Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For March 9, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Teamsters Ken Hall: Let’s fix W.Va.’s economy  Gazette Mail  ...During the right-to-work debate, proponents said our economy is so bad off that everything needs to be on the table to fix our problems. Things are bad — we have projected budget deficits exceeding $800 million through fiscal year 2017 and public employees and retirees are facing draconian cuts in health care coverage. Yet the Republican-controlled Legislature has spent most of its time proposing and discussing tax breaks for corporate America...

Teamsters release report on 'dangerous' Allegiant Air maintenance issues  ABC  ...Allegiant Airline's pilots' union released a report Monday claiming the airline's maintenance practices were “dangerous and not up to industry standards." The Teamsters Union Airline Division has been complaining about mechanical problems on flights all across the country. The report, written by the Aviation Mechanics Coalition, documents 98 "preventable" mechanical problems on Allegiant flights from September 2015 to January 2016...

FedEx Adopts Bylaws Change Sought by Teamsters, Shareholders  Teamster.org  ...FedEx Corp. directors on March 8 adopted a bylaws change sought by shareowners to make it easier to promote candidates for the board. The change was in response to shareholder approval last September of a nonbinding resolution that the sponsoring International Brotherhood of Teamsters described as an accountability measure...

Another Big Year for TV, Movies on Tap for Chicago Teamsters  Local 727  ...Chicago’s unprecedented success in the TV and film production market continues to flourish with the announcement of five series renewals, one new series, three pilots and at least three feature films for 2016. More than 100 Teamsters Local 727 members work on the production of the TV series, hauling equipment, trailers and even cast and crew between locations, among other duties...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Chile's Supreme Court backs workers' right to strike  Reuters  ...Chile's Supreme Court has upheld a ruling that declared it illegal to dismiss workers for striking outside of a formal collective bargaining process, a decision that could have ramifications for future labor disputes. The ruling is potentially significant for mining companies in the world's top copper exporter, which in the past have dismissed and replaced workers after unauthorized strikes without legal repercussions...

Faintings reoccur at Cambodia capital factory  Phnom Penh Post  ...Thirty garment workers were hospitalised yesterday morning after falling faint at a garment factory in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district just three days after 39 employees at the same facility were sent for medical treatment with similar symptoms. Management at the Chinese-owned Chun Chao Garment Factory declined to comment on the situation yesterday...

New Zealand: National and Labour agree to do away with controversial zero hour contracts  TVNZ  ...After weeks of negotiations, National and Labour have come to an agreement that'll see zero hour contracts gone – and Labour is calling it a backdown by the Government. Zero hour contracts saw employees given no set hours but told to be available for work. Labour had suggested changes to the Employment Standards Bill at the various parliamentary stages...

Public debate needed on TPP, Unifor tells Canada trade committee  Northumberland  ...There are serious concerns with the Trans Pacific Partnership that can only be addressed with a full and open debate among Canadians about the deal, Unifor National President Jerry Dias told the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade this morning. "Meaningful public consultation informed by credible, independent research is a must," Dias told the committee...

US exports fall to the lowest level in over four years  Press TV  ...The US trade deficit widened last month as exports fell to the lowest level in more than four years, indicating slower global economic growth remains a strain on the domestic economy. The trade gap grew 2.2 percent from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted $45.7 billion, the US Commerce Department said Friday. The trade deficit was wider than what most economists had estimated...

Irish voters reject austerity, realign political system  People's World  ...If there is one thing clear after Ireland's recent election, it is that people no longer buy the myth that austerity is the path to economic salvation. It is the same message that Greeks, Portuguese, and Spaniards delivered to their elites over the past year: the prophets of tough love, regressive taxes, and massive social services cutbacks should update their resumes and consider a different profession than politics...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

States rush to block local efforts to hike minimum pay  CBS  ...With federal efforts to increase pay for the lowest earners stalled by Republican opposition, a slew of states, cities and towns across the country have hiked the local base pay on their own. But other states are doing the opposite, in some cases passing laws prohibiting cities and towns from changing workers' pay and benefits on their own...

Kentucky House committee passes bill that would increase state's minimum wage  Local8  ...It is a topic that has been heard by legislators before, a bill pushing to increase the minimum wage. The bill is sponsored by Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo. On Tuesday, he testified in front of the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee. When first filed, House Bill 278 proposed an increase to $10.10 over a period of three years...

Minnesota Democrats Release Paid Family, Medical Leave Proposal  CBS Local  ... Democratic lawmakers are proposing a far-reaching family and medical leave policy for all Minnesota workers. They will introduce a bill this week to grant up to 12 weeks a year of paid leave to workers who have babies or need to care for a family member...

The Corporations Trying to Ditch Workers' Compensation Hit a Snag  Pacific Standard  ...A campaign by some of America's biggest companies to "opt out" of state workers' compensation—and write their own plans for dealing with injured workers—was dealt a major blow when an Oklahoma commission recently ruled the alternative system unconstitutional. Company plans were supposed to provide equal benefits to workers' comp. But in its unanimous ruling, the Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Commission compared that notion to "a water mirage on the highway that disappears upon closer inspection"...

Gov. Jerry Brown should sign bump in paid family leave  (editorial) SacBee  ...People who need time off to care for a new child or sick relative only get reimbursed for 55 percent of their lost salary for a maximum of six weeks, which is simply a deal breaker for minimum-wage workers. Living on the minimum wage is hard enough, let alone 55 percent of it. So good for Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, D-Los Angeles, who last week finally persuaded the Calif. Legislature to improve the payout, particularly for lower-wage workers...

W.Va. Senate committee passes voter ID bill, with many changes  Gazette Mail  ...The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill requiring voters to show an ID at the polls, but amended the bill to include many more kinds of identification than had been included by the House of Delegates. The bill (HB 4013) passed the committee after 10 p.m. Tuesday night on a divided voice vote, with most Republicans in favor and most Democrats opposed. Republicans say voter ID laws help ensure valid elections. Democrats say the laws make it more difficult for people to vote...

 

U.S. LABOR

National Grid workers may strike after contract fails  Times Union   ...Unionized National Grid employees in Massachusetts have threatened to talk off the job and strike after contract negotiations failed, according to Masslive.com. “After careful consideration, Boston Gas Local 12003 USW members have voted overwhelmingly to reject National Grid’s proposed contract offer,” the website quoted Joe Kirylo, the union president. The union represents 800 workers in 35 cities...

More than 2,000 union members set to return to work at ATI  Times Online  ...More than 2,000 United Steelworkers will return to work at Allegheny Technologies starting next Monday, but not at the Midland plant. ATI announced in a statement it will soon notify employees of their upcoming work schedule, the first time in seven months union workers will be back on the job. More than 200 local union members from ATI’s Midland plant won’t be among them, however, because the plant there remains idle...

America’s Largest Indie Photo Store, B&H, Sued for Segregated Bathrooms  Daily Beast  ...America’s largest independent retailer of photographic equipment is being sued by the feds for racial and gender discrimination so bad it even allegedly forces minorities to use separate bathrooms. The Department of Labor slapped B&H Photo Video with a civil lawsuit last week, detailing 15 alleged counts of racial and gender discrimination...

After Announcing Thousands of Layoffs in Indiana, Company Pledges to Return Taxpayer Money  American Manufacturing  ...United Technologies promised last week to return nearly $1.6 million in incentives to local and state governments after it announced it will ship 2,100 middle class manufacturing jobs from Indiana to Mexico. United Technologies officials met with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence last week to discuss the layoffs...

D.C. streetcar workers vote to join Metro union  Washington Post  ...After a year of labor-relations skirmishes, dozens of District streetcar workers voted Friday to join the union that represents thousands of Metro employees. The vote came just days after the District’s fledgling streetcar system started carrying passengers for the first time. The Amalgamated Transit Union had first planned to hold a union election early last year, but a group of operators were fired shortly before the scheduled vote... 

Bosses steal billions from workers. Here's how one woman fought back.  Vox   ...If you steal $600 worth of merchandise, the police will probably come after you. But if your employer steals $600 of your wages, you are likely to never see that money again. And chances are high that you have experienced wage theft yourself, whether you work a 9-to-5 job or are an independent contractor. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that wage theft is costing US workers $50 billion a year...

The Gender Wage Gap Just Got Bigger  Think Progress  ...The gender wage gap actually widened last year, according to a new analysis from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) based on weekly data for full-time workers. The ratio of median weekly earnings for women who work full time compared to men was 81.1 percent in 2015, a 1.4 percentage point decrease over the year before...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Senator Holds Up Aid For Flint Because Residents ‘Have All The Government Resources They Need’  Think Progress  ...A bipartisan aid package to send $100 million to help the residents of Flint, Michigan deal with the widespread contamination that is still plaguing their drinking water, as well as funds for other communities that may have similar issues, is being held up by at least one Republican senator. Sen. Mike Lee (UT) still has a hold in place on the bill...

Flint mayor: Union fund commits to bring $25 million in loans  CNN  ...A union fund has said it will bring $25 million in low-cost loans to help replace lead-contaminated pipes in the city's water system, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver announced late Sunday. The funding would go a long way toward boosting the Michigan mayor's $55 million "Fast Start" program...

The Real Cause of the Flint Crisis  The Atlantic  ...American infrastructure once used to be the envy of the world and a major source of Americans’ improved living standards. But in an era of government-bashing, it has been allowed to crumble, risking health, safety, and economic success. A similar process has played out with federal investment in R&D, so vital to technological progress as well as economic growth...

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