May 3, 2020, Full-Time Officer and Business Agent Reports, Teamsters Local 162
By Bob Sleight, Secretary-Treasurer
Local 162 Teamsters at every employer have stepped up to meet the challenge to keep our economy going through this global pandemic. Our members in grocery and at UPS have been working significant hours of overtime. Many employers have “stepped up” to provide extended benefits during furloughs as well as providing as much as an additional $2.00 per hour as “hero pay” for members while continuing their jobs as essential workers through the Governors stay-at-home order. We have unfortunately also seen a downturn in work for our members in food service, freight, manufacturing and other industry’s where member are being laid off or have had their hours reduced. We continue to monitor layoffs to ensure that all contractual provisions are being adhered to.
Local 162’s Principle Officers and Business Agents have worked timelessly on your behalf, requesting from employers that they provide additional benefits, wages, workplace safety and PPE for our members. The Officers of Local 162 also continue to negotiate several open contracts and to conduct mail balloting during this national pandemic. We will “no doubt” continue to address many difficult workplace issues as the national pandemic continues to affect the global economy, stock market and many weakened, slow to recover industries. Many of our members who were initially laid off experienced much difficulty filing for unemployment as the state’s unemployment site crashed. Most of these members are now receiving unemployment and are appreciating the additional unemployment benefit that is currently being provided through this pandemic as well as recently receiving the economic impact payment provided under the Cares Act.
If you are laid off and looking for employment opportunities contact the Local Union as many companies such as UNFI, Fred Meyer/Kroger and Albertsons/Safeway are hiring drivers. UPS is currently also in a part-time hiring mode and promoting part-time employees to full-time driving jobs due to increased volume from Amazon and other major e-commerce shippers.
If you are not able to report to work because you are sick, suspect you may have the virus, or the virus prevents you from reporting to work, you are advised to follow your established call-in procedures with your Employer. Most employers in our jurisdiction have implemented some form of compensation for employees infected with COVID, are quarantined or otherwise affected by the virus. Check with your Business Agent if you have any questions about what your employer is offering.
The May General Membership meeting has been cancelled per the Governor’s order and CDC guidelines. The June General Membership meeting is still on the schedule for now but may change based on CDC guidelines. An update on the status of the June meeting will be posted on the Local 162 website at www.teamsters162.com as we get closer to the meeting date.
Our offices remain open but we are closed to walk-ins to comply with the Governor’s order and CDC guidelines. There is nothing we can’t take care of over the phone so please reach out to our front office staff if you need any general assistance such as paying your dues. Your Business Agents are all working and available to handle your contractual questions, to process your grievances and/or to otherwise address any of your representational and workplace issues.
Thanks go out to all of you for your continued hard work during these very trying times. We are certain you are all proud to be Teamsters!
By Mark Davison, President
I want to second the comments Bob Sleight made on the gratitude and appreciation we have for all of our members working during the pandemic. While Local 162 is a private sector Local in the critical and essential transportation and manufacturing industries, there are thousands of other Teamsters from other Local Unions in Oregon and throughout the Northwest who also represent nurses, hospital workers and other essential public services. Teamsters are everywhere and essential!
Oregon Teamster Employers Trust (OTET): The Trustees of OTET will be convening on May 5th for our appeals hearings and on May 6th for the quarterly meeting of the full Board of Trustees. This is the first time these meetings will be taking place via video conferencing, a necessary procedure under the pandemic. Bob Sleight and I both serve on the OTET Board of Trustees. Early in the pandemic the Board acted on COVID related health care issues and benefits. I know that the number of OTET participants enrolling in MDLIVE, video conferencing and doctor visits over the phone, has grown dramatically as folks are avoiding the emergency rooms and regular in person doctor appointments are extremely limited. This has been very convenient, especially for our members in essential services, because they can get a doctor to talk to over the phone and even get a prescription filled if needed. It will be interesting to see the claims experience for medical utilization at OTET and other medical plans across the country. We participated in a forum conducted by a leading health care industry consulting firm that estimates a 30% to 60% reduction in medical spending in the 2nd quarter of 2020 as folks defer medical procedures, unemployment reduces the number of folks insured and other factors. The firms actuaries project between a $75 Billion to $575 Billion reduction in 2020 medical spending, which they translate to a 3% to 26% reduction in overall plan costs. Every plan will be affected differently based on the demographics of the plans, and the wide variances have a lot to do with how different regions of the country are impacted by the pandemic, what happens when the expected second wave of the virus takes place and other major factors. Prescription drug spend should remain stable as folks continue to take and fill maintenance drugs. How projected reduced spending in 2020 affects plan costs and medical costs in 2021 and into the future remains a major question, because after all they are projections, all beit from experienced actuaries. One thing is certain, what we know and believe today, certainly can go in another direction when we least expect it. I know the OTET Board of Trustees, including Bob Sleight and myself, will be monitoring everything closely as we move forward in this new pandemic and economic environment.
Teamsters Western Region Health Care Plan: This plan continues to grow its reserves and provide a strong and stable benefit for active and retired part-time UPS employees in Local 162 and throughout the Northwest. The Plans administrative office is just a phone call away at 855-215-2039. They also have a comprehensive website at www.wr177healthcare.com. The Plan has also implemented virtual care with 98point6. Go to the Plan website for more details. Details on COVID-19 expanded benefits can also be viewed on the Plan website.
Western Region UPS Agreement for PVD’s: Local 162 participated in the region wide negotiations with UPS to enter into a letter of agreement to allow the use of part-time employees to deliver out of their personal vehicles during the pandemic. The work will be done at the current top Regular Package Car Driver (RPCD) rate of pay ($37.66 per hour) for the hours worked performing this delivery work. This sets no precedent and serves several important needs including relief from excessive overtime for drivers as residential volume continues to surge during the pandemic, and extra work and earnings opportunities for part-time employees during the pandemic - we don’t want supervisors doing the work! The order of call prior to using a part-time employee in a personal vehicle remains RPCD’s first, 22.4 drivers second and part-time air drivers third. Signup sheets have been posted in all buildings. The timeline for implementation has not been firmed up as the Company claims there are delays with the Oregon DMV and doing motor vehicle background checks.
Portland UPS Regular Package Car Drivers (RPCD’s): First, I want to thank my stewards, activists and safety committees for your vigilance on health and safety in the Portland driving centers. Also, our stewards are a calming influence on many of our members who need the Union’s guidance on the shop floor during these stressful times. I have been able to settle most grievances in the Portland driving centers. We are scheduling a ZOOM video conference call for the handful of open driver grievances and I will let my stewards know once the date and time is firmed up. Just a reminder to all of our members that when you file a grievance we need the who, what, when, where, why, witnesses and the remedy you are seeking. Many of the grievances I have received lately are written very vaguely and lacking key facts. This makes it difficult to achieve the remedy a member is seeking when basic facts are not provided. We have a great deal of continuing education as the ranks of new drivers continues to grow. We have a good network of stewards, rank and file activists and full-time Officers at Local 162, who are all a valuable resource for this education. We are here to help.
UPS Retirees Subsidy Fund: Contributions to this new Retirees Fund remain on the rise as the JC37 Negotiating Committee diverted more money to provide and build this benefit. The plan now has over $9 Million in reserves and is growing at a rate of over $600,000 per month. We continue to encourage any UPS member in Local 162 who is considering retirement to contact the William C. Earhart Co. at (503) 460-5212 to get a full understanding of the retiree health care benefits and eligibility requirements prior to retirement, not after.
By Bill Elzie, Business Agent
SYSCO – The renewal contract edits were sent to employer quite some time ago and we just recently received their response. We are in process of reviewing further in order to get the agreed upon changes put into the new Agreement and to get the contracts signed by the parties. We appreciate the members patience in this process and will let you know when we have got the edits dialed in and the contract signed by both parties.
We do have a class action grievance filed protesting this employer denying seniority members from working a 6th shift, as the members have in the past, because they would have to now pay them double time for the 6th day worked in a work week that consists of four (4) days per week / ten (10) hours per day, commonly known as a 4/10 work week. This was a big improvement from the previous contract that we gained in our most recent bargaining sessions and ratified by the membership on December 15, 2019. In fact, it was the employers proposal to the Union, in response to our initial proposals, where they proposed to have any Teamster member working a 4/10 work week would get double time (2X) rate of pay for all time worked on a 6th shift in that 4/10 work week. It was time and one half (1.5X) the regular rate of pay for work on the 6th day if on a 4/10 work week in the previous contract. All the Teamster members employed at Sysco were excited about this improvement, as they were used to working 6 days per week while on a 4/10 work weeks. That lasted until the pay increases went into effect in January 2020. That is when the employer started denying the seniority members on a 4/10 work week the opportunity to work that 6th shift and allowed junior members to work that shift instead! Seems to be a cruel case of the employer giving something with one hand and taking it away with the other hand, all the while totally disrespecting Teamsters seniority.
Another issue has cropped up with the employer wanting to modify their current Motor Vehicles Review (MVR) policy to go to a point system to determine if members are qualified to drive for Sysco or are disqualified. The Union has issued a demand to bargain letter over this matter along with an information request. This issue is pending a formal response from the company; however, company representatives have stated to me that they want to “hit the pause button for now” on their proposed changes.
As a result of this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the States of Oregon and Washington declaring a state of emergency, closing all non-essential businesses, Sysco has seen a dramatic drop in volume. As a result, they have suspended all driver’s bid blocks, delayed implementing the new bids due to start the first full week of April and modified the warehouse work week schedule from 5/8’s to 4/10’s in response to the loss of volume. They are currently honoring seniority for the remaining work available. There have been three rounds of layoffs at Sysco, March 20th, March 27th and April 8th, 2020. We have been quite busy working with the members laid off to get them job leads to other good Teamster employers who need good Teamster drivers and warehouse employees, advising them on how to deal with this layoff situation, how to file for unemployment insurance benefits, how to deal with mortgage, rent and loan payments, health insurance timelines, taking out Honorable Withdrawal Cards among other concerns during these transformative, pandemic times.
CAL PORTLAND - Our negotiations for a renewal offer on January 21st resulted in a recommended offer that the members ratified on February 9th. We are working on producing the new Agreement for signatures and once executed we will make copies and distribute to the members. Thanks go to Bob Sleight and Shop Steward Larry Barr for their participation in the negotiation process.
CASCADE GENERAL - We are pleased to report that this employer has formally withdrawn their proposal to get out of the Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Trust Fund. We want to thank our members employed at this employer for their solidarity shown and demonstrated with their strike authorization. Want to thank our fellow Seattle Teamsters Local 117 and Local 174 for standing together in solidarity on this issue along with the Metal Trades Council of Portland and Vicinity and the Puget Sound Metal Trades Council, all the trade Unions involved in the shipyards, and to the Metal Trades Department of the AFL-CIO. Solidarity with our Brothers and Sisters prevails!
HYDRO PORTLAND – The COVID-19 pandemic is having a big impact on this Essential Workers industry employer who remains open for business but has experienced a severe drop in customer orders for their extruded aluminum products. In response to the Union’s request in March 2020 to step up and help our members who are facing self-quarantine measures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this employer has put in place a very good policy that provides for up to 180 hours’ worth of expanded paid sick leave, if needed, for any of the members affected. In addition, Hydro Portland also came up with a furlough program, in lieu of layoff, that would pay up to three (3) months of health insurance coverage with no co-pays by the members, 100% paid for. All the members were initially asked from the top of the seniority list down to volunteer for a furlough before the employer started to mandate furloughs in accordance with our contractual layoff language and our Letter of Understanding negotiated with the Union. To date, over 100 members are currently on furlough with their current health care provided for at no cost to the members and they can file for unemployment insurance benefits with the members respective state agencies. As you can imagine, the members have been calling seeking guidance from the Union and we have returned each members call promptly reassuring their concerns about recall, seniority, health care coverage, unemployment insurance benefits, to name a few of the many questions posed. This employer is still providing essential services to their remaining customers and will be recalling the furloughed Teamsters as business ramps back up. We truly appreciate this good Teamster employer stepping up to address the concerns of the members in these extremely trying pandemic times.
AGC – This contract is currently open, and we are working to schedule bargaining dates with the representatives of this employer group. It is looking as if it will be sometime in May before we can get to the table with them. This Master Labor Agreement expires May 31, 2020. Joint Council of Teamsters No. 37 will be working in concert with Teamster Locals 58, 162, 206, 324, 670 and 962 to negotiate and get agreement for this statewide Agreement.
By Ben Vedus, Business Agent
I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and well during these very trying times.
UPS: Aetna has been replaced by The Hartford as the UPS Human Resource Service Center (HRSC) but the phone numbers have remained the same, which is (866) 825-0186. Their primary responsibility is tracking employees who are on Leave for FMLA, Military, Disability, Worker’s Compensation, etc. We will be reviewing any changes to policies or procedures to ensure the transition goes smoothly.
The Company is experiencing a significant surge in volume due in part to Online shopping, which creates a much higher number of residential stops. Hopefully, the use of the part-time Personal Vehicle Drivers will bring relief to the overworked RPCD’s if and when it becomes necessary.
The jurisdictional option to double shift in any Local 162 represented facility has been turned on, as Swan Island in particular is not getting enough employees to sign up for extra shifts. Swan Island, Alderwood and Hillsboro employees can sign up on the current double shift computers, while Tualatin and PDX will continue to have a paper sign up. You may sign up for any shift in any facility.
Swan Island Inside: Covid-19 Update: I have been participating on a Sanitization and Social Distancing conference call with other Local’s from the Northwest, and UPS district level managers from all departments each morning since April 2nd. The Company has come along way since our initial call in providing extra cleaning by housekeeping, supervisors and safety committee members, staging cleaning supplies in work areas and limiting the number of employees to one per trailer. The one per trailer rule is not a guideline and I have stewards, safety reps and activists reporting to me any violations so I may get them addressed immediately. I am on the phone with Labor Manager Todd Gertz several times a day, and he has been quick to respond to the concerns I bring him all day and into the evening. The Company must be held accountable to do their part with regards to social distancing by not allowing more than four employees in a PSC cage, or allowing folks to bunch up at the bottom slide of Boxline 7 or walk up on an employee when they feel they need to speak to them. There are many things management needs to do to minimize the risk to all employees, but there are things we must do to help keep each other safe as well. For instance, be cognoscente of how close you are to your co-workers and take evasive action to avoid becoming part of a group, if you are able to wear a mask request one and wear it, and if a co-worker or supervisor comes into your trailer ask them to leave or leave yourself. Remember, it will take all of us working together to minimize the risk of infection in a warehouse environment.
Swan Island Supervisors Working: With the extra volume and a shortage of staffing due to the pandemic to process the volume, supervisors are unfortunately having to fill in the gaps. While the Union does not agree it is acceptable for supervisors to work, the Hub managers and Labor have agreed that before supervisors’ work, they will do the following three things:
- The Sort must exhaust the double shift list.
- The Sort must expand the span to give the Teamster employees the opportunity to perform all the bargaining unit work.
- The Sort must not send employees, or allow them to go, home while supervisors are performing bargaining unit work.
I meet with Labor daily to make sure the shifts comply. When filing a supervisor working grievance during this pandemic please focus on the fringes of the shift or work we should have been able to perform. For example, if front-end employees are sent or allowed to go home while supervisors are still working on the load lines, supervisors sorting hots, supervisors scanning left ins, pre-shift setup work, etc. As the volume continues to increase, inside employees will have the, “All you can eat Buffet” and work as many hours as you want.
The Swan Island Sunrise/Preload shift is the lone exception. That management group has failed to follow the three simple rules cited above and I have been encouraging all members who work that shift to file grievances every time they see supervisors handle packages. Until this management group follows the three simple rules cited above we will file grievances as if there is no pandemic on the Swan Island Sunrise/Preload shift.
Discipline: The Company is beginning to write disciplinary letters for attendance, with emphasis on, “Failure to report without notification” (No-Call, No Show) and Tardiness. They are claiming that there are enough of our folks that are taking advantage of the current situation and not reporting to work when they can. We need to properly document when we are going to be late or absent due to the pandemic and always call in when you are not going to be at work. Use your cell phone when calling in so there is a record of you making the call in case I need to use it at a later time. You are only considered late if you come in after the posted start time from the Friday before.
By Mike Mayo, Business Agent
Swire Coca-Cola: A fully recommended offer by the Union bargaining committee and approved by the IBT Brewery and Soft Drink Conference, was achieved on April 10th. Ballots, and the contract offer, were mailed on April 20th to all Local 162 members working at Swire Coca Cola. A postage paid return envelope and secret ballot envelope were also provided. Explanation materials were also produced and distributed. On Sunday, April 26th, a conference call to explain the offer was also held. Beginning April 27th replacement ballots are available to anyone who has not yet received one. If you did not receive a ballot and/or you have any questions about the contract offer, please give me a call at (503) 257-0162. The ballots are due back to the offices of Local 162 by Monday, May 11th, at which time they will be counted with two rank and file shop stewards from Swire Coca Cola present and participating in the count. Local 162 will then be holding another conference call on the evening of May 11th to inform the membership of the outcome of the vote. We have distributed a flyer with the call-in date, time, Zoom conference id number and password. If you need details for the conference call give me a call and I will give them to you. Local 162 would like to thank the entire bargaining committee for all their hard work and the entire membership for their patience and unity during these difficult negotiations and times. Negotiations took place around the clock, including on weekends, and your rank and file negotiating committee rose to the occasion and deserve a tip of the Teamster hat!
Pepsi Beverages North America of Portland: The move from the historic Portland location to the new location in Clackamas is complete. According to the membership having a new location has its issues that must be worked out, but for the most part has streamlined how the work is performed and made it much easier to complete their daily tasks. The terms of the new contract are now in full effect, as the members recently ratified a fully recommended new four-year contract that secured all of our Union rights at the new facility in Clackamas with good improvements to wages and pension. This new contract settlement was achieved just prior to the pandemic being declared. The contract has been proofed and signed and we will get them distributed to the membership. Again, thank you to all of our stewards and members who supported our efforts and backed your Union in the contract campaign!
US Foods: The company has sustained a large decrease in business due to the closure of restaurants, and as a result the company has implemented a furlough program offering continued Healthcare for furloughed employees while off. We have been lucky to have volunteers for the program so that all other members including junior employees can stay working.
Maletis Beverage: The Company has sustained a decrease in business due to the closure of bars and large accounts such as venues that would normally hold sporting events, resulting in changes to daily routes and shifting of members to other jobs to keep everyone working. We achieved a new three year contract with economic improvements that the members ratified on March 7th. I want to thank Business Agent Bill Elzie and our three rank and file stewards who served on the negotiating committee for their hard work achieving a fully recommended offer at Maletis. The renewal Agreement has been proofed and signed by the Union and forwarded to their attorney for signatures by the company. Once we receive the executed contracts back from the company, we will print copies for distribution to the members employed at Maletis.
Spicers’ Paper: The company notified the Union in the beginning of April of a substantial decline in its operations due to the pandemic, at which time the parties began talks of extending the current contract scheduled to expire April 30th. Both the Union and the Company agreed that an extension would be best at this time. Both parties will evaluate the company’s operations at the end of this extension and move forward accordingly, the Local will keep the members updated as thing move forward.
Reddaway/YRC: The Company has had a large loss of freight in the past two months as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, causing layoffs of many of our members working at Reddaway in Portland, and the elimination of certain routes. The loss in business resulted in YRC representatives reaching out to the IBT Freight Division and Teamster health and welfare funds throughout the country requesting health care benefits be continued for its employees while YRC applies for needed loans under the federal government CARES ACT. It is my understanding YRC has been in contact with the Oregon Teamster Employers Trust, that benefits were extended through the end of April under strict terms, and that going forward the issue of May benefits is on the agenda before the Board of Trustees of OTET at its May 6th meeting.
By Mike Van Orsow, Business Agent
DHL- Covid-19 Response. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters bargained and achieved emergency response agreements to address issues stemming from Covid-19. In case of volume fluctuations that cause lay-offs, an agreement was reached to minimize employee hardship by allowing voluntary use of accrued vacation. A second agreement protects employees with up to 10 additional days of sick time for employees experiencing Covid19 symptoms as directed by their doctor. The same agreement also provides for health and welfare payments as well as pension contributions for the same hours.
DHL Service Agents – Our new Labor agreement is a few months old now. The hard work of bargaining and ratifying the agreement is done and now comes the efforts to fix issues arising from implementation. Some issues were employee sick leave banks, Pension and healthcare enrollment and a few payroll issues. Follow up with the Company has resulted in appropriate fixes to these issues. After extensive follow up, the Company reports it is close to fixing participation in the Teamsters 401K allowing employee self -directed retirement options.
DHL Drivers - The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has implemented a new Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Program for all CDL holding employees. The Teamsters National DHL Negotiating Committee has reviewed the documents and placed limits on their scope and application to what is required by law. Local 162 has had dialogue with DHL Portland and will address further issues as they come up. Remember you have an obligation to protect your driving status as a condition of your ongoing employment. Contact Local 162 with questions.
UPS Tualatin / Hillsboro Preload Hub – Local 162 has received many calls from members over safety concerns especially since the onset of the Covid19 pandemic. Local 162 participates in daily conference calls with the Company and has almost daily discussion with Local Managers to address these concerns. Employees should see Facility cleaning schedules have increased and the Company has agreed to 1 employee per trailer. If you have any issues that are not being resolved I need to hear about them so I can follow up.
Part-time to full-time promotion- Part-time employees who make full-time package seniority need to be paid out their part-time vacation bank and select available weeks in their new Center subject to mutual agreement. Affected employees need to make the request to their manager. Reach out to the Local for help if needed.
Hillsboro Twilight Safety committee- The New facility opened in November of last year. Most of the employees were new hires making selection of committee members difficult. These committees are Union Committees for the sole purpose of addressing safety concerns and holding the Company to timely corrections. I am happy to report we have the committee going strong. If interested in serving, Hillsboro Twilight employees can call me at 503-257-0162.
Grievances- Most all open part-time issues have been settled with the company. Affected members have been notified.
Tualatin/Hillsboro Package Drivers- Many drivers report Peak level dispatches in light of the Covid19 pandemic. Local 162 has received and processed many excessive overtime grievances. Drivers who wish to opt- in on the list need to talk to your Shop Steward. The Driver Training that ceased due to CDC guidelines for social distancing has been resumed. Most training routes are being utilized. Other remedies to relieve driver overtime are being discussed and the local will push to implement. Local 162 appreciates the efforts our drivers have done to get the work done.
By Don Greene, Business Agent
APPRECIATION: I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our shop stewards, activists and members in essential transportation services. Throughout my representational duties at UPS and the Grocery Industry, our members are keeping the trucks rolling so all of our families, friends, the community at large, and essential businesses are getting what they need to live and operate.
UPS Feeder: It is our understanding that UPS notified the IBT that the Panthera sleeper team project is on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. UPS has also told the IBT that they are ahead of schedule for pulling work off the rail and creating more feeder jobs as outlined in Article 26 Section 6 of the National Master. UPS meets with the IBT and they are responsible for reviewing the implementation of these runs with the Package Division and they confirm the hiring requirements have been met. When we receive any additional information from the IBT/Package Division regarding the sleeper teams we will let the membership know. Grievances over delaying the sleeper team start times and subcontractors covering Portland bid sleeper team runs have been filed and will be heard at the next NW Grievance Panel. At present, the Panels at all levels have been put on hold due to the pandemic. Thank you for your continued patience. The shop stewards and the safety committee have been doing a good job addressing safety issues with the feeder department management due to the pandemic. If you have a concern that you don’t feel is being addressed properly, please give me a call so I can address your concern on the UPS / NW Teamsters district safety call which happens daily at 9:00 am.
Fred Meyer/ DTC: Locals 162, 305 and the shop stewards met with the Company in April for the annual Dispatch rules meeting. We have two new additions regarding Hostler vacation/Long term service coverages and scheduled days off for Extra Board drivers. We will make the changes available once signed. The Company continues to reward our drivers with an additional $2.00 per hour. The DOT hours of service rules remain suspended.
UNFI: The Company has reached out to the Local for help hiring new Class A CDL drivers. There goal is to eliminate the use of 3rd party carriers. With the layoffs in the Food Service industry Local 162 has provided the Company with names and numbers for potential new hires. If you know someone who is interested, please have them contact me at 503-257-0162. The Company continues to reward our drivers with an additional $2.00 per hour. The DOT hours of service rules remain suspended.
Albertsons/Safeway: Locals 162 and 305 continue to address driver issues with the Company. Changes in Companies policies continue due to the Covid-19 pandemic with all Local 162 represented companies. The IBT has asked for us to be patient and understanding due to changes in policies that help keep the essential workers safe. The Company continues to reward our drivers with an additional $2.00 per hour. The Company has chosen to go back to the original DOT hours of service rules.
By Bobby Rispler, Union Representative & Organizer
ALDERWOOD UPS BUILDING: We hope that you are safe and well during this trying and unprecedented time. Your union leadership has been tirelessly engaged in ensuring every possible safety precaution is being adhered to at the Alderwood facility in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the pandemic began, we have been on the frontline of enforcing compliance with CDC guidelines regarding management and utilizing all contractual and legal mechanisms to prioritize safety in the workplace, with an emphasis on sanitization procedures and compliance with social distancing measures. We have been working to make sure every issue or concern we encounter is addressed in an effective and timely fashion on each shift at the Alderwood building, as well as the package driver center. I have been in contact with key members of management from each shift and package several times a week, to ensure compliance on the company’s part. I have also received immeasurable help from stewards and activists who have provided invaluable communication, feedback, and follow-up on all virus-related issues and concerns. Each shift at Alderwood is begun by members of management thoroughly sanitizing the entire facility, with a focus on more commonly used areas. Sanitizer and wipes are available for any employee who requires them at any time throughout the building and on all shifts. Under absolutely NO circumstances should any two people be in a package car (unless a new trainee who agrees to it) or trailer at a time. Management at Alderwood has been made aware of this policy and have committed to abide by it. If you work at the Alderwood hub and have seen any violations of any of these policies, please bring them to a Local 162 shop steward, or myself by calling 503-257-0162 as soon as it is safe to do so.
TWILIGHT: Alderwood Twilight has taken numerous measures to achieve compliance with the CDC guidelines concerning COVID-19 and social distancing. Your 162 shop stewards, Lisa Peterson and Geoff Goings along with the twilight safety committee have been integral and effective in bringing all concerns to union leadership to address with management and labor.
NIGHT: Alderwood Night has likewise taken similar steps to maximize safety during the pandemic. New coronavirus policies and practices have been monitored and reported on by both your shop steward Jason Sentinella, and your safety co-chair Tim Cooke. Both have been as tireless as they have been valuable in ensuring management’s compliance with Covid-related policies.
PRELOAD: Alderwood Preload safety committee have done a good job of being among the first members in the region to act to safeguard the membership as much as possible against the virus. Additionally, shop steward Jim Cordell has been in daily contact with union leadership to report on progress on the preload, and has been stalwart monitoring management compliance in regard to safety, supervisors working, and seniority concerns.
PACKAGE: Multiple measures have been taken, and will continue to be taken to maximize drivers’ safety at Alderwood, include daily sanitation of DIADs, computers, and all other work surfaces. Drivers are also now able to sanitize their own package cars, and adequate materials are available for all drivers to make sure their cars are clean and safe. We have made great progress with social distancing at Alderwood with much thanks going to shop stewards Casey Hodge and Troy Ewers, along with your safety committee and several activists. We strongly encourage drivers to adhere to the CDC social distancing guidelines both while in the building and while on-route.
It is of the utmost importance that all drivers accurately and honestly code all of your time every day, including breaks and lunches. The Company has been monitoring the coding of drivers paid for time to make sure people are not taking additional personal time they are not entitled to. It is the drivers responsibility to accurately code their time and delivery records every day. It is also important to be accurate in the recording of packages. Deliver stop by stop, only at the stop, and if there are any service issues just notify dispatch for their guidance. Do not bring back packages without making legitimate delivery attempts. The Company has gone after drivers for cases of proven dishonesty when a driver has knowingly concealed/hidden undelivered packages with no delivery attempts. Honest mistakes do happen, but when you find a package in your load later in your workday that you couldn’t find earlier in your, let dispatch know and let them make the decision what action they want you to take with the package.
SAFEWAY.COM: Negotiations for Safeway.com are set to begin very soon, despite the significant challenges brought forth by the COVID pandemic. We have received many member surveys and have been diligently working on contract language to address all drivers stated concerns and goals and to ensure your voice is heard. We expect to have updates in the very near future. Driver organizers have been frequently and effectively communicating with me regarding safety and scheduling concerns due to the pandemic, and we have been successful in implementing multiple measures to maximize driver safety.
ORGANIZING: The current Pandemic has placed substantial challenges to our organizing targets, but we remain undaunted. We have a strong campaign underway, which cannot be disclosed as it has not gone public yet. We are moving forward steadily, and anticipate a quick and effective campaign as soon as restrictions are lifted. New leads have come in recently from targets in our core industries and I have had the opportunity to modify plans to advance these campaigns and prepare to launch them aggressively in the very near future.