Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 06.17.15

Teamsters
ONTC and Teamsters reach five-year agreement  Nugget  ...Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (Ontario Northland) and Teamsters Rail Conference Maintenance of Way Employees Division (TCRC MWED) announced today that they have reached a tentative five year collective agreement. TCRC MWED represents 161 unionized employees who are responsible for maintaining Ontario Northland’s rail infrastructure, including track, buildings and bridges along the rail line...
Dozens of FXI employees on strike Wane.com  ...The employees, represented by Teamsters Local 414, have been negotiating their contract with FXI for the last three years. According to George Gurdis, the officer of Teamsters Local 414, the group of FXI workers was organized about three years ago and have never been on a contract. Now, FXI wants to slice their wages and lower their benefits. FXI produces foam for homes, healthcare, electronics, industrial, personal care and transportation markets...
Mogul may have hired PIs to tail horse-carriage drivers  NY Post  ...A deep-pocketed animal-rights activist paid a team of private eyes to spy on Central Park horse carriage drivers for three months in the hope of catching them breaking the law. Up to six gumshoes would camp outside Manhattan horse stables at 5:30 a.m. and follow drivers all day, sometimes until after midnight, confirmed Mike Ciravolo, an exec at celebrity investigative firm Beau Dietl & Associates...
Rollex Ordered to Make Changes for Member Safety  Teamsters Local 727  ...The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has ordered Rollex Corporation to fix 31 machines by July 31 after Teamsters Local 727 representatives insisted the changes be made immediately. Local 727 represents about 100 workers at the aluminum soffit and steel siding manufacturer located in Elk Grove Village, Ill...

Global Labor & Trade
GOP leaders hatch trade workaround  Politico  ...Under the emerging plan, the House would vote on a bill that would give Obama fast-track authority to negotiate a sweeping trade deal with Pacific Rim countries, sending it to the Senate for final approval. To alleviate Democratic concerns, the Senate then would amend a separate bill on trade preferences to include Trade Adjustment Assistance...
GOP Leaders Putting Together Trade Rescue Plan  Associated Press  ...After talks with President Barack Obama, top Republican leaders in Congress put together a quick rescue plan Tuesday for highly controversial, White House-backed trade legislation that Democrats derailed in the House last week. Officials said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., were likely to split the stalled bill into two parts in hopes of sending them to the president separately...
House Moves to Delay Action on Trade Bill for 6 Weeks  New York Times  ...Mr. Obama has now turned his focus to House Speaker John A. Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, to find a legislative strategy that would preserve trade promotion authority, which would give the president accelerated power to negotiate the broader Trans-Pacific Partnership accord with 11 other nations from Japan to Chile...
As NAFTA Memories Linger, Unions Hold Fast Against New Trade Deal  NPR  ..."Labor has enough of a institutional memory to know what happened with NAFTA," [Roland Zullo] says. "There was a theory behind NAFTA; there was a theory that by integrating Canada, U.S. and Mexico, there would be a sort of overall net economic benefit." But that didn't happen for U.S. workers in sectors like manufacturing. Michigan auto workers, for example, lost more than 100,000 jobs in the years that followed NAFTA's passage.
House GOP poised to pursue fast-track without aid for workers   Politico  ...The House is on the brink of scheduling a standalone vote on giving President Barack Obama fast-track trade authority without accompanying worker assistance legislation, according to multiple sources familiar with the plan. The House could vote on Trade Promotion Authority as early as this week, the sources said...
Domestic Workers: ‘Bought and Paid for in the Gulf States’  Solidarity Center  ...In the Gulf, “employers feel they have bought domestic workers because they paid the recruitment fee,” Varia said. The situation is exacerbated in Gulf countries by the kefala system, which ties employment of foreign workers to their employers, and makes it illegal for workers to get another job in the country. Employers also typically take the passports of domestic workers, who toil unseen from the public and are especially vulnerable to abuse...
Qatar’s World Cup Preparations Could Kill as Many as 4,000 Migrant Workers  The Nation  ...While FIFA continues to sink deeper into a mire of scandal, the deepest hell in the world football body’s dominion is reserved for the workers toiling at the sweltering construction zones of Qatar, the 2022 World Cup host. As the legal turmoil swells in Geneva, however, human rights groups see a potential opening to revisit the controversy over whether Qatar deserves to be hosting the games at all...

State & Living Wage Battles
A Farmworkers Bill of Rights in New York May Finally End “Abhorrent and Unacceptable” Treatment  In These Times  ...Farmworkers in New York are not currently guaranteed a full 24-hour day off each week. They also lack the right to overtime pay, to unemployment and workers compensation insurance and are without collective bargaining rights—in an industry that’s worth some $5.7 billion annually. Legislation now being considered by the New York State Senate and Assembly aims to change this status quo...
Michigan House passes bill designed to bar cities from setting minimum wages  News Maine  ...Michigan House on Tuesday approved a bill designed to prohibit local governments from passing ordinances regarding minimum wages, benefits or work rules for companies operating within the premises of their towns. The Republican-led House voted 59 to 51 to approve a bill similar to one approved by the state Senate previous week...
Kotek minimum wage plan falls short of $15 an hour  Portland Tribune  ...House Speaker Tina Kotek has proposed increasing Oregon’s minimum wage in stages to $13 per hour by 2018 and allowing cities and counties to raise it even more. Kotek, a Democrat from Portland, disclosed details of her plan to reporters Monday, ahead of a hearing Wednesday by the House Rules Committee...
Clergy March on Billionaires as Moral Mondays Come to Chicago  In These Times ...The activists, including Chicago’s Lutheran Bishop Wayne Miller, rallied before marching on the corporate headquarters of billionaire Sam Zell,  a supporter of Gov. Rauner, awarded $4 million to Turnaround Illinois, a Rauner-allied super political action committee that supports banning political donations by government worker unions...
With Oregon's Bill, Paid Sick Leave Gains Momentum  The American Prospect  ...Building on a strong and growing level of momentum nationwide, on Friday, the Oregon legislature passed a bill that mandates paid sick leave. Governor Kate Brown, a progressive Democrat, is sure to sign the bill, making Oregon the fourth state to pass mandated paid sick leave. The vote is a significant win for a nationwide movement that’s been quietly gaining steam among cities, states, and presidential candidates in recent years...
Failing the Poor and the Economy, Kansas Gov Signs 'Regressive' Tax Deal  Common Dreams  ...Following the end of the longest legislative session in state history, which dragged on an extra 23 days, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback on Tuesday signed a massive budget deal into law that includes a $384 million tax hike—mostly on the poor. It's the largest tax increase ever introduced in the state, and more than half of it will come from sales tax and cigarette tax, which financial experts have long warned are regressive...
101-year-old woman can't vote due to voter ID laws, newspaper reports  NOLA.com  ...A 101-year-old Texas woman has shed a new perspective on the debate over voter ID laws. In a commentary essay for the San Antonio Express-News, 101-year-old Mary Lou Miller wrote that she was denied the right to vote because she does not have a government-issued ID, and has not had one since she stopped driving in her 80s...
How A Pay Rise For NY Fast-Food Workers Could Spread Across America  Buzzfeed  ...Success in obtaining a pay rise in New York — which would be the first of its kind in the country — will form part of a precedent the labor movement plans to export to cities across America. Leaders of the Fight for 15 movement to raise fast-food wages say they plan to treat a $15 sector-wide minimum wage in New York as a springboard to a well of strategic next steps for their campaign...

U.S. Labor
Labor Movement Hopes to Get a Bump From Pope Francis Visit  Time  ...Cardinal Donald Wuerl spoke in front of a sparkling mosaic on Monday morning, and he was not in a church. The backdrop was not even Biblical, at least not technically. Instead the mosaic was a wall-sized portrait honoring workers at the AFL-CIO headquarters, where Wuerl, Catholic archbishop of Washington, was speaking alongside the labor organization’s president, Richard Trumka. Together, the two men championed care for workers...
SEIU says Clark County overreaching on new labor rules  Las Vegas Review-Journal  ...Leaders of the Service Employees International Union Local 1107 urged Clark County commissioners Tuesday to reconsider county actions tied to a new state law. The county recently ordered SEIU Local 1107 President Martin Bassick to return from paid union leave to his county job, saying the new law doesn’t allow the leave to continue. The county also notified the union last week that wage and benefit increases will stop for SEIU-affiliated employees...
ATI braces for failure of labor talks, USW says  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ...United Steelworkers union officials say Allegheny Technologies is making contingency staffing and security plans in case they fail to negotiate a new labor agreement to replace one that expires June 30. USW headquarters officials last week told members that the Pittsburgh specialty metals producer has hired Strom Engineering, a Minnetonka, Minn., firm that helps companies with labor disputes...
Communications workers union passes Black Lives Matter resolution  St. Louis American   ...Union members at the Communications Workers of America (CWA) national convention on June 10 passed a “Black Lives Matter” resolution to address the issues of “systematic racism” in the United States. “Part of our goal in passing the resolution is to start active members of CWA talking about these issues,” said Bradley Harmon, president of the CWA Local 6355. “That has already started. I think it deepened our commitment towards working for racial justice”...
When I Lost My Hands Making Flatscreens I Can't Afford, Nobody Would Help Me  The Guardian  ...I’ve worked in factories most of my life. I know I am not the first person to be injured. But more needs to be done to help the workers who are making the products that so many Americans buy. We don’t ask for even a tiny share of the billions these companies make. We are just asking for enough to take care of our families and, when we are hurt, to take care of ourselves, too...
Is Gawker’s Unionization a Sign That Creative Workers Are Finally Realizing Their Worth?  The Nation  ...Last week, the staff of Gawker, one of the most iconic web media companies, voted by a 75-25 margin to form a union with Writers Guild of America East. Representing more than 100 online editorial staffers, the bargaining unit covers a network of Gawker Media’s outlets. The exact form of the unit and contract demands will be hammered out later, but the bottom line appears to be that staff wanted to unionize to protect their current wages and benefits...

Miscellaneous
Clinton v Bush: America is getting the dynastic matchup it said it didn't want  The Guardian  ...Neither family would be a stranger to the upper echelons of US government. Clinton’s eight years as first lady to husband Bill and four years as President Obama’s secretary of state is matched not only by eight years as president by Jeb’s brother, George W Bush, but four years as president by their father George HW Bush and another eight years as vice-president under Ronald Reagan...
Here's the Latest Evidence of How Private Prisons Are Exploiting Inmates for Profit  Mother Jones  ...The for-profit prison industry sells itself as a cost-effective option for cash-strapped states, but according to a new study from the University of Wisconsin, privatized prisons are keeping inmates locked up longer in order to boost profits. Researcher Anita Mukherjee studied a decade of data from Mississippi and found that private prisons there doled out twice the amount of infractions against inmates, lengthening their sentences by an average of 2-3 months...
RNC Official Awkwardly Refuses To Denounce Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Screed  Think Progress  ...Hours after Donald Trump launched into an anti-immigrant tirade during his presidential campaign announcement and claimed that Mexican immigrants are rapists and drug dealers, a top Republican party official has done nothing to denounce those comments...

Retiree Health Insurance

This program consists of several different benefits for Teamster retirees. These Teamster benefits can help you and your family cut the rising cost of health care.