Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News 12.10.15

TEAMSTERS
Teamster Pilots at Kalitta Air Authorize Strike  Teamster.org  ...Pilots employed by Kalitta Air, LLC, have voted overwhelmingly, 213-7, to authorize a strike against the Ypsilanti, Mich.-based cargo airline.  Kalitta Air operates a fleet of Boeing 747 aircraft in support of the global network of DHL Express, a division of the German logistics company, Deutsche Post DHL.  Ninety-two percent of eligible pilots voted...
Decision to Close N.C. MillerCoors Brewery Draws Scrutiny at Senate Antitrust Hearing  Teamster.org  ...At a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing yesterday, concerns were raised about the recent decision by MillerCoors to close its Eden, N.C., brewery by the end of 2016. The decision to close the Eden brewery, which would eliminate roughly 10 percent of MillerCoors’ total production capacity and destroy about 450 Teamster jobs, was announced on Sept.14, 2015...
Teamsters Announce Fund to Assist San Bernardino Victims, Families  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters Joint Council 42 has created a support fund for the victims and families impacted by the San Bernardino shooting. Three Teamster members were killed and two were wounded in the shooting. “This is a tragic loss for the families of the victims and for our union family. Our Teamster brothers and sisters and their families need our support and we are here to help them,” said Randy Cammack...
Reyes/Great Lakes Coca-Cola Outside Workers Reject Contract Offer  Local 727  ...Outside workers at Reyes/Great Lakes Coca-Cola Distribution rejected the company’s four-year contract offer while inside workers overwhelmingly voted to ratify their new contract on Sunday, Dec. 6. Before the outside workers take a strike vote, the Teamsters Local 727 Bargaining Committee will ask the company to return to the bargaining table in good faith in order to avoid a labor dispute...
University Teamsters voting on tentative contract  Workday Minnesota  ...Members of Teamsters Local 320 (link is external) employed at the University of Minnesota are voting on a tentative contract settlement that includes a 2 percent wage increase and six weeks of paid maternity leave. Members are voting by mail, with ballots to be counted Dec. 21, the union said. The Local 320 contract covers some 1,100 custodial, food service, animal and land care workers...
Significant Wage And Benefit Gains For Facebook Drivers In Teamsters Contract  Labor Press  ...Silicon Valley drivers who shuttle Facebook employees have joined Teamsters Local 853, ratifying what the union says is a strong labor contract. The Teamsters contract includes significant wage and benefits improvements. Teamsters International Vice President and Local 853 Secretary Treasurer says the Teamsters are moving "to bring drivers in the entire shuttle bus industry into the Teamsters Union"...

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE
Canada: Cabdrivers Stage Uber Protest  NYTimes  ...Cabdrivers seeking a legal crackdown against Uber, the ride-sharing service, snarled traffic on expressways and downtown streets in Toronto on Wednesday. The disruption began during the morning rush hour with slow-moving convoys of taxis. Later, cabdrivers blocked a major downtown intersection. A police officer on a bicycle suffered minor injuries...
“No one has ever tried this before”: Mexican, U.S. Workers Bring Employer Charges Under NAFTA  In These Times  ...A transnational coalition of labor unions and community groups in the United States and Mexico charged multinational retail corporation Chedraui Commercial Group with violations of municipal, federal, and international labor law on November 12, filing unprecedented dual claims under compliant mechanisms embedded within the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)...
Lawmakers strike deal on key trade legislation  The Hill  ...House and Senate lawmakers on Wednesday announced a deal that would bolster U.S. customs enforcement, among the key trade items on President Obama’s legislative agenda. After months of behind-the-scenes negotiations, top lawmakers said they had reconciled their differences on the measure that funds the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency...
Levin urges Dems to oppose customs bill deal  The Hill  ...A top House Democrat is urging his colleagues to oppose a deal on a customs enforcement measure, according to a letter obtained by The Hill. Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.), the ranking member on the House Ways and Means Committee, expressed serious concerns about climate, human trafficking, immigration and currency provisions in the final House-Senate conference report released Wednesday...
Laid-off Newberg paper mill workers protest trade deal  Business Journal  ...Roughly 250 workers lost their jobs when a Newberg paper mill closed Nov. 17. On Tuesday, many returned to the mill to protest the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which they said would move U.S. jobs overseas. We don’t want other hard-working Oregon families to suffer the same hardships we have," said John Haslett, in a news release...
Three ways TTIP will violate your human rights  Independent  ...TTIP is promoted as being focused on the “shared values” of the USA and EU, including “upholding and promoting human rights”. However, the USA and EU prefer to protect corporations from human rights law; they were the strongest opponents of a UN move to create a binding mechanism for holding corporations accountable to international human rights law...
TTIP is a disaster for the Left. But Brexit would be worse  (opinion) New Statesmen  ...Combined with this trade agenda Cameron wants to cut the ‘burden’ of regulation. We should not be under any illusions: a UK outside the EU and governed by the Tories would lead to even further trade liberalisation, even more damaging trade deals and a deregulated corporate free-for-all...
'Austerity is hitting poorest children hardest', Welsh researchers claim  Wales Online  ...Austerity policies across Europe are hitting the poorest children hardest and local councils should do more to protect their rights, say researchers in Wales. The Wales Observatory on Human Rights of Children and Young People, which is based at Swansea University, has compiled a report on the effects of austerity polices based on evidence drawn from across Europe...
Ghana: Port Drivers' Union Want Burkinabe Counterparts Out  All Africa  ...According to the drivers, an illegal document called 'Bond de Chargement' has been imposed on them and failure to pay usually results in them being assaulted at the Burkinabe border. The chairman of the Joint Association of Port Transport Union, Husein Isahak said if the authorities fail to come to their aid, they will be forced to retaliate...

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES
NY Board Upholds $15 Minimum Wage for Fast-Food Workers  ABC  ...A state oversight board on Wednesday upheld the decision by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration to gradually raise the hourly minimum wage for many fast-food workers to $15. The New York Industrial Board of Appeals rejected the National Restaurant Association's arguments that that the wage order was unconstitutional, arbitrary, unsupported by the evidence and focused improperly on fast-food chains with more than 30 locations...
The public doesn’t support restrictive voter ID laws, but many new ones will be in force in 2016  Reuters  ...Defenders of photo ID laws regularly cite public opinion polls that show widespread support for their arguments. Yet these polls reveal no such support, and they prove nothing about this new restrictive legislation because the polls’ questions cover a far broader range of IDs than the actual laws accept as proof of identity. The Texas photo ID law and recent polls in Texas offer a telling example of the disparity between the laws’ actual content and what poll respondents can assume are in them...
Michigan Senate delays bill that would impact minimum wage for people under 20  WSBT  ...The minimum wage in the state is $8.15 an hour right now. It will increase to $8.50 in January. Right now 16 and 17-year-olds can be paid 85 percent of the current minimum wage. The bill being considered would allow employers to put 18 and 19-year-olds in that same category. Supporters say fewer 16 and 17-year-olds are applying for jobs...
Puerto Rico Legislature Approves Bill to Expand Paid Sick Leave Use  Lexology  ...Seeking to allow non-exempt employees to use paid sick leave for the illnesses of their family members and others, the Puerto Rico Legislature has sent a bill to Governor Alejandro García-Padilla to so amend the Commonwealth’s existing paid sick leave law. If House Bill 695 is approved, the amendments would become effective immediately. The Governor has 30 days to approve or veto HB 695...
Massachusetts’ Plan To Force State Prisoners To Pay Room And Board Will Do Far More Harm Than Good  Think Progress  ...Massachusetts currently spends at least $53,000 a year on every inmate — $1.2 billion in total. On Tuesday, the senate minority leader proposed a bill that would make 10,000 prisoners bear some of that financial burden. Under Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr’s (R-Gloucester) latest proposal, inmates would have to pay $2 a day for their food and housing...

U.S. LABOR
Talks continue between UAW, Kohler  Sheboygan Press  ...Talks are continuing between the Kohler Co. and the union representing about 2,100 striking production workers, company officials confirmed Wednesday, though neither side has indicated whether progress has been made toward a new labor pact. The talks come as United Auto Workers Local 833 members continue their more than 3-week-old strike, which has surpassed the duration of the union's last strike in 1983...
Chicago Teachers Union plans to vote on potential strike  Washington Post ...Chicago Teachers Union members plan to begin voting Wednesday on whether to authorize a strike, setting in motion the latest in a series of political challenges for Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The teachers’ contract expired in June, and efforts to reach a one-year contract agreement with Chicago Public Schools fell apart during the summer...
Coalinga hospital workers join SEIU-UHW  Business Journal  ...Health care workers at Coalinga Regional Medical Center recently voted to join SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West. Approximately 200 hundred health care workers voted to join the union, lending their support to SEIU-UHW’s campaign to fully fund Medi-Cal as well as the statewide ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021...
Capitol Food Workers Escalate Protests in Senate  Roll Call  ...Dozens of Capitol food workers went on strike Tuesday, demanding to negotiate higher wages with their management and taking their message to other Senate workspace, specifically calling on Sen. Ted Cruz, who sits on the committee that oversees their contract, to support their push for better pay and union representation. The workers flooded the Texas Republican’s office, and the hallway outside, to award Cruz the “Golden Grinch” award...
AFSCME Plans Rally As Contract Talks Drag On  Northern Public Radio  ...The state's largest public employee union remains at odds with Governor Bruce Rauner's administration on a new contract. Negotiators for the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees have been meeting with the governor's staff about twice a month since the summer. But AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall says there's been little movement toward a deal...
Walmart’s Imports From China Displaced 400,000 Jobs, a Study Says  NYTimes  ...Imports from China by Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer and biggest importer, eliminated or displaced over 400,000 jobs in the United States between 2001 and 2013, according to an estimate by the Economic Policy Institute, a progressive research group that has long targeted Walmart’s policies. The jobs, mostly in manufacturing, represent about 13 percent of the 3.2 million jobs displaced...
Here's How Much the U.S. Middle Class Has Changed in 45 Years  Bloomberg  ...In the age of rising income inequality, the task of preserving America’s middle class has been taken on by politicians across the ideological spectrum. A new report from Pew Research Center shows just how much the economic fortunes of this group have changed since the 1970s. In every decade since then, the percentage of adults living in middle-income households has fallen...
Unwarranted Outcry: NLRB Browning-Ferris Decision Re-establishes Employer Responsibility  CAP Action  ...A recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board, or NLRB, that attempts to more clearly define who is a joint employer—and therefore responsible for bargaining and respecting workers’ rights—has triggered the predictable conservative backlash. However, a closer look at the facts indicates just how unwarranted this backlash is. Unfortunately, these latest criticisms are merely the continuation of conservative attacks on the NLRB and its efforts to uphold workers’ rights...

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS
Showing How US Can Stand Up to Wall Street, Europe Advances 'Robin Hood Tax'  Common Dreams  ...Ten European Union countries agreed on Tuesday to some aspects of a so-called "Robin Hood Tax" on financial transactions, offering a model for U.S. politicians who have thus far showed little resolve on standing up to Wall Street high-rollers. As Reuters explains, a financial transaction tax (FTT) "is intended to recover some of the public money used to support banks [and] to curb speculative trading"...
Immigrants Say They Suffered Abuse And Neglect At This California Detention Center  Think Progress  ...Ten men filed a complaint against an immigration detention center in California this week, alleging physical abuse, medical neglect, and retaliatory transfers while they were detainees. The complaint, filed on behalf of the ten former and current immigrant detainees by the immigrant advocacy group Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC), alleges multiple incidents of physical assault...
"It's Going to Burn Our Planet": Hundreds Protest "Unacceptable" Draft Climate Accord Inside COP21  Democracy Now  ...It’s the final stretch of negotiations at the United Nations climate change summit, COP21, as representatives from nearly 200 countries attempt to reach a final deal before the weekend. A draft text released Wednesday has nearly 100 outstanding points of disagreement that still need to be resolved, including the role that wealthy and more advanced developing countries should play in helping vulnerable nations cope with the impacts of climate change...
The Psychology of the Affirmative-Action Backlash  The Nation  ...The Supreme Court re-hears Abigail Fisher’s case against the University of Texas today.  If the High Court rules in her favor, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin will shake affirmative-action policy to its core.  According to court documents, 49 students with lower scores and grades than Fisher were offered provisional admission to UT through the summer program. Only five of those arguably under-qualified students were black or Hispanic; the other 42 were white...