Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For March 4, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Teamsters apply heat to US Foods after failed Sysco merger  New York Post  ...US Foods is coming under fire from its biggest union as it tries to go public following last year’s failed merger with Sysco. The Teamsters said business has been deteriorating since regulators killed the $8 billion deal in September. he union is pushing back against the company’s plan to close a distribution center near Baltimore, while union members at other centers are working without a contract...

State Senate Candidate Steve Caramelli Endorsed by Teamsters Joint Council 25  Chicago Tribune  ...Steve Caramelli, Democratic candidate for the 22nd State Senate seat, today announced he received the endorsement from Teamsters Joint Council 25 because of his determination to protect working families and his extensive and lifelong commitment to labor. "I am humbled to receive the support of the Teamsters Joint Council 25 for my election," Caramelli said...

Cedar Falls schools, Teamsters begin contract negotiations  The Courier  ...Cedar Falls' Community Schools custodial and skilled trades staff sought a $1.25 hourly wage increase for current employees in initial bargaining Tuesday. The administration proposed an across-the-board raise of 15 cents per hour, with that amount added to base rates. Current starting wages for the workers, represented by Teamsters Local 238, range from $12.88 to $17.68 per hour...

Teamsters Set Sights High in Canada  Teamster.org  ...Teamster youth in Canada have launched an important social media campaign on mental health. The campaign seeks to raise awareness and make mental health support in the workplace mandatory. Teamsters Canada is fighting for working women, bringing forward a case for review by the Supreme Court of Canada. Teamsters in the U.S. are also standing in support of pregnant workers. The Teamsters Union supports the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Workers at Colombia’s Cerrejon coal mine vote in favour of strike  EuroNews  ...Union workers at Colombia’s largest coal mine, Cerrejon, have voted in favour of a strike, the union said on Thursday, in a dispute with the company over wages and benefits. A strike at the Cerrejon mine, which produces 32 million tonnes of coal a year, or 37 percent of Colombia’s total output, would come at an inopportune time for the country, which is experiencing a commodity-related economic slowdown...

South Africa: Worker strike closes Johannesburg Zoo  Times Live  ...Jo'burg Zoo has closed down indefinitely due to an unprotected strike action by some of its employees. The labour action led to management closing the facility over security concerns for the public as well as their own safety. Spokesperson for the zoo Jenny Moodley said that workers are due back on the job on Saturday‚ after management applied for an urgent court interdict for their employees to return to work...

Canada: Strike looms for CMHA workers  Peter Borough Examiner  ...Newly unionized employees of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) may go on strike later this month. A total of 160 workers could walk off the job March 19 if the union and management cannot agree on a contract. That includes administrative staff, group home workers and case managers - none of whom are deemed essential workers...

Why It's Almost Impossible to Avoid Being Complicit in Slavery When You Buy Tuna Fish  Alternet  ...According to the Thai government, there are as many as 300,000 people working in the fishing industry, 90 percent of whom are migrants. As the Thai economy develops, Thai men are moving away from fishing and into jobs with better working conditions. This has left the country with a shortage of thousands of workers, which is being filled by human trafficking, with men from Bangladesh, Cambodia and Myanmar...

Watchdog Group Kept Out Of Nike Supplier's Factory After Worker Strike  Huffington Post  ...A prominent labor rights group that monitors working conditions in overseas factories says apparel giant Nike refused to let it inspect a plant in Vietnam roiled by employee strikes. Workers at the Hansae Vietnam factory who produce university-branded Nike clothes held a pair of walkouts over working conditions late last year...  

India Files Trade Dispute Against US Over Temporary Work Visas  NDTV  ...India has filed a complaint against the United States over non-immigrant temporary working visas, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said on Friday. India has disputed measures imposing increased fees on certain categories of temporary work visas for the United States and limits on their numbers, the WTO said in a statement...

U.S. trade deficit with the TPP countries cost 2 million jobs in 2015, with job losses in every state  EPI  ...The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement between the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries lacks an absolutely key component to keep it from doing potential damage to the U.S. economy. The missing piece of this trade and investment deal is a set of restrictions and/or enforceable penalties against member countries that engage in currency manipulation...

England’s Soaring Death Rate Tied to Government Austerity That Slashed Health Services  Occupy  ...Laast year saw the highest number of deaths in England in nearly half a century – a burgeoning mortality rate now being pinned to government cuts in social services and other austerity measures in one of the richest nations on Earth. New preliminary figures released by the Office for National Statistics indicate death rates in 2015 increased by 5.4 percent over 2014...

Greece Says IMF Delaying Talks on Austerity Compliance  ABC  ...Greece's finance minister blamed the International Monetary Fund on Thursday for delays in the latest review of the country's compliance with austerity measures it is required to make as part of its bailout program. Top-level negotiations on the review started early February, and were suspended a month ago... 

Spain’s Radical Left Podemos Party Refuses to Sell Out  The Intercept  ...American progressives distressed about the prospect of being offered a choice this fall between a right-wing billionaire and a one-time corporate lawyer on the board of Wal-Mart, might look to Spain for a reminder that left-wing leaders with principles and charisma do still exist. In Madrid on Wednesday, Pablo Iglesias, the 37-year-old leader of Podemos, an anti-austerity party, blocked the center-left Socialist Party’s attempt to form a centrist coalition government...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

NH Senate Commerce Committee Passes SB 488, Pregnant Workers Fairness Act  NH Labor News  ...The New Hampshire Senate Commerce Committee voted today to pass SB 488, the New Hampshire Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. The bipartisan bill is a companion bill to the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act sponsored by both of New Hampshire’s US Senators, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R). SB 488 would guarantee the rights of pregnant women in the workplace...

Arizona Advances Bill To Spend Millions Each Year Putting Photos On Food Stamps Cards  Think Progress  ...Rep. Justin Olson’s (R) bill would kick about 120,000 people off of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) rolls. It would cancel the state’s policy of categorical eligibility, by which anyone enrolled in welfare or Social Security is automatically approved for food stamps without administrators spending time and money on another application...

Democrats: bill passed Thursday pushes Missouri toward Right to Work  ABC  ...Missouri lawmakers have passed a bill requiring public employees' to give permission every year for union dues to be withheld from their paychecks. The House voted 109-49 Thursday to send the legislation to Gov. Jay Nixon. The Senate passed the bill 23-7 earlier this week. The Democratic governor vetoed a similar bill in 2013...

Cuomo urges Syracuse crowd to demand lawmakers pass $15 minimum wage  Syracuse.com  ...Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged a crowd of several hundred union members and others in Solvay on Wednesday to demand their state legislators pass a $15 an hour minimum wage this month as part of the state budget. "I'll fight with the politicians in Albany," Cuomo pledged, while speaking at a rally at this Syracuse suburb...

Fast-food workers to next president: Raise wages to $15  Detroit Free Press  ...Fast-food workers and labor organizers aim to capitalize on the upcoming presidential debates in Michigan and flex their political might by protesting Thursday — and again on Sunday — to demand employers offer $15-an-hour wages. "It's to help workers get a decent wage and form a union," Tyrone Stitt, 43, a maintenance employee at a Taco Bell in Flint, said of the protests today. "I feel like the corporations are making billions of dollars off the backs of low-paid workers"...

Mississippi Refuses To Use Money That Would Give Poor Families Child Care  Think Progress  ...Given that 92 percent of the people benefiting from child care assistance via the state’s administration of the federal Child Care and Development Fund block grant are black, compared to 42 percent of recipients nationally, the report asked the question: is the state putting up barriers that disproportionately impact black people? The answer appears to be yes...

 

U.S. LABOR

UAW protests Dearborn supplier after health complaints  The Detroit News  ...The United Auto Workers union staged a small protest outside a Dearborn facility of auto supplier Ground Effects, claiming the location has unsafe working conditions and unfair labor practices. Fewer than 10 people, including two former employees, were picketing outside Ground Effects Ltd.’s Dearborn Customization plant at 10 a.m. Wednesday...

At Tesla’s gigafactory, a larger battle over worker pay  Washington Post  ...On Monday, hundreds of workers walked off their jobs at the giant battery factory that Tesla Motors is building in the desert outside Reno, Nev. It wasn't your typical picket. They were protesting other workers — specifically, the fact that they were from somewhere else. "Tesla got $1.4 billion in tax incentives to promote Nevada's construction sector, not New Mexico's," says Todd Koch, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada...

1199 SEIU rallies in Troy for higher health care worker wages  Times Union  ...Raising wages for health care workers may be an important step to lowering Troy's poverty rates, 1199 SEIU union members said Thursday at a small rally urging Troy hospitals to boost wages for workers who mop the floors, serve the food and provide some basic patient care. About a dozen people gathered just steps away from St. Mary's Hospital on Massachusetts Avenue in an effort organized by the 1199 SEIU...

Workers strike at Sioux City business  Sioux Land News  ...Workers at a Sioux City business were marching the picket line Thursday evening. They're upset over the company's proposals on health insurance and the length of their contracts. 79 workers at the West Rock manufacturing plant on Tri-View avenue are on strike.The workers, who are represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, are upset over the company's handling of their health insurance... 

Unions to rally behind laid-off Steelworkers on Day 1 of legislative session  Union Advocate  ...By the time state lawmakers return to St. Paul for the 2016 legislative session, nearly 600 steelworkers from Minnesota’s Iron Range will have exhausted their unemployment benefits. As the 2016 session opens Tuesday, union members from across the state will hold a rally at the Capitol, reminding legislators that the crisis will grow worse with each day they wait to extend relief to Iron Range families and communities...

Costco Just Gave Its Lowest-Paid Workers A Raise  Huffington Post  ...Costco is going to start paying some of its workers more. The big box store announced Thursday that it would raises minimum wages at its stores around the country by $1.50. The company's lowest hourly wages will be between $13 and $13.50 and hour, up from $11.50 to $12 an hour, according to Bloomberg...

The 401(k) Boom Has Been Disastrous For People Of Color  Think Progress  ...It used to be that most American workers could expect guaranteed checks in retirement thanks to a pension, or what economists call a defined-benefit plan. But in the 1980s, the country went through a major shift, with employers ditching pensions in favor of 401(k) accounts. The shift created huge gulfs between what well-to-do, white workers can save up for retirement and what people of color and low-income workers have in their nest eggs...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Donald Trump's Yooge Flip-Flop on Outsourcing  Mother Jones  ...On the night of his big Super Tuesday victory, GOP front-runner Donald Trump gave a winner's press conference and railed against the evils of outsourcing. Yet a decade ago, before Trump was a politician, he had a much different view. In 2005, Trump wrote a blog post on outsourcing headlined, "Outsourcing Creates Jobs in the Long Run." Trump advised workers who lost their jobs to adopt a longer view and consider how outsourcing could be good for the overall economy...

'Snyder Not Welcome': Has Flint's Smoking Gun Finally Emerged?  Common Dreams  ...As evidence against the state government continues to accrue, Michigan House Democratic leader Tim Greimel on Wednesday became the first member of the state legislature to join a growing call for Gov. Rick Snyder's resignation over Flint's water contamination crisis. "It's now clear that for over a year the governor's top aides and advisers wrote thousands of emails relating to the Flint situation," said Greimel...

Prize-Winning Environmentalist Murdered In Her Home In Honduras  Think Progress  ...Berta Cáceres, a Honduran woman who organized the indigenous Lenca people in a successful grassroots battle against construction of the Agua Zarca Dam — and whose environmental activism made her the target of numerous death threats — was murdered in her home early Thursday morning. Cáceres, coordinator and co-founder of the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Honduras, or COPIHN, was killed by unknown attackers...

Stop Locking Up Children, Americans Say  Common Dreams  ...Americans "overwhelmingly support" shuttering all of the country's juvenile prisons and replacing them with community-based rehabilitation and prevention programs, according to a poll announced Thursday by Youth First, a new campaign to close youth prisons nationwide. "We believe that youth prison model should be abandoned and replaced with more humane and less costly alternatives to incarceration"...

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