Doug Bloch is the Political Director at Teamsters Joint Council 7.

Dispatch from the front lines of the Fast Track battle

Ask any of our Teamster members…what happened after NAFTA?  Unequivocally, they would say, American jobs were lost.  There may be some other points made but that is definitely the topline takeaway.

And what’s going to happen if we let the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) pass?  Ten-thousand good union dairy jobs could be lost.  Some of the best jobs in California’s Central Valley.  And many more jobs in industries – both union and non-union — all across California.

Fighting for Respect at Taylor Farms

Food Processing Workers, Teamsters and Community Take Action Against Workers’ Rights Violations and Call for the Reinstatement of Unjustly Fired Workers

When workers express a desire to stand together to improve wages and job conditions, far too often the employer responds with a vicious retaliation campaign. That’s the case at Taylor Farms in Tracy, where the immigrant workforce is being subject to threats, harassment and even firings simply for standing up for their rights. Today, the workers are fighting back.

Teamster members and fired Taylor Farms workers were joined today by community allies, faith leaders and elected officials to launch a one-day Unfair Labor Practice strike to demand respect for workers and the reinstatement of those who were fired unjustly.

Workers Standing Together to Demand Respect at Taylor Farms

Doug Bloch

The ability for workers to stand together to improve working conditions and bargain for fair wages is essential to the American Dream. But at Taylor Farms in Tracy, the bosses are threatening and intimidating workers as part of a campaign to stop those workers from joining a union.

Today, community leaders and workers rallied outside of a Taylor Farms facility this morning to demand respect, living wages and affordable benefits for immigrant workers. Workers were joined by San Joaquin Supervisor Carlos Villapudua and other community allies, including faith leaders and immigrant rights activists.

Legislators Travel to Hanford Express Support for Marquez Brothers Workers

Doug Bloch

Last week, three Assemblymembers traveled to Hanford to meet with Marquez Brothers workers and demonstrate their commitment for California Latinos to realize the American Dream.  Driving over eight hours to get there, Roger Hernandez, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Labor Employment; V. Manny Perez, Vice Chair of California Latino Legislative Caucus, and Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego met firsthand with a standing-room only crowd of Marquez workers.  They carried a letter signed by fourteen members of the Latino Legislative Caucus and the Assembly and Senate Labor committees expressing their strong support for the Marquez workers.

Visalia VWR Employees Vote to Join Teamsters Union

Doug Bloch

On Thursday, February 14th, 68 employees of VWR in Visalia voted affirmatively to join Teamsters Local 948 in an election supervised by the National Labor Relations Board.  The election punctuates a very high profile and controversial move by the company from the Bay Area to Visalia and continues the Teamsters struggle with the company.

VWR, which was founded as a local California company, has grown into a global corporation, reporting more than $4.1 billion in sales for 2011.  The Teamsters have represented VWR employees at their distribution center in Brisbane for over 50 years.  For most of that time, labor-management relations were good.  But when Madison Dearborn, a Chicago-based private equity firm, bought the company in 2007 things quickly changed.