Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For March 2, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Hoffa: Mich. Congressmen Stand Up for Teamster Pensions  The Detroit News  ...Michigan’s congressional delegation is responding to the concerns of thousands of Teamsters about a dire proposal put forward by the Central States Pension Fund plan that would decimate their retirement security. Sens. Gary Peters and Rep. Debbie Dingell took the lead on separate bipartisan Senate and House letters sent last month to the Treasury Department...

Senators Hear How Central States Proposals Would Devastate Families  Teamster.org  ...The Teamsters today hailed the Senate Finance Committee for holding a hearing looking into the need to reform multiemployer pension plans like the Central States Pension Fund, which has proposed slashing the benefits of retirees by as much as 70 percent. Lawmakers heard the story of Ohio resident Rita Lewis, whose husband Butch was a 40-year truck driver...

More port truckers strike at the twin ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach  LandLine  ....Drivers working for XPO picketed against the company Monday, Feb 29. The drivers joined protests already underway by drivers for Pacific 9 Transportation. Barb Maynard, spokeswoman for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, told Land Line Now both groups believe they’re victims of job misclassification and wage theft. “At XPO, the company has been trying to force the drivers to sign new lease agreements that effectively waive their right to fight back on this misclassification issue”...

TappCar, Edmonton's newest ride-hailing service, invites Teamsters to organize drivers  CBC  ...Edmonton-based ride-hailing service TappCar has invited the Teamsters union to unionize its future drivers in what the company says is an attempt to attract and retain top-quality drivers and, ultimately, to provide better service. "We believe that having a unionized workforce will make our workers happy," TappCar spokesman Pascal Ryffel said...

Teamsters Celebrate Women’s History Month  Teamster.org  ...March is Women’s History Month in the U.S. and March 8 marks International Women’s Day. The Teamsters Union recognizes and celebrates women’s accomplishments year-round; however, during the month of March we have a special opportunity to highlight Teamster women and their achievements. Throughout our rich history, Teamster women have been engaged and active in their local unions and communities, helping to make a better life for all workers and their families...

United Flies High On Billions; Mechanics Get 'Peanuts'  Labor Press  ...Airline passengers in nearly 10 cities around the country saw Teamsters mechanics take to the picket line this week, in angry opposition to company plans to shrink wages and benefits and eventually outsource all wide-body maintenance overseas. Allen Cosides, a member of the Teamsters’ negotiating team, told LaborPress on Friday that he believes United Airlines execs are attempting to use CEO Oscar Munoz’ health issues to rollback three years of contract negotiations with the union... 

Young flight attendant mysteriously vanishes  HLNTV  ...Sierra is described as 5’6” tall, 160 pounds, with a medium build, medium complexion, black hair, and brown eyes. The Teamsters Union is now offering a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the whereabouts of Sierra Shields, who is a member of the Teamsters Union. “It is imperative that we find her. If anybody has information that can help us do this, we ask that he or she please come forward," said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

China expects to lay off 1.8 million workers in coal, steel sectors  Reuters  ...China said on Monday it expects to lay off 1.8 million workers in the coal and steel industries, or about 15 percent of the workforce, as part of efforts to reduce industrial overcapacity, but no time frame was given. It was the first time China has given figures that underline the magnitude of its task in dealing with slowing growth and bloated state enterprises...

Sugar workers continue weekly strike over API, Wales closure  Stabroek News  ...Over 1,500 sugar workers yesterday engaged in a strike as part of an ongoing Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) campaign over wages and the closure of the Wales sugar estate. According to a statement issued by the Government Information Agency (GINA), GuySuCo’s Finance Director Paul Bhim said that 1,700 workers staged a strike...

Tube strike: London Underground control workers to vote on action over pay row  Independent  ...Control room staff on London Underground are to be balloted for strikes in a row over pay. The Transport Salaried Staffs Association said it was issuing ballot papers to its members in a dispute over maintenance responsibilities being "loaded" on to controllers. Talks are to be held at the conciliation service Acas...

New Study Confirms: Private 'Trade' Courts Serve the Ultra-Wealthy  Huffington Post  ...A new study confirms what many activists have suspected for a long time: The private courts set up by international "trade" deals heavily favor billionaires and giant corporations, and they do so at the expense of governments and people. The "investor-state dispute settlement" process, or ISDS, is built into treaties like NAFTA and the upcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)...

EU, US Close to Resolving Key TTIP Differences  KTIC  ...Agreement on the topic of an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) system, and an imminent highly anticipated U.S. offer on liberalizing public procurement restrictions, has the potential to bridge major gaps between U.S. and European Union (EU) trade negotiators on the contours of a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade deal...

European Parliamentarians Make Demands of Negotiators of Services Agreement  Global Trade  ...The ongoing talks on a Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), among countries representing 70 percent of world trade in services, should deliver a deal that eases EU firms’ access to international markets but does not force EU, national and local authorities to open up public services to competition, or otherwise restrict their right to regulate in public interest, say members of the European Parliament in recently approved recommendations...

Child poverty to rise under UK austerity over next 5 years – report  RT  ...Tory cuts to benefits and tax credits will lead to a rise in the numbers of children living below the poverty line, according to a new report by a top economic think tank. The research, conducted by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), predicts families with three or more children will be hardest hit as the Department for Work and Pensions rolls back support for larger families... 

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Maryland lawmakers again consider paid sick leave legislation  Baltimore Sun  ...Advocates for paid sick leave think the legislation might be successful this year — their fourth attempt in Annapolis — not only because of the pint-sized lobbyists they have on their side, but because the bill's co-sponsors represent a majority of both the House of Delegates and state Senate. "Support has just exploded for this," said Melissa Broome, deputy director of the Jobs Opportunities Task Force...

Oregon Governor Poised to Sign Landmark Minimum Wage Bill into Law  Wall Street Journal  ...Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is poised to sign into law this week a landmark minimum wage bill that would make the state the first in the nation to mandate higher pay in cities than rural areas. The law would enact a series of minimum wage increases through 2022 with the pay hike set to reach $14.75 an hour in Portland—one of the highest minimum wage rates in the nation... 

MN Makes Big Gains in Closing Gender Wage Gap  Public News Service  ...Moves to close the pay gap for women have made significant progress in Minnesota, but the latest report shows there's still work to be done. For jobs of equal value, the gender wage gap in Minnesota's state and local governments has been eliminated, according to the report from the state's Office on the Economic Status of Women (OESW)...

Federal complaint filed over Wisconsin voter ID law  Wisconsin Gazette  ...Voter rights advocates, in a federal complaint, allege serious flaws at the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles in the process for providing the photo IDs needed to vote in the state. As part of the voter ID law signed by Gov. Scott Walker, people are supposed to be able to request a free photo card from the DMV under certain circumstances. However, according to One Wisconsin Institute, bureaucratic delays and improper denials are preventing people from obtaining the IDs they need to vote...

New CA State Tax Credit Aims to Help California’s Poorest  KQED  ...The EITC provides a tax refund to people making less than $14,000 a year. The state’s Franchise Tax Board says a family that qualifies will get an average of $900. Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins says that’s a lot of money, especially when paired with the federal EITC. “We think it’s pretty significant in terms of helping the lowest and most vulnerable Californians be able to maximize, a little bit, the tax credit,” she says...

Mandatory Self-Reliance Classes for Welfare Recipients? Utah Bill Is Red-State Cruelty at Its Worst  Alternet  ...The Utah Senate just passed a bill that would require public assistance recipients to take a two-hour self-reliance class. If recipients don't complete the training within 90 days, they would be cut off from their welfare. The bill, SB153, was proposed by Republican State Senator Lincoln Fillmore, a local businessman who joined the Utah Senate in 2015. Fillmore is also president of the charter-school-management company...

 

U.S. LABOR

Chicago Nabisco Workers Continue Fight to Preserve Local Jobs  WBEZ  ...Last July, parent company Mondelez said it was investing in new manufacturing lines--but not here. The lines -- and 600 jobs -- would be in Salinas, Mexico. The bakery union, BCTGM Local 300, is pushing back. It all part of a strategy to bring attention to the disappearing jobs. Long-time workers have shown up at union protests and later plan to communicate with  Mondelez leaders....

Gawker employees bargain first union contract at a digital media company  The Guardian  ...The union representing the editorial staff at Gawker Media has announced that it has successfully bargained the first union contract at a digital media company – an innovative three-year deal that sets minimum pay levels and gives Gawker’s 99 union members a 3% across-the-board raise each year...

USW Members at ATI Ratify New Contract  PR Newswire  ...Members of the United Steelworkers (USW) union at specialty steelmaker Allegheny Technologies Inc. ratified a four-year contract that, pending approval from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), ends a six-month illegal lockout imposed by the company on 2,200 workers at 12 facilities in six states. USW members voted by a 5-1 margin to approve a tentative agreement reached on Feb. 22, 10 days after the NLRB filed a lengthy unfair labor practice complaint against ATI...

Teachers Who Staged ‘Sick-outs’ Declare Victory Against Detroit Schools’ Unelected Emergency Manager  In These Times  ...Education activists cheered today as Darnell Earley officially stepped down from his position as emergency manager of Detroit Public Schools (DPS). His departure came after thousands of teachers staged rolling “sick-outs” to protest his role as the unelected head of the school system. Strikes by teachers and other municipal employees are illegal under Michigan law...

Uber asks City of Seattle to follow 4 ‘key principles’ when crafting driver union law  GeekWire  ...Uber still thinks the new legislation in Seattle that will create a union for Uber drivers is “unlawful,” but the company is nonetheless offering up advice to city administrators on how the rules should be implemented. In December, the Seattle City Council voted 8-0 to approve the first-of-its-kind legislation that creates a way for Uber, Lyft, and taxi drivers to unionize and gain benefits typically given to employees...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

U.S. factory, construction data bolster growth prospects  Reuters  ...U.S. manufacturing appeared to stabilize in February, with production accelerating and new orders holding steady at higher levels, in another dose of good news for the economy after growth slowed in the fourth quarter. The economic outlook was further bolstered by another report on Tuesday showing construction spending scaling a more than eight-year high in January... 

Damning Flint Emails Show Snyder Could Have Called Emergency 'at Any Time'  Common Dreams  ...Michigan Governor Rick Snyder could have declared a state of emergency in Flint over its water contamination crisis months earlier than he did, according to new emails released Sunday that contradict the governor's defense of his delayed actions. Snyder, who declared a state of emergency in Flint and Genesee County on January 5 has repeatedly said he could not take action until local officials made a request...  

Banks Are Making Billions Off Customers Who Overdraw Their Checking Accounts  Think Progress  ...Last year customers lost $11 billion in overdraft fees to their banks, according to a new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Consumers trigger overdraft fees whenever they withdraw more money from their accounts than is actually in them. Banks usually call the first option “overdraft protection,” which customers often think will shield them from charges despite the fact that it will incur fees and fines...

Super Tuesday Roundtable: Few Surprises as Clinton and Trump Win 7 States Each, Sanders Gains 4  Democracy Now  ...The biggest voting day of the presidential primary race was a big victory night for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump, who each won in seven states and gained a majority of delegates. Democrat Bernie Sanders won four, including his home state of Vermont. Republican Senator Ted Cruz also won his home state of Texas...

Divisive Election Bad for America but 'Damn Good' for Corporate Media  Common Dreams  ...Building on remarks he made to investors late last year, CBS Corporation chief executive Les Moonves said Monday that Donald Trump's divisive, hate-mongering candidacy "may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS." The 2016 campaign "circus," rife with political attacks and "bomb-throwing," has kept the "money rolling in," Moonves reportedly said at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco...

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