Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For May 23, 2016

TEAMSTERS

US Foods Teamsters Escalate Labor Actions Across U.S.  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters working at US Foods facilities across the country are ramping up actions against the nation’s second-largest food service provider, building off the efforts of fellow Teamsters in Severn, Md. who began an unfair labor practice strike against the company on April 27. Over 200 Teamsters walked off the job in Phoenix yesterday... 

Teamsters at Columbus Distributing Company Ratify Contract  Teamster.org  ...Over 100 members of Teamsters Local 284 employed by Columbus Distributing Company have ratified a new collective bargaining agreement. The company distributes Anheuser-Busch products to stores, restaurants and bars across central Ohio. The union represents drivers, warehouse, mechanics and maintenance workers...

US Foods Teamsters in Seattle Show Support for Picketing Md. Workers  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters working at US Foods’ distribution facility here this evening refused to cross the picket line in solidarity with Teamsters in Severn, Md., who began an unfair labor practice strike against the company last month. Teamsters Local 117 is the latest group of US Foods workers to honor a picket line supporting the striking Maryland workers...

Teamsters Continue Nationwide Protests Against Chipotle Restaurants  Teamster.org  ...For the second time in a month, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters protested at Chipotle locations nationwide this week to demand that Chipotle hold its produce supplier Taylor Farms accountable for egregious health and labor violations. Protestors held banners that read, “Chipotle: No Integrity,” and distributed leaflets that read, “Chipotle Turns Our Stomachs”... 

Central States Pension Fund Drops Efforts to Create Second Bailout Plan  WSJ  ...The pension fund representing hundreds of thousands of truck drivers and warehouse workers won’t make a second bid at overhauling one of the nation’s largest multiemployer retirement plans following a Treasury Department rejection of its original turnaround plan. The decision by the Teamsters’ Central States Pension Fund to drop efforts of a second rescue-package submission means the fate of the cash-strapped $16.8 billion multiemployer plan sits with federal lawmakers...

National Express agrees to meet unions after AGM protests  ITF Global  ...National Express agreed on 11 May to meet with the ITF and four of its unions following a letter they sent to the chairman and the group chief executive a week earlier expressing their concerns over the company’s behaviour. The Teamsters union in the US and other institutional and individual shareholders seized the opportunity of the National Express AGM on 11 May to denounce the company’s failure to address labour rights violations...

Teamsters Rally In Support Of Schnucks Workers  CBS  ...The Teamsters are stepping-up their campaign to save 190 union warehouse jobs at Schnucks. Local 688 business representative Mike Schlueter says they’ve been handing out flyers in parking lots, “We’re not asking for a boycott right now, because we’ve still got thousands of union brothers and sisters working in their stores...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Down tools: Hong Kong workers on delayed cross-border railway strike over unpaid wages  South China Morning Post  ...Work at a site of the much-delayed cross-border high-speed railway project was briefly held up on Monday as about 100 carpenters went on strike over roughly HK$7 million in unpaid wages. They said they had not been paid since last month and that repeated demands to the subcontractor were ignored. Supported by the Confederation of Trade Unions, they refused to work and staged a sit-in...

VW agrees to 4.8 percent pay raise for workers at German plants  Reuters  ...Volkswagen and Germany's powerful IG Metall labour union agreed a 4.8 percent pay increase for around 120,000 workers at the carmaker's western German plants. Germany's IG Metall union had sought a 5 percent pay rise over 12 months for the workers at VW, which last month reported a 4.1 billion euro ($4.6 billion) operating loss for 2015 due to the costs of an emissions test-rigging scandal...

Obama to focus on TPP, arms embargo on Vietnam trip  CNBC  ...U.S. President Barack Obama begins a landmark visit to Vietnam this week but it's unlikely he can satisfy the two key areas of focus for local policymakers, strategists told CNBC. During Obama's three-day visit, much emphasis is expected to be placed on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Deal (TPP) and an embargo that prevents Washington from selling arms to Hanoi... 

TPP's slow roll in Japan  Politico  ...The United States isn’t the only country where domestic politics have slowed down any momentum for getting the Trans-Pacific Partnership ratified. Japan’s government has also slowed its process for approving the deal despite a formal debate already started in the country’s national Diet...

Obama's Plan to Ink TTIP Deal May Fall Through Over Leaked Greenpeace Docs  Sputnik News  ...US President Barack Obama will not be able to complete TTIP talks before the end of his term as public protests will force the EU countries to move them back to 2018, Greek MEP Notis Marias told RIA Novosti. Marias, an independent member of the European Parliament, said that the secret TTIP documents recently made public by Greenpeace had substantiated the criticism of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership trade agreement...

Levin: A Postcard to Vietnam: If Not Worker and Human Rights Now, When?  Medium  ...As the President embarks on an important trip this weekend, I am reminded of the individuals in Vietnam that I met over a year ago when I traveled there with a Congressional Delegation. I met a dedicated young labor activist named Do Thi Minh Hanh. She had recently been released after serving four years and four months in prison for trying to organize workers...

Brazil's interim government wastes no time erasing Workers' party influence  The Guardian  ...It is just a week since Michel Temer became interim president of Brazil, but his new centre-right administration already has begun scaling back many of the social policies put in place by Workers’ party governments over the previous 13 years. Moves are under way to soften the definition of slavery, roll back the demarcation of indigenous land, trim housebuilding programs and sell off state assets...

Greece passes reform bill, austerity measures  USA Today  ...Greece’s parliament on Sunday passed an omnibus reform bill providing for tax hikes, more austerity reforms and a new privatization superfund, which will manage almost all state property. Ppay cuts, which would have saved about 120 million euros ($135 million), were shelved and will be partly replaced by bringing forward taxes on Internet users and beer...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Family Leave Act passes the Senate, future dark in The House  Willmar Radio  ...Area lawmakers appear to disagree over proposed paid family leave legislation. Representative Dave Baker is against it while Senator Lyle Koenen earlier this session kept it alive in the Senate Tax Committee, and now it has passed the entire Senate. Earlier this week Governor Mark Dayton joined Minnesotans outside the State Capitol pushing for the bill...

North Carolina’s Discriminatory Bathroom Law May Also Worsen Economic Inequality  The Nation  ...What is often left out of media coverage on HB2 is the fact that it does more than restrict bathroom access.  It also amends the state’s Wage and Hour Act to prevent any city, county, or other political jurisdiction within the state from passing or enforcing legislation or voter-mandated pro-worker policies, including minimum-wage increases and laws requiring paid leave for family and medical matters... 

Local hiring quotas could be banned by state  Cincinnati.com  ...Ohio Gov. John Kasich could soon sign a bill that would end the requirement that a certain number of local workers be hired for large, publicly funded construction projects. The proposal is headed to Kasich’s desk for his signature, and would eliminate any requirement that a portion of construction workers be hired locally...

Massachusetts Legislature passes 'millionaire's tax' constitutional amendment  MassLive  ...The Massachusetts Legislature on Wednesday voted to pass a constitutional amendment raising taxes on income over $1 million. The vote, which came after three hours of debate, marked the first step in a long process that could change the tax code through a 2018 ballot vote. State Rep. Jay Kaufman, D-Lexington, chairman of the Joint Committee on Revenue, argued in favor of the amendment, saying the state needs more money...

It’s Now Harder to Vote in Virginia Because the Supreme Court Gutted the Voting Rights Act  The Nation  ...On Thursday, federal district court judge Henry Hudson upheld Virginia’s voter ID law, despite hearing many stories like Okiakpe’s of voters burdened by the law. Hudson, a George W. Bush appointee once known as “Hang ‘Em High Henry” for his tough on crime record, was also the first judge to rule against Obamacare. His decision will make it harder for the 200,000 Virginia voters without a driver’s license to cast a ballot...

Allstate raises minimum pay to $15 an hour  Chicago Tribune  ...Allstate said it's raising the minimum starting pay for its U.S. corporate workers to $15 an hour as a way of "attracting and retaining the best people," the car and home insurer said in its recently published annual shareholder report...

 

U.S. LABOR

UAW chief blasts Detroit 3 for shifting output to Mexico  Automotive News   ...UAW President Dennis Williams criticized automakers for moving vehicle production to Mexico while taking issue with the notion that the union negotiated such moves last year in return for the end of tiered wages for workers and investments in U.S. plants. Williams, speaking with reporters Thursday at a media roundtable in Detroit, said automakers are “taking the easy way out”...

Verizon Pain From Strike Seen Growing; Wells Fargo Cuts Estimates  Investors  ...Verizon Communications (VZ) is starting to feel the pain from the ongoing strike by nearly 40,000 wireline workers, according to Wells Fargo, which on Friday lowered its Q2 and full-year profit-margin and revenue estimates for the telecom giant. Two unions representing about 39,000 Verizon landline workers, including those that work on its FiOS TV and broadband services, went on strike April 13...

San Diego AT&T workers go on strike  CBS  ...AT&T workers walked off the job Friday and picketed at AT&T locations throughout San Diego. Workers on strike include technicians and call center operators which means local customers are going without those services until an agreement is reached. "They are not getting services installed, repaired and we are not here to answer calls. It's unfortunate," said Christopher Roberts, president of the labor union representing workers...

5,000 Macy’s workers threaten to go on strike  NYPost  ...Nearly 5,000 Macy’s workers at four New York stores, including the Herald Square flagship, voted on Thursday to authorize a strike that could take place as soon as June 15 when a contract extension expires. Among the contentious issues are health care benefits, pay and employees’ right to opt out of working on holidays, according to officials for Local 1-S of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union... 

Fast Food Workers Will Vote On Joining Service Workers Union  BuzzFeed  ...Fast food workers are on the cusp of joining one of the country’s largest unions, after staging years of protests that helped revive public interest in the labor movement and turned a $15-an-hour minimum wage into a national political issue. After an agreement reached at the meeting, members of the Fight For 15 will now vote on official affiliation with SEIU...

Workers plan major round of protests for McDonald's annual meeting  Reuters  ...Spurred by recent successes, U.S. low-wage workers next week plan to make McDonald's Corp and its annual shareholder meeting the target of major protests calling for $15 per hour and the right to unionize. The union-backed "Fight for $15" campaign on Thursday said the actions will start with a Chicago fast-food worker strike on May 25...

Here's Why Donald Trump's Las Vegas Workers Are Fighting to Unionize  Gawker  ...Even as unions fret that many of their members will vote for Donald Trump, Trump’s company is actively fighting a union campaign by his own workers in Las Vegas. On the Vegas strip, the Culinary Workers Union reigns supreme. The 57,000-strong group boast that 98% of the jobs on the downtown strip are unionized. A glaring exception to that is the Trump hotel...

Publisher of LA Times and Chicago Tribune sends IT jobs overseas  Computer World   ...Tribune Publishing Co., a major newspaper chain, is laying off as many as 200 IT employees as it shifts work overseas. The firm, which owns the Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune, Hartford Courant and many other media properties, told IT employees in early April that it's moving work to India-based Tata Consultancy Services...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

EU regulators to conditionally clear AB Inbev, SABMiller deal - sources  Reuters  ...Brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev is set to win conditional EU approval for its $100 billion-plus takeover of SABMiller after agreeing to substantial asset sales, three people familiar with the matter said on Friday. The Belgium-based maker of Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois is looking to boost its presence in Africa and Latin American countries to offset weaker markets such as the United States, where drinkers are shunning mainstream lagers in favor of craft brews...

UN Assessment: Global Destruction of Mother Earth on Fast Track  Common Dreams  ...With no region of the Earth untouched by the ravages of environmental destruction, the state of the world's natural resources is in a rapid downward spiral, a comprehensive assessment by the United Nations has found. Published Thursday, Global Environmental Outlook from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) involved the expertise of more than 1,200 scientists and over 160 governments...

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