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  • Why Organize?

    Why Organize?

    Why Organize? Without a union, you are an “at will” employee. This means that an employer can fire and can change an employees pay, pension, wages and benefits without just cause. In a unionized workplace, management is legally required to bargain with the union to provide a fair and equitable legally binding contract. The contract would spell out an employee’s rights, benefits and the due process for addressing grievances.

    The employer knows that if there is not a contract, they can change or take away anything they want at any time. Many workers call Teamsters Local 445 wanting to organize to create fairness in the workplace and to gain some control over their work life. The rights, benefits and process for addressing grievances would be included in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. 

       


    The first thing you must do is realize what this is all about: winning the right to negotiate a contract that improves and guarantees your wages, benefits, working conditions, job protections and time off.

    It is a LEGAL DOCUMENT! It is enforced by your Teamster, elected Shop Steward and Business Agent, and by Local 445's professional attorneys.

    To win this right, you must first gain the support of your co-workers. The best way is to form a CONTRACT COMMITTEE that will lead the effort.

    The federal National Labor Relations Act protects from retaliation or harassment all private sector employees who lead such efforts. (search NLRB.GOV). Municipal workers are protected by the state Public Employment Relations Board (search NY PERB).  The key to gaining this protection is being able to prove that management knew you were active in the contract campaign. (This is usually done with an official document listing the names of the employees involved in the effort).

    Once your co-workers have all the information, they will be  asked to sign confidential AUTHORIZATION CARDS authorizing Teamsters Local 445 to be their bargaining representative. These cards are not shown to management. When at least one-third of the employees sign the cards, the Union files them with the NLRB or PERB. The NLRB or PERB then conducts a secret-ballot election at your workplace.  One more than half of those who vote must vote "Yes" for the Union to win the legal authority to begin negotiations.

    By that point, the employees will have been surveyed regarding what they want in their contract.  The employees will then elect contract reps from among their co-workers to join with the Union professionals to negotiate the contract. A contract is anywhere from 30 to 60 pages long.  It usually takes at least three months to complete negotiations.

     You pay no dues unless and until you and your co-workers vote by secret ballot to approve the contract presented to you (that way, if the contract is not worth the dues, you can vote no!) There is no initiation fee, except for a small one for those hired after the contract is negotiated. Monthly Union Dues are only two-and-a-half times your hourly rate for Private Sector employees (so if you make $20 per hour, you pay $50 per month). Public Sector employees pay only two-and-one-fourths times their hourly rate once a month.  Dues are NYS tax deductible.

    Nearly 99 percent of all contracts nationwide are settled without strikes, according to the federal Department of Labor, so don't let management scare you about voting for a strike.  There are many non-strike strategies in the Teamsters' arsenal.

    NOW PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO CLICK ON THE BOX ON THE LEFT MARGIN ENTITLED "ORGANIZE TODAY". FILL THIS BOX OUT AND YOU WILL BE CONTACTED WITHIN A DAY.  ALL INFORMATION WILL BE KEPT STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.

             Remember: it's all about winning the right to negotiate a contract, for your sake and the sake of your family.


    THE TEAMSTER FACTS

    Here’s what you need to know about forming your union with the Teamsters Local 445…

    What is a Union? A group of people working together to improve their work lives through Collective Bargaining… YOUR CONTRACT!

    Dues are 2.5 multiplied by your hourly rate each month.  For example, if your hourly rate is $20/hour, (20 x 2.5) = $50 once a month, divided into weekly payments. 

    NO dues are paid until you vote to approve your contract. Why would you vote on a contract that wouldn’t cover the cost of dues and put money in your pocket? Whether it takes three months, six months or longer to negotiate a contract, you will not pay anything until your contract is voted on by you! Dues are not retroactive.

    This is your union. You vote on your contract committee, stewards, and union officers. You and your co-workers set the priorities for your union contract. You and your co-workers vote to ratify (approve) your union contract.

    Less than three percent of all Teamster contracts are involved in any kind of strike. Strikes in the school bus industry are rare. The union will not tell you to go out on strike. YOU, as a unit, will decide by voting if you want to go out on strike, and a strike vote requires a two-thirds majority.

    We are honest and open! If you wish to read the Teamster constitution, you can find it at www.teamster.org. Contact your local union for a copy of local by-laws to review.

    You are the team; we are the coaches. This is your campaign. We are here to help you reach your goal of forming your union. You are the union; it is your future. Get involved!

    It is not true that if you form your union, you will lose what you already have.  If this was true, companies would be calling us to organize all of their workplaces. This is a scare tactic because companies know that once you have a union, they lose their absolute power over you.  They have to start dealing with all employees fairly, giving everyone the respect that they deserve and engaging in good-faith negotiations for your union contract.


    Sep 15, 2009

    If You Are Considering Joining The Teamsters

    It’s Not About Joining A Union:

    It’s About Creating A Union Contract!

    Anti-union bosses will use scare tactics that usually begin with: “When the Union comes in….”

    Over and over, they will say you don’t need a union.

    However, there’s one thing they won’t say: you don’t need to negotiate a contract.

    That’s because bosses use contracts every day of their lives. They absolutely believe in contracts, because they know it’s the only real way they can protect themselves and their businesses. Even CEO’s of major companies have contracts to protect them. Professional athletes have contracts, entertainers have contracts, small business owners have contracts: why shouldn’t workers also have contracts?

    Right now you have no right to negotiate anything. With a contract, you have all kinds of rights and protections on paper. All of a sudden, the boss has to negotiate everything…no wonder he fights so hard against you!

    The contract is the soul of what a good Union provides workers. It has five major components: wage increases, benefit improvements, defined working conditions, legal protection against unfair discipline or termination, and increased time off.

    Employees define their own contract goals, and elect Negotiating Committee members to work with Local 445 professionals to bargain with management.

    There is no initiation fee or other hidden costs, and low monthly dues are not collected until the first month after the employees vote by secret ballot to approve the contract.  Union dues are only two-and-a-half hours’ pay per month. For example, if you make $20 per hour, you pay $50 per month.

    Anti-union bosses will fill employees’ heads with all kinds of untruths about forming a union with Local 445.

    They’ll say “The Union comes in” with all kinds of new rules for the workplace. But the truth is, the Union will only fight to change whatever the workers want to change.

    “They’ll say “Negotiations start from scratch,” and workers could lose existing benefits. But the truth is, bargaining starts from the wages and benefits in place at the time the employees vote to join our Union, and the only way anything can change is if the workers vote to change it. This protection is enforced by the federal National Labor Relations Board, which has many such protections in place to safeguard employees seeking a contract (see NLRB.gov).

    They’ll say “The Union will force you to strike.” But the only way a strike can take place is if the workers vote by an overwhelming margin to approve one. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, 99 percent of all contract negotiations are settled with out a strike. Local 445 has only had one strike in the past ten years. 

    They’ll say “ Unions are corrupt.” However, in any human organization active on God’s green earth, you can find corruption.  This includes law firms, service organizations, businesses, sports clubs, political parties and even religious groups. The vast majority of Unions are led by good people who only want to better the lives of the members who have elected them.    

     If you are interested in forming a Union with Teamsters Local 445, call us or click "Organize Today" on the left menu. All information will be kept strictly confidential. 


    Jun 09, 2009

    Seven Key Steps:

    WINNING THE RIGHT TO NEGOTIATE A CONTRACT 

         Here are the Seven Key Points you must understand if you want to win the right to negotiate a contract to protect and improve your wages, benefits, working conditions and job security.

    1.   You must first join your workplace Union Contract Committee and convince a majority of employees at your workplace to sign confidential “Union Authorization Cards.” These cards are never shown to management, and are turned over to the federal National Labor Relations Board. Your Contract Committee develops contract proposals and openly advocates for the effort.  Once the Authorization Cards are filed with the NLRB, it conducts a secret-ballot election at your workplace within 42 days. The Union must win the election by one or more than half of those who vote

    2.   Management is forbidden by law from harassing, interrogating, or otherwise discriminating against anyone who publicly favors forming a Union. However, the trick of the law is that you must be able to prove that management absolutely knew you were in favor of the union (for example, if you make or sign a public statement that you and your co-workers need a union). Teamsters Local 445 has a strong reputation for filing charges against management for any misconduct.

    3.   You pay no union dues, and you are not a member of the union, until you vote by secret ballot to approve the contract. (That way, the contract has to be worth the dues before you accept it!!)  Once you approve the contract, private-sector Teamster members pay two-and-a-half hours pay per month (for example, if you make $20 per hour, you pay $50 per month). There is NO INITIATION FEE or other hidden costs.

    4.   You cannot lose any pay or benefits you presently enjoy unless you vote to lose those benefits, (and that’s not going to happen!) Management will say things such as “Bargaining starts from scratch, and you could win, lose or draw even,” but what they are not telling you is that if you lose anything or draw even, you will never vote for such a contract! 

    After the election is won, you formally elect a Negotiating Committee and finalize your contract goals and priorities. This committee accompanies union professionals in every negotiating session with management. The Union professionals custom-design your contract proposal to make sure it fits your needs and solves your problems, however big or small.

    6.   When the contract is approved by your secret-ballot vote, Teamsters Local 445 Business Agents professionally enforce the contract, and the Union pays for any legal expenses involved in that enforcement. (For example, if you are wrongfully disciplined or fired, the Union provides the lawyers and takes care of the expense of the hearing and the judge, or arbitrator.

    7.   Teamsters Local 445 has not had a strike in many years, and we do not recommend that you ever vote for one. Only the employees at a workplace can vote for a strike. Don’t let management tell you “The Union will call you out on strike,” because it can’t! We have many non-strike strategies we can use to convince an employer to settle a contract favorably.


    Jul 10, 2008

    UNION GUARANTEES

    1. As soon as the election is won, the Union guarantees that it will provide a legal representative, if requested, as a witness to any discussion with management that may lead to discipline or termination. (Your legal “Weingarten Rights.”)

    2. The Union guarantees it will not ask you to pay one penny in dues until it fights to win you a contract that you must approve by secret ballot. We also guarantee that you are smart enough not to vote for that contract unless it contains better wages, better benefits, better rules governing work standards, legal protection if you are unfairly disciplined or terminated, pro-rated benefits for part-timers, and many more advantages that will make the dues very worthwhile. If the final contract offer from the company is the same or less than what the employees presently have, the Union guarantees it will ask the employees to vote no.

    3. The Union guarantees it will not ask you to vote for a strike. According to the government, 98 percent of all union negotiations are settled without a strike. Teamsters Local 445 specializes in peaceful yet effective strategies

    4. The Union guarantees that anyone who signs up for the Union Contract Committee will receive full legal backing from the Union before the National Labor Relations Board if they experience any discrimination.

    5. The Union guarantees that it will never ask for a dues increase or any extra money without following the legal process, which requires that the proposal be presented to the members over a six-month period, and then approved by membership vote.

    6. The Union guarantees that you will elect your Shop Stewards and Contract Representatives, democratically determine your contract proposals, and vote by secret ballot to accept or reject your contract, and in November 2008 vote to elect all Union officials.

    7. The Union guarantees that, once the election is won, it will work professionally and courteously with company officials to insure that work runs smoothly yet fairly.

    8. Once the contract is approved, the Union guarantees that it will provide professional legal representation to any employee who faces unfair discipline or termination. (The law allows for employees to sue any union that does not provide such representation.)

    9. The Union guarantees that all members will be eligible for the International Teamsters Union Privilege Program, which offers discounted car, house, life and legal protection and more.




    Page Last Updated: Apr 12, 2022 (11:40:00)
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