News and Updates

Americold: Progress in Action

Working together for the future contract.

With the first round of Americold negotiations in conclusion, President Perrier and Business Agents Andrew Reddell, Bobby Jach, Dan Williams, and Aldo Trevino took time this week to connect with affected employees, briefing our Brothers and Sisters about the proceedings.

The group toured the main facility and listened to workers between shifts, stressing the importance of solidarity and increased activity.

Our current bargaining agreement with Americold is slated to expire on February 18th. More updates will follow shortly on those efforts.

The Problem with Peloton

It’s not just about UPS Feeders. It’s about every motorist on the road.

Peloton Platooning technology is an electronic tethering concept United Parcel Service and other trucking transportation companies have expressed intent upon incorporating in the future. If you’re unfamiliar, take a look at Peloton’s promo video below.

“UPS wants to implement this plan to save fuel,” says Teamsters Local Union 767 President Brian Perrier, “but it’s really just one step closer to driverless trucks.”

Peloton’s top investors readily agree. Intel Capital’s Automated Driving Divison Vice President, Kathy Winter, characterizes Peloton’s technology as “a key element on the path to fully autonomous driving,” while Omnitracs CEO, John Graham, claims, “We want to expand the possibilities of truck automation on the nation’s highways.” Not surprising, United Parcel Service has invested many millions of dollars into Peloton.

Highway safety and labor advocates in Texas have pointed toward legislation that is prohibitive of Peloton’s program. The Texas AFL-CIO and the Teamsters have taken the position this legislative language must remain unchanged by UPS’s lobbyists in order to further protect the lives of all motorists.

Safety is always the most important factor. UPS Feeder Drivers and Teamsters 767 Business Agents Bobby Jach and Andrew Reddell have reviewed the specs associated with the Peloton plan: “This goes against everything UPS drivers are trained to do. The following distance maintained during platooning is unsafe.” Jach, a UPS Circle of Honor driver agrees, “It’s incredibly dangerous, but that’s just the beginning of the problems we foresee with Peloton.”

At the Teamsters Local 767 General Membership meeting over the weekend, many truck drivers expressed concern about existing issues with other Wingman (Bendix) technology already in use. UPS Driver James Pushala explained, “With the technology these tractors have, if somebody gets too close or cuts you off, it doesn’t slow down nice and easy. It actually jams on the brake, noses over, and you noticeably feel it. It’s not safe. Peloton will not work.” Other senior drivers quickly added, “It’ll throw your co-driver out of the bunk,” and, “It’s a big safety issue. No warnings whatsoever.”

With drivers already battling against the current, less-automated systems that frequently malfunction and cause other concerns, we cannot allow UPS and other companies to create an even more hazardous environment on our Texas highways.

If you’re a 767 Feeder Driver, we’d like to hear about your experiences using the current Wingman (Bendix) system: (a) Have you driven one of these tractors?; (b) Have you experienced a malfunction? Please email your responses to: along with your name and phone number.

Thank you, Dr. King.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., dedicated his life to defending the dignity and equality of all mankind. Shining a light to create paths for others, King actively supported and promoted the plight of labor workers. He encouraged them to stand together and demand what was fair and just.

Today, we mourn the loss of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life while simultaneously honoring his willingness to make every sacrifice to empower others. We celebrate the indisputable contributions King granted to each and every American labor worker, relentlessly having fought for socially just conditions for all.

This is your house.

Join us January 26, 2019, at 10am for the first General Membership Meeting of the year. The newly elected Executive Board of Officers will be officially sworn into office at that time. If you’re a steward, a special meeting will take place at 8:30am prior to the GM Meeting, and Americold employees are encouraged to stay for an important contract negotiation discussion after the GM Meeting. It’s going to be a busy one, so put it on your calendars and spread the word, Teamsters.

This week was full of lots of shop visits to areas far and wide. If you haven’t seen the team on your shift yet, never fear. You will. They’ve been in the buildings and are making the rounds–all while meeting with labor managers and heavily discussing upcoming legislative matters that affect labor workers. Additionally, agents have been focusing a lot of attention to the quickly approaching Americold negotiations and gearing up to support our Brothers and Sisters in those facilities.

Member Appreciation

House of Blues Ticket Giveaway: Congrats to today’s surprise winners. Watch to see whose names were drawn, Teamsters! (We used the members’ names who interacted with our post on Facebook this week; thank you, Brothers and Sisters.)

Pssssst: Brothers Bryan Locke and Ty Forsman, enjoy your 16 tickets to 4 shows EACH. Stop by the hall to pick them up or give us a call, and we’ll put them in the mail for you. Hurry, hurry, though. The first show of the four dates is tonight! Give us a holler at (817) 429-9863, ext. 100.