Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News For April 14, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Hoffa: Verizon Workers Deserve Fair Contract, Not More Cuts  Teamster.org   ...Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa on the decision of Verizon’s 40,000 unionized workers to go out on strike: “Since 2013, Verizon has earned more than $40 billion in profits. Yet it is threatening job and benefit cuts to its dedicated workers who have helped fuel the company’s prosperity"...

Retired Teamsters Rally in Washington to Save Pensions  CBS St. Louis  ...Two busloads of retired local Teamsters are in Washington D.C. trying to prevent the loss of up to half of their pensions. They joined fellow Teamsters from as far away as Florida and Wisconsin in meeting with lawmakers today. Thursday, they’ll hold a massive rally on the Capitol lawn...

Workers At LA Convention Center Join Local 986  Teamster.org  ...On April 4, 2016, workers at AEG, which operates the Los Angeles Convention Center, voted to join Teamsters Local 986. There are 40 workers in the bargaining unit. “I started this campaign because we want to be treated fairly and receive fair wages for all the work we do,” said Azur Hernandez, a two-year employee of AEG...

Union, Pepsi Working to Merge Contracts Into Unified Agreement  Local 727  ...Pepsi management returned to the bargaining table on April 12 prepared to merge all four contracts into one agreement. “This is a huge step in the direction we want to head,” said John T. Coli, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 727. “One contract unifies us. It makes us a single, strong group where we truly are all in it together”...

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

UK: Hundreds of transit workers in fresh strike ballot  Evening Standard  ...London Underground workers are threatening strike action in a row over a major housing project which may see a Tube depot demolished. The Rail, Maritime and Transport union says more than 400 maintenance engineers have been “caught in the crossfire” of plans for a major regeneration of Earls Court...

Workers protest as Greece sells Piraeus Port to China COSCO  Reuters  ...Greece sealed the sale of Piraeus Port Authority to China COSCO Shipping Corporation on Friday, while striking dockworkers protested against what will be the country's second major privatisation since late last year. Dockworkers walked out on Friday and marched in central Athens to protest against the deal, which they fear will put their jobs at risk. Container terminals were shut as a result of the strike...

What Colombia Can Teach Us About the TPP  AFL-CIO  ...In the past five years, 126 trade unionists have been assassinated in Colombia. This is in addition to 74 other murder attempts. Investigations have produced almost no indictments or convictions. The United States gave Colombia trade benefits before it ever demonstrated meaningful implementation of its promises to protect working people...

Think Medicine is Expensive Now? Public Health Groups Warn of TPP's Gifts to Big Pharma  Common Dreams  ...Doctors Without Borders and more than fifty other public health organizations sent a letter to Congress on Tuesday calling on lawmakers to reject the pending Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), warning that it will "expand the monopoly power" of Big Pharma and dangerously limit access to affordable medicine for millions worldwide...

Boston-based New Balance opposes TPP trade deal  MassLive  ...New Balance CEO Rob DeMartini on Tuesday announced the Boston shoe company's opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal between a dozen countries negotiated by President Barack Obama's administration. DeMartini said the decision to go public with the company's opposition stemmed from frustration with the Obama administration's lack of action on an unrelated law that would allow New Balance to compete for a military contract...

A Progressive Logic of Trade  (opinion) Project Syndicate  ...For progressives who worry both about inequality in the rich countries and poverty in the rest of the world, the good news is that it is indeed possible to advance on both fronts. Progressives should not buy into a false and counter-productive narrative that sets the interests of the global poor against the interests of rich countries’ lower and middle classes. With sufficient institutional imagination, the global trade regime can be reformed to the benefit of both...

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Unions want final judgment making Wisconsin Right-to-Work unconstitutional  WKOW  ...The three labor unions challenging Wisconsin's right-to-work law want a Dane County judge to prohibit the state from enforcing the law immediately, but Attorney General Brad Schimel says he will seek a stay of any ruling so that can't happen. Judge William Foust issued a summary judgment last Friday, which stated the right-to-work law is unconstitutional. But for the State to appeal the ruling, Judge Foust must first issue a final judgment on the case...

Hundreds of union workers march in Atlantic City to oppose state takeover  Press of AC  ...Hundreds of union workers marched in the rain from Caesars to City Hall on Tuesday, as the New Jersey State AFL-CIO joined forces with this city to stop a state takeover. Fearing a Senate bill giving the state power to tear up the city’s union contracts could set a precedent, workers waved flags, held signs and shouted chants as they poured into council chambers...

Scott Walker Asks Congress For Permission To Conduct ‘Common-Sense Reform’ Shown Useless 7 Times  Think Progress  ...Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and 11 other Republican governors have co-authored a letter urging Congress to allow their states to drug test food stamp recipients. The letter strikes a paternalistic note. But research shows that drug testing welfare recipients is a solution in search of a problem....

A Black Man Brought 3 Forms of ID to the Polls in Wisconsin. He Still Couldn’t Vote.  The Nation   ...Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said his state’s strict new voter-ID requirement worked “just fine” in the April 5 primary, but thousands of Wisconsinites were unable to cast a ballot because of the new law. Two days after Wisconsin’s primary, the ACLU challenged the state’s voter-ID law in court, arguing that voters who faced great difficulty getting a photo ID should still be able to vote...

$15 minimum wage could get on Cleveland ballot  Cleveland.com  ... is time for Cleveland-area employers to pay their workers a minimum of $15 an hour, members of a newly formed group are saying. Raise Up Cleveland is scheduled to begin petitioning Thursday to get a hefty raise for thousands of workers employed in fast food, retail and other lower low-wage jobs within the city's borders. The group hopes to have either Cleveland City Council pass a minimum wage ordinance or take the issue directly to voters...

U.S. LABOR

40,000 Verizon Workers Strike Against Corporate 'Race to the Bottom'  Common Dreams  ...Verizon workers across the East Coast marched in picket lines on Wednesday in the largest U.S. strike in recent memory to protest the "corporate greed" of the multinational communications behemoth. Verizon has failed to negotiate a fair contract with its employees despite making billions in monthly profits and multiple concessions on the part of union members... 

"What's Disgusting? Union Busting!" Verizon Workers Strike In Midtown  Gothamist  ...Verizon workers across New York City picketed outside offices and wireless stores today to protest the corporation's apparent unwillingness to agree on a contract. "This is a fight for the middle class," said Thomas, a Verizon technician who has been with the company for 19 years. Thomas was leading his colleagues in chants on West 36th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues...

Low-Wage Workers Plot Their Next ‘Fight For $15’ Strike  Huffington Post  ...Workers employed in low-wage industries plan on taking to the streets on Thursday to continue their call for a $15 minimum hourly wage and union rights. But this time around, workers in fast food, day care and airports will be joined by a new group of agitators: hospital workers...

Updated: NLRB upholds union vote at Volkswagen's Chattanooga plant  Times Free Press  ...The National Labor Relations Board today denied Volkswagen's request for a review of last year's election in which a small group of Chattanooga employees agreed to be organized by the United Auto Workers. The board said that VW's request "raises no substantial issues warranting review"...

Union for Disney workers aims to organize cafeteria employees  Orlando Sentinel  ...About three-quarters of 350 Sodexo employees have signed cards saying they want Unite Here to represent them. The company could voluntarily recognize the union and begin bargaining. But Sodexo hasn't done that, union representatives say. If the company continues to hold out, Unite Here would have to hold an election through the National Labor Relations Board...

Regulators to Probe Controversial On-Call Scheduling  Wall Street Journal  ...The scheduling practices of Coach Inc., American Eagle Outfitters Inc., Aéropostale Inc., and a dozen other retailers are coming under scrutiny as attorneys general of eight states and the District of Columbia seek information on whether they cancel the shifts of hourly employees with little notice. The regulators contend that on-call scheduling, as the practice is known, takes a toll on employees and may violate laws in some states...

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Despite Panama Papers, EU Pitching Another Tax Evasion 'Smokescreen'  Common Dreams  ...The European Commission's attempt to crack down on corporate tax evasion "is a smokescreen that will not stop multinationals dodging their taxes," the UK-based social justice organization War on Want declared Tuesday. The proposal put forth by the Commission on Tuesday would require large companies to publicly disclose tax and financial data...

‘Living Wills’ For Five Big Banks Fail U.S. Regulators’ Test  Huffington Post  ...Five out of eight of the biggest U.S. banks do not have credible plans for winding down operations during a crisis without the help of public money, federal regulators said on Wednesday, saying the institutions could face stricter oversight if they do not fix their plans...

The hidden: how Chicago police kept thousands isolated at Homan Square  The Guardian  ...For nearly two decades, when Chicago’s police brought people under arrest to their detentions and interrogations warehouse, not even the vast majority of the police force knew where they were, according to an internal memo acquired by the Guardian. Homan Square, a warehouse complex headquartering narcotics, vice and intelligence units for the Chicago police, has also served as a secretive facility for detaining and interrogating thousands of people...

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