Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News 01.15.16

TEAMSTERS
Revised NY-NJ clean-trucks plan stirs up controversy  JOC  ...The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week criticized the port authority for lifting a Jan. 1, 2017 deadline that would have forced 70 percent of the port’s trucks to be replaced or refitted with newer, less-polluting engines. Consolidation of the port’s fragmented drayage industry into fewer, stronger companies that use employee drivers has been a longtime goal of the Teamsters union, which is part of the Coalition for Healthy Ports and claims many owner-operators are misclassified as independent contractors...
10,000 needy families, hospitalized kids aided by Teamsters Joint Council 13 volunteers, friends, family  Labor Tribune  ...More than 10,000 needy families and their children and dozens of children who had to be in the hospital over the holidays had a brighter Christmas this past season as a result of the generosity and hearts of Teamsters throughout the region, all members of Teamsters Joint Council 13. In three separate programs supported by the Teamsters, food and toys were provided to the less fortunate and the working poor...
Teamsters and Freight; building up America  Mandan News  ...As many as three million heavy-duty trucks run on the highways, bringing freight to destination terminals from where smaller delivery trucks further carry the products to their destinations. The trucking industry reminds us that “Without trucks, America stops.” Another adage proclaims, “If you bought it, a truck brought it.” Truck drivers and other associated occupations can find membership in a large organization named the International Brotherhood of Teamsters...
Union retirees fearing pension cuts  The Examiner  ...The president of the Missouri-Kansas-Nebraska Conference of Teamsters, Jim Kabell, outlined troubles in the union’s pension fund to a full house at American Legion Post 21. Many wore T-shirts reading, “Stop the rush to pension cuts!” He also took aim at Congress for actions he said made things worse and for not acting on needed solutions, and he urged Teamsters to get active to address that...

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE
Kia Workers OK Wage Deal After 5 Strike-Free Months  Wards Auto  ...Kia workers represented by the Korean Metal Workers Union sign a new wage agreement with the automaker Jan. 12, ending negotiations that dragged on for five months. Both sides had agreed when talks began Aug. 11 to conduct all sessions with a total news blackout. A tentative agreement was reached Jan. 6 and a ratification vote was held Jan. 10...
Private sector workers to go on strike on Feb 4  Ekathimerini  ...Greece’s biggest private sector union, GSEE, decided on Friday to call a 24-hour strike for Thursday, February 4, in protest at government reforms and particularly a contentious overhaul of the social security system. Meeting in Athens, GSEE’s executive committee decided to ramp up the pressure against the government’s proposal and to join forces with other unions...
Luas workers in Ireland to go on strike  Irish News  ...Commuters face travel chaos after Luas staff announced plans to stage two 48 hour strikes next month. Workers will down tools on February 11 and 12 and again on February 18 and 19. The Siptu trade union confirmed three of four groups of workers, who balloted overwhelmingly to take industrial action, preferred to strike for 48 hours at meetings this week. Luas operator Transdev released figures claiming drivers are seeking a massive pay rise of almost 54pc...
Morocco Government Assaults Spur Sit-in  Solidarity Center  ...About four thousand workers staged a sit-in outside parliament in Rabat yesterday in a show of popular protest against socioeconomic policies that are economically harmful to working people, among them planned pension reforms, a freeze on talks with civil society groups and ongoing violations of worker rights–including the government’s refusal to negotiate with trade unions on wages and working conditions for public service workers...
Business leaders doubt trade vote happens before elections  The Hill  ...Business leaders on Thursday expressed doubt that a sweeping Pacific Rim trade agreement will come up for a vote in Congress before the November elections. Bruce Josten, the top lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said that there are several significant factors in play that will determine whether lawmakers will be ready to vote on the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) by this summer...
Time for negotiations is finished for Trans-Pacific Partnership: trade minister  Global News  ...A renegotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is not possible even though serious concerns may be raised during public consultations, Canada’s trade minister said Thursday. “The negotiations are finished and for Canadians it’s important to understand that it’s a decision of yes or no,” Chrystia Freeland told reporters Thursday after receiving varied feedback at a meeting at the University of Montreal...
TTIP: what can we expect from 2016?  Open Democracy  ...TTIP negotiations continue, as the two sides failed to meet their goal of concluding talks by the end of 2015. EU and US negotiators now hope to reach a final political settlement by the end of Obama’s presidency in January 2017, thus making the next 12 months vitally important in the fight to derail the talks. The next round of negotiations is set to take place in Brussels at the end of February...
Protesters rally against Trans-Pacific Partnership  WFMZ  ...Protesters gathered outside Congressman Charlie Dent's office in Allentown Wednesday, rallying against the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The partnership is a multi-national trade agreement that was reached in October after years of negotiations. The protest was organized by the Pennsylvania Fair Trade Coalition. Protesters want Congressman Dent to vote against the partnership when it reaches the house this spring...
How to Make the Trans-Pacific Partnership Work for Workers and Communities  The Nation  ... Allowing victimized workers and communities to use dispute-settlement mechanisms in trade agreements provides some measure of re-balance Nothing prevents the United States from going back to its TPP partners to negotiate a supplemental protocol creating a CIDS system to address all stakeholders’ concerns, not just the special interests of investors...

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES
WVU right-to-work study disputed as Legislature considers bill   Gazette Mail  ...Just as the West Virginia Legislature began considering “right-to-work” legislation Thursday, a new economic analysis has alleged that the intellectual backbone behind the Republican proposal, a West Virginia University study of the issue, made basic mistakes and “is fraught with several problems.” In November, the WVU Bureau of Business and Economic Research unveiled a study of right-to-work laws that was requested and funded by the Republican-led Legislature...
Senate fast tracks ‘Right-to-Work’ legislation  Daily Telegraph  ...Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee spent hours Thursday sparring over the provisions of a Right to Work law, slowing if only momentarily its fast-track passage to the floor of the Senate. SB1, which Republicans have renamed “Workplace Freedom,” is the first of the GOP agenda bills...
West Virginia unions protest right-to-work  News Center ...Union groups have hit the Capitol for events opposing the right-to-work push introduced by the Republican-led Legislature. At a West Virginia AFL-CIO event Wednesday morning, workers shared negative experiences from Oklahoma and Virginia, both right-to-work states. Americans for Prosperity, a well-heeled conservative group fueled by the industrialist Koch brothers, also announced online and direct mail advertising in favor of right-to-work...
Prevailing Wage Passes Kentucky Senate  State Journal  ...Unlike the hugely bipartisan support of the bourbon, winery and microbrewing industry in the state, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate stood diametrically opposed to a prevailing wage bill that passed Thursday to the House. Republican Sen. Wil Schroder of Wilder sponsored the bill exempting public school projects of $250,000 or more from the state’s requirement for the prevailing wage cost to workers...
Oregon governor asks for huge minimum wage hikes  CNN  ...Gov. Kate Brown is pushing a new, two-tiered system that would increases wages in Portland to $15.52 over the next six years, while other areas would have a minimum of $13.50. The state's current minimum wage is $9.25. If approved by state legislators, Oregon would join a growing list of states that are boosting minimum-wage paychecks. Thirteen states, including California, Nebraska and Vermont, are set to bolster their minimum wages in 2016...
Minimum Wage Workers Plan Strike In Charleston Ahead Of Democratic Debate  BuzzFeed  ...Low-wage workers will strike and protest in Charleston, South Carolina in the lead-up to the Democratic debate there Sunday night, according to the Fight for 15, the union-backed movement to raise the minimum wage. Hundreds of fast-food, home care, child care and other low-wage employees will converge on the city, according to Fight for 15 Organizing Director Kendall Fells...
The Plot Against Paul LePage  The Atlantic  ...On Thursday, a group of state legislators in Maine will introduce a measure to impeach LePage. “People have really had enough, all across the state,” Representative Ben Chipman of Portland, the lead sponsor, told me Wednesday. “They’re tired of the governor’s behavior and they’re tired of the legislature not doing anything about it." The impeachment order would create an investigative committee to look into allegations against LePage and then bring back articles of impeachment...

U.S. LABOR
Los Angeles Charter Teachers Say Their Administration Is Aggresively Trying To Bust Their Union  In These Times  ...A formerly low-profile union organizing campaign by teachers at the largest charter school operation in Los Angeles is emerging into the public spotlight as the charter operator is ramping up its effort to defeat the organizing effort, teachers say. The school operator, Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, has been so aggressive against the union that a local judge issued an injunction December 3 against the operator’s apparent labor law violations...
Ski Patrols Seek to Unionize U.S. Slopes as Wealth Gap Grows  Bloomberg  ...The snowiest peaks in the U.S. are the latest site of pitched union battles, a result of the growing corporatization of the $11 billion ski industry and a widening wealth divide between those who own resorts and those who keep them running. Labor’s promise of better compensation and job security has proved particularly enticing to ski patrollers...
Charged with Firing Teachers for Organizing, a Chicago Charter Network Settles  American Prospect  ...The National Labor Relations Board finalized a settlement agreement this week between Urban Prep Academies, an all-male charter network in Chicago, and more than a dozen Urban Prep teachers who were fired abruptly back in June. The firings came less than a month after a majority of teachers at Urban Prep voted to unionize with the Chicago Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff (ChiACTS)...
NLRB rejects McDonalds’ request to treat joint employer cases separately  People's World  ... Over the dissent of its remaining Republican member, the National Labor Relations Board has rejected McDonalds' request to split its "joint employer" cases into 31 separate cases involving 161 restaurants nationwide. The board's early-January decision allows the massive case of McDonald's labor law-breaking to go forward as one unified case...
With public sector unions on the rocks, middle class may take another hit  Washington Post  ...For all his talk about "middle class economics" in recent years, it might have seemed odd that President Obama didn't mention the "middle class" once during his nearly hour-long speech to Congress. Instead, he talked about "working families." Those phrases aren't interchangeable anymore — so many working people have exited the middle class that it's no longer the demographic majority...
What Do Unions Do for the Middle Class?  Center for American Progress  ...The United States has long called itself a middle-class nation. But that statement is less true today than it was 30 years ago.
The most widely used barometer of the financial health of the middle class—real median household income as published by the U.S. Census Bureau—has barely grown over the last thirty years. At the same time, the middle class has been hollowed out as incomes have polarized...

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS
U.S. justices consider taking Obama appeal on immigration action  Reuters  ...The nine U.S. Supreme Court justices were due to meet privately on Friday to discuss whether to hear President Barack Obama's bid to revive his plan to shield more than 4 million immigrants from deportation, a move that bypassed the Republican-led Congress. The court could make an announcement as soon as Friday afternoon on whether it will take up the dispute, which would become one of the centerpiece cases of its current term...
As Federal Government Launches New Deportation Raids, Churches Vow To Take In Immigrants  Think Progress  ...Churches across the country are gearing up to defy the federal government’s deportation efforts, preparing to offer Central American asylum-seekers sanctuary in their churches and protect them from an aggressive new wave of federal raids. Shortly after New Year’s Day 2016, the Obama administration launched a barrage of highly publicized raids primarily intended to detain and deport Central American immigrants...
More Than Half of Americans Reportedly Have Less Than $1,000 to Their Name  Esquire  ...In a recent survey, 56 percent of Americans said they have less than $1,000 in their checking and savings accounts combined, Forbes reports. Nearly a quarter (24.8 percent) have less than $100 to their name. Meanwhile, 38 percent said they would pay less than their full credit card balance this month, and 11 percent said they would make the minimum payment...
Residents Of Flint Are Being Billed For Poisoned Water And Threatened With Shutoffs If They Don’t Pay  Think Progress  ...Last week Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) declared a state of emergency over the level of lead being found in Flint’s tap water, and this week he activated the state National Guard to help provide residents with bottled water, filters, and lead testing kits.
But even in the midst of this crisis, city residents aren’t just being charged for their poisoned tap water — they’re being threatened with shutoffs if they don’t quickly pay their bills...
Chicago Releases Another Video Of A Police Officer Killing An Unarmed Teenager  Think Progress  ...The city of Chicago released a video of another police officer killing an unarmed black teenager three years ago, after giving up a lengthy legal battle to keep it from the public eye. This time, the teenager’s name was not Laquan McDonald but Cedrick Chatman. The grainy video shows the 17-year-old Chatman fleeing the police before he is shot by Officer Kevin Fry...

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.