Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For January 29, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Passionate words from public over Workplace Freedom Act  Metro News  ...Teamsters International General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall has railed against the bill from its inception.  He issued an angry address during the public hearing in which he called out lawmakers and WVU. “It is time we get down to talking about what the truth is,” Hall said. “Contrary to what I hear, the funding for this was provided by the West Virginia Legislature.  The opinions herein are those of the author"...

Unions, Business Leaders Vent at Right-to-Work Hearing  WOWK  ...Once again the capitol was packed with union members and their supporters, in hopes of trying to stop the Right-to-Work bill from becoming law in the Mountain State. "It's going to do what it's designed to do, which is weaken unions. So that eventually they lower the wages of the workers, and lower the benefits," said Ken Hall, WV Teamsters President...

Jewel Teamsters Continue Negotiations with Slow-Moving Employer  Local 710  ...Local 710 met for another marathon bargaining session today at Park Ridge. The committee first met to discuss priorities as set by the membership. The union wants to focus on coming up with ways to address issues pertaining to the disparity between workers, but additional information is still needed from the information requests. Jewel continued to drag their feet to provide the necessary response...

Teamsters and others fighting pension battle over multi-employer fund  Workday Minnesota  ...A half mile from their union hall, more 220 retired members of Teamsters Local 346 gathered at Holy Family Catholic Church in Duluth’s West End last Thursday to fight for their pensions. Retired IBT Local 346 Secretary-Treasurer Pat Radzak said he was sick about what was happening to their retirees. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has no control over the CSPF and is on record opposed to the pension cuts, and supports KOPPA and the Pension Accountability Act...

Union Challenges Osco’s Refusal to Provide Health Care Information  Local 727  ...Teamsters Local 727 has filed an unfair labor practice charge against Osco because the company still refuses to provide relevant information about its health and welfare plan. The union initially requested information about the costs and contributions associated with Osco’s health and welfare plan on Nov. 5, 2015. When the company finally responded, Osco management said they would not provide the information...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Global unions criticize Bangladesh Government over EU compact  IndustriALL  ...Three global unions have made a critical assessment of the Government of Bangladesh saying it is failing to comply with a compact made with the European Union in the wake of the Rana Plaza disaster. More than 1,110 workers were killed when a garment factory complex collapsed in April 2013.  The Bangladesh Sustainability Compact was established between the European Union and the Government of Bangladesh with the support of the International Labour Organization (ILO)...

Gabon: Health workers strike over unpaid salaries  Africa News  ...The Gabonese government is under pressure from health workers across the country over unpaid salaries. The strikers are demanding unpaid premiums, higher wages and better working conditions. The government has not budged. Joel Ella Ondo, president of the Union of Health Staff said: “Today all health workers understand that their concerns are being undermined and there is no dialogue...

London Underground maintenance workers vote in favour of Tube strike  Metro  ...Maintenance workers on London Underground have voted in favour of strike action. The announcement is the latest blow for Tube passengers in the long-running dispute over plans for an all-night Tube service. Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union backed walkouts by 352 votes to 82...

North American ministers meet in Quebec as TPP casts shadow  CTVNews  ...North America's three foreign ministers will be all smiles when they meet Friday to discuss the upcoming Canadian-hosted leaders' summit, but Canada and Mexico may bring some lingering resentment towards their American amigo on trade. A landmark 12-country Pacific Rim trade deal, which covers 40 per cent of the world economy, was eventually struck in October. Canada plans to sign the deal next month before consulting with Parliament on future ratification...

Justin Trudeau government inches toward Trans-Pacific Partnership deal  The Star  ...Canada’s new Liberal government has taken the first tentative step toward adopting the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade, investment and regulatory deal. International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland said the government’s decision to sign onto the pact next week doesn’t necessarily mean Canada is committed to it...

Here’s why TTIP won’t create jobs  (opinion) Left Foot Forward  ...TTIP, a trade deal currently in negotiation between the EU and the US, is a good example of policy makers and economists saying different things. According to a House of Lords report, ‘both the European Commission and the UK government have identified ‘jobs and growth’ as the overriding purpose of concluding a TTIP agreement’. But economists know that trade deals do not increase employment – nor do they raise the rate of growth...

Portugal's Government Hangs Tough on Ending Austerity  ABC  ...European authorities want Portugal to keep cutting spending. The aim is to reduce the debt burden that forced Portugal to ask for a 78 billion-euro ($85 billion) bailout in 2011. In return for the cash which prevented the country's bankruptcy, Portugal had to enact a series of spending cuts and tax increases that weighed on the economy and pushed unemployment sharply higher...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Assembly passes bill to double holiday pay for retail workers  Business Journal  ...The California Assembly passed legislation Wednesday that would require double-time pay on Thanksgiving and Christmas for workers in large retail and grocery stores operating in California. The legislation, authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, a San Diego Democrat, would apply to large retail stores...

WV House holds hearing for right-to-work bill  DPost  ...House Judiciary began its work on SB 1, the right-to-work bill, Thursday morning, Jan. 28 — holding an hour-long public hearing on the topic legislative leadership terms one of its top priorities. Testimony for and against the bill was evenly balanced — 12 for each side, an unusual occurrence at public hearings in recent years. Opponents say it will break unions, drive jobs out of state and lower wages...

Renewed push for paid sick leave gets pushback from new poll for business groups  Maryland Reporter  ...Legislators are bringing back a proposed requirement for paid sick leave, along with a package of bills seeking equal pay for women and family leave. Employers are already pushing back against the proposal, commissioning a poll that shows Marylanders support the concept of paid sick leave, but withdraw their support when told of its negative consequences...

Union membership plunges in wake of right to work law  LaCrosse Tribune  ...Newly released data show union membership plummeted last year as Wisconsin adopted "right to work" legislation. The percentage of workers belonging to a union fell from 11.7 percent in 2014 to 8.3 percent in 2015. That 3.4 point drop was the largest decline in any of the 50 states, dropping Wisconsin from 19th to 32nd place, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics...

Minimum-wage bill passes Kentucky House committee  WLKY  ...Despite opposition, a bill to gradually raise Kentucky's minimum wage advanced Thursday in Frankfort. There was a vigorous debate over the bill, with supporters saying it will help the economy and opponents saying it will hurt the economy. "People recognize that by putting more money in these people's pockets, you actually increase the chances that the economy will get better,” House Speaker Greg Stumbo said...

These Workers Want To Change Republican Candidates’ Minds On The Minimum Wage  Think Progress  ...Low-wage workers walked out of their jobs on Thursday morning in protest of their poor pay and lack of benefits. It was the first-ever strike by fast-food workers in Iowa, organized by the Fight for $15 campaign, which is advocating for a $15 minimum wage across the country. And it was no mistake that the strike and protest took place just hours before the Republican presidential debate in Des Moines, Iowa...

Conservative National Groups Battle in the States Over Constitution Redo  Truthout  ...Some 27 states have active calls for a convention on a balanced budget amendment, which would force the federal government to pass budgets that do not enlarge the national debt. While the legislation appears to be a grassroots effort bubbling up from the states, in reality it's quite the opposite. The push is led by American Legislative Exchange Council...

 

U.S. LABOR

USW protestors gain audience with CEO Mittal  NWI Times  ...United Steelworkers union members rallied outside ArcelorMittal North America headquarters to send a message they want a fair contract. They got that message across better than they could have hoped, not just from a megaphone on the sidewalk in the bitter cold, but upstairs in an executive office...

Union workers rally at steel giant Chicago headquarters  Chicago Tribune  ...Northwest Indiana union steelworkers employed at ArcelorMittal mills were able to take their message that they want a new contract to the top of the corporate ladder Wednesday. A delegation of five United Steelworker members from Northwest Indiana was invited to have coffee and a brief discussion of the issues with the steel giant's chairman and chief executive officer, Lakshmi Mittal...

Detroit teachers sue school district to fix crumbling schools and fire emergency manager  Daily Kos  ...The Detroit Federation of Teachers joined with some parents Thursday to sue the school district over conditions in the schools. "Asking a child to learn or a teacher to instruct with steam coming from their mouth due to the cold in the classroom, in vermin infested rooms, with ceiling tiles falling from above, with buckets to catch the rain water falling from above, or in buildings that are literally making them sick is more than what is legally or constitutionally tolerable," the lawsuit says...

Settlement reached in back-pay dispute at Providence restaurant  Providence Journal  ...The owners of a downtown restaurant and a group of 13 former employees have settled a dispute over back pay that had led to multiple public demonstrations over the past three months, representatives of both sides in the dispute said Wednesday. Jobs with Justice, an alliance of activist organizations, and Fuerza Laboral, a Central Falls-based labor rights group, had advocated on behalf of the ex-employees...

Flint: Plumbers Help Install Filters  WILX  ...The local plumbers union started going door too door on Thursday, and since then they've helped about a thousand homes. "It's a little easier for me just cause I've been around it," said Slatton. "I know what I'm doing, what I"m looking for." He's just one of about 20 plumbers working on the project every day, visiting the elderly or disabled first...

U.S. Unions Added to Ranks in 2015 But Failed to Gain Market Share  Wall Street Journal  ...The rate of union membership in the U.S. held steady last year, with slight overall gains in union membership rosters outweighed by the rising ranks of nonunion workers. The share of U.S. workers in unions last year was unchanged at 11.1%, according to Labor Department figures released Thursday, a reflection of the labor movement’s struggle to reverse years of stagnation that followed decades of declines...

What Obama’s Doing To Shrink The Gender Wage Gap  Think Progress  ...Obama will announce executive action on Friday to institute a new requirement that companies with 100 or more employees report what workers are paid broken down by gender, race, and ethnicity to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The information will be included on a form companies already submit every year about employee demographic information...

Why Freelancers Need a Nonpayment Law  Fast Company  ...According to newly published data from the Freelancers Union, about half of freelancers surveyed in 2014 reported they had trouble getting paid by one or more of their clients. The average amount lost was $6,390. For the average respondent, that amount represented 13% of their annual income. If this were to happen to a full-time employee, they would be entitled to file a wage-theft complaint...

Ending the "Independent Contractor" Charade in On-Demand & Just-In-Time Work  NELP  ...In the last week alone, two companies in the on-demand and just-in-time-delivery economies reclassified their workers as “employees” and gave up the “independent contractor” model that has generated litigation and protest from workers. At the same time, industry behemoths Uber, Lyft, and Amazon are spending millions to defend their questionable practices...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Chicago Police Officer Plans To Sue Teenager He Shot And Killed  Think Progress  ...Though Rialmo is planning to file a civil lawsuit for his emotional distress, it is not uncommon for police officers to criminally charge victims of brutality with assault, a tactic known as a “cover charge.” New York City prosecutors even charged an unarmed police shooting victim with felony assault, for causing police to accidentally shoot bystanders when they were aiming for him...

Trump Absent, GOP Presidential Candidates Face Off on Syria, Planned Parenthood and Islamophobia  Democracy Now  ...Seven Republican presidential candidates faced off Thursday in their final debate before the Iowa caucuses. The front-runner, at least according to the polls, was missing. Donald Trump hosted his own event three miles away, saying he was boycotting the debate after Fox News refused to remove anchor Megyn Kelly as one of its moderators...

Corporate Crime Runs Rampant Thanks to 'Rigged' System: Elizabeth Warren  Common Dreams  ...Corporate criminals routinely escape meaningful prosecution for their misconduct." This is the damning verdict of Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-Mass.) report released Friday, Rigged Justice: How Weak Enforcement Lets Corporate Offenders Off Easy. Described as "the first in an annual series on enforcement," the 12-page booklet "highlights 20 of the most egregious civil and criminal cases during the past year in which federal settlements failed to require meaningful accountability...

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