Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For April 8, 2016

TEAMSTERS

US Ecology Drivers Join Local 728  Teamster.org  ...Workers at US Ecology have voted by a more than 3-1 margin to join Teamsters Local 728 in Atlanta. The 15 drivers dispose of low-level radioactive, chemical, hazardous and PCB wastes. "We were getting nowhere fast and we had a whole soup of issues. We knew we deserved fair treatment, consistent work rules and better wages. We knew we needed a union,” said Calvin Lyons, a three-year employee at US Ecology...

Judge Denies Preliminary Approval of Lyft Class-Action Settlement  Teamster.org  ...Today, a federal judge denied preliminary approval of a proposed Lyft class-action settlement that would continue to misclassify Lyft employees in California as independent contractors. The decision comes after the Teamsters Union and Lyft drivers filed legal objections to the settlement. In his decision, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria cited strong reservations over the proposed $12.25 million settlement...
U.S. judge rejects $12.25M settlement in Lyft driver lawsuit  STL Post-Dispatch  ...A federal judge on Thursday rejected a proposed settlement of a class action lawsuit against ride-hailing company Lyft, saying the $12.25 million deal "short-changed" drivers. U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria said in a San Francisco court filing that the amount "does not fall within the range of reasonableness." The settlement did not reclassify the drivers as employees, a point that led the Teamsters union and five Lyft drivers to file formal objections...
Local 710 Drivers at Edward Don Overwhelmingly Ratify New Contract  Local 710  ...Thirty-one drivers at Edward Don have ratified a new four-year agreement by an overwhelming 12-to-1 margin. The new contract is in effect from April 1, 2016 through March 31, 2020. Teamsters will see wage increases totaling $3.10 per hour over the length of the agreement, with increased employer contributions to members’ 401(k) plans as well. Local 710 also maintained language that the company will continue to contribute to members’ health and welfare plans...
Fired Workers At Cal Cartage Warehouse Strike To Protest Firings  WORT  ...Warehouse Workers at California Cartage staged a one day strike Wednesday protesting company retaliation for an earlier strike. More than 200 workers were told Monday they would be fired by the temporary staffing agency AMR/SSI. The 200 Cal Cartage workers fired by the temp agency are demanding they be re-hired as direct employees. Federal labor charges have been filed. The Teamsters are supporting the warehouse workers...

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Greek public sector strike grounds flights  DW.com  ...Schools closed, news broadcasts were off the air, and state-run hospitals ran on emergency staff when Greek public sector workers walked off the job as part of a 24-hour strike on Thursday. Air traffic controllers also joined the strike, shutting down Athens' international airport and forcing numerous airlines to cancel flights. Engineers, lawyers, and journalists also took part in the walkout called by public sector union ADEDY, which represents around 500,000 workers and pensioners...
Guinea-Bissau: Health workers join teachers in nationwide strike over wages  Africa News  ...Striking primary and secondary school teachers in Guinea-Bissau have been joined on Wednesday by health workers to protest over unpaid wages and working conditions. The teachers, who started the nationwide strike since last week, are seeking a new wage system and better working conditions while the health workers, made up of technicians and managers, are protesting the delay in payment of months of bonuses by the state...
Health Workers Worldwide Fight Against Health Commercialization  TeleSUR  ...Hundreds of health users, workers  citizen groups, unions and activists came together this Thursday to mark World Health Day expressing their concern over commercialization and the increasing health commodification going in in many countries worldwide. Recent trade negotiations on agreements like TTIP, TISA and CETA are of concern, as they could further open up health care for competition...
April showers bring TTIP flowers  Politico  ...The United States and European Union will hold their next formal round of bilateral trade negotiations the week of April 25 in New York City, according to U.S. business sources. And they’ve got their work cut out for them. A business source expressed pessimism that the TTIP deal would be able to get done this year, pointing to several areas, such as agricultural market access, geographical indications and procurement
Milk may be the latest obstacle to TPP ratification  Rabble  ...Milk is shaping up to be an obstacle to the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the United States. The TPP would open some of Canada's dairy market to imports from the U.S., but less than what had been demanded by American dairy farmers. American dairy farmers are now also upset that Canadian dairy farmers are trying to undercut their concentrated milk protein exports that enter Canada duty-free...
De Blasio Rips Trans Pacific Partnership, Calls NAFTA a ‘Disaster’  Observer  ...Mayor Bill de Blasio today joined a slew of city politicians to decry President Barack Obama’s proposed Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal—comparing it to North American Free Trade Agreement, which he deemed a “disaster.” “There’s such passion on this issue because we’ve already been to this movie,” Mr. de Blasio said at an anti-TPP rally in front of City Hall this morning... 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Ohio leaders propose guaranteed paid family leave  Business Courier  ...Two Ohio state representatives are proposing a plan to guarantee Ohio workers paid family leave, Local12 reports.Democrats Rep. Christie Kuhns and Rep. Janine Boyd have introduced a paid medical and family leave program that would be administered by the state and covered with funds withheld from employee paychecks...
Maryland paid sick leave legislation killed in Senate  WBAL  ...The measure requires employers with at least 15 workers to allow them to earn up to seven days of paid sick leave per year. The earned paid sick leave bill has never gotten this far. Earned paid sick leave survived a hard fought battle on the House floor, only to land in limbo in a Senate committee. The chairman believes the legislation needs too much work and not there's enough time to finish it this session...
ACLU Tries To Revive Voter ID Lawsuit  WPR  ...The American Civil Liberties Union asked a three-judge panel on a federal appeals court Thursday to revive a lawsuit that would undo Wisconsin's voter ID law for some residents. U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman blocked Wisconsin's entire voter ID law in 2014 on the grounds that it could prevent many voters from casting ballots. That decision was overturned by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, which ruled that Wisconsin's law was similar to another one upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court...
Child care providers demand minimum wage  ABC  ...The people who care for many of our children say they were left behind when California raised its minimum wage to $15. Because they're considered independent contractors of the state, they say they're excluded from the minimum wage. On Thursday, child care workers went to the Capitol to demand higher wages...
Lawsuits, Including RICO Charge, Pile Up for Embattled Michigan Governor  Common Dreams  ...Charging that the Flint water crisis was part of an "intentional scheme" created by state officials to save money, a group of 15 citizens on Wednesday filed a federal racketeering lawsuit against Gov. Rick Snyder and other high-profile state officials. The civil lawsuit seeks "financial compensation for property damage, loss of business and financial losses attributed to the city's water crisis; as well as compensatory damages for future medical care and punitive damages"...

U.S. LABOR

UFCW: No Ahold deals until New England peace  Supermarket News  ...Contentious contract negotiations between Stop & Shop and union workers in New England have inspired what the United Food and Commercial Workers union called "a new degree of solidarity and cooperation among all of the local unions with Ahold members." Stop & Shop, a division of Ahold, has been in negotiations with five UFCW locals since January...
AFSCME members defend public services during lobbying day  Workday Minnesota  ...No one knows more about public services in Minnesota than the workers who deliver them, and state lawmakers had access to an abundance of wisdom Tuesday during AFSCME Council 5 (link is external)’s annual lobbying blitz. “The experts in public service are coming to the Capitol,” Council 5 Director Eliot Seide said at the close of a rally at St. Paul’s RiverCentre. “The legislators better get ready”...
Union Busting: Legal Team Creates Unions To Raid Memberships, Benefiting Employers  NH Labor News  ...Union busting is nothing new. For over a hundred years employers have fought against unionizing efforts and worked to break unions after they win an election. Now there's a new type of union busting: the employer works with a “union” to raid the membership of an existing union to gain enough support to have the existing union de-certified, thereby loosing all of the gains made from previous contracts...
The Truth About How Uber’s App Manages Drivers  HBR.org  ...The tension between trying to standardize an experience and giving drivers true independence has manifested in two lawsuits. The first is O’Connor v. Uber Technologies, a pending class-action lawsuit by Uber drivers in California, which alleges that drivers are misclassified as independent contractors. The second is a new lawsuit, Meyer v. Kalanick, which alleges that Uber’s ability to set prices through an algorithm violates antitrust law...
Uber Forcing Democrats to Rethink Labor Rules  KQED  ...Organized labor has always counted on Democrats’ support for issues like raising the minimum wage and paid sick leave. But in the new gig economy, run on apps for companies like Uber and TaskRabbit, the very nature of work is changing. And the new tech-driven workplace could put some Democrats at odds with their friends in the labor movement...
Why the Labor Movement Must Join the Anti-racist Struggle To Make Black Lives Matter  (opinion) In These Times  ...If American labor is going to reverse its declining fortunes, it must begin with attacking American racism. Racism is the lynchpin that holds corporate America together. Racism in America divides workers so to prevent an effective united front. The American labor movement must seize the opportunity presented by the current upsurge and put its institutional support behind the anti-racist movement...

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Federal Watchdog to Interview Flint Residents on Water Crisis  Associated Press  ...Federal investigators are heading to Flint, Michigan, this weekend to interview residents who complained early on to the federal government about problems with the city's water supply. The inspector general's office at the Environmental Protection Agency says more than 100 people submitted complaints to the agency...
American Enterprise Institute Creates a Fantasy About Runaway CEO Pay  AFLCIO  ...AEI claims that the average pay for chief executives was a mere $220,700 in 2015. To support its nonsensical claim, AEI is presenting its fantasy version of CEO pay. AEI’s methodology for determining CEO pay is flawed for several reasons. For starters, the category of chief executives in the survey includes elementary and secondary schools, taxi and limousine services, independent artists, writers and performers...
Lessons of the Panama Papers: Yes, the Rich Are Different From Us—They Stole Our Money  Alternet  ...What have we learned so far from the Panama Papers, the largest volume of leaked documents in history, which have begun to peel the lid off a vast web of global greed, deception and iniquity among the highest level of the moneyed classes? For starters, they should serve to remind us how different the very rich are from the rest of us...

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