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November 27, 2015

Voice of the Middle Class

on WJOB 1230am

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Upcoming Events
Voice of the Middle Class
Dec 01, 2015
WJOB 1230 AM Radio
General Membership Meeting
Dec 02, 2015
Construction Meeting
Dec 09, 2015
Voice of the Middle Class
Dec 15, 2015
WJOB 1230 am Radio
Stewards Meeting
Dec 15, 2015
Teamster Local 142 Hall 1300 Clark Road Gary, Indiana
  Current Campaigns  
  • 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.

  • Candidate material is distributed to all members to encourage informed participation in the International officer election, and to promote a fair, honest and open process.

  • Negotiations for the National Master Automobile Transporters Agreement (NMATA) are under way. On Wednesday, June 3, representatives from carhaul local unions met in Detroit to approve the contract proposals and the next day, Thursday, June 4, the Teamsters National Automobile Transporters Industry Negotiating Committee (TNATINC) exchanged the contract proposals with the employer group.

    The committee will work hard to protect members’ health, welfare and pension benefits, protect job security and other address other top priorities

    The National Master Automobile Transporters Agreement (NMATA) and its supplements expire on August 31, 2015. The national contract covers almost 6,000 Teamster carhaulers.

    In addition to protecting benefits and job security, other top priorities are wages, the grievance procedures and safety and health issues.

  • 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 Teamsters Union represents more than 250,000 members at UPS and UPS Freight. UPS remains an active member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) despite the organization’s anti-worker and anti-union agenda that seeks to undermine and weaken worker protections.

  • 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.

  • Workers across the country at FedEx Freight and Con-way Freight are standing shoulder to shoulder to form their unions with the Teamsters to win a more secure future. Momentum is building with a first wave of victories with many more to come.

    There is growing worker resentment toward the companies after years of being treated unfairly. While the companies have suddenly made improvements since workers began to organize, workers know that without a legally binding contract the company can take these things away at any time.

    The unfulfilled promises that have been made to drivers and dockworkers over the past decade are coming back to haunt management.

    But now workers are taking action and standing up for themselves by forming their union. It's a different era now. It's Teamster Time! LIKE our Facebook page, here.

  • 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 been standing together to protect good jobs at Sysco and US Foods. Our solidarity on many fronts helped to defeat the mega-merger of the two companies, which would have put thousands of jobs at risk. But challenges remain as both companies refine their plans. Join our campaign to ensure these foodservice giants honor their agreements with 11,500 Teamsters and help us bring more Sysco and US Foods workers into the Teamster family. 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!

  Health & Safety 


Teamsters Local 142 Stewards Council Deliver Holiday Cheer
Updated On: Dec 17, 2012

Davich: ‘It could be any of us next Christmas’

Jerry Davich December 15, 2012 6:34PM

Teamsters Local 142 member Scott Failla of Hobart arrives at a Griffith, Ind. residence to deliver a Christmas basket to a former co-worker Saturday morning December 15, 2012. Failla, part of the local's stewards council, delivered several boxes of fixings for a holiday meal.

In light of all the bad, negative and tragically sad news that we are bombarded with on a daily basis, my holiday-season gift to readers of this column space will be nothing but positive, uplifting and, hopefully, inspirational columns through Christmas, beginning with today’s column.

Scott Failla waited patiently for the truck to arrive at his Teamsters Local 142 union hall in Gary.

The 53-year-old auto master mechanic from Hobart joined a couple dozen other Teamsters-turned-elves Tuesday evening.

There, along with some of their wives and children, they unloaded pallets of donated and discounted food. There, in assembly-line fashion, they created more than 80 Christmas baskets by filling large boxes with all kinds of food items, from hams to baking goods.

There, they turned Teamsters spirit into Christmas spirit.

Failla, recording secretary for the Local 142’s Stewards Council, had a list of roughly 85 families from across Northwest Indiana and beyond that could use a boost this holiday season. The list includes 35 former Hostess bakery workers who lost their union jobs last month when the company went belly up.

The Teamsters have been doing this for a long time, without any press or public recognition, simply to remind their fellow union brothers that they’re not forgotten in dark times during the holidays. I showed up that night to watch them in action, and then to shadow Failla on Saturday morning as he delivered a few Christmas baskets/boxes to grateful recipients.

“We don’t do it for any accolades, praise, thanks, or gold stars,” he told me. “We do it for those in need ... and maybe for the selfish reason of making us feel good inside that we’ve helped out our fellow members in a time of need.”

I didn’t see any selfishness. Only selflessness as they joined to later help union members who’ve been ill, injured, laid off, or retirees living on a fixed income.

“It could be any of us next Christmas,” said Failla, who works at Webb Ford in Highland.

Throughout the year, the Teamsters raise money for this day. But finding additional cash this year for the 35 former Hostess workers put a pinch in their budget. So a new collection was held and union members pitched in an additional $600, which was matched by the union.

In all, more than $3,000 was raised and spent on discounted food items and materials from various vendors, including Ultra Foods, Bakker Produce, Pepsi, and Sara Lee.

Once the food arrived, the Teamsters and family volunteers converged to sort it, pack it, and turn empty boxes into Christmas baskets, even tossing in toiletry essentials such as toothpaste and dish soap.

“Bring those bags of sugar over here,” yelled Jason Pedroza, the steward council’s chairman who co-organized the program.

Other organizers included treasurer Matt Tchoukaleff, vice chairman Jeff Gideon, and Failla, who I shadowed on Saturday morning.

“It’s a great feeling when you see the joy on the faces of the recipients and realize this will make their Christmas,” he told me.

In Griffith, Failla dropped off two large boxes at the home of a former coworker who’s on disability with various health problems. The coworker choked up. Failla choked up. Teamsters aren’t known as being overly emotional, but such acts of generosity transcend stereotypes.

“This reminds us that the true meaning of Christmas isn’t getting a great deal on Black Friday, but providing important necessities for people in challenging circumstances,” Failla said.

Some union members don’t attend a single meeting during the year, but they always show up to help deliver the Christmas baskets. And no one ever complains about making the deliveries, some as far away as South Bend and New Buffalo, Mich.

Several leftover Christmas baskets were available on Saturday, so they were donated to local food pantries and to Haven House in Hammond, a 24-hour emergency shelter for domestic violence victims.

Two remaining baskets were given to me in hopes of finding local families in need. That wasn’t hard to do in such tough times, and I want to thank Derek Pierce of Portage for helping me locate those families and delivering the baskets personally. (Tucked inside each basket was a $100 bill, given to me from a Portage businessman who asked to remain anonymous.)

“I appreciate the awesome responsibility bestowed upon me,” said Pierce, a longtime member of Portage Avenue Baptist Church.

He echoed what I often hear from people who take part in such charitable acts. For instance, Failla, who dropped off two Christmas baskets at a quiet home in South Haven. The homeowner, however, was not there.

Failla left the boxes on the porch with a note: “Your name has been submitted to the Stewards Council of Teamsters Local 142 for our Christmas Care Package. We hope this will help your family for the holidays.”

Minutes later, he received a phone call of thanks from the union worker. I’m not sure if the worker was not home or possibly he was too embarrassed to answer the door. Giving is often easier than receiving in such situations, I’ve learned.

Two more boxes were delivered to a former Hostess worker who lost his job.

In a steady rain and gloomy day, Failla knocked on the door and waited. The door opened and the man sported a bewildered look on his face at two strangers on his porch with arms filled.

“The Teamsters just want you to know that you’re not forgotten,” he told the man, handing him the boxes.

“You didn’t have to do this,” the man replied.

“We know,” Failla said with a soft smile. “Merry Christmas.”

The man reached out to offer Failla a firm handshake — twice. Not the kind of handshake offered for obligatory greetings, but the kind that is just short of a hug.

“Merry Christmas to you, too,” the man told Failla.

Just like the handshake, it wasn’t an obligatory seasonal greeting. It came from the heart, just like the reason behind all those Christmas baskets from nameless strangers. 

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