Members Put an End to Secret Deals at R.I. Hospital

Former Local 251 officers signed illegal side agreements with R.I. Hospital that gutted members’ rights. They kept these deals secret from the members. But the days of secrecy are over in Local 251.

President and Business Agent Paul Santos negotiated a mid-contract agreement that protects members’ seniority and bumping rights if management changes their status as a part-time, full-time or temporary employee.

But before the change went into effect, Santos insisted the agreement had to be voted on by the members. More than 500 Hospital Teamsters attended a union meeting to discuss the change. Members voted 501 to 12 to back the new agreement.

“Members sent a message to the hospital that it’s a new day in this union,” said President Paul Santos. “Teamsters at the Hospital are going to be informed and we’re going to be united and prepared for contract negotiations,” Santos said.

Teamster Solidarity

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Local 251 members rallied in solidarity with workers at the Renaissance Hotel and their union, UNITE HERE. Reinaissance Hotel workers are calling for a boycott of the hotel until managements respects the right of workers there to form a union and organize for better working conditions, higher pay and respect. We stand behind Renaissance Hotel workers in their struggle for justice.

Click here to watch a video to learn more about the UNITE HERE struggle at the Renaissance Hotel.

Members Pack Union Meeting

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More than four hundred Local 251 members packed the union hall on Jan. 26 for our first General Membership Meeting of the year.  

The new Executive Board took the oath of office and reported on their action agenda to put members first, including, shop steward elections, a new shop steward education program, contract negotiations and the launching of a Local 251 Women’s Committee.

Thanks to Local 251 members for your participation. This is your union.  All members who want to positively move our Local forward are encouraged to get involved.

UPSers Elect Shop Stewards

UPS twi-midnight steward vote-webUPSers on the Twilight and Midnight shifts got a taste of union democracy when they cast their ballots in the first shop steward elections held on those shifts in decades.

Congratulations to Keith Sobolewski who was elected shop steward on the Twilight shift and to Brian Roberts who was elected shop steward on the Midnight shift.

Shop steward elections were held in Package and on the Preload shift as well. Congratulations to Tom Salvatore (Metro Center) and Bill Gyra (South Center) and Andy Brady who was elected shop steward on the Preload. The UPS West center (package) elected Mike Primrose to steward.

Thanks to all members who voted. Let’s work together to enforce the contract.

Moving Ahead and Fighting for the Future

matt-taibi-200-225Message from Matt Taibi
Secretary-Treasurer

Welcome to the new Local 251 website. Members voted for new leadership and a new direction in our union last fall. Your new leadership team took office on January 1. Local 251 members are stepping up and together we are getting our union back on track.

As promised, your leadership team has cut the salaries of Local 251 officers and business agents by more than $300,000 a year. These funds will be put to work for you, organizing to win good contracts, representing members, and enforcing your rights.

Local 251 is your union. Members are choosing their Contract Negotiating Committees and shop steward elections are being held and scheduled.

More than 110 stewards filled our Union Hall for a Shop Steward seminar. I felt proud to see shop stewards—new and old—coming together to make plans to enforce members’ rights.

Local 251 Power won’t be rebuilt overnight. But we’re moving in the right direction thanks to stewards and members who are stepping up, getting involved and making a difference.

Come out to union meetings. File a grievance. Get involved.  It’s time to come together and move ahead.

New Local 251 Leaders Cut Their Own Salaries by More than $300,000

Your new Local 251 leadership team is cutting the fat and putting your dues to work for you.

On its first day in office, the new Executive Board voted to cut the salaries of all officers and business agents by more than $300,000 a year. The money saved will be used on programs to benefit the members.

The highest-ranking officers led by example. Secretary-Treasurer Matt Taibi and President Paul Santos reduced their salary by more than $60,000 each.

“We promised to save the our Union more than $250,000 a year by cutting excessive salaries,” said President Paul Santos. “We didn’t just keep our promise. We made deeper cuts and reduced our pay by more than $300,000.”

“Local 251’s treasury belongs to the members. We will protect the members’ dues money and put it work negotiating strong contracts and enforcing members’ rights,” said Secretary-Treasurer Matt Taibi.

Moving Ahead, Overcoming Sabotage

The new Local 251 is moving ahead despite shredding and sabotage by outgoing officers.

After the election, Secretary-Treasurer Matt Taibi reached out to Joe Bairos and the outgoing Local 251 leadership to coordinate a smooth transition. Bairos responded by shredding documents, sabotaging computer equipment and impeding the transition at every turn.

As for former President Kevin Reddy. There are no signs that he has even been in the Local 251 Union Hall in the last two years. The only paperwork in Reddy’s office was a stack of direct deposit receipts left for him on his desk and grievance files that are two years old.

It’s a sad reminder of what happens when Union officials forget the Teamster constitutional oath that, “It is the members that put me here and the members whom I will serve.”

Other former Business Agents have worked with Local 251 to keep our union moving forward. We thank them for putting the members first.