Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News For February 2, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Philadelphia Food Distribution Center Workers Ratify Teamsters Contract  Teamster.org  ...Workers at the Philadelphia Food Distribution Center have voted overwhelmingly to ratify a five-year agreement that includes wage increases, employer-paid health care and increased employer contributions to the pension plan. The single agreement covers approximately 450 distribution center workers who are members of Teamsters Local 929 in Philadelphia... 

Teamsters to MillerCoors: Decision to close Eden brewery is 'callous and shortsighted'  Business Journal  ...In a letter to the top executives of brewing giants Molson Coors, SABMiller and MillerCoors, Teamsters President James Hoffa called the decision to close a large-scale production brewery in Eden last this year "callous and shortsighted," and questioned the motivation behind the closure...

Local 727 Files Labor Board Charges Against CZS Management  Local 727  ...Teamsters Local 727 filed unfair labor practice charges against Chicago Zoological Society management because the company has engaged in bad faith bargaining. Negotiations on a new contract for full-time and seasonal zookeepers, groundskeepers, patrol officers and other union workers at Brookfield Zoo have ground to a halt because management refuses to budge from its draconian attendance policy proposal...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Quebec cabbies to file court injunction in hopes of getting Uber off the roads  Globe and Mail  ...Quebec’s taxi industry is stepping up its fight against ride-hailing giant Uber Technologies Inc., unveiling plans to file a court injunction this week seeking to shut down the service in the province. The move by the union representing 4,000 Quebec drivers and taxi owners comes on top of a class-action lawsuit application against Uber...

Tobacco industry robs Bangladesh child workers of childhood  BDNews  ...Child labour in tobacco processing and bidi factories is banned in Bangladesh. But a large number of children continue to be employed in these hazardous activities for a living. During a recent visit to the northern district of Lalmonirhat, children were found working in farms producing raw tobacco and bidi factories...

New Delhi municipal workers' strike completes one week  Mid-Day  ...As the strike by municipal corporation employees completed a week on Tuesday, thousands of agitators took out a protest march from the Civic Centre to Rajghat in New Delhi carrying begging bowls in their hands to draw attention to their demands. The protest march by the municipal workers threw traffic out of gear on outer Ring Road, ITO and other main roads. Protests by sanitation workers in different parts of East Delhi and North Delhi also created chaos... 

Burundi Crackdown on Journalists Forces Many into Exile  Solidarity Center  ...The threats escalated in the days after police shuttered independent radio stations and surrounded the Press House, where union and independent journalist organizations—among them the Burundian broadcasters, women journalists and a media monitoring organization—had offices, and summarily shut it down. “It’s the first time in the history of Burundi that the press was closed by police"...

What to Watch for Next in the Fight Against the TPP  Truthout  ...The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will likely be back in the news at least for a brief moment this week, when the treaty comes up for a formal signing ceremony involving representatives of the 12 participating countries, including the United States. The agreement has largely been out of the news since the release of the text in early November... 

Economists Sharply Split Over Trade Deal Effects  New York Times  ...Lawmakers and presidential candidates are having their say about the 12-nation Pacific Rim trade accord that is President Obama’s top economic priority in his final year in office. But lately the liveliest debate over the deal is among blue-ribbon economists. On Monday, it was the critics’ turn: Economists from Tufts University unveiled their study concluding that the pact, called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, would cause some job losses and exacerbate income inequality...

What Economists Got Wrong About Free Trade  The Atlantic  ...As trade has become a more and more integral part of the global economy, accepted economic wisdom has asserted again and again that overall, free trade is a good thing. Because trade brings so much in the way of competitive pricing and opportunities to buy and sell goods on a more massive scale, the drawbacks that come with it—job losses and declining wages for instance—are often thought to be outweighed...

Push to stop Parliament ratifying the Trans-Pacific Partnership  Sydney Morning Herald  ...Nearly 60 community organisations are calling for an independent assessment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership before Parliament is asked to vote on ratifying the agreement. A large alliance of groups - from World Vision and the Public Health Association, to Greenpeace, the ACTU, Catholic Religious Australia and the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network - have signed a letter warning the agreement poses "grave risks to the public interest"...

TiSA: MEPs vote on recommendations for services agreement  EU News  ...MEPs will vote on their recommendations for the ongoing talks on the Trade in Service Agreement (TiSA) on Wednesday 3 February. The agreement is being negotiated by 23 World Trade Organisation members, including the EU, who want to further liberalise the trade in services between each other...

TTIP: Rotten To The Core  (opinion) Morning Star  ...German MPs are finally to have access to documents relating to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). It’s a relief to know that, when the United States and European Union are negotiating an important trade deal, at least some elected representatives of the people are allowed a look in. Except they’re not — not really. Even members of parliament in the EU’s most powerful state are being treated like children sitting an exam. No cameras, no mobile phones...

Bahrain says austerity plans in line with IMF  Reuters  ...Bahrain plans austerity steps to cut its budget deficit in line with IMF recommendations, its finance minister said on Saturday in comments that could help the island kingdom sell its bonds when it returns to international markets later this year. Bahrain is one of several Gulf Arab oil states using the IMF's assistance to plan economic reforms as low crude prices put heavy pressure on state finances...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Voter ID Bills Go to Senate Committee Today  OzarksFirst  ...A hearing is scheduled before a Missouri Senate committee today, on two bills requiring voters to have a photo ID to cast a ballot. The Missouri House passed the two bills last week. They would require voters to show photo ID's before casting ballots. The new measures are getting responses from supporters and critics alike...

Reporters Guide on the Koch Right to Work Playbook  PR Watch  ...West Virginia is the latest front in a national battle to undermine worker rights funded by the billionaire Koch brothers and their political network. The effort in West Virginia to enact a Right to Work law (Senate Bill 1) and repeal the state's prevailing wage (HB4005) is following the same playbook used in Michigan and Wisconsin, involving a similar cast of Koch-backed out-of-state characters to drive the agenda...

Hearing on 'right to work' amendment scheduled Wednesday  Decatur Daily  ...A bill that would put before voters a “right to work” constitutional amendment is set for a public hearing Wednesday morning in the Statehouse. House Bill 37 is a priority bill from the House GOP caucus. It says that it should be public policy of the state that employment “may not be denied or abridged on account of membership or non-membership in a labor union or labor organization”... 

Prevailing wage repeal bill passes out of committee  Register-Herald  ...Despite Democrats' efforts to slow it down, a bill that will repeal the state's prevailing wage rates moved out of the Senate Committee on Government Organization Monday morning on a 8-6 party line vote and headed to the floor of the Senate. Senator Ron Miller, D-Greenbrier, said he wanted to see what the bill will save — or cost — the state, as union representatives have projected a cost to the state of $80 million in lost wages and tax revenue...

Lawmaker Proposes Drug Testing Legislators Who Want To Drug Test Welfare Applicants  Think Progress  ...At the end of last year, lawmakers in West Virginia unveiled a bill that would drug test some applicants for the state’s welfare program. Applicants who failed could eventually be barred from receiving benefits, possibly permanently. In response, state House Delegate Shawn Fluharty has introduced legislation to drug test state lawmakers...

House panel OKs change in redistricting process  Arizona Daily Star  ...A House panel approved a change in the redistricting process that, if ratified by voters, could have the lines for future legislative and congressional elections drawn only by Republicans. The 4-2 vote by the Elections Committee would keep the Independent Redistricting Commission that voters created in 2000 to wrest control of the process from the Legislature... 

Decision on NC’s voter ID law now rests with federal judge  News & Observer  ...In a federal courtroom with room for fewer than 100 people in the gallery, an army of attorneys has spent the past week arguing over whether North Carolina’s voter ID law harms the fundamental right to vote. The trial, which ended Monday, has garnered national attention as courts across the country wrestle with questions about identification laws adopted in the name of preventing voter fraud but criticized as politically motivated attempts to disenfranchise voters of color...

 

U.S. LABOR

GM, UAW come to tentative agreement  Vindy.com  ...United Auto Workers Local 1112 members will vote on a new contract starting Feb. 22. The union reached a tentative agreement for its local contract with General Motors on Friday. The contract covers about 3,000 GM Lords- town Assembly Plant Workers who build the Chevrolet Cruze. UAW Local 1112 President Glenn Johnson said he “couldn’t be prouder” of the bargaining committee...

Steelworkers ratify contract with U.S. Steel  Chicago Tribune  ...United Steelworkers Union members Monday ratified a new three-year contract with U.S. Steel by a 2-1 margin, exactly five months after the former contract expired. The contract takes effect immediately and covers 18,000 workers at more than a dozen facilities across the nation, including employees at US Steel's Gary Works mill, East Chicago's tin mill and Midwest Plant and Chrome Deposit Corp., both in Portage...

Justice Ginsburg’s Warning To The American Worker  Think Progress  ...The cases Justice Ginsburg refers to concern a common practice where companies refuse to do business with consumers — or threaten not to hire a worker — unless the worker or consumer agrees to sign away their right to bring any disputes against the company in a real court, and instead submit to a private arbitrator...

Olive Garden has unlimited breadsticks — also lots of labor issues, illness outbreaks, and an icky sexual harassment policy  Salon  ...The Olive Garden and its parent company, Darden Restaurants, have been at the center of dozens of lawsuits by employees claiming that their rights were violated. Since 2005, Darden has paid over $14 million to settle lawsuits from servers around wage and hour violations at Olive Garden and Red Lobster. In 2005, Darden Restaurants agreed to pay $9.5 million to more than twenty thousand current and former servers...

The Fight for 15 in Iowa  The Nation  ...The fast-food, home-care, and childcare workers protesting had talking points of their own, as they staged Iowa’s first-ever fast-food strike day to demand, once again, $15 and hour and the right to form a union. Local community and labor groups have joined a wave of organizing...

Trump Campaign Sued For Gender Discrimination  Think Progress  ...Elizabeth Mae Davidson, a former staffer for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign, has filed a gender discrimination complaint with the Davenport, Iowa Civil Rights Commission about her treatment while working for the campaign, according to the New York Times. In the complaint, Davidson alleges that that men and women with the same job titles were paid unequally...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Iowa Caucuses: Bernie Sanders Rallies to Tie Hillary Clinton; Ted Cruz Upsets Donald Trump  Democracy Now  ...The Iowa caucuses saw an upset victory for Republican Senator Ted Cruz over front-runner Donald Trump and a virtual tie between Hillary Clinton and rival Bernie Sanders. The latest returns show Clinton leading Sanders by less than half a percentage point, a result that would split Iowa’s delegate votes for the Democratic nomination. Some Democratic caucus sites decided their winner with a coin toss...

Bruising Trump, Iowa Chooses Ted Cruz to Carry Right-Wing Mantle  Common Dreams  ...Far-right evangelical Sen. Ted Cruz from Texas has won the Republican Iowa caucus. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) was the first of the Republican candidates on Monday night to congratulate his colleague Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for his first place win in the Iowa caucuses – a victory most notable for relegating national frontrunner Donald Trump to a second place finish... 

The Road to the White House Begins in Iowa, But Is It Already Sold to Wealthy Donors?  Democracy Now  ...Spending by so-called "dark money" groups—political super PACs and other organizations who can hide their funders—is already far ahead of previous election cycles, with estimates it could reach up to half a billion dollars. Outside spending has surged since the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, which removed limits on campaign spending by ruling that donor money is a form of free speech...

Retiree Health Insurance

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