Contract Updates

Updates from

First contracts in the works

While the union and Fremont Ford have agreed to most of the contract language, the wage agreement is slow in coming. “We hope to get a contract soon,” says Area Director Don Crosatto.

Unfortunately, Crosatto is less hopeful about the talks with Mercedes of Pleasanton and Livermore Ford. “Both dealerships are clearly not interested in getting a contract and are stalling the process.”

Crosatto reports that Livermore Ford is on their fourth manager in two years; the last one was fired after only three months. “They’re supposed to report new hires to us, but that guy had hired and fired three people before even telling his own attorney. Some had lasted only a few days,” Crosatto says. “They’re having a hard time keeping journeymen and have to send work to other shops. It seems that they’d rather do badly than have a contract.”

Up the road, at Mercedes, the techs report tremendously inconsistent discipline. “One worker got fired for having an accident with a car. That’s not necessarily unreasonable, but at same time, a company guy had an accident that totaled a car and he only got a verbal warning.”

Local 1546 has continued to hold talks with Wyotech, after the instructors voted to join the union last summer. Unfortunately, after numerous issues of quality and student aid problems, the school’s parent company, Corinthian, is in the process of liquidating itself. To date, all of the schools outside of California have been sold. However, because Attorney General Kamala Harris will not give a buyer a waiver for Corinthian’s sins, the California schools have not sold and are still up and running.

“Unfortunately, they’re not doing any marketing, so the numbers of students and instructors are dwindling,” says Crosatto. “We’ve gotten agreement that the company will fix day-to-day workplace issues by utilizing the grievance procedure. That’s a good start.”

The PCMC/PMMC case is still alive

The National Labor Relations Board has recently issued a complaint against Ports America, because, back in 2013, when they fired PCMC and took the work in-house, they immediately recognized the Longshore Workers as the bargaining agent for the entire group of employees, including IAM members. This new issue is expected to go to trial in May.

Machinists Union Local 1546 – ON STRIKE!!!

Scabby the Rat

International Association of Machinists, Local 1546 is on strike, against

Cromer Equipment, Co.

4701 Oakport Street

Oakland, CA 94621

Picket lines are maintained


8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The Mechanics at Cromer Equipment Handling are in a fight for a fair contract. The issues include charges of the employer committing Unfair Labor Practices by transferring bargaining unit mobile service work of fixing and repairing fork-lifts and man-lifts to Non-Union shops.

The employer has been delaying negotiations, refusing to offer competitive wages, giving no raise in almost five years, offering a medical plan that would eat up proposed wage increases, and employing notorious union busting law firm to prevent his workers from securing a fair deal.

Come out and help these union brothers put a stop to these union busting tactics.

For further information contact: Garry Horrocks, 510-409-5846

Business Agency Updates

A few updates from our Business Agency courtesy of

The bad and the good

Bargaining with Mercedes of Pleasanton has been progressing very slowly, reports Area Director Don Crosatto. “The company is now proposing a variable labor rate…different pay rates for each job. If a journeyman does a basic service, like an oil change, he’d take an enormous pay cut. But it’s not clear that he’d get enormously more for the complicated jobs.” Crosatto says that he’s never seen a proposal like this before, and doesn’t believe the dealership is showing any signs that they’re interested in a deal.”

Over at Fremont Ford, most of the contract language is done. “We’re moving forward with the economics and trying to get everybody categorized in appropriate pay rates.”

Clogged with cars

The union is filing unfair labor practice charges at Livermore Ford, Crosatto reports, because their showroom renovation project is causing a traffic jam of parked cars. “If the guys weren’t on flat rate, this probably wouldn’t be an issue,” Crosatto says. “But, because they’ve had to empty the parking lots, new and used cars are now clogging up where they used to park service cars, and it’s a challenge to get cars into the stalls, directly cutting into our members’ earnings.”

Garbage deal finally settled

The members who work at Waste Management (WM) can breathe a sigh of relief now that there’s finally resolution in the City of Oakland’s garbage contract.

WM has held the franchise contract for decades, and was seeking another 10-year deal, when, at the last minute, the Oakland City Council gave the whole contract to California Waste Services (CWS), a much smaller company that currently handles a portion of the city’s recycling. Even though the changeover would have been months away, there was uncertainty about how many people would be laid off and how those decisions would be made. “We started preparing for that conversation, but, fortunately didn’t have to have it,” Crosatto says.

In the end, Mayor Jean Quan negotiated to give CWS 100% of the recycling work, but let WM keep the garbage and landfill contracts.

“WM is currently short-handed due to people quitting, so we don’t expect that they need to do any layoffs,” Crosatto says. “We have a tentative agreement to bring our CWS technicians up to WM standards next year. And, because CWS is adding another 20-25 trucks, we think they’ll need at least two more technicians.”

Taking Action for Safe, Just and Healthy Workplaces

Saturday, November 8, 2014
Berkeley City College
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m

The Labor Occupational Health Program (LOHP), Worksafe, and others are cosponsoring a one-day conference on workplace health and safety. The conference will highlight:

  • Strategies to improve health and safety on the job
  • Building worker leadership and power
  • Effectively using worker rights under Cal/OSHA

All workers are invited to attend. Excellent training opportunity for shop stewards.

Workshops: (tentative list)

  • Health and Safety as an Organizing Tool
  • How to Use Cal OSHA Successfully
  • How to Identify and Document Hazards
  • Workplace Violence Prevention
  • Workplace Retaliation – How to Fight Back
  • How to Identify and Prevent Chemical Hazards
  • I’m a Temp Worker, How Do I Fit In?
  • Winning the “Battle of the Story” for OSH
  • Building Effective Health & Safety Committees

$25 registration fee (scholarships available)

English and Spanish Online Registration

New law gives millions of Californians paid sick leave

Laura Clawson Daily KOS Labor

The U.S. may lag behind the rest of the developed world on sick leave, but a second American state is catching up. California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law giving most of the state’s workers three paid sick days a year, starting July 1, 2015.

Assembly Bill 1522, authored by Assembly woman Lorena Gonzalez, (D-San Diego), is expected to affect more than 6.5 million employees who have no paid sick days. That’s roughly 40 percent of the workforce in the state.

Though three days a year isn’t much, the California law applies to more of the state’s workers than does Connecticut’s sick leave law, which exempts manufacturers and businesses with fewer than 50 workers. A growing number of American cities have also passed paid sick leave laws. Massachusetts voters will have the chance to decide on a sick leave measure on November’s ballot. As a result, the U.S. is increasingly a patchwork of paid sick leave laws—which is confusing, but a lot better than a monotone of no sick leave anywhere in the country.

Alameda Labor Council – Campaign School

Date: Saturday, April 12, 2014
Time: 8:30am to 5:30pm
Location: IBEW 595 Hall
6250 Village Parkway
Dublin, Ca 94568
Contact: ALC Elections Coordinator, Tamara Perine
Phone: (510) 927-6146
Description:  Join us as we get ready to hone our skills to achieve victory for  working  families in 2014!   This will also be our campaign kick-off for AD 16 victory! For more info and to sign up contact Tammy Perine, ALC Elections Coordinator:  See you soon!     (Open to union members, staff, and officers only.)

Notice of Election for IAM International Offices

In accordance with the provisions of Aritcle III of the IAM Constitution, the IAM will conduct elections for the offices of International President, General Secretary-Treasurer and 8 General Vice Presidents for terms ending of June 30, 2017. Voting for these Grand Lodge officers will be held at the first or only meeting of your local lodge in the month of April 2014 at the date, time and location set forth below. The Nominees receiving the highest number of votes of all members voting shall be declared elected.

Date, Time and Location of Voting
Date: Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Time: From 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Location: IAMAW Local Lodge 1546, 10260 McArthur Blvd, Oakland, CA 94605

Only members in good standing of the local lodge will be permitted to vote in the election of Grand Lodge officers. To assist in verifying your eligibility to vote in the election, bring this letter with you to your local lodge election meeting, along with a photo ID. Good standing will be verified by the local lodge membership list.

All eligible members who arrive at the polls before closing will be permitted to cast their ballots. Polls will remain open for this purpose, if necessary.

California Labor Federation – 2014 Joint Legislative Conference

2014 Joint Legislative Conference

Sponsored by the California Labor Federation and
State Building and Construction Trades Council

March 17 – 18, 2014 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel

Sheraton Grand Hotel (SOLD OUT!)
1230 J Street, Sacramento 95814
916-447-1700 or 1-800-325-3535
Room rate is $189/standard room

The Citizen Hotel
926 J Street, Sacramento 95814
Phone: 916-447-2700 or 916-492-4446
Ask for the Joint Legislative Conference rate
$130 Registration (includes lunch & dinner tickets, plus materials).
Click here to register online now!

Monday, March 17th (Sheraton Grand Hotel)
9A – Plenary Session
10:45A – Overview of Labor’s 2014 Legislative Priorities
12:30P – Lunch Program
1:45P – Workshops
5:30P – Reception
6:30P – Dinner Program

Tuesday, March 18th
8:00A – Lobby Day: Join your Labor Council for lobby visits

  • Organizing: Our legislative work is about building power for workers. A briefing on how to use the state laws that our unions have passed to protect workers from immigration threats and support workers trying to organize.
  • Healthcare: How Do We Save Job-Based Health Benefits? Come learn about ways to contain costs and maintain high-quality on-the-job health coverage for all workers.
  • “Changing the Narrative”: A briefing on how labor can change the public perception of unions and go on the offense to build a progressive economic agenda for California.
  • How to use the Labor Agency to best advocate for your members: This Administration has filled the Labor Agency with some of the smartest and most committed representatives. Come meet the new appointees and learn how best to advocate for your members.
  • The State of California’s Infrastructure: A briefing on the status of water, school, high-speed rail and transportation infrastructure and how we can rebuild this economy through construction investments.
  • Key 2014 Political Campaigns: Engage top political consultants and political directors in a discussion about statewide initiatives, legislative races and other important issues in the 2014 elections.