Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For March 7, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Silicon Valley Drivers for Google Join Teamsters  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters Local 853 announced today that 110 drivers for WeDriveU, a transportation company that shuttles employees for Facebook, Google and other tech companies, have gained Teamsters representation. WeDriveU recognized Local 853 as the drivers’ union after an independent third-party arbitrator verified the union’s majority standing...

Group mobilizes Wisconsin Teamsters against pension cuts  Star Tribune  ...Wisconsin retirees need to contact politicians and "get in their face in Washington" to stop proposed pension cuts, according to a leader of a group campaigning against the cuts. More than 300 retired Teamsters attended a meeting Saturday in Ashwaubenon for an update on the fight against the Central States Pension Fund's request to cut pension payments...

Chatham school bus drivers say “stay tuned” to see if they strike  WSAV  ...Trouble appears to be brewing between school bus drivers and the Savannah Chatham County Public School System over the plan to scrap privatization and return operations to district control. Unionized transportation workers started their week with a rally at the school board headquarters on Bull Street on Monday. They are currently members of Teamster’s Local 728...

UAW, Teamsters, AFL-CIO quiet on endorsements  The Detroit News   ...When Michigan workers vote for presidential candidates in the state’s primary election Tuesday, they will do so without relying on endorsements from the United Auto Workers, Teamsters and AFL-CIO. None of the three unions have announced endorsements. Teamsters spokesman Galen Munroe said this week there was no update, and the union is not commenting on the endorsement process...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

India: Labour dept prohibits Tata Moters strike, asks workers to resume work  Financial Express  ...The Gujarat government Thursday prohibited the strike announced by the 400-odd workers at the Tata Motors’ Sanand plant since February 22 and asked them to resume work immediately. Last week, a worker on the condition of anonymity, had said that the lack of wage hikes and the move to form a trade union by workers had been a bone of contention between the company management...

Workers strike at ArcelorMittal Mexico plant over job cuts  Mining Weekly  ...Workers at ArcelorMittal's steel plant in western Mexico went on strike on Friday, the company and the national union said, as the industry grapples with a plunge in prices. More than 3 000 workers have gone on strike over job cuts and stopped operations at the plant in Lazaro Cardenas, Michoacan...

Prosecutor opens probe of McDonald's practices in Brazil  USA Today  ...A federal prosecutor in Sao Paulo on Thursday opened an inquiry of fast food giant McDonald's operations in Brazil. The launching of the probe comes more than six months after Brazil's General Workers’ Union (UGT) filed a petition calling on the Public Prosecution Service to investigate the company and Arcos Dorados Holdings, the world's largest McDonald's franchisee and its main operator in Latin America and the Caribbean, for violations of Brazil's tax, franchise and competition laws...

TPP’s Lack of Currency Rules Is Fatal Flaw for U.S. Workers  AFL-CIO  ...A new report released today from the Economic Policy Institute offers further data that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is fatally flawed. "EPI’s new report quantifies what a mistake it was to leave currency rules out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The trade deficit with TPP countries—attributable in large part to misaligned currency—cost America’s working families 2 million jobs in 2015, more than half in manufacturing," said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka...

Farmers union head skeptical of Trans-Pacific Partnership  CropProtection  ...The U.S. Department of Agriculture is trying to gain support on Capitol Hill for its Trans-Pacific Partnership by telling partners on about the benefits it anticipates, including job growth and rural prosperity. However, the National Farmers Union (NFU), which represents over 200,000 family farms and ranches, believes the USDA’s promises are the same kind made with previous trade pacts that did not come to fruition...

Some TPP Countries Not Meeting IPR Obligations: Hatch  Bloomberg  ...Noncompliance with intellectual property rights (IPR) protections by U.S. trading partners, including members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, remains a problem, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said March 3. At a committee hearing on trade agreement implementation, Hatch said problems with enforcement of existing U.S. trade pacts were “most pronounced” with regard to intellectual property rights...

Greece Debt Crisis: EU Lenders, IMF Seek To Resolve Differences Over Austerity Measures  IBTimes  ...Greece’s international lenders and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are set to finalize measures that the country must undertake to be eligible for its next financial bailout. The Monday meeting will also assess if Greece has delivered on the reforms it had promised as part of the third bailout agreement in August last year. The bailout hinges on Monday’s first quarterly review by the IMF...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Md. bill would give employees more paid leave  WTOP  ...Legislation that would mandate that employers in Maryland with 10 or more workers provide them with paid sick days is under consideration this week by House and Senate committees. Some business advocates say it will cost too much and result in wage and benefit reductions, while supporters say it’s a health and human rights issue that must be passed...

California voters could finally weigh in on 'Citizens United' in November  LA Times  ...California voters will likely weigh in this November on the explosion of money in politics, through an advisory measure that the Legislature now has legal permission to place on the statewide ballot. A quartet of state senators submitted language Thursday to ask voters, through a nonbinding Nov. 8 ballot measure, whether Congress should work to overturn the 2010 ruling...

Election Officials Tackle Confusing Voter ID Laws In North Carolina  NPR  ...Early voting began this week in North Carolina for the March 15 primary. And for the first time, most voters in the state have to show a government-issued photo ID at the polls. It's one of several states with new voting laws this year. But in North Carolina, the rules have changed so much that confusion could be a voter's biggest hurdle...

Wolf to boost minimum wage for state workers  YDR.com  ...Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf was expected to sign an executive order Monday ensuring a minimum wage of $10.15 an hour for all employees under his jurisdictions and employees of Pennsylvania state government contractors. An administration official would not give any other details about the order...

Koch-ALEC Right to Work Power Play Exposed in a Small Illinois Village  PR Watch  ...Last month, four unions sued the Village of Lincolnshire in federal court in Chicago. The unions representing engineers, construction workers, and carpenters--including three affiliated with the AFL-CIO--filed suit on February 18, 2016, to have Lincolnshire's anti-union "right-to-work" ordinance declared invalid and prevent its enforcement. Two days after the federal lawsuit was filed, the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 filed a related lawsuit...

Fight for 15 Protesters descend on GOP Debate in Detroit  CBS  ...With signs saying "Dump Trump" and "Workers for $15 Wage," a sea of protesters lined the streets outside the Fox Theatre ahead of the Republican debate on Thursday night, CBS Detroit reported. Protesters pushed up against the theater's entrance gate at chanting "Can't Take No More," CBS Detroit radio station The Ticket's Dan Leach said in a tweet from outside the venue...

 

U.S. LABOR

Labor Federation Backs Legislation to Honor Obligations to America’s Miners  NH Labor News  ...The Executive Council of the AFL-CIO, America’s largest labor federation, announced yesterday at its winter meeting that it strongly backs bipartisan legislation that will honor the nation’s obligation to retired mine workers and their families.  “We deeply appreciate the support we’ve received today from our brothers and sisters in the labor movement,” said United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) President Cecil Roberts...

N.J. Transit and Unions to Continue Negotiations as Strike Looms  NY Times  ...New Jersey Transit and its rail workers’ unions will continue negotiations on Monday in Newark, as both sides try to reach an agreement over wages and benefits before a threatened strike on March 13. The discussions will come after eight hours of talks in Washington on Friday, where a federal mediation board tried to help break a monthslong impasse between the agency and its 4,200 rail workers...

Federal Court Orders Asarco to Pay Wrongfully Withheld Bonuses  USW.org  ...The United Steelworkers said that Senior U.S. District Judge Stephen M. McNamee this week issued a decision to enforce an arbitrator’s award that Asarco pay a negotiated quarterly bonus based on the price of copper to the hundreds of employees hired after June 30, 2011, that the company has wrongly denied the benefit. The unions which represent more than 2,000 workers at five Asarco locations in Arizona and Texas won the arbitration against the Grupo Mexico subsidiary in Dec. 2014...

New bill in Congress takes aim at federal labor unions  Press Herald  ...Republicans in Congress are pushing legislation that could make the work of labor organizers much more difficult. The latest move came Tuesday, when the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved an “official time” bill targeting federal government unions. Republicans have long taken aim at official time, which allows agency employees, who also are union officials, to conduct certain, limited types of union-related business while being paid by the government...

Trump Hotel Las Vegas Workers Who Just Formed A Union: ‘Make America Great’ By Negotiating A Contract  IBTimes  ...On the campaign trail, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump often trumpets his experience as a job creator and likes to say he gets along with unions very well. Employees at his company’s hotel in Las Vegas, however, say they’ve had quite a different experience with their boss. Several workers from Trump International Hotel Las Vegas gathered outside the Trump Tower in Manhattan Thursday to protest the company's refusal to recognize their union...

Uber calling its drivers to say unionizing does ‘not fit’ for ride-sharing workers  Seattle Times  ...Uber has been calling its drivers in Seattle to say that unionizing — under an ordinance the City Council passed late last year — wouldn’t be good for them, because many drive for Uber on the side, not as a full-time career. The calls, first reported by Quartz, worry unionization proponents, who say the city should make sure Uber isn’t pressuring drivers to maintain the status quo...

Jobs Report Shows Brisk U.S. Hiring in February  NY Times  ...With anxiety about the economy bubbling up on Wall Street and at campaign rallies around the country, the government reported on Friday that employers added 242,000 workers in February, a hefty increase that highlighted the labor market’s steady gains. Four years ago, at this point in the last presidential election cycle, the jobless rate was 8.3 percent and the economic recovery was in a relatively early stage...

Life in the Only Industrialized Country Without Paid Maternity Leave  The Atlantic  ...Many cultures have rules for new mothers and babies. The Latin American cuarentena and the Uzbek chilla represent 40 days of rest and social support. In China, women rest in bed for a month; in Korea, for 21 days. In the United States, however, the time for rest, bonding, and recovery often is determined not by tradition, or even by a doctor’s recommendations, but by the new mother’s employment situation...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Black and Brown Power Unite to Stop Deportation Raids  Truthout  ...With issues of mass incarceration and deportation hanging heavy over the current presidential race, both Black Lives Matter activists and immigration rights activists have had a great deal to say about the policies and commentaries of each potential commander in chief. On February 15, a bold act of protest brought traffic to a standstill outside the Regional Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Field Office in downtown Chicago...

The Presidential Race & Environmental Racism: Flint Water Crisis Center Stage at Democratic Debate  Democracy Now  ...The race for the Democratic nomination intensified this weekend as Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton at caucuses in Maine, Kansas and Nebraska, while Clinton easily won in Louisiana. On Sunday night, the candidates faced off in a debate in Flint, Michigan, which has been in the national spotlight over the poisoning of the city’s water...

No More Excuses: Sen. Warren Lambastes DOE on Student Loans  Common Dreams  ...Can the U.S. Department of Education be trusted to protect the millions of Americans with federal student loans? U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who has tussled with the federal agency before, isn't so sure. She said as much in a letter sent Thursday to acting Education Secretary John King Jr., in which she describes an independent audit published this week as "a stunning indictment of the Department of Education's [DOE] oversight of student loan servicers...

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