Ex LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa with his wife Patricia Govea, accompanied by Teamsters Local Union 396 Secretary-Treasurer & Western Region International Vice President Ron Herrera and Secretary-Treasurer of Local Union 952 Patrick D. Kelly at Union Station Birthday Celebration
TO ALL TEAMSTERS LOCAL 952
Orange County Transportation Authority
February 8, 2018
The links below, you will find copies of executed (signed) tentative agreements, some unexecuted (unsigned) letters of agreement as well as Last, Best and Final offers with respect to Article 2, 8, 11, 20, 30, 38, 39 & 40. At this time we do not have a comprehensive Last, Best and Final offer from the Authority. At this time although there is a significant improvement in wages as part of their offer, there is a lack of information available with respect to the healthcare costs, i.e. 5%, 7% or 10% of what number? There is also no executed letter of agreement prohibiting an increase in subcontracting. Once we get a comprehensive offer we will schedule informational meetings and conduct balloting on the offer.
We urge you to thoroughly review the enclosed documents and if you have any questions, contact your union steward or your Business Representative Almeta Carter at 714-740-6235.
Also enclosed is a summary (8 page document) of benefits and coverage for Kaiser Permanente services as it is currently provided through the Labor Alliance Managed Trust Fund.
Thank you for your support of the Teamsters Union.
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LA City Attorney Files Lawsuits Against Three Port Trucking Companies for Misclassification of Truck Drivers
Los Angeles, CA – Today, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer filed lawsuits against three leading port trucking companies, all owned by NFI Industries, which purchased the conglomerate from the Bob Curry family (California Cartage) in 2017. In the suits, City Attorney Feuer alleges that the companies intentionally misclassified hundreds of truckers as independent contractors, rather than employees, to avoid providing benefits and paying applicable taxes.
Click here to download the complaints (scroll to bottom of press release).
“The Teamsters applaud Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer for taking aggressive action against these market leading companies – K&R Transportation, CMI, and California Cartage Express – which continue to violate the law even after determinations by the California Labor Commissioner that they are openly violating the law. We hope this will send a strong message that not only these companies, but the entire port trucking industry must stop breaking labor laws. Thousands of drivers at many of LA’s port trucking companies have filed private lawsuits and wage and hour claims alleging illegal misclassification; and drivers have gone on strike 15 times to demand change. And every government agency that has conducted an investigation has determined that port trucking companies are violating the law. Yet, despite the legal evidence, LA Port officials have effectively sanctioned their behavior by allowing them to continue to conduct business on public property. This must end,” said Fred Potter, Vice President, International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Director of the Teamsters’ Port Division.
“With these lawsuits, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer has made it clear that if you break the law by misclassifying drivers as “independent contractors” at LA’s port then there will be consequences. Unfettered lawbreaking unfairly undercuts the companies that are following the law,” said Eric Tate, Secretary-Treasurer, Teamsters local 848, which represents more than 500 port truck drivers at America’s largest port complex.
“After years of telling the leaders of Los Angeles’ Port that these companies are blatantly breaking the law on public property – with no action – we are pleased to see LA’s City Attorney file lawsuits against these companies to demand an end to misclassification and wage theft that hurts our families,” Gustavo Villa, misclassified driver, California Cartage Express.
NFI/California Cartage, based in Wilmington, CA, is one of the largest goods movement companies in America, with warehouses and port trucking operations across the U.S. Referred to herein as “NFI/Cal Cartage,” this family of companies was recently acquired by the New Jersey-based National Freight Industries (NFI). Previous to this acquisition, Cal Cartage was owned and managed by Robert Curry, Sr. and his family. NFI/Cal Cartage represents the largest trucking operation at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach by a wide margin.
Cal Cartage Port Trucking Operations
The NFI/Cal Cartage family of companies includes five major trucking operations at the Ports of LA and Long Beach. The four largest - K&R Transportation, California Cartage Express, ContainerFreight EIT and California Multimodal LLC (CMI) – have been facing multiple claims in the courts and government agencies for misclassifying their drivers. In several instances, agencies have already determined that drivers were, in fact, employees. K&R and California Cartage Express operate out of the same property as the Cal Cartage warehouse (described in the following section), CMI operates out of a nearby Wilmington yard, and ContainerFreight operates out of a yard in Long Beach. Combined, more than 600 alleged misclassified drivers work for these companies.
Agency Investigations and Determinations:
California Labor Commissioner:
Over the past two years, there have been at least 12 decisions issued by the California Labor Commissioner in individual claims filed by NFI/Cal Cartage drivers working for K&R Transportation, Cal Cartage Express, ContainerFreight, and CMI. All of these claims found that the drivers were, in fact, employees, and not independent contractors. Together, those decisions ordered NFI/Cal Cartage to pay those 12 drivers a total of $1,419,102.62 for Labor Code violations including unlawful deductions and unreimbursed expenses. NFI/Cal Cartage has appealed nine of these cases, settling eight of them, while one remains pending in Superior Court. For the other three cases, it is as yet unknown if NFI/Cal Cartage will appeal the decisions as it is within the appeal time frame.
here have been an additional 30 Labor Commissioner claims that drivers have filed against NFI/Cal Cartage, all of which appear to be pending (of these, 15 were filed by K&R drivers and 15 by CMI drivers). 10 of the K&R drivers had their hearings in December 2017. The total liability for those 30 claims is $5,620,338.16.
California Employment Development Department (EDD)
At least four K&R drivers have been determined to have been employees – not independent contractors – by the California EDD in individual benefits determinations.
In June and September of 2017, the California EDD filed at least two tax liens against K&R Transportation.
Los Angeles City Attorney
On January 8, 2018, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced that his office had filed lawsuits against Cal Cartage Express, CMI, and K&R Transportation for violation of Unfair Competition Law by misclassifying port truck drivers as independent contractors and evade paying taxes and providing benefits to drivers.
In recent years, NFI/Cal Cartage has faced four class action lawsuits in California Superior Court for multiple Labor Code violations, including willful misclassification, unlawful deductions, unreimbursed expenses, unpaid minimum wages, and failure to provide meal and rest breaks, along with violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law. In December 2017, the last pending case settled for $3.5 million and a motion for final approval is scheduled for April 2018.The company recently settled three similar suits.
NFI/Cal Cartage also recently settled two “mass action” lawsuits for misclassification and wage theft in CA Superior Court involving 55 drivers.
Cal Cartage Warehouse
Cal Cartage Container Freight Station in Wilmington is a warehouse and freight center on Port of LA property and employs approximately 500 workers, with 80 percent of the workforce being employed through a temp agency. While Cal Cartage warehouse workers used to have good paying jobs that provided benefits, they have not had representation from a union in over 30 years and conditions have suffered. Workers are now paid the state minimum wage with little or no benefits (even though they are entitled to a higher wage under the Los Angeles Living Wage Ordinance), and work in health and safety conditions that are deplorable. The company has been cited for serious health and safety violations twice in the past three years, and workers face serious retaliation resulting in unfair labor practices charges and five strikes.
Health & Safety:
The warehouse facility has health and safety issues. The building was built in the 1940s and is poorly maintained. Several workers have been hurt just trying to walk around the facility due to potholes and poor infrastructure. The machines, including forklifts, are not maintained and often have faulty brakes and horns—leading to accidents. Workers filed a formal complaint with Cal/OSHA in June 2015, triggering an investigation at the facility. In November 2015, over $21,000 in citations were issued—4 serious and 6 general penalties. It was noted in these citations that the chipped paint at this facility contains lead.
Cal/OSHA reinvestigated the facility a year later, resulting in additional serious citations in November 2016 amounting $67,150 for the warehouse and $51,275 for the staffing agency. Citations included not providing workers with steel toed boots, not properly attaching shipping containers to the dock, and repeat violations for unsafe brakes on forklifts. The investigation regarding the company’s abatement of these citations is still active.
National Labor Relations Board:
On June 12, 2017, a trial began at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)’s Region 21 on several Unfair Labor Practice Charges (ULPs), summarized below:
Region 21 found merit to Unfair Labor Practice charges filed in September and October 2015 and issued a complaint and notice of hearing on March 21, 2016.
The NLRB began its investigation in September 2015, when the Warehouse Worker Resource Center (WWRC) filed an unfair labor practice (ULP) charge with the NLRB, alleging that California Cartage had interfered with workers' concerted and protected activities by threatening supporters with discharge and attempting to initiate a physical altercation with a worker due to a worker delegation.
The NLRB continued their investigation in October 2015 when new ULPs were filed alleging that California Cartage had interfered with workers' concerted and protected activities. The company instituted unlawful workplace rules to limit workers’ ability to petition and delegate management.
In April 2016, WWRC filed charges alleging that California Cartage and Associated Management Resources, Inc. (AMR staff agency) interfered with workers' protected activities by threatening and interrogating supporters with termination. Additionally, the charges alleged that Cal Cartage violated federal labor laws by retaliating against a supporter by discharging Manuel Reyes for his protected concerted activities.
Additionally, in 2016, the Teamsters filed ULP charges against California Cartage for several unfair labor practices including the Company Owner Bob Curry threatening to close the warehouse if workers unionized. These charges are pending.
On December 17, 2014, workers from the California Cartage warehouse on Pacific Coast Highway at the Port of Los Angeles filed a class action lawsuit alleging millions of dollars in wage theft. The workers, many of whom are paid the state minimum wage and have worked through a staffing agency for years, are entitled to the benefits of the Los Angeles Living Wage Ordinance because the warehouse where they work is operated on City of Los Angeles property. Despite this, the workers at the warehouse have not been paid the applicable living wage rate in the 18 years since the ordinance passed.
Under the City of Los Angeles Living Wage Ordinance, Cal Cartage is currently required to provide each worker with either $12.52 per hour for an all-cash wage or $11.27 per hour plus $1.25 per hour in health benefits and as of July 1, 2017, it will go up to be $12.73 all-cash wage or $11.48 plus $1.25 in health benefits. Further, each worker is entitled to 12 paid days off per year. The law extends the obligation to any staffing agencies that are contracted by Cal Cartage and that directly employ more than 50 percent of the workers in the warehouse facility.
The case is currently in mediation proceedings.
NFI/Cal Cartage’s key customers include: Lowe’s, Amazon, TJ Maxx, Home Depot, Kmart, and Sears, as well as the U.S. Department of Defense.
Drivers at XPO in Albany, New York Seek Teamster Representation
John BulgaroEmail: Phone: (518) 489-5436
(WASHINGTON) – Drivers at XPO Logistics in Albany, N.Y. filed for Teamster representation today with Local 294, the latest action by workers across the U.S. who are banding together to fight for fair treatment at one of the largest transportation and logistics companies in the world.
The 34 drivers at the former Con-way Freight are planning to join XPO freight workers in Laredo, Texas; Vernon, Calif.; Miami, Florida; Aurora, Ill.; King of Prussia, Pa., and Trenton, N.J. and warehouse workers in North Haven, Conn. who have already joined the Teamsters.
“Like the XPO workers in other locations, the Albany drivers are fed up with higher health care costs and reduced coverage and no voice on the job,” said Ernie Soehl, Director of the Teamsters National Freight Division. “Workers around the country are fighting back and we will fight alongside them in their campaign.”
“The XPO workers in Albany reached out to us because they are tired of having no say on the job,” said John Bulgaro, President of Local 294 in Albany. “We look forward to helping these workers form their union and then negotiate a first contract that improves their livelihoods.”
Port, freight and warehouse workers at XPO are coming together across the country in their fight for a more secure future.
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.
House and Senate Republicans have released a final plan to resolve the differences between their tax overhaul bills. The legislation would cut taxes for corporations. American taxpayers, in large part, would also get cuts, though most of the changes affecting taxpayers would expire after 2025.
After our reported loss to Debbie Wasserman Schultz in last year’s primary, I heard from many of you – and from election experts – expressing concerns about the integrity of the ballot count.
We heeded your call and put in a public records request to inspect the ballots in a dozen precincts. Unfortunately, the Broward County Supervisor of Elections stonewalled us for months and I filed a lawsuit against the Supervisor this past June under Florida’s public records law.
What our lawsuit has uncovered so far is both incredible and disturbing. Please excuse the length of this email, but we would like to bring you up to speed about these late breaking developments.
What our Lawsuit Has Revealed
Our efforts to inspect the ballots were spearheaded by Lulu Friesdat, an award-winning journalist and election integrity expert. We initially requested to inspect both the paper ballots and digital scanned images. Last November 2016, the Supervisor informed us they did not conduct any digital scanned ballot images in our race. This seemed very strange to us since the paper ballots are passed through scanning machines at the time of the initial vote count.
Undeterred, we sought to inspect the paper ballots in a dozen precincts. Just weeks ago, in early November 2017, the Supervisor said we could inspect only the digital scanned ballot images -- the scanned images that we had been told a year earlier did not even exist!
Then we learned very recently that the Supervisor ordered our ballots destroyed this past September, in violation of federal requirements that the ballots be maintained for 22 months. POLITICO published a well-researched article today, “Experts: Broward’s elections chief broke law in destroying ballots,” reporting the conclusions of seven election-law experts that the Supervisor early that a single violation is a felony punishable by up to a year in prison.
Destruction of ballots prevents any reliable audit of the election results. We are left dependent on scanned ballot images created and sorted by scanning software that requires inspection by software experts. But the scanning software is considered proprietary software, owned and controlled by the private vendors, and often protected from independent inspection and analysis.
In ordering the destruction of ballots, the Supervisor also certified that the ballots were not subject to a pending lawsuit, which she knew was a complete falsehood given that she had been personally served as the defendant in our lawsuit nearly three months earlier, and even though we had already made public records requests and pre-trial discovery demands to inspect the ballots.
The ballot destruction raises serious questions: Why engage in this blatant lawbreaking? To cover up something worse? What has the Supervisor of Elections been hiding?
What Can Now Be Done
This destruction of ballots undermines people's faith and confidence in the integrity of our elections and this election in particular.
We are calling for state and federal investigations into the ballot destruction and prosecution of illegal wrongdoing. We are also calling for Florida’s governor to replace the Broward Supervisor of Elections and her directors and top staff. This was done several years ago, when then Governor Jeb Bush replaced Broward’s previous Supervisor of Elections.
Moreover, Congress must hold public hearings on the circumstances of my primary, including inspection and analysis of the scanned ballot images and the scanning software. Congress must investigate the relationships between the vendors that control the electronic voting machines and software, their officers and directors, the Broward Supervisor of Elections office, Democratic party officials, and candidates for public office, including Debbie Wasserman Schultz, her staff and consultants.
What You Can Do to Help Us Prevent Rigging in Our Next Election
We are determined to prevent any rigging in next year’s election against Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The Broward Supervisor of Elections is now on notice that we are prepared to challenge election results and sue for a recount next time around, whether it’s reported that we lose by one vote or ten thousand votes.
We are also working with Democracy Counts, a nonprofit tech company that has developed a real-time election audit system, on plans to conduct an audit of our election next year. We will be using trained volunteers and state-of-the-art technology to conduct an exit-vote that provides a parallel accounting of polling place results. Democracy Counts will analyze the data and report on it soon after the polls close. If votes are stolen or suppressed, their audit system will provide evidence of those crimes and of whether they would have affected the results.
All of this will cost money to conduct the Democracy Counts audit and to be prepared to sue the Supervisor of Elections, if need be.
PORT OF CHARLESTON DRIVERS VOTE TO JOIN TEAMSTERS LOCAL 509
Drivers Seek Living Wages, Fair Treatment on the Job
(NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C.) – In a national move to modernize the port trucking industry to respect the rights of drivers and stabilize their families’ income, drivers at a South Carolina port drayage company have voted to join Teamsters Local 509.
The 53 drivers at Container Maintenance Corporation (CMC) Logistics transport shipping containers between the Port of Charleston and a railyard in North Charleston.
“Local 509 believes this victory is a monumental win because it will pave the way for many others at the Charleston ports,” said James Todd, Local 509 President. “We want to thank everyone for the hard work and dedication to make this campaign successful.”
“This is a victory for all port drivers who are fighting for justice. Despite the company’s vicious anti-worker campaign, these drivers remained strong and united in their fight to win decent, living wages and fair treatment,” said Fred Potter, Director of the Teamsters Port Division. “The Port Division worked hand in hand with Local 509 on this victory and stands ready to help negotiate a strong first contract to improve these workers’ lives.”
“We’re all happy because we know we will have a strong voice at work as Teamsters,” said Antoin Jenkins, who has worked at CMC since 2015. “With a strong voice, we can improve things at work. It’s very exciting to be a Teamster.”
“The final straw that led us to unite as Teamsters was in August when the company changed our pay from hourly to ‘production,’ and then cut our pay. I applied for a home loan and when the underwriter called the company to verify my income, the company told them I’m ‘just a production worker’ with no verifiable income so I was rejected. Now as Teamsters, we can negotiate a pay and benefits package that works for families like mine,” said Reggie McQueen, who has worked at CMC since 2015.
Port drivers across America – both those misclassified as independent contractors and employee drivers who are being driven into despair by low wages and unpredictable income – are fighting back against a system that is rigged by America’s largest corporations. The system creates wealth for the CEOs at the expense of working men and women like the drivers who haul cargo from America’s seaports.
The Port of Charleston drivers’ victory is the fourth recent win for workers at intermodal companies. On December 1, 133 workers at ITS ConGlobal in Harvey, Ill., voted to join Teamsters Local 710 in the Chicago area. In November 2016, 777 workers at Parsec, Inc. in Commerce, Calif., voted to join Teamsters Local 986 and this past July, 507 workers at Parsec in Elwood, Ill. voted to join Teamsters Local 179.
Pressure grows on U.S. ports to fix rigged drayage industry
The Los Angeles City Council is preparing to demand the Port of Los Angeles and other City agencies investigate and report on actions to fix labor problems in the drayage and warehouse industries on port property.
At a Special Meeting of the Trade, Travel, and Tourism Committee on November 28, 2017, Los Angeles City Councilmembers Joe Buscaino (CD 15) and Mike Bonin (CD 11) heard first hand accounts from port drivers and warehouse workers who handle cargo from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach describing unacceptable conditions and treatment.
Reacting to testimony presented at the hearing, the Committee Chair, Councilmember Buscaino, whose district includes the Port of Los Angeles, said, "It is not acceptable for companies to be profiting off people who are being exploited on public property. We are going to do everything we can to help."
Another Committee member, Councilmember Mike Bonin lamented, "I remain haunted by the first gentleman who spoke tonight. The stories we've heard are moving and appalling and disgusting. This is modern day sharecropping. It is incumbent on us to do whatever we can to try to fix this."
This hearing was scheduled after Los Angeles City Councilmembers Joe Buscaino and Bob Blumenfield (CD 3) introduced a motion in October that seeks to ensure that "all workers that contribute to the operations at the Port of Los Angeles be afforded a safe work environment, fair wages, and guaranteed rights and benefits."
Importantly, the motion develops strategies on the feasibility of denying access to companies that are in violation of local, state, and federal laws, including labor and employments laws..." The motion was passed by the Economic Development Committee and Trade, Travel, and Tourism Committee on November 28, and is expected to be passed by the entire Los Angeles City Council before the end of the year.
Meanwhile, Phil Murphy, New Jersey's new governor, has pledged to appoint "a labor commissioner, attorney general and treasurer" who would be "cracking down on 1099 fraud, and either bringing people into compliance, or putting them out of business," especially when it comes to drayage companies at the Port of New Jersey.
As we previously reported on, these actions follow introduction of federal legislation that also highlights the role and responsibility ports have in addressing drayage driver working conditions. Last month, U.S. Representatives Napolitano (D-CA-32) and Nadler (D-NY-10) introduced the Port Drivers Bill of Rights Act (H.R. 4144) and the Clean Ports Act of 2017 (H.R. 4147), a pair of bills that put ports in the crosshairs for fixing drayage driver labor problems. The bills' co-sponsors include Representatives DeFazio (D-OR-4), Lowenthal (D-CA-47), Barragan (D-CA-44), Huffman (D-CA-2), Johnson (D-GA-4), Takano (D-CA-41), and Norton (D-DC-At Large).
Port Innovations is a project of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy's (LAANE) Project for Clean and Safe Ports. LAANE has been working for over seven years to bring community, labor and environmental stakeholders together for a better harbor region.
LAANE is dedicated to supporting the establishment and maintenance of a clean truck fleet at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and to support fair working conditions for port truck drivers.
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.