Brothers and Sisters of Local 952,
Thank you for the honor of serving as your Secretary-Treasurer. I, your administration, and the staff all look forward to serving the membership. Our intention is to build solidarity whether you voted for my administration or not. I ask that all members get involved because without you there is no power. And don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know how we can help you. The hall doors are open and the phones are always on.
The Orange County MOA was ratified in December 2019 covering over 400 Teamsters in the maintenance unit. The new four-year MOU includes wage increases, monetary improvements to the retirement plan, and additional classification and compensation studies. I want to thank Business Agents Jeff Sweet and Norma Lopez for their leadership in these negotiations.
Pepsi was also ratified in December. BA Jeff Sweet co-chaired the negotiating team with Local 896 Secretary-Treasurer Phil Cooper. The four-year agreement brings strong wage increases and significant improvements to sick leave, and was overwhelmingly ratified throughout LA and Orange counties.
In January, a new five-year agreement was ratified with Farmer Bros. for our warehouse, drivers and inventory clerks at the Santa Ana facility. This agreement was negotiated with 20 local unions and was overwhelmingly supported by the members.
Negotiations began in January for Reyes Coca-Cola. We are among three Locals (952, 848 and 986) who are bargaining two contracts (and a stand-alone Local 892 agreement) with the company that covers roughly 1250 drivers, warehouse and production members in several different locations.
We are engaging with UPS to get some information as soon as possible regarding their Change of Operation. In June, certain Local 952 routes will be moved to the La Mirada location (Local 396). This could have a significant impact for our members on those routes. For those drivers who may be affected, there will be an opportunity for you to attend Feeder Orientation with Local 396 that is tentatively scheduled for May. We will keep members updated as we learn more.
I would like to remind all UPS members to keep track of your hours worked, and I must stress the need to file any grievances in a timely manner. Please work with your Shop Steward and Business Agent as soon as possible following a contract violation.
Since coming into office in January, I’m happy to report that we have had several meetings with Albertson’s Labor Relations and have come to an agreement to change a number of policies, including how grievances are filed. The company has agreed to have grievances filed at the distribution centers which will help us streamline the process. Another long-term issue we are addressing is trying to stop the third-party work out of the distribution centers and to regain those positions. Stay tuned.
The Albertsons/Vons/Pavilions agreement expires in September. Opening letters have been sent out and we are in the process of putting our negotiating team together. This year, several of our Shop Stewards will be able to attend the negotiations.
The Local filed for recognition of 125 employees at Albertsons Riverside in early February. As of this writing, the Feb. 21 vote has not yet taken place however it appears as though the Teamsters have a lot of support from the workers. I would like to thank all of the Local 952 BA’s and Shop Stewards who have gone to the location and met with the employees.
We held proposal meetings with our members at OCTA (Orange County Transportation Authority) in mid-February and are currently putting the negotiating team in place. The three-year agreement expires April 30 and covers coach operators at the Santa Ana and Garden Grove locations.
We are also working with management to address the Coronavirus and ways we can protect our members. We are in discussions with OCTA to have drivers wear masks. I want to thank BA Charles Johnson for his leadership with this important health concern.
Local 952 President John Green and BA Emerson Diaz have been working with CVS and was able to get a more streamlined grievance procedure approved. John was also in talks to have the company return the Safety Bonus Program and change language on certain company policies which would be favorable to our drivers.
Although they are making progress, Green and Diaz will continue to meet with the company’s labor relations specialist to address nearly a dozen issues affecting our members. Additionally, while the contract doesn’t expire until September, CVS has shown a willingness to start negotiations earlier this year and the Local expects to begin proposal meetings and establishing a negotiating team in the very near future.
This is going to be a busy year for 952 with over 20 contracts expiring. Currently, we are in the process of member proposal meetings or scheduling negotiations with several companies including, Stremicks Heritage Foods, Southern Glazers Wine and Spirit, Youngs Market, Westside Building Materials and Valencia Trucking.
Your new 952 leadership has been tackling a number of important member- and contract-related issues, as well as some challenges we encountered with the day-to-day operations of the Local when we took over Jan. 1. I’m very happy to have Frank Sevilla back at the Local. Frank brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in a wide variety of areas. I, John Green, Frank, and your entire leadership team are unwavering in our efforts to quickly address issues and give you the representation you deserve.
In closing, I would like to let you know that starting this spring we have moved all general membership meetings to the weekend, which will include Saturday and Sunday meetings. Please check out our website at www.teamsters952.org for all of the dates.
United We Bargain, Divided We Beg.
Local 952 Secretary-Treasurer