(HARRISBURG, Pa.) – More than a thousand Teamsters from across Pennsylvania rallied on the steps of the state capitol today to protest legislation designed to weaken worker protections and undercut their ability to bargain for improvements on the job.
Currently, there are a number of bills introduced in the general assembly that are a direct attack on working families in Pennsylvania. These bills are attempting to make harmful policies like right-to-work and paycheck deception law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Gov. Tom Wolf spoke out against the legislation at the rally, denouncing the attack on working Pennsylvanians.
“There is a concerted effort by many at the national and state level to damage working men and women's ability to fight for wages they deserve, benefits they have earned, and protections that are fair,” Gov. Wolf said. “The constant threat of legislation like right to work, like paycheck protection, is an assault on the market and the economy. Any legislation that makes it harder for employees to organize in turn makes it harder for businesses to provide quality products and services to their customers.”
Opposition to these bills crosses party lines as representatives from both sides of the aisle have joined the fight to defeat the legislation. Republican State Rep. John Taylor spoke at the rally, expressing his opposition to the right-to-work and paycheck deception bills.
“I believe the sanctity of the bargaining agreement should stay intact,” Taylor said. “Right to work is something I’ve fought against since I was a college student and a Teamster. Right to work is not an issue worth pursuing. People will be hurt by this legislation.”
Rank-and-file Teamsters visited their elected officials before and after the rally to call on their representatives to vote against these bills. Pennsylvania Conference of Teamster President William Hamilton stressed the importance grassroots activism and the role it will play in defeating these bills.
“We can’t stand by and hope that our representatives to the right thing and vote down these bills,” Hamilton said. “We must keep the pressure on them and let them know that their constituents will not stand for this attack on Pennsylvania’s working families.”
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.
William Hamilton, International Brotherhood of Teamsters Eastern Region Vice President and President of the Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters joins Rick to raise awareness to the big money special interests setting up shop in Pennsylvania to push their No Rights at Work agenda and to explain why working people need to fight back against the euphemistically labeled poison.
PENNSYLVANIA TEAMSTER ELECTED MAYOR OF JEANNETTE, PA
MAY 18, 2017 (Washington, DC) International Brotherhood of Teamsters .
Mayor-Elect Curtis Antoniak
Bests Incumbent in Landslide Victory
Curtis Antoniak, a recently retired Teamster with the City of Jeannette, Pa.’s Public Works Department, won an election for Mayor in the a small Pennsylvania city roughly 30 miles outside of Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
“The Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters supports and encourages its members to seek local office, and I’m really proud of Brother Curtis Antoniak and everyone on his campaign for scoring such a resounding victory,” said William Hamilton, Eastern Region Vice President and Principal Officer of the Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters. “What’s been done here in Jeannette can serve as a model for not just the rest of the state, but the entire region. When Teamster members get involved in politics, we can fight and we can win.”
Antoniak, a Teamsters Local 30 member with 32 years of service and 14 years as a shop steward, beat the one-term incumbent Richard Jacobelli with a margin of 74-26 percent. In addition to his service as a Teamster member, Antoniak has been involved in his community for years coaching baseball, and the market in Jeannette that his grandparents started has been in business since the 1920s.
Jacobelli ran on a platform of renegotiating agreements with the Jeannette’s largely union workforce, and Antoniak decided to get involved in the Mayoral race after Jacobelli unveiled plans to outsource the city’s sanitation operations. The plan could potentially have resulted in lay-offs for the six workers, in spite of the department having a profitable year in 2016.
Antoniak learned of the results late last night at a party with over 200 supporters at a local American Legion hall, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. This is the first time Antoniak has run for public office.
“I love our town, I'm very humbled with the results of the election,” Antoniak said. “I really feel that I can work well with the people on council. I am not on any agenda. I will listen.”
PA Governor Wolf proudly grinning with two of the shirts that will continue to be made in Pennsylvania
BY EXPRESS-TIMES LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Major League Baseball and its players union settled on a new collective bargaining agreement over the winter. The rationale for extending labor peace for five years was simple: With attendance, advertising and ratings up -- and the industry poised to generate $10 billion this year -- why mess with a winning formula?
That same principle came into play, apparently, for Fanatics Inc., which announced this week it is buying VF Corp.'s Majestic business, ensuring that MLB player jerseys and fan apparel will continue to be produced at Majestic's plant in PalmerTownship. For the 600-plus workers there, it was a stitch in time -- and a happy end to a winter of discontent.
This outcome was anything but assured last October, when reports surfaced that MLB was shifting its official-gear contract from Majestic to Under Armour, starting in 2020. Under the deal unveiled this week, Under Armour -- rather than set up manufacturing at its home base in Baltimore or use its overseas contractors -- partnered with Fanatics, the Jacksonville-Fla.-based sports retailer that will oversee the Majestic operation in Palmer.
For most sports fans the switch will be invisible, except for the "UA" that will replace the "Majestic" insignia on shirtsleeves in the 2020 season. For the Easton area -- and the cause of American workmanship -- this is a best-of-seven victory.
For years Majestic has been a vestige of a once-booming garment industry in the LehighValley and beyond. Its exclusive contract with MLB and other sports leagues gave it sustenance, while other manufacturers were losing out to low-wage operations in Asia and Latin America.
During a visit to PalmerTownship Tuesday, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred told Majestic employees, "This facility ... is an important part of Major League Baseball. Every year since 2009, over 1 million products a year have gone out to our players and our fans, and the workers here have produced quality products with an attention to detail that our Major League Baseball players -- the greatest athletes in the world -- truly deserve and we appreciate that."
Manfred congratulated Fanatics owner Michael Rubin and Majestic president Mike Pardini for reaching an agreement, the terms of which were not disclosed. Thanks also must go to Gov. Tom Wolf, who wrote to Manfred last fall to make the case for preserving the Majestic connection, and other officials who lent their support.
According to Jocelyn Lunney, associate manager with Workers United, the union representing most of the workers at the Palmer plant, another party was instrumental in saving jobs -- the Major League Baseball Players Association, which spoke up on the union workers' behalf.
A lot of things -- and people -- had to come together to make this happen. We think Majestic workers and management proved their value -- with consistent quality in apparel, often produced under tight deadlines. Last year the local plant quickly made up No. 16 jerseys for Miami Marlins players after the accidental death of pitcher Jose Fernandez, and met postseason demand from fans in two title-starved markets, Chicago and Cleveland.
No matter who wins the World Series this year, local workmanship has already hit one out -- and because of its record, will remain a presence in Major League Baseball parks for another decade to come.
Angry over the prescription drug abuse epidemic, Teamsters union members demonstrated Thursday outside AmerisourceBergen's annual shareholders meeting at the Sofitel Hotel in Philadelphia.Read more >>
The PA Conference of Teamsters would like to thank PA Representative John Taylor and PA Representative Gene DiGirolamo for standing with the Teamsters in Philadelphia for such a worthy cause.
PA Representative John Taylor
PA Representative Gene DiGirolamo
Friday, March 03, 2017
The latest news from the State Capitol
Community Comes Out to Learn More About Narcan
I want to thank everyone who came out to my latest “Path to Recovery” community meeting Feb. 23 to learn more about the life-saving drug Narcan, which can revive the victim of an opioid overdose. Special thanks to our guest presenter Elvis Rosado from Prevention Point. Together, we can effectively fight this epidemic and save our kids.
With a generous donation from Clean and Sober Radio and Prevention Point Philadelphia, we were able to give several of the attendees their own kits in an attempt to save those closest to them from an opioid overdose.
If you are in need of further assistance on how to obtain Narcan from your local pharmacist, please contact my office at 215-708-3139 and we can provide you the materials on the Pennsylvania standing order prescription as well as a list of pharmacies that keep Narcan available for purchase via private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid or self-pay.
Editorial from the Patriot News in Harrisburg, PA
THE PATRIOT NEWS HIT THE NAIL RIGHT ON THE HEAD!
"We all know why Republicans want "paycheck protection" and have couched the issue in Orwellian terms: Unions tend to strongly support their opponents.
But this is not needed legislation.
And as many taxpaying voters in the commonwealth have asked this week, don't legislators have more important things to do right now - such as property tax reform, pension reform and getting the state budget under control?" as quoted in the editorial.
PA Senate Bill 166 (deceivingly entitled a “Paycheck Protection Bill”) Passes PA Senate and Moves on to the PA House
introduced by Senator John Eichelberger, passed the PA Senate recently by a vote of 28-22. Senator Scott Wagner had introduced a similar bill Senate Bill 167. However, it did not come up for a vote. Both frivolous bills have nothing to do with paycheck protection and there only purpose is to stifle labor from collecting voluntary contributions of public sector members to their union.
Some of the Senators that voted to support SB 166 used the flimsy excuse that these deductions cost the taxpayers money. Studies have shown that the cost is less than $100.00 a year and most Teamster labor agreements offer to cover this nominal amount. They spend more time and taxpayer’s money on these ridiculous bills when there is so many other pressing issues facing our great Commonwealth. They are tripping over dollars to pick up pennies.
We would like to thank the Democrat Senate who voted in full force against this anti-labor bill and we would also like to thank the below listed Republicans that stood with the working men and women and voted against the bill:
Republicans voting against SB 166 in support of the working men and women in PA
Call your PA House Members and tell them to quit wasting tax dollars on these frivolous anti-union bills and do something beneficial for the working men and women of this great Commonwealth.
Listen to Senator Hughes Floor Remarks on Senate Bill 166 Stifling workers’ voices
Write your PA Senators and tell them to stop wasting your tax dollars on frivolous union busting legislation and do something constructive for their constituents and VOTE NO on SB 166 & 167 and any amendments to these bills
THE PA SENATE HAS INTRODUCED "RIGHT-TO-WORK BILLS"
CALL YOU PA SENATOR AND PA LEGISLATOR AND TELL THEM
NO ON SB 166 & SB 167
WAKE UP UNION MEMBERS
LOOK WHAT HAPPENED IN WEST VIRGINIA & KENTUCKY
It doesn’t matter if you are a registered Democrat, Republican or Independent. What matters is that you vote and only vote for those representatives that stand with you and issues that are important to you. If your elected officals voted or votes in favor of “Right-to-Work” legislation they are obviously not with you. It is time to send a a strong message to our elected officials that those choosing to vote against their hard working constituents will no longer have your support. Please ask your family and friends to support you by also voting against them.
The Huffington Post ®
Republicans Want To Pass A National Right-To-Work Law
Such a law would devastate unions, and it’s closer than ever to becoming a reality.
Hoffa: Teamsters Will Work With President-Elect On Worker Issues
November 10, 2016
Infrastructure, Trade, Retirement Security Are Common Interests
(WASHINGTON) – The following is a statement from Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa about the election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States:
“On behalf of the 1.4 million Teamsters, I want to congratulate President-elect Trump on his victory. Americans have voted, and we respect their choice at the ballot box. The Teamsters will work with President-elect Trump on numerous issues essential to the nation’s workers in an effort to improve the lives of millions who continue to struggle to make ends meet.
“For more than a year, the Teamsters have been pushing a platform that prioritizes building, maintaining and repairing the nation’s faltering infrastructure – a stated priority of President-elect Trump. U.S. roads, rails, energy plants and water systems have been ignored for far too long. This country needs a plan to invest more, and we will work with the Trump Administration to craft a solution.
“Additionally, the President-elect has made promises to the American people on trade and manufacturing that are important to our members. We are ready to work with him to find common ground that will benefit working families.
“Finally, the Teamsters understand that workers who invest in their retirement through pensions, other savings and Social Security deserve to be able to rely on their nest eggs in their golden years. Again, we are ready to work with him to formulate a plan that allows seniors to live with dignity.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visitwww.teamster.orgfor more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/teams
There are many serious problems pending in the Commonwealth that need to be addressed instead of wasting valuable time and resources on Right-to-Work legislation that will reduce wages.
Some members of the Pennsylvania House and Senate believe it is more important to pass right-to-work legislation than take care of the most critical problems facing the state, which they were elected to do.
School funding, infrastructure and good-paying jobs need their attention, not a measure that would devastate the middle class.
It is quite obvious these members have been bought out by billionaires and organizations who are more interested in lining the pockets of Wall Street and big business than helping the hard-working men and women in Pennsylvania maintain good paying jobs.
Right-to-work could more aptly be called "right-to-poverty.
Right-to-work is wrong.
It could more aptly be called "right-to-poverty."
Many of our fathers, grandfathers, relatives and ancestors fought and died helping workers achieve better wages, working conditions and safety in the work place by forming unions.
Unions have always helped strike a balance between the employee and the employer.
Our lawmakers promised to create good paying jobs in this state yet some are entertaining legislation that will force many of us into lower paying jobs by instituting such laws.
By lowering wages, elected officials would hurt the tax base and drive many more constituents into a life of low wages and welfare benefits to feed their families and make ends meet.
This will only add more stress on a system that is already overburdened. Even The Wall Street Journal recently published an article stating that wages in Right-to-Work states are much lower.
The cleverly worded title to the Folmer bill is "The Freedom of Employment Act." But it is nothing more than a bill designed to destroy unions and good-paying jobs and has nothing to do whatsoever with freedom in the workplace.
Lawmakers and the public shouldn't be fooled.
William Hamilton is the president of the Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters.
TEAMSTERS LOCAL 830 SECRETARY/TREASURER DANIEL H. GRACE LAUDS GOVERNOR-ELECT TOM WOLF FOR BARRING YUENGLING BEER PRODUCTS FROM INAUGURATION BALL
Grace Says Yuengling CEO’s Anti-Worker/Anti-Union Stance Is Reason for Exclusion
PHILADELPHIA, PA -- The leader of Philadelphia-based Teamsters Local 830 today lauded the decision of Governor-Elect Tom Wolf to exclude Yuengling Beer products from his inaugural ball in Harrisburg next Tuesday, January 20, 2015. Teamsters Local 830 Secretary/Treasurer Daniel H. Grace believes that D. G. Yuengling & Sons, Inc.’s products were barred from the menu at the Governor’s Inaugural Ball because of Yuengling President Dick Yuengling’s decidedly anti-worker/anti-union stance. The boycott of Yuengling has also been endorsed and supported by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the PA Conference of Teamsters, and the PA AFL-CIO.
“Every union member in Pennsylvania is indebted to Governor-Elect Wolf for this strong statement on behalf of the state’s labor movement. By standing against Yuengling, he has stood up for the little guy,” said Grace. “The Governor-Elect can’t offend anyone publicly over this situation, but I can. The reason there won’t be any Yuengling beer served at the inauguration is that Dick Yuengling is defiantly, aggressively anti-worker and anti-union. For nearly a decade now, he has abused those workers who wished to remain part of the Teamsters union and has steadfastly fought any new attempt to unionize his brewery workers. He’ll tell you otherwise – that his workers don’t want a union – but that’s simply false. Every time he gets a whiff of an organizing effort, he threatens his workers with the loss of their jobs. He has openly stated his disdain for unions and has aggressively lobbied Republican legislators to bring ‘Right To Work’ laws to Pennsylvania, all in the interest of further lining his and other corporate fat cats’ own deep pockets. This decision demonstrates that Governor-Elect Wolf supports Pennsylvania employers who treat their workers fairly.”
Grace knows that certain right-wing Republican factions in the legislature will cynically attempt to undermine his position by noting that Grace was appointed to the governor-elect’s transition team.
“My appointment to the transition team has zero to do with my taking this public stance against Yuengling,” he added. “I am, first and foremost, a labor leader. Unionism is in my blood. Dick Yuengling is the worst kind of union-buster and he doesn’t even attempt to hide it. The reason his beer won’t be served at the governor’s party is the same reason you won’t find it in my refrigerator at home. If you use your bully pulpit to advocate against working people – to try to enrich your already bursting bottom line at the expense of living wages and benefits for workers – then America’s union members and working class families have no need for your product.”
Hoffa Message To The Members: A New Day For The Teamsters
(Washington, DC) In a video message to the 1.4 million members of the Teamsters Union, Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa announced today that the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the U.S. Attorney General for the Southern District of New York have filed an application with Chief Judge Loretta Preska requesting that she approve an agreement to end decades of government oversight over the Teamsters Union. It is anticipated that Judge Preska will approve the agreement.
(PHILADELPHIA) – A group of 47 drivers at FedEx Freight’s East Philadelphia terminal in Croydon, Penn. made history today when they overwhelmingly voted to join Teamsters Local 107 in Philadelphia. The vote was 26-18 in favor of joining Local 107.
“We are tired of getting treated with disrespect and dealing with constantly changing unfair and unwritten work rules,” driver Gary Loftus said. “We also want job security and to be valued for the work we do making FedEx Freight successful.”
“I am so proud of these guys at the East Philadelphia terminal, who stayed strong and united despite the company spending truckloads of money to hire union-busters,” said Bill Hamilton, Teamsters Union International Vice President and President of Local 107. “I am proud of the workers and how they remained focused. Their energy and commitment will propel this campaign in the coming weeks and months.”
Numerous campaigns at FedEx Freight are under way, and the Teamsters Union is committed to helping the drivers win a more secure future.
“The drivers are fed up with FedEx Freight,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “These workers are tired of management talking down to them at every chance, and they want decent benefits, including more affordable health insurance. They also want consistent and fair working conditions and a more hopeful future. This is why thousands of freight workers at FedEx Freight and Con-way are turning to the Teamsters Union.”
The workers’ campaigns to join the Teamsters have already paid off. At FedEx Freight, the company announced an 80-cent-per-hour raise a few days after Local 107 filed for the election at Cinnaminson, and the company got rid of its overly punitive driver scorecard, which gives drivers infraction points for errors. Also, after organizing got under way at Con-way, the company announced it would increase truck driver pay by $60 million in 2015, and other improvements.
“It seems more than mere coincidence that these two companies have announced significant pay increases just as hundreds of workers across the U.S. are approaching our local unions seeking representation,” said Tyson Johnson, Director of the Teamsters National Freight Division. “The unfulfilled promises that have been made to drivers and dockworkers over the past decade are coming back to haunt management. Workers now realize the only way to achieve meaningful change in the workplace is to get it in writing in a binding contract.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters.
The PA Conference was proud to be a part of her dream
Brielle and her Sister - Click picture to view her Princess Party at the Hotel Hershey
Brielle was born October 16th 2008 and at only 6 days old it was discovered that her small intestine had twisted and died and had to be removed. She needed a transplant desperately and spent her first Christmas in the hospital with a line infection…the first of many. On October 5th2012 the family thought their prayers were answered and Brielle received her new intestines. She had her first of three rejections on October 17th and spent the next 55 days in the hospital.
After being re-admitted to the hospital in early December with what seemed to be the flu or another line infection a scope on January 23rd revealed the tumor in her new bowel and on the 25th they had to remove her new intestine. As if this tragic ordeal were not enough for Brielle and her family a routine ct scan prior to discharge revealed over a dozen small B Cell Lymphoma in her brain and liver. This child has spent 1/3 of her life in the hospital, undergone 32 surgeries and is currently taking chemo for the Lymphoma.
On a sad note, Brielle passed away in June 2014. The horses that pulled her princess carriage to Hotel Hershey in late November escorted her coffin to the gravesite. We offer our sincere condolences to Brielle’s family and may Brielle, the strong and courageous little fighter, rest in peace.
Brielle's dream was made possible through and organization known as Jamie's Dream Team. Jamie Holmes is the founder of Jamie’s Dream Team. Her organization can be viewed at:
Whose images will appear on our Public Enemy posters for supporting the attack on the hard working men and women in the Commonwealth of PA??? The working men and women are just trying to make a living, while sustaining a fair and livable wage? Where will our elected officals's loyalties rest? Will it be with the corporate billionaires or their hard working constituents working under labor agreements???
Paycheck Deception Amendment
Paycheck Deception Bill
Photos courtesy of the Rick Smith Show; B. Banditell
Below is a picture of the 1992 PA Conference of Teamsters “Conference Report” showing a building located at 814 North 2nd Street in Harrisburg, PA that will become the official headquarters for the PA Conference of Teamsters. Also shown below are the actual designs used to construct the PA Conference of Teamsters Crest that, still today, adorns the headquarters. To view more unique, rare and historic Teamster item go to our Nostalgia page 1 and Nostalgia page 2.
FROM OVER-THE-ROAD TEAMSTER TO TALK SHOW PROGRAM
Teamster Rick Smith
In 2005, The Rick Smith Show stepped into a local radio world devoid of progressive talk. On a small country & western station, Rick took his Teamster-member outlook to the air and started mixing it up with conservatives from one of the reddest areas north of the Mason Dixon line. His show grew steadily, attracting listeners starved for a voice that spoke to working stiffs who felt the economic floor crumbling beneath them.
Five years after the start of his weekend program, Rick moved to new time slots and new stations. His show now airs Monday-Friday 9pm-12am on WIOO 97.9 FM & 1000 AM (Carlisle/Harrisburg) and WEEO 93.9 & 1480AM (Chambersburg/Shippensburg), where he offers hard truth and commentary with a unique blend of clear-headed, gruff analysis and bemused observation. Lest things get too serious, he spices things up with a laugh or two.
Rick comes by his outlook honestly. He grew up in the projects of Cleveland, ducking local gangs while doing paper routes and odd jobs to help feed his family. After high school, he went out on his own, driving 18 wheelers as a proud union member. Nowadays, Rick, a father of three, is working on a Masters. He feels the calling to spread the word about the desperate needs facing workers, and to make the world a better place for kids growing up in what is becoming an America of rich and poor.
Rick believes somebody has to wake up the American working class to engage in the democratic process, but not in the corporate-funded Tea Party fashion. He has the rough edges and the grit of a Teamster; he’s a street talker, but a street talker with charm.
Under new requirements for 2005, CDL HAZMAT drivers will be required to successfully complete a Federal criminal history background check, have their fingerprints taken and pay additional Federal fees.
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