Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For May 17, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Hoffa, Teamster School Bus Workers Rally to Mark a Decade of Driving Up Industry Standards  Teamster.org   ...Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa rallied with First Student drivers and monitors who transport students for Baltimore City Public Schools to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Teamsters Union’s Drive Up Standards campaign. Since launching the Drive Up Standards campaign in 2006, the union-wide effort to raise industry standards has become a model for its success in organizing workers on a monumental scale...

Hoffa Walks Picket Line with US Foods Teamsters in MD Standing Up for Their Jobs  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa this afternoon met and walked the picket line with some 50 members of Locals 355 and 570 engaged in an unfair labor practices strike against US Foods at its Severn, Md. facility for almost three weeks. Nearly 200 Maryland Teamsters working at the distribution center went on strike April 27...

Teamsters General President Hoffa meets with striking US Foods workers in Severn  Baltimore Sun  ...James P. Hoffa shook hands with striking workers at US Foods in Severn, fell into step with several on the picket line, then hung a sign around his neck that read: "Wall Street Greed Destroys The American Dream." Hoffa, general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, brought a message of solidarity on Monday to members of two Teamsters locals that went on strike nearly three weeks ago...

Con Edison Contract Workers Take Union Fight to Shareholders' Meeting  Teamster.org  ...Workers at Allstate Power Vac, a Con Edison contractor, delivered a petition to Con Edison’s board of directors today at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Manhattan. The petition asks the company to urge Allstate Power Vac to treat its workers with fairness and respect.Allstate Power Vac workers voted to join Teamsters Local 813 in November 2015...

The price of flying cheap  WCNC  ...We all want a good deal-– especially when it comes to the ever increasing cost of flying. But what if that good deal came with another price? The FAA is now investigating Allegiant airlines after repeated mechanical issues and problems in the air. The Teamsters Aviation Mechanics union, a group working with the pilots union, published a report detailing what they call 98 separate and preventable issues from September 2015 to January of this year...

California Labor "All-in-to-Win" for Silicon Valley Security Officers  CA Labor Fed  ...Earlier this year thousands of security officers won the right to build their union. This is largest private sector victory in recent years. This victory goes to prove that when labor goes “All In” we can win for working people. The campaign has built organizing momentum through Silicon Valley Rising with Teamsters Joint Council 7 and UNITE HERE winning significant organizing drives with shuttle bus drivers, food service workers, and more...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Striking Belgian prison workers damage justice ministry  Seattle Times  ...Dozens of Belgian trade unionists and prison workers who have been on a three-week strike to demand an end to austerity and better working conditions have broken into the justice ministry in Brussels and damaged part of the building. The violence came as the Belgian government and trade unions have been trying to break a deadlock in the negotiations to end the strike...

Nigeria: Govt Appeals to Workers' Unions to Shelve Planned Strike  All Africa  ...The Federal Government has appealed to workers' unions to shelve their proposed strike over the new petrol price of N145 per litre. The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the appeal at an interactive session with journalists in Abuja on Monday... 

Colombia not enforcing U.S. trade deal labor standards -unions  Reuters  ...Colombia has failed to enforce worker protections in a free trade agreement with the United States, U.S. and Colombian labor unions said on Monday, raising questions about similar provisions in the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. In a complaint filed with a division of the U.S. Labor Department, the unions said threats and acts of violence against trade unionists in Colombia were neither properly investigated nor prosecuted...

Heavy hand of US domestic politics evident in TPP  NZ Herald  ...This week trade ministers from the 12 Trans-Pacific Partnership countries meet for the first time since signing the deal in Auckland in February, on the sidelines of an Apec meeting in Peru. Implementing the TPP tops the agenda. The US holds the whip hand because the agreement can't come into force without its approval and that will be given on a country-by-country basis...

TTIP trade deal under threat over the Feta factor  Euro News  ...A food fight between Europe and the US could block a massive free trade deal. Products like Feta cheese, Gorgonzola, Champagne and Parma ham currently enjoy protection under which only they can be sold by that original name in the EU. But with the controversial and much protested against Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) those products would not enjoy that protection in the United States...

TTIP May Be Delayed for Years if Not Completed Under Obama  Sputnik News  ...The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) treaty may be delayed for months or even years if the deal is not finalized under the administration of US President Barack Obama, Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade Stefan Selig said. The deal has drawn severe criticism for the lack of transparency in the negotiations as well as for the tremendous power it would potentially give to international corporations...

Greek Lawmakers to Vote on More Austerity Over Weekend  ABC  ...Greece's government says its latest austerity measures bill will be submitted to Parliament by Wednesday at the latest, which would see lawmakers vote on the legislation by Sunday — before a meeting of eurozone finance ministers who will discuss whether to release more bailout funds for the debt-ridden country...

Noam Chomsky: Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff "Impeached by a Gang of Thieves"  Democracy Now  ...As protests continue in Brazil over the Legislature’s vote to suspend President Dilma Rousseff and put her on trial, Noam Chomsky notes that "we have the one leading politician who hasn’t stolen to enrich herself, who’s being impeached by a gang of thieves, who have done so. That does count as a kind of soft coup"...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Ohio Lawmakers Consider a Hike in the Minimum Wage  WKSU  ...Cleveland City Council is introducing legislation to set the minimum wage at $15. Throughout the state and the country, there are repeated calls for increasing the minimum wage. Democratic State Representative Kent Smith wants to raise Ohio’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, giving more than a million Ohioans a raise. “And 2.1 billion would get circulated in the Ohio economy”... 

$15 minimum wage gains N.J. Senate committee approval  NJ.com  ...The state Senate Labor Committee on Monday approved a bill that would gradually increase New Jersey's minimum wage to $15, the first vote on the way to a showdown with Gov. Chris Christie which is likely to end in a public referendum to sidestep his expected veto...

4th Circuit court sets NC voter ID hearing  News & Observer  ...The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals set June 21 to hear arguments in the North Carolina voting rights case. The appeal was filed by the NAACP and other organizations representing voters who challenged the extensive elections law overhaul in 2013...

California immigrant kids gain state-funded health care  AP  ...Children and teens brought illegally to the United States gained access to publicly funded health care Monday as California began allowing young people to sign up for the state's health care program for the poor without regard to their immigration status. State officials expect as many as 185,000 children under age 19 to join Medi-Cal in the first year...

Oklahoma GOP Does an About-Face on Medicaid Expansion  Think Progress  ...Gov. Mary Fallin (R) and the state’s GOP leaders are considering embracing a key tenet of Obamacare and expanding Medicaid to offer health insurance coverage to additional low-income Americans. The state’s overwhelmingly Republican state lawmakers are considering the Oklahoma Health Care Authority’s proposal to move 175,000 people off Medicaid and into Obamacare’s subsidized private insurance markets...

Kochs' Grassroots Leadership Academy Training Astroturf Army  PR Watch  ...With no clear favorite in the 2016 U.S. presidential primary race--following Gov. Scott Walker's early exit and Trump's march toward the nomination--the Koch brothers have turned their attention (and opened their wallets) to races for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House and state governorships. An under-covered arm of the Koch political operations is a likely recipient of some of that cash and it's called Americans for Prosperity's "Grassroots Leadership Academy"... 

 

U.S. LABOR

Verizon Strike: One Day Longer  Jacobin  ...As the massive strike at Verizon enters its second month with no end in sight, the stakes — for the workers, the company, and the broader labor movement — are rising. Even mainstream media outlets like the New York Times have taken note, casting it as something of an epochal battle over whether the economy can tolerate good jobs that actually deliver economic security and decent benefits...

SEIU workers reach contract agreement with St. Louis University Hospital  STL Today  ...After nearly four months of negotiations, St. Louis University Hospital employees, represented by SEIU, approved a three-year contract. The 629 workers represented by SEIU will receive a 2.5 percent raise every year through 2018, according to Kaitlin DeCero, spokeswoman for SEIU... 

Kroger's Central Division Ratifies Agreement with UFCW Local 700  PR Newswire  ...The Kroger Co. associates working at Kroger stores in the Indianapolis market area of the company's Central division have ratified a new labor agreement with UFCW Local 700. "We are pleased to reach an agreement that is good for our associates and also allows us to be competitive and grow in the Indianapolis area," said Katie Wolfram, president of Kroger's Central division...

Los Angeles Car Wash Workers Turn Up Pressure  Truthout  ...A coalition that includes community groups, the AFL-CIO, and Steelworkers Local 675 backs the CLEAN Carwash Campaign, launched in 2007. The campaign uses a range of strategies -- from picketing the worst wage thieves to helping workers unionize. Today, out of 500 car washes in the L.A. County area that have employees, 30 are union...

“We’re Not Paid Enough”: Cafeteria Workers at Walt Disney World Say They Want a Union  In These Times  ...The cafeteria workers at “The Most Magical Place on Earth” are trying to organize a union. About three-quarters of the cafeteria workers at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, have signed cards indicating that they want the union UNITE HERE to represent them. Disney World, the largest single-site employer in the United States, has over 74,000 workers, the majority of them unionized...

Worker Non-Compete Clauses Are Incredibly Common—and Often Make No Sense  Time.com   ...A recent White House report found that 18% of American workers are currently restricted by non-compete clauses. A non-compete is a legal agreement that prevents an employee from leaving a job at one company and taking a similar one with a competing company, for a specified period of time...

Analysis: How Obama paved the way on key labor issues  MSNBC   ...It’s not every day that low-paid workers speak out and win a voice in setting national policy. Yet three years ago, that’s exactly what began to happen. workers employed on federal contracts represent just a portion of the U.S. workforce that is underpaid and overworked, working without paid sick time or a voice on the job, and often laboring under hazardous conditions...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Five infrastructure emergencies  The Hill  ...Advocates for investing in the nation’s infrastructure are hesitant to single out certain projects as deserving priority over others, arguing that sustained funding and attention is needed equally across the board. But there are some crumbling structures threatening both the economy and public safety that are just too urgent not to point out...

How politics are getting in the way of better roads and bridges  The Hill  ...For years, Washington policymakers have widely agreed that the nation is facing an infrastructure crisis, with dangerously congested roads and deficient bridges threatening public safety and trade. Time and again, lawmakers in both parties have expressed consensus that something should be done. Yet, congressional attempts to revitalize the country’s transportation infrastructure have gone nowhere... 

Wave of Direct Actions Points to Fossil-Free Future  Common Dreams  ...Mass arrests took place during the weekend's Break Free actions around the world, and more demonstrations were happening on Sunday, the final day of a global wave of actions calling for a just transition away from fossil fuels. More than 100 people were arrested Sunday at a coal mine in Germany, the site of a three-day mobilization... 

One More Way the Courts Aren’t Working for the Poor  The Nation  ...For litigants living in poverty, justice can be harder to find. When facing civil litigation, a massive gap in legal-aid services reflects and reproduces the very injustices that often drive poor litigants into the courts in the first place.  Unlike criminal proceedings, in which the indigent are provided with a public defender, in civil cases counsel is generally not guaranteed for those who cannot afford it...

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