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March 30, 2015
IBT UnionActive Newswire
Updated: Mar. 29 (21:14)
Free Trade Isn't About Trade: It's About Bureaucrats and Guns
Teamsters local 570
In Case You Missed It
Teamsters local 570
In Case You Missed It
Teamsters Local 355
Teamsters Joint Council 25 Women's Committee Scholarship Winners Honored
Teamsters Local 179
Free Trade Isn't About Trade: It's About Bureaucrats and Guns
Teamsters Local 355
In Case You Missed It
Teamsters Local 992
Action Center
Teamsters Local 264 Executive Board
Haley Bajdas-James R. Hoffa Scholarship Recipient

Teamsters Local #264 is proud to announce Haley Bajdas (daughter of Steward Chris Bajdas/Benlin Distribution) as a recipient of the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Haley will attend Ohio Northern University to further her education and was awarded $1,000 from the I.B.T. Program.  Chris is a 32 year Teamster Member from Locals 558 and 264. 

We again want to congratulate Haley for her hard work and wish her all the best. 

St. Patrick's Day Parade


Dozens of Teamsters joined the estimated 10,000 marchers for Sunday's annual St. Patricks Day Parade in Downtown Buffalo.

Members of Teamsters Locals 264, 449 and Teamsters BLET braved the chilly weather to take part in the parade and a pre-march tailgate party Teamsters style. Despite the weather, it was a fun-filled family event that was enjoyed by all in attendance.

Among the vehicles in the procession was a pink car-haul tractor-trailer dedicated to Breast-Care Awareness driven by a member of Local 449.

View our Photo Gallery for more photos.

Show Your Support for Paid Leave in NYS
Why Unions Are the Seeds of Democracy


By signing into law a bill making Wisconsin the 25th Right-to-work-for-less state, Wisconsin Govenor and 2016 Presidential candidate Scott Walker didn't just deal a blow to Unions, he dealt a blow to our entire Democracy.

Please take the time to view the short clip below to better understand what Right-to-work-for-less means to us all.



Dear Fellow New Yorker,

Today, workers and leaders from more than a dozen labor organizations across the state came out in support of the “Fight for Fair Pay” campaign to raise the minimum wage this year, and we wanted share it with you:


                                                        Click on the link below:


New Yorkers who work full-time should be able to afford food on the table and a path out of poverty. As our economy strengthens and more jobs are created in our communities, we must do more to ensure opportunity for all New Yorkers. Together with our labor leaders from across the state, we urge the State Legislature to increase the minimum wage this session.

Hardworking New Yorkers deserve better. Let’s raise New York’s minimum wage to $10.50 statewide and $11.50 in New York City, and let’s do it this year.

If you haven’t yet, please sign up to be a part of the Fight for Fair Pay.


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Steward Training Seminar 2015

Once again, our yearly JC #46 Steward Training Seminar held this weekend was a huge success. Nearly 40 dedicated Stewards spent a large portion of their Saturday honing their skills.

Following Local 264 President Brian Dickman’s opening remarks, JC attorney Joe Giroux discussed Weingarten Rights, contract enforcement and grievance writing.

JC 46 Political Coordinator Richard Lipsitz then had the Stewards work in small groups engaging in various situations to help distinguish the difference between a grievance and a gripe, and how to address each. The Stewards also participated in a role-playing case study to see how they would handle various situations.

Based on the feed-back at the end of the program, an enjoyable time was had by all in attendance. We thank all of the participants for sacrificing part of their Saturday and for all that they do in the workplace every day.

Visit our photo gallery to view photos from the seminar.

St. Patrick's Day Celebration

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

Location:  On Niagara Street between Buffalo City Hall and the New Federal Building

We would like to invite all Teamster Members and their families to join us as we march in the Teamsters St. Patrick’s Day Parade Group on Sunday, March 15th.   We will be gathering at Noon between City Hall and the new Federal Building and the parade starts at 2pm.

Elizabeth Smith Rossiter 2015 Honoree for "Touching the World" Awards Dinner

Project Director

She has worked advocating on behalf of and alongside low-wage workers since 2011 as the Project Director of the Western New York Worker Center, a project of the Western New York Council on Occupational Safety and Health (WNYCOSH) a non-profit organization in Buffalo, NY. Her past work includes organizing for the Working Families Party and the New York State Senate to create change for working class and low-income people in her home state.

Visionary Leader Born 102 Years Ago


“While working men and women have long known the value of a dollar—it is a lesson well taught to one who labors for a living—it has taken a long, long time to teach employers the value of a human being, and in many cases has not yet been successfully taught. Few give thought to what happens to displaced workers, but they can analyze to the penny what the profits will be.” –James R. Hoffa

Each year in February, Teamsters take a moment to reflect upon and remember a leader who changed the course of history for working men and women in America. James R. Hoffa, born February 14, 1913, served as General President of the Teamsters Union from 1957 to 1971. In that time, he inspired thousands to stand up and let their voices be heard.

His words, spoken more than 50 years ago, resonate just as profoundly today as they did then.

As General President, Hoffa honed his well-earned reputation as a tough and effective bargainer, and gained the respect of labor and business leaders alike across the country. He worked hard to expand the number of working men and women who were protected by union contracts and, under his leadership, the union’s membership rose to include more than 2 million workers.

Hoffa’s crowning achievement was the 1964 National Master Freight Agreement, which united more than 400,000 over-the-road drivers under one contract. This contract, a feat that had been declared virtually impossible by many, lifted more workers out of poverty and into the middle class than any other single event in labor history. Congressman Elmer Holland (D-PA) was quoted as saying, “Jimmy Hoffa has put more bread and butter on the tables for American kids than all his detractors put together.”

“My father’s devotion to the Teamsters and their families was—and remains—legendary. His whole life was dedicated to bettering the lives of America’s working families,” said James P. Hoffa, General President of the Teamsters Union. “I can think of no better way to honor his legacy than to continue fighting on behalf of working people everywhere.”


Fight for $15


Teamsters Local #264 is looking to mobilize a panel of members to bring about change for low wage workers.  Positive results such as the Seattle Washington $15 Minimum Wage Legislation, the San Francisco Worker’s Bill of Rights, and the New York City Earned Sick Time Act are some of the area’s community based organizations such as the Coalition for Economic Justice are on the front lines of.

Many developed countries have paid sick time legislation for their workers and this practicality is finally becoming a realization in some areas of the United States.  The Buffalo News reported on January 17, 2015 that a majority of students in America are now living in poverty.  Stopping the disparity of wealth in this nation will help ensure working people of the ability to provide for their family’s without government assistance.

Any member interested in learning more or is willing to work voluntarily with myself and a number of these community based organizations along with organized labor, kindly contact Darrin Ziemba at (716)668-8007 x120 and we will get to work.

2015 Variety Kids Telethon

Please help us show support for the 2015 Variety Kids Telethon which will be LIVE on WKBW-TV March 22, 2015.  

We are selling:

$1.00 Candy Bars (Almond, Peanut Butter, Caramel, Crisped Rice and Mint)

$20.00/Ticket for Everyday Sweepstakes Ticket.  These tickets are good for one year from date of purchase.  Winner is based on Daily NYS evening 4 digit numbers.

$1.00/Ticket, $5.00/7 Tickets, $20.00/28 Tickets and a 2015 Elite Coupon Book for Car Raffle Tickets

$20.00 for 2015 Elite Coupon Book

Please stop in the Union Hall or call us at (716)668-8007 to make arrangements for your Business Agent to drop off items.  

Defensive Driver Class April 8 & 9

Joint Council 46 Political Action Coordinator advocates for "high road" growth in WNY. Lipsitz Jr., president of the WNY Labor Federation,  advocates for a balance of benefits as the region evolves.

Western New York Area Labor Federation President and Joint Council 46 Political Action Coordinator is featured in an article in Sunday's Buffalo News Business Section.

To view the article, click on the link below;

James R. Hoffa Scholarship


College scholarships, ranging in award amount between $1,000 and $10,000, are available to the sons, daughters or dependents of Teamster members through the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund.  This year, the Fund will be awarding $1,000,000 in scholarships to  qualified applicants.  This is a terrific opportunity for Teamster families to assist their children with the rising cost of a college education.

Application forms are available at the Union Hall or can be downloaded from the link below.  The deadline for receipt of the completed application and academic record form is March 31, 2015.

Click here for 2015-2016 Scholarship Application and Academic Record Forms

Teamsters Call on Congress to Stop Special Exemption for Fortune 50 Company
International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa today wrote a letter that was sent to the Congressional leadership and circulated to all members of Congress, expressing strong opposition to proposed legislation that would result in a $2 billion bailout of United Parcel Service (UPS).

The letter in its entirety is below and can be found online here:

“On behalf of the 1.4 million members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, I am writing to express my strongest opposition to any last minute deal to give United Parcel Service (UPS) a $2 billion bailout to relieve the company of negotiated pension obligations.

“UPS is attempting to escape a negotiated obligation the company agreed to when it withdrew from the Teamsters Central States Pension Fund.  This $100 billion, Fortune 50 company is using its influence on Capitol Hill to obtain what amounts to a special interest earmark that sets a dangerous precedent – rewarding a wealthy company by allowing it to evade the contract and slashing retirement benefits should benefit reductions be required under the pending pension reform legislation. 

“It’s bad enough that some retirees would experience benefit reductions under the National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans (NCCMP) proposal.  It’s quite another situation when a company cuts a secret back room deal to save $2 billion by slashing those benefits even further. This outrageous government bailout of one of the most profitable companies in America should be stopped in its tracks.

“While the Teamsters Union has been clear in its opposition to retiree benefit cuts, this proposal would add insult to injury by introducing even more draconian cuts for hundreds of thousands of Teamsters. I urge you to oppose this outrageous plan to bailout UPS for, in effect, breaking its word.”

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 for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and on Facebook at

Local 264 Members Answer The Bell

In the wake of this unprecedented storm, I would like to thank all Local 264 members in both the public and private sector who answered the bell in a huge way. The most visible of course are the snow plow drivers in the dozens of municipalities that we represent who worked around the clock to clear our roads, but I also recognize that we have many others who worked tirelessly in lesser visible industries to make a difference.

It would be impossible to recognize them all, but just to name a few, the Erie County Sheriff's Deputies, Nurses and Civilians also worked around the clock to maintain safety at the Erie County Holding Center and the Erie County Correctional Facility. Warehouse workers and drivers of Tops Markets, Upstate Farms, US Foods, Allied Frozen Storage, Tripifoods, Stroehmann and Schwebel Bakeries ensured that store and supermarket shelves remained stocked with milk, bread and other essential food products for those who managed to walk to the stores. Local 264 members employed at the Buffalo Water Authority braved the elements to shut-off fire hydrants that were knocked-off by plows or other vehicles during the blinding snow. A UPS Driver from the Dunkirk Terminal was stranded for days in Cheektowaga while making her daily trip to the Buffalo Airport to pick-up Next Day Air packages. Crossett tank drivers delivered gas and diesel to our service stations in terrible driving conditions, and in the spirit of the late Mayor Jimmy Griffin, warehouse workers and drivers of Try-It Distributors and Certo Brothers made sure that anyone who wanted to "grab a six-pack and just stay home" was able to do so.

While we in Organized Labor are often viewed as over-paid, lazy and pampered, I for one am fully aware and appreciative of the hard work and dedication that our members exhibited last week.

To all of our members who made a difference, I offer a sincere and heartfelt THANK YOU.

In Solidarity,

Brian Dickman.


Happy Stop Fast Track Week of Action! There are a couple things that everyone can do to be involved in this week, and we encourage you to help with the following efforts:

  1. Call your member of Congress and demand that they vote no on fast track.
  2. Email your member of Congress and tell them that Fast Track will cost good US jobs.
  3. Sign the "Fast Track is Wrong for Teamsters" petition.

All of this can be easily accomplished by visiting:

Together with your help, we will send a clear message to Congress that Fast Track is the wrong track for Teamsters!

National Voter Registration Day

Tuesday, September 23rd is National Voter Registration Day, a day when volunteers, celebrities, and organizations from all over the country will "hit the streets" to create pervasive awareness of voter registration opportunities.

In 2008, 6 million Americans didn't vote because they missed a registration deadline or didn't know how to register. In 2014, we want to make sure no one is left out, especially Teamster members. There is so much at stake in this year's elections; we can't afford a repeat of 2010.

The IBT and Local 264 are supporting partners of National Voter Registration Day. In New York State the deadline to register is October 14th in order to vote in this years election. Registration forms can be obtained at the Union Hall, by contacting Tony Vaccaro at 716-668-8007 ext. 118 or by visiting the official National Voter Registration Day website 

Together, we can ensure that the Teamsters Union makes an even greater impact at the ballot box this year by electing labor-friendly law-makers.


On the first Monday of every September, our nation honors the contributions and sacrifices of millions of working men and women. Labor Day is about remembering labor’s triumphs and the workers without whom society would not function. But it’s also about solidarity and celebrating our movement—a movement that today is alive and well and still fighting for a strong middle class.

The labor movement, and the Teamsters Union in particular, is alive and well and is still forcing change. Labor is behind the movement to raise the minimum wage and shining a spotlight on income inequality. And the Teamsters Union is still organizing new members. Many workers know that unions are the key to a better life, and Labor Day is a time to remind everyone else about that fact. That’s why the Teamsters Union has organized more than 40,000 school bus workers in the last few years; why nearly 600 paratransit drivers in Chicago and hundreds more parking workers in Boston just joined the Teamsters; why thousands of taxi drivers nationwide are forming associations with the Teamsters.

For far too many people, Labor Day is seen simply as a day of rest. But for a growing set of U.S. workers, there is no break from trying to earn enough to support their families. Despite a dip in unemployment during the past few years, low pay continues to plague many employees while their corporate bosses rake in record profits.

The roots of the American middle class' economic decline are decades in the making. Spurred by a decline inunion membership, fewer manufacturing jobs and an increase in the service economy, it has gotten harder and harder for workers to make ends meet. And those changes have been exacerbated by trade deals likeNAFTA that have led to more than a million lost jobs.

Improving the outlook for U.S workers isn't about creating millions of minimum-wage jobs. It is about creating sustainable, skilled employment that allows Americans to earn a fair wage with benefits that allows them to pay for housing and food on the table and sustain a middle-class lifestyle.

Corporations are increasingly looking to friendly lawmakers on the Hill who are only too happy to reduce the "burden" on billionaires while rank-and-file workers suffer. Despite being a nation that gave birth to the epic failed energy conglomerate Enron Corp. and mega-banks that drove the U.S. into a recession and threaten to do so again, for too many in Congress, there is no limit to obstacles they will hurdle for their corporate cronies.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the average worker. That's why we have tobacco field workers living in squalor and getting sick and injured while working for the minimum wage in North Carolina. That's why we have fast-food workers who are victimized by successful companies allegedly stealing their wages. And it is why we have thousands of low-wage workers taking to the streets over and over again to say enough.

Hardworking Americans find themselves at a crossroads. With the November elections looming, they need to carefully consider their options to help turn the U.S. economy in a positive direction. It starts with backing candidates who place the people above the powerful.

Allied Frozen Warehouse in Cheektowaga and West Seneca is looking to hire several Full-Time warehouse personnel. The position offers a competitive compensation package including Teamster Health Care. If a family member, friend or neighbor is interested, they should apply at the Cheektowaga Facility located on Allied Drive off of Broadway between Harlem Rd and Union Rd.
Teamsters Praise Obama Crackdown On Companies That Abuse Workers

(WASHINGTON) – The International Brotherhood of Teamsters strongly supports President Obama’s executive order to crack down on corporations that break laws but still win government contracts.

Two members of the Teamsters Union stood with President Obama today to announce the new policy. They are Mike Petro of Baltimore, a UPS driver with Teamsters Local 355, and Etta Epps of Landover, Md., also a UPS driver, with Teamsters Local 639.

“I am so proud of how my union makes sure I earn a good wage, health care benefits and retirement security,” Petro said. “As a taxpayer, I believe the government should support companies that let workers support themselves through collective bargaining.”

“My Teamster contract guarantees that I earn equal pay to a man who does the same job I do,” said Epps. “The government shouldn’t compensate companies that attack women by attacking their unions.”

“Taxpayers shouldn’t reward lawbreakers that bust unions, steal wages and endanger workers,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “President Obama is right to make it harder for companies that abuse workers to receive federal contracts.

“Corporations now know they can break wage and hour laws with impunity. Men and women who work hard and play by the rules should not be sending their tax dollars to companies that mistreat their employees. Bad actors don’t deserve the financial support of the federal government.”

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 for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at

WNY Area Labor Federation President Richard Lipsitz Named Vice Chairman Of The Erie County Industrial Development Agency By Unanimous Vote

Western New York AFL-CIO Area Labor Federation (WNYALF) President Richard Lipsitz Was Named Vice Chairman of the Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA) Today (Wednesday, July 16th) by a Unanimous Vote – Which Not Only Places Another Feather in the Cap of Organized Labor, But Helps Ensure the ECIDA Will Provide “Good Jobs” Through the Industrial Development Projects it Funds With Taxpayer Dollars.

“It’s Important,” Lipsitz (Pictured Above Listening to Two Area Young Unionists) Told After This Morning’s Vote.  “It Was the (Erie) County Executive (Mark Poloncarz) Who Nominated Me and He Too Understands That the IDA Needs to Help Create ‘Good Jobs’ Through Industrial Investment in the Community.  Labor’s Goal Coincides With Community Benefits, ‘Benefits’ That Help ‘Ordinary People’ Make a Good Living – ‘With’ Benefits.  That’s What it’s All About.”

Lipsitz, Who’s Served as an ECIDA Board Member For Past 2.5 Years, Was Appointed to the Board by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. 

Lipsitz Has a Long Union History, Which Stretches Back Into the Mid-70s Here in Western New York.  Currently Serving as Teamsters Joint Council No. 46’s Political Action Coordinator, Lipsitz Has Also Held a Number of Local Labor Positions Over the Years - Including Union Steward and Union President, Working Previously With the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Before Joining the Teamsters.  He’s Served as President of the WNYALF – Labor’s Area Umbrella Organization That Oversees and Directs Five Individual Labor Councils: Buffalo; Niagara-Orleans; Dunkirk; Jamestown; and Cattaraugus-Allegany – For Nearly Three Years Now.

Lipsitz’s Elevation to Vice Chairman of the ECIDA Came After Brenda McDuffie, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Buffalo Urban League, Was Named Chairman.  McDuffie, Lipsitz said, Has “Similar Views” of Organized Labor Regarding the IDA Helping Create “Jobs That Provide a Future,” as Well as Maintaining a Host of Minority and Women Hiring Goals on the Construction Projects Funded by the IDA.

In Addition to Lipsitz, Buffalo AFL-CIO Council President Michael Hoffert Also Holds a Seat on the ECIDA’s Board of Directors. 

Working in Tandem, Lipsitz and Hoffert Were Successful Earlier This Year in Pushing Forward a Local Hiring Provision/Workforce Standards Agreement – Which Ensures Local Workers are Hired and Paid Good Wages When the ECICA provides Taxpayer Dollars to Help Fund Major Construction Projects in Erie County (Go to: 

The Two Told Your On-Line Newspaper Back in April That the Workforce Standards Agreement Was a “Tremendous” Economic Development Benefit That Will Work to Create Good-Paying Jobs for Local Workers. 

As Representatives of Working People, Lipsitz Also He and Hoffert Support What’s Called Recapture Methods to Reclaim IDA Taxpayers Dollars When “the Hiring Goals of the Project are Not Met” by Funded Developers.

For Example, the Workforce Standards Agreement Will Apply to Veteran Buffalo Developer Mark Croce’s $18.1 Million Hotel/Hospitality Project to Convert the Long-Vacant and Historic Curtiss Building in Downtown Buffalo Into a Boutique Hotel.  Croce Recently Received Sales and Mortgage Tax Breaks Totaling $685,000 From the ECIDA, Which Will Help Create a 67-Room, Boutique Hotel, Fine Dining Restaurant, Lounge, Spa and Fitness Center Within the Old Curtiss Building on Franklin Street.  The Project is Also Expected to Create 30 New Jobs.


Workers Vote for Strong Partner to Address Issues on the Job

Tony Vaccaro

Phone: (716) 668-8007

(CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y.) – Today, route sales drivers at Costanzo’s Bakery overwhelmingly voted to join Teamsters Local 264 in Cheektowaga, N.Y. despite a concerted effort by the company to discourage unionization that included weekly captive audience meetings and intimidation.

The workers, who sell and deliver baked goods across Western New York, approached Local 264 in early May looking for help to address problems that had grown out of control at Costanzo’s Bakery.

“We were being treated poorly by management who was adding more and more stops to our routes without compensation,” said Kevin Schmidt a sales route driver at Costanzo’s. “No matter how we approached the company, they ignored us, but with the Teamsters representing us, they won’t be able to ignore us any longer.”

Schmidt praised the local for all the work they had done leading up to the vote, including getting a driver reinstated after the company fired him.

“We filed an unfair labor practice complaint after Costanzo’s fired a driver as a way, we believe, to intimidate other workers who wanted a union,” said Tony Vaccaro, Local 264 business agent. “Despite all of the anti-union tactics management threw at these guys, they remained united and voted for their union.”

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “Like” us on Facebook at


From the Teamsters UPS National Negotiating Committee regarding the 2013 National Master United Parcel Service Agreement, All Supplements, Riders and Addenda

April 23, 2014 - The 2013 National Master United Parcel Service Agreement and all Supplements, Riders and Addenda are in effect starting April 25, 2014. The Teamsters National Negotiating Committee took this action pursuant to Article XII of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Constitution.

The economics contained in the Agreement are retroactive to August 1, 2013. UPS has committed to expediting payment of your retroactive wages. The retro check will be a separate check from your regular paycheck. UPS owes Teamster members and funds over $300 million in wages and contributions. It is time to make Teamster members and their funds whole. 

The changes to health care that were approved by a majority of UPS Teamsters in June 2013 will go into effect June 1, 2014. If your health care is changing as a result of this Agreement, you will be receiving information in the coming weeks regarding your benefits.

It was an honor to represent UPS Teamsters across the country in these negotiations. Through our united efforts we have negotiated a strong contract that includes pay increases, excellent benefits and new language that protects our jobs and improves our working conditions. We would like to thank the UPS Teamsters across the country who have waited patiently while our Teamsters collective bargaining process was completed.

Click Here For The UPS Page

UPS Final.pdf


UPS Louisville Air Rider Voted Down

The UPS Louisville Air Rider was voted down, 185 to 2,804.


The Ohio Rider has been passed by the membership.  Still outstanding are the Western Pennsylvania Supplement, Local 623 Supplement and the Local 89 Air Rider.  Ballots will be mailed for the Local 89 Rider this week and will be counted on April 10, 2014.

Union Honors Contributions of Female Members

March is Women’s History Month, a time to reflect upon and celebrate the contributions American women have made to society.

The Teamsters Union has always stood as a bastion of hope for all working people, regardless of gender, race or creed. The Teamsters Union was the first to secure a gender-blind, color-blind contract, and throughout our history our leaders have demanded equality for all members. But it is Teamsters themselves who have upheld the values of this organization and who have stood together to face and overcome adversity.

Teamster women have made significant contributions to the work force over the years, bravely fighting for economic and social justice. Teamster women, in particular, have been engaged and active politically, socially and economically, helping pass important legislation, volunteering in their communities and making life better for us all.

Teamster Women

According to the average high school history textbook, the history of women in the labor movement can be told in a few short paragraphs about Mother Jones and some women sewing shirts in New York City. Apparently the authors never asked any working women about their story. If they had, they would know that many women have been active in the labor movement from the very beginning, leading the way for passage of critical labor legislation over the years. And Teamster women, although not usually involved in the typical heavy work of the members in the early days, were critical to the union’s success.

Dan Tobin, elected General President of the Teamsters in 1907, recognized the value of organizing women as a way to strengthen the union’s voice and increase membership. He set out to bring union protection to working women across the country. His plan quickly stalled, because while most men understood the plight of working women, they thought it folly to give full membership to a group that could not even vote. It would take two World Wars and a national epidemic to change their minds.

Undaunted, Tobin and other like-mined Teamsters found other ways to aid working women. Representatives of the union helped women workers, referred to as “auxiliary members,” organize, plan strikes and win fair contracts in the workplace. Tobin also used the Teamster magazine as a way to promote awareness of issues related to women and children in the labor force, which set it apart from many other publications of the time.

In 1916 the Teamsters were involved with a landmark contract for women laundry workers in Chicago. The union helped the workers successfully organize and create their first all-women negotiating committee. The committee won a strong contract, including a non-negotiable provision demanding equal pay for white and black workers. Following this success, the door was opened to organize more “auxiliary members” in the laundry, food and other related industries.

Equal Pay For All

By 1917 women were being trained in the motorcar and truck industries as men prepared to join the war overseas. They stepped into many other jobs previously held by men and were also trained to keep local unions going during the war.

With the great flu epidemic of 1918, Teamster women found themselves doing much more than keeping the home fires burning. Women truck drivers were needed to transport medicine and supplies to hospitals and rural areas. These women would complete a day’s work, then pick up supplies to deliver to farm families. At each stop they would help with chores and get the family settled before moving on to the next stop. Their courage and strength was incredible. The union and the country would not have made it without them. Their deeds were lauded at the time, but largely forgotten today.

As a tribute to the tremendous efforts of women and minorities in the war, the Teamsters pushed for wage equality, adopting “Equal pay for all” as their union slogan in 1919.

After a decade of post-war prosperity, the Great Depression of the 1930s brought decreases in membership for all unions. Scarcity of jobs and fears of unemployment forced workers to take whatever wages they could get. In 1934, Teamster men and women in Minneapolis took a stand against poor treatment from companies and city officials. They called a general strike, which became the epicenter of clashes between labor and management forces throughout the nation. Women were key players in this long, bloody strike that led directly to labor reform acts and the establishment of the National Labor Relations Board. They set up an infirmary, soup kitchen and other services for strikers, which ran 24 hours a day. They also raised funds to support workers and even created a newspaper to keep strikers up to date on the situation.

Rosie the Riveter Joins the Union

The bombing of Pearl Harbor brought millions of new women into the work force, tackling jobs in war production, transportation and other essential industries, many with workers represented by the Teamsters.

Recognizing the country’s dependence on their efforts gave Teamster women the leverage they needed to demand and win full union membership in 1943.

After the war, women stayed active in organizing and also turned their attention to politics, taking an active role in the union’s new political action program, DRIVE (Democrat, Republican, Independent Voter Education). They became very adept at bringing attention to important labor issues.

The Future Is Now

These are just a few of the many accomplishments by Teamster women over the decades.

Teamster women have never stopped blazing trails in the union and in the work force. They have pushed for improved workplace standards and pursued nontraditional jobs in every field.

The number of women in the work force is expected to increase dramatically in the next few decades, creating even greater need for strong women in labor unions. Dan Tobin was right: Women are valuable members, bringing strength and character to the union.

He foresaw a strong future for them in 1947 when he said, “Women members are coming into their own. In the future they will be out in ever increasing numbers…an army of labor amazons that the exploiters will learn to fear.”

Today, we are thankful for the contributions of those who have helped make our union what it is: a diverse, ever-growing organization that fights for justice, equality and fair treatment in the workplace.

BUFFALO NEWS ARTICLE on March 1, 2014 - 12:01 AM

War On Unions Is Being Waged On Our Front Step

A Feb. 15 News article fantasized the Manley family of Clarence as saviors to a community and its workforce. There are facts that were left from this account. For over a half-century, the Teamsters Union proudly represented the workforce at the former Will Poultry while the company profited and the union members provided for their families. They made a living wage with dignity and respect that all workers deserve but are not always provided.

Many workers were dismissed after the Manley family took over, and for those families the hardships they are currently enduring are real. Moms and dads who have lost their positions were guilty of no infraction other than a company claim that it was in its best interests not to proceed with a union. The war on working people is being waged right here, on our front step.

Darrin Ziemba, Secretary/Treasurer

Teamsters Local #264


Teamsters and Members of Congress are standing up against the TPP and Fast Track

Today, General President Hoffa joined with Representatives Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and Louise Slaughter of New York, Teamster member Jerry Reeves, and other fair trade advocates to denounce the secret negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and to warn against fast-tracking more bad trade deals like the TPP.  “We’re all for fair trade, but this isn’t really about trade,” said General President Hoffa. “It’s a corporate power grab that will harm workers all over the world.”  Jerry Reeves, a worker at Lehigh Valley Dairies and a 20-year Teamster, also spoke about the implications the TPP could have for the U.S. dairy industry. “If this deal passes, it could threaten the livelihoods of 40,000 Teamster dairy workers.”

Fast Track -- legislation that was introduced earlier this year -- would require Congress to take only a quick up-or-down vote on job-killing trade deals like the TPP, without the chance for any debate or amendments. Please email and call Congress now at 1-888-979-9806 and tell them to oppose Fast Track for the TPP and all other bad trade deals!

And for more info on Fast Track and our fight against it, please visit

Tops Markets Pension Meeting Cancelled
The Civil Rights Movement


In 2010, the Teamsters Union published “Life in the Teamsters: The Civil Rights Movement” as part of the Teamster History Collection. The book details how the labor and civil rights movements worked together to achieve dignity for working families.                            

The Teamsters, in particular, were early adopters of civil rights for its members.

“Life in the Teamsters: The Civil Rights Movement” covers the various partnerships of the Teamsters Union and the civil rights movement, including working with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In an introduction to the book, Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa writes:

The 1.4 million men and women represented by the Teamsters Union are rightly proud of their contracts, union-negotiated benefits and grievance procedures. There is, however, a world of union history that many are not aware of. Our involvement with the civil rights movement, one of the most transformative periods in American history, is another reason our members should be so proud of our history.

I have always believed the Teamsters Union to be the most inclusive union in the world, but I may be biased. I grew up hearing about the Teamsters Union every day—what it was doing for its members, what it had done in the past and what it would continue to do. One thing my father was particularly proud of, and which I remain deeply committed to, is the idea that there is no color line within the Teamsters Union.

Reading this book shows that it wasn’t simply pride in his union that compelled my father to recount the union’s past civil rights victories and defeats. It was his genuine care that working men and women be treated fairly by their employer and it was his lifelong goal to keep moving America forward in this respect.

My father instilled in me the values of the labor movement, which includes that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect on the job. Part of that dignity and respect includes not paying wages based on skin color.

What this book shows is that the Teamsters stand up for our members no matter what. When the prevailing winds were blowing racism through a nation purportedly built on the notion that “All men are created equal,” the Teamsters stood strong.

No matter what the nation’s most powerful politicians say; no matter what the prevailing norms of the American labor movement are; no matter how much resistance they faced from employers who sought at all costs to keep workers divided—the Teamsters Union will continue to fight for equality in the same ways we have since the beginning.

One of the first crucial decisions facing these workers who were coming together to form the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in 1903 was regarding this issue. Would the union fall in line with the prevailing segregation in American society and become a whites-only union? Or would it fight segregation by organizing all workers and demanding economic justice for all workers?

It was as clear in 1903 as it is now: There is no color line in the Teamsters Union.

To pick up your own copy of “Life in the Teamsters Union,” contact your local union.


Please join us in congratulating Teamsters Local 449 Vice-President Kevin Drysdale for his recent, well deserved recognition as an Outstanding WNY Labor Leader.

Kevin, the President of Teamsters Local 375 before the merger with Local 449, was presented the award by New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan last week at the Armory Tavern.

The award was presented to Kevin on behalf of the Good Neighbor Democrats for his leadership, courage and resolve resulting in a strong contract for the 400 plus members employed at Rural Metro Services.

Well done Kevin, you help make the Teamsters Union the best Labor Union in the country.

Proposed Amendments To The NLRB Will Help Organizing Efforts

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters issued its support today for a rule suggested by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) which would ease and hasten union-organizing elections at private-sector companies, a move that unions have sought for many years.

The rule, if approved, would eliminate existing hurdles that can delay union-organizing votes with meritless and unnecessary litigation. The changes would streamline pre- and post-election procedures to help facilitate agreement and consolidate all election-related appeals into a post-election appeals process. Taken together, they would help stop companies from abusing the legal process to stall election votes, as many do now.

“Workers for too long have been forced to endure unnecessary delays when they have tried to start a union,” Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa said. “We urge the NLRB to move forward with these changes so hard-working Americans can organize and better provide for their families.”

The reforms the Board will propose would:

  • Allow for electronic filing and transmission of election petitions and other documents;
  • Ensure that employees, employers and unions receive and exchange timely information they need to understand and participate in the representation case process;
  • Streamline pre- and post-election procedures to facilitate agreement and eliminate unnecessary litigation;
  • Include telephone numbers and email addresses in voter lists to enable parties to the election to be able to communicate with voters using modern technology; and
  • Consolidate all election-related appeals to the Board into a single post-election appeals process.

On February 5th, Vice president Joe Biden said about the proposal, “Business and right wing backers of so-called "right to work" laws really want "the right for them to eliminate your right to have a say in your work," Vice President Joseph Biden says. And unions are "the only ones keeping those barbarians at the gate", he adds of the right wing and its business backers. "We have to organize to fight back against these unrelenting efforts to diminish collective bargaining," Biden declared. "We have to adapt, but the moment workers lose the ability to be represented" by unions, "that's the moment we all lose out." 

You Can Read The NLRB Comments Here and, 

The Federal Register On The Rule Can Be Viewed Here

Read an AP Article about the Amendments Here

NLRB Proposed Amendments.pdf
Labor Board To Change Unionization Rules.pdf                                  

Teamsters Local #264 Executive Board

Seated in front row Darrin Ziemba, Secretary-Treasurer, Brian Dickman, President/PEO, John Randolph, Vice President.

Standing in the second row Jeff Ziemba, Recording Secretary, Danny Conyers, Trustee, Mark Schwab, Sergeant at Arms, John Sengbusch, Trustee, Marc Scarpace, Trustee.

Employee Benefits from National Purchasing Partners
Black History Is Teamster History

The contributions of black members to the success of the Teamsters Union are numerous, varied and as old as the union itself. Black team drivers attended the first Convention in 1903 and were active in all aspects of the union from the beginning. That commitment remains strong today.

The Teamsters Union has traditionally been ahead of other unions in terms of the treatment of minority members, calling for “no color line” in the union as early as 1906. The union began actively seeking to organize black men and women around the same time. Black members made up half of the executive board at the first New Orleans local in 1903 and black women helped establish one of the first “color free” contracts in the country in 1917 as Teamsters negotiated equal pay for black and white laundry women. That foundation of equality led black members to become strong advocates for civil rights and other social justice causes through the years.

General President James R. Hoffa was strongly opposed to segregation of any kind and chose to forfeit prospective members rather than abandon the principles of the union. At one point in the 1950s, he and Vice President Harold Gibbons traveled to New Orleans to lead an organizing campaign at a chemical plant but were stonewalled by white workers demanding a separate local for black workers. Hoffa refused, knowing they would lose the election because of the decision. Hoffa was angry about the loss but felt the union was better off without such racist members. “We don’t need ‘em,” he said. “Their way is not the Teamster way.”

Joe Nero, who became a member of Local 272 in New York City in 1941, remained a proud Teamster until his death in 2004 at the age of 103. He always maintained that unions were the best thing to happen to black workers.

“The Teamsters did me right and gave me a good life. They didn’t care if I was black or white,” he said. “Being in the union was the difference between a good life and a tough one. Always was, always will be.”

This does not mean it has been an easy road for minorities in the union. Black members made up a smaller segment of the union and often faced many of the same prejudices from individual fellow members on the job as they did in society at large. But they had the courage to stand fast and demand respect and dignity for themselves and their families. We are all richer for it.

UPS Local 135 Rider Passes

The UPS Local 135 Rider has passed by a vote of 551 to 357. Four supplements and riders have yet to be resolved.

Take part in tomorrow's day of action against Fast Track


Tomorrow, January 31st, people across North America will be taking part in an Inter-Continental Day of Action against Fast Track and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is another bad trade deal that could become the law of the land without any debate or amendments if Fast Track legislation is allowed to pass. We can’t let that happen! Please be sure to call your Representative and Senators tomorrow at 1-888-979-9806 and tell them to vote NO on Fast Track.

And if you’re able to, please join one of the many events that are being planned nationwide for tomorrow. A listing of events can be found here.

Thanks again for all your help…let’s keep up the fight!  For more information, please visit

Teamsters at YRCW Approve Agreement Aimed At Saving 30,000 Jobs

Teamsters working for YRC Worldwide Inc. (YRCW) have approved a tentative agreement aimed at protecting more than 30,000 jobs. Workers voted this weekend after rejecting a prior company proposal. Teamsters at YRCW approved this latest proposal by a vote of 12,267 to 6,314.

Vote results can be seen here.

“This was a very difficult vote for our members, but in the end they did what they believe will give this company the best chance to stay in business and protect their jobs,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President and Co-Chairman of the Teamsters National Freight Industry Negotiating Committee (TNFINC). “Now we will hold management’s feet to the fire to make sure our members’ jobs are protected and redouble our efforts to make sure this company handles its finances responsibly.”

The plan will provide a pathway for substantial debt reduction and refinancing initiatives that will permit the company to protect jobs.

“Once again, our members’ sacrifices are providing the lifeline for the company,” said Tyson Johnson, Director of the Teamsters National Freight Division and Co-Chairman of TNFINC. “Now we fully expect the company to successfully conclude the deleveraging and refinancing components of the restructuring to once and for all put this company on a sustainable path."

The agreement approved this weekend contained significant improvements over the company’s prior rejected proposal.

On Jan. 9, a ballot count revealed that an initial company proposal was soundly rejected by over 19,000 Teamster members who voted over several weeks.

Take Part In The Teamster National Day of Action Against Fast Track

Today, across the country, Teamsters will be doing their part to oppose Fast Track by calling and emailing their Representatives and Senators. Will you take part too? We need to make sure Congress doesn’t pass Fast Track and make it easier for job-killing trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership to become law.

There are four easy things you can do to help:
1. Call your Representative and Senators at 1-888-979-9806 and demand that they vote NO on Fast Track. If no one picks up, please be sure to leave a message.
4. Spread the word! Tell your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers.

Fast Track is the wrong track for Teamsters and for America. Let’s make sure our elected officials know.

For more info, please visit

By-Law Amendment Proposals

As a result of the cancellation of the January meeting due to the snow storm, any By-Law amendment proposals will be read at the February meeting.

If any proposals are presented, they will then be read again at the March and April meetings and voted at the April meeting.

Gov. Cuomo Enacts Most Comprehensive Legislation in Country to Combat Worker Misclassification

NEW YORK, Jan. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Teamsters Joint Council 16 expressed their thanks to Gov.  Andrew Cuomo for signing the New York State Commercial Goods Industry Fair Play Act (A5237B/S5867) and giving the Empire State the strongest worker misclassification legislation in the country.

More than 120,000 New Yorkers are employed by the commercial trucking industry, and many have suffered loss of wages and financial difficulties due to misclassification. The Fair Play Act redefines the definition of an employee in the commercial trucking industry, protecting commercial goods transportation employees from being misclassified.

"Every year, states across the U.S. lose billions of dollars because of loss of revenue from income tax, unemployment insurance taxes and workers' compensation premiums due to worker misclassification," said George Miranda, President of Teamsters Joint Council 16. "Workers and contractors in the industry suffer because of lost wages and responsible businesses face unfair competition."

Joint Council 16 worked with the New York State Motor Truck Association to ensure that the Fair Play Act provides coverage for both employees of the commercial trucking industry and legitimate independent contractors. Their efforts received strong and unprecedented support from both houses of the New York State Legislature.

Under the new regulations, 28,000 truck drivers who are misclassified each year will be properly classified. This legislation comprehensively covers trucking companies in NYS including larger companies such as Fed Ex Ground and UPS.  The bill also includes historic levels of civil and criminal penalties against employers in the industry who purposely misclassify drivers.

"This legislation goes a long way in protecting the drivers, the industry and our economy," Miranda said. "That's how we will build a stronger middle class here in New York. We applaud the Governor's courageous decision and thank him, Assemblymember Keith Wright and Senator Diane Savino for making the commercial trucking industry a fair workplace."

  The New York State Thruway Authority is about to lay off 150 fellow Teamsters while refusing to negotiate to cut costs and save money for the taxpayers of New York State.  It is time for Governor Cuomo to hear from us.
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  Current Campaigns  
  • This web page provides information on our fight against fast-track legislation. The measure requires Congress to take only a quick up-or-down vote on secret trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and does not allow such agreements to be amended. It limits Congress’ constitutionally mandated oversight of such trade deals and lets others decide what’s best for America. The result is fewer good-paying U.S. jobs and unsafe food and products for Americans. Read more to find out why fast track is the wrong track for Teamsters and America.

  • First Student employees’ collective bargaining agreement with the company, which covers more than 21,000 workers, expires on March 31, 2015. Employees at First Student made history when they voted overwhelmingly to ratify a national master agreement on June 1, 2011, and it is time to renegotiate that agreement. Turn to this page to get the latest contract news and updates. The first round of negotiations is scheduled for January 27-28, 2015. The national contract expires March 31, 2015.

  • Teamsters are standing together to protect good jobs as Sysco, the country’s largest foodservice provider, attempts to purchase its only national competitor, US Foods. Join our campaign to demand that Sysco and US Foods honor their agreements with 11,500 Teamsters and protect the livelihoods of the men and women who make these companies leaders in the industry. LIKE our Facebook page, here.

  • Taylor Farms workers in Tracy, California are standing up against poverty wages, disrespect and severe violations of their most basic rights. These 900 food processing workers in the Central Valley cut, wash and package salads and other products for the largest supplier of fresh-cut produce in the country. They feed the customers of major grocers, retailers and restaurant chains, including Walmart and McDonald’s.

    With a revenue of $1.8 billion in 2012, Taylor Farms can afford to treat its workers in Tracy with dignity and pay fair wages, just like their Teamster coworkers have at Taylor Farms’ facilities in Salinas, California. But when workers came together to organize with Teamsters Local 601, the company responded mercilessly. It fired, harassed, and punished workers for supporting the union. The company threatened immigrant workers with deportation, hiring an army of union-busters to run a non-stop fear campaign. During an NLRB election for union representation, Taylor Farms deployed a goon squad of supervisors to intimidate workers. The company’s violations were so egregious that the Labor Board impounded ballots while it investigates hundreds of Unfair Labor Practice charges.

    Workers in Tracy, following in the footsteps of labor leader and civil rights icon Cesar Chavez, are taking their fight to the public. The workers’ struggle for a better life for their families is supported by Teamsters in California and nationwide. We are building a movement for respect for the workers who feed America.

    ¡Si Se Puede!

  • Taxi drivers in Washington, D.C. are fed up!

    After years of unfair regulations and lack of respect, we are fighting back by forming the Washington, D.C. Taxi Operators Association. Our association will be backed by Teamsters Local 922 and the 1.4 million-member International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

  • 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.

  • Teamsters at Republic Services/Allied Waste have stood together in recent years to fight for strong contracts, including going on strike and supporting their fellow striking workers. Workers continue to fight for strong contracts that include retirement security at the second largest solid waste company. This campaign page is dedicated to those ongoing efforts.

  • Welcome to Teamster Organizing!

    You've heard it said that the best defense is a good offense. In the war on workers, Teamster Organizing is on the offensive! We're winning power for workers across industries and across North America. Join us!

  • Join the movement to stop the war on workers. Corporate CEOs and billionaires are attacking you, your family and your job. The battlefield is in statehouses throughout the country.  Our jobs, our health, our kids, our retirement and our standard of living are all at risk. Check this page frequently for updates. 

Teamsters Local 264
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