Local 804 Loses a True Leader

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Pat Pagnanella, the former Secretary-Treasurer of Local  804, has passed away after a long illness.

Pat administered the Oath of Office when Ron Carey was sworn in as the first democratically-elected General President in the history of the Teamsters Union.

Local 804 members will remember Pat Pagnanella as a true leader who stood up to UPS and helped advance the cause of Teamster democracy and reform. He will be missed.

Spearing Funeral Home
155 Kinderkamack Road

Park Ridge, NJ 07656

Wednesday, May 27: 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.
Thursday, May 28: Prayer Service at 10 a.m. Burial after prayer service. 

Video: Fighting for $15

Local 804 members joined workers, unions and community supporters across the city, and across the nation, in a day of action to demand living wages of $15 an hour.

Hear from Local 804 members about why they are joining the Fight for $15.

Local 804 Members Fight for $15

Local 804 members joined unions and community groups across the city and across the country today in a national day of action for higher wages called the Fight for 15

Check out more photos at www.facebook.com/teamstersloca804

The national UPS contract freezes starting pay for part-timers at $10 an hour. But we can fight for higher wages by organizing to raise the minimum wage. The Fight for $15 is taking up that cause.

Workers and community supporters organized Fight for $15 actions today in over 120 cities. Local 804 members joined in with five actions at UPS buildings. Members held rallies at UPS hubs in Brooklyn and Maspeth, Queens. At 43rd Street, Brush Avenue, and Nassau, members wore T-shirts calling for an increase in the minimum wage.  

In other Fight for 15 actions, workers, union activists and public supporters took to the streets in downtown Brooklyn and in Columbus Circle.

Thanks go out to Local 804 members who organized and participated in today’s actions and to the Working Families Party and elected officials for showing their support, including Assemblymember David Weprin and Felix Ortiz, and City Councilmembers Elizabeth Crowley, Maritza Davila, Alan Maisel and Jumaane Williams. 

Daily News: Local 804 Joins the Fight for $15

Local 804 members will join a city-wide day of action on Wednesday, April 15 to stand up for higher wages for UPS part-timers and all New Yorkers. Our message: it's time for a minimum wage of $15. Members will take action at UPS's four major hubs: with a rally at Foster Avenue in Brooklyn at 8 a.m. and worksite actions at Maspeth, 43rd Street, and the Nassau building too.  

Click the image below to read the complete coverage in the Daily News.

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Grievance Panel Reform

Unjustly fired members are getting back on the job faster thanks to the new grievance panel we won in the contract.

Local 804 members made unfair discipline and grievance procedure reform a priority in our contract campaign—and with good reason.

Under the old system, UPS could stonewall and create a backlog of discipline cases waiting to be heard by an arbitrator. A fired Teamster could be forced to wait a year or more before their case was heard.

Justice delayed is justice denied.

Under the new grievance panel, discipline cases are heard by a six-member panel with three representatives from the union and three from management. Deadlocked cases are decided by an arbitrator who sits in on each case and only votes to break a tie.

Under the new system, we’ve been able to cut through the backlog and get dozens of terminations resolved or reduced to suspensions.

New cases are being settled or heard—and members are getting back to work.

The best grievance system in the world won’t stop management from being management. We will always need to stick together to fight production harassment and unfair discipline.

There’s no substitute for following the methods and working safe and smart.

But the new grievance panel is a big step in the right direction. Just ask the nearly 100 members who have won their jobs back thanks to union action and our new grievance procedure.

IB ImageI'm Back to Work!

“I was discharged when the company said I lied about having an injury.

“Without the new grievance panel system, I would have been out of work for years and probably lost my job. But thanks to my steward and the new panel system, I’m back at work.”
Jose Rivera-Alvarado, Maspeth, Package Driver

Winning a Shot at Feeders

The pension hike we won in the contract is paying off in more ways than one. Not only are more people able to retire; more members are moving into the feeder department, too.

For years, it seemed like the feeder list was virtually frozen.

But with the new pension increase, a wave of feeder drivers moved to retire at the same time the company was expanding the feeder ranks.

More members are moving into feeders. In turn, that’s created more full-time opportunities in package too.

The old feeder list was exhausted and stewards and business agents canvassed full-timers and part-timers to make sure every Local 804 member had a chance to get on the list for a future feeder position.

IB Image“As a Feeder Driver, I have more time with my family and less stress on the job. Our strong pension is helping more members feel secure enough to retire and creating opportunities for us to move from Package to Feeder.”
Rene Duchatelier, Maspeth, Feeder


IB Image“I put my name on the Feeder List 19 years ago. Best move I ever made. I am thankful there was finally some movement on the list!”
Dirk Molin, Melville, Feeder

Taking Time Out to Help

"Trying to make things better for everybody, anyway I can."

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Package drivers know what it’s like to work bruising schedules that leave little time for family, let alone anything else. But Ted Mitchell—a 12-year package driver from Nassau—puts time in to volunteer in the community as a  youth basketball coach.

“I first started when my friend gave me a call 4 years ago and asked if I’d help out at practices,” says Ted. “And I’ve never stopped since.” He’s now head coach of the 15-year-olds Amateur Athletic Team, the NYC Jayhawks.

“It’s a big commitment,” Ted admits. Coaching in an all-volunteer and national league means a lot of his own money and energy go into travelling with the team and helping them play their best.

But the hard work and hours spent in the gym pay off when Ted sees the effect he has on his players. It means more than a game to him. “I love working with the kids,” Ted says, “teaching them how to carry themselves, how to play the game the right way and helping them get to the next level.”

Aspiring players come from as far away as Connecticut and South Carolina to play on the team. “But they don’t all come from the best of situations.”

Ted’s got to be ready to help them on and off the court. “I’ve got a player now from Puerto Rico living with me. He wanted to keep playing in our league and play high school ball in New York to try to get a college scholarship. He didn’t have anywhere else to live, so I took him in to help him along.”

“I’m just trying to make things better for everybody, anyway I can.”

Union Stops Pension Stonewalling

With union backing, Elane Marrow finally secured her pension and nearly $50,000 in retro pay.

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Elane Marrow worked as a return clerk at 43rd St. for almost 24 years until an injury left her unable to work.

When she put in for her disability pension, UPS administrators at the pension fund started playing games. They repeatedly rejected reports from her doctors and Social Security, delaying checks from her disability pension for years.

“I was afraid I’d become homeless,” Elane said, “I couldn’t work, so my boyfriend picked up 3 jobs so we could make ends meet.”

When pension plan administrators finally accepted Elane’s medical reports, she was told she’d finally get her first check. Then, they stalled again and told her she wouldn’t receive any checks for months.

That’s when Elane decided to call Local 804 President Tim Sylvester.

“Tim said he’d get right on it, and he did,” says Elane. In a matter of days the problem was solved.

Elane got her pension plus nearly $50,000 in retro payments, including pay for 4½ weeks of vacation she was owed.

“Tim did a fantastic job to help me,” Elane said.

Moving Up to Full-Time

Thanks to Unity at Contract Time

One hundred forty-nine members have bid for full-time jobs under our new contract.

Local 804 members made winning more full-time jobs a priority in our contract. By sticking together, we won a minimum of 150 new full-time jobs by the end of the agreement.

In good news for part-timers, we’ve already surpassed that goal. In less than a year, 149 full-time jobs have been put out to bid.

Combo helper jobs consist of working the preload and then going out as a helper—or going out as a helper and then working on the night sort.

At the end of the progression, these full-time positions will pay $30.64.

Sticking together during our contract fight is paying off.

IB ImageGlad for the Opportunity

“Getting to full-time is a great move for me and a long time coming. I’m grateful for the opportunity and glad to be getting the experience I need to become a package driver.”
Byron Brooks, Mt. Vernon

IB ImageExtra Pay Means a Lot to My Family

“I struggled to put two kids through college as a part-time air-walker. But now the extra hours and extra pay I get in my 22.3 job helps a lot financially. I know others who’ve gone full-time and who love it, too.”
Shanise Boley, 43rd Street

Peak Pays Off for Part-Timers

Both in our contract and at pre-peak meetings, Local 804 put a premium on making sure that peak paid off for part-timers.

Part-timers who bid by seniority to do peak season helper work have preference for this work over helpers hired from the street.

Local 804 members were paid a premium rate of $12.75 an hour to work as helpers, compared to $8 an hour for helpers off the street.

And management could not hold back a seniority employee when a lower seniority part-timer was available to finish the preload assignment.

Whether they were working overtime inside or going out as a helper, peak season paid off for part-timers who got more hours and more pay.

IB Image“Part-timers made real money at peak—whether it was working OT or going out as a helper at premium rate. With the increase in starting pay and opportunities to become full-time through 22.3 jobs or working as a VCD, Local 804 is restoring hope for part-timers.”
Kioma Forero, Maspeth

No Black Friday Blues in Local 804

We are one of the only locals in the country where UPS cannot force members to work on a holiday. On Black Friday, members could work a triple time day or take the time to be with family and friends.

IB Image“It’s a sacrifice, but I decided I wanted to work Black Friday to get the hours and get paid. I made around $1,800 that week. It was interesting to see how the work gets down during such a hectic week and I was proud to help make sure people got their packages.”
Robert Fwilo, 43rd Street, Twi-Night

IB Image“I’m proud our local listened to the drivers and that our contract protects us from being scheduled on a holiday. After all the hard work, I’m glad I could choose to take the day off and be with my family.”
Keith Gary, Maspeth, Package Driver

Congress Takes Aim at Pensions, Social Security

It’s time to put Teamster power to work to protect retirement security for all working families.
The Local 804 Pension Fund is going strong—and we’re improving benefits.
But not everyone enjoys the kind of retirement security we have in Local 804.
Congress ended 2014 by passing legislation that guts federal pension protections that have been in place for decades.
The legislation guts federal pension protections and paves the way for pension cuts for one million retirees and their families.
Your Local 804 pension is absolutely secure. We’ve got over $1 billion in assets and do not fall under the law.
But more than 300,000 Teamster retirees face possible pension cuts.
UPS corporate lobbyists fought for and won a $2 billion loophole in the new pension law. Brown will save billions by shifting the cost for its pension obligations on to the backs of Teamster retirees.
This is corporate greed plain and simple. Teamsters work their whole lives to earn our pensions. Retirees and their families feel betrayed—and they should.
The Teamsters Central States Pension Fund actually lobbied Congress in favor of the cuts to retirees.
When it comes to fighting for retirement security, our Union needs to know what side it’s on.
Local 804 is on the side of defending Teamster pensions and all workers’ retirement security.
With 1.2 million members, our International Union should be helping to steer a national campaign with our natural allies: the AARP, seniors, the Pension Rights Center, other affected unions and prolabor
elected officials.
The IBT doesn’t need to drive this road alone. But we do need to get into gear.