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November 28, 2020
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  • Teamsters understand the value in union membership. Higher pay, better benefits, and a greater voice in the workplace are standards set by union members that won’t be given up without a fight, even after the Supreme Court’s decision in the “Janus v. AFSCME” case.

    While it is true that this ruling may create temporary roadblocks, public employees throughout the United States need to remain unified. We cannot allow the progress working people have made in union to be slowed down because of lawsuits that disregard the value of public employees.

    The Janus decision came about because anti-employee forces spent millions of dollars on lobbying and court challenges for over 40 years. Attacks from these outside groups, backed by secret donors, seek to eliminate the freedom of public employees to negotiate with their employer over the value of their work.

    Many Teamster members around the country have held conversations with their co-workers about the impact of the Supreme Court decision to reinforce the value of remaining unified. Whether at the worksite or at the ballot box, members are fighting back against these attacks.

    Public sector Teamsters have made it their career to serve their country and community, and any attempt to take away their freedom to join together is an attack on those who are the foundation of America.

    Our middle class was built by everyday working people, standing together in union. The Teamsters honor that history by continuing the fight to give working people the promise of the American dream.

    That won’t end with the Janus decision. The Teamsters will continue to organize, mobilize, and do whatever is necessary to achieve prosperity through collective action.

  • This Web page provides the latest updates for the national contract, riders and supplements that cover about 3,500 Teamsters at DHL Express.

  • We Are eXPOsing XPO’s Global Greed

    XPO Logistics is a top ten global logistics and transportation company with annual revenue of $15 billion and 89,000 employees, another 10,000 workers classified as independent contractors, and thousands more working for firms that subcontract with XPO. We are the REAL workers at XPO Logistics worldwide exposing the truth about the company’s global greed, illegal wage theft, unsafe conditions, and abhorrent and vicious anti-worker, anti-union tactics. 

    This greed includes mistreating former Con-way Freight workers in the United States who are being kept in the dark about terminal closures and layoffs, and the company’s illegal refusal to bargain contracts and denying their workers’ federally protected right to organize. It also includes port, rail and last-mile drivers around the country and in Southern California fighting wage theft in excess of $200 million because they are misclassified as independent contractors and denied the right to form their union. This greed has caused numerous lawsuits and strikes.  Greed also means an unsafe workplace and mistreating its warehouse employees.

    XPO’s greed extends to Europe beginning with breaking its promise to not layoff any workers for at least 18 months. French workers and the unions have been fighting back against XPO’s disrespect, lies and attempts to slash jobs. Similar struggles are taking place in Great Britain, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, and across Europe.

    Join the worldwide struggle now! Get involved with this campaign by joining the Facebook group “XPO Exposed.”

    Together, we can eXPOse the company’s global greed and win fairness, respect and dignity for tens of thousands of XPO employees around the world!

  • This page provides the latest contract information to the 7,500 Teamsters—drivers, dockworkers and office staff—employed by ABF Freight System, Inc.

  • The Teamsters Military Assistance Program (TMAP) assists Active Duty Service members that are transitioning, Veterans and Military spouses with job opportunities with responsible employers.

  • 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!

  • The ‘Let’s Get America Working!’ campaign seeks to restore a dynamic and prosperous middle class to drive economic growth by helping to advance policy decisions that create and maintain good middle-income jobs, guarantee retirement security, expand access to the American Dream, and ensure that the benefits of the ongoing economic recovery are felt by the many, not just the few.

  • This webpage provides information on the Teamsters Union’s legislative advocacy at both the federal and state level as well as our field activity to support those policy positions and to get strong labor candidates elected to office.  Among other resources, you will find our federal legislative scorecard, formal statements of policy position and communications to Capitol Hill,  a weekly update on federal legislative happenings, an overview of bills we are tracking at the state level, and quick links to take action on priority issues.

  • 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.

  • The Teamsters have stood in solidarity with worker struggles in other countries since our founding. With economic globalization, our ability to organize increasingly depends on our ability to build alliances with workers on a global scale.
    More than ever, Teamsters are organizing and bargaining with multi-national companies. A key objective of our Global Strategies Campaign is to build strong alliances with unions around the globe who organize and bargain with common employers. Our focus is on workers in the emerging global supply chains – the infrastructure of globalization.
    Globalization creates new opportunities for international worker solidarity. We seek common cause with workers around the world to build social justice for all workers and the communities in which they live.

Contact Elected Officials!
Steward Resources

The Local 179 union steward is someone who addresses, on a daily basis, the members’ needs, wants, interests and concerns.  Most members look first to their steward.  You have frequent and direct contact with your union office and usually you have been in bargaining and understand intimately the essence of the contract language.  Whether you are a new steward or one with years of true experience, you have a lot of people relying on you to protect their interests and to enforce their labor agreement.

As a steward, you have distinct roles to fulfill:

  • Problem Solver
  • Leader
  • Communicator
  • Educator
  • Organizer

Problem Solver – Each of these roles dictates a level of commitment that you have taken on to be an effective steward.  The problems that you encounter are not always related to your current work situation or your labor agreement.  Often, a member may have an interpersonal problem that requires assistance by outside experts.  You need to know where and to whom to refer your co-worker for the type of help that they may need. 

Leader – As a leader it is understood that to lead by example is the most valid way to receive the respect of your co-worker.  Whether it is in the quality of work that you personally perform or the willingness to take on a problem for the member and working it through the grievance procedure with your employer, the giving of your time and lending a caring ear will earn you miles of dividends from the member.

Communicator – Communicating is critical.  As your business agent strives to make regular plant visitations for the purpose of knowing the membership, so too it is important that you keep in touch with the different members working in your building.  During negotiations and while processing a grievance, it is a particularly critical time for communications.  Updating the members as to the bargaining process and status of his/her grievance is vital and expected.  Introducing yourself to new members is the first chance to provide that individual with a proper introduction to the union.  You are the welcoming liaison for new employees to their union.

Educator – As an educator, you will find it powerfully persuasive to greet your new members as well as current members with the information that they can relate to.  Most often our stewards have been with the company for many years.  During this time they have seen and been involved with a great many matters.  Such matters can be spoken to with great validity since you lived through changes, grievances and of course bargaining.  Be generous with your knowledge, but do so unobtrusively and with humility.

Organizer – As an organizer, you will find need to do internal as well as external organizing.  Internally, it is necessary for the members to reflect a solidarity in the eyes of the employer, an image that shows that the union is alive and well in their employees.  A united front is always the only true way to impose your desires on the employer.  The behavior in the workplace strongly suggests to the company that we take care and look out for each other so beware!  Like the “Social Signal”, that component of behavior or dress that shouts solidarity without speaking a single word.  This might be the wearing of Teamster buttons, hats or jackets.  Externally, each and every one of us needs to be on the alert for good sound leads that we can use to introduce our union to the non-union elements around us.  Often, our members know a friend or relative who works non-union.  As the non-union company competes with our union facilities, they can’t help but to undermine our wage and benefits levels.  Our union rates are much higher than non-union firms as a rule and consequently, non-union firms undercut our companies with lower bids on goods and services that they supply in direct competition with you.

Stewards Role in Filing Grievances

You most likely will be called upon to file periodic grievances.  This right is to be protected, but not abused and good judgment should be exercised in applying our responsibilities of providing due process.  To help assess the validity of a potential grievance consider the following “Just Cause” standards.

Seven Key Tests to Just Cause:

The basic elements of just cause which different arbitrators have emphasized have been reduced by internationally known labor economist and arbitrator Carroll R. Daugherty to seven tests.  These tests, in the form of questions, represent the most specifically articulated analysis of the just cause standard as well as an extremely practical approach.

A “no” answer to one or more of the questions means that just cause either was not satisfied or at least was seriously weakened in that some arbitrary, capricious, or discriminatory element was present.

  1. NOTICE:  “Did the Employer give to the employee forewarning or foreknowledge of the possible consequences of the employee’s disciplinary conduct?”
  1. REASONABLE RULE OR ORDER:  “Was the Employer’s rules or managerial order reasonably related to (a) the orderly, efficient, and safe operation of the Employer’s business, and (b) the performance that the Employer might properly expect of the employee?”
  1. INVESTIGATION:  “Did the Employer, before administering the discipline to an employee, make an effort to discover whether the employee did in fact violate or disobey a rule or order of management?”
  1. FAIR INVESTIGATION:  “Was the Employer’s investigation conducted fairly and objectively?”
  1. PROOF:  “At the investigation, did the ‘judge’ obtain substantial evidence or proof that the employee was guilty as charged?”
  1. EQUAL TREATMENT:  “Has the Employer applied its rules, orders and penalties even-handedly and without discrimination to all employees?”
  1. PENALTY:  “Was the degree of discipline administered by the Employer in a particular case reasonably related to, (a) the seriousness of the employee’s proven offense, and (b) the record of the employee in his service with the Employer?”

Investigating the Grievance:

Take note of the basics when investigating a grievance.  Ask the 6 W’s:

  • WHO
  • WHAT
  • WHEN
  • WHY

Timing is everything.  The sooner you look into a matter the fresher it will be in everyone’s mind.  Being on top of things and moving quickly to gather information is a virtue, but not however at the expense of thoroughness.  Be detailed as you look into the concerns of the member.  Who are the individuals involved in the case?  Write them down and gather statements from them as appropriate.  First hand information is strong; second hand information is weak by comparison.  What exactly occurred?  Remember, often times emotion will cloud the issue so take time and get the details and repeat them back for clarity.  See what other members know about the case.  Where the violation or infraction occurred is sometimes persuasive so be detailed.  The When will be important for a couple of reasons.  First of all the sooner we gather information the more accurate it typically will be.  But more importantly, we need to watch the time elements contained within our labor agreements.  These time elements require certain processing steps in order to properly move the grievance along and if we fail to watch those time elements we could lose the right to grieve all together.


Determine why the grievance or event occurred and if appropriate, what provisions of the labor agreement are violated.  If no contract provision is obvious, you can file anyway by explaining the concern itself.  Interview all known witnesses as soon as possible and record their statement.  Listen more that you talk and repeat back to the witness and grievant what you understand them to be saying.

Not all grievance matters are contract violations.  Sometimes there might be a violation of a company policy, state, federal or municipal law, past practice, or a consequence of disparate treatment.

In most grievance matters, our stewards and the grievant are encouraged to have a preliminary discussion with the first level of management to determine if they understand the concerns or alleged violation of either party.  If this is unsuccessful then a more formal step is to follow.

Duty of Fair Representation for Stewards

  1. Investigate all grievances fairly and fully.
  1. Don’t discriminate against your members.
  1. Pay attention and adhere to the time limits in your grievance procedure.
  1. Don’t play favorites or act in an arbitrary manner.
  1. Represent all members equally and in good faith.
  1. Keep members informed.
  1. Investigate, prepare and present grievances in an above-board and professional manner.
  1. Don’t “horse-trade” grievances.  Handle each grievance on its own merit.
  1. Not all grievances are taken forward, particularly to arbitration.  Many are unfounded, without basis in contract violation, un-winnable, lack evidence or supporting data.

Standard of Conduct for Stewards

There is nothing so persuasive for your membership to see than being the example of what leadership should reflect.  Look to the following standards for your guide:

  • Professionalism
  • Integrity
  • Credibility
  • Fairness
  • Non-Discriminatory
  • Leadership
  • Trustworthy
  • Knowledgeable
  • Hard Working
  • Thorough
  • Communicate
  • Patience
  • Model Employee
  • Wisdom
  • Understanding

Union Steward Handbook

The Teamster steward handbook is a comprehensive guide for today’s Teamster steward.  It contains useful information to make your job as union steward a successful and fulfilling position.  If you do not have a copy, please contact your business agent or stop by our union office.

Page Last Updated: Jan 13, 2012 (08:08:13)
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Dues for the October-December 2020 quarter are due by October 30, 2020. Please note that a reinitiation fee will be charged if union dues for the October-December 2020 quarter are not POSTED IN OUR UNION OFFICE BY 4:30 PM on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 or if your dues fall three months delinquent prior to that date. Please contact the union office with any questions about your dues.
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