, videos, fear, scare tactics, lies about corruption and anything else they can think of to convince you to vote no or not sign a card.

These methods are contained in standard propaganda packages developed and sold by highly paid professional "union-busting" consultants (paid approximately $1,000 -$1,500 a day plus expenses).

They are designed to confuse workers into thinking that they don't want or need a Union. Don't allow some highly paid "consultant", sometimes disguised as Human Resource Personnel to tell you how to think. Don't be distracted - even by a small group of employees who may be misled by management and are campaigning against you and your right to form a Union.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

con-way first quarter profit rises...

Con-way first quarter profit rises, beats estimates

Tue May 1, 2012 5:24pm EDT

(Reuters) - Trucking and logistics company Con-way Inc (CNW.N) reported higher quarterly earnings that beat estimates, boosted by fuel surcharges and new customers for its transportation and warehouse management services.

Trucking companies have had minimal push-back to higher shipping rates, which they have been able to tack on due to a capacity shortage that is likely to intensify as the economy expands.

The company on Tuesday said net income rose to $25.6 million, or 46 cents a share, in the first quarter, compared with $6.9 million, or 12 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, profit was 45 cents a share, up from 24 cents a share a year earlier. This beat the average Wall Street forecast of 35 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue for the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based company rose to $1.37 billion, above the average estimate of $1.35 billion.

Con-way Freight, the company's less-than-truckload unit that accounts for more than 60 percent of its revenue, had an 8.2 percent revenue rise to $831 million, driven up in part by fuel surcharges to customers as tonnage rose 1.5 percent compared with a year ago.

In less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping, the company picks up loads, sorts them and makes various deliveries. This differs from truckload, in which one driver picks up a load and stays with it through to its final destination.

Higher revenue was due primarily to increased revenue per hundredweight, or yield, including higher fuel surcharge revenue, the company said.

In the logistics segment, revenue rose 13.3 percent to $419 million, due mainly to new customers for transportation and warehouse management services and to increased freight brokerage volumes.

Revenue rose 8.3 percent in the truckload division due to higher fuel surcharges and improved revenue per loaded mile. Loaded miles rose slightly and empty miles fell to 9.3 percent from 9.6 percent a year earlier.

Con-way's shares closed up 0.8 percent at $32.76, up more than 12 percent so far this year. The Dow Jones Transportation average is up 5.3 percent this year.

Con-way is holding a conference call with analysts on Wednesday before the market opens.

(Reporting By Lynn Adler; Editing by Gary Hill and Phil Berlowitz

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Setting the record straight!

Hey peewee long haul driver from Dallas, TX think twice if you’re against the union. You’re actually not saving up for retirement; your pension plan has been taken away by upper guys. Your sweat hard working vacation taken away again by those greedy ceo’s who are guaranteed 120% double their salary every year, just then your manager and supervisors received in behalf of you a free paid extra vacation week. Must be nice to feel dump by them ceo’s huh so think clearly next time buddy. And sweat your ass for what reason?

Can you please show us anti union tactics part 1

Can you please show us anti union tactics Part 1

Ask Away

I understand that Con-way is using some illegal tactics. I would like to know what they are if they use it at my station. Do you have any information on the subject.

Watch Dogs Response:

Con-way appears to be using some standard material at some locations. Here is some information on union-busting that I pulled off the internet.

Union busting is a practice, considered by some to be unethical, undertaken by an employer when employees are attempting to join a union. It is the process which some employers may use to prevent their employees from joining a labor union. Another form of union busting is firing an already organized workforce and hiring non-union labor.

During a union busting operation, usually a highly paid Labor Relations consultant or a "union buster" as they are informally called, is brought in during a union organizing drive to try and convince workers not to join the union.

Union busting tactics

The following tactics are sometimes used:

Supervisors and managers can deliver letters, speeches, and informal chats, sometimes prepared by a union-buster.

Employees may be asked to attend one-on-one discussions, group meetings, or lectures about the union, during which they will be paid. Employers must be careful not to intimidate their employees, because employees can appeal to the Teamsters, usually resulting in charges and penalties being upheld against the company, and in some cases resulting in the employer being automatically required to recognize the union as the bargaining unit representing employees. At these meetings, employers discuss the negative aspects of a union and try to convince employees not to join.

In some cases, supervisors and managers will walk the floors more frequently and arrange impromptu chats and meetings to find out what their workers are up to. However, this can also be interpreted as intimidation and can get the employer in trouble.

The union-busters may prepare many letters to be signed by administrators, employees, and well-liked supervisors and managers. They may express appreciation for what the employees have done for the company, admit having made mistakes in the past and express an intention to do a better job in the future. They may also paint an ugly picture of the union or suggest that the union is hiding something. Lying to employees however, is strictly forbidden.

To convince employees that they don't need a union to obtain improvements, a company may provide unexpected increases in wages or benefits, although they cannot condition said benefits or wages on union participation or threaten wage cuts.

In extreme cases the union-buster may direct management to play one group of employees against another to generate disunity (e.g. "disloyal" union supporters versus "loyal" union opponents, one department against another, etc.). This would likely result in harsh penalties for the company.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

"Dialing, 112" can save our wives, our daughthers or anyone like you.

Some knew about the red light on cars, but not Dialing 112. It was about 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon, and Lauren was driving to visit a friend. An UNMARKED police car pulled up behind her and put his lights on. Lauren's parents have always told her to never pull over for an unmarked car on the side of the road, but rather to wait until they get to a gas station, etc.

Lauren had actually listened to her parents advice, and promptly called, 112 on her cell phone to tell the police dispatcher that she would not pull over right away. She proceeded to tell the dispatcher that there was an unmarked police car with a flashing red light on his rooftop behind her. The dispatcher checked to see if there were police cars where she was and there weren't, and he told her to keep driving, remain calm and that he had back up already on the way.

Ten minutes later 4 cop cars surrounded her and the unmarked car behind her. One policeman went to her side and the others surrounded the car behind. They pulled the guy from the car and tackled him to the ground. The man was a convicted rapist and wanted for other crimes. I never knew about the 112 Cell Phone feature. I tried it on my AT&T phone & it said, "Dialing Emergency Number." Especially for a woman alone in a car, you should not pull over for an unmarked car. Apparently police have to respect your right to keep going on to a safe place.

*Speaking to a service representative at Bell Mobility confirmed that 112 was a direct link to State trooper info. So, now it's your turn to let your friends know about "Dialing, 112"

You may want to send this to every Man, Woman & Youngster you know; it may well save a life.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Safety Comes With Experience

Over 20 employees have been fired at the San Bernardino, CA terminal for safety violations. Violations that include things like driving in the yard without four way flashers on, leaving the forklift forks just inches off the ground and not putting chocks on. These are all minor things, things that wouldn't even cause management to bat an eye in a union barn. Conway just doesn't get it. How do they expect people to be safe when all they do is get rid of people after petty violation? The only way to truly be safe is to work on safety. People learn as they go. Maybe if they were more lenient, then people could come to work and improve at their job and at being safe. Another reason why union companies are among the safest. It's not by accident, it's because they're experienced.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Teamsters Applaud Support For NLRB's Reform Of Election Process

April 24, 2012
Hoffa: Today's Vote Showed Who Is On The Side Of Middle-Class Workers
Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa today said he is pleased a majority of U.S. senators voted to uphold National Labor Relations Board reforms that make union representation elections more efficient.
The Senate blocked, by a vote of 45-54, an effort to overturn the new NLRB election rule. President Obama said he’d veto the resolution if it came to his desk. 
“Today’s vote was about one thing: whether American workers should have the right to a fair vote for a union,” Hoffa said. “Now we know which side our Senate representatives are on. Fortunately, a majority are on the side of the American middle-class worker.”
Until the rule change, the NLRB supervised union elections under rules that caused long delays and costly, frivolous litigation. These delays allowed employers to mount aggressive anti-union campaigns, intimidating employees so they would not seek union representation.
“Extremist, anti-worker politicians tried and failed to overturn a common-sense rule that got rid of voting delays and made sure workers had the basic right to vote,” Hoffa said. “You have to ask who these senators represent, American working families or corporations who want to pay their employees as little as they possibly can?”
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Koch Brothers Say, "Don't Watch this Video"