Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News For April 15, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Teamster Retirees Rally at U.S. Capitol to Protect Pensions  Teamster.org  ...Thousands of Teamster retirees from across the country joined together at a rally at the U.S. Capitol today to protest the proposed cuts to their pensions by the Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund (CSPF). The retirees received pledges of support from more than a dozen members of Congress in their fight to protect their hard-earned pension benefits...

Retirees Rally at the Capitol, Protesting Pension Cuts  New York Times  ...Some 400,000 retirees who worked in the trucking, parcel delivery and grocery supply industries face drastic pension cuts on July 1 as a result of a little-noticed measure attached to a huge end-of-year spending bill passed in December 2014. The plight of the Central States Pension Fund beneficiaries is proving a potent issue in states where tens of thousands of people are at risk of their pensions being reduced, many of them members of the Teamsters union...

Teamsters members rally in Washington to protest potential pension cuts  Kansas City Star  ...Central States retirees expect to hear their fate in the first week of May. James Hoffa, president of the Teamsters union, said he is working on the passage of legislation to help his members. Legislation, he said, “will help us address the problem. But the biggest thing is to defeat Central States’ proposal"...

Retired truckers protest potential pension cuts on Capitol Hill  Cleveland.com  ...Thousands of retired truckers hit Capitol Hill on Thursday to ask Congress to rescind a law that might reduce their pensions by as much as 70 percent. The participants in a troubled 400,000-member multi-employer pension fund called Teamsters' Central States Fund were there to protest a 2014 provision they say will impose financial hardships on retirees...

Chicago Zoological Society’s Unreasonable Demands Push Brookfield Zoo Employees to the Brink  Local 727  ...Chicago Zoological Society management is demanding that its Brookfield Zoo employees pay for all $6.5 million of their health care increases over the next four years. Teamsters Local 727 represents nearly 300 zookeepers, groundskeepers, patrol officers and other workers at Brookfield Zoo...

Local 710 Prevails at Grievance Panel for UPS Freight  Local 710  ...The monthly grievance panel for UPS Freight South Holland was held Tuesday, April 5 to process 38 grievances, the majority of which were settled in favor of Teamsters Local 710. Local 710 successfully secured nearly $2,000 in lost wages for various members...

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Union leader says Kuwait oil and gas workers strike on course for Sunday  Reuters  ...A Kuwaiti labour union leader said on Wednesday plans for a strike by thousands of workers at state-owned oil, gas and petrochemical companies starting next week were in place, denying reports that negotiations were under way. Acting oil minister Anas al-Saleh said on Wednesday that talks were proceeding between the government and unions to avert the strike...

Nigeria: Labor May Extend One-Day Strike to One Week  All Africa  ...As the federal government intensifies efforts to pacify the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the organised labour from embarking on its planned one-day nationwide warning strike, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) wednesday said labour might extend the anticipated strike to one week. TUC's position came on the heels of reports of likely cracks ahead of the planned NLC nationwide warning strike...

Lawmakers pushing financial regs in TTIP  Politico  ...Fifteen House members on Thursday emphasized to President Barack Obama that they want to see TTIP cover financial services regulations. "The administration has indicated that it will not discuss setting out a framework for cooperation on financial services regulatory issues within TTIP,” the lawmakers, which include 12 members of the House Financial Services Committee, wrote in a letter"...

Kerry defends Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal as strategic imperative  Washington Post  ...Secretary of State John F. Kerry on Tuesday touted the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership deal as crucial to U.S. economic, strategic and diplomatic interests, hoping to inject new urgency into a top Obama administration priority. On Tuesday, a group of public health, religious and labor groups wrote a letter urging Congress to reject the deal, saying it would make it more difficult for people to get affordable medicine...

Activists, labor groups speak against Trans-Pacific Partnership  TribDem  ...Thousands or millions of more American jobs lost to off-shoring and replaced with workers in developing countries at wages under a dollar an hour, organizers said. “It’s literally going to destroy workers in the middle class in this country,” said Bob McAuliffe, director of United Steelworkers District 10, which covers Pennsylvania...

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

The Fallout From Arizona's Primary  The Atlantic  ...A little less than a month after long lines—and waits—defined the Arizona primary, the Democratic Party, and both the Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders campaigns, will sue the state over the insufficient number of polling locations, according to The Washington Post. The lawsuit, which calls for the U.S. District Court of Phoenix to review voting plans ahead of the November election, will be filed on Friday...

NH GOP candidates for governor say they support right-to-work  WMUR  ...Passing a right-to-work law has been a priority of New Hampshire Republicans in the past, and it's an idea that might be getting new legs. Recent unemployment figures show New Hampshire has nearly the lowest unemployment rate in the country, at 2.6 percent. Democrats said right-to-work is an attack on unions that results in lower pay for workers, which hurts the economy...

ACLU asks federal court to block Kansas voter ID law  Reuters  ...The American Civil Liberties Union asked a federal judge on Thursday to block a Kansas state law that requires people to prove American citizenship if they want to register to vote while applying for a driver's license. U.S. District Court Judge Julie Robinson conducted a four-hour hearing in Kansas City, Kansas, but took no immediate action on the request... 

D.C. mayor calls for citywide vote to make nation’s capital the 51st state  Washington Post  ...D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser on Friday called for a citywide vote in November to make the nation’s capital the 51st state, resurrecting a decades-old plan to put the issue before Congress and to raise awareness across the country about District residents’ lack of full citizenship...

Why Black Lives Matter And Fight For 15 Are Protesting Side-By-Side  Think Progress  ...On Thursday, low-wage workers across the country are taking to the streets to demand a $15 minimum wage. In New York, the protests were scheduled for the same day that a New York police officer was set to be sentenced for the killing of Akai Gurley, one of the most high-profile police misconduct cases in recent city history...

Orwell in Puerto Rico: Congress ‘Promises’ a New Dictatorship  The Nation  ...Congress, the Puerto Rican government, and the island’s creditors are feverishly negotiating to resolve the public debt of Puerto Rico, which has risen to an unprecedented level of $72 billion. The Commonwealth government has offered its own debt restructuring plan, declared a state of fiscal emergency, and announced a debt-repayment moratorium—but all to no avail. Nothing has been settled...

U.S. LABOR

In Synchronized Strikes Around the World, Workers #Fightfor15  Common Dreams  ...The protests were organized by the Fight for 15 campaign, which is underwritten by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and began as a U.S.-based movement four years ago when a few hundred fast food workers in New York went on strike for a $15 hourly minimum wage and the right to form a union...

NLRB rules UAW can organize group of VW workers  Detroit Free Press  ...The National Labor Relations Board said a group of about 160 maintenance workers at Volkswagen's plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. has the right to form a union, delivering a key victory to the UAW's multi-year effort to organize the plant. An NLRB panel voted 2-1 in the UAW's favor, in an order released Wednesday...

From Fight for $15 to the Verizon strike: we must protect workers' right to walk out  The Guardian  ...The 40,000-person, Verizon strike on Wednesday and the Fight for $15 strikes on Thursday are just the latest examples of worker walkouts. The Verizon strikers are protesting about a host of issues, including the company’s demand for reduced compensation, loss of job security, work relocations and schedules that would require workers to spend months at a time away from their families...

Transit union, city of Alexandria embroiled in dispute  Town Talk  ...More than 30 Amalgamated Transit Union members from around the state held a demonstration outside Alexandria City Hall last week to try to drum up support for more state transit funding. Darnice Briggs, a city bus driver who is president of ATU’s Local 981 in Alexandria, was among Atrans employees at the demonstration...

Verizon shows us why strikes—and unions—matter for working people  (opinion) EPI.org  ...By going on strike, the Verizon workers are using one of the few tools workers have left in today’s economy to claim their fair share of economic growth. They are also pushing back against the rigged rules of the economy that privilege capital owners and corporate managers... 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

600+ Arrests in Nation's Capital Aimed at Rapidly 'Shifting Political Weather'  Common Dreams  ...Though you wouldn't know it by tuning in to mainstream media, more than 600 people have been arrested in the nation's capital since Monday as part of Democracy Spring, the mass civil disobedience campaign aimed at getting big money out of politics, restoring voting rights, and reviving democracy. Close to 100 demonstrators were taken into custody and released on Wednesday...

Landmark Climate Lawsuit: Meet the Youth Activists Suing the U.S. Government & Fossil Fuel Industry  Democracy Now  ...A federal judge in Oregon has rejected an attempt by the U.S. government to dismiss a landmark lawsuit over the government’s failure to take necessary action to curtail fossil fuel emissions. The lawsuit was filed by Our Children’s Trust on behalf of 21 young people—all under the age of 21...