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926

Falsehoods from an "official publication"

This is the account of the PPAP Teamster 926 strike as printed in The Teamster Industrial Trades News, I don't know the source of the information, but it would seem most likely that it came from Charlie Brynes. The publication is either sloppy in its journalism or someone at the local level is distorting the facts.

"The new contract is a victory for our members", said Charlie Byrnes.

As of April 23, 2006, the Parking Authority Employees do not have a contract. The union sent the employees back to work unconditionally without any union representatives making an offical statement . This followed an earlier vote by the parking authority employees to only return to work under the old contract or under the same contract negotiated for the airport parking attendants.

In reality, there was no 'victory' as Central Parking employees have been locked out permanently. Alco Parking employees crossed the line only to work for the highest parking wages in the city at $13.31/hr plus owner Merrill Stabile's blessing to join any union not represented by Charlie Byrnes.

The exact number of union members lost is not known, but a good estimate would be about 150 Alco employees and at least 10-15 Central Parking employees.

"We succeeded in getting an agreement that achieved what we were after - protecting employees from outlandish health care increases"......"workers will pay a percentage of their wages toward health insurance, instead of a percentage of the insurance premium. That comes out to about $16 a month , instead of $100."

Currently, the union is attempting to 'save' the company money by offering the MATRIX plan to the workers. This would save the company enough to give a modest wage increase and a few dollars added each week to the pension plan. Unfortunately, the plan will actually cost workers more if they are hospitalized since there would now be deductibles. The proposal is for a 90-10 Matrix plan which is inferior to the current plan which has no deductibles and a more modest co-pay for doctor's visits and prescriptions.

The strike was certainly a failure. Local politicians made their cameo at the 'last stand', union leaders made it look like they were concerned, and too many of the rank and file crossed the line. The loyal teamsters who did not cross were rewarded with lost wages and blamed by Charlie Byrnes for not 'doing enough'.

The union currently has very little clout when it comes to collective bargaining. The primary mission of the union is to sign up as many dues paying members as possible and maintain the illusion that they are the representative for the worker. Many of the old tactics of intimidation no longer work. The older leaders are computer illiterate and are out of touch and unsympathetic with the worker.

The parking authority continues basically as an unmonitored government authority. Cutbacks are made to union positions while administrative salaries are used as political rewards. The Parking Authority Board of Directors are politically appointed as well.