Local 251 Teamsters at UPS celebrated the 20th anniversary of our 1997 strike victory by holding a parking lot rally to gear up for the next contract. We’re ready to fight and ready to win!
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.”
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.
(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.
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.”
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.
Nurses, health technicians, skilled trades and other hospital staff protested with community leaders outside Rhode Island Hospital today. The crowd then marched to Lifespan’s corporate headquarters for a rally there. Speakers at the rally called on Rhode Island hospital and its owner, the Lifespan Corporation, to put an end to policies that punish workers for getting sick and that put patients’ health at risk.
Allied health, skilled trades and all non-nursing workers at Rhode Island Hospital are represented by Teamsters Local 251 in East Providence. All nurses at Rhode Island Hospital are represented by United Nurses & Allied Professionals (UNAP) Local 5098.
“We represent health technicians, dietary, skilled trade, maintenance and many other workers at Rhode Island Hospital,” said Matthew Taibi, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 251. “Instead of bargaining in good faith with its union employees, as it is required to do by law, the hospital unilaterally changed its policies so that workers are punished for being sick for consecutive days or on weekends. It also punishes part-time workers by disciplining them more readily than full-time workers. Even those who have to stay home with a sick child could be punished.”
“These punitive policies put pressure on workers to come to work while sick,” Taibi continued. “If it means you might lose your job, you’re not going to stay home. Why would a hospital – with a mission to protect patients’ health – enact policies that can lead to patients contracting illnesses in the hospital?”
In accordance with Teamsters Local 251 Bylaws, Section 14 A(2), the Executive Board gives official notice for the Sunday January 29, 2017 regular membership meeting. An annual financial report will be given for 2016, and a motion will be entertained for salary increases for officers, agents representatives and organizers. Please get involved in your Local Union and try to attend this meeting.
This meeting is also the first in the new term of Elected Officers and Business Agents and the meeting will begin with a swearing-in ceremony.
Teamsters Local 251 & UNAP are united against Rhode Island Hospital management for changing the sick leave & absenteeism policy.
The new policy is unfair. We are exposed to sick people every day at work! We’re human and we get sick!
Lifespan’s policy also pressures employees who are sick to come to work or risk discipline. Do patients and their families really want to be exposed to sick employees who are forced to come to work for fear of losing their job?
Teamsters Local 251 calls on RI Hospital management to show they value their workers and their patients by bargaining in good faith on such an important policy change.
Please join us for an informational picket in solidarity with workers at RI Hospital.
593 Eddy St, Providence, RI, Wednesday January 11, 2017 from 2 – 4:30 pm.
UNAP and Teamsters Local 251 are holding joint membership meetings on Wednesday, January 4th to discuss Lifespan’s changes to the attendance policy at Rhode Island Hospital. Please join us at the Teamsters Hall, 121 Brightridge Ave, in East Providence at 8:15am, 12:30pm, 4:30pm, 6:15pm, or 8:00pm.