Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News For April 12, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Teamsters File Lawsuit Against Flexjet, Flight Options  Teamster.org  ...The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Teamsters Airline Division and Local 1108 have filed a lawsuit against Flexjet and Flight Options, stating that the companies are again violating the Railway Labor Act, this time by refusing to negotiate with the union. The Teamsters are also seeking dismissal of a lawsuit brought against them by Flexjet and Flight Options...

Thousands of retired Teamsters head to D.C. in battle over Central States Pension Fund  Kansas City Star  ...Thousands of retired Teamsters will rally in the nation’s capital this week for their most public stand yet to protect their pension checks and, they say, maybe yours. One organizer estimates 2,000 union retirees will travel to Washington, D.C., to lobby their elected representatives on Wednesday and rally Thursday on the Capitol lawn...

In tough talks with Allina, Teamsters win wage increases, avoid strike  Union Advocate  ...Members of Teamsters Local 120 who provide home-delivery of oxygen and medical equipment for Allina Health ratified a new contract Saturday, narrowly avoiding a work stoppage. Frustrated by management’s refusal to consider meaningful wage increases in negotiating sessions last month, the 42 members of Local 120 unanimously authorized their bargaining team to call a strike...

Teamsters Local 710 Fights for Pension Protections at ABF  Local 710  ...Teamsters Local 710 submitted a formal demand to bring the deadlocked day-for-day pension grievance with ABF to arbitration. The grievance alleged that the company was in violation of its memorandum of understanding with the union, which allowed Local 710 members to keep superior language on work rules and current practices when voting on the national contract...

Teamsters, Working Partnerships To Protest Abuses In Chipotle's Supply Chain  PR Newswire  ...On Monday representatives from the Teamsters and Working Partnerships USA will protest outside a Chipotle Mexican Grill in San Jose, Calif. Chipotle purchases produce from salad processing giant Taylor Farms, a company that has drawn scrutiny for food recalls, safety and health violations and worker abuses. Taylor Farms has recalled more than 150,000 food items in recent months...

Unions and workers agree XPO Logistics strategy  ITF Global  ...The ITF brought together nine unions for the first XPO strategy meeting, on 6 April in Paris. Nick Weiner, port campaign director of the US Teamsters union, said: "After learning our unions have shared concerns and challenges in securing a just future for XPO workers in our respective countries, we decided we must unite in order to achieve justice for all XPO workers"...

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Kuwait Oil Workers Union Threatens Strike Over Benefits Cut  ABC  ...A union in Kuwait says employees in six oil and petrochemical companies will go on strike next Sunday over their salaries and benefits unless the country's Oil Ministry agrees to their demands. That's according to a statement Monday signed by the head of Kuwait Oil and Petrochemical Workers Union, Saif al-Qahtani. The statement said that all workers will go on strike Sunday until further notice...

More than 50 health, religious and labor groups urge Congress to reject TPP trade deal  Washington Post  ...More than 50 public health, religious and labor groups are urging Congress to reject the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the 12-nation free trade agreement between the United States and Pacific Rim nations. The groups argue that the intellectual property and pharmaceutical provisions in the pact would make it more difficult for people in TPP countries to access affordable medicine...

ALEC Touted "Transparency" in Pushing for the Panama Free Trade Agreement  PR Watch  ...An unprecedented leak of millions of documents has revealed how some of the world's most powerful figures hide their wealth from taxation and public scrutiny. But it also exposes the bankruptcy of the promises of transparency and better governance that helped corporate interest groups like ALEC sell the American public on "free trade" with Panama...

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to Discuss TPP and TTIP in Address to Pacific Council  PR Newswire  ...The Pacific Council on International Policy will host a major foreign policy address by U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry on April 12, 2016, at an event in downtown Los Angeles. Secretary Kerry will discuss the national security opportunities of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership...

How Public Services Are Affected by TTIP and What Can Be Done About It  (opinion) EU Bulletin  ...The TTIP agreement between the EU and the US will have a significant effect on the economy on both sides of the Atlantic for decades to come. Its aim is to achieve the liberalization of trade relations between the two players which together account for about a half of the world’s GDP...

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Wisconsin supreme court likely to back right-to-work law, experts say  The Guardian  ...Labor leaders and their allies were thrilled when a Wisconsin judge ruled on Friday that the state’s year-old right-to-work law – signed by Governor Scott Walker – violated the state’s constitution. But several law professors predicted that the Wisconsin supreme court, on which conservative justices have a commanding 5-2 majority, would ultimately overturn the lower court judge’s decision...

Kansas: This is how extremists gut a state — and democracy  Salon.com  ...We see this in other states as well. For some time now, model legislation from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Americans For Prosperity (AFP) and other libertarian / ultraconservative organizations has been used as the template for bills in states with varying levels of ultraconservative control...

Virginia governor vetoes bill stopping localities from hiking minimum wage  WTVR  ...Gov. Terry McAuliffe has vetoed Republican legislation preventing local governments from raising the minimum wage, an issue that has been debated across the country. House Bill 1371 states, “A locality shall not enact by ordinance, resolution, or otherwise any policy that requires an employer within the locality to provide an employee with a wage or employment benefit that exceeds the requirements of state or federal law. Any such local policy shall be unenforceable”...

Despite Federal Court Rulings, Texas' Voter ID Laws Remain In Place  NPR  ...Despite being ruled in violation of the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution by seven federal judges, Texas' voter ID restrictions are still the law of the land. It's been six months since the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals again ruled the law unconstitutional, but it looks as if Texas will go through another election with the restrictions in place...

The Workers Caring For Our Grandparents Are Paid Poverty Wages  Think Progress  ...According to a new report from the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI) shared with ThinkProgress, nursing assistants earn just $11.51 at the median — meaning half of the 650,000-strong workforce makes less than that. The national median wage, on the other hand, is over $17 an hour. And things have gotten worse over the years, not better...

UPMC plans to raise starting hourly wages to $15 by 2021  PGH City Paper  ... UPMC reversed course when the health-care provider announced it would be raising the minimum starting wage at most of its facilities to $15 an hour by 2021. It’s a long-awaited victory in a local and national labor movement that has made UPMC one of its main targets. But last week’s announcement feels somewhat removed from those efforts...

U.S. LABOR

Verizon Workers Announce Strike Deadline of Wednesday, April 13th  NH Labor News  ...After trying for ten months to reach a fair contract, nearly 40,000 Verizon workers from Massachusetts to Virginia will go on strike at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, April 13 if a fair agreement is not reached by then. The Verizon strike will be by far the largest work stoppage in the country in recent years. “We’re standing up for working families and standing up to Verizon’s corporate greed,” said CWA District 1 Vice President Dennis Trainor...

Dangerous Work for “Crap Money”—The Dark Side of Recycling  Mother Jones  ...Recycling may be good for the environment, but working conditions in the industry can be woeful. Some of the jobs at these facilities are among the most dangerous in America. Others offer meager pay, and wage violations are widespread. Experts say much of the work is carried out by immigrants or temporary workers who are poorly trained and unaware of their rights...

BART, Unions Reach Tentative Agreement to Extend Contract  ABC  ...Heralding the tentative agreement as a turning point in BART labor relations, union leaders and management lauded a proposed worker contract that would stem the possibility of strikes for the next five years. The proposed agreement, which must still be ratified by union membership and the BART Board of Directors, would give workers at 10.5 percent pay raise over the next four years... 

AFSCME supporters rally for House Bill 580  WLDS  ...AFSCME supporters gathered outside the Jacksonville office of Representative CD Davidsmeyer today to protest House Bill 580. AFSCME Local 38 President Jeff Haak represents the 250 union members in the Jacksonville and Morgan County area. Haak says union members are pushing for Davidsmeyer “to support House Bill 580, which will provide fair arbitration for state contractors”...

You Either Work or You Go to Jail  The Nation  ...In a new report, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles amningly map out how the criminal-justice system works to bury ostensibly “free” people under mountains of debt, forcing citizens who have already served their time in jail to continue laboring not for wages so much as for basic civil rights. It’s not exactly a neo-gulag; think carceral capitalism...

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

The Rich Live Longer Everywhere. For the Poor, Geography Matters.  New York Times  ...The poor in some cities live nearly as long as their middle-class neighbors or have seen rising life expectancy in the 21st century. But in some other parts of the country, adults with the lowest incomes die on average as young as people in much poorer nations like Rwanda, and their life spans are getting shorter...

400 Arrested on Capitol Steps Protesting Big Money in Politics  Common Dreams  ...Vowing that this is "just the beginning," more than 400 people were arrested on Monday for holding a massive sit-in on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C., protesting the influence of Big Money on the political system. The civil disobedience campaign known as Democracy Spring is in the midst of an unprecedented mobilization featuring marches, sit-ins, teach-ins, and rallies in the nation's capital...

Panama Papers barely scratch the surface  Vox  ...The biggest scandal in the Panama Papers leak, which revealed that political leaders around the world were hiding money in offshore accounts, isn't about corruption or organized crime. The 11.5 million files stolen from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca revealed just how unequal the world is...