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NM Commissioners Take on CBAs
October 6, 2017 -By Trey White, Teamsters Local 492 Recording-Secretary
Will you soon have the right to choose whether to pay your taxes or not? If you are not happy with the government services Sandoval County is providing (or even if you are happy with them), will you no longer have to pay your taxes, and will the County no longer be allowed to write laws or ordnances that force you to pay your taxes, even if you live in Sandoval County and reap the benefits of the paved roads, street lights, police and other services that cost the county? According to Sandoval County Commissioner David Heil, that’s the fundamental idea behind a proposal put forth by the Sandoval County Commissioners last night. “If you are happy with their service, why wouldn’t you continue to support them,” said Commissioner Heil at the meeting held on October 5, 2017 at the Sandoval County Admin Building. His statement may be morally correct, but most people would definitely stop paying anything they don’t have to pay, regardless of the level of service. This all sounds unbelievable, right? It’s crazy, but instead of taxes, the commissioners were actually talking about contractual service fees being paid to Unions.
There was a Sandoval County Commissioners meeting held last night (See Photos Here) and unfortunately, 4 of the 5 commissioners publicly expressed their desire to pass a RTW ordinance that will prevent future negotiated contracts between the employer and the employees, from agreeing to have the all employees of that negotiated contract, pay their fair share to negotiate/administer it. This is BIG GOVERNMENT at work again as they plan to pass a law that tells the employer how to run their business and interact with their employees collectively. If the government can tell the employer what they can and cannot negotiate in their contracts with the employee’s, what’s next? In the future, they might try to pass legislation where you can’t pay your workers more than $19 an hour because NM needs to be able to attract businesses to the state. You may scoff, but this is a disturbing trend in America that is only going to get worse if people don’t stand up and say NO!
One of the Sandoval commissioners, James F. Holden-Rhodes, said last night that the Labor Movement might have been needed in the 1930’s and 40’s but eluded that now unions have too much power, and need to be taken down a notch, calling the Teamsters “goombahs” and blamed teachers for “the absolute disaster of our American schools today.” The crowd, which was about 99% working class New Mexicans, voiced their disgust with his insulting personal attacks and obvious blatant pronounced bias. When Commission Chairman Don Chapman threatened to clear the room, about a third left in protest of the Mr. Holden-Rhodes incendiary comments. I was at that meeting and he looked directly at me when he called Teamsters goombahs. I am a proud Teamster and I was very insulted. Melissa Malcom, who is the Movie Productions Agent for Teamsters Local 492 and also an Italian-American was there as well, and took personal offence to the Italian racial slur. I don’t have personal knowledge of what may have happened with the mafia and unions last century, but I can testify that is not this generations Teamsters!
Less than 7% of private sector jobs in America are Union, so why are these commissioners so concerned about such a small minority of workers? Because Unions raise the bar for all workers, including for non-union workers; and big businesses don’t want the bar raised, in fact they want to lower it more. NM already has low wages compared to other states, how low can we go?
Example; if there is a Union grocery store paying good wages and benefits, the non-union grocery store down the street must pay comparable wages or they won’t be able to retain their workforce. Employee turnover costs the employer lots of money and headaches. The non-union grocery store must weigh the cost of hiring/retraining new employees verses offering a competitive pay package to retain them.
Big Business groups like “Americans for prosperity” are betting that if they can get rid of the unions, the huge corporations that fund that group will benefit because the bar will be lowered and they will save money. You can’t blame them for wanting to save money, but unfortunately, the way they are going about saving money means the worker is subsidizing the company’s savings. It also means there will be more people that are working full time but will qualify for welfare. That is forcing BIG GOVERNMENT to subsidize the employer’s low wages with welfare payments to the company’s workers. There are plenty of non-union jobs but when someone applies at a Union company, it’s because of the superior wage & benefits. Unions need the service fees to continue to negotiate those superior packages, just like the Sandoval County needs everyone to pay their taxes or they cannot continue to pave the roads and pay for police.
Last night, all 5 Sandoval County commissioners stated the need to do something to bring jobs to the county and 4 of them are willing to lower the wages of workers to get those jobs here. This may or may not be their intention but it will definitely be the end result over time. It is simple market force economics. If people are willing to work for less to get a job, the free market will offer less. If they all stand up collectively, they will push the free market towards paying more.
Sandoval Commissioners also threw out a lot of fuzzy numbers, so I did the same when I was allowed to speak, by bringing up that there are plenty of counties in RTW states that have high unemployment like Yuma AZ at 18.6% which has a population close to Sandoval County. Comparing Sandoval to Phoenix, Houston, or Denver is absurd. The point being that RTW is not the answer to all of the counties problems, if it were, all counties similar in size to Sandoval in RTW states would be thriving. The real issue for companies is how much tax incentives the community is willing to bear and is there a suitable, trained, educated, workforce available to hire. Google the top reasons companies have publicly stated they relocated, they are; better pool of employees, tax breaks/incentives, the current location is declining, lower costs, better quality of life, and the need to upgrade facilities. Companies may privately say they prefer a RTW environment to politicians, but it is rarely the actual main focus.
Does NM want a company that says; ‘we need an environment where we can take advantage of low wages and no demand for a benefit package of any kind’. That is why companies move to Mexico and China. Maybe the government should just mirror all the laws and regulations of China. Maybe pass laws that allow companies to pay workers $2 for a 16 hour work day. I am sure that would bring billions of jobs here. Let’s have a race to the bottom, and see who can get there first!!!!! We can all work 80 hours a week and still qualify for welfare and food stamps, but at least we will all have jobs.
Teamster Committee Reviews UPS Teamsters Proposals
UPS and UPS Freight Negotiations-UPDATE
From the IBT UPS National Negotiating Committee, September 28, 2017
Earlier this week, the Teamsters UPS and UPS Freight National Negotiating Committees met in the Washington DC area to review contract proposals received from members.
With the record number of contract proposals submitted and reviewed this week it is clear that many issues are at stake in the upcoming negotiations.
Pension plan and health and welfare issues in many areas, part-time start rates, ongoing harassment, excessive hours throughout the year (9.5), increasing size and weight of the average shipment and subcontracting of feeder work were among the many issues covered in proposals reviewed by the UPS National Negotiating Committee.
On the UPS Freight side, subcontracting, blackout weeks, protecting health benefits and pensions, and excessive overtime were among the many issues raised in member proposals.
Both Committees are now tasked with developing comprehensive proposals to prepare for the start of negotiations.
On October 1, the Two-Person review meetings will be held in the Washington DC area which representatives from all UPS and UPS Freight Locals will review the results of the screenings held earlier this week.
In the meantime, supplemental negotiations are slated to begin next month. There will be a break in meetings during peak season as many of the Company’s labor representatives typically take part in peak season operations.
Next week, the Teamsters National UPS and UPS Freight Grievance Committees will meet October 2 in Seattle, Washington for the grievance panel hearings.
500 Teamsters & Family Attend NM Teamster Appreciation Day 2017
508 people were in attendance at the 2017 New Mexico Teamsters Appreciation Day on Saturday Sept 23rd. Members came from a wide variety of crafts and companies which included (in order of highest member turnout) UPS, ABF, YRC, Film/Movies Drivers, Creamland, CH2M/OMI, Sysco, UPS Freight, Sysco, AmeriPride Linen, American Airlines, Sandia Labs, and TeamOne. There were Teamster Retirees that also attended and had a booth set up for info on their Teamster Retiree Club.
To View Photos of the Event, Click Here
Secretary-Treasurer Walter R. Maestas along with The Teamsters 492 Executive Board and Business Agents were all there and you may have seen some of them busy working to make sure the event ran smooth. This year’s theme was “We Are Teamsters!!!” Hanging from the new 492 tents and on the back of the free shirt were logos of the dozens of Companies Local 492 represents. Everyone enjoyed the free food featuring Popeye’s Chicken, the free Teamster shirts for Members (designed by ABF Brother Albert Lujan), plus face painting & a Jumper for the kids. We also gave away a 49" Flat screen TV, Drone, Electric Fireplace heater, and whole lot more including 20 gift bags full of Teamster books, Teamster DVD, and also some 492 Teamster swag. The first bunch of kids who attended received a free Teamster Ring Disc Frisbee (we ran out). The three most sought after prizes were the TV, won by UPS Brother John Wecrzynek, and the two custom made 492 Teamster Disk-it’s, won by OMI/CH2m Hill Brother Ricardo Sanchez & UPS Brother Dominic Gutierrez.
This is the 5th year Teamsters Local 492 has hosted an event to celebrate the Teamsters of New Mexico, and the third year we have had a committee of Volunteer Teamsters Members plan the event. The Teamsters Local 492 Executive Board, on behalf of all of the Members who enjoyed the event, would like to thank The 492 Volunteer Event Committee for all of their hard work and the countless hours of their personal time they donated to this great Union over the past months preparing for this day. In addition to the planning, the Committee showed up Thursday & Friday to set-up the inside of the hall and came in at 8 am Saturday morning to prepare the outside. Most of the Committee also worked the entire event to insure the Members would enjoy themselves. In alphabetical order, The 2017 Committee was led by Brother Joseph Carrillo (ABF) (event coordination), Lacey Eversole (ABF), who also volunteered at the check-in table, Sister Rori Hall (ABF), who also volunteered at the Teamster store and raffle tickets, Brother Albert Lujan (ABF) who also volunteered with face painting for the kids & also designed the beautiful shirt this year, Business Agent Kevin Pohl, Brother Robert Sanders (ABF), and Brother Jesus Vidaca (ABF) (event coordination) and his kids Ashley & Jesus Vidaca Jr.
Other volunteers (in alphabetical order) who came in early on Saturday to help set up the event were Business Agent Melissa Malcom-who also volunteered at the check-in table, Business Agent Tracy McCarty, Trustee Aaron Powell & his family Becky, Mya and Eli, Brother Kirk Weis (ABF), Recording Secretary Trey White-who also volunteered at the check-in table, and Brother Donald Wood (ABF).
Other volunteers (in alphabetical order) that helped during the event were office secretary Darlene Archuleta-Teamster store and raffle tickets, Sister Esther Basham (ABF)- food table and supplied the homemade salsa, Sister Silvana Cufré (ABF)-Face painting and Tanya Pohl-Teamster store. (If you would like to be on the event committee or volunteer at our next event, let us know by Clicking Here)
A special thanks to the many that stuck around to help clean up. Thank you to all who participated and attended this event, we truly enjoyed seeing all of you and meeting your families and we hope to be able to do this for years to come. On behalf the Teamsters Local 492 staff, Business Agents and Executive Board, we truly appreciate the Members of this Local Union and everything you do to make this Union great, and all the hard working Union Stewards that do such a great job helping their fellow Members, Thank you Teamster Brothers & Sisters!
Go down memory lane below:
Upcoming Teamsters National Freight ABF Contract Negotiations-Proposals
As you are aware, the current Teamsters ABF NMFA expires on March 31, 2018. In preparation for negotiations for a successor agreement with ABF, the IBT is requesting local unions representing employees at ABF, confer with their members and shop stewards, and submit suggested proposals to the negotiating committees. The proposal forms are similar to forms that have been used in the past for obtaining this important information.
The IBT has mandated that these forms be completed and returned to the IBT by October 16, 2017. Therefore, all proposals must be submitted to Local Union 492 by October 12, 2017 so that we will have time to sort & organize them for submission to the IBT.
You can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org with your filled out forms. You may also mail or bring them to 4269 Balloon Park Rd, Alb, NM 87109.
Now is the time to tell us what you would like to see in the next ABF Teamster Contract. This is YOUR contract, so make sure you participate in this process to have your ideas and voice heard.
If you have any question please call the Business Agent for Freight, Secretary-Treasurer Walter R. Maestas at 505-344-1925 ex 13. If you have any technical issues with the submission of these forms, call Trey White at 505-344-1925 ex 15.