Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For April 29, 2016

TEAMSTERS

National Express Disenfranchises Shareholders  Teamster.org  ...Today, National Express Group PLC investors, including British public service union UNISON and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, are criticising the company’s decision to  withhold a shareholder resolution from its 2016 Annual General Meeting (AGM) agenda.  At last year’s AGM, the resolution received the highest shareholder vote of support ever achieved for a labour rights issue at a United Kingdom-based PLC...

Deadline nears on Teamster pension cuts  Duluth News Tribune  ...A special appointee of the federal government must decide by May 7 whether to accept or deny a plan by the Central States pension fund to cut monthly benefits for Teamster retirees by up to 70 percent to keep the pension fund solvent. The decision will impact some 400,000 current and retired Teamsters in 38 states, including thousands in Minnesota and Wisconsin...

Teamster pension advocate sees ‘hints’ that Central States cuts will be rejected  Kansas City Star  ...Mike Walden came to Independence on Thursday to deliver a ray of hope to a room full of retired Teamsters facing big cuts to their pensions. He said he has gotten “hints” that the Central States Pension Fund’s plan to slash their monthly checks, many by half or more, will be rejected next week. Walden said the hints came in questions that Feinberg posed during the talk and in smiles Feinberg gave at key points of the conversation...

Workers strike at Colorado Springs-area distribution center for King Soopers, other stores  The Gazette  ...About 270 members of Teamsters union Local 455 launched a strike Thursday against Advantage Logistics South, which operates a distribution center in Fountain for more than 329 City Market, King Soopers and Kroger stores in Colorado and five other states...

Chipotle Faces Union Protest In Response To Supplier Problems  Daily Caller  ...Chipotle Mexican Grill faced a union protest Tuesday in California over a series of alleged workplace health and safety violations at one of its suppliers. The Teamsters held the protest in coordination with several advocacy groups. The protestors called on the Mexican restaurant chain to denounce supplier Taylor Farms over alleged workplace safety violations...

Uber's Millions Buy Temporary Peace, But Not Protection In The Gig Economy  Forbes  ...The proposed Uber settlement ($84 million for 385,000 drivers) works out to an average of $218.18. Uber may continue to face legal threats even if Judge Chen approves the settlement, because the settlement is not binding on non-parties, such as the State of California. It is also not binding on unions such as the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which continues to attempt to organize Uber drivers in California and in the State of Washington...

Teamsters Protest for Better Contract for Clerical, Maintenance Workers  Chicago Maroon  ...Outside Levi Hall this past Wednesday morning, clerical and maintenance workers from the Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 743 spent Administrative Professional’s Day making their case in ongoing contract negotiations with the University. The local, which represents over 700 campus employees, called the protest after receiving unsatisfactory contract negotiations from the University...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Half-Million on Strike Across France  Portside  ...Up to 500,000 people went on strike and took to the streets across the country to protest unpopular pro-business labor reforms that would leave many people unemployed and would be an attack on worker's rights. France's largest cities saw a new wave of street demonstrations and strikes as student groups and unions tried to maintain pressure on the government just days before the bill is brought to Parliament...

UPS pilots' action grounds 16 flights in Germany  Courier-Journal  ...UPS was forced to cancel 16 flights originating in Cologne, Germany, its largest European air hub, after pilots there agreed not to cross the pickets of striking German workers. The strike by ver.di, a large workers union representing ground staff at Cologne Bonn airport, was scheduled to extend 24 hours starting at midnight Germany time Tuesday...

Massive protest rocks Germany in advance of U.S.-EU trade talks  Medium  ...Tens of thousands of demonstrators flooded the streets and public squares of Hannover, Germany to protest the environmentally destructive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership trade deal between the U.S. and the European Union. Estimates of the size of the crowd ranged from 25,000 to 90,000... 

US Stalling TTIP Deal, Not Ready to Negotiate ‘Geographical Indications’  Sputnik News  ...The United States is not willing to negotiate geographical indications (GI) as part of the ongoing talks surrounding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a European Union source told Sputnik on Thursday...

Poll: Americans split on leaving free-trade deals  Politico  ...More than 4 in 10 Americans say they don’t know enough to say whether the United States should end its participation in free-trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, according to the results of the latest Gallup poll released Thursday, which found that Americans who think they are informed enough to agree or disagree are evenly divided on the topic...

Why TPP Is a Bad Deal for America and American Workers  (opinion) Medium  ...From the rhetoric of proponents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a sweeping trade and investment pact between the U.S. and 11 Asia-Pacific countries, it would be easy to conclude that the agreement is an economic panacea for the shrinking middle class and stagnant wages faced by most workers in America. The reality is more sobering...

Malaysian Raid of Transgender Fundraiser Underscores Bad Trade Deal  (opinion) Pride At Work  ... A recent raid on a fundraiser organized by Malaysian transgender activists has once again put the country’s abuses of LGBTQ human rights under the spotlight. As the US Congress contemplates passage of the massive and destructive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement that includes Malaysia, that country continues to demonstrate why it should not be given preferential trade status with any country that believes in basic human rights...

White House Backs IMF Push for More Austerity in Greece  Democracy Now  ...The White House has backed calls for Greece to continue to implement widespread austerity measures, following President Obama’s meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier this week. Greece and its international creditors are once again negotiating the terms of Greece’s bailout and the extent of the austerity measures creditors can impose...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Group plans to sue state over minimum wage bill  WVTV  ...A group pushing for a higher minimum wage is expected to announce Thursday plans to sue the State of Alabama. The Alabama NAACP, Birmingham fast-food workers and other members of the community said they are planning to file a lawsuit over Alabama’s new law that recently blocked Birmingham’s efforts to raise its minimum wage...

The Voter-ID Fight in Missouri  The Atlantic  ...The state senate, which is overwhelmingly Republican, is considering a double-barreled proposal. One part is a joint resolution that would place a ballot measure before voters to create a constitutional amendment requiring voters to show photo identification to vote. The other part governs how the requirement would be enforced...

Minimum wage sparks discussion in Iowa  Iowa State Daily  ...Iowa is one of the few states in the Midwest with a minimum wage that mirrors the federal mandate: $7.25. For many individuals, working on federal minimum wage can make it extremely difficult to stay financially solvent. “The first job I ever had [was the] summer after high school, I got a job at minimum wage: $1.60 an hour,” said 23rd District of Iowa Senator Herman Quirmbach. “Relative to what we have today at least, that summer I was the highest paid minimum wage worker in history”...

Secret Money Advocates Prepare to Unload on Milwaukee DA John Chisholm  Huffington Post  ...Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm appealed the Wisconsin Supreme Court decision that ended the five-county “John Doe” criminal investigation into whether Governor Scott Walker illegally coordinated with supposedly “independent” dark money groups during the 2011-2012 recall elections to the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday...

At McDonald’s, Fat Profits but Lean Wages  (editorial) NY Times  ...McDonald’s Corporation has reported a 35 percent increase in profits for the first quarter of 2016, an unexpectedly large gain driven in part by its recent decision to sell Egg McMuffins all day long. All of which is good news for the executives and shareholders of McDonald’s. But when, if ever, will it be good news for McDonald’s employees and for taxpayers?...

 

U.S. LABOR

T-Mobile Accused of Fighting a Real Union by Creating a Fake One  Bloomberg  ...Communications Workers of America has been trying to unionize T-Mobile. The campaign has so far won only two union contracts, covering about 30 of T-Mobile’s roughly 45,000 employees. Now CWA is alleging to the NLRB that T-Mobile has adopted an anti-union tactic that’s been illegal since 1935: creating a company-controlled union to drain support for an independent one...

Verizon Brand Takes a Hit With Consumers As Strike Drags On  Fortune  ...Consumer opinion about Verizon has dropped to its lowest level in three years as a strike of some 40,000 workers against the telecommunications giant dragged into a third week. Verizon’s score in consumer surveys conducted by YouGov Brandindex dropped from 18 before the strike to 9, the lowest level since news broke in 2013 of the company sharing millions of phone records with the National Security Agency...

Strike-Hit Verizon Makes 'Final' Contract Proposal to Unions  NBC  ...Verizon said it had presented a revised and "final" contract proposal to unions representing nearly 40,000 striking workers, who walked off their jobs in mid-April after talks over a new labor agreement hit an impasse. The company on Thursday said it was now offering a wage increase of 7.5 percent over the term of a new contract, up from its previous offer of a 6.5 percent raise...

New Legislation To Stop Norwegian Air International From Undercutting Labor Laws  NH Labor News  ...Today, Congress took a big step forward in protecting American workers and upholding our nations trade agreements, by introducing legislation to stop Norwegian Air International (NAI) from skirting international labor laws as they attempt to expand in the U.S...

Mining, manufacturing have highest prevalence of worker hearing loss, study shows  Safety and Health  ...More than one out of eight workers exposed to on-the-job noise suffer from some form of hearing impairment, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Using data from the NIOSH Occupational Hearing Loss Surveillance Project, researchers examined the results of more than 1.4 million audiograms of workers who were exposed to noise from 2003 to 2012...

Worker safety penalties ‘a disgrace,’ says AFL-CIO report  Gazette-Mail  ...Penalties for criminal violations of the laws intended to keep American workers safe and healthy are “woefully inadequate” and such crimes are rarely prosecuted, the national AFL-CIO said in a new report being released to coincide with the labor movement’s commemoration of what it calls Workers Memorial Day. Despite some movement on the issue in the wake of the prosecution of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, worker safety advocates and labor union officials are far from optimistic...

Oil and gas workers are 5 times more likely to die on the job  Grist  ...Oil and gas workers are facing a dire situation, with workplace fatality rates nearly five times the national average. A new AFL-CIO report on workplace hazards warns that the oil and gas industry in particular demands “intensive and comprehensive intervention” to improve safety: “Without action, the workplace fatality crisis in this industry will only get worse”...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

What Government Contractors Really Mean When They Say They’ll Do It Cheaper  ITPI  ...The decades-long experiment of contracting out public goods and services by governments, known as “privatization,” has often had dire consequences for the public, workers, and the environment. To maximize profit, companies have often cut corners by reducing the quality and accessibility of services, reducing staffing levels, lowering worker wages, and sidestepping protections for the public and the environment...

Dark Money Group Spends $58,000 Attacking Consumer Financial Protection Bureau  Common Dreams  ...Since it formed in 2011, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been under siege from financial institutions. Senate Republicans tried very hard to stop it from functioning at all, and since then they’ve tried to “tighten the leash” on the agency. Nearly five years since it officially opened, a new dark money group is taking aim at the agency...

Trump Has An Obsession With Walls. Even Border Officials Think He Needs To Get Over It.  Think Progress  ...According to a Reuters report, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency support more reinforcements to ensure border security, but not in the form of a wall. The agency wants 23 more miles of fencing along the U.S. southern border, but would prefer to focus on better radios and aerial drones... 

Northern Arizona U. Students Launch Sit-In as Fossil Fuel Divestment Movement Sweeps Country  Democracy Now  ...Students at Northern Arizona University, or NAU, are in the midst of a sit-in to call on their school to divest from fossil fuels. At least eight students have been arrested after they refused to leave a university building at closing time. Their protest is part of a national "Fossil Free" movement to pressure colleges to address the issue of climate change...

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