TRUCK DRIVERS STRIKE AT PORTS OF
LOS ANGELES AND LONG BEACH
Truck drivers and warehouse workers from companies serving Long Beach and Los Angles ports are out on strike. Accoring to a statement, "the truckers are protesting 'exploitation by greedy corporations using predatory subcontracting schemes, including misclassifying employees as independent workers in order to lower wages, deny them benefits such as health insurance, unemployment, and workers compensation".
Take The Pledge Click here to Sign the Petition I stand with the working families of the United States of America and oppose any attempt to weaken our lawful right to organize or advocate for the rights of workers. As such, I oppose any attempts to advance so-called "Right to Work" legislation in Congress or otherwise. WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER and together we will fight for the rights of all working families.
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Secretary-Treasurer Patrick D. Kelly
remarks to the OCTA Board of Directors Meeting
Monday, June 12, 2017
Brothers & Sisters meeting with Strong Labor Supporter Assemblymember Tom Daly in Sacramento.
(L-R) LU986 BA Greg Bashem, LU952 Organizer Stan Brown, LU952 Trustee Rudy Lopez, LU952 Trustee Marlene Salazar, LU952 BA Bobby Block, AM Tom Daly, LU848 VP Louie Diaz, LU952 ST Patrick D. Kelly, LU952 BA Mark E. Woomer, LU952 Trustee Dennis Dodd and LU952 BA Norma Lopez.
Governor Jerry Brown to Sign Bill into Law After Grassroots Outreach to Legislators
After intense lobbying by Teamster retirees from Teamsters Local 952, lawmakers in the State Senate and Assembly approved SB-1, a $52 Billion transportation infrastructure package, sending it to Gov. Jerry Brown. The Democratic governor strongly supports the legislation and is expected to sign it.
The bill, which raises the gas tax, will result in roughly $5 billion per year in infrastructure spending, including a 20 percent investment in transportation infrastructure. The legislation will create good-paying union jobs in the construction and transit industries while also providing some much-needed improvements to roads, highways, and other crucial facilities throughout the state.
Teamster retirees engaged in strategic phone-banking to members of the Assembly and State Senate to persuade elected officials to vote yes on SB-1. More than 500 calls were made in a time span of only three to four hours. The phone-banking clearly made a difference in swaying the handful of undecided legislators that were needed to pass the bill: lawmakers in the Assembly barely cleared the two-thirds super-majority needed to send the legislation to the Governor’s office.
Congratulations to all of our Teamster retirees who volunteered their time to make this happen! Thanks to your efforts, Californians will continue to have good-paying jobs doing work that serves to benefit all of their fellow citizens.
Teamsters Mourn the passing of
Mike Garcia and Celebrate his life
Mike's commitment to building a better future for all families was present in everything he did. He made SEIU a better, bolder and stronger union through his dedication and passion. His legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of SEIU members everywhere.
“I had the privilege and honor of working with brother Garcia for over 25 years. He was the best organizer in the USA in the last 30 years.
I love you Bro..."
Patrick D. Kelly -Secretary-Treasurer Mike Garcia
4/22/1951 – 3/25/17
NOTICE TO ALL BROTHERS & SISTERS!! We are asking for donations for Brother Billy who tragically lost his life while on the job (YRC) Donations to the family can be made to:
Union Yes Federal Credit Union “Friends of Billy De Oss Fund” #89387
1918 W. Chapman Ave., Ste. 100
Orange, CA 92868
LOCAL 952 WALKS THE STRIKE LINE WITH UC WORKERS IN ORANGE, CA
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has every reason to smile: His own healthcare won't be affected by the Senate's healthcare bill. (Associated Press) By David Lazarus - Contact Reporter
June 22, 2017 4:10 PM
U.S. District Court Upholds Labor Commissioner Awards of Almost $1 Million for Misclassification of Port and Rail Truck Drivers
Los Angeles—A federal court judge has sided with California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su, affirming her office’s judgment in favor of five port and rail truck drivers against XPO Cartage Inc. The ruling awards the drivers reimbursement for expenses and unlawful deductions in the amount of $958,660 plus attorney’s fees and costs.
The Labor Commissioner previously issued awards to the five drivers following hearings that found they had been misclassified as independent contractors. XPO Cartage appealed the five decisions in Superior Court and the case was removed to Federal Court, where attorneys for the Labor Commissioner represented the drivers. After a four-day bench trial and post-trial briefing, U.S. District Court Judge William Keller ruled the cases were not preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 and that all five drivers were misclassified as independent contractors entitled to reimbursement for expenses and unlawful deductions.
“The United States District Court’s decision in this case vindicates the rights of five employees who have sought for years to recoup the deductions unlawfully withheld from their wages due to being misclassified as independent contractors,” said Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su. “My office is dedicated to ensuring workers are paid what they are due under the law and ensuring workers are properly classified.”
State courts have also upheld the Labor Commissioner’s awards in misclassification cases in the port and rail trucking industry. In 2013, Superior Court Judge Michael Vicencia rendered judgment in favor of four port truck drivers and against Seacon Logix Inc. in the amount of $107,802. The Second District Court of Appeal affirmed Judge Vicencia’s judgment in its published decision Garcia v. Seacon Logix, Inc. (2015) 238 Cal.App.4th 1476. In 2015, Superior Court Judge Ross Klein also affirmed the Labor Commissioner’s finding of misclassification and awarded port truck driver Ho Lee $179,390 for reimbursement of expenses and unlawful deductions following a three day bench trial.
The Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, also known as the Labor Commissioner’s Office, inspects workplaces for wage and hour violations, adjudicates wage claims, investigates retaliation complaints, issues licenses and registrations for businesses, enforces prevailing wage rates and apprenticeship standards in public works projects, and educates the public on labor laws. Its Wage Theft is a Crime multilingual public awareness campaign was launched in 2014 to help inform workers of their rights and employers of their responsibilities.
Members of the press may contact Erika Monterroza or Peter Melton at (510) 286-1161, and are encouraged to subscribe to get email alerts on DIR’s press releases or other departmental updates.
Though shovels are ready, Trump officials delay grant for Caltrain upgrade
Washington Post April 22, 2017
SAN JOSE — The railway shuttles 65,000 people a day between San Francisco and San Jose, its cars crammed with Silicon Valley workers tapping on sleek laptops and hoisting bikes into designated cars. But the signs of aging are unmistakable — 1980s control panels devoid of digital technology, the dusting of sea-green foam that has escaped from the seat cushions and settled on the floor.
All of that was supposed to change with the launch of a $2 billion upgrade, underwritten in part by a $647 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration approved days before President Barack Obama left office. But then the Trump administration arrived, and within a month the FTA informed Caltrain that it was “deferring a decision.”
The delay has infuriated California officials, who had hoped the long-awaited project would mesh nicely with President Trump’s call for fresh spending on the nation’s aging infrastructure. But in this era of distrust and polarization, an otherwise popular initiative has become a GOP target, seen as a pet project of the former president.
The move to shelve the grant is reverberating far beyond the Golden State, alarming officials in cities across the nation. The White House wants to slice nearly $1 billion from the transportation budget this year, with the cuts aimed primarily at urban transit projects such as the Purple Line in Maryland’s Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.
More cuts may be in store: Trump’s budget request for fiscal 2018 ignores two major New York City projects: an extension of the Second Avenue subway line and a new train tunnel under the Hudson River. In a note to Congress last month, the White House budget office wrote that when it comes to improvements to Caltrain and the D.C. Metro system, “localities should fund these localized projects.”
Christopher Leinberger, chair of George Washington University’s Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis, said the cuts suggest Trump is “playing to the base,” because he got much less support in urban areas than in “drivable suburban locations.”
“This is about pure politics,” Leinberger said
Last month, the American Public Transportation Association sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao calling the Caltrain delay “concerning.” In more than two decades, the association wrote, “no project has failed to secure final signature after successfully meeting evaluation criteria.”
Transportation officials were noncommittal, saying the project would be considered along with other priorities for fiscal 2018.
For Caltrain general manager and chief executive Jim Hartnett, whose company started planning for the upgrade in the late 1990s, the delay is disheartening. The project, which would finance a switch from diesel engines to high-performance electric commuter rail trains, has already received $73 million in federal appropriations but cannot tap the cash without the Transportation Department’s approval.
“We are more than shovel-ready,” Hartnett said. “Our shovel is in the ground and ready to turn.”
At Caltrain’s San Jose Diridon Station last month, company officials pointed out the signs of wear and tear on a railway system that was inaugurated during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency.
More than two-thirds of its locomotives date to 1985; more than half of its passenger trains are that old. There is no diagnostic software. “When something goes wrong, we put in a part and hope for the best,” said Caltrain’s director of rail operations, Joe Navarro.
A few weeks ago, half of the red-and-silver Caltrain signs started peeling off the side of a passenger car at the South San Francisco stop, prompting a half-hour delay. Doing a “midlife” overhaul, which extends a locomotive or passenger car’s life by an additional decade, costs $2.2 million per locomotive and $1.5 million per car.
“We’re the second-oldest railroad west of the Mississippi, and we have advanced that far beyond the steam engine,” Navarro said. “We’re running diesel.”
Caltrain first contemplated an electric rail line two decades ago, but the idea has taken on new urgency as Silicon Valley has boomed and ridership has doubled since 2005.
Officials approached the FTA about the project in 2001, while also tapping local funding sources, including money approved by Proposition 1A, a 2008 ballot measure intended to connect transit projects to the state’s planned high-speed rail system.
This annoyed Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), who chairs a key House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee. Denham has lobbied Chao to deny the grant because the new Caltrain cars would run slower than 220 mph, the rate that defines high-speed rail. He urged California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) to find a different source of state financing for Caltrain and then reapply for the federal money.
“I am supportive of Caltrain and the electrification project, but they have to be funded the right way,” Denham said. “I would expect any new administration to fund what their new transportation policy is going to be and what their priorities are.”
Brown, who met with Chao last month to discuss the grant, said of Denham in a phone interview: “That’s called blackmail.”
Californians “voted for a bond issue” for high-speed rail “but envisioned other projects” using the cash, the governor said. “To go against it is the rawest, stupidest form of politics.”
For the moment, Caltrain has obtained a four-month delay from its contractors in exchange for paying a penalty, meaning it could still proceed with the project if it gets an infusion of federal funds by June 30.
The electrification upgrade is expected to generate 4,700 jobs in more than a dozen states, including Utah, where the new trains would be manufactured. Caltrain officials have reached out to more than a dozen members of the House and Senate who represent areas that would benefit from the project.
In an interview, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) said the project “would be very beneficial to Utah, no question.”
Although it may be challenging to free up the money, Hatch said, “we’re going to do what we can to get that done.”
SUPPLEMENTAL PENSION & SUPPLEMENTAL DEATH BENEFITS Toll-free: (877) 214-8928
To schedule an appointment with the Pension (ONLY) field representative from the Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Trust please call Local 952 at (714) 740-6200. A pension representative comes to Local 952 every Thursday of the month from 9:00am to 4:00pm. If you wish to contact the pension department directly, please call one of the above numbers or visit www.nwadmin.com.