Southern California Teamster
By Phil Cooper, Secretary-Treasurer
Local Union 896
September 8, 2014
A quick reminder to all of our members, September means summer is over so please use extra caution when driving near all schools. The end of summer also means more traffic on the roads; your commutes will no doubt be a little longer and more stressful. A good idea this time of year is to leave a little earlier for work, you’ll not only make it in plenty of time, and you’ll also avoid the unnecessary stress of all that traffic. For those of you that attended Joint Council 42 Teamster Night at Dodger stadium last month, you were not only treated to a Dodger victory, you also got to hear one of our own Teamsters sing the National Anthem. Jacqueline Carrasco, who works at JC 42, did a beautiful job singing the anthem before the start of the game. Jacqueline made us all very proud as she knocked it out of the park. Great job Jacqueline!
We will soon be having proposal meetings for the upcoming Pepsi and Coca-Cola negotiations. Pepsi will be first because we have already agreed on negotiation dates in December. We can expect these negotiations to be very tough as we try to get Pepsi to pick up a larger portion of the healthcare cost our members are now stuck paying. Pepsi Cola employees pay the largest out of pocket heath care cost in our local. But it’s not just our local, Pepsi contributions to their employees Health and Welfare is pretty sad all across the country. A recent meeting at the Teamster Headquarters in Washington D.C. allowed us to discuss these health care concerns with other Teamster Locals that have upcoming Pepsi negotiations. We are going to try and coordinate our Health care proposals with these other locals. Just a reminder, with an April 2015 contract expiration date, all Pepsi employees should be planning ahead to be ready for these negotiations.
Most of our Coca-Cola contracts also expire in April of next year. Many of you already know, Coca-Cola is moving forward with the implementation of Engineered Labor Standards (ELS) in the following facilities, Sylmar, Carson, Industry, Los Angeles and Downey. The company arrogantly told the Union that they do not need to negotiate these new standards. The Union has filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board and we have also filed for arbitration over this matter. All facilities will be included in the legal battle over ELS. The Union strongly believes that Coca-Cola does not have the right to just implement ELS without negotiating with us! Coke has made a huge tactical error in trying to implement these standards so close to the upcoming contract negotiations. These standards will be on the table, whether they like it or not! This issue is way too important for our Coke members and if the company thought we were not going to fight them over this, they are sadly mistaken. Coke’s attempt to shove this down our throat prior to the contract expiration is not going to work! Our Coca-Cola members are always ready to fight this company, and this time will be no exception. I also want to encourage our Coke members to start getting ready for the upcoming negotiations because ELS standards and the loss of retiree heath care will be on the table.
Our members should continue to work safely while the company tries to develop quotas. Please don’t feel like you have to hurry, working faster can lead to accidents. Continue working like you have always done, an honest days work for an honest days pay is our motto. The auditing company hired by Coca-Cola will try and intimidate our members into working faster and unsafely just so they can please the company with these unrealistic case quotas. I encourage everyone to be patient and remember that the Local is committed to fight for each and every employee that may receive discipline over these illegally implemented standards. Information will be provided as needed over this issue.
Bud Sylmar contract books are at the printer and should be in the hands of our members very soon. This is also a great time to welcome the three new Bud Sylmar Truck mechanics that have agreed to join our Union. Because they joined before the contracts were printed, we were able to add specific language just for them. We are still awaiting word on the 7UP arbitration over premium pay for non-scheduled work days and we are also waiting for the arbitrator’s ruling on the case of a 7UP Chief Steward that we believe was fired unjustly.
We currently have a couple of organizing campaigns in the very early stages, commenting on them at this time might put them in jeopardy. I know there are many of you that are willing to help with organizing. Thanks and please be ready when you are called on to help.
Lastly, I’m pleased to welcome our new Office Manager, Darlene Bradley. Darlene has been a Teamster for over 14 years. She began her career as a Clerical at MillerCoors in Irwindale. Darlene has been a Chief Steward for the Clericals, a member of the Strike Fund and was a part of the MillerCoors negotiating committee. Darlene has a Bachelor’s Degree in Technical Management with a concentration in Project Management and Human Resources. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Business.
Quarterly dues and or assessment increases effective July 1, 2014 are as follows: AB Beach Cities - $183.00, Quality Logistics - $177.00, AB Van Nuys – 255.00, AB Van Nuys Weekenders/Seasonal - $120.00, Miller Clerical - $237.00, Miller Production/Brewing - $249.00, Miller-temps - $138.00, AB Sylmar - $189.00, Ace Beverage - $180.00, Allied Beverage - $198.00. Payments may be mailed to: Local 896, 3303 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 300, Los Angeles CA 90010
The next union meetings will be held on Sunday, October 26th, 2014. Please see the Local 896 back page notice for your branch time and location. Hope to see you there!
The war on workers continues...
In the last few years, companies have tried their best to sabotage the pay, benefits, and work life of Teamsters all over the country.
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