Uniting Against 70-hour Weeks at UPS

UPS Teamsters from Local 251 and across New England are standing strong. UPS tried to unilaterally implement a 70-hour work week. We’re fighting back.

Joint Council 10 principal officer Sean O’Brien put management on notice that New England Teamsters are united against the company’s actions.

UPS management wanted to force drivers to come in for a sixth punch this weekend. That did NOT happen.

This morning, Local 251 members met in the UPS parking lot in a show of force. UPS Teamsters across New England took the same action.

UPS drivers in Local 251 were asked to start early this morning. They declined the optional early start.

We’re not going to go out of our way for the company when management is going of their way to ignore driver safety and violate our rights as union members.

United, we win.

United Way of Rhode Island Honors Matthew Taibi


United Way of Rhode Island honored Matthew Taibi, Teamsters Local 251 Principal Officer, with the 2017 Dante Mollo Labor Award presented by RI AFL-CIO President George Nee, at its 91st Annual Celebration on October 5, 2017.

“In supporting and advocating for his fellow union members,” said United Way of Rhode Island, “Matthew goes above and beyond their work-related needs, with everything he does focused on the family behind each individual member. Matthew leads Teamsters Local 251 as Secretary Treasurer and Principal Officer.”

Click here to watch the video honoring Taibi from the United Way of Rhode Island.

Earned Sick Time

This month, the RI General Assembly passed new legislation guaranteeing most Rhode Islanders the right to earn paid sick time to care for their health and their family.

But a right is only a right if you know you have it! This law will impact a lot of workers and businesses, and we want to make sure everyone has an opportunity to learn about the policy and weigh in on the regulations-drafting process that will take place between now and the law’s implementation next year.

Join Representatives Regunberg and others for an open conversation on this important new legislation.

Wednesday 10/11, 5:30pm
Angelina’s Cafe
301 Hope St
Bristol, RI 02809

Monday 10/16, 6pm
Artists’ Exchange
50 Rolfe Square
Cranston, RI 02910
See the Facebook Event

Tuesday 10/17, 6pm
Woodlawn Community Center
210 West Ave
Pawtucket RI 02860
See the Facebook Event

Labor Day March & Rally: United Against Racism

Teamsters Local 251 will honor this year’s Labor Day by participating in the Labor United Against Racism Labor’s Day March and Rally being organized by Rhode Island Jobs with Justice.

All members, their families and friends, are encouraged to attend the March & Rally on Monday, September, 4 starting at 12:30 PM, beginning at Burnside Park and ending at the State House lawn in Providence.

This Labor Day, all working people are called upon to unite against the corporate greed that continues to rig the rules to benefit the 1% and to stand against the bigotry and racist violence that threatens our communities.

We stand together with all members of our communities who are seeking social, racial and economic justice, an economy that works for all of us, and a society free of the evils of racism and white supremacist hate.

Anti-Racist Labor Day March & Rally
Monday, September 4 starting at 12:30 PM
Beginning at Burnside Park ending at the State House
Providence, Rhode Island
Hosted by Rhode Island Jobs with Justice (www.rijwj.wordpress.com)


Teamsters Reach Agreement After Two-Day Strike at Twin River Casino

New Contract Protects Workers’ Health Care Benefits, Job Security

Teamster Local 251 members have won an agreement for a new contract at Twin River Casino after a 41.5 hour strike from Friday afternoon through Sunday morning. Teamster members unanimously authorized a strike when Twin River demanded a contract that imposed health care cuts and eliminated workers’ job security.

On Tuesday evening, Local 251 and Twin River negotiators reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract that secures and improves workers’ health benefits. The agreement needs member ratification.

The agreement delivered three percent annual wage increases for non-tipped employees and improvements on the benefits previously imposed by Twin River. Twin River also dropped its demands for contract changes that would give management the right to lay off all parking valets and subcontract their jobs to a non-union operator.

“My job security is everything to me,” said Cory Almeida. “It took a strike to protect our jobs, and we were ready to do it.” Other union workers honored Teamster picket lines.

Local 251 members credited public support and solidarity between unions for delivering the breakthrough in Tuesday’s negotiations that led to a tentative agreement.

“We’re hitting a tipping point,” said Local 251 Principal Officer Matt Taibi. “Rhode Islanders see growing inequality, healthcare cuts, and the loss of good jobs. They see that corporate greed and corporate politicians are hurting working families.

“People are not buying the tired, old arguments about unions. Unions aren’t the problem. We’re the solution,” Taibi said. “The showdown at Twin River shows that corporate greed is a losing bet.”

College Scholarships for RIH Teamsters

Local 251 is awarding ten $3,500 college scholarships to children of Rhode Island Hospital Teamster employees. This benefit was negotiated in our union contract with Lifespan.

A drawing will be held to determine the scholarship winners.

Applicants must be the son or daughter of a Teamster member in good standing at Rhode Island Hospital to be eligible to apply.

Applications should be returned to the Union Hall or submitted to a Liaison, Union Representative, or the RIH H.R. Department. Only one (1) application per student. Applications must be received by Friday July 31. 

Click here to download an application. 

Airgas Teamsters Begin Strike In Rhode Island

(June 1, 2017) – Truck drivers and gas cylinder fillers who are members of Teamsters Local 251 went on strike yesterday morning against Airgas USA, following Airgas’ refusal to consider the workers’ proposals for affordable healthcare and secure retirement during contract negotiations.

The workers supply gas to many Rhode Island entities including: Rhode Island Hospital; Roger Williams Medical Center; Memorial Hospital, Miriam Hospital; Newport Hospital; the Veterans Administration facilities in Providence and Bristol; the Air National Guard; Naval Base Newport; Raytheon; Fuji Film; and Electric Boat.

Airgas and its subsidiaries are America’s largest distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases. Airgas’ parent corporation Air Liquide [EPA: AI], based in France, is the world’s largest distributor of such gases and is a Forbes Global 2000 company.

The workers organized their union with Local 251 in 2012 and are bargaining for a new contract. Their first contract with Airgas expired in April of this year.

As he walked the line yesterday morning, Airgas shop steward Carlos Salgado said, “We work hard to help Airgas and Air Liquide earn huge profits. Air Liquide earned $20 billion last year, of which $2 billion was pure profit.”

Salgado continued, “In contract negotiations, we asked for a defined benefit pension plan so that we can count on a secure retirement. We also want to join the high-quality, affordable healthcare plan that union workers at Airgas’ competitors have. Airgas refused to consider our proposals, so we are on strike to show the company that we are demanding a fair return on our work.”

“Airgas’ disrespect of its Teamster workers will have severe consequences. Teamsters in New England will use the full weight of our 55,000 members to assist Airgas members at Local 251 any other local to ensure they are treated fairly and with respect,” emphasized Sean O’Brien, Teamsters International Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Joint Council 10 in New England.

On May 9, Airgas sent a letter to employees – a letter that violates federal labor law, which bans companies from negotiating directly with workers about their union contract.

“It is shocking that in addition to refusing to consider basic proposals that help its loyal employees and their families, Airgas decided to violate federal labor law that’s meant to protect workers’ rights,” said Matthew Taibi, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 251.

Taibi continued, “Teamsters Local 251 filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board. Airgas’ letter mischaracterized negotiations and is an attempt to bargain directly with workers, which is illegal. Our Airgas members were outraged over this behavior.”

Representatives from other Teamsters local unions that also represent Airgas workers throughout New England have been at the bargaining table with Local 251. “We’re all in this together,” said Bob Sayer, Local 251 Business Agent for the Airgas workers. “In the Union, our credo is that old axiom: ‘An injury to one is an injury to all.'”

“It’s about dignity and respect in the workplace. That’s why we are walking this picket line,” added Salgado.

Fall River DCM Contract Approved by Fall River City Council

Agreement Includes Job Protections, Additional Funding and Training

(FALL RIVER, Mass.) –– Teamsters Local 251 is pleased to announce that the Fall River City Council has approved, by an 8-1 vote, a collective bargaining agreement for the city’s Department of Community Maintenance (DCM) workers.

The agreement was approved after an outcry by Teamsters Local 251, workers and the public over a stalled process.

The collective bargaining agreement between the city’s Department of Community Maintenance (DCM) and Teamsters Local 251 includes a $245,000 settlement agreement for workers that had been reached between the city and Local 251, which effectively ends the high-profile lawsuit that was filed by the union following the privatization of the city’s trash pickup.

The contract also includes important job security protections for the workers, after 24 of their coworkers were laid off following the privatization of trash pickup last year.

Additional funding for training and license renewal was included, allowing for DCM workers to become more skilled.

“We worked really hard to get this agreement finished,” said Nick Williams, Teamsters Local 251 business agent and DCM representative. “With the previously scheduled special city council meeting cancelled without a quorum present, we questioned if this settlement and contract would be approved.”

After some debate by the finance committee last night, the matter was referred to the city council. Only one committee member, Council Vice President Linda Pereira, expressed disapproval for the settlement and contract. Council President Shawn Cadime harped on the city giving away ‘management rights,’ but did not disapprove of the agreement. Later in the evening, the city council quietly voted 8-1 in favor of the agreement, with Pereira being the lone dissenter.

“The city council ultimately did what is right for the hardworking DCM employees and for the laid off workers impacted by privatization,” said Local 251 Secretary-Treasurer Matthew Taibi, in response to the vote. “After an often-times bitter dispute between the union and the city, we are eager to get this behind us and move forward. I believe all elected officials need to be recognized for how they responded during this dispute, both positively and negatively, and Fall River citizens should take this into consideration during city elections.”

“The hard work and persistence of Local 251 on behalf of their members resulted in the approval of this agreement,” said Joint Council 10 Secretary-Treasurer Sean O’Brien. “Matthew Taibi and his team should be commended for a job well done.”

Fall River City Council Plays Politics With DCM Workers’ Livelihoods

From Teamster.org

Teamsters Hold City Council Accountable to Community Maintenance Workers

(FALL RIVER, Mass.) – A majority of the Fall River City Council was noticeably absent Tuesday night at a special meeting called by Mayor Jasiel Correia II to address concerns of importance to the Teamsters.

The issue before the council was a discussion and vote on the collective bargaining agreement between the city’s Department of Community Maintenance (DCM) and Teamsters Local 251. Also on the agenda was a vote to approve a $245,000 settlement agreement that had been reached between the city and Local 251, which would have effectively ended the high-profile lawsuit that was filed by the union following the privatization of the city’s trash pickup.