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Martin Luther King Remembered

On the night before he died, Martin Luther King gave a speech about the dignity of labor. It still rings true. He was in Memphis, Tenn., supporting sanitation workers' rights to respect and a decent wage. He said: “Whenever you are engaged in work that serves humanity and is for the building of humanity, it has dignity and it has worth.” Dr.

James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship 2020

The application process for the 2020 year is now open.  To access the JRHMSF application process (administered by ISTS), go to: https://aim.applyists.net Please use JRHMSF for the "Key" Eligibility:  For the sons, daughters and financial dependents of Teamster members (including the BMWED, BLET, GCC and TCRC).

Workers Deserve Protection From Anti-Union Employers

Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act - Workers Deserve Protection From Anti-Union Employers By Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa A U.S. House committee took a much-needed step towards empowering workers by approving legislation that would expand their right to organize on the job while shielding them from employer intimidation if they choose to form a union.

492 Movie Teamsters Reach(lift) For The Sky!

492 Movie Teamsters Reach(lift) For The Sky! Teamsters Local 492 held forklift classes on November 15th and 16th. These classes were first come, first serve and filled up fast. There were a total of 40 attendees that were certified or re-certified over the 2 day period, which maxed out the class size limits for 2 instructors.

492 BA Malcom Union Panelist at Film & TV Career Connection

492 BA Malcom Union Panelist Film & TV Career Connection Today, Nov 09, 2019, Teamsters Local 492 Film Department Business Agent Melissa A. Malcom served as a Union Panelist for the Film & Television Career Connection at the South Broadway Cultural Center which was sponsored by the Albuquerque Film Office.

The New Administrations Attack on Workers’ Rights

The New Administrations Attack on Workers’ Rights Under the current administration, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has systematically rolled back workers’ rights to form unions and engage in collective bargaining with their employers, to the detriment of workers, their communities, and the economy.

Record Attendance at Local 492 Union Stewards 2019 Seminar

Record Attendance at Local 492 Union Stewards Seminar Today, October 27th 2019, Teamsters Local 492 conducted a Stewards Seminar for all the current stewards and alternate stewards. The stewards that attended learned key skills to enable them to perform their duties as stewards.

Record Raises For Bus Drivers in NM

October 2, 2019 - Today, the 492 Teamster members working for NCRTD voted 31-3 in favor of ratifying the 2019 agreement. Congratulations and thank you to all that voted.  We were also able to organize 14 new members today for this public sector unit. The NCRTD Teamster Negotiating Committee obtained a Tentative Agreement with NCRTD (Blue Bus) on September 26th, 2019.

Family Attendance Rebounds at NM Teamster Appreciation Day 2019

Family Attendance at NM Teamster Appreciation Day 2019 Rebounds after 2 Year Decline September 28, 2019 - Today, on a sunny Saturday, over 600 people came to the 2019 New Mexico Teamsters Appreciation Day reaching another new all-time high for the amount of active 492 Members attending. This is the 7th year Teamsters Local 492 has hosted an event to celebrate the Teamsters of New Mexico.


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Training: Forklift Recertification / Load Securement – Milton, PA
Annual Pipeline Steward School, Business Officers' Conference in New Orleans
Oregon American Red Cross Workers Join Teamsters Local 223
Teamsters Local 320 to Strike St. Louis County
Training: Log Truck - Zanesville, Ohio
Strike Vote Taken by STA/Ocean State Transit School Bus Workers
 
     
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  • Workers’ pensions are being endangered by both Congress and those charged with overseeing them. The Teamsters and our members are standing united to say “No!” to cuts and “Yes!” to greater retirement security!

  • This web page provides information on the ongoing effort to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Since 1994, NAFTA has devastated working families, putting corporate profits ahead of people.  What’s worse is that NAFTA has become the blueprint for all other trade agreements, from the way that it was negotiated in secret, to the bad provisions that have made their way into every agreement that has been signed since then.  Now, NAFTA is being renegotiated and we demand that it be reframed to work for workers instead of corporate interests.

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Janus vs Fair Share Fees
Updated On: Feb 26, 2018

Janus vs. Fair Share Fees

The organizations financing the attack on unions’ ability to represent workers

Written By EPI 

Over the last decade, a number of cases attacking the rights of public-sector union members have been quietly working their way through the courts and, finally, up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The most recent of these challenges is Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, which the U.S. Supreme Court will hear on February 26. If the court rules for Janus, it will likely have the most significant impact on workers’ freedom to organize and bargain collectively in 70 years.

Janus is the third case to come before the Supreme Court in five years involving public-sector unions’ ability to collect “fair share” (or “agency”) fees. As this report will show, Janus, and the two fair share cases that preceded it, did not grow from an organic, grassroots challenge to union representation. Rather, the fair share cases are being financed by a small group of foundations with ties to the largest and most powerful corporate lobbies. These organizations and the policymakers they support have succeeded in advancing a policy agenda that weakens the bargaining power of workers. In Janus, these interests have focused their attack on public-sector workers—the workforce with the highest union density.

We examine the core group of organizations financing this litigation. By tracing the origins of these legal challenges, and explaining how the challenges target unions, we show that challenging fair share fees in the courts appears to be part of a broader billionaire-financed agenda to weaken unions and shift power away from ordinary workers.

How fair share fees prevent “free riding”

A union is required to represent a nonmember worker who is mistreated by the employer as the nonmember pursues a costly grievance process, even if it costs the union tens of thousands of dollars. Fair share fees enable the union to charge nonmember workers for the right to access that service if they need it. Without the ability to collect fair share fees, the nonmember worker could access these expensive representation services without having paid a dime.

Workers who choose not to pay union dues also receive the higher wages and benefits that the union negotiates on behalf of its members. Eliminating fair share fees encourages “free riding”: workers paying union dues see coworkers who are paying nothing but getting the same benefits, and they decide to leave the union and stop paying union dues. Public-sector unions have worked for decades to protect the rights of the teachers, nurses, firefighters, police officers, and other public servants that communities depend on. Taking away unions’ ability to collect fair share fees—while they are nonetheless required to provide services and representation to nonmembers—would threaten the very existence of unions by weakening their financial stability.

The possibility that workers could decide not to pay for the union benefits they receive if fair share fees are outlawed does not mean that they do not value these benefits. This proposition was explained in an amici curiae brief to assist the Supreme Court in understanding the free-rider problem at issue in Janus v. AFSCME, which was signed by 36 distinguished economists and professors of economics and law, including three Nobel laureates. The scholars explained that the free-rider problem is a well-established concept in economics. In particular, the brief shows it is widely accepted that if an individual chooses not to pay for a resource provided to him or her for free, it does not mean the individual does not value the resource, and that when individuals who benefit from a resource do not pay for it, the resource will be underprovided.

For example, as the brief points out, a recent union recertification election in Iowa revealed that a majority of workers in the bargaining unit voted in favor of continuing to be represented by the union, even though most of them also opted out of paying fair share fees. A recent change in Iowa state law requires public-sector unions to hold a vote and be recertified before each new contract negotiation, and recertification requires not just a majority of those voting but a majority of all workers covered by the collective-bargaining agreement—union members and nonmembers alike. Since Iowa state law already prohibits fair share fees in public-sector unions, the nonmembers are not required to pay fair share fees, even though they are covered by and benefit from the union’s contract.

In October 2017, the election results for AFSCME Iowa Council 61 revealed that 83 percent of all employees covered by the union’s collective-bargaining agreements voted in favor of recertifying the union.5 Only 15 percent of the workers failed to vote, and only 2 percent voted against the union. Yet a mere 29 percent of workers who are union members pay all of the costs of the union’s collective bargaining—despite the fact that the vast majority of employees agree they benefit from, and affirmatively voted for the union. The remaining 71 percent of the workers in the bargaining unit are free riders, in that they are covered by the union contract but are nonmembers and do not pay any fair share fees because Iowa’s law prohibiting fair share fees allows people to obtain the benefits without paying for them.

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January 20, 2020
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Updated: Jan. 20 (00:45)
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