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Today’s Teamster News For February 8, 2016

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TEAMSTERS

Contra Costa County Workers Join Teamsters Union  Teamster.org  …More than 1,500 Contra Costa County, Calif., workers joined Teamsters Local 856 in a landslide vote on Thursday. Eighty-five percent of workers in the health services, general maintenance, and licensed vocational nurse/aide units who cast ballots chose Teamster representation. More than two-thirds of eligible employees participated in the election…

Phoenix Teamsters Extend Unfair Labor Practice Strike to Southern California  Teamster.org  … Teamsters Local 104 extended unfair labor practice picket lines from Phoenix to US Foods facilities across southern California, affecting the nation’s second-largest foodservice provider’s Corona, La Mirada and Vista, Calif.,operations. The strike began Thursday in Phoenix, where more than 200 US Foods warehouse workers, drivers and mechanics who have been working without a contract…

Arizona Teamsters on strike against US Foods  Tucson News Now  …Arizona Teamsters who drive for US foods are on strike. US Foods is a service company that delivers food, cleaning supplies and other items to its clients. The strike started Thursday afternoon. Twenty two drivers are on strike in Tucson, and another 200 are on the picket lines in Phoenix…  

Hall: ‘Our Fight in West Virginia Is Not Over’  Teamster.org  …Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer and Local 175 President Ken Hall on the passage of right to work in both chambers of the West Virginia Legislature: “West Virginians know better than to support the ruse of so-called right to work. They know it doesn’t create jobs or bring in business. It lowers our standard of living and hurts working families”…

BLET petitions FRA for immediate halt to LEADER, Trip Optimizer technology  BLE-T.org  …The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) has asked the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for an emergency order that would immediately prohibit the carrier-mandated use of Locomotive Engineer Assist/Display & Event Recorder (LEADER) and Trip Optimizer technologies. The BLET contends that the mandated use of these electronic devices creates unsafe distractions for locomotive engineers…

Pa. Turnpike reaches agreement with unionized workers  Post-Gazette  …After more than four years of negotiations, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has reached agreement on a new contract for about 1,100 unionized maintenance, toll collection and administrative employees. Teamsters Local 250 in Pittsburgh represents maintenance and toll collection workers in the western part of the state and Teamsters Local 77 in Philadelphia represents those workers in the eastern part of the state… 

Jewel-Osco Management Forcing Pharmacists to Pay More Than Other Employees for Same Health Care  Local 710  …Jewel-Osco management has been secretly forcing Teamsters Local 727-represented pharmacists to pay more than other employees for the same health insurance, the union recently learned. “Our members are paying radically higher premiums for the exact same health and welfare coverage that other Jewel-Osco employees enjoy,” said John T. Coli, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 727…

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Ivory Coast: State oil company workers extend strike  AfricaNews  …Workers at Ivory Coast’s state oil company, Petroci, are extending their strike as they seek to bring in employees from other companies in the sector to join the ongoing protests. The workers are protesting against the wave of recent layoffs by the company’s management. At least 50 out of 600 employees were dismissed last month…

India: January salary paid, Delhi sanitation workers end strike  Business Standard  …The employees of three civic bodies agreed to call off their strike and will resume work after the intervention of the Delhi High Court. A Division Bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath asked the civic workers to call off the strike as they had been paid the January salary. The issue of arrears will be taken up on Wednesday…

Israel: Municipal Workers Set to Strike Tuesday Night  Hamodia  …With no progress reported in negotiations, municipal workers across the country were preparing to go out on strike Tuesday at midnight, Arutz Sheva reported. The strike, involving some 100,000 people employed by Israel’s local authorities, will shut down all services provided by them, including educational institutions and planning and construction committees. Special Education Workers will be exempted from the strike…

City of Toronto workers closer to strike or lockout after ‘no board’ reports  The Star  …More than 28,000 unionized City of Toronto workers, including many trash collectors, could be off the job in just over two weeks if union and city negotiators can’t agree on new contracts. The provincial labour ministry issued “no board” reports Thursday confirming talks are at an impasse. The reports put CUPE Local 416 “outside” workers in a legal strike position…

Trans-Pacific Partnership hides significant health costs, according to two new studies  Canadian Progressive  …As Canada prepares to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in New Zealand this week, two new studies from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) reveal significant risks and high public costs to the Canadian health care system within the text of the agreement. The TPP would require Canada to extend patent terms to compensate brand-name pharmaceutical firms for regulatory delays in approving drugs… 

European Parliament backs global services trade pact  Politico  …The European Parliament voted Wednesday to endorse a trade pact between the bloc and 22 countries on services from e-commerce to banking, though it set some demands including protection of governments’ right to regulate. A resolution in favor of the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), which the EU is negotiating with the U.S., Canada, Australia, Chile, Turkey and others, was backed by 532 lawmakers…

EU faces tough sell on TTIP compromise  Politico  …After months of talking up a “compromise” to push the stalled EU-U.S. trade deal forward and appease critics on the left, Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström now faces a more difficult test: convincing her negotiating partner in Washington. Malmström’s ambitious pitch in September to reform the deal’s most controversial aspect — an arbitration system that allows investors to potentially sue governments over regulations they dislike — seemed to quell critics… 

Congress Must Kill the Trans Pacific Partnership  (opinion) Counterpunch  …Trade is good, but “free trade” doesn’t work for farmers or workers or most everyone else. Free trade does, however, work spectacularly well for corporations who have over 600 advisers to the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations — we have no access to the negotiations, corporations have plenty. In farm country we are told these trade deals will allow us to export more goods and in so doing, increase our profits…

Making Decent Work at Pakistan Brick Kilns a Reality  Solidarity Center  …In Pakistan, where many workers and their children toil in dangerous brick kilns, the Solidarity Center, together with allies in the country, has developed a detailed roadmap for local labor departments to address bonded labor and unsafe working conditions—a program that includes incentives for employers to ensure their facilities meet decent work standards…

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Kentucky Prevailing Wage Bill Struck Down in House  State-Journal  …Sen. Wil Schroder (R-Wilder) has sponsored a prevailing wage bill for two years and he’s prepared to do so again next year as a House committee struck down the bill again Thursday. The bill would have exempted schools from paying construction workers the average benefits and wages on construction projects of $250,000 or more for educational facilities…

Gov.’s promise to veto right-to-work bill faces override  Daily Telegraph  …Senate President Bill Cole, lead sponsor of the bill to make West Virginia a right-to-work state, said Friday, he’s certain Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s veto promise will have an equal and opposite reaction. Override. “While I’m not surprised that Gov. Tomblin plans to veto both the West Virginia Workplace Freedom Act and the bill to repeal the prevailing wage rate, I fully respect his right to do so,” Cole said. “The Senate will vote to override the governor’s vetoes at the appropriate time”…

New evidence that voter ID laws ‘skew democracy’ in favor of white Republicans  Washington Post  …Voter fraud is, for all intents and purposes, practically nonexistent. The best available research on the topic, by Loyola Law School professor Justin Levitt, found only 31 credible incidents of voter impersonation in an investigation of over 1 billion votes cast. But that hasn’t dampened Republican efforts to pass a spate of strict voter ID laws since 2008… 

Senate Democrats shift course, calling for 3 minimum wage rates  Oregon Live  …Abruptly changing course on the legislative session’s signature issue, Senate Democrats put forth a minimum wage plan Thursday that offers  smaller raises to rural Oregonians while edging rates in Portland closer to $15. The shift took the Capitol by surprise and added heat to a day that began with Republicans forcing their colleagues to read bills aloud…

Vermont paid sick leave bill heading back to Senate  Beaumont Enterprise  …The Vermont Senate is set to take another stab at completing its work on a bill to require the state’s employers to provide workers with paid sick days after a hiccup this past week. The Senate on Wednesday gave what appeared to be final approval to the bill requiring a minimum of three paid sick days a year during the first two years after passage and five thereafter…

Union-Busters Cry “State Sovereignty” As Judge Overturns Right To Work Ordinance  NH Labor News  …Predictably, the union-busters are in high dudgeon over Federal District Judge David Hale’s ruling that, in effect, invalidated a dozen county “right to work” ordinances in Kentucky. One of those conservative, anti-union groups griped that the ruling “negates the intention of this nation’s founders in establishing a Constitution that empowers sovereign states and their citizens”…

 

U.S. LABOR

Communications Workers take on Wall Street  People’s World  …The Communications Workers of America (CWA) are taking on Wall Street, inaugurating a major and long campaign to cut and curb the outsize clout of the sector that trashed the U.S. economy and workers’ jobs, homes and pensions. Union President Chris Shelton announced the decision by the union’s executive board in a Feb. 2 conference call…

New Hampshire’s fast food workers gear up for first strike  Press Herald  …Fast food workers are set to walk off the job in New Hampshire’s largest city to demand an hourly wage of $15 and union rights. The first “Fight for $15” event in New Hampshire was set for 2 p.m. Saturday in Manchester. Workers from McDonald’s, KFC, Wendy’s and other chains were set to congregate at the Wendy’s on South Willow Street in Manchester…

Tesoro to pay U.S. West Coast refinery workers $8 million: NLRB  Reuters  …Independent U.S. West Coast refiner Tesoro Corp has agreed to pay $8.08 million to 769 United Steelworkers union members at refineries in California and Washington state who were denied bonuses while on strike in 2015, the U.S. National Labor Relations Board said on Friday. The bonuses were awarded on March 6, 2015 to non-striking employees for the previous year…

UAW chief condemns Flint crisis, foreign car production  Detroit News  …United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams on Friday condemned Michigan politicians for not acting more swiftly to help Flint residents amid the city’s ongoing water crisis. Williams made several comments about companies, including the Detroit automakers, that he believes are abusing trade laws and moving jobs out of the United States. Williams spent a considerable amount of time discussing Detroit automakers investing and moving products to Mexico…

How A Giant Tech Company Ensured Equal Pay For Its Female Employees  Think Progress  …Every year, tech giant Intel analyzes its employee compensation by gender and ethnicity. But in 2015, it decided to really dig in and answer the question: Do we have a gender wage gap among men and women doing essentially the same work? So it drilled into the data, comparing pay across job types and levels and comparing employees with similar education, experience, performance, and responsibility. And it found something surprising…

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

After recent ICE raids, sanctuary movement grows for immigrant here illegally  Los Angeles Times  …Morris’ congregation is one of at least three in the Los Angeles area vowing in recent weeks to offer refuge to Central Americans with deportation orders — joining what advocates say is a growing number of pastors, preachers and nuns across the country in reviving the sanctuary movement…

Real Estate Magnate Trump Defends Using Eminent Domain to Seize Homes for Private Development  Democracy Now  …At Saturday’s debate, Jeb Bush attacked Donald Trump for using eminent domain to try to seize the home of an elderly woman in Atlantic City to build a “limousine parking lot.” Trump defended the practice but hit back after the debate, accusing the Bush family of using eminent domain to build the Texas Rangers baseball stadium…

Sanders Blasts Michigan Officials for Denying Undocumented People Clean Water  Common Dreams  …Senator Bernie Sanders blasted the state of Michigan after reports circulated that undocumented immigrants living in Flint, Michigan have been denied clean drinking water. “This is a humanitarian crisis,” the presidential candidate declared. The comments came after the Detroit Free Press reported earlier this week that Flint’s roughly 1,000 undocumented immigrants have faced significant barriers accessing the bottled water now being distributed…

Beyoncé Wins the Super Bowl: Pop Legend Invokes Black Panthers, #BlackLivesMatter at Halftime Show  Democracy Now  …More than 100 million people tuned in to watch Super Bowl 50 last night. In addition to seeing the Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers, viewers also witnessed one of the most political halftime shows in the Super Bowl’s history as the legendary singer Beyoncé paid tribute to the Black Panthers and the Black Lives Matter movement. Backstage, Beyoncé’s dancers posed with their fists in the air, recalling the black power salute…