Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For March 31, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Teamsters Rally Held in Eden to Fight Closing of the MillerCoors Brewery  TWC News  ...State Attorney General Roy Cooper visited Eden Wednesday to weigh in on the closing of the MillerCoors Brewery. Teamsters Local 391 held a rally to support the more than 500 employees at the facility expected to lose their jobs in September...

Pilots for DHL carriers holding strike vote  Cincinnati.com  ...A group of unionized pilots that operate flights for DHL carriers will hold a strike vote amid concerns their employers want to change a labor pact. Members of Wilmington-based Airline Professionals Association Teamsters Local 1224 who work for cargo holding companies Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings and Southern Air Holdings will begin the voting process Wednesday... 

Teamsters To Protest United Airlines At Houston PGA Tour Event  EIN News Report  ...Members of Teamsters Local 19 will protest United Airlines' unfair contract offer and misplaced priorities at the United-sponsored PGA Tour Shell Houston Open on March 31 and April 1. While United is taking in billions of dollars in profits from customers, the mechanics who service United's planes have overwhelmingly rejected a substandard contract offer by the company that would slash profit-sharing, impact health care and diminish job security...

CVS Demands Across-the-Board Cuts as Negotiations Open  Local 727  ...While the Teamsters Local 727 Bargaining Committee presented proposals to address safety concerns through improved working conditions, more technician hours and increased overlap, CVS management demanded across-the-board cuts to pharmacists’ benefits with diminished protections as contract negotiations opened on March 24...

Coca-Cola Refreshments Violates Contract By Increasing Employee Health Care Premiums  Local 727  ...Teamsters Local 727 is vehemently fighting Coca-Cola Refreshments’ attempts to charge employees higher insurance premiums than those explicitly set forth in the new collective bargaining agreement. Teamsters Local 727 representatives have a grievance hearing on March 30, at which time they will formally demand that the company pay for any difference in employee premiums above the contractually agreed upon rates...

Teamsters, other workers will suffer if soda tax becomes law  (letter) Philly.com  ...Mayor Kenney's proposed 3-cents-an-ounce tax on sugary drinks is difficult to swallow, especially for the city's poor, small shop owners, grocers and the Teamsters Union drivers and bottling-plant workers I represent. The regressive tax is now being spun by the Kenney administration as the only way it can afford to pay for its ambitious new proposals...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Zimbabwe: Unpaid for 14mths, NRZ workers strike  New Zimbabwe  ...Workers at state-owned National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) on Tuesday downed tools in protest after going for 14 months without getting their salaries, officials have said. The strike also affected the debt-ridden parastatal’s two stations in Harare and Gweru. NRZ is saddled with a $144 million debt — workers are owed more than $68 million...

South Africa: Sanitation workers strike continues in Johannesburg  DW.com  ...Thousands of sanitation workers in Johannesburg have been on an illegal strike for over a month, leaving the streets of the city and surrounding townships piled with mountains of garbage. The rubbish collectors face a disciplinary hearing before a Johannesburg court today...

European Trade Head Optimistic on TTIP Progress  Global Trade ...Despite the heated anti-free trade rhetoric from both Republican and Democratic presidential aspirants, negotiations to forge a sweeping U.S.-European free trade deal by the end of this year are advancing, at least from the European Union perspective. During a recent visit to Washington, D.C. for meetings with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, the EU’s top trade official, Cecilia Malmstrom, stated that she was “determined” that both sides would be able to come to terms...

TTIP Means No Way Back for UK Steel  War on Want  ...The projected impacts of EU-US trade deal the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) on the UK metals sector means there is no way the government will be able to save the steel industry. Under official predictions for the controversial trade deal, steel industry jobs will likely be lost as the UK metals sector is set to contract while US metals exports to Europe are set to increase by 120%...

New Zealand PM attempts to rally US support for TPP  TVNZ  ...Mr Key is in Washington DC with dozens of world leaders ahead of this weekend's nuclear summit. It was a day of high level economic meetings for the Prime Minister, first with US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and then Janet Yellen, the chair of the US Federal Reserve. Despite acknowledging the deal isn't perfect for New Zealand, Mr Key found a room full of TPP supporters...

Protesters carry coffin and crosses to highlight debt suicides  Irish Times  ...Dozens of people carrying a coffin and black crosses gathered at a bank and the offices of a subprime lender in Dublin today to raise awareness of distressed borrowers who have taken their own lives. The two peaceful protests organised by the New Land League on Tuesday also highlighted the ongoing sale of mainstream banks’ loan books to “vulture” funds at discounts of as much as 80 per cent...

How Austerity Has Crippled The European Economy – In Numbers  Social Europe  ...Europe’s post-crisis response – consisting of a combination of fiscal austerity, neoliberal structural reforms and expansionary monetary policies – has unambiguously failed. In early 2016 – eight years after the outbreak of the financial crisis – the eurozone’s overall real GDP was still below the pre-crisis peak...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Arizona Becomes Ground Zero in Fight Over Secret Political Spending  American Prospect  ...Arizona’s Republican-controlled legislature voted Tuesday to dismantle the state’s strict campaign-finance disclosure rules, a move critics say will unleash a flood of undisclosed political spending in an election already increasingly dominated by “dark” money. The fight over the Arizona bill, which could be signed into law as early as this week, has pitted good government activists against deep-pocketed corporate donors...

Who Votes, Who Doesn’t? The Haves and the Have Nots  KQED  ...Eighty-two percent of California’s adults are eligible to vote, but only half will bother to cast ballots in 2016. And those who do vote will not reflect the state’s diversity. That’s a key takeaway of California’s Exclusive Electorate, a new report from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) examining voter participation...

Maryland Paid sick leave bill gains key approval in House  Baltimore Sun  ...A bill that would require companies to offer sick leave to workers is advancing in the House of Delegates. The House Economic Matters Committee voted 13-10 to approve a version of the bill Wednesday afternoon, and it's scheduled for consideration by the full House starting on Thursday. The bill would require companies with at least 15 employees to allow workers to earn up to seven days of paid sick leave per year...

Possible New York State Budget Deal Includes Minimum Wage Hike  CBS  ...A possible deal on the New Yorkstate budget includes a minimum wage hike as well as $1 billion in middle-class income tax relief, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday. Cuomo made his announcement as lawmakers sought to strike a budget deal ahead of a crucial Friday, April 1 deadline...

Why Labor Won $15 In California, And Why Their Plan Is Going National  IBTimes  ...California unions and progressive activists won big Monday when Gov. Jerry Brown announced a deal on legislation that would raise the minimum wage from $10 to $15 an hour. The  wage hike agreement doesn't just promise a major boost to low-income workers; it's also confirmation of a new political strategy that organized labor is already taking nationwide...

How a $15 Minimum Wage Went From Fringe to Mainstream  Bloomberg  ...By 2020 there will be a $15 minimum wage in effect for fast-food workers in New York City, for employees of large companies in Seattle, and for all workers in Los Angeles. On March 28, California Governor Jerry Brown announced a deal to make the $15 wage standard throughout the state by 2022. Last year, Democrats in Congress proposed making it the national starting wage...

 

U.S. LABOR

Workers Strike At Nine Major U.S. Airports  Travel Market  ...Service workers, including cleaners, security officers, and baggage handlers, are on strike today at several major U.S. airports, demanding higher pay and better safety measures. As many as 2,000 workers walked off the job last night at Seattle’s Sea-Tac, Chicago’s O'Hare, Boston’s Logan, New York’s John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia, New Jersey’s Newark, Philadelphia’s International, Washington D.C.’s Reagan National, and Fort Lauderdale airports, according to the Service Employees International Union....

Another Guitar Center Store Votes To Unionize  Huffington Post  ...Workers at a Guitar Center store in Pennsylvania have voted to unionize, the fourth location in the music equipment chain to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union in the past three years. The union said it won the election on Friday in the Pittsburgh suburb of Monroeville by a vote of nine to five, overcoming what it described as “an intensive anti-union campaign” by the company... 

Alpha seeks court OK to break UMW contract  Gazette-Mail  ...Lawyers for Alpha Natural Resources are asking a federal bankruptcy judge to allow the company to break its contract with the United Mine Workers union as part of an effort to reorganize its finances and survive the ongoing decline in the nation’s coal industry. On Monday, Alpha filed a petition with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Richmond asking to be able to modify the company’s obligations for retiree health care benefits. The company asked for a hearing to be held April 12 to address the matter...

2015 was a terrible year for the common working man  Washington Post  ...By at least one measure, inequality among working men has grown for decades. But, in 2015, it accelerated: The wage gap among men saw its largest single-year increase on record. Top earners — men who made more than 95 percent of their peers — saw wages last year rise by 9.9 percent, according to an analysis of federal data. Men in the middle — with earnings higher than half their peers — saw a much-smaller 2.6 percent increase...

There is no Uber economy, there is only Uber  Quartz  ...Data showing a relatively small—though growing—employment impact for services such as Uber are just some of the early efforts to collect data on what has been a heavily hyped segment of the economy of late. Such data will be crucial for policymakers who are increasingly being asked to change laws and regulations in an effort to accommodate popular new services such as Uber... 

What we know about the people who clean the floors in Silicon Valley  Washington Post   ...Silicon Valley companies have gotten a lot of heat in recent years for failing to recruit black and Hispanic people into their ranks. But if you factor in contractors and others whose jobs bring them inside those companies, the industry appears bit more inclusive — just perhaps not in the way one might hope...

Wal-Mart suer now taking on inequality  Arkansas Online  ... A Wal-Mart employee who fought the company all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court has left the company after reaching a settlement, but she said Tuesday that she'll be devoting her energy to fighting racial and gender inequality. Tuesday was the fifth anniversary of the oral arguments in Walmart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes. At the National Press Club, Betty Dukes, the lead plaintiff in the case, described what it had been like to watch as the justices grappled with her case...

Oreos and the American worker caught in the middle  (opinion) Chicago Tribune  ...Oreos are incredibly popular, one of America's top guilty pleasures. But we soon might not be able to stomach them, if the iconic cookies don't sustain good jobs in the United States. As part of the relentless killing of American manufacturing, Nabisco plans to cut in half the workforce at its largest domestic bakery, in Chicago, and send some 600 jobs to Mexico...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Elizabeth Warren Accuses Banks Of Lying  Think Progress  ...On Thursday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) sent a letter to the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) accusing banks of lying about the pending rule requiring financial advisers to put clients’ interests ahead of their own, thus potentially violating securities laws. The rule would expand the fiduciary duty standard to cover brokers advising people seeking advice about retirement investments...

Sentencing reform, before it was popular  The Hill  ...Criminal justice reform has become a celebrated cause in Washington, uniting figures on the left and right and creating momentum for legislation in Congress. But it wasn’t always that way. Julie Stewart began a crusade to change the justice system 25 years ago when she started Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) after her brother was sentenced to five years without parole for growing marijuana in his garage...

Protesters Flood North Carolina Streets as Discrimination Law Backlash Grows  Common Dreams  ..."If we don't get no justice, then they don't get no peace!" was the rallying cry echoing in the streets of downtown Chapel Hill, North Carolina, for hours on Tuesday. Hundreds of anti-discrimination activists flooded the streets and stopped traffic through the afternoon and evening in a planned protest against the state's sweeping, unprecedented anti-LGBTQ legislation signed into law last week...

The Horrifying Treatment of Transgender Women in Immigrant Detention  Slate  ...Transgender women held in U.S. immigrant detention centers face routine abuse, according to a Human Rights Watch report released last week. Contrary to a memorandum on the care of transgender detainees U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued in 2015, the agency has not implemented proper protocols at a single facility...

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