Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News For February 24, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Teamsters Protest at Air Liquide Headquarters  Teamster.org  ...Airgas employees and Teamsters representatives protested outside Air Liquide’s U.S. headquarters as Airgas shareholders approved the purchase of Airgas by France-based Air Liquide for $10.3 billion. Airgas employees held signs that read, “Air Liquide: Stop the Attacks,” demanding that Air Liquide stop Airgas’ attacks on workers and their unions...

NLRB Orders FedEx Freight to Bargain With Teamsters Local 439  Teamster.org  ...The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ordered FedEx Freight to cease and desist from refusing to bargain with Teamsters Local 439, a huge victory for the drivers who voted 33 to 12 to form their union in March 2015. The case is yet another example of how FedEx is trampling on the federally protected rights of its workers to form their union with the Teamsters. Similar foot-dragging by the company is occurring in other areas...

Paratransit Drivers Return to Work Following Union’s Grievance Wins  Local 727  ...Two paratransit drivers recently returned to work after Teamsters Local 727 fought against their wrongful terminations. The union filed grievances on behalf of MV Transportation Chicago driver Kelly Renda and First Transit Chicago driver Pierre Walker-Thomas. Through the grievance procedure, the union was able to prove that both companies had unjustly fired the drivers...

Teamsters Black History: Traditions To Build On  Teamster.org  ...The Teamsters Union salutes all those who have played a role, large or small in creating the unique and powerful history of Black Americans. As part of Black History Month we also celebrate our own members and the great contributions they have made to the Teamsters. Black members are an integral part of the legacy we have created for working families over the last century...

In Memoriam: Lori T. Dewey, Pioneering Woman of the BLET  BLE-T.org  ...The National Division of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen is saddened to report the passing of Sister Lori T. Dewey — a pioneering member of the founding Local Division of the BLET. Sister Dewey was one of — if not the first — women to serve as President of a BLET Local Division...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Burundi: Oppression of Unions and Civil Society Intensifies  Solidarity Center  ...In Burundi’s deepening political and human rights crisis, the government’s violent clampdown on civil society has left hundreds of people dead, jailed or disappeared, crushed free speech and independent media, and created a climate of fear where human and worker rights defenders have been forced into silence or exile. Trade union members are among the hardest hit...

Brazil workers at Vale's Timbopeba iron mine on strike over bonus  Reuters  ...Workers in Brazil at Vale's Timbopeba iron ore mine in Minas Gerais state went on strike early on Wednesday in protest over the payment of a profit sharing bonus, the local union said. Vale SA's decided not to pay the bonus in 2015 for the first time in recent history, as the recent plunge in metals prices hits its earnings...

Dominican doctors, heath care workers threaten strike  News Fulton County  ...The Dominican Medical Association (CDM) on Monday threatened a doctors and health care workers strike later this week at state-run hospitals if demands for improved working conditions and salaries aren’t met. Association president Waldo Ariel Suero, proposed four items in a proposal to improve health systems and doctors’ conditions but Health Minister Altagracia Guzman Marcelino agreed to discuss two of the points...

MSNBC Cuts Away From Bernie Sanders as He Condemns Trans-Pacific Partnership  The Intercept  ...MSNBC cut away from a live Bernie Sanders press conference this afternoon as the Democratic presidential candidate was talking about his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. MSNBC cut away from a live Bernie Sanders press conference this afternoon as the Democratic presidential candidate was talking about his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement...

Merkley will oppose Pacific trade pact  Portland Tribune  ...U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley says he opposes the pending trade agreement with 12 Asian and Pacific nations, many of which he argues will benefit from jobs that ought to remain in the United States. The Oregon Democrat, in a meeting Wednesday (Feb. 17) with the Portland Tribune editorial board, said some past bilateral trade agreements benefited both the United States and the other nation... 

Trade Officials Promised Exxon That TTIP Will Erase Environmental 'Obstacles' Worldwide  Common Dreams  ...Newly released documents show that, in back-room talks, European officials assured ExxonMobil that the pending US-EU trade agreement would force the removal of regulatory "obstacles" worldwide, thus opening up even more countries to exploitation by the fossil fuel empire. The revelations underscore criticisms that trade agreements like the TTIP constitute a "race to the bottom" for environmental, public health, and labor standards...

TTIP Is Not About Trade, It’s About Corporate Power  (opinion) Greenpeace  ...Greenpeace activists blocked EU and US negotiators from holding secret talks in Brussels for a trade deal that would give multinational corporations unprecedented power. The protesters warned that TTIP – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement – is a threat for democracy, environmental protection, health standards and working conditions...

New trade agreements: Potential for great harm or transnational unity  (opinion) People's World  ...Of all of these treaties are implemented, they will encompass most of the world's economy.  And this is not good news for workers, minorities, indigenous people, small farmers, consumers and the planet. There are many things wrong with the TPP, the TTIP, CETA and TISA. An overarching concern is that under these agreements, transnational corporations will have the power to override national laws, legislatures, governments and courts... 

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

The Battle Erupting In Alabama Over The Minimum Wage  Think Progress  ...A bill that passed the state House last week would ban all Alabama cities and counties from increasing their own minimum wages, while also rolling back the planned hike in Birmingham. It’s now being considered in the Senate. It’s caused a fracas. The Birmingham city council scheduled a vote on Tuesday to hasten the implementation of its wage increase...

Lincolnshire faces state and federal lawsuits over right-to-work law  Chicago Tribune  ...Two lawsuits have been filed against the village of Lincolnshire related to a controversial ordinance passed in December that would make it optional for some private-sector union members to pay dues. On Feb. 18, a federal lawsuit was filed in Chicago challenging the legality of the so-called "right to work" ordinance. Four unions were listed as plaintiffs...

Wisconsin GOP Invites Debt Collectors To File More Lawsuits Against Consumers  Think Progress  ...People who make money collecting debts in Wisconsin are about to get a big favor from their government. A law sitting on Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) desk this week would make it much easier and much less risky for debt collectors to go after consumers in court, and much harder to prove that any given collection effort is bogus...

Battle rages over New York’s minimum wage  Poughkeepsie Journal  ...As Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Democrats press for a $15 minimum wage in New York by 2021, the split between workers and companies over the issue is growing. Cuomo wants to have a deal in place by April 1, the start of the new fiscal year. Cuomo started a bus tour as part of his “Fight for $15” minimum wage in New York on Tuesday...

Paid Sick Leave Bill Dies At State Capitol For 3rd Straight Year  CBS  ...A bill at the Colorado state Capitol that pushed for one hour of earned sick leave for every 30 hours worked has died for the third straight year. Businesses would have had to offer nine days total and it would have allowed for workers to bank unused sick time. Lawmakers say 43 percent of all workers in Colorado don’t have paid sick leave...

States That Criminalize Homelessness End Up Paying The Price  Think Progress  ...Cities and states have limited resources. When they’re faced with a growing homeless problem, those resources can either go toward finding housing for the homeless or to policing and criminalizing the daily habits of the homeless. In Colorado, according to a new study, the choice has largely been to criminalize homelessness. And it’s a choice that’s coming with a big price tag...

 

U.S. LABOR

Donald Trump’s Las Vegas Hotel Vows To Continue Quashing Workers’ Union Effort  Think Progress  ...As soon as a majority of the 523 workers in Trump’s hotel voted to unionize on December 5, the hotel’s management tried to have the results thrown out, claiming that workers were intimidated by the Culinary Workers Union into voting yes. After weeks of reviewing their claims, a local officer of the National Labor Relations Board sided with the workers...

Here’s How Walmart Threatened Striking Workers  BuzzFeed  ...In February of 2013, Walmart managers were issued a script to read to workers who took part in strikes that past fall. Walmart managers told staff the company believed they had broken the law by striking, that they would be let off with a warning this time, but any future strikes would lead to discipline or termination. The judge found that the talking points were “illegal coercive statements” that “crossed the line”...

Trucker coercion prohibition rule now in effect: Here’s how to file a complaint against a carrier, broker or shipper  OverDrive  ...A new federal rule that implements large fines for carriers, shippers and brokers caught pressuring drivers to operate beyond federal safety regulations, such as when they’re out of hours, is now in effect, as is a new system for truckers to file complaints for alleged coercion instances with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration...

Nabisco factory workers fight back against layoffs  Chicago Reporter  ...Employees at the Nabisco plant on Chicago’s Southwest Side face an uncertain future as the company hands out pink slips and starts moving parts of its operations to Mexico. Parent company Mondelez International announced earlier this summer that it was eliminating 600 jobs from the factory at 7300 S. Kedzie Avenue, one of the world's largest industrial bakeries. The jobs are headed to Salinas, Mexico, where the company plans to invest $130 million to upgrade a facility there...  

Wanted: foreign workers — and the labor brokers accused of illegally profiting from them  Reuters  ...Vast numbers of foreign workers come to the United States with the help of labor brokers. These middlemen recruit them for temporary jobs. But Reuters found that brokers also can compound abuses workers face even before entering America. The jobs span almost every industry, from agriculture to hospitality, and the numbers of foreign workers brought to the United States have swelled in the past two decades...

America’s Biggest Meat Producer Averages One Amputation Per Month  BuzzFeed  ...Tyson is America’s biggest meat producer, and each week it processes 35 million chickens, 400,000 hog, and 128,000 cattle. The full tally of amputations at its facilities is likely higher than the number obtained by Monforton, which does not include information from Tyson factories in 10 states that run their own OSHA programs...

Coalition of Immokalee Workers Targets Wendy's for Rejecting Fairer Standards for Farmworkers  Democracy Now  ...Student groups, faith communities and labor organizers are calling for Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program and respect the rights of farmworkers. On March 6, Fair Food advocates will convene at Wendy’s headquarters here in Columbus, Ohio, for a major demonstration, calling on the the fast-food giant to establish more humane farm labor standards and fairer wages for farmworkers...

From Farm to Table: Protecting Farmworkers From Pesticides  Truthout  ...Despite the risk to farmworkers, the EPA had stalled on enacting stronger protections for farmworkers for nearly two decades. In 2011, Earthjustice filed a legal petition to force the EPA to update the standard, followed by policy meetings with EPA officials. In early 2014, the EPA finally proposed updates to the standard...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

How Trump Generates an Undercurrent of Violence at His Rallies  Slate  ...It’s true that elections inflame passions. And that the anonymity of crowds can breed the worst in people. But the violent rhetoric and violence of Donald Trump’s campaign is unusual. You don’t see this kind of behavior with other candidates, whether it’s Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton on the left or Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio on the right. When they face protesters or hecklers, they deal with them in a polite, civilized way...

Will Obama's Guantánamo Plan Close the Prison or Just Relocate It to a New ZIP Code?  Democracy Now  ...President Obama has submitted a plan to Congress to close Guantánamo Bay military prison. Despite Obama’s pledge to close the facility as one of his first acts after taking office in 2008, there are still 91 prisoners there, 35 of whom have been cleared for release. Republicans in Congress have repeatedly obstructed his attempts to close the prison...

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