Posts Tagged ‘Teamsters’

SAG awards are a celebration of #unionmembers

Last night, Hollywood feted its top talent at the 17th annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards show. While we’re used to seeing celebrities stroll down the red carpet, this award show is unique because it’s a night when union members come together to honor fellow union members. In fact, it’s the only national network awards show that honors the work of union members.

And this year, the stars took full advantage of their opportunity to draw attention to the importance of unions in front of a national audience. Upon receiving her first SAG Award for best actress in ‘Black Swan”, Natalie Portman said, “”I’ve been working since I was 11-years-old, and SAG has taken care of me. I’m so grateful to have this union protecting me every day.” Portman was joined by Best Supporting Actress winner Melissa Leo of “The Fighter”, who noted, “Unions made this country great because they give the voice to the working people.” The night’s winners also praised unions outside of the entertainment world. Julianna Marguiles of “The Good Wife” gave props to the Teamsters for “digging us out of the snow for the past two weeks.”

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The sweet, fizzy taste of victory

When tCoca-Cola logohe Sacramento Coca-Cola Bottling Company agreed to recognize their workers as union members, The Teamsters got a sweet, fizzy taste of victory.

The 310 workers at the Coca-Cola Bottling Company have been members of a small, independent union for over 40 years. But when they decided to merge with the larger Teamsters Local 150 back in April, the management at the factory refused to recognize their newly-affiliated union as a bargaining representative.

But now management has agreed to settle with the workers, only a week before the situation was to go before an administrative law judge from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). According to the settlement, the Coca-Cola Bottling Company must bargain in good faith with the Teamsters, process union grievances, and pay the union dues for which the employees had authorized payroll deduction. In other words, it’s got to follow the law.

Coca-Cola workers are not the only ones who achieved victory lately. Two weeks ago the Board ordered Regis Corporation, owners of salons like Cost Cutters and Master Cuts, to cease threatening to fire workers if they tried to join a union. They’re showing Big Business that workers’ have the right to organize and collectively bargain.

 

Forget the “what ifs”

I vividly recall my third grade teacher telling the class, “There are no ‘what if’ questions.” We shouldn’t ask, for instance, “What if school closes for a month-long snow delay?” when fretting about an upcoming math test. (You can tell I didn’t grow up in Washington, DC, where we now know school can close for a month-long snow delay.) My teacher, Ms. Muldown, was simply instilling in students the discipline to be realistic when assessing any given situation.

Math tests may be a thing of the past, but one situation most of us face on a daily basis is work. For Wichita bus drivers, the circumstances of their lives at work weren’t good. Despite carrying the incredible responsibility of safely transporting their community’s children to and from school each day, the bus drivers earned little beyond what First Student, their employer, paid them—and only two paid holidays a year. That meant no vacation time, no sick leave, no retirement options, and no health insurance. Read more »