Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News For February 4, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Teamsters to File Lawsuit Against WVU Over Right to Work Study  Teamster.org  ...The Teamsters Union announced that it will file a lawsuit against West Virginia University (WVU) alleging violations of the Freedom of Information Act Statute. Teamsters are requesting the release of emails and other information concerning the economic impact of so-called right to work (RTW) in West Virginia...

Teamsters And The TAMC Applaud Inclusion Of Section 402 In FAA Reauthorization Bill  Teamster.org  ...The Teamsters and the Teamsters Aviation Mechanics Coalition commend the inclusion of Section 402 in House Resolution (H.R.) 4441, the Aviation Innovation Reform and Reauthorization Act, saying it includes all of the provisions sought by the TAMC to assist aviation mechanics, raise standards in maintenance, repair and overhaul stations and protect the flying public...

Hoffa: Past TPP Concerns Are Still Today’s Reality for Bum Trade Deal  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa on trade representatives from the U.S. and 11 other countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) signing a final agreement: "Six years ago, the Teamsters submitted comments on the TPP that detailed what this Pacific Rim trade deal would need to contain to receive the backing of this union. But despite intense lobbying from the Teamsters and our allies, all of our concerns for workers here and abroad were ignored"...

Teamsters Offer $10,000 Reward for Information Locating Missing Member Sierra Shields  Teamster.org  ...The Teamsters Union is offering a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the whereabouts of Sierra Shields. Shields, a flight attendant with Shuttle America for Delta and United Airlines flights, and a member of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, has been missing since Jan. 14, 2016...

Teamsters Statement on Horse Carriage Bill  Teamster.org  ...George Miranda, President of Teamsters Joint Council 16, the union that represents workers in the horse-drawn carriage industry, had the following statement on the horse carriage legislation before the City Council: "The Teamsters' first priority is always our members and their livelihoods. With the legislation now finalized, our members are not confident that it provides a viable future for their industry. We cannot support the horse carriage bill currently before the City Council"...

Teamsters and others fight pension battle over multi-employer fund  People's World  ...Teamster retiree chapters have created Committees to Protect Pensions. They say it is CSPF managers and trustees, the Wall Street fund managers they used, and the federal government that fell asleep at the wheel and caused most of the pension fund's financial problems. "Local 346 and the Teamsters can't control what happened at the Central States Pension Fund because we don't sit on that board," Alstead told the gathering...

Labor union files complaint against Brown-Forman  Courier-Journal  ...Teamsters representing hourly workers at Brown-Forman is accusing the spirits maker of unfair labor practices after recent rounds of bargaining failed to produce a new contract. Workers resoundingly rejected two proposals offered before the contract ended Feb. 1, and negotiations this week ended in a stalemate...

Union Wins Parking Member’s Reinstatement, Back Pay After Unjust Termination  Local727  ...A Teamsters Local 727 parking cashier has been reinstated with full back pay and benefits after the union fought against her wrongful termination. Encore Hospitality Services terminated Catina Lockhart in July 2015 without just cause. Local 727 representatives swiftly filed a grievance and, after months of fighting for her job, were prepared to take the case to arbitration...

Local 710 Gets Central Grocers Driver Back to Work and Made Whole  Local710  ...A Teamsters Local 710 driver at Central Grocers is set to return to work next month after being unjustly terminated on April 27, 2015. The Union filed a grievance over the member’s termination, and an arbitrator recently ruled in the Union’s favor to reinstate the member and make him whole... 

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

U.S., 11 nations formally sign largest regional trade deal in history  Washington Post  ...Trade ministers from the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations formally signed the largest regional trade deal in history on Thursday in New Zealand, but the fate of one of President Obama’s signature economic projects remained fraught on Capitol Hill. At a ceremony in Auckland, the ministers hailed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)...

President Obama Urges Swift Passage of TPP Trade Deal  TIME  ...President Obama released a statement Wednesday evening championing the major Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership shortly after the trade deal was signed in New Zealand by officials from the 12 member nations. Officials from the U.S. and other involved countries have been negotiating the deal, which seeks to reduce trade barriers among the signatories, for five years...

Protests Erupt as Trade Ministers Sign 'Toxic' TPP Agreement  Common Dreams  ...As trade ministers gathered in New Zealand on Thursday to sign the sweeping, controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), thousands of protesters gathered throughout Auckland and beyond to protest the 12-nation agreement they say "gives power to corporations and takes it away from the people"...

Lori Wallach: Signing of TPP Marks Only Beginning of the Fight, Trade Deal Could Still Be Stopped  Democracy Now  ...Activists have kicked off a worldwide series of protests around the signing of the trade pact, including a nonviolent blockade of the convention center in Auckland where the signing took place. A Maori tribe refused a request to perform at a welcome ceremony for trade ministers, saying the TPP threatens sovereignty. Meanwhile, the White House has warned Congress that a delay in ratifying the deal will cost the U.S. economy...

Sanders vows to stop Obama trade deal  The Hill  ...Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Wednesday said he would stop a sweeping Asia-Pacific agreement if he wins the White House.  The Vermont senator blasted the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as trade ministers for the 12 partners in the deal gathered in New Zealand to sign it...

Warren: Congress should reject Obama trade deal  The Hill  ...Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is pushing her Senate colleagues to reject a Pacific Rim trade deal that's considered a key pillar of President Obama's second term. "I hope Congress will use its constitutional authority to stop this deal before it makes things even worse and even more dangerous for America's hardest-working families," Warren said Tuesday...

German Judges Issue Landmark Opposition to TTIP Corporate Court  TeleSUR  ...Germany's largest association of judges warned Wednesday the sovereignty of European Union countries could be undermined by a proposed corporate court linked to the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Anti-TTIP campaigners have responded by arguing the statement vindicates their reservations about the trade deal's proposed court system...

If TPP is Progressive, Why Must White House Rely on “Republican Friendly Organizations” to Sell It?  (opinion) CWA  ...Democratic backers of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal like to claim that the TPP is “the most progressive trade agreement in history.” If that’s the case, then why must the White House rely on “Republican friendly organizations” and some of the biggest opponents of progressive policies to get the deal through Congress?... 

Services across Greece paralyzed due to workers’ strike  Global News  ...Services across Greece ground to a halt Thursday as workers joined in a massive general strike that cancelled flights, ferries and public transport, shut down schools, courts and pharmacies, and left public hospitals with emergency staff. Unions are angry at pension reforms that are part of Greece’s third international bailout. The left-led government is trying to overhaul the country’s ailing pension system...

Greece's Economy Is Getting Crushed Between Austerity And The Refugee Crisis  Huffington Post  ...The refugee crisis is testing the limits of Greece’s flagging economy, jeopardizing its ability to handle a flow of refugees that shows no signs of slowing.  Added to the existing strains of austerity, the renewed economic pressure from the crisis is stoking fears within the Greek government that a new wave of anti-refugee xenophobia could take hold unless the European Union and Turkey significantly step up to help manage the crisis...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

West Virginia, the Latest Battlefront in the Conservative Assault on Working People  AFLCIO  ...Propped up by out-of-state interests, extremists in West Virginia are pushing "right to work" legislation that benefits only a tiny percentage of West Virginians and outsiders and takes away rights from hardworking people trying to support their families. The examples of out-of-state interests pushing this anti-working people legislation are numerous... 

Right-to-work, removal of prevailing wage up for passage  Metro News  ...The Republican-led state Senate and House of Delegates are poised to pass bills Thursday that make West Virginia a right-to-work state and eliminate the state’s prevailing wage. The bills have triggered the most intense debate so far this session, pitting Republicans against Democrats and the business community against the labor movement...

Federal judge overturns local right-to-work laws in Kentucky  Herald Leader  ...Local governments in Kentucky can increase the minimum wage, but a federal judge ruled Wednesday that they can't ban labor unions from requiring employees to join them. In competing court cases that pitted Democrats against Republicans in a pair of polarizing workplace issues, the courts have now declared them distinct...

N.J. Democrats will push for $15 minimum wage  NJ.com  ...State Assembly Democrats are planning a push to raise New Jersey's minimum wage to $15 an hour, a nearly 80 percent increase from what the state has now. Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Hudson) and Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) on Wednesday announced the proposed hike as part of the chamber's anti-poverty agenda... 

Motion to dismiss voter ID lawsuit filed  Bismarck Tribune  ...The North Dakota Secretary of State’s office filed a motion on Wednesday to dismiss a lawsuit filed by seven members of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa over what they call illegal state voter identification laws. In the lawsuit filed Jan. 21 in US. District Court for the State of North Dakota against Secretary of State Al Jaeger, tribal members allege that the state’s voter ID laws are unconstitutional as they force a disproportionate burden against Native Americans...

Poll: West Virginians don't want legislation that would weaken unions  WVAFLCIO.org  ...Public Policy Polling surveyed voters in the southern, north central and northern House districts, and found unions to be “wildly popular.” A large majority in each region, both Democrat and Republican, also said West Virginia would be worse off with lower union membership, and a majority say they would be less likely to vote for an elected official who supported legislation that resulted in less of the state’s workforce being represented by a union...

Cost of Indiana Public Projects HAS GONE UP Since They Repealed Prevailing Wage Protections  We Party Patriots  ...Before the Indiana State Budget Committee, the State Building and Construction Trades Council (BCTC) testified that, as many economic experts predicted, the cost of public works projects has increased considerably since the July 1, 2015 repeal of the state’s Common Construction Wage (CCW).  Much of the increase was caused by the absence of safeguards that once protected the state from fraud and abuse in the market...

UAB increasing minimum wage to $11 an hour  AL.com  ...The state's largest employer – the University of Alabama at Birmingham and UAB Medicine – plans to raise employees' minimum wage to $11 an hour beginning in March. UAB employs more than 23,000 faculty and staff. The institution currently pays $8.24 an hour, about a dollar higher than the federally mandated minimum wage...

This Bill Would Force Large Corporations To Pay a Fine if They Don’t Pay Workers a Living Wage  In These Times  ...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 fighting for economic justice...

 

U.S. LABOR

9,000 Uber Drivers Planning to Disrupt Super Bowl With Protest  Observer  ...Yesterday, a caravan of about 1,000 Uber drivers reportedly drove through San Francisco, yelling and beeping their horns. In a tight pack, the string of disgruntled drivers drove by the airport, the Uber support center and City Hall to protest the recent fare cuts, which have left many drivers earning below minimum wage. This rally, however, was just a taste of what’s to come...

NJ TRANSIT Workers May Strike March 12 If Agreement Isn’t Reached  CBS  ...A potential commuting nightmare looms for NJ TRANSIT riders, as industry workers set a date for a potential strike. A NJ TRANSIT train strike could happen again on March 12 if an agreement isn’t reached between NJ Transit and several unions, CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock reported. According to a union representative, NJ TRANSIT workers haven’t had a contract in nearly five years...

Uber Cuts Prices—and Kneecaps Drivers  Daily Beast  ...A crowd of 600 drivers gathered outside the Uber office in Long Island City, Queens, to protest a 15 percent reduction in fares last month, which also means 15 percent lower wages. That pay cut is on top of Uber’s 20 percent slashing of fares in 2014. All things being equal, drivers who began less than two years ago have seen their pay tumble a whopping 35 percent...

Uber Drivers and Others in the Gig Economy Take a Stand  New York Times  ...In the rapid growth of the online gig economy, many workers have felt squeezed and at times dehumanized by a business structure that promises independence but often leaves them at the mercy of increasingly powerful companies. Some are beginning to band together in search of leverage and to secure what they see as fairer treatment from the platforms that make the work possible...

Democrat pushes for on-demand focus in labor survey  The Hill  ...A Democratic senator is pushing the Department of Labor to update a worker survey so that it gathers information about on-demand economy companies like Uber and Lyft. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) asked in a Tuesday letter to Secretary of Labor Tom Perez whether he would consider including questions specific to the on-demand economy in a survey of so-called alternative work arrangements...

Same-old brand-new economy  The Hill  ...Companies like Uber, Instacart and the like have been hailed for their disruptive innovations in how we work, but under closer examination it is clear that in many ways they are little more than Walmart on wheels . Way before anyone ever hailed a car with their smartphone, clever CEOs had started to “disrupt” their companies’ relationships with employees... 

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

San Francisco Clears Out Homeless Ahead Of The Super Bowl  Think Progress  ...Millions of football fans are expected to descend on San Francisco to watch the Super Bowl at Levi’s Stadium in nearby Santa Clara on Sunday. But ahead of their arrival, San Francisco is shuffling its homeless population elsewhere. The city has said that it relocated 24 people from six blocks along the waterfront, where the weeklong “Super Bowl City” will be set up...

Record Exonerations in 2015 Show False Convictions 'Tragic, Widespread'  Common Dreams  ...Last year set a new record for exonerations in the United States, according to statistics published Wednesday by the National Registry of Exonerations, a project of the University of Michigan Law School. At least 149 defendants were cleared in 2015, 10 more than in 2014. They had, on average, spent 14 and a half years in prison, the report said. Some served more than three decades...