Proposal meetings set for Ruan/Fry’s contract

Report from Josh Graves, Warehouse Division
PHOENIX — We will be having proposal meetings for the new contract at Ruan/Fry’s in February. Please check the union board for dates and times. Please make every effort to attend. The “boot policy” arbitration has been rescheduled to February 3, 2016.

I would also like to send my condolences to the family of Harold Downing, who passed away on January 4. Harold was a driver with Ruan for 25 years and was well liked by his fellow union brothers.

US Foods — As this issue of the Rocky Mountain Teamster goes to press, we are in negotiations. At this time, the union is optimistic that we will achieve an agreement prior to this article being printed. The union and company will also be going to trial on January 20 over the unfair labor practice charge cases that have been consolidated into one case. We hope to be victorious in the judge’s decision as well. I would like to personally say I am proud to represent the US Foods members, as they have showed true unity through the two walk outs to stand in solidarity for one of their brothers.

Safeway — The Albertson’s facility has not started the expansion yet and has not filed for any zoning permits from the city of Tolleson. This process will be a long one and is looking like it will take longer than the 18 months as projected. Please be patient until we officially start the process. We will not have answers until this happens, but if you have any questions feel free to give me a call.

Safeway Milk — We will be having proposal meetings towards April or May. I will send times and dates out as we get closer. I look forward to negotiating a new contract.

Southwest Ambulance — AMR has started the integration process in taking over Rural Metro. They have given written notice to the union they will honor the current collective bargaining agreement. We are a small unit out there and the membership needs to stay focused and united.

Please remember there is about a one month delay before the Rocky Mountain Teamster is published, and things change constantly.

I would like to congratulate Gene Roberts retiring from Ruan/Fry’s with 24 years and would like to thank him for his service as a shop steward. Also, I would like to congratulate Russell Heptinstall retiring with 18 years from Safeway.

“All that harms labor is treason to America”
– Abraham Lincoln

Report from Kevin Thomas, business agent
Sun Van — Here in southern Arizona we just finished up two months of negotiations with PTS (TransDev).

The membership was asking and looking for another fair contract, to include:

  • Better maintained vehicles
  • Improved language for all departments,
  • Receiving the sick/personal leave up front for all fulltime employees,
  • Stronger language for bidding of routes and vacations,
  • A relaxed dress code for router reservationist, dispatchers and phone clerks
  • An increase in wages (Last increase for this unit was in 2012) Long overdue . . .

We are excited to report that the membership voted and passed the new two-year contract overwhelmingly—43 yes to three no—thanks to the hard work and long hours the negotiating committee members put in to help achieve a better contract for the membership at Sun Van.

Committee members were Emery Johnson, chief steward, and Calvin Dacus Jr., Trina Haury, Rick Evans and Vanessa Garcia, stewards. Great contract; job well done.

Sun Tran — Another PTS (TransDev) Unit I would like to update on is SunTran. This unit was on strike for 42 long days for such reasons as driver safety, mold presence in the maintenance facility and coaches.

Immediately after ratification of the new contract, the membership started forming committees to help the overall working conditions improve. They now have a scheduling committee and an efficiencies committee to name a couple.

Driver safety is a huge concern, and we now have driver partitions being installed in a few of the coaches with the operators collectively deciding on the best overall choice. Side mirrors are being moved down to aid in better visibility, Hiring and training of new Fare Enforcement Officers is being implemented in the month of January.

We know that when all these changes are complete driver and passenger safety will improve greatly. Still, there are areas that will take more time to implement. Working alongside the company and committees, we will continue to make the necessary improvements.

Union Strong, Membership Strong!

Report from Carlos Toledo, business agent
Asarco — The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued a third consolidated complaint against Asarco, LLC, which includes an allegation that the company unlawfully implemented portions of its “last, best and final” contract proposal on December 1, 2015, in the absence of a bargaining impasse.

The NLRB issued two previous consolidated complaints against Asarco for unfair labor practices that include “failing and refusing” to negotiate with the eight unions which represent workers at the Grupo Mexico subsidiary’s five U.S. facilities. Teamsters Local 104 represents 130 members at the Mission plant just south of Tucson, Arizona.

The NLRB has scheduled a hearing on March 15, 2016, when an administrative law judge will review evidence against Asarco and listen to testimony of the case.


Finley Distributing — Finley’s contract will expire on May 16, 2016. We will schedule contract proposal meetings soon and will need everyone’s input. The company has recently opened the new warehouse and has expanded its inventory by acquiring Alliant Beverage beer products, most notably Sam Adams, Guinness, and Sapporo to name a few.

Mission Linen — Mission’s contract will expire on September 30, 2016. Like Finley, we will also soon schedule contract proposal meetings. We are facing many challenges when it comes to discipline, ranging from attendance to unilateral changes from technology in the delivery vehicles.

Report from Dustin Howell, business agent
It’s hard to even begin this article. In 25 years with UPS and an 18-year affiliate with the Teamsters, I can honestly say I have never seen such a chaotic, unplanned, and understaffed peak season. In 2013, UPS had its highest peak season volume in the history of the company and was not ready for such a huge task. The company received horrible reviews and was under scrutiny by their stock holders. In 2014, UPS learned from its mistakes and made two major adjustments: hire more employees and put volume caps on the larger shipping customers. After our peak season review with the company I knew this was going to be a disastrous Christmas delivery season.

The company provided an ill-advised and incomplete peak season planning feeder subcontracting review. Once again we protested it and—armed with factual proof and an arbitrary decision in favor for all Teamster feeder drivers — we may have a stronger case to end the abuse of over subcontracting. I am proud to say that we have set up a strong network among locals in California and Las Vegas to help keep an eye on the so-called “ghost subcontractors.”

In the package delivery world our drivers dealt with new tasks of finishing their 12-hour day, and being forced to go into other centers to help out. The majority of all package car drivers ran out of hours as early as 4 p.m. on Friday.

Not only was UPS understaffed with bargaining employees, it didn’t have enough management to train employees. In the Mesa building, San Tan center is one of the leading centers in the nation for residential deliveries. UPS sent more than 25 management personnel to deliver packages. From division managers to labor managers they sent over an army. We will be processing multiple supervisor working grievances moving forward. We will also be challenging an issue with drivers in our Mesa building being scheduled to work on Sunday.

The part time ranks were even worse. Part timers were working up to 16 hours a day. Supervisors working, (hourly work) were begging our members to file for their hours so they wouldn’t have to load, unload, sort, and pickoff packages anymore. I’m sure the company will come back with the excuse of “exhausting all means” yet they simply didn’t hire enough employees.

In closing I would like to extend my gratitude to Vice President Karla Schumann, and Business Agents Alex Montez and Arnold Coronado for their help this peak season. I had to undergo neck surgery and was out for six weeks and they tended to my responsibilities and took care of the members that I oversee.

I would also like to thank the following stewards who are the strength day-in and day-out that hold our membership together: Al Franco, Dan Sullivan, Norm McKissick, George Streight, Dean Ornelas, David Fierros, Tracy Scholty, Danny Gonzalez, Karen Antelmi, Mathew Smith, Eddie Garfias, Brad Ziska, Steven Hernandez, Thomas Fairbairn, Eric Baker, Omar Carrasquillo.

And Ray Wilson, Jeff Pinney, JP Jandreau, Michael Samuel Jr, Nemir Meade, Noel Crowl, Thomas Jarvis, Larry Ayala, Crispin Coronado, Tony Garavetto, Maurice Nelson, Brian Pope, Jesse Rudd, Joe Figueroa, John Bandin, Pete Romero, Tony Nuetzman, JR Johnston, and Bob Bartlett. Without these dedicated Stewards we wouldn’t be the ethos that we have become.

Report from Arnold Coronado, business agent
I hope that all my Teamster brothers and sisters enjoyed the Holiday Season and that this report reaches all and their loved ones in the best of health. I would like to give recognition for the abundance of hours worked necessary to make service on the increased volume that the Holiday Season entails. Great job to all! Hopefully, 2016 will be a better year for all. I know at times there are certain members of management who make it very difficult on employees who exercise their contractual rights by retaliating in issuing discipline. Although there is language that prohibits this type of retaliatory behavior, more often than not, the discipline being issued is either for undependability, improper methods or not working as directed.

Undependability is very hard to defend, especially when an individual has numerous infractions that fall under this umbrella. Please make every effort to be on time every scheduled day and work as directed, utilizing the method expectation of the company. By following this advice, you would not have to give a second thought to disciplinary retaliation when exercising your contractual right in grievance form. I would also like to recognize and reiterate my gratefulness to my stewards who are my eyes and ears in combating management’s never ending creative spins on negotiated language. My Phoenix hub stewards are Brian Pope, Jason Cano, Jason Joseph, Jim Suiter, Joe Gordoa, Michael Hartman, Miguel Cardona, Quetzal Pena, Rocky Arcadi, Sal Lopez, Scott Drusczc, Teresa Tomlinson and Tyler Wilkinson. My Phoenix Gateway stewards are Art Stevenson, Larry McBride and Miles Kunau. My Tempe Stewards are Noah Broessel and James Smith. My Prescott stewards are Mario Gomez, Aaron Brown, Nick King and Albert Heath. My Camp Verde Steward is Cindy Koog-Burkhardt. Thank You!

Report from Kimberly Barboro, business agent
We have successfully ratified a joint collective bargaining agreement for US Airways and American members which gave them an approximate 30 percent wage increase and an additional nine percent increase over the five year term of the contract. Our members received their first check with the new wages on December 24. The pay scale tops out at the start of the 12th year of service in the group. Our members at top of scale went from $21.41 to $29.27 an hour. Our members are now being paid industry leading wages.

Some of our members from American Airlines who work from home were able to receive over 60 percent in pay increase and receive the same benefits that all other members will receive. Some American Airlines home based reservations agents went from $17.00 to $27.73 an hour. They can finally earn the wage and receive health care that they deserve.

We were also able to accomplish no furlough language so we can make sure our members who want to work will be able to work and earn a decent living.

Our next challenge is to get the new language implemented and have one integrated seniority list. We continue to meet on these issues and hope to have them accomplished soon.

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