Local 983

October 2017

Fall brings important issues

SOUTHEAST IDAHO — The end of summer is near and we can feel fall in the air. Many important things are coming up. We will be working on contract negotiations with Western Construction this fall that covers the Southern Idaho Master Labor Agreement.

We have also had proposal meetings for UPS and plan to start negotiating with the International, the Western Region and the Joint Council towards the beginning of next year. These will both be difficult negotiations but very important for our membership.

In order to continue the fight to make all of our contracts strong, we all need to stand together, work and continue to encourage all nonunion employees to sign-up. They are the weak link in the union. We need to continue to talk to the nonunion employees and work with them so that they understand the importance of the union brother and sisterhood. When we have accomplished a 100% membership in every shop then and only then will we have true bargaining power.

Every member should be committed to enforcing the contract they work under. If every member just signed up one person, we would be that much stronger at the negotiating table and on the shop floors! Anyone can sign up a new member and once their initiation is paid, you will receive $25! Contact us if you need blank sign-up forms.

We also want to send our warmest condolences to friends and family of Paul McKendrick. Paul passed away August 8, 2017. He was a valuable asset to our local and others as a business agent and organizer years ago.

Congratulations to our most recent retirees – Karen Phillips, Brent Nelson, Trinidad Cervantes, Tracy Teuscher, Kent Werth, Tony Evans, and Refugio Olmas of Basic American Foods; Steve Toly of UPS, and Robert Skinner of N.A. Degerstrom. Thank you for your many years of service and best wishes in your retirement!

If you are starting to think about retiring, please call our office to schedule an appointment with our WCOT Pension representative. They can answer any questions. We will be more than happy to help you fill out your application!

Please remember to contact us for any address or phone number changes. Also, if you are going to be off work for a month or more due to illness, leave of absence, layoff, etc., please contact us regarding being placed on withdrawal until you return to work. As a dues paying Union member, the Local provides you a $4,000 life benefit. Please make sure your beneficiary information is up to date by contacting us.

We hope to see you at our upcoming general membership meetings: October 5, November 2, and December 7. They all begin at 7 p.m. at the Local 983 Union Hall. You can also find us on Facebook to stay up to date!

QUOTABLE QUOTE — “As it has over the decades, the union movement stands for the fundamental moral values that make America strong: quality education for our children, affordable health care for every person—not just some—an end to poverty, secure pensions and wages that enable families to sustain the middle-class life that has fueled this nation’s prosperity and strength. Union members and other working family activists don’t just vote our moral values—we live them. We fight for them, day in, day out. Our commitment to economic and social justice propels us and everything we do.” —John Sweeney, November 2004
Thank you for your support!

August 2017

UPS negotiations will be tough

SOUTHEAST IDAHO – Summer has been in full swing here in Idaho. Construction has been busy, especially on the roads. There have been many accidents on the highways already this summer. Please be safe and extra cautious, especially in construction zones. We hope you continue to enjoy all of the summer activities Idaho has to offer.

UPS negotiations are coming up soon and by the time you read this, we will have already had proposal meetings. It will be a tough fight as usual but the negotiating committee works hard to keep your best interests in mind. We need to remain united and strong through the process!

Our membership is increasing at Degerstrom Ventures and we want to thank all our members that work hard there and fight for what is right and fair. The more members we have, the stronger we will be at the negotiating table late next year.

Congratulations to the most recent retirees –Venita Munson from Basic American Foods and Jerry Workman of Great Western Malting. Thank you for your many years of service and we wish you the best of luck in your retirement!

If your contract includes the Western Conference of Teamsters Pension and you are thinking about retiring soon or just want to check on your future, a pension rep visits us once every two months. Just give us a call at the union hall to schedule your appointment!

Life with Dues Policy: If you are current dues paying member, you have a $4000 life insurance policy that the Teamsters provides for you. Please make sure that your beneficiary knows about the policy.
Please remember to call and let us know if you have a change of address or new contact information so that it can be updated in the union hall records.

General membership meetings are held the first Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. at the Local 983 Union Hall – 456 N. Arthur in Pocatello. Please feel free to contact the office at (208) 232-6891 anytime you have questions or concerns. We are always happy to help in any way we can.

REMINDER:
The general membership meetings are cancelled through the summer months (June, July and August). We will resume the general membership meetings September 7th 2017 at 7:00 pm.

June 2017

Back to work for construction workers

SOUTHEAST IDAHO — The summer has finally arrived and we are happy to see that the construction work has picked up and most of the construction work force has gone back to work. Please drive safe and have a great summer.

Please continue to support your fellow co-workers who are your union brothers and sisters. We are more powerful when unified and in support each other!

The contract with Great Western Malting was ratified in March. Thank you to the members for the patience and support.

Congratulations to the most recent retiree –Keith Delgado from Basic American Foods. Thank you for your many years of service and we wish you the best of luck in your retirement!

Life with Dues Policy – If you a current dues paying member, you have a $4000 life insurance policy that the Teamsters provides for you. Please make sure that your beneficiary knows about the policy.

Please remember to call and let us know if you have a change of address or new contact information so that it can be updated in the local’s records.

If your contract includes the Western Conference of Teamsters Pension and you are thinking about retiring soon or just want to check on your future, a pension rep visits us once every two months. Just give us a call at the union hall to schedule your appointment!

The general membership meetings are held the first Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. at the Local Union Hall – 456 N. Arthur in Pocatello. Please feel free to contact the office at (208) 232-6891 anytime you have questions or concerns. We are always happy to help in any way we can.

Reminder – The general membership meetings are cancelled through the summer months (June, July and August). We will resume the general membership meetings September 7th 2017 at 7:00 pm.

Quotable Quotes
“The American labor movement has consistently demonstrated its devotion to the public interest. It is, and has been, good for all America.”
—John F. Kennedy

“The problem with unions today is that there aren’t enough of them.”
— Martin Johns, 2011

April 2017

Thanks to training class attendees

SOUTHEAST IDAHO — It has been a very long winter this year. I know everyone is looking forward to the spring and summer months. As always, please be safe in all that you do and watch for all the children who will be out playing. I hope everyone has a great summer.

Thanks to all those who attended the training class this year, and a special thanks to the Eastern Idaho Metal Trades Council for joining us. Shawn Ellis from the IBT has always provided such a wealth of knowledge. It is always a pleasure to have him here to support our members and their continued commitment to learn and participate in all of the union processes.

We also want to encourage you to support your fellow co-workers who are your union brothers and sisters. We are more powerful when unified and in support of each other!

The contract with Pocatello Ready Mix was ratified in February. Thank you to the members for the patience and support.

We are still working on negotiations with Great Western Malting and I hope that by the time this goes to print we have reached an agreement. Please watch the mail for information on the meeting dates and times. Always remember how hard the negotiating committees work to get the best contract for every member. At times it seems to be a daunting task but as the issues are worked through, I’m confident that we will reach an agreement.

UT-ID Teamsters Health Insurance – If you are still having any issues with claims being denied or having high balances owed due to seeing an out of network provider, please do not hesitate to call us at (208) 232-6891 and we will do everything we can to assist you.

Congratulations to the most recent retirees–Debra Storer, Manuel Pena, Terry Hansen, Olivie Cantu, David Julian, Elias Ortega, Eva Burgett, Rick Evans and Steven Stewart from Basic American Foods, and Rick Reynolds from the Idaho Signatory Employees. Thank you for your many years of service and we wish you the best of luck in your retirement.

Life with Dues Policy – If you a current dues paying member, you have a $4000 life insurance policy that the Teamsters provides for you. Please make sure that your beneficiary knows about the policy.
Please remember to call and let us know if you have a change of address or new contact information so that it can be updated in the union hall records.

If your contract includes the Western Conference of Teamsters Pension and you are thinking about retiring soon, or just want to check on your future, a pension rep visits us once every two months. Just give us a call at the Union Hall to schedule your appointment.

The general membership meetings are held the first Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. at the local union hall. 456 N. Arthur in Pocatello. Please feel free to contact the office at (208) 232-6891 anytime you have questions or concerns. We are always happy to help in any way we can.

Reminder: The general membership meetings are cancelled through the summer months (June, July and August).

February 2017

Thanks and best wishes to our members

POCATELLO — It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone. I hope that 2017 is a very prosperous New Year for everyone. I want to tell our members how much we appreciate you and also express our gratitude and thank you for the hard work and dedication to the union and what it stands for.

The membership has grown in the last few years and with all of your hard work and continued support that trend will continue in the coming years. The commitment we have is to protect the union workers and to build a better life for everyone. It takes hard work and I’m glad to see that as we move forward, we are building unity and communication.

I want to welcome Shawn Ashley as our new recording secretary on the Local 983 Executive Board. He is from the Basic American Foods plant in Blackfoot and will be replacing Ruby Curtis. Thank you Ruby for your many years of service and keep up the great work at the Lamb Weston plant in American Falls.
The contract with Fluor Idaho, LLC was ratified in December. Thank you to the members there for patience so we could get the best contract possible for you.

We will be working on the upcoming negotiations with Pocatello Ready Mix and Great Western Malting soon. Please watch the mail for information on the meeting dates and times.

The holiday peak season at UPS was another busy one. I want to thank all of the drivers and part-timers for staying positive and safe during one of the coldest peaks we’ve had in a while! The long hours you work and the time away from your family is truly appreciated.

Congratulations to the most recent retirees–Cheryl Cheatle and Linda Human from Basic American Foods, and Gary Mackay and Shawn Livingston from UPS. Thank you for your many years of service and we wish you the best of luck in your retirement!

We are still having a few issues with the provider network through the UT-ID Teamsters Health Insurance. If you are having any issues with claims being denied or having high balances owed due to seeing an out of network provider, please do not hesitate to call us at (208) 232-6891 and we will do everything we can to assist you.

Life with Dues Policy – If you are a current dues paying member you have a $4000 life insurance policy that the Teamsters provides for you. Please make sure that your beneficiary knows about the policy.
Please remember to call and let us know if you have a change of address or new contact information so that it can be updated in the our records.

General membership meetings are held the first Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. at the local union hall, 456 N. Arthur in Pocatello. Please feel free to contact the office at (208) 232-6891 anytime you have questions or concerns. We are always happy to help in any way we can.

December 2016

Happy Holidays to Everyone

POCATELLO — I hope everyone is ready for the cold winter months that will soon be on the way. As always please drive safely and avoid the use of cell phones until you can safely pull off the road.

We hope your world is filled with warmth and good cheer this Holiday season, and throughout the year! We hope your Christmas is filled with peace and love. We hope that you have a Very Merry Christmas and a very prosperous New Year.

We are working on several contract negotiations this fall that will include Fluor Idaho, LLC. and Pocatello Ready Mix and one starting this spring with Great Western Malting here in Pocatello.

As always, we encourage everybody to sign up non-members. If every member just signed up one person, we would be that much stronger at the negotiating table! Anyone can sign up a new member and once their initiation is paid, you will receive $25! Contact us if you need blank sign up forms.

There will be a Teamsters Union Training Class March 4, 2017, so please keep your calendar open. The class will be open to all the members. Please make sure that you call and sign up to attend because we do have limited space available.

Congratulations to the most recent retirees – Leeann Chaffin, Robert Bowman and Dorothy Snarr of Basic American Foods. Thank you for your many years of service and best wishes in your retirement!
If you are starting to think about retirement, please call our office to schedule an appointment with our WCOT Pension representative. They can answer any questions. We will be more than happy to help you fill out your application!
Please remember to contact us for any address or phone number changes. Also, if you are going to be off work for a month or more due to illness, leave of absence, layoff, etc., please contact us to be placed on withdrawal until you return to work. As a dues paying union member, the local provides you a $4,000 life benefit. Please make sure your beneficiary information is up to date by contacting us.
We hope to see you at our upcoming general membership meetings: December 1 and January 5. They all begin at 7 p.m. at the local union hall. You can also find us on Facebook to stay up to date!
Thank You for your support.

Quotable Quote:
The benefits that unions win don’t just go to the union members, they become the standard. When labor won the fight for an 8-hour day and 40-hour workweek with overtime pay, that became the standard. When labor fought for minimum wages, that became the standard, when labor fought for workplace safety, that became the standard. Labor’s fight is a fight to set the standard for the rest of us.

Dave Johnson
Campaign for America’s Future

August 2016

A story of inspiration

POCATELLO — Summer is here and I hope everyone is enjoying the sunshine and all the fun summer activities.

I had the honor and privilege of attending the International Brotherhood of Teamsters 29th Convention this past June and was part of a wonderful group of Teamsters that truly stands for everything I believe a Teamster should be. There were so many stories of inspiration and more than one reason to be a Teamster. One story that I want to share with you is about Travis Bornstein, president of Local 24, and the tragedy of losing his son due to prescription drug addiction. The Bornstein family has turned a terrible loss into a way to help others by creating a non-profit organization called Breaking-Barriers to help combat addiction.

Our brothers and sisters raised more than $1.4 million for this organization in a matter of hours. The donations will go to building a facility on the vacant lot where his son’s body was found. The care facility will help others fight this addiction. If you are interested about learning more please go to NowWeFightForYou.com.

I want to encourage each and every one of you to sign up a new member. Our voice will be heard if we stand together.

If you are starting to think about retiring, please call our office at 208-232-6891 to schedule an appointment with our WCOT Pension representative. They can answer any questions and help you fill out your application! We want to congratulate our most recent retirees: Daniel Stoner of UPS and Shane Albright of Basic American Foods. We wish you the best of luck in your retirement!

Contact us for address or phone number changes

Your health insurance and the pension should also be contacted. Changing it with one does not change it everywhere. Also, if you are going to be off work for a month or more due to illness, leave of absence, layoff, etc., please contact us to be placed on withdrawal until you return to work. As a dues paying union member, the local provides you a $4,000 life benefit. Please make sure your beneficiary information is up to date by contacting us.

Our general membership meetings are suspended through the summer months. They will resume in September and are held the first Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. at the local union hall 456 N. Arthur in Pocatello. Please feel free to contact the office at (208) 232-6891 anytime you have questions or concerns.

“We have come too far — struggled too long, sacrificed too much and have too much left to do—to allow that which we have achieved for the good of all to be swept away without a fight. And we have not forgotten how to fight.”
— Lane Kirkland


June 2016

Summer fun is here; safety hazards, too

Pocatello — Summer is here in Idaho and we are looking forward to the warm weather and all the exciting activities that summer brings, like enjoying water sports, grilling, picnics and other fun activities. Unfortunately, though, it also brings some safety hazards. It’s always a great idea to be prepared. Have a safety kit available at all times, and use common sense.

Here are 10 of the top safety tips: 1. Sun Block. 2. Mosquito repellent. 3. Drink water for hydration. 4. Wear shades. 5. Buckle up. 6. Practice sensible water safety. 7. Bicycle helmets at all times. 8. Don’t leave children or pets inside a car, even for just a few minutes. 9. Slowdown and watch for children at play. 10. Fire safety.

Have a wonderful and fun summer!

“Tomorrow – your reward for working safely today.” — Robert Pelton

The contract books are here for Basic American Foods and Lamb Weston. If I missed you at the shop visits, please call the office and we will be happy to mail you a contract book.

As always, we encourage everybody to sign-up non-members. We are still trying to emphasize the importance of internal organizing and growing the membership of our organization. If every member just signed up one person, we would be that much stronger at the negotiating table! Anyone can sign up a new member and once their initiation is paid, you will receive $25! Contact us if you need blank sign-up forms.

Congratulations to the most recent retirees—Karen Tomchak, Roxann Jones and Shane Albright of Basic American Foods, and Elaine Beyeler of Lamb Weston. Thank you for your many years of service and best wishes in your retirement!

If you are starting to think about retiring, please call our office at 208-232-6891 to schedule an appointment with our WCOT Pension representative. They can answer any questions and help you fill out your application!

Please remember to contact us for any address or phone number changes. Your health insurance and the pension should also be contacted. Changing it with one does not change it everywhere. Also, if you are going to be off work for a month or more due to illness, leave of absence, layoff, etc., please contact us regarding being placed on withdrawal until you return to work. As a dues paying union member, the local provides you a $4,000 life benefit. Please make sure your beneficiary information is up to date by contacting us.

The general membership meetings will be suspended the months of June, July and August. We hope to see you September 1, 2016. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at the local union hall. You can also find us on Facebook to stay up to date!

Thank You for your support!


April 2016

Gearing up for the busy season

POCATELLO — Spring is finally here in Idaho and we are looking forward to warmer weather and a busy season! Western Construction is gearing up for a summer of work. All three Basic American Foods contracts, along with Lamb Weston, have been ratified. We’d like to thank everyone involved on the negotiating committees for their hard work and time put in to benefit all of the members. Contracts are at the printers and they will be in the member’s hands as soon as possible! We are still in the middle of negotiations with Meadow Gold Dairies and Pocatello Ready Mix and are hoping to vote on those soon.

As always, we encourage everybody to sign up non-members. We are still trying to emphasize the importance of internal organizing and growing the membership of our organization. If every member just signed up one person, we would be that much stronger at the negotiating table! Anyone can sign up a new member and once their initiation is paid, you will receive $25! Contact us if you need blank sign-up forms.

February 2016


Membership growth is essential

POCATELLO — We hope 2016 is off to a great start for all of our members. Local 983 is looking forward to a new and productive year. We are still trying to emphasize the importance of internal organizing and growing the membership of our organization. We are still hard at work in the middle of several negotiations including all three Basic American Foods plants, Meadow Gold Dairies and Con Agra/Lamb Weston. Internal organizing is imperative to continue to strengthen these contracts.

As always, we encourage everybody to sign up non-members. If every member just signed up one person, we would be that much stronger at the negotiating table! Anyone can sign up a new member and once their initiation is paid, you will receive $25! Contact us if you need blank sign-up forms.

For all of our new and longstanding stewards, there will be a Stewards Training Class on March 19, 2016, so please keep your calendar open. Shawn Ellis will be conducting the class and we are looking forward to his return. Mark Schumar of the IBT will also be attending to educate us all on DRIVE (Democrat, Republican, Independent Voter Education) and what those funds are used for.

We held our delegate nomination meeting on January 7. Due to a white ballot, Secretary-Treasurer Tonya Carlson has been elected delegate and President Andrew Davis has been elected as alternate delegate. One of them will attend the International Convention in June on behalf of Local 983.

Utah-Idaho Health Insurance
The trustees of the UT-ID Teamsters Security Fund have selected a new administrator for the insurance plans that are provided by the trust. The new administrator will be Southwest Service Administrators. They currently process the eligibility for our part-time UPS members and do a good job. The transition should be complete by May 1, 2016, and will not affect the level of benefits you currently have. We would like to thank Group Benefit Administrators, the Corbett Family and all of the employees for their many years of service.

Congratulations to the most recent retirees—Vic Rowett, Penny Gotch and Alfredo Pena of Basic American Foods, and Kathryn Dalke of Lamb Weston. Thank you for your many years of service and best wishes in your retirement! If you are starting to think about retiring, please call our office at 208-232-6891 to schedule an appointment with our WCOT Pension representative. They can answer any questions and help you fill out your application!

Please contact us for address/phone number changes. Your health insurance and the pension should also be contacted. Changing it with one does not change it everywhere. Also, if you are going to be off work for a month or more due to illness, leave of absence, layoff, etc., please contact us regarding being placed on withdrawal until you return to work. As a dues paying Union member, the Local provides you a $4,000 life benefit. Please make sure your beneficiary information is up to date by contacting us.

We hope to see you at our upcoming general membership meetings: February 4 and March 3. They all begin at 7 p.m. at the local union hall. You can also find us on Facebook to stay up to date!

Thank You for your continued support!

Rail bill important to Coloradans

By Jim Wilmesher
Chairman, Colorado State Legislative Board
Brotherhood of Locomotive, Engineers & Trainmen
International Brotherhood of Teamsters

DENVER — The railroads don’t care anything about safety. Well, that may be a bit of an overstatement; however, it’s not far from true.

In July of 2015, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad offered a collective bargaining agreement to the conductors of the largest division on the system. BNSF proposed one-person train operations on specific territories where Positive Train Control (PTC) was operational. PTC is a technology that uses GPS, track-side signals and computer software to limit train operation and prevent collisions. The agreement also included a “roving” conductor who could perform the off-train tasks of a conductor. The “roving” conductor could provide service to multiple trains within a certain geographic territory

According to the railroads, PTC is supposed to provide all the in-cab functions of the conductor. However, in Colorado, PTC is installed but not operational on the BNSF and installation on the Union Pacific (UP) railroad is incomplete. Hopefully, PTC will eventually work but it will never have all the safety benefits of two people in the controlling cab of a freight train.

There are a variety of jobs that demand the redundancy of two-person crews for safe operation. A train crew, conductor and engineer, is similar to the crew of a commercial airline’s navigator and pilot crew. Two people provide an ongoing feedback loop that technology cannot. For example, in poor weather, under stress and fatigue, during equipment failures or a crew failure (heart attack), and in the case of a terrorist or rogue operator, technology does not talk to, provide opinions or help the stress of a lone operator. Commercial airplanes have a second person in the cockpit to safeguard its precious cargo and a freight train should have a two-person crew as well.

In Colorado, trains haul a variety of cargo including lumber, coal, military equipment, crude oil and other hazardous materials. Because of the topography of our state and the efficiency in traveling the flattest route, most railroads run near rivers. Also, as part of their business in Colorado, railroads travel through cities and military installations. The railroads have operating rules and provide training to crews on hazardous materials, terrorist threats and security for the railroad and the train.

The railroads know that with vast territories and limited railroad-police resources, the train crew must be their eyes and ears while operating. Also, the capacity of the equipment (power), the size of the train (length and weight) and the hazardous materials shipped have all increased over time. The railroads want to operate longer, heavier more dangerous trains with just one person in the controlling cab. Given the railroads proximity to our water resources, lines through remote areas as well as dense urban areas and military bases, it doesn’t make sense to have only one person on the train.

The railroads have had an economic boom over the last eight years. Colorado’s class I railroads, BNSF and Union Pacific, have both benefited from record profits, even through the economic recession hit the rest of the country. How did they spend their revenue? They hired employees, purchased train equipment, built more tracks and bought back shares of their own stock. They did not complete PTC, the safety technology they say is the replacement for the conductor but instead asked for an extension to the installation deadline.

In August 2015, the railroads mandated by Congress to install PTC (Railway Safety Improvement Act, 2008), asked for a 3-5 year extension on the deadline. In September, 2015, the class I railroads threatened to shut down all their traffic unless Congress granted a 3-year extension for PTC. Congress acquiesced and granted a 3-year extension on compliance and an additional 2-year waiver for those still unable to comply after that date. PTC — a safety system designed to save lives and prevent most train collisions, save the property and people of Colorado — is not important enough to the railroads or Congress to finish in 15 years!

Railroads are an important business because they safely and efficiently move large quantities of goods across enormous territories. They have done so for years and will continue to do so into the future. Even with changing strategies and conditions, the railroads have achieved many of their safety goals by relying on their train crews to handle the work and do it safely. Presently, all class I railroads across the United States rely on the efficiency and safety of two-person crews. The Colorado Rail Safety Bill (HB16-1136) demands that the railroads continue to support the two-person crew as the safety standard. Passing this bill insures train crews, their families and all Coloradans the safe rail operations we all deserve.