Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For March 3, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Concord employee union rejects final contract offer  Conta Costa Times  ...After eight months of negotiations, the city's largest employee union has rejected Concord's last contract offer. Teamsters Local 856 represents 137 employees, including police dispatchers and administrative, clerical and maintenance workers. Since the union's contract expired at the end of June, the two parties have reached tentative agreements on a number of issues through a combination of negotiation and mediation...

Union members at Airgas in Cincinnati have unanimously voted to authorize a strike  Gas World  ...Drivers and plant operation workers at Airgas have voted unanimously to authorize a strike in a secret ballot vote. The workers, members of Teamsters Local 100 in Cincinnati, angrily voiced their opinions on the company’s contract proposals that would destroy job security and seniority, as well as remove the workers’ legal rights to honor picket lines...

St. Charles Coca-Cola Teamster Recovers $2,000 in Lost Wages  JC 25  ...A relief driver with Great Lake Coca-Cola Distribution recently secured $2,000 in back pay after Teamsters Local 330 fought to protect his seniority rights at work. Local 330 member Emanuel Lopez was unlawfully sent home last year while awaiting additional relief work at Coca-Cola’s distribution facility in St. Charles, Ill. Other relief drivers, including those with less seniority than Lopez, were offered merchanidising work during the same period...

UPS workers protest against supervisor  WPBF  ...UPS employees claim that they have been victims of racial slurs and discrimination at the company's warehouse in Riviera Beach. Warehouse workers and teamsters protested Tuesday morning outside the facility on Blue Heron Boulevard. "The company should address it severely," Josh Zivalich of Teamsters Local 769 said...

Teamsters host pension meeting March 5  Press Gazette  ...The Green Bay committee of Wisconsin Committees to Protect Pensions will deliver a progress update to Green Bay area retirees Saturday afternoon. The meeting will include updates on opposition to proposed pension cuts, information about a phone campaign, legislative actions in Congress and future meetings. Retired Teamsters across the Midwest have formed similar groups...  

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

A Tale of Two Tyrants: Nestlé's Role in Prayuth's Thailand  Truthout  ...Nestlé employs 339,000 people in total across all operations, with the Thai junta employing 310,000 men and women in armed service. Both Nestlé and the Thai junta have entered a war of attrition with the European Parliament. Both have also recently been implicated in the lack of action to stop serious human rights abuses in the Thai fishing industry...

Cadbury workers in Dublin strike over outsourcing  RTE  ...An indefinite strike by hundreds of workers at the Cadbury production plant in Coolock, Dublin began this morning in a dispute over the outsourcing of jobs. Cadbury plans to outsource 17 positions in its stores division as part of a Labour Court recommendation, which was rejected by Unite and SIPTU. Both unions now say they will strike until the company rescinds the decision to outsource...

Ohio lost 112,500 jobs due to trade with TPP countries: EPI  Cleveland.com  ...Ohio lost 112,500 jobs in 2015 resulting from the United States' trade deficit with countries that are part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, according to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute. That places Ohio sixth, in terms of the percentage of jobs lost to trade with TPP countries, among the 50 states and the District of Columbia ranked in the report released Thursday...

With TPP 'At Heart' of Obama Agenda, Critics Debunk Trade Talking Points  Common Dreams  ...The White House is gearing up for a full-court press in support of the corporate-friendly Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), launching its latest public relations campaign in favor of the deal on Wednesday with a "flashy" annual trade agenda. The TPP is "at the heart of this agenda," declares the document released by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR)...

Trans Pacific Partnership Could Change the Apparel Industry  The Street  ...TPP could disrupt the fast fashion momentum and a fledgling made-in-America clothing rebound by renewing the attractiveness of offshore manufacturing via lower tariffs. Brands like Under Armour or The North Face could ship U.S. materials to overseas manufacturing plants, import the products back to the U.S. at a low rate and sell at U.S. price points...

Brexit better for Britain than toxic TTIP, says Joseph Stiglitz  RT  ...Britain would be better off leaving the European Union (EU) if the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is implemented, Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz has said. TTIP will create the world’s biggest free-trade zone, scrapping tariffs and other obstacles to the trade of goods and services...

Austerity-hit Greeks help refugees with food, toys, time  Reuters  ...Greece, whose economy was struggling even before Europe's migrant crisis and which has received more than 240 billion euros since its first international bailout in 2010, is in its eighth year of recession. More than a million people are unemployed. At least 25,000 people were stranded in Greece on Tuesday, their journey to wealthier central and northern European nations blocked by the failure of European nations to agree a common policy to deal with one of the worst humanitarian crises in decades...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Missouri Senate passes anti-union 'paycheck protection' bill  Public Radio  ...Legislation that would bar unions from automatically withholding dues from public employees' paychecks has passed the Missouri Senate. House Bill 1891, the so-called paycheck protection bill, would only apply to public sector workers. It passed the House last month by the veto proof majority of 110-47. Democrats argued that union leaders have to answer to their members, and that the bill would undermine that relationship... 

‘Right-to-Work’ Scam Goes Down Again  AFSCME  ...For the second year in a row, so-called “right-to-work” legislation was beaten back by pro-worker lawmakers. After weeks of lobbying by labor and community groups, the New Mexico Senate Public Affairs Committee effectively killed the bill on a party-line vote. Union leaders and working families suspected that worker protections, benefits, pay and even job security would be at risk during the legislative session, and they made their voices heard loud and clear...

Oregon now has highest minimum wage in the country  KOIN  ...Governor Kate Brown signed a bill Wednesday that raises the state’s minimum wage. The incremental increases will eventually bring the minimum wage to $14.75 an hour inside the Portland city limits by the year 2022. On the coast, Willamette Valley and Cascade foothills, the minimum wage will top out at $13.50 an hour...

Oklahoma Commission Declares Workers' Comp Alternative Unconstitutional  NPR  ...An Oklahoma law that lets employers opt out of state-regulated workers' compensation has been rejected and declared unconstitutional by state regulators. The Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Commission called the alternative workplace-benefit plans that some employers adopted under the law "a water mirage on the highway that disappears upon closer inspection"...

Age of voter ID dawns in NC  WRAL  ...After years of debate and lawsuits, showing photo identification at the polls will become a fact of life for North Carolina voters on Thursday. Early voting for the March 15 primary starts Thursday across the state, and every voter will be asked for a photo ID, even if they've voted at the same precinct for years and the poll workers know them...

Why Virginia’s Open Shop Referendum Should Matter to the Entire American Labor Movement in 2016  In These Times  ...On February 2nd, the Republican-dominated General Assembly passed the two-session threshold needed to put the open shop before the Commonwealth’s voters in November. Legislation barring union membership as a condition of employment was signed into law in 1947. So why do this? The easy answer is that Virginia Republicans are fearful that, should the open shop meet a legal challenge in state court, Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring would not seek to defend it...

 

U.S. LABOR

Some Amazon Prime Now Delivery Drivers Are Now Employees  BuzzFeed  ...Four months after a group of Amazon Prime Now delivery drivers filed suit against the company, workers at one of the retailer’s Southern California shipping subcontractors have been reclassified as employees. The lawsuit is ongoing, and the four workers who filed it no longer drive for Amazon. But the contractor they worked for has since reclassified Amazon Prime Now delivery drivers throughout California as employees...

NJ Transit Preps for a Strike  Wall Street Journal  ...NJ Transit trains might soon grind to a halt if employees who operate the nation’s third-busiest commuter railroad go on strike after five years without new contracts. Transportation officials have been drawing up contingency plans to carry NJ Transit riders on additional buses, ferries and PATH trains if contentious labor talks lead to a work stoppage as early as March 13...

ATI workers ratify 4-year contract, heralding end of 6-month lockout  Buffalo News  ...Unionized workers at Allegheny Technologies approved a four-year contract that would end a lockout imposed by the company more than six months ago. The deal covers about 2,200 workers at 12 facilities in six states, including a plant in Lockport with about 40 workers. Workers approved the deal by a 5-1 ratio, according to the union...

Rauner bypasses union leadership, wants AFSCME members to force vote on contract proposals  Metro East Sun  ...Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration has reached out directly to members of the state’s largest union to try to persuade them to lobby for an up-and-down vote on proposals for a new contract. The governor’s main negotiator in talks with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) has written to all its members, urging them to accept proposals put forward by the administration...

'The struggle has no borders': immigrant workers battle union busting tactics  The Guardian  ...Workers at the original 63rd Street location organized and ultimately formed a union called the Hot and Crusty Workers Association (HCWA). When the bakery owners responded to the union vote by closing the store, the HCWA maintained a picket line for 55 straight days until the owners agreed to reopen. Now, just over three years later, history is repeating itself...

New Weapon in Day Laborers’ Fight Against Wage Theft: A Smartphone App  New York Times  ...After three years of planning, an immigrant rights group in Jackson Heights is set to start a smartphone app for day laborers, a new digital tool with many uses: Workers will be able to rate employers (think Yelp or Uber), log their hours and wages, take pictures of job sites and help identify, down to the color and make of a car, employers with a history of withholding wages...

Farmworkers Forced To Go Back To Work After Being Exposed To Pesticide  Think Progress  ...Up to 20,000 pesticide poisonings are reported by farmworkers every year. Some farmworkers, the vast majority of whom are immigrants, are too scared to report their illnesses. In particular, undocumented farmworkers are often afraid to speak out because they’re worried about consequences based on their immigration status...

'Groundbreaking' Discrimination Lawsuits Brought On Behalf Of Gay Workers  Huffington Post  ...The federal agency that enforces civil rights in the workplace is pursuing its first lawsuits ever based upon a worker's sexual orientation. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Tuesday that it has filed two cases it described as "groundbreaking" -- one on behalf of a gay male employee of a Pennsylvania medical center, another on behalf of a lesbian employee of a Maryland pallet manufacturer... 

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Why Gender Inequality Is More Acute for Women in the South  The Atlantic  ...The gender pay gap is a worldwide problem, but women in some places have it worse than others. A new report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) reveals that working women in the South suffer some of the harshest inequalities in the U.S., not only in terms of how much they are paid, but how they are treated in the workforce...

'Right Side of History': South Dakota Governor Vetoes Anti-Transgender Bill  Common Dreams  ...South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard (R) on Tuesday vetoed a bill that would have forced transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their biological sex, rather than their gender identity. "Today Governor Daugaard made a symbolic statement that South Dakota’s transgender students are a valued part of the community"...

Oil and gas industry has pumped millions into Republican campaigns  The Guardian  ...Fossil fuel millionaires collectively pumped more than $100m into Republican presidential contenders’ efforts last year – in an unprecedented investment by the oil and gas industry in the party’s future. About one in three dollars donated to Republican hopefuls from mega-rich individuals came from people who owe their fortunes to fossil fuels – and who stand to lose the most in the fight against climate change...

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