Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News 07.20.15

Teamsters
Drivers at Lumber Company Near Philadelphia Join Teamsters Local 107  Teamster.org  ...On Friday, July 17, drivers at Lumbermen Associates in Bristol, Pennsylvania voted 9-0 to join Local 107. The employees drive flatbed trucks and deliver and pick up lumber at and to various locations. There are 10 drivers in the bargaining unit. “The unanimous vote clearly shows that these drivers are seeking a safe workplace and fairness on the job,” said Bill Hamilton, President of Local 107...
High Tech and New Media: Organized Labor’s New Frontier  National Law Review  ...One of Silicon Valley Rising’s first successes came earlier this year, when it was certified as the bargaining representative of the company that Facebook relies upon to provide shuttle bus services between its various facilities at its headquarters. Soon after it won a representation election, Teamsters Local 853 negotiated a first contract with Loop Transportation that significantly increased wages and benefits and changed work rules...
Minneapolis commemoration of 1934 Teamsters strike  Fight Back News  ...About 200 people gathered in the Warehouse District here, July 18, to install a plaque commemorating the 1934 Teamsters strike. The epic strike was one of the pivotal events of the 1930s that ushered in a huge upsurge in the labor movement. Speaking on behalf of the Remember 1934 Committee, Bob Kolstad, of Teamster Local 320 stated, “This is an important day. We believe that the plaque we are unveiling here today is the first public monument to the labor movement in the city of Minneapolis"...
Kalama police officers, Teamsters get raises  TDN.com   ...Kalama police officers and members of the Teamsters union are both getting raises for the next three years under new contracts with the city signed this month. The Teamsters Local No. 58 represents about a dozen employees on the public works crew and in the city’s finance department. The police guild represents four officers...

Global Labor & Trade
Congress Suggests Obama Will Ignore Slavery To Secure Trade Deal  Huffington Post  ...Lawmakers across Capitol Hill raised questions Thursday about whether President Barack Obama's administration is willing to look the other way on some of the worst human trafficking violations in the world in order to win his trade deal. The doubts concern reports that the State Department is about to upgrade Malaysia in its annual Trafficking In Persons report from Tier 3, the worst ranking, to Tier 2...
House Dems: White House pushing Big Pharma agenda in trade deal  The Hill  ...A pair of House Democrats are attacking the Obama administration for secretly shaping a trade deal that they say boosts profits for American pharmaceutical giants at the expense of patients worldwide. Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) argued Friday that the U.S. is the only country pushing the “Big Pharma” agenda in the ongoing talks for the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal...
Agricultural implications just the tip of the TPP iceberg  The Hill Times  ...The Trans Pacific Partnership, a proposed trade agreement that encompasses nearly 40 per cent of world GDP, heads to Hawaii later this month for ministerial-level negotiations. According to media reports, this may be the final round of talks, with countries expected to address the remaining contentious issues. Canadian coverage of the TPP has centered primarily on U.S. demands for changes to longstanding agricultural market safeguards...
Scottish MEP: TTIP deal may not complete during current European Parliament  Herald Scotland  ...Scotland's senior politician in Europe David Martin MEP has cast doubt on completion of a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) deal in the lifetime of the current European Parliament or the Obama administration. His remarks are also likely to be influential because of his 30 years experience in the parliament, and because he himself is an outspoken supporter of the controversial US-EU TTIP deal...
Dingell pushes back on trade deal  Michigan Radio  ...U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell won't support a free-trade deal she says will harm the auto industry and Michigan's economy. She's criticizing the Obama administration's Trans-Pacific Partnership on the basis that it doesn't address currency manipulation that keeps foreign currencies artificially low compared to the U.S. dollar...
Greek banks reopen but cash limits remain and taxes soar  Boston Herald  ...Greek banks opened their doors Monday for the first time in over three weeks, a move the government hopes will help the economy get back to normal following a period dominated by fears over the country's future in the euro. Strict controls on the amounts individuals can withdraw remain, however, and new austerity taxes demanded by the country's European creditors came into effect, making most everyday items more expensive — from coffee to taxis...
Cabbies Are Driving the Opposition to China’s Ridesharing Revolution  The Nation  ...Hundreds of cab drivers have gone on strike in cities across China to protest the invasion of a new rival: a rash of ride-sharing companies rapidly flooding the streets with slick marketing and nimble digital platforms. Angry drivers are pushing back with clever protest hacks...

State & Living Wage Battles
In Maine, a Minimum Wage Law With a Surprise Inside  Bloomberg  ...On July 6, the City Council of Portland, Maine, voted 6 to 3 to establish a local minimum wage of $10.10, a $2.60 increase over the statewide minimum. The next day, the mayor and several council members said they’d made a mistake. The law, which they thought would let restaurants and other businesses keep paying tipped employees $3.75 an hour, actually gave such workers a giant raise—to $6.35 an hour...
New California law recognizes pro cheerleaders as employees  ESPN  ...Gov. Jerry Brown has approved legislation recognizing California's professional cheerleaders as employees who are entitled to minimum wage and overtime. Brown announced Wednesday that he signed AB202, requiring that sports teams employ cheerleaders as workers instead of contractors. It provides them with sick leave and overtime pay, as well as other labor protections available to team staff...
Taxpayers covered $340,000 for security during right-to-work debates  Journal-Sentinel  ...State taxpayers paid more than $340,000 to provide extra security at the Capitol this year during the debate over legislation known as the right-to-work law, which bans labor contracts that include mandatory union fees. The costs added up even though labor demonstrations against that measure never reached the massive size and fever pitch of the 2011 protests over Act 10, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's repeal of most collective bargaining for most public workers...
Michigan Ditches For-Profit Prison Food Provider, But Not Because It Fed Inmates Rat-Eaten Trash  Think Progress  ...After the company repeatedly fed inmates out of trash cans, struggled with maggot problems in its kitchens, encouraged prisoners to serve each other meat that had been unrefrigerated for days, and hired workers who consorted with inmates, Aramark Correctional Services is finally losing its contract with the state of Michigan’s prison system...
N.Y. Panel Is Set to Propose $15 Fast-Food Wage   Wall Street Journal  ...New York state’s fast-food wage board on Wednesday is expected to recommend raising the fast-food minimum wage to $15 an hour, and the state’s labor commissioner is expected to approve that recommendation, according to a person familiar with the board’s plans. The move is fairly unusual: While other cities have raised the minimum wage to $15, it is uncommon for a state to do so for only one industry...
Voting rights trial continues in Winston-Salem  Progressive Pulse  ...Attorneys and parties in the voting rights trial return to federal court in Winston-Salem this morning to continue presenting testimony and other evidence to U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder. During week one of what’s expected to be a multi-week trial, attorneys for the parties challenging the sweeping voting restrictions adopted in 2013 unfolded their case with personal stories from voters...
Five Things to Know About the Scott Walker John Doe Ruling  Truthout  ....The Wisconsin Supreme Court has single-handedly rewritten the state's limits on money in politics, rendering the state's disclosure laws and contribution limits meaningless, and opening the door to unlimited funds directly from corporations and foreign firms. In a 4-2 decision that broke along ideological lines, the Court's conservative majority ended the John Doe probe into whether Governor Scott Walker illegally coordinated with supposedly "independent" dark money groups...
New Mexico City Finds A Home For All Its Homeless Veterans  Think Progress  ...When Mayor Ken Miyagishima (D) directed municipal resources towards providing housing for the city’s homeless population, earmarking tens of thousands of dollars for a local homeless nonprofit Community of Hope, the number of veterans living on the streets began to come down dramatically.
This week, the mayor announced that the city had achieved its goal of ending veterans’ homelessness...

U.S. Labor
Contract talks begin for Detroit automakers, UAW  MLive  ...It's been a cool summer in Michigan, but the temperature will be rising in the negotiating rooms as the United Auto Workers union and the Detroit Three automakers hammer out new contracts. Talks kicked off last week at General Motors Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. They will begin at Ford Motor Co. later this month. The current contracts, covering about 139,000 UAW members, expire on Sept. 14...
CWA, IBEW local unions say they are conducting a strike authorization vote with Verizon  Fierce Telecom  ...As Verizon and wireline workers represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) continue their labor negotiations, local members said they are in the process of conducting a strike authorization vote. CWA said in a regional bargaining report that it wants to send Verizon a "strong message that we will do whatever it takes to achieve a fair and just contract"...
Women’s college agrees to let adjunct faculty unionize after giving up NLRB fight  The College Fix  ...Rather than keep fighting adjunct faculty who want to unionize, Barnard College is giving up. The Columbia Spectator reports that the women’s college, affiliated with Columbia University, spent 13 hours in negotiation with Barnard Contingent Faculty-UAW rather than present its closing arguments at the eighth and final National Labor Relations Board hearing Thursday...
GOP funding bill would force the NLRB to lay off one-third of its staff  People's World  ...The Obama administration is blasting a Republican-authored money bill for the National Labor Relations Board, the Labor Department and other agencies, saying the cuts would force the NLRB to lay off one-third of its staff...
Mendocino County, SEIU 1021 reach tentative agreement  Daily Journal  ...Mendocino County workers represented by Service Employees’ International Union Local 1021 could soon see a reinstatement in pay which was cut by 10 percent in 2011. The county Executive Office reported late Friday afternoon it had reached a tentative agreement with the union after a three-day negotiating period. The agreement is for two years, and employees will see a 3 percent salary reinstatement in the first year...
New York City airport employees will vote Monday to set a time for a labor strike  Sputnik  ...New York City airport employees will vote Monday to set a time for a labor strike demanding higher wages and benefits, local media reported, citing the labor union. Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is expected to announce the strike date on Tuesday following the vote, NBC New York reported Sunday...
The ‘Nightmarish’ Boston Hotel Where Workers Have To Deal with Vomit, Blood-Soaked Carpets, Needles  In These Times  ...On June 25, workers at Boston’s Wyndham Beacon Hill took to the streets to protest unsafe working conditions, the culmination of an escalating fight over biohazards at the hotel. The alleged ongoing problem and lack of response from hotel management led the non-union workers to begin organizing around the issue in 2014, reaching out to UNITE HERE Local 26, which represents hotel and other service workers, for assistance...
Class Action Lawsuit Advances, Claiming Abercrombie Employees Were Forced To Buy Abercrombie Clothes  Think Progress  ...On Thursday, a California federal judge certified a class action lawsuit for about 62,000 Abercrombie & Fitch employees who claim that they were illegally required to buy the company’s clothing for work. Abercrombie’s “Look Policy” requires workers on the floor to wear “clothes, accessories and footwear that are similar in style and fit to the brand, and that are consistent with the current fashion season and colors” but that aren’t “clearly that of a competitor”...

Miscellaneous
Disrupting Speeches, Protesters Challenge Sanders and O'Malley: Say 'Black Lives Matter!'  Common Dreams  ...Demanding that pervasive racial injustice and police brutality against people of color be addressed on the campaign trail, protesters with the Black Lives Matter movement interrupted speeches by Democratic candidates Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley Saturday evening. Cutting off O'Malley's prepared remarks during the annual Netroots Nation convention in Phoenix, Arizona, activist Patrisse Cullors described the urgency driving the protest...
Elizabeth Warren Challenges Presidential Candidates to Stop Revolving Door Between Wall St. and Government  Atlernet  ...Elizabeth Warren has drawn a line in 2016’s presidential election sands. Speaking at the Netroots Nation conference in Phoenix on Friday, she challenged the presidential candidates to stand behind legislation introduced this week that would vastly slow down the revolving door between Wall Street’s financial firms and working for the government—where high-level private sector employees end up making government decisions that favor their past employers over the public...
Cuba raises flag in Washington as embassy reopens after half a century  The Guardian  ...Diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba have been officially restored, with Cuba’s foreign minister taking the hugely symbolic step of raising his country’s flag at a newly designated embassy in Washington later on Monday. Bruno Rodríguez, visiting the US capital for the first time in his life, conducted the ceremony at the mansion which has not functioned as an embassy for more than 50 years...
L.A. County considers new immigration program for jails in light of S.F. slaying  LA Times  ...In Los Angeles and across the country, local authorities are deciding to what degree they should participate in ICE's new Priority Enforcement Program. Under the program, ICE asks jails to notify federal agents when inmates flagged for potential deportation are being released, and in some cases asks jails to hold such inmates so federal agents can pick them up...
Mom Gets Arrested For ‘Abandoning’ Kids In Nearby Food Court While At Job Interview  Think Progress  ...A single mom was arrested at the Memorial City Mall in Houston, Texas, for allegedly “abandoning” her two and six-year-old children who were waiting for her 30 feet away. Laura Browder had just moved to Houston from Chicago and was called in for a last-minute interview for a job, according to KHOU. Because she was new in town, she didn’t have anyone to watch her children...
FBI Joins Investigation Into 'Unfathomable' Death of Sandra Bland  Common Dreams  ...The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on Friday announced it was joining the probe into the disturbing death of Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old black woman who died in police custody in Texas on Monday. An investigation was launched on Wednesday by the Texas Rangers, a branch of the state's Department of Public Safety, after a campaign spread demanding answers about the young woman's death under the hashtag #WhatHappenedToSandraBland...