Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News For March 8, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Teamster Pilots Overwhelmingly Ratify Agreement with GoJet Airlines  Teamster.org  ...On Sat., Mar. 5, Teamster pilots voted to approve a new, five-year contract at GoJet Airlines by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. There are over 520 members in the bargaining unit covered by the agreement. The pilots will see significant quality of life improvements in this contract, including the implementation of a commuting policy where all lodging expenses will be paid for by the company...

Teamster Mechanics Threaten Strike Against United Airlines At JP Morgan Investor Conference  Teamster.org  ...Hundreds of aircraft mechanics who traveled from 10 airports across the U.S. protested their employer, United Airlines, at JP Morgan’s annual Aviation, Transportation & Industrials investor conference today. The protest follows two weeks of picketing actions by United Airlines mechanics and technicians at airports across the country...

FedEx Freight Teamsters Secure Major Court Victory  Teamster.org  ...On March 7, 2016, a federal appeals court enforced a decision of the National Labor Relations Board and ordered FedEx Freight to recognize and bargain with Teamster Local 71 in Charlotte, N.C. and Local 107 in Philadelphia, where members in separate elections had voted to join the Teamsters.   FedEx Freight had refused to recognize the NLRB’s bargaining unit determinations and the resulting union election victories...

Avoidable Maintenance, Operational Issues Persist At Allegiant Air  Teamster.org  ...Allegiant Air continued to experience a high rate of emergency landings, cancelations, and delays due to preventable mechanical issues from September 2015 to January 2016, according to an investigation released today by The Aviation Mechanics Coalition (TAMC). The TAMC documented 98 instances of preventable maintenance issues in the five month period, including 35 related to engine function such as failures to start and clogged filters...

CP Rail workers end strike  Post Star  ...The union representing around 122 Canadian Pacific Railway workers in the region declared victory Monday, after an unannounced strike that lasted eight hours. The Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way union launched the strike at 6 a.m., surprising CP Rail with the work stoppage. Union members picketed near rail yards in Fort Edward, Whitehall and Saratoga Springs, which lie along CP Rail’s Delaware & Hudson line...

Teamsters Local 325 Garbage Collectors and Mechanics Continue Contract Negotiations  WIFR  ...The next time we take out the trash, it might not get picked up if contract negotiations are not resolved between members of Teamsters Local 325 and Rock River Disposal Services. The two parties are in the third month of extended contract negotiations. The union's 70 members who are garbage collectors and mechanics says they're not happy with seniority issues and pay... 

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Mine workers in northern Colombia vote for strike action  Colombia Reports  ....Union workers at Colombia’s largest coal mine, Cerrejon, have voted in favor of a strike amid 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 a difficult time as the country is experiencing a commodity-related economic slowdown...

Crown Royal workers strike after failed negotiations with employer  CBC  ...Workers at the Crown Royal distillery in Gimli, Man., hit the picket lines today after stalled negotiations with Diageo Canada, the company that runs the plant. "We're conducting a legal picket line in Gimli and hoping to get the company to come back to the table to continue talks," UFCW Local 832 president Jeff Traeger said...

Ireland: Luas workers could hold all-out strike by mid-April  News Talk  ...Pay talks between the sides broke down at the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) last night, despite workers almost halving their salary demands of 53%. Trade union SIPTU says it is now considering balloting its members for all-out strike action, which could begin in five weeks time. If nothing changes, strikes will go ahead on St Patrick's Day...

France sees the EU-Canada agreement as a ‘template’ for TTIP  EurActiv  ...Minister of State for Foreign Trade Matthias Fekl welcomed the fact that the French proposal for “an international investment court” was largely included in the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), concluded on Monday between the European Union and Canada. Paris now hopes to apply this model to other free trade deals, particularly the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which is currently under negotiation between the EU and the United States...

International labor union kicks off ad campaign against TPP  The Hill  ...An international labor union is launching an advertising campaign against an expansive Asia-Pacific trade agreement ahead of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to Washington this week. The International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), which represents 400,000 building and construction trades workers in the United States and Canada, is urging Trudeau to oppose the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in what it describes as a “secret, job-killing trade deal”...

"Broken Promises": How Congressional Democrats Are Pushing the TPP to the Brink  Truthout  ...Barack Obama might come to regret branding the Trans-Pacific Partnership as "the most progressive trade deal in history." A meaningless distinction from inception (the WTO and NAFTA set low benchmarks), Congressional Dems disputed the talking point in 2015 to devastating effect. As a result of their prodding from the left, the TPP looks far more in doubt than it ought to at this stage...

Slaughter: Supporting women includes opposing TPP  (op-ed) The Hill  ...As we mark International Women’s Day on March 8, we should take this opportunity to reflect on the extraordinary achievements women are making. This year’s theme, Pledge for Parity, is a call that we should all rally around. Our pledge to support women across the world should include the promise to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). There are hundreds of reasons why the TPP is a mistake...

When a Coin Drops in Asia, Jobs Disappear in Detroit  (opinion) Huffington Post ...Last year, free trade hammered Michigan’s 11th Congressional District, located between Detroit and Flint, killing manufacturing. Another 11th District company, ViSalus Inc., told the state it would eliminate 87 jobs as of last Saturday, slicing its staff by nearly 400 since 2013. America’s $177.9 billion trade deficit in 2015 with the 11 other countries in the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal caused 2 million job losses nationwide...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

State minimum wage increase could go to voters in November  KIRO  ...Raising the state's minimum wage could be on November's ballot. A statewide effort to gather enough signatures kicked off Saturday across the state and it has the support of two presidential hopefuls. "Could I ask you to sign a petition to raise the minimum wage in Washington state?" Danica Johnson asked while stopping two people on Capitol Hill...

$15 minimum wage? What to watch in Md. statehouse this week  Washington Post  ...Maryland is entering the last five weeks of its 90-day legislative session, and it comes at a difficult time for Gov. Larry Hogan whose older sister died over the weekend. Hogan was in North Carolina last week for Mary Theresa Lazarus’ final days in hospice care. Details of the funeral arrangements, and the governor’s schedule this week were still being worked out as of Sunday...

Many issues on table as Minnesota Legislature convenes  Workday Minnesota  ...Minnesota unions say they hope lawmakers will use some of the budget surplus to aid unemployed Iron Range workers and boost public education. In addition, they seek long-term investment in roads, bridges, transit and other infrastructure. “Thousands of Iron Range miners have been laid off, and another 700 more Minnesotans who work for vendors that support the mining industry have also lost their job,” the Minnesota AFL-CIO said...

Legislature passes anti-union ‘paycheck protection’ bill  STL American  ...A bill that prohibits labor unions from automatically withholding fees from the paychecks of public employees is on its way to the governor's desk. The Missouri House passed the Senate version of the bill on March 3, 109 to 49. The House support is the exact number needed to override a veto. House Bill 1891, the so-called paycheck protection bill, would only apply to public sector workers...

Bobby Jindal’s Anti-Tax Fervor May Have Destroyed Louisiana  Think Progress  ...Louisiana’s new leaders made headlines last month for mentioning that a budget crisis may jeopardize the elite Louisiana State University football program. But the flood of red ink that former Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) left behind is so all-consuming that Louisiana may soon cease to function as a state in far more fundamental ways...

Flint Residents Protest for $15 Minimum Wage in Face of Water Crisis  NYmag.com  ...Hundreds of Flint residents, including fast-food workers and clergy, demonstrated outside Whiting Auditorium to demand a $15 minimum wage. Flint's water crisis has necessitated the purchase of relatively expensive bottled water — a commodity many minimum-wage workers can't afford. "Some of us can't even afford to eat because of the wages," Willie Williams, who retired from his job at Church's Chicken three years ago, told Think Progress...

 

U.S. LABOR

Lear seeks UAW deal for Detroit jobs  Automotive News  ...The CEO of Southfield, Mich.-based Lear aims to create 500 to 1,000 new union-represented manufacturing jobs in Detroit, potentially under a new classification at a lower hourly rate than at its other plants. Simoncini said it could create new jobs in the city instead of Mexico if it could attain a new wage tier with the UAW that pays in the mid-teens per hour with some benefits...

UFCW trustees allege grocery owners failed to make pension payments  Penn Record  ...United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International trustees are suing grocery store owners for alleged failure to make pension plan payments. William J. Dillner, Jr. and Anthony M. Helfer, trustees of the UFCW, Local 23 and Employers Pension Fund, filed a lawsuit on Feb. 25 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against Fezell Enterprises Inc., doing business as Dubois Shop N Save...

Most benefits of the gig economy are completely imaginary  Quartz  ...The on-demand economy is starting to show some cracks. In February, hundreds of Uber drivers rallied outside the company’s headquarters in Queens, New York, protesting the fare cuts that have been imposed in 100 cities in the United States and Canada. Meanwhile, The New York Times featured an article about Uber drivers banding together in Dallas and protesting rate cuts in San Francisco and Seattle...

Renco Group to restore pension benefits for steelworkers  NY Post  ...Billionaire industrialist Ira Rennert proved no match for a group of retired steelworkers after a three-year battle. Rennert’s holding company, Renco Group, will restore full pension benefits for 1,350 retirees who worked at its bankrupt RG Steel unit under a settlement with the US pension agency. Renco will take responsibility for the pension plans as of June 1...

NLRB: ESL Instructors at Loyola Chicago May Unionize  Inside Higher Ed  ...A regional office of the National Labor Relations Board ruled last week that English as a second language instructors at Loyola University Chicago may vote on whether to unionize. Loyola challenged the right to unionize, arguing that collective bargaining would interfere with the institution's rights as a Roman Catholic institution to decide on its own policies without government interference...

Machinists union isn’t done trying to organize Boeing’s South Carolina complex  Seattle Times  ...Machinists union radio spots competed with campaign ads from Republican presidential candidates during the primaries here last month, testament to the union’s continued push to organize Boeing South Carolina. Boeing ran competing ads, showing management is determined to keep the International Association of Machinists (IAM) at bay... 

How Amazon Shames Warehouse Workers for Alleged Theft  Bloomberg  ...While waiting to clock in each morning, workers at some Amazon.com warehouses get a steady stream of company-provided reading: the stories of co-workers fired for theft. In an effort to discourage stealing, Amazon has put up flatscreen TVs that display examples of alleged on-the-job theft, say 11 of the company’s current and former warehouse workers and antitheft staff... 

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

How U.S. companies are avoiding $695 billion in taxes  Washington Post  ...U.S. companies stashed another $200 billion in profits overseas last year, escaping billions in taxes, and escalating a battle with Congress over the country’s complex tax code. The amount of unrepatriated foreign profits reached $2.4 trillion, according to Citizens for Tax Justice, allowing companies to avoid up to $695 billion in taxes...

The Private Prison Business Is Booming Despite Reform Efforts  Truthout  ...Despite political momentum around prison and sentencing reforms, 2015 was another good year for the private prison business, thanks to "long-term customer relationships" and "strong and predictable occupancy rates," as the private prison firm GEO Group puts it. GEO Group and another massive private prison company, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), reported $139 million and $222 million in profits...

More than 2,000 Boston public school students walk out of class to protest budget cuts  Boston.com  ...Students marched through downtown Boston after walking out of class to protest planned budget cuts, carrying signs and chanting, “What do we want? Education!” Students made their way in large throngs toward Boston Common, the State House, and Faneuil Hall, on foot and by bus, despite warnings from the school district that they would be marked absent if they left class...

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