Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For February 11, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Teamsters Offer $10G For Missing Astoria Woman   Queens Gazette  ...A union representing a 30-year-old Astoria flight attendant who went missing on January 14 is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to her whereabouts. Members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Airline Division said in the announcement that they are “deeply concerned” about Sierra Shields, who disappeared after leaving LaGuardia Airport at about noon on January 14...

Union Pushes to Resolve Dr. Pepper Snapple Grievances  Local 727  ...Teamsters Local 727 representatives have been hard at work fighting against Dr. Pepper Snapple management’s recent contract violations. “The union takes each and every contract violation seriously and will do everything in its power to right management’s wrongs,” said John Coli Jr., President of Local 727. Teamsters Local 727 represents more than 2,000 beverage industry worker...

First Transit DuPage Drivers Stand Strong for Contract  Local 727  ...Teamsters Local 727-represented paratransit drivers at First Transit DuPage on Jan. 26 ratified a new contract that includes wage increases, job protections and many other economic and non-economic improvements. The Local 727 Bargaining Committee and the company returned to the bargaining table after the 27 members unanimously rejected First Transit’s previous offer in November...

Treasury Department Announces Kansas City, Mo. Public Session for Feedback on CSPF Rescue Plan  Teamster.org  ...The Treasury Department announced the details today for a public session in Kansas City, Mo. on Tuesday, Feb. 16 for Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund retirees and participants to offer feedback on the proposed rescue plan. The session will be hosted by Treasury appointee Kenneth R. Feinberg who is overseeing the rescue plan review process...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

LafargeHolcim South Africa Workers Plan Strike, Union Says  Bloomberg   ...South African workers at LafargeHolcim Ltd. plan to strike on Thursday over a demand for wage and benefit increases at the local operations of the world’s biggest cement maker. The National Union of Mineworkers, which started pay talks with the Franco-Swiss company in October, is demanding a salary increase of 13 percent and benefits including a housing grant, Petrus Mositi, a shop steward for the union, said...

Justice for South Asian Migrant Workers in the Gulf Requires a New Kind of Solidarity  In These Times  ...Since 2006, migrant workers have launched a spate of labor actions and strikes in the UAE. These actions, combined with mounting evidence of the mistreatment and deaths of workers building the World Cup infrastructure in neighboring Qatar, has attracted global attention to the plight of the workforce on which the economic growth of the Gulf has been built...

Tube strike February 2016: Maintenance workers strike called off  Independent  ...A planned strike by London Underground (LU) maintenance workers on Friday has been called off, the RMT union says. LU maintenance staff were to walk out in a dispute over safety conditions, with a 24-hour strike set to begin at 6.20am on Friday 12 February...

Trans-Pacific Partnership Signed in New Zealand amid Mass Protests  Global Research  ...Approximately 20,000 people marched through Queen Street and thousands rallied outside the SkyCity Casino in Auckland where the deal was signed. Protesters held placards and chanted slogans denouncing the TPP as a power-grab by US-based multinational corporations. The rallies reflected widespread opposition to the TPP in the working class...

US, Italy Leaders Push for TTIP Outcome Amid Questions over Timeline  ICTSD  ...US President Barack Obama and Italian President Sergio Mattarella publicly urged for finalising a major trade and investment pact between the United States and the European Union, just weeks before the trading giants are set to hold their first negotiating round of the New Year. “We agreed that joint and common action between the United States and Italy not only serves the interest of both our countries, but the broader transatlantic relationship"...

Trans-Pacific Partnership: Written by and for the rich to further enrich themselves at our expense  (opinion) Salon  ...Practically all of the massive annual increases in U.S. income, which every worker helps produce, now gushes up to the richest 1 percent, with millionaires and billionaires (the richest 10 percent of 1-percenters) grabbing the bulk of it. Economists have a technical term for this: “stealing.” TPP is written specifically to sanction and increase the robbery of the many by the world’s moneyed few...

Pacific trade pact is terrible for U.S. workers  (opinion) SacBee  ...The notion that a flawed trade deal such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership would create jobs or chip away at widening income inequality is pure fantasy. West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon perpetuated it, leaving out pertinent facts about the deal’s impact. Like every other recent trade pact, the TPP is chock-full of goodies for corporate special interests while woefully inadequate on labor and environmental safeguards...

Preaching austerity, Egypt president rolls out 2.5-mile-long red carpet  CBS  ...Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is facing criticism after a massive red carpet was laid over public roads for his motorcade during a trip to open a social housing project in a Cairo suburb, where he preached austerity. Images of the giant red carpet prompted a wave of ridicule on social media, with a hashtag mocking the carpet trending in Arabic...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Union workers protest Right to Work Bill  WVNST  ...Last week the Right to Work bill passed in the House of Delegates. The law would mean, workers would not be required to pay dues to the unions that represent them. Andrew Kenney, one of the protesters, thinks that would be unfair, "It erodes the power of our union, by people being able to come in and enjoy the benefits that we worked for like this and they don't pay their fair shares, it's like riding a bus for free"...

MN Gov. Dayton calls for 6 weeks paid parenting leave for state workers  Star Tribune  ...Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday proposed six weeks of paid leave for new parents employed by the state, saying the bonding between newborns and their mothers and fathers “is just crucial.” More than 35,000 state employees would be eligible for the leave after the birth or adoption of a child though the governor’s office said that only 500 people are expected to use it annually... 

NC redistricting case heads to US Supreme Court  WRAL  ...A trio of federal judges on Tuesday refused to delay their order that North Carolina redraw its congressional districts map before holding elections for the state's 13 U.S. House members. That rejection was quickly appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court by state election officials...

$15 minimum wage would create $6.5 billion for NYC economy, state report says  Daily News  ...Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would benefit 927,400 city workers and pump $6.5 billion into the city’s economy, according to state Labor Department report released Wednesday. The report predicted that Gov. Cuomo’s proposal for a $15 minimum wage would boost wages for 2.3 million workers across the state and generate $15.7 billion for New York’s economy through increased consumer spending...

Fast-food workers plan strike before Milwaukee Democratic debate  Business Journal  ...Fast-food workers across the state plan to strike Thursday in a protest of the minimum wage before the Democratic presidential candidates take the stage in Milwaukee in another debate. The workers will to demand a $15 per hour minimum wage. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. The protest likely will draw more than 1,000 demonstrators, organizers say...

Assembly unanimously passes measure altering workers compensation laws  Cap Times  ...With no debate, Wisconsin Assembly lawmakers unanimously approved a bill altering the state’s worker compensation law Tuesday night. The Republican bill allows the state to more aggressively pursue allegations of fraud and caps the amount of money an employee can receive for some injuries. It also shortens the statute of limitations for what it deems “traumatic injuries” from 12 to six years...

Finally Fairness for Home Care Workers  Huffington Post  ...Like employees that do similar work in hospitals and nursing homes, millions of home care providers across the country--including California's roughly 400,000 IHSS providers--will now earn overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours a week. They will also receive pay for wait time for when they accompany their clients to doctors' appointments and travel time for the time they spend driving between clients...

Restoring Voting Rights for Felons in Maryland  The Atlantic  ...The Maryland General Assembly restored Tuesday the right to vote for more than 40,000 released felons, overriding a veto by Governor Larry Hogan. Maryland’s Senate approved the bill on a narrow 29-18 vote, while the state House of Delegates voted 85-56 in favor of it on January 20. Under the state’s previous laws, felons regained the right to vote after completing their entire sentence, including probation or parole...

 

U.S. LABOR

A huge coal miners’ pension plan is on the brink of failure. One senator is blocking a fix.  Washington Post  ...McConnell’s office had delivered its own blow to Appalachian coal towns: It blocked efforts to rescue health and pension funds on which thousands of retired and disabled miners rely. A plan that would ensure the solvency of the funds nearly made it through Congress in December as part of the bipartisan budget deal...

Surge Pricing Is Uber’s Best Weapon Against Striking Drivers  BuzzFeed  ...even as strikers gain traction, and tensions with management rise, drivers have yet to form a sizable union or independent worker center. One reason for this is structural: drivers are locked into a software-based platform where organizing is virtually impossible, with built-in financial rewards for scabs...

Wage Theft, Sexual Assault, And No Sick Leave: The Horrible Conditions Facing Poultry Workers  Think Progress  ...Approximately 300,000 poultry workers make it possible for Americans to consume 1.3 billion chicken wings for big events like the Super Bowl and Thanksgiving. But many of those workers include people of color and immigrants who are often subject to wage discrepancies, discrimination, and poor working conditions, as a recent Northwest Arkansas Workers Justice Center (NWAWJC) report found...

Dems push for greater labor protections for TSA workers  The Hill  ...Reps. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) have introduced legislation that would grant TSA workers, who are already unionized, rights that include "collective bargaining, whistleblower protections, and protections against discrimination based on age or handicap." The lawmakers said the extra safeguards would help the TSA retain workers, who have been represented by the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) since 2011...

Chipotle liable for discriminating against female workers  Cincinnati.com  ...A federal jury in Cincinnati Monday determined Chipotle Mexican Grill wrongfully terminated three former general managers on the basis of their genders and violated the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. Their suit alleged they were wrongly terminated by a former manager who treated male general managers better than the three females...

NJ Transit Rail Workers Threaten Strike as They Fight for Better Health Benefits  NBC   ...Union officials representing rail workers said Wednesday their members are prepared to strike unless New Jersey Transit improves an offer they say would increase workers' health premiums by hundreds of dollars per month. At an NJ Transit board meeting, the head of the union that represents conductors said 17 unions affected by the contract negotiations have authorized a strike if necessary...

Keck workers go on strike to demand better benefits  Daily Trojan  ...In the center of USC’s Health Sciences Campus Wednesday, a crowd of red-shirted demonstrators stood with picket-signs, chanting over the din of cars driving past, which occasionally honked in support. These health care workers participated in a one-day strike to demand better wages and more equitable treatment. In negotiations that have been ongoing for over a year, Keck School of Medicine of USC staff represented by the National Union of Healthcare Workers has been trying to reach an agreement...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Leaked Emails Claim Snyder Administration Withheld Lead Testing Results  Think Progress  ...In emails obtained by The Flint Journal, local health officials in Flint accuse the administration of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) of withholding the results of lead testing in the city’s schools before making them public. Flint switched its water source in April 2014 to the Flint River and failed to use corrosion controls, steps that are now known to have caused dangerous levels of lead to leach into the city’s water system...

Without Black Lives Matter, Would Flint’s Water Crisis Have Made Headlines?  In These Times  ...The Black Lives Matter movement offers a news peg, having in­sisted that incidents of violence against black communities are not one-offs but part of systemic, structurally based brutality. Now there’s a media framework to legitimate Flint residents’ accusa­tions that the water crisis would never have happened in more affluent, white communities like Grand Rapids or Grosse Pointe...

Justice Department Sues the City of Ferguson for Reneging on Police Reform Deal  Slate  ...The Justice Department sued the city of Ferguson, Missouri on Wednesday to mandate police reform after the city council voted Tuesday against accepting a carefully negotiated overhaul of its criminal justice system. The city council instead made its acceptance conditional on a series of amendments...

The $5 Million Proposal To Hold Border Patrol Agents Accountable For Shootings  Think Progress  ...Tucked into the final budget proposal of President Obama’s administration is an effort to prevent U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents from operating with impunity after the agency has been plagued with years of controversy. In his 2017 fiscal year budget plan, President Obama is requesting the allocation of $5 million to support the use of body-worn cameras for agents on the southern U.S. border...

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