Media Ignoring Teamsters Strikes Throughout The Country

Workers and elected officials calling out Redburn Tires in Phoenix, Arizona The Teamsters have been active in fighting for workers rights across the country in the last year, yet few in the media have covered numerous strikes the union's

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Workers and elected officials calling out Redburn Tires in Phoenix, Arizona

The Teamsters have been active in fighting for workers rights across the country in the last year, yet few in the media have covered numerous strikes the union's members are engaged in around the country. The Teamsters is a varied union including warehouse workers, tankhaulers, solid waste workers, rail workers, public services, port workers, newspaper, magazine, and electronic media, industrial trades, freight workers, food processing, dairy, building materials and construction, bakery and laundry workers and numerous others. Currently hundreds of Teamsters members are on strike across the country and some of them have been on strike for more than a year, but very little coverage or actions of solidarity have supported the Teamsters' actions.

We Party Patriots has good summaries of many of the actions:

Pipe Line Contractors Association (PLCA)

This strike started with 200 Pennsylvania and West Virginia workers walking off the job but has since gained support from Teamsters pipeline workers nationwide. The National Pipe Line Agreement between the Teamsters and the PLCA expired on January 31st, 2011 but was extended twice last year. The PLCA’s inability to negotiate a fair deal has caused workers to strike after the latest December 31st, 2011 deadline passed. What is at the heart of the issue is that the PLCA wants to force the Teamsters into 401K retirements instead of their traditional pensions. 401K plans are more vulnerable to Wall Street fluctuations and do not provide the same security as the current pension system the workers are fighting to keep.

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CertainTeed — Norwood, MA

In New England, Teamsters have been heading to Norwood, Massachusetts to show their solidarity with CertainTeed employees who have been on strike since their contract expired on December 19th. CertainTeed is a French based company that makes roofing products and asphalt shingles. The 90 affected workers are striking because they need relief in their health care costs which have continued to rise despite past concessions:

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C.H. Guenther & Son — San Antonio, TX

Members of Teamsters Local 657 working at C.H. Guenther & Son flour mill in San Antonio, Texas have been on strike since April 25th, 2011. The workers, who make Pioneer brand pancake and pancake mixes, are demanding a raise in wages to counter the rising healthcare costs they are incurring. Another key issue is safety. The union filed charges against the company with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) accusing C.H. Guenther & Son of illegally surveying striking workers. The strike continues today in its 9th month.
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Sotheby’s — New York, NY

As has been reported in the past, Sotheby’s art house has locked out 43 art handlers represented by the Teamsters for refusing to take a 10 percent pay cut in the same year their company’s CEO, Bill Ruprecht, saw his salary double to $6 million and the company saw a profit of $680 million. Throughout the lockout, Sotheby’s has spent $2.4 million on union-busters. On January 1st of this year the 43 workers lost their health care benefits.

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Redburn Tire Company –- Phoenix, AZ

Members of Teamsters Local 104 went on strike this July to fight rising health care costs at this 100 percent union shop. The owners of Redburn Tire have been accused of union-busting throughout the strike. The mood in Arizona is particularly tense...
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Daycon Products — Washington, DC

Teamsters Local 639 fought Daycon Products’ powers-that-be throughout 2011. The year started off with the NLRB filing a petition against Daycon for refusing to reinstate workers who had made an unconditional offer to return to work. The NLRB heard their case in mid-December but did not publish its decision. The strike, which dates back to April of 2010, continues.

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The list does not quite end there. Teamsters also currently on strike or locked out include: Local 104 (Phoenix, AZ) and Local 384 (Norristown, PA) in solidarity against JDM Materials Co.; Local 682 (St. Louis, MO) against Wholesale Plumbing Supply; and Local 89 (Louisville/Bowling Green, KY) representing 69 workers against Irving Materials.

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