Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News 12.03.15

TEAMSTERS
Chicago Teamsters Strike Coca-Cola Refreshments Over Unfair Labor Practices  Teamster.org  ...More than 300 Teamsters Local 727 members are initiating an unfair labor practice strike against Coca-Cola Refreshments at 5 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 3, after the beverage industry behemoth intimidated workers and engaged in bad faith bargaining during negotiations for a new contract.
Local 727 represents 319 production and warehouse workers and transport drivers at Coca-Cola Refreshments facilities in Niles and Alsip, Ill...
Coca-Cola workers strike Thursday morning  Chicago Tribune  ...Coca-Cola workers at two Chicago-area production plants went on strike Thursday morning to protest unfair labor practices including delay tactics and intimidation. Teamsters Local 727 had agreed to Coca-Cola's request for a single-day strike delay to continue negotiations after the workers' three-year contract expired at midnight Tuesday. But when the parties returned to the bargaining table Wednesday, Coca-Cola officials "re-presented the same unfair, unreasonable, harsh proposals"...
Teamsters International Approves Strike Benefits for Coca-Cola Workers  Teamster.org  ...The General Executive Board of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters today approved strike assistance benefits for more than 300 Chicago-area workers who could initiate an unfair labor practice strike at any time against Coca-Cola Refreshments. The union’s bargaining committee and company managers met 12 times since Oct. 28 to try to reach an agreement...
Congressional Deal on Transportation Bill is a Win for Infrastructure, Motorist Safety  Teamster.org  ...The Teamsters today are lauding a new five-year, $305 billion transportation infrastructure bill set to be considered soon by Congress that would help rebuild America’s highway and rail networks after years of short-term fixes that hampered long-term planning and improvements...
Hoffa: House-Passed Customs Bill Does Nothing to Improve TPP for U.S. Workers  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa in response to the House passing a customs reauthorization bill today that does little to address the many shortfalls contained in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): “While some have suggested that the passage of customer reauthorization legislation would include language that would make the TPP more palatable, the deal leaves the same sour taste in the mouths of everyday Americans"...
DoubleTree Arlington Heights Housekeepers Ratify First Union Contract  Local 727 ...Thirty housekeepers at DoubleTree Arlington Heights ratified their first union contract just a few weeks after shuttle bus drivers at the hotel did the same. Both bargaining units voted to join Teamsters Local 727 late last year. “The union fought to secure solid agreements for our new members with provisions that truly demonstrate the value of a Teamster contract,” said John Coli Jr., President of Teamsters Local 727...
Teamsters strike Oregon City-based beer distributor  NW Labor Press  ...About 80 members of Teamsters Local 162 went on strike Nov. 17 at General Distributors, Inc. (GDI), of Oregon City —truck drivers, warehouse workers, and sales employees. GDI distributes Miller-Coors beers and dozens of craft beers, wines and ciders in 11 Oregon counties, from Salem to Hood River. Local 162 says the profitable company is seeking $1.5 million a year in concessions...

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE
What Do Burmese Workers Want?  Huffington Post  ...In meetings with more than 100 rank-and-file workers and union leaders from Burma's factories and fields the week after that country's momentous elections, the mood was one of wary optimism. It was clear that labor voted overwhelmingly for the National League for Democracy (NLD) and the leadership of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. They did so as companies around Yangon and in the growing industrial zones of Bago, two hours to the north, had become increasingly belligerent toward workers, particularly those attempting to organize...
Customs bill is coming to town  Politico  ...The last outstanding piece of legislation from President Barack Obama’s big trade push earlier this year could soon be on its way to his desk. The House on Tuesday approved, by a 252-170 vote, a motion to go to conference on customs reauthorization. The bill promises to beef up the enforcement of trade laws...
TPP Dooms World to Climate Crisis, Says Report  TeleSUR  ...The controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership, fully drafted and pending final approval, would not only ignore climate change but would also actively fuel worsening environmental crises, according to a new report released by Sierra Club Wednesday. As world leaders mull over a climate deal at COP21 in Paris, the report, “A Dirty Deal: How the TPP Threatens the Climate,” slams the TPP for strengthening corporate power...
Environmental Group Assails 'Polluter-Friendly' Obama Trade Deal  Huffington Post  ...The Sierra Club on Wednesday released a report on the final text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, concluding that the landmark trade deal would be a significant setback in efforts to combat climate change and protect the environment. "In its more than 6,000 pages of binding rules, the deal fails to even mention the words 'climate change,'" the report reads...
More strikes, cost hikes likely with TPP, study indicates  Malay Mail  ...Malaysian employers may face more industrial action by employees along with higher business costs if the country signs the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), consultants PricewaterhouseCooper (PwC) said in its cost-benefit analysis released today. PwC said Putrajaya would have to amend its labour laws and regulations to fulfil its obligations under the agreement...
Greeks Strike to Protest Latest Austerity Measures  New York Times  ...Workers across Greece walked off their jobs on Thursday, heeding a call by labor unions to join the second general strike in three weeks to protest a new round of austerity measures. The 24-hour walkout shut down public services, disrupted public transportation, left ferries moored in ports, closed schools and forced hospitals to function with reduced staffs...
Norway Ratification Boosts Fight against Modern Slavery  Solidarity Center  ...On November 18, 2015, Norway ratified the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) Forced Labor Protocol, which strengthens and updates the 1930 Forced Labor Convention (Convention 29) by adding new measures to prevent, protect and compensate those affected. According to ILO data, some 21 million people globally are victims of forced labor, generating approximately $150 billion each year. However, the hidden nature of this and other forms of extreme labor exploitation mean the true figures could be much higher...

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES
Labor unions crowd hearing to oppose Ohio right-to-work bill  Columbus Dispatch  ...Bringing back memories of the 2011 fight over Senate Bill 5 — the bill that targeted public-employees unions and was overturned by voters — more than 100 union supporters packed hearing rooms and a Statehouse hallway on Tuesday as a House committee heard a bill that would ban private employee unions from requiring that workers pay dues commonly known as “fair share” fees...
Alabama’s Controversial Voter-ID Law Is Challenged In Court  The Nation  ... Today civil-rights groups—led by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund on behalf of the Alabama NAACP—filed suit against the state’s voter-ID law, arguing that it violates Section 2 of the VRA. The complaint alleges that the law will disenfranchise 280,000 registered voters without government-issued ID but there has been only 1 case of voter impersonation in Alabama out of 22.4 million votes cast since 2000 to justify the measure...
Tennessee DOL Announces 2016 Highway Prevailing Wage Rates  Chattanoogan  ...Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development announced Tuesday the 2016 Highway Prevailing Wage Rates. There was an increase in wage rates for 14 classifications, a decrease in nine classifications, and the wage rates for two classifications remained unchanged since 2015. The wage rate for one classification – Mechanic (Class II) Light Duty – increased more than a dollar...
Pro-Democracy Group Warns of Secret Right-Wing Push to Rewrite Constitution  Common Dreams  ...A "dangerous proposal" is bubbling up in state legislatures throughout the country. The threat comes in the form of a constitutional convention, assembled under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, one of several mechanisms that enables future amendments. Article V requires Congress to call such a gathering once 34 state legislatures submit petitions to do so. Pro-corporate, right-wing lobby groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and Citizens for Self-Governance are pushing for such a convention...
$15-an-hour minimum wage eludes Mass. cities  Boston Globe  ...Just a few years ago, the notion of a $15 minimum hourly wage was widely dismissed as unrealistic. But over the past 18 months, the threshold has gained impressive traction around the country, with citywide ordinances enacted in Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco, and other proposals pending in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. So why hasn’t the issue caught fire in Boston and other liberal-leaning Massachusetts communities?...
Making Change at Walmart Launches National “Are You With Us” Campaign  UFCW  ...Making Change at Walmart’s national “Are You With Us?” tour will include rallies at Walmart stores and other retail locations in cities in all 50 states across the country in the coming weeks. The kick-off is in Quincy, Mass., on Wednesday, Dec. 2. The tour and campaign are meant to showcase and highlight the negative impact that the country’s largest employer has on all American retail workers, which includes paying employees poverty-level wages...

U.S. LABOR
Huffington Post Workers Vote to Join Union, Continuing Trend in New Media  Advertising Age  ...The Huffington Post has joined the unionization wave that has been rolling through digital media since the spring. On Tuesday, the editorial staff of the New York City-based web news giant formally asked management to recognize the Writers Guild of America, East, as its collective-bargaining representative...
UAW betting on big, symbolic win in Volkswagen vote  Detroit Free Press  ...The UAW will know by the end of the week if its decision to take a second shot at organizing workers at Volkswagen's plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., will pay off with a high-profile victory and deliver its first clear-cut win at an automotive assembly plant in the South. Over the next two days about 160 of Volkswagen's skilled trades workers will vote on whether they want the UAW to be their exclusive bargaining agent...
SEIU ratifies new contract  Lansing State Journal  ...A second state employee union has approved a new contract with Gov. Rick Snyder's administration, the union announced Wednesday. The three bargaining units of the Service Employees International Union Local 517M each approved their contracts with about 90% supporting, the union announced in a press release...
ATI lockout drags into Christmas holiday season  WTAE  ...Allegheny Technologies locked out its employees Aug. 15, and labor negotiations continue to drag on. Members of United Steelworkers 1196 are on the picket lines as the holiday season begins. Their unemployment benefits expire in March. "This company was built by immigrants and labor, and to be treated like this is very devastating as an employee," union president Fran Arabia said...
Toledo Mobis workers take strike authorization vote  13ABC  ...Employees at a Fiat Chrysler supplier are taking a strike vote right now. Mobis workers help build the Jeep Wrangler at the Toledo Assembly Complex. The workers started voting at 11 Wednesday morning and voting continues until 7 Wednesday night. According to union leaders, Mobis has more than 500 employees here in Toledo.
What they do is critical to the assembly of the iconic Jeep Wrangler...
"All You Americans Are Fired"  Buzzfeed  ...Last year, thousands of American companies won permission to bring a total of more than 150,000 people into the country as legal guest workers for unskilled jobs, under a federal program that grants them temporary work permits known as H-2 visas. Officially, the guest workers were invited here to fill positions no Americans want. Yet a BuzzFeed News investigation has found that many businesses go to extraordinary lengths to skirt the law, deliberately denying jobs to American workers...
How Debt Collectors Ruin Lives  The Nation  ... Under the settlement in Federal District Court, involving various companies colluding in a huge debt-collection scheme, about $59 million will be paid out to individual consumers in a class of roughly 350,000 New Yorkers. They match the profile of typical debt-racket victims: mainly the poor and people of color. Beyond the hefty award, the lawsuit has helped expose what advocates describe as a reign of financial terror...
Pittsburgh attorney says unionizing should be a civil right  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette  ...Pittsburghers know as well as anyone that labor unions are struggling. In 2014, federal statistics show, 11.1 percent of all workers were union members — roughly half the rate in 1983, when Pittsburgh’s unionized steelworkers were stepping out of the gate for the last time. If unions can reverse that decline, a 2012 book co-authored by Pittsburgher Moshe Marvit may be one reason why...

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS
Married Couple Committed San Bernardino Massacre Before Being Killed by Police  Slate  ...What we know about Wednesday's massacre of at least 14 people at a social services center in San Bernardino, California, as of Thursday morning: Police believe the shooting was carried out by 28-year-old Syed Farook and 27-year-old Tashfeen Malik, who were married. Both were killed Wednesday in a shootout in San Bernardino after they were initially located in nearby Redlands...
Syed Farooq is an American: Let’s stop the Muslim vs. Christian debate and take a look at ourselves  Salon  ...Guessing the identity of shooters—black or white, Christian or Muslim, man or woman (though masculinity is almost guaranteed)—has become a vicious social media ritual.  Too many people seem to believe we can discern motivation by ethnicity, or that ethnicity alone determines what type of terror can rightly be deemed terrorism...
E. coli outbreak prompts Taylor Farms recall  Tracy Press  ...Taylor Farms Pacific Inc. of Tracy has voluntarily recalled 71 products sold at 7-Eleven, Raley’s, Costco and 10 other stores because of the possibility of E. coli contamination. A news release from the United States Food and Drug Administration referred to testing done by the Montana Department of Health, which found the virulent bacteria in a celery-and-onion diced blend that was used in a Costco Rotisserie Chicken Salad linked to a multi-state outbreak...
The Welfare State: A Terrible Name for an Essential System  The Atlantic  ...Regardless of whether the gig economy is growing, now is as good a time as ever to discuss the need for “the welfare state”—a highly useful policy program that has been given an off-putting name. “Welfare” has two main meanings: general well-being, and, in some circles, government handouts...
8 ways the super rich make life miserable for the rest of us  Salon  ...The richest Americans increasingly are taking over the levers of power and shaping the political debate, despite opposing views held by a majority of Americans, a new and unprecedented academic study of the top 1 percent has confirmed. The super-rich are more politically active than average Americans, financing and contacting elected officials and knowing many on a first-name basis...
Twenty Billionaires Have More Wealth Than Half U.S. Households  Huffington Post  ...The very wealthiest 400 Americans command dizzying fortunes. Their combined net worth, as catalogued in the 2015 Forbes 400 list, is $2.34 trillion. You can't make this list unless you're worth a cool $1.7 billion. These 400 rich people -- including Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey, and heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune -- have roughly as much wealth as the bottom 62 percent of the population, or over 190 million people added together, according to a new report...
Ray of hope for undocumented immigrants in sidelined debate on immigration  PRI  ...The Obama administration suffered a major setback last month in its effort to protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation. But a small victory from the Supreme Court this week has renewed hope for the program. An injunction blocking President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration was upheld in the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals...
If You Feel Like There Is A Mass Shooting Every Day, That’s Because There Basically Is  Think Progress  ...In 2015, the longest America has gone without a mass shooting happening somewhere was eight days. The country has gone three or more days without a mass shooting just 14 times so far this year. The 8-day streak in mid-April was the only time Americans passed a full week between mass shootings this year according to the site. In June, the United States literally failed to go more than a single day between mass shootings...