Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For February 10, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Teamsters to File Lawsuit Against WV Senate Over Secret Emails  Teamster.org  ...The Teamsters Union will file a lawsuit this week against the West Virginia State Senate accusing Senate leaders of concealing email communications with a professor at West Virginia University (WVU) concerning right-to-work (RTW) legislation. The Teamsters are concerned that legislative supporters of the pending right-to-work legislation used state money to fund a study that was intended to provide cover for their anti-worker objectives...

Teamsters Speak Out Against MillerCoors Plans To Close Eden Facility  Teamster.org  ...Labor radio show host, Rick Smith, interviewed Vernon Gammon, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 391, Greensboro, North Carolina, about MillerCoors threat to close the Eden, North Carolina, brewery.  Despite the brewery being one of the most profitable in the entire MillerCoors brewing network, the company plans to close by September, 2016.   The over 500 members of Local 391 who work at the plant have been protesting since the decision was announced...

Teamsters Back Broadcasters on Retrans Review  Multichannel  ...The Teamsters union is putting its muscle behind a broadcaster effort discouraging the FCC from modifying its "totality of circumstances" test for good-faith retransmission-consent negotiations. In a letter to the FCC this week, Teamsters president James Hoffa said the Teamsters play "integral" roles in TV and move production and that anything, like a change in the test, that could negatively impact the retrans money broadcasters get from MVPDs "could then affect the Teamsters members"...

Riled Teamsters at Mpls. meeting voice opposition to pension cuts  Star Tribune  ...Even Teamsters leadership has called on Treasury to reject the rescue plan, which was crafted by trustees of the Central States fund to rescue the giant fund from insolvency. Treasury has a May 7 deadline for a decision. The cuts would affect 272,600 members of the plan, nearly 15,000 of them in Minnesota...

Teamsters target Sony for hiring the 'wrong' movers for its headquarters relocation  Crain's  ...When Sony hired commercial moving company Sher-Del Transfer to relocate its U.S. headquarters from midtown to the Flatiron district, it unwittingly triggered a political and labor backlash. Teamsters Local 814 considers the Movers Association’s unions to be shams aligned with lower-paying companies. Of the trade group’s two unions, Local 514 of the Brotherhood of Amalgamated Trades appears to be the union’s only local...

Laborers in modern economy drive legal, political battle over the nature of work  SacBee  ...The California bill follows a vote by the Seattle City Council in December to allow app-based drivers to unionize. Leonard Smith, director of organizing for Teamsters Local 117, which spearheaded the effort, called it a matter of basic job security. He said he heard from numerous drivers who made less than the minimum wage. “We’re essentially creating a class of serfs"...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Tube strike: Hundreds of track patrol staff to join walk-out  BBC  ...The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said 500 track patrol staff plan join 1,500 maintenance workers in a 24-hour strike from 18:00 GMT on Friday. The track patrol staff are in dispute over the use of private contractors, which they say will "casualise" their jobs. Transport for London (TfL) said it was still trying to assess the impact the walk-outs would have...

Ivorian Oil Workers Strike as ICC Trial of Former Leaders Continues  Global Research  ...Hundreds of oil workers from a state-owned petroleum corporation in the West African state of Ivory Coast walked off the job in a three day strike on February 2. They were protesting against the lay-offs of nearly 10 percent of the firm’s employees. Some accounts of the situation say that as many as 200 workers could lose their jobs out of work force of approximately 600 employees...

The Toxic Work Environments That Produce Your Pots and Pans  The Nation   ...The New York-based advocacy group China Labor Watch sent researchers to five factories in southern China that make frying pans and other cookware for major Western brands such as Walmart, IKEA, and Cuisinart and found gleaming anodized pots being burnished by workers blanketed with “metallic dust.” These workers are subjected to exploitative piece-work pay scales, denied social insurance, and exposed to toxic chemicals... 

Ryan: Votes not there for trade agreement  Journal Times  ...One of the major priorities for President Barack Obama’s final year is on thin ice in Congress. House Speaker Paul Ryan said in an interview Tuesday that many concerns have been raised over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a major 12-country trade deal with Pacific Rim countries reached last year. Obama has called for Congress to pass the agreement...

Opposite of Transparency: Germany's TTIP Room 'Smacks of Totalitarianism'  Sputnik News  ...With concerns over the controversial TTIP trade deal between the EU and US, a select number of German MPs have been granted limited access to view the agreement in its current form. Despite this initiative, lawmaker Katja Kipping has raised serious concerns about the transparency of the deal...

Greek farmers threaten to escalate austerity protests  DW.com  ...The farmers plan to continue their protest until the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras deals with their demands, which include canceling planned pension cuts, abolishing a new tax on wine and tsipouro brandy, and granting tax-free diesel for farmers - as well as a 12,000-euro ($13,400) tax exemption per year. Roadblocks at various checkpoints along Greece's border with Bulgaria have made international headlines....

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Welfare Drug Tests In Tennessee Are Coming Up Pretty Close To Empty  Think Progress  ...A year and a half after it started spending money and time to screen welfare applicants for drug use, Tennessee still hasn’t found many poor people who are “getting all potted up on weed“. Out of 39,121 people who have applied for Families First in Tennessee benefits since the state instituted drug tests in mid-2014, just 65 have tested positive for narcotics...

A New Hampshire Republican Tries To Sneak In A New Kind Right To Work For Less Bill  NH Labor News  ...Tomorrow, the NH House Labor Committee will hold their public hearing on HB 1341 a new and very sneaky way to pass a Right To Work for less bill. Republican Representative John Martin introduced HB1341 as a way for non-union members, who are covered by a union contract, to get out of paying their fair share by allowing them to make a donation to the charity of their choice...

NM Senate committee kills right-to-work bill  KOB  ...Right-to-work legislation generated fiery testimony in a state Senate committee Tuesday night before it was killed on a party-line vote. Each year, Republicans dust off right-to-work and put it out there. They now control the House, so it passed there, but Democrats rule the Senate and the Democrat-led Senate Public Affairs Committee is expected to swing the wrecking ball...

Sweeney, Norcross push $15 minimum wage for N.J. and nation  NJ.com  ...U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross and state Senate President Stephen Sweeney on Tuesday announced they will introduce near-identical bills to gradually raise the state and federal minimum wage to $15 and offer tax breaks to small businesses that go above and beyond the minimum...

This Bill Would Force Large Corporations to Pay a Fine if They Don't Pay Workers a Living Wage  Truthout  ...A group of Chicago-area progressive groups and unions are backing a bill that would punish large companies who don't pay their workers a living wage. The Responsible Business Act would charge corporations who employ more than 750 Cook County workers at less than $15 per hour fees for paying what advocates call poverty-level wages. Since it was introduced in October last year, the act has gained the support of unions and grassroots organizations...

Virginia Argues Centuries Of Racism Are ‘Not Relevant’ To Current Voter ID Law  Think Progress  ...Attorneys for the state of Virginia are trying to prevent any testimony about the state’s history of racism from being heard in an upcoming trial over Virginia’s strict voter ID law, arguing that the past is “not relevant” to the case. In a motion filed Monday, Virginia’s State Board of Election told a federal judge that no witness should be allowed to mention any “evidence of Virginia’s history of racial discrimination”...

  

U.S. LABOR

CWA Keeps Up Pressure on Altice-Cablevision  Multichannel  ... The Communications Workers of America has told the New York State Public Service Commission that the proposed merger of Altice and Cablevision Systems is not in the public interest and should be rejected. The 700,000-member union, which represents 300 Cablevision employees, made its argument in initial comments to the New York PSC...

UAW Adds to Unfair Labor Practices Allegations at Volkswagen  ABC  ...The United Auto Workers alleges that Volkswagen has failed to consult with a newly elected maintenance workers union on a range of issues from vending machine prices to out-of-pocket prescription drug costs despite a union victory at the plant in December. The union in filings with the National Labor Relations Board on Tuesday also alleges that a black employee was fired for taking photographs to support a claim of workplace discrimination...

An Uber Labor Movement Born in a LaGuardia Parking Lot  The New Yorker  ...Last Tuesday afternoon, at LaGuardia Airport’s Lot 7, fifty Uber drivers logged out of the app and staged a strike. Lot 7 is where drivers typically wait to pick up arriving passengers, and it was full of rows of black and gray sedans and S.U.V.s. The protesters stood at the entrance to the lot, holding hand-drawn signs that read, “Support us we have family too” and “Bring back rates to where they were”... 

Papa John’s Ordered to Pay Almost $800,000 in Wage Theft Case  RH Reality Check  ...A Papa John’s pizza franchise in New York must pay its workers nearly $800,000 in unpaid wages over allegations the business underpaid employees and failed to pay overtime, a state judge ruled last week. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in December sued Emstar Pizza Inc., which operates seven Papa John’s franchise locations in Brooklyn and Queens...

900 USC hospital workers to strike over contract dispute  MyNewsLA  ...More than 900 healthcare and support workers at Keck Hospital of USC will take part in a one-day strike today in a continuing dispute over salaries and benefits. Hospital officials said they plan to have replacement workers on duty to prevent any disruptions while members of the National Union of Healthcare Workers take part in the job action. According to the hospital, the union represents respiratory therapists, surgery technicians, unit secretaries and environmental services and facilities engineers...

Grocery Worker Retention Act Becomes Law  UFCW  ...New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio yesterday signed the Grocery Worker Retention Act (GWRA) into law. The GWRA provides for a 90-day transition period to eligible employees following a change in ownership of a grocery store. “We applaud Mayor de Blasio and the city council for passing this important legislation,” said RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Flint Special Counsel: Officials Face Possible Manslaughter Charges for Water Contamination  Slate  ...The investigation into the contamination of the drinking water in Flint, Michigan could result in criminal charges for those responsible, including potential involuntary manslaughter charges that are punishable by up to 15 years in prison. That’s according to the state’s Attorney General-appointed special counsel, Todd Flood, who addressed the media on Tuesday alongside state investigators, who are still trying to untangle who knew what and when...

Arizona Is Paying a High Price for Cracking Down on Illegal Immigration  Mother Jones  ...Arizona is a test case of what happens to an economy when such migrants leave, and it illustrates the economic tensions fueling the immigration debate. Economists of opposing political views agree the state’s economy took a hit when large numbers of illegal immigrants left for Mexico and other border states, following a broad crackdown...

From Self-Driving Cars To Clean Energy, Obama Lays Out His Plan For A Climate-Smart Economy  Think Progress  ...President Obama sent his final budget proposal to Congress Tuesday, and there’s a lot in there for environmentalists to love. Of the $4.1 trillion in proposed spending, more than $47 billion would be spent on programs related to the environment and climate change, from expanding climate resilience to greening the nation’s transportation system...

Obama Will Seek $11 Billion for Homeless Families  New York Times  ...After making progress in reducing homelessness among veterans, the Obama administration is turning to the larger and more complicated challenge of homelessness among families with young children. In his 2017 budget, to be presented on Tuesday, President Obama will propose spending $11 billion over the next 10 years to fight family homelessness...

Act Now, Urges Study, or Planet Faces 10,000+ Years of Climate Doom  Common Dreams  ...The actions that policymakers take in the next couple of years will have "profound impacts on global climate, ecosystems and human societies" for the next 10,000 years and beyond, warns a new report that examines the long-term consequences of the so called "fossil fuel era." The agreement hashed out at the COP21 Paris climate talks "leaves a lot of leeway" for countries to postpone making critical cuts to their emission outputs...

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