Teamsters Local 633 Endorse Diane Sheehan For Executive Council

Teamsters LogoToday Executive Council candidate Diane Sheehan was endorsed by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters local 633.  After receiving the endorsement Diane Sheehan released the following statment:

“I am proud, honored and truly appreciative to receive the endorsement of the Teamsters Local 633 for Executive Council, District 5.

As a current Alderman At-Large in Nashua, I am well aware of the importance of having a solid, professional workforce. Investing in good employees is good for the long term health of our community, our economy, and our quality of life.  My track record of commitment to our labor forces is something I am proud of, and glad that is it noted by the Teamsters We see the importance and value of treating employees with respect, and compensation when we watch what just happened with Market Basket. People matter.  I pledge to bring to the Council their cares and concerns and to work as hard in representing them, and all the people of District 5, as they come to work committed each day.

I humbly thank them for the confidence they have placed in me.”

UFCW Statement on Market Basket Sale

UFCW Local 312

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Joe Hansen, International President of the UFCW, Richard Charette, UFCW International Vice President and President of UFCW Local 1445, and Dave Fleming, President of UFCW Local 328, today released the following joint statement in response to the sale of Market Basket.

“Market Basket workers have secured the return of their preferred corporate leader by standing together in unprecedented collective actions. These workers showed that the real value of any company is not held in stocks, but in the dedication and hard work of its workforce.

“Market Basket workers and their families have made tremendous sacrifices, and proved that when they stand together, they have the power to move mountains.

“The members of our union have stood in solidarity with Market Basket workers, from rallies to raising a solidarity fund to help laid-off workers. As Market Basket workers negotiate the terms of their return to work, we will continue to offer our solidarity and our support.”

UAW Announces New Cadillacs To Be Made By UAW Workers In Spring Hill Tenn.

In a Victory for Spring Hill Workers and Families, UAW and GM Announce Cadillac SRX As New Product for Spring Hill Manufacturing, $191 Million Investment in SGE Program

Spring Hill, Tenn. – Today, in a victory for Tennessee’s workers and families, UAW International Union and Local 1853 joined with General Motors executives to announce the Cadillac SRX as one of two future mid-size vehicles set for manufacturing at the Spring Hill plant, as well as a $191 million investment at the Spring Hill Complex for a new Small Gas Engine (SGE) program. Today’s news means that GM will retain 415 jobs at the Spring Hill facility.

“GM’s investment today is a huge testament to its confidence in Spring Hill’s workers, and is a great example of the economic opportunities we’ve been able to create here in Tennessee as a result of the collective bargaining process,” said UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada. “Today’s announcement is proof we can achieve great things when workers have a seat at the table and the chance to share their ideas for how to constantly improve the products we manufacture. It’s great to see our union continue to grow, but even greater to see how the people of Tennessee will benefit from these good jobs. I’m proud to stand here with UAW autoworkers and our colleagues from GM who worked together to make this huge victory for Spring Hill a reality.”

The GM plant in Spring Hill currently employs 1,575 workers who construct engines, stamping, and molding for GM vehicles. After the plant was idled in 2009, it was a priority of the UAW to see it reopened in 2011, when UAW members used the power of collective bargaining to bring these jobs back to the local community.

“I’m proud of our workers here in Spring Hill, and excited about these new investments that will allow us to continue growing and producing quality automobile parts here in Tennessee,” said UAW Region 8 Director Ray Curry. “These expansions are a clear sign of the hard work and dedication of the members of UAW Local 1853 and the strong relationship the UAW and GM have built. When workers are allowed to have a seat at the collective bargaining table, we are best positioned to make quality products and bring more jobs into our communities.”

Also Wednesday, UAW and GM announced that GM will invest $49.7 million at the Bedford, Ind., Castings Plan for SGE components, resulting in the creation or retention of 43 jobs.

FairPoint Walks Away From Bargaining Process, Declares Impasse

Unions Accuse Company of Federal Labor Law Violations

Manchester, NH–Unions representing nearly 2,000 employees of FairPoint Communications in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont met with the company on August 27 in Nashua, NH. The unions made a comprehensive proposal despite the company’s rejection of several earlier proposals.

The company then waited several hours before notifying the unions by email that the parties are at impasse and that the company would impose its last contract proposals at 12:01 a.m. on August 28.

“We strongly disagree with the company. We have not reached impasse. The company should stay at the table and continue to work with us to reach an acceptable agreement,” said Peter McLaughlin, Business Manager of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 2327 in Augusta and chair of the unions’ bargaining committee.

The unions have filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board accusing the company of violating federal law by not bargaining in good faith.

“We are deeply disappointed that FairPoint has walked away from the bargaining process,” said Don Trementozzi, President of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1400. “We have worked tirelessly for months to negotiate an agreement that is fair to our members, our customers, and the company. We believe the company never intended to reach an agreement with us, but has been pushing towards this outcome all along.”

According to union leaders, the company has rejected every significant proposal the union has put forward since bargaining began in April and has refused to offer any counter proposals since before the contract expired on August 2.

“The company has refused to bargain with us, and their negotiators have even attempted to intimidate and bully us throughout the process,” said Glenn Brackett, Business Manager of IBEW Local 2320 in Manchester, NH. “But our members will not be intimidated by this company. They are determined to stand up for good jobs and our customers.”

Union leaders say FairPoint management wants to outsource hundreds of good jobs in Northern New England to low wage, out-of-state contractors. The company’s proposals would be devastating for communities that depend on well-trained and experienced workers to build and maintain their landlines, cell towers, DSL, and even 911 systems.

“FairPoint’s employees are some of the best trained, most experienced telecommunications workers in this country,” said Mike Spillane, Business Manager of IBEW Local 2326 in Burlington, VT. “But FairPoint executives are determined to outsource their work to low road contractors no matter the impact on customers and our communities. We will continue to fight their attempts to outsource our future.”

The union bargaining team will meet with its attorneys and other key advisors on Thursday morning to assess the situation and decide on next steps. In the meantime, the union has notified all members to continue working until further notice.

IBEW System Council T9 represents nearly 1,700 FairPoint employees in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. CWA Local 1400 represents nearly 300 employees in the three states.

Chris Pappas Receives Endorsement of New England Regional Council Of Carpenters

Chris Pappas, via Pappas2012.com

Manchester, NH– Following a strong first term in office, Manchester business owner and Executive Councilor Chris Pappas has received the endorsement of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Local 118 based on his unwavering commitment to being the eyes and ears of working families in Concord. The Carpenters represent approximately 3,000 Carpenters, Piledrivers, Woodframers and Floorlayers in New Hampshire.

“The United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local Union 118 are proud to endorse Chris Pappas for a second term on the Executive Council. Councilor Pappas brings a strong bipartisan brand of leadership to the Council that cuts through partisanship to get the working families of New Hampshire the results they deserve. Chris has proven himself as a strong advocate for the people of District 4 by being their eyes and ears in Concord, making sure all their voices are heard in state government,” said Local 118 Business Agent Joseph Donahue. 

“The working men and women of the Carpenters understand there is too much at stake this election to sit on the sidelines, which is why we are mobilizing our grassroots base to get out into our neighborhoods to make sure voters know that a vote for Chris Pappas is a vote for New Hampshire’s middle class,” Donahue concluded.

“Ensuring New Hampshire remains a great place to live, work and raise a family remains my top priority on the Council and that means growing and strengthening our middle class,” said Councilor Pappas. “I am extremely honored to have the support of the New England Council of Carpenters and look forward to continuing my work with them to keep New Hampshire moving forward.”

AFSCME To Call On Senator Ayotte To Take The Minimum Wage Challenge

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Stand For Working Families

Rally/Press Conference

Urge Senator Ayotte to vote to increase Federal Minimum wage to $10.10  

We will call on Senator Ayotte to take the Minimum Wage Challenge – see what it is like to live on $77.00 per week. Perhaps, this will help her understand the importance of raising the Federal Minimum Wage to give working families a fighting chance to get by.

WHAT:      Press Conference calling on Senator Ayotte to take Minimum Wage Challenge featuring a typical basket of necessities that $77 would buy.

WHERE:     Senator Ayotte’s Manchester Office, 1200 Elm Street, Manchester, NH 03101

WHEN:      Wednesday, August 27 at 12:00 p.m. (noon)

Below is an image you can share with friends or share it on Facebook from here.

Stand for Working Families- August 2014 Call to Action Flier (2)

 

Concord Fire Fighters: Feltes best to respond & protect middle class families

Editor’s Note: This is a guest editorial from Jim Duckworth of the Concord Fire Department.

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Dan Feltes at endorsement by the Professional Fire Fighters of NH

As Fire Fighters and Paramedics, we are charged to respond and protect the citizens, workers, and visitors here in the Capital City. We do this 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We see each and every part of our city at all hours of the day and night. And when we are called, we do not ask if someone is rich or poor, old or young, or what neighborhood they are from. We just respond to the situation using our training and talents, and try to leave the situation better than when we found it.

We are supporting Dan Feltes in the Senate District 15 race, because he has made it clear that he will legislate with this same outlook when he is our State Senator. He understands that it doesn’t matter who the citizen is, their background, or socioeconomic status; if they need help, he must do his best to help them. Dan not only has the same prospective as we do, but he has the training and talent to back it up. As a State Senator you must bring to that position your life experiences, vision, and passion to make sure that our government is there to help people and is responsive to their needs.

Dan Feltes has made it clear who he will stand up for when he is elected to the Senate, and that is the people of Senate District 15. Dan’s track record has shown that he works for, and supports, the people who need him. That is the reason the Concord fire fighters are supporting Dan. We understand that in emergencies people count on us, and nothing else matters to us besides getting people out of danger. That’s Dan Feltes’s priority as well; respond to people in need.

As an attorney for New Hampshire Legal Assistance for the last eight years, Dan Feltes has impacted and made better the lives of countless low to middle income families, seniors, and veterans. Most of these people did not have the resources to take care of the situation themselves, but he responded to their circumstance regardless. Dan Feltes was their advocate. Dan Feltes was their voice.

As fire fighters we are never really sure what the next emergency will bring us or how challenging it will be. Challenges that face our state are no different: from our infrastructure, to educating our children, to caring for our seniors, and to ensuring a growing and thriving middle class. These challenges require the best and brightest to work together to achieve positive results and help move everyone in this city, and our state, forward. As our Senator, Dan Feltes will go to work every day with the people of this district as his motivation to do better by them, because that is what they deserve from those that represent them.

Dan is the progressive candidate that will be the voice of our citizens. We know Dan will advocate passionately for the values, programs, and policies that will make a stronger middle class in New Hampshire. He is ready to respond, and we know he will fight tirelessly to protect the people of our district. We know that Dan will not leave anyone behind. And we know that he will leave New Hampshire better than he found it.

Respectfully submitted,

Jim Duckworth President, Concord IAFF L#1045

Teachers And Postal Workers To Protest At STAPLES In Boston On 8-27-14

Hundreds of Postal Workers, Supporters to Protest on Steps of City Hall and at Adjacent Staples in Downtown Boston Wednesday

‘Don’t Buy Staples’ Campaign Picks Up Steam
In Home Market 
of Troubled Retailer 

Staples Sign 1 (Mike Mozart Flikr)

BOSTON – Postal Workers and supporters will protest a sweetheart deal between the U.S. Postal Service and Framingham-based retailer Staples at a rally in downtown Boston on Wednesday, August 27.

Who:      Postal workers and supporters

What:    Protest against outsourcing of postal services to Staples

When:    Wednesday, August 27, at 5 p.m.

Where: Steps of City Hall and Staples at One Washington Mall, Downtown Boston (Southside Steps of City Hall Plaza)

With the back-to-school season in full swing, postal workers are urging parents and teachers not to buy school supplies at Staples. School supplies account for approximately 30 percent of Staples’ revenue.

Since January, APWU members and supporters have staged hundreds of rallies in front of Staples stores around the country to protest a no-bid deal with the U.S. Postal Service that established postal counters in office-supply stores.  Last week, protesters rallied in downtown Boston and joined members of the Lynn Teachers Union for a rally at a Staples store in Saugus, Massachusetts.

An internal USPS document makes clear that the goal of the deal is to replace the jobs held by postal employees with low-paying jobs at Staples.

“But this isn’t just about postal jobs,” said John Dirzius, Northeast Region Coordinator for the APWU. “It is about protecting the public Postal Service. Many people are outraged that a cherished public asset is being used to prop up a struggling private company.” The company recently announced another quarter of declining sales, and confirmed plans to close 140 stores in 2014.

“Staples makes business decisions based on the bottom line, not service to the people of the country,” he said.

“A failing private company doesn’t belong in the postal business,” said Bob Dempsey, Vice President of the APWU’s Boston Metro Local. “Postal consumers want reliable service from highly-trained workers who have taken an oath to protect their letters and packages. Staples can’t offer that.”

“The Boston Teachers Union and its 11,000 members strongly support the postal workers who provide an excellent service to the American public,” said BTU President Richard Stutman. “Contracting that service out to a third party will diminish that service and weaken a great American institution. We stand behind our postal workers 100 percent and will urge our members to boycott Staples.”

In the middle of the crucial back-to-school season, Seeking Alpha, a leading investment website, reports that Staples is so “desperate” to win sales that it is offering a 110 percent price-match guarantee on school supplies. “The retailer is admitting that the only way that it can get customers in the door is to practically give some of its products away,” the website reported.

“If Staples wants to give away products, that’s their business,” said Dirzius. “But when the U.S. Postal Service tries to give away a public resource, that’s everybody’s business.”

Staples 8-27-14 FlyerStaples 8-27-14 BACKGROUNDLeft is a complementary flyer to use to invite your friends.

Right is a flyer with background information about the USPS and STAPLES.

Worker Wins Update: Increased Wages and Organizing Successes Highlight Banner Month

WASHINGTON, DC – From increases in the minimum wage to successful organizing efforts at some of America’s largest companies, workers have led notable wins over the recent months.

The following are a sample of victories won by workers:

Organizing Victories

AFSCME Sets Organizing Goal, Almost Doubles It: AFSCME President Lee Saunders announced that the union has organized more than 90,000 workers this year, nearly doubling its 2014 goal of 50,000.

Tennessee Auto Workers to Create New Local Union at VW PlantAuto workers at Volkswagen’s plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee announced the formation of UAW Local 42, a new local that will give workers an increased voice in the operation of the German car maker’s US facility. UAW organizers continue gain momentum, as the union has the support of nearly half of the plant’s 1,500 workers, which would make the union the facility’s exclusive collective bargaining agent.

California Casino Workers Organize: Workers at the new Graton Resort & Casino voted to join Unite HERE Local 2850 of Oakland, providing job security for 600 gambling, maintenance, and food and beverage workers.

Virgin America Flight Attendants Vote to Join TWU: Flight attendants at Virgin America voted to join the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU), citing the success of TWU in bargaining fair contracts for Southwest Airlines flight attendants.

Maryland Cab Drivers Join National Taxi Workers Alliance: Cab drivers in Montgomery County, Maryland announced their affiliation with the National Taxi Workers Alliance, citing low wages and unethical behavior by employers as their reason to affiliate with the national union.

Retail and Restaurant Workers Win Big, Organize Small: Small groups of workers made big strides as over a dozen employees at a Subway restaurant in Bloomsbury, NJ voted to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. Meanwhile, Cosmetics and Fragrance workers at a Macy’s store in Massachusetts won an NLRB ruling that will allow them to vote on forming a union.

Minnesota Home Care Workers Take Key Step to Organize: Home health care workers in Minnesota presented a petition to state officials that would allow a vote on whether they will form a union for more than 26,000 eligible workers.

New York Television Writers-Producers Join Writers Guild: Writers and producers from Original Media, a New York City-based production company, voted to join the Writers Guild of America, citing low wages, long work schedules, and no health care.

Raising Wages Victories

Fast Food Workers Win in New NLRB Ruling: The National Labor Relations Board ruled that McDonald’s could be held jointly responsible with its franchises for labor violations and wage disputes. The NLRB ruling makes it easier for workers to organize individual McDonald’s locations, and could result in better pay and conditions for workers.

Workers Increasingly Have Access to Paid Sick Leave: Cities such as San Diego, CA and Eugene, OR have passed measures mandating paid sick leave, providing workers with needed flexibility and making workplaces safer for all.

Student Athletes See Success, Improved Conditions: College athletic programs are strengthening financial security measuresfor student athletes in the wake of organizing efforts by Northwestern University football players. In addition, the future is bright as the majority of incoming college football players support forming a union.

San Diego Approves Minimum Wage Hike, Portland, ME Starts Process: Even as Congress has failed to raise the minimum wage, localities throughout the country have delivered action. San Diego will raise the minimum wage to $11.50 an hour by 2017, and the Portland, MEMinimum Wage Advisory Committee will consider an increase to their minimum wage which would take effect in 2015.

IBEW Photographers Terminate Contract with WMUR Over Fair and Equal Treatment.

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WMUR Photographers on the job at a local press conference

On Wednesday August 20th IBEW Local 1228 sent notice to WMUR Station Manager Jeff Bartlett that they were terminating the Contract effective August 30. The move was made so that the Photographers can legally launch a public awareness campaign and to engage in concerted actions if needed.

The Photographer/Editors have been in Negotiations with the Hearst owned WMUR since October of 2013and one of the main points of bargaining has been the pension plan that other Union and non-Union Employees enjoy at the Station.

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WMUR Photographers on the job during a snowstorm

“Since 2005, virtually all other Employees at WMUR have been allowed to participate in a 401K and a Pension Plan. All except for the Photographers. This is wrong and needs to finally be addressed.” said Local 1228 Business Manager Fletcher Fischer. “All we are asking for is equal treatment for the Employees that capture and deliver the news, every day. But the Hearst Corporation who owns WMUR has consistently refused saying they ‘have no appetite for it’. How ridiculous. These Employees risk their physical and mental health daily to report the news including politics, tragedies, heart wrenching events and stories of hope from all over New Hampshire. They work side by side with first responders, shoot the video and edit these stories to inform and educate the citizens of New Hampshire. They generate the revenue Hearst enjoys from this station and deserve equal treatment in retirement benefits.”

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WMUR Photographers on the job at a house fire

Hearst is one of the largest diversified communications companies in the world. Its major interests include 15 daily and 36 weekly newspapers and more than 300 magazines worldwide; 29 television stations through Hearst Television, Inc., which reach a combined 18% of U.S. viewers; ownership in leading cable networks, including A+E and ESPN. For the third year in a row, privately held Hearst is projecting record earnings, as well as record revenue of nearly $10 billion. Yet we have been told that they cannot afford to put 13 photographers into the Pension Plan that other Union members are in at the Station. It is unconscionable that such a wealthy corporation refuses to do the honorable thing and treat all their WMUR workers alike.