Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For March 29, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Local 727 and 673 Bargaining Committee Meet for Second Negotiation Session, Pepsi Says ‘No!’ to One Contract  Local 727  ...Bargaining on March 24 began with Pepsi all but refusing to unify its employees by merging nearly identical language into one unified and understandable contract. “Pepsi has been taking advantage of confusion amongst its employees by having four confusing contracts, which hide important contract benefits by scattering them throughout several contracts,” said John T. Coli, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 727...

Unionizing Uber: New front in battle over wildly successful ride-hailing app  CBC News  ...Drivers for the ride-hailing service Uber have been given the right to unionize by Seattle city council, the only jurisdiction in North America to do so. some Uber drivers have formed the "App-Based Drivers Association" and are working alongside the Teamsters labour union to raise awareness before a potential vote. Teamsters representative Dawn Gearhart says Uber is worried that the union idea could spread around the world as quickly as the company's app has...

UNFI Drivers Vote for 1st Teamster Contract  Progressive Grocer  ...Drivers for distributor United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) in Moreno Valley, Calif., this week unanimously ratified their first Teamster contract, which provides job protections, overtime pay after eight and 40 hours, and a 40-hour weekly guarantee. “We want to bring the benefits of a Teamster contract to all warehouse workers and drivers in the natural foods distribution sector,” said Randy Korgan, organizing director for Teamsters Local 63 and Joint Council 42...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Thousands of Peru Mineworkers Struggle for Decent Work  Solidarity Center  ...Oscar Muro, Solidarity Center program officer in Peru, reports on his late February fact-finding journey to the Minera Aurifera Retamas (MARSA) mine, where subcontracted mineworkers, represented by a strong union, won a national labor inspection finding that calls for 2,464 outsourced workers to be moved to permanent contracts. The workers subsequently went on a weeklong strike to protest the employer’s appeal of the judgment...

China on strike  CNN  ...China's workers have driven the explosive growth of its economy in recent decades. Now, with record numbers of strikes across the country, the government views them as an existential threat, and it may just be right. From 2011 to 2013, China Labor Bulletin (CLB), a Hong Kong-based workers' rights group, recorded around 1,200 strikes and protests across the country. In 2014 alone, there were more than 1,300 incidents...

New Zealand PM in Washington to talk nuclear security, trade  Radio NZ  ...Over the next two days Mr Key will also meet with senior members of President Barack Obama's Cabinet, where US domestic politics and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will be on the agenda. Mr Key said TPP would be one of the topics he discussed with members of President Obama's Cabinet, but he did not intend to seek assurances about the level of support in Congress...

Bangladesh Weighs Pros and Cons of Joining TPP  Sourcing Journal  ...Not that Bangladesh is eligible to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) since it’s still in the dog house with the United States for its labor standards, but the Southeast Asian nation has already begun mulling the benefits and setbacks the 12-nation trade deal could bring...

Can Obama’s free trade pact — the Trans-Pacific Partnership — survive this election?  Raw Story  ...If there is one area on which the more extreme representatives of the political left and right can agree, it is the nefarious character of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The future of trade policy in the United States and around the world is likely to rest, in large measure, with the outcome of the current election...

Europeans chafe under austerity rules  AP  ...Despite an easing in Europe's focus on austerity, countries such as Portugal and Italy that need to increase spending to help economic growth can't afford to do so without breaking the bloc's rules. And European Union nations that can, mainly Germany, are still penny-pinching. Italy is challenging Germany's focus on debt reduction head-on, arguing that spending more would help the economy...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

North Carolina Governor Signs Bill Banning Cities From Protecting LGBT People Huffington Post  ...North Carolina’s General Assembly voted Wednesday to block cities and counties from passing protections against LGBT discrimination in a wide-ranging bill that could have enormous implications for the state. The bill also pre-empts local employment ordinances governing wages, benefits, employee protections and leave policies...

California Nears Deal to Adopt a $15 State Minimum Wage  New York Times  ...California lawmakers have reached a tentative deal to raise the state minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022, potentially signaling the biggest advance yet in a campaign to increase pay for low-income workers that has reverberated in the Democratic presidential contest and in cities across the country. If approved, California would become the first state to adopt a $15 an hour minimum wage...

Opponent of TANF drug testing legislation says other states have shown it’s not productive  Metro News  ...A Wayne County delegate predicts West Virginia will soon join the list of states where legislation requiring the drug testing of welfare recipients, in cases where there is a “reasonable suspicion” of drug use, proves to be unproductive. The legislation creates a three-year pilot program for the screening of recipients of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, also called TANF...

Texas Voters Ask Supreme Court to Block Voter ID Law  NBC  ...Hispanic voters in Texas, joined by a Democratic congressman, asked the U.S. Supreme Court Friday to block the state from enforcing its tough voter ID law during this fall's elections. Passed in 2011 and subject to court challenges ever since, the law requires a photo ID to vote but limits the permissible forms of identification...

Labor Secretary Calls Workers' Comp Opt-Out Plans A 'Pathway To Poverty'  NPR  ...U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Thomas Perez says his agency will use its "bully pulpit" to strike at what he calls "a disturbing trend" that leaves workers without medical care and wage replacement payments when they are injured on the job. In an interview with NPR, Perez also confirms a Labor Department investigation of an opt-out alternative to state-regulated workers' compensation...

 

U.S. LABOR

The Biggest Legal Attack On Unions In Decades Is Dead  Think Progress  ...On Tuesday, the Supreme Court announced the widely expected consequence of Scalia’s encounter with his own mortality. In a single-sentence order, the Supreme Court announced that the judgment of a lower court rejecting this effort to defund public sector unions “is affirmed by an equally divided court.” Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association is dead. A four-decade-old opinion protecting public sector unions shall live to see another day...

AFSCME To Ask Supreme Court For Do-Over, As Broader Paycheck Ramifications Loom  Northern Public Radio  ...Thousands of members of AFSCME, Illinois' biggest government labor union, are still waiting for pay raises their contract guaranteed back in 2011. It amounts to an average of $2,500 per employee. The court's decision says if, and only if, legislators pass a law funding it can workers get that money...

One Week, Three Major Victories for Working People in the South  Jobs with Justice  ...In a groundbreaking week for the labor movement in the southern United States, working people are proving that anything is possible when you stand together to change the rules and fight for better workplaces. In Huntsville, Alabama, the 750 men and women who work at a local DirecTV call center recently came together to join Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local...

Ruling backs fired Jimmy John's workers in Twin Cities labor dispute  Star Tribune  ...A federal appeals court has upheld a 2014 ruling that a Jimmy John’s franchisee in the Twin Cities violated the union organizing rights of six employees by firing them for publicly protesting the company’s sick leave policy. In a ruling issued Friday, the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the earlier finding by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which supported an administrative law judge’s ruling... 

Claims of Age Bias Rise, but Standards of Proof Are High  New York Times  ...A 2013 survey by AARP, “Staying Ahead of the Curve,” questioned 1,500 older workers; 92 percent responded that they viewed bias against older workers as “very” or “somewhat” commonplace. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which was meant to be a bulwark against such discrimination, has too many loopholes to be able to curb such bias...

Rethinking wages for tipped workers  PBS  ...In most states, tipped workers earn a base pay significantly lower than the minimum wage. At the federal level, minimum wage for tipped workers is $2.13 an hour, which hasn’t increased in 25 years. When tips aren’t enough to make minimum wages, employers are supposed to make up the difference. But, according to the Department of Labor, there were at least 1,500 cases of tip credit violations in the past three years...

A minefield of concerns complicates laying off Connecticut state workers  CT Mirror  ...Though all indications are that many state employees will receive pink slips soon, several factors make it difficult for Connecticut to downsize its workforce. And those same factors and others make it all-but-impossible to close the major budget deficits projected for the next few years with layoffs alone...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

A wall apart: divided families meet at a single, tiny spot on the US-Mexico border  The Guardian  ...There are 1,954 miles of border separating the US and Mexico but only one tiny stretch, measuring no more than 15 meters wide, where families are sanctioned to touch fingertips through a steel-mesh fence. This spot, where the Pacific ocean joins the sandy shoreline, and where San Diego becomes Tijuana, is where US Customs and Border Protection allows families torn apart by an unforgiving immigration system their own, fleeting connection...

What’s More American Than Inheriting a Fortune?  (opinion) New York Times  ...Americans are generally comfortable with making the rich pay more in taxes, and they want the government to take action to shrink the gap between the rich and everyone else. But the estate tax is, bizarrely, different. The polls say most Americans want to reduce or eliminate it, even when pollsters clearly explain exactly what it does and whom it affects — under current law, just 0.2 percent of estates...

Drilling-Induced 'Frackquakes' Threatening Millions Across Central US  Common Dreams  ...Oil and gas drilling has made parts of the central United States as dangerous as the most earthquake-prone regions of California, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), exposing millions of people to the risk of human-induced earthquakes, known as "frackquakes"...

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