Teamsters: Seattle Drivers Win a Voice with Historic City Council Vote

Thousands of Drivers in Seattle’s for-hire Industry Win Collective Bargaining Rights

Drivers in Seattle’s for-hire industry won the right to collectively bargain over their wages and working conditions through an initiative passed by the City Council today. The Mike O’Brien-sponsored bill will now move to the mayor’s desk for his signature.

Drivers and community supporters celebrated the bill’s passage, calling it a turning point toward greater protections for workers in a changing economic landscape. 

“By giving us rights, this law will help all of the drivers and also help our communities,” said Peter Kuel, an Uber driver and member of the leadership council of the App-Based Drivers Association.

Under the proposal, drivers would have the ability to come together to choose a nonprofit organization to represent them. Once authorized, the organization could engage in collective bargaining on the drivers’ behalf. The new law would apply to all taxi drivers, for-hire drivers and drivers for app-based dispatch companies, such as Uber and Lyft. 

Over the past several months, for-hire drivers have become increasingly vocal about the need for change in the industry.

“Since I started driving for Uber, Uber has cut our pay without notice, terminated drivers without giving a reason and blocked our efforts to improve our working conditions. We’re looking for fairness and the ability to earn a living wage,” Kuel said.

Taxicab operators also expressed their support of the proposal. 

“As a cab driver, making a living has become really hard,” said Aamar Kahn, who drives a wheelchair accessible taxi for Yellow Cab. “All we are asking for is a level playing field and that can’t happen until drivers have the right to speak up.”

Because of their disputed status as independent contractors, for-hire drivers don’t have the ability to unionize through a traditional National Labor Relations Board election process, and they aren’t covered under Seattle’s wage theft, sick leave or new $15 an hour minimum wage law.

To address these inequities, drivers approached Teamsters Local 117 for assistance in getting organized. Taxi drivers formed the Western Washington Taxicab Operators Association in 2012. In 2013, drivers for app-based dispatch companies formed the App-Based Drivers Association. Both organizations work closely with Teamsters Local 117 to ensure that drivers are treated fairly. 

“I want to congratulate drivers on winning a major victory today,” said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117. “All workers, no matter where they work or the nature of their work, deserve the opportunity to have a voice. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights identifies the right of workers to bargain collectively as a fundamental human right. Now these workers have that right.” 

While both Uber and Lyft have indicated they may challenge the drivers’ right to have a voice in the courts, drivers were undeterred. 

“This bill means a lot to us drivers,” said Fasil Teka of the App-Based Drivers Association. “It can have a positive impact, not just for drivers in Seattle, but for independent contractors across the country.”



Teamsters Launch AD Campaign in Quebec

News_Bouteille brune_EN


Employees at Cardinal Courier Ratify New Deal

Employees at London’s Cardinal Courier location have ratified a new 2-year deal.

Drivers received a $1.35 and warehouse employees a $190 per hour increase, retro’d back to March 2015 over the next 2 years. Besides increases in their hourly pay, they also saw improvements to their vacation time off, work boot and uniform allowance.


Niagara Falls Community Outreach

On Tuesday December 8th, a donation presentation from the Teamsters Local 879 was made to the Niagara Falls Community Outreach in support of their Soup Kitchen. Members of the 879 Executive board presented them with a cheque for $10,000.00.

Each year, they collect donations from members and companies they do business with and donate it to a local charity in southern Ontario. This year, NFCO were the recipients.

Here is a list of the organizations that contributed:

Link Line Contractors Inc
Curran Contractors
Leith Wheeler Investment
BPA Consulting Group
Ontario Teamsters Benefit Plan Trust Fund
Lafarge Canada
McMahon Morrison Watts LLP
United Plastic Component
LiUNA Local 1059
TST Overland
Banister Pipelines
Wolverine Freight Systems
Teamsters Golf Fund
UPS Canada
London District Building & Construction Council
Hutton Transport
Teamsters Joint Council No. 52
Teamsters Canada

We were overwhelmed on Tuesday when members of the Teamsters Local 879 executive arrived with a substantial donation to Niagara Falls Community Outreach in support of our Soup Kitchen.

It is donations like this that helps use ensure we can continue to feed nutritious meals to those in need.  Thank you very, very much.

Attached is the photo that was taken during the presentation.

We have also posted this on our Facebook page:

Copies of this photo along with a description are also being sent to the Niagara Falls Review, The Bullet News and Niagara This Week.

Thank you again.

The Teamsters and their partners are greatly appreciated.

Steve Hardaker

Property Manager

Board Member

From left to right: John McCann, President, Elaine Upper, Jim Chalmers, Treasurer, Marty Taylor, Recording Secretary, Brenda Saalmans



Teamsters Statement on San Bernardino County Shooting



Holiday Office Hours

Office hours


Hyundai Employees choose Teamsters

The employees of Hyundai of Oakville today voted in Teamsters Local Union #879. The vote was 16 to 4 in favour of the union.

“We just want a safer place to work. Some of the equipment is old and needs to be replaced. The company just wasn’t listening to our concerns. Simple things like better heaters in the bays. Equipment that works. We don’t want injuries.”

Of course, when it comes to Teamsters, we don’t take safety lightly.

Welcome to the 879 family.


TOWC Invitation

TOWC Invitation London 2015_001


Farewell to America’s Middle Class: Unions are Basically Dead

Very interesting read below:


October Ratifications

Below are the groups that ratified new agreements in the month of October.

  • Hutton Transport
  • UPS Canada


UPS – Official Voting Results

Attached is the official notice from Teamsters Canada re: UPS voting results.

UPS Voting Results

News_UPS tentative agreement Ratified_EN


Job Fair

Teamsters Local Union #879 is holding a job fair on October 31st, 2015 from 9 am to 1 pm at the Thorold Hall.

Please have a look at the attachment for all the details.

Job Fair Ad St. Catharines


UPS Results of Vote

I would like to inform the membership working for UPS that unofficially the UPS contract has been ratified by an 80 percent acceptance.

We are waiting for the independent auditor to give official confirmation. An official document will be produced and distributed on October 22nd to all Principal Officers of each Local.

Thanks to all the members for their patience and to the entire negotiations committee for a job well done.


Annual Bowling Tournament

Our Annual “Bragging Rights” Bowling Tournament was held this past Saturday October 17, 2015.

There was a valiant effort by our Teamsters Union Local 879 TEAM, best team we have ever had. We gave the defending Local 938 Champs a good run, they were nervous. All in good fun though, Teamsters Local 938 hangs on to the title and once again has “Bragging Rights” for another year.

Teamsters Local 879 had a great team this year and are looking forward to next year and another challenge. Despite coming in second place for the tournament the Local 879 cleaned house in door prizes and the 50/50 draw. That being said, no one went home empty handed.

We had an excellent fun filled night, with good food and Great company. A fantastic time was had by all and we are already planning our event for next year.

Huge thanks to Ontario Teamster Union Locals that supported our event once again by sponsoring teams and donating door prizes.

Lenna Phenix,

President Teamsters Ontario Women’s Caucus

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A-1 Driver Trainers Say “YES” to Teamsters

On October the 14th, 2015 a vote was conducted by the Ontario Labour Relations Board for the employees at A-1 Driver Training Inc (under Young Drivers of Canada) as to whether or not they wanted to be represented by Teamsters Local Union #879.

By an overwhelming margin, the employees voted “yes” to have Local #879 represent them in bargaining.

Welcome to all the new members.





An electronic vote will be held to ratify the new collective agreement.

The union has retained the services of an independent firm specialized in such votes and of an independent auditor to insure the reliability of the results.

Your voting instructions and information on the agreement in principle will be mailed Monday October 5th from Ottawa. This package will contain your unique Personal Information Number (PIN) that will allow you to vote. This PIN must not be shared with anyone. A helpline in both French and English will be available weekdays, except on October 12th, from 9am to 6pm EDT at 1–‐888–‐281–‐8683 (toll free).

Because of Canada Post’s delays you should wait until October 14th before inquiring about your package if you have not received it yet. Simply call the helpline and identify yourself with your name, address and Social Insurance Number and they will provide you with a NEW PIN. You may vote by phone or by internet.

Voting will be open from Wednesday, October 7th at 9 a.m. EDT to Wednesday October 21st at 6pm EDT. The results will be known shortly thereafter.

Your negotiating committee


September Ratifications

Below are the groups that ratified new agreements in the month of September.

  • Fort Erie Bridge Commission
  • Dynamex


Sid Ryan’s Decision not to Run

Dear Brothers and sisters,

I wanted to share with you my open letter to union members across the province.

My letter was published on the Toronto Star website and also ran in the Hamilton Spectator. You can read in the full text of my letter below that I have made the decision not to run for a fourth term as OFL President. However, I wanted to take the time to personally thank you for being dedicated to the labour and social justice movements.

There is no doubt that together our movements have launched many impressive campaigns and accomplished many great things together. However, there is one last major battle that I hope we can win before I leave office and that is to see Tom Mulcair elected as Canada’s first NDP Prime Minister on October 19.

I look forward to continuing to work with all of you to fight for the Ontario – indeed the Canada – we want.

In solidarity,


Sid Ryan,

President, Ontario Federation of Labour

Sid Ryan-Letter


Local #879 Annual Golf Tournament

Local 879 held their annual golf tournament at the Ingersoll Golf Club on August 22nd. The weather was beautiful and over 100 members and friends had a great day of golf and a lot of laughs.

Local 879 would also like to give a big thanks to the ladies of the Ontario TeamstersWomen’s Caucus, Lenna, Lavinia, Yolande, Denise, Gerri, Manju, Marilyn and of course, Judy, for coming out and helping with the registration and putting contest, we couldn’t do it without you ladies!!

The winning foursome with a 15 under par was Shawn Garrett, Rob Kennette, Dylan Vickers and Charles Vickers, congratulations!!

Again, the staff at Ingersoll Golf Club did an amazing job with the food and the hospitality.

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Tentative deal with UPS

Notice to all UPS members,

A tentative deal with UPS has been reached and it is imperative that everyone makes sure that their current address is available to their local union to assure they will receive voting instructions for the online vote.

Information of the offer will be made available once dates are set for local meetings.


TOWC’s Meet & Greet

Hi Everyone 

Now that Summer is slowly hanging its head for the season and as Fall approaches the Teamsters Ontario Women’s Caucus is looking forward to another year of reaching out to the women of OUR Union to connect, share and inform.   

We hope you can join us on September 26, 2015 for Brunch.  We would love to see you.  We are also in the process of inviting a special guest to join us.  Brunch will be free and we will have some giveaways as well as a door prize.   

Your invitation is attached.  If you have any questions or ideas please feel free to contact me. 

Please RSVP so that we know how many to count of for Brunch. 

You can either text me at 519-784-7887 or respond to this email. 

Hope to see you there. 

Lenna Phenix


Teamsters Ontario Women’s Caucus

TOWC MG September 26 2015


Sarnia Labour Day Parade

The 113th annual Sarnia Labour Day Parade was held on Monday from the corner of Wellington and Christina streets. The annual parade attracts 50 or more entries, including large contingents from union locals in the community, and travels down Front Street to Centennial Park.

Teamsters Local union #879 was there in full force to show our colours. High fives to Business Representative Marty Taylor, Dan DiGiovanni and Lenna Phenix from the Executive Board for helping out. A special thanks to all the members that showed up to march and help hand out the goodies for the kids.
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UPS Negotiations – UPDATE (August)

UPS Negotiation Update Aug 26 2015


Workplace Injuries in a Non-Union Environment


A project manager who oversaw a construction crew involved in a fatal scaffolding collapse in 2009 was convicted Friday in the deaths of four workers under his charge.

An Ontario Superior Court judge found Vadim Kazenelson guilty of four counts of criminal negligence causing death and one count of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

Kazenelson was aware that fall protections were not in place, but he nevertheless allowed his workers to board the swing stage, the judge said.

“In his failure to act, he showed wanton and reckless disregard,” Judge Ian MacDonnell said.

Kazenelson sat quietly as his judgment was delivered. Family members of the victims gave each other sombre high-fives and pats on the back as they left the courtroom Friday.

The crew was 13 storeys up when the stage split in two on Christmas Eve in 2009. Kazenelson managed to hold onto a 13th-floor balcony but five men plummeted to the ground. Four died and one suffered serious injuries, while another worker — the only one properly secured to a safety lifeline — was left suspended in mid-air.

That worker, Shohruh Tojiddinov, testified Kazenelson didn’t insist crew members be attached to lifelines.

He also said Kazenelson asked him to lie about the incident afterward.

Alesandrs Bondarevs, Aleksey Blumberg, Vladamir Korostin and site supervisor Fayzullo Fazilov fell 13 floors to their deaths. The men ranged from 25 to 40 years old and were from Lativa, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.

The construction company involved in the case, Metron Construction Corp., pleaded to criminal negligence causing death and was eventually fined $750,000 plus a victim surcharge — the first time in Ontario that the Criminal Code had been used to hold a company responsible for a worker’s death.

The company that supplied the swing stage, Ottawa-based Swing N Scaff Inc., was fined $350,000 for failing to ensure the platform was in good condition.


August Ratifications

Below are the groups that ratified new agreements in the month of August.

  • CBM Windsor
  • Lafarge Windsor


James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund

Teamsters Local Union #879 is proud to announce that Sara Salmon, a relative of member Steven MacDonald, has been selected as a $10,000.00, James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship recipient.

Daniel Crawford, a relative of member Wesley Crawford, has been selected as a $1,000.00 James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship recipient in the 2015-2016 scholarship for high school seniors.

Congratulations to both Sara and Daniel on your achievements.


Wrong Addresses/Scholarship Recipient

To all members of Teamsters Local Union #879.

Attached below is a letter from the IBT encouraging all members to please double check with the local office that your correct addresses are on file so that you can be assured of receiving information and a ballot in the mail to elect the next General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Also attached is a letter, re: the IBT scholarship program highlighting that a $10K scholarship recipient is from our local. The membership, staff and executive board wish to congratulate Saudiee on being awarded a $10K scholarship.

Mailing address-Scholarship recipient

Correct Address


Organizing News Update:

Just an update on the world in organizing at Local #879, the Federal Labour Relations Board has certified that our local is the bargaining agent for the drivers at Express Driver Services and Attridge Coach Lines.

I would like to thank Fitos Vritsios and John Hull from Teamsters Canada for their help in both campaigns. Thanks for the team work guys.

I would like to welcome all the new members into our 879 family.

Welcome aboard.

Jim Killey

Membership Development Coordinator


Remembering James R. Hoffa

July 30, 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the disappearance of one of the greatest labor leaders in American history – James R. Hoffa.

As Teamsters General President, Hoffa honed his well-earned reputation as a tough and effective bargainer and gained the respect of labor and business leaders alike across the country. He worked hard to expand the number of working men and women who were protected by union contracts and under his leadership, the union’s membership rose to include more than 2 million workers.

Hoffa’s crowning achievement was the 1964 National Master Freight Agreement, which united more than 400,000 over-the-road drivers under one contract. This contract, a feat that had been declared virtually impossible by many, lifted more workers out of poverty and into the middle class than any other single event in labor history.

Former Congressman Elmer Holland (D-PA) once said that, “Jimmy Hoffa has put more bread and butter on the tables for American kids than all his detractors put together.”

Hoffa was devoted to his union and to his family. He gave his life while fighting to remove corrupt elements from the union and return power to the members.

On this tragic anniversary, Teamster members and retirees from across North America join together in honoring the man who forever improved the lives of millions of workers and their families.

The Teamsters Union recognizes the Hoffa family for their sacrifice and devotion to this great union – they lost more than a leader, they lost a father and grandfather.

Remembering Hoffa


Labour Day Parade Sarnia

Labour Day parade Sarnia

Sarnia Labour Day Parade


Teamsters Local 879 Sponsors MAA

Josh Rich’s Pro Fight – Dan Breault. Dan Breault was happy with union support as you can see when he displayed the Teamster Logo at the MAA match.

Picture 1 Picture 2


UPS Negotiations

The first set of negotiations with UPS went well with IBT General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall stopping by to have breakfast and a pep talk with the committee.

879 Trustee, Chief Steward and UPS package driver Darren Hogan found an opportunity to grab a moment with Ken to take a picture.

Darren Hogan


Nartech Retirement

Local 879 would like to congratulate Tyrone Reinhart and Kori Emmerson on their retirement from Nartech Metal Products in Guelph.

Secretary Treasurer Jim Chalmers is pictured presenting Ty and Kori with their retirement jackets.

Congratulations and good luck!!!

Nartech retirement


Teamsters Local 879 Golf Tournament

Golf Tournament-2015


Bonduelle Foods Members Ratify New Agreement

A recommended ratification meeting was called for the members at Bonduelle Foods in Ingersol last week. The membership accepted the 3 year offer by 85%.

Business Representative Marty Taylor set that the offer was all gains with no losses to the new 3 year deal.


General Membership Summer Schedule

Membership meeting notice


Central Taxi Niagara Drivers Secure First Contract

After a long set of negotiations and a visit to the Labour Board, an arbitrator has ruled on a collective agreement for the taxi drivers of Central Taxi in the Niagara region.

It is a 4 year agreement that will put conditions in place that the drivers were hoping for with a secure financial package and all the guarantees that a collective agreement brings to the workers.

When the decision from the Arbitrator came in, David Andrews chief steward at Central Taxi said, “we are pleased to have this agreement ratified and thrilled to finally be members of Teamsters Local Union #879.”

Congratulations to all the drivers at Central Taxi and especially to chief stewards, Corrina Kelly, Simon Schneider and David Andrews for all their hard work in the negotiation process.


Connell Transport Members Ratify New Agreement

Connell Transport members ratified their offer on May 03/15 by 100% in favour. The new contract moves them into the Master “B” benefit plan from Master “A” on ratification. An incentive Safety and performance bonus also comes into effect on ratification which will pay up to 2.5% of the drivers gross annual wages each year. Wage increases of $0.35 are due in the first pay period of May, 2017, 2018 and 2019.


Cooney Transport Members Ratify New Agreement

The Cooney Transport Ltd. contract offer was ratified by the members on Saturday May 02/15 by 90%. There were improvements in language and benefits with a $0.30 increase in wages due May 17, 2015 and additional increases of $0.30 due in the first pay period of May/16 and May/17.


Thanks for the Support

Below is a thank you from Brother Al McCann who ran this years Boston Marathon.

President McCann,

Just wanted to say thank-you to Teamsters Local 879 for the support on my run at the 2015  Boston Marathon. The marathon was great.  I was able to successfully complete the marathon.

Thanks again

AL McCann

Boston Marathon


Brother Bird retires from UPS

Brother Robin Bird announced his retirement from UPS after 27 years driving for Big Brown. Robin drove out of the Mississauga centre before transferring to the Stoney Creek facility in 2005.

Happy retirement Robin. Time to coach some hockey.

Robin Bird 1

Robin with Chief Steward Jason Ross

Robin Bird 2

Jason Ross (Steward), Robin, Chris Boucher (On Car Supervisor) and Centre Manager Mike Pressey

Robin Bird 3

President McCann and Secretary Treasurer Chalmers present Robin with his retirement jacket


Niagara Day of Mourning Ceremonies

April 28th, 2015

DOM15_HAM_Niagara Regional

DOM Schedule


Bill C-377

The Anti-Union Bill is Back

The anti-union Bill C-377 is up for review at a Senate committee next week.

Canadians should be made aware that Bill C-377 is a competition issue, not a national public policy issue. Canadian tax payers will be footing the bill for the design, start-up, maintenance, and monitoring costs that the CRA will incur for this reporting.

The Canadian Labour Congress has estimated that setting up this system will cost Canadian taxpayers between $32-million & $45-million dollars per year.

And for whose benefit?


Today in History

Interesting Fact

Today in history (1930), 17 year old Jimmy Hoffa leads Kroger job action, refusing 2 unload produce.

1930 Hoffa


Shell Oil Celebrates a Retiree

Business Agent Danny Mitchell was at Shell oil in Burlington to join the members in celebrating George Deboer’s retirement day. George was a 31 year member and was awarded his retirement jacket.

George Deboer-Shell Oil


Retirement Celebration for YRC Driver

John Bigger (pictured below) attended the General Membership meeting in March to announce his retirement from YRC. John is a 34 year Teamster and did not only receive his retirement jacket but was given a standing ovation. With John were some of the Local’s Executive board.

Also congratulating John is his Business Agent Danny Mitchell.

John Bigger-retirement Bigger-Mitchell


March Ratifications

Below are the groups that ratified new agreements in the month of March.

  • Essex Terminal Railway
  • Port Burwell Firefighters


Brother Laporte Becomes New Teamsters Canada President

Based on the results received, François Laporte of Local Union 106 has been elected president of Teamsters Canada, replacing Robert Bouvier, who held the position for the last 15 years.

François Laporte joined the Teamsters in 1985, first with local 1999 and Joint Council 91, and went on to hold different positions including Communication Specialist, Organizer, Director of Government Affairs and Union Representative. At the regional level, he gained comprehensive union experience while sitting on the Executive Board of Teamsters Local Unions 931, 1998 and 106, and while serving as Union Representative for Peerless Clothing employees.

He was also actively involved in the recruitment of workers from Arcon Canada, Purolator and UPS. He also led the unionization of 2,500 employees at Peerless Clothing and was instrumental in seeing 10,000 rail workers swell the ranks of the Teamsters. Since 2000, Mr. Laporte has served as the Assistant to the President of Teamsters Canada.

“I look forward to taking up this new and exciting challenge,” said François Laporte. “The Teamsters Union is a powerful organization that will continue to have a positive impact on its members and all Canadian workers.”

Some 115,000 ballots were mailed on February 16 and members had until March 18 to vote.

“Democracy has spoken,” said outgoing President Robert Bouvier. “I’m confident that brother Laporte will take our organization to new heights.”

The union leader will step down in May after a long and successful labour career spanning four decades.

Robert Bouvier worked for Labatt Brewery in Montreal before joining Local Union 1999 as a business agent. He later became its secretary-treasurer and was elected president of Teamsters Canada by acclamation in 2000.

The election of the new president was held under the supervision of Collins Barrow LLP, who will confirm the details of the results very soon.

President Laporte


Ryder Drivers Join Teamsters



Right-to-Work in Wisconsin

Gov. Scott Walker Signs Destructive Bill into Law, Furthers Right-Wing, Special Interest Agenda

The following is the official statement from Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa on Wisconsin becoming a right-to-work state.

“Today, Gov. Scott Walker ignored the will of Wisconsin’s working families, signing a right-to-work bill into law that was fast tracked through the state legislature.

“As we all know, right-to-work laws are designed to do one thing and one thing only – attack working families and the middle class by weakening their strongest advocate, labor unions. Their goal is to weaken bargaining rights, drive down wages and benefits and roll back rights on the job.

“Wisconsin is now the 25th state to adopt right-to-work laws as politicians like Walker push forward the agenda of their right-wing task masters. The Koch brothers, through Americans for Prosperity and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have poured millions of dollars into states across the country to push right-to-work legislation.

“These corporate interests will not stop in Wisconsin – they continue to attack working families, moving from state to state. We must remain strong and fight them wherever right-to-work legislation is introduced.

“I make this pledge to you – the Teamsters Union will not stand on the sidelines – we will fight right-to-work wherever it is introduced and protect working families.”

Right to Work


Did you receive your ballot yet?

Have you received your ballot to vote for the next Teamsters Canada President?

If not, call 1-844-768-7546 or email


Hoffa: Presidential Veto of Keystone hurts Middle Class

Keystone XL could create thousands of jobs



Teamsters Protest Labatt Beer



Vote for Teamsters Canada President

Please read the pdf file below for information on ballots for the next President of Teamsters Canada.

Vote for President


VIP Certificate for Union Rewards