A Message from Local Union 776 President Ed Thompson
Hello, and happy spring! Although the past winter was relatively mild it’s good to see flowers poking up through the ground and the trees showing signs of rebirth!
Lately, there has been much information on our website and the IBT website concerning the ongoing National Contract Negotiations for ABF, TForce Freight, and UPS. In addition to these national contracts, we will also negotiate 13 “Whitepaper” contracts in-house this year. All of these contracts share one thing in common: no matter how large or small, National Agreement or “White Paper” agreement: From meeting the employers head-on, stead-fast in our determination to secure the best contract possible, the same thought and effort go into all of the agreements: to provide you with the best contract possible.
Last fall, with three national contracts on the horizon for this year, the Local Union again took a proactive approach and held a “Strike Preparation Seminar” to educate the members at ABF, TForce, and UPS on the workings of a strike in the event a work stoppage is called. In February of this year with the Americold, and the City of York contracts under negotiation, we held a second Strike Preparation Seminar for members employed at these employers in the event their respective negotiations break down and the possibility of a work stoppage looms. I’m happy to report the City of York Members ratified a new collective bargaining agreement while Americold Members rejected a contract offer. The Local Union will continue to meet with Americold to reach an equitable agreement the members support.
The front page article of the newsletter deals with our Union’s illustrious history; from humble beginnings in the Civil War era to the present day, the Teamsters Union has been a shining beacon for working people. As our country evolved so did our Union, adapting to the changes from a primarily agricultural society to an industrial and technological one. It is important to understand our history, as the slogan on our truck states: “Our history creates our future” With this in mind I would like to reflect on Local 776 for a moment. When my team and I assumed office in 2015 your Local Union was in disarray, like a ship without a rudder adrift at sea. The Business Agents have tirelessly worked to provide you with the representation you deserve. Working through expired contracts, unresolved grievances that were left to languish, and loss of pride in their Local Union from the Members we have turned things around. Contracts are up to date and are timely renegotiated, grievances are routinely processed. The Local is once again admired by other Teamster locals. Members again show pride in their Union by participating in our social functions. I am extremely proud of the way numerous Business Agents have been recognized by the IBT for their dedication and hard work by assuming positions on National and Local Committees and Panels:
Ron Hicks: Local 776 Secretary-Treasurer is the Chairman of the ABF Central PA Negotiating Committee and also a Member of the National Negotiating Committee.
Spencer Dearth Local 776 Business Agent is the TForce Freight Eastern Region Representative for National Negotiations.
Dave Licht: Local 776 Business Agent is the Co-Chair of the Central PA Grievance Committee and the Negotiating Committee and also a member of the UPS National Negotiating Committee. In addition, Dave sits on various UPS National Committees about specific contract articles.
John Taylor: Local 776 Business Agent is Chairman of the Yellow Freight Central Pennsylvania Supplemental Agreement Committee.
Lastly, myself: I was appointed Eastern Region Freight Director prior to the beginning of the National Freight Negotiations.
It’s shaping up to be another busy year at Local 776 but the one constant is that you, the members are part of a successful, financially sound, and united Local Union. We are 100% committed to providing you with the best possible representation you deserve in the workplace.
President, Teamsters Local 776