Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News For May 27, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Baltimore US Foods Teamsters Spread Strike to Metro Philadelphia Facility   Teamster.org  ... Teamsters working at a US Foods’ distribution facility here overnight refused to cross the extended picket line of Teamsters from Severn, Md., who began an unfair labor practice strike against the company last month. The 235 workers who are members of Local 628 are just the latest group of US Foods workers to honor a picket line supporting the striking Maryland workers...

Several bus lines shut down as union drivers go on strike  Union-Tribune  ...Hundreds of bus drivers went on strike Wednesday morning leaving thousands of commuters who rely on public transportation without rides. The First Transit union workers walked out after they and their employer reached an impasse in contract negotiations over wages. Teamsters union 542 said on its website that it had rejected the company's "last, best and final offer" and the drivers formed picket lines beginning at 3 a.m. this morning...

UPS Airline Mechanics Picket At UPS Customer Locations  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters Local 2727 technicians and related classifications picketed at customer locations in Kentucky and Indiana today to protest deep concessionary contract proposals that would significantly increase health care costs. “In 2013 insurance premiums for Teamster members were raised more than 500 percent. Now the company is proposing an additional 430 percent increase,” said Teamsters Local 2727 President Tim Boyle... 

Teamsters Granted Temporary Restraining Order Against Flight Options  Teamster.org  ... Yesterday, a federal judge from the United States District Court for the Northern District in Cleveland granted a request from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Teamsters Airline Division and Local 1108 to order Flexjet and Flight Options to bargain with the union and to recognize the integrated seniority list presented by the Teamsters...

Teamsters Stand Up for Funeral Workers at SCI Shareholders Meeting  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters representatives on May 11 called out funeral industry giant Service Corporation International’s poor business practices and called on its Board of Directors to take action during the company’s annual shareholders meeting in Houston...

SFUSD wants its food suppliers to fork over meal sources  SF Examiner  ...“The school district doesn’t know where all of their produce and foods come from,” said Doug Bloch, political director with Teamsters Joint Council 7. “This will get the ball rolling for the school district to find out who is in their supply chain.” Bloch said the union first pushed good food purchasing policies in Oakland, where the school district served products from Taylor Farms in Tracy. That farm has reportedly been scrutinized by the union and Cal/OSHA for poor working conditions...

Supplier Accountability Focus of Latest Protest Against Chipotle  Food Safety Tech  ...The labor union International Brotherhood of Teamsters has been holding nationwide protests at Chipotle locations this month, taking issue with one of the restaurant chain’s suppliers. The supplier at the focus of the demonstrations is California-based produce company Taylor Farms, which supplies tomatoes and peppers to Chipotle, according to Teamsters...

Orange distributor Dichello, workers mum on strike details  New Haven Register  ...Unionized workers for Dichello Distributors on Marsh Hill Road have gone on strike. The walkout at one the state’s largest beer distributors began over the weekend. But neither company officials nor officials with Teamsters Local 443 in New Haven were willing to discuss why the workers are striking, or how many workers the strike impacts...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

France labour dispute: Wave of strike action nationwide  BBC  ...Strike action over labour law reforms gripped France on Thursday, with oil refineries, nuclear power stations and transport hubs disrupted. Riot police battled protesters in Paris and other cities, making 77 arrests, while 15 officers were injured and cars and shops were vandalised. Prime Minister Manuel Valls insists the reforms will not be withdrawn but has suggested they could be "modified"...

Canada: Strike ends with union win at Covered Bridge Potato Chips in Canada  IUF  ...The five-month strike for union rights and recognition by UFCW Canada members  at Covered Bridge Potato Chips has ended successfully with union members ratifying a first collective agreement on May 24, putting an end to the two-year struggle at the Wakefield, New Brunswick snack food processor...

Treasury proposes financial services fix, but not for TPP  Politico  ...The Treasury Department has unveiled its plan for handling the issue of financial data storage in future trade deals. The proposal is an effort to address at least one of the major complaints about the TPP deal that has kept lawmakers from wholeheartedly moving forward with ratification...

Will TPP Give Corporations the Upper Hand Over Nations?  Sputnik News  ...Over 1500 organizations, including labor unions and environmental groups, have called on the US Congress to reject the hotly-debated TPP deregulation deal. In a letter to Congress on Monday, the organizations point out that the deal, made in unusual secrecy, will kill US jobs, endanger food safety and the public health system, as well as take a toll on the environment...

New WikiLeaks Trove Further Exposes TISA's Neoliberal Agenda  Common Dreams  ...WikiLeaks on Wednesday released a trove of documents detailing previously unknown pro-corporate provisions and updates to the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), exposing the extent to which the U.S.-driven deal will force signatory nations to privatize public services and deregulate corporations...

Mind the Gap: The Divide Between Gap's Promises and Actual Labor Conditions  Fashion Law  ...In advance of next month’s International Labour Organization (ILO) conference in Geneva, an international consortium of human and labour rights organizations has released a groundbreaking new report detailing persistent abuses at Gap supplier factories. The research, collected through interviews with 150 workers in Cambodia, Indonesia and India, finds that despite Gap’s widely-publicized commitments to stemming abuses across its supply chain, significant gaps remain...

Anti-austerity protest in Belgium   EuroNews  ...Belgian police used water cannon to disperse around a hundred people as clashes erupted during a protest in Brussels. Some 60,000 people took to the streets to denounce social reform projects, such as the possibility for employers to impose 45-hour working weeks under certain conditions...

Weekend Work Emails Are Now Illegal In France  Huffington Post  ...Checking your work email on a weekend or a holiday? In France, where employees have been granted “the right to disconnect,” that’s now against the law. Buried inside a recently enacted — and hotly contested — French labor reform bill is an amendment banning companies of 50 or more employees from sending emails after typical work hours...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Maryland has passed one of the nation’s strongest equal pay laws  Vox  ...Maryland is on a roll right now when it comes to lawmaking on women's issues, passing two major laws in two weeks that advocates for women's economic security have spent years pushing for. On Thursday, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) signed an equal pay law that advocates are calling one of the nation's strongest...

Illinois House fails again to override Rauner's veto of union-backed arbitration bill  State Journal-Register  ...For the second time in a year, the Illinois House failed to override a veto of a bill to send unresolved labor talks with state worker unions to binding arbitration. The House voted 69-47-1 on the override motion. All Springfield-area Republican House members voted against the override despite pressure from unionized state workers in their districts to override Gov. Rauner’s veto...

Wisconsin Voter ID Trial Wraps Up With Verdict Expected In July  WPR.org  ...A  verdict in a federal trial on Wisconsin’s voter ID law is expected by late July, according to the judge presiding over the case. Arguments in the trial ended Thursday in Madison. Judge James Peterson said his anticipated late-July decision will come too close to the Aug. 9 partisan primary to affect that election...  

Nine counties to challenge Oregon’s paid sick leave law  Register-Guard  ...Linn County is among the Oregon counties that will file a lawsuit on Friday charging that the state of Oregon’s new sick leave law is an unfunded ­government mandate — and that the county therefore is not obliged to follow it. Roger Nyquist, chairman of the Linn County Board of Commissioners, said as many as eight other Oregon counties also would be plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which will be filed in Linn County Circuit Court...

Minimum Wage Workers Can’t Afford Rent Anywhere In The Country  Think Progress  ...People who make the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour can’t find an affordable place to live anywhere in the country, according to a new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. But perhaps even more surprising is that even if the minimum wage were raised to $15 an hour they would still be out of luck...

N.J. Assembly pushes ahead on $15 minimum wage for N.J.  NJ.com  ...The Assembly on Thursday passed a bill to give minimum wage workers in New Jersey a nearly 80 percent bump in their pay that Gov. Chris Christie is all but certain to strike down. For the Democratic leaders in the Senate and Assembly, the veto is not so much a threat as it is a procedural step... 

Will NC House move to eliminate minimum wage and overtime protections for seasonal workers?  NC Policy Watch  ...In a surprise move yesterday, the House Finance Committee voted to eliminate state minimum wage and overtime protections for certain seasonal workers and amusement park employees. But a glimmer of hope remains for workers after key Republicans on the panel pledged to address concerns over the minimum wage and the bill was kept off the House calendar for today...

Legislature Orders Audit of LA Charter Chain for Spending Taxpayer Funds to Block Union Drive  Alternet  ...A special committee of the California Legislature has ordered the state auditor to investigate Los Angeles’ largest charter school chain and the state’s charter school trade association for a series of union-busting and privacy breaching actions taken during 2015 to stop a teacher-led union drive at the franchise...

 

U.S. LABOR

Hundreds protest in downpour at shut McDonald's headquarters  Reuters  ...Hundreds of protesters marched through pouring rain to call for higher wages and union rights at McDonald's Corp on Wednesday, leading the hamburger chain to shut down its headquarters a day before its annual meeting. The marchers are part of a larger U.S. movement for higher pay...

Analysts say Verizon, unions face pressure to settle by July  Philly.com  ...Verizon will likely have to sweeten its "last, final offer" from April 28 to get new labor contracts approved by striking workers, writes analyst Amy Yong in a report to clients of Macquarie Securities. The proposal, so far, includes pay increases of around 7.5%, plus higher 401K retirement-plan contributions.  The strike has hurt new Verizon Internet sign-ups and will force higher repair and maintenance costs...

Washington, D.C., Teachers Union Wrestles with the Legacy of Michelle Rhee  In These Times  ...It’s been five years since self-styled education reformer Michelle Rhee left her job as head of the District of Columbia Public Schools under a cloud of bitterness and controversy, but she is still throwing shade over the Washington city school system. Rhee’s open hostility to unions was a hallmark of her tenure in D.C. That hostility continues to darken relations between city officials and the teachers union, labor advocates say...

The Supreme Court Is Considering a Case on How a Bankrupt Trump Casino Screwed Workers  Mother Jones  ...At its weekly conference today, the US Supreme Court will consider whether to hear a case that involves the latest installment in the story of Donald Trump's failed Atlantic City casino empire and the efforts of hotel workers to recover some of their health and pension benefits from Trump's Taj Mahal. The hotel workers union, Unite Here Local 54, had a collective bargaining agreement with the hotel management that covered more than 1,000 non-gaming workers...

Federal Appeals Court Deals Huge Blow to Mandatory Arbitration  OnLabor  ...In a case with major implications for mandatory arbitration agreements, the seventh circuit today struck down an arbitration clause that prohibited employees from pursuing class proceedings.  The appeals court, in an opinion by Chief Judge Wood held that by banning collective actions, such an agreement violates the National Labor Relations Act...

Meat And Poultry Workers Are Forced To Sacrifice Their Health Just To Do Their Jobs  Think Progress  ...Poultry and meat workers face some of the most hazardous conditions in the country, and the likelihood that they will be injured on the job remain twice as high as all U.S. workers, according to U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) data compiled for a Government Accountability Office report released Wednesday...

Tesla vows to address labour issues after report alleges cheap and unsafe jobs for foreign workers  CBC  ...Tesla says it will look into allegations that a subcontractor at one of its paint facilities was paid as little as $5 US an hour in an unsafe work environment. According to a report in the San Jose Mercury News, Tesla has gotten around U.S. labour laws by getting subcontractors to bring in foreign workers and paying them below market rates in often unsafe conditions...

Walmart Promised To Stop Punishing Pregnant Workers. So Why Did These Pregnant Workers Get Fired?  Think Progress  ...After a number of lawsuits accused Walmart of illegally discriminating against pregnant employees, the company changed its policy in 2014 to allow a “reasonable accommodation” for “a temporary disability caused by pregnancy.” But one lawsuit is still pending that argues employees with healthy pregnancies continue to be denied the accommodations they should get under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act... 

Revolt of the ‘Chapulines’: After Strike, Indigenous Mexican Farmworkers Vote To Unionize  In These Times  ...At the beginning of the blueberry picking season in April, the company was paying pickers 95¢ per pound. By mid-May, the price had dropped to 70¢, and then 65¢. Finally, on Monday, May 16, the company announced it was dropping it again, to 60¢. Workers refused to go in to pick. Strikers went to the local UFW office, and the following morning, union organizers met with the workers as they all gathered at the edge of the field...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

GOP Conservatives Scuttle Spending Bill Over LGBT Rights  AP  ...Conservatives angered by the inclusion of LGBT protections in an otherwise routine spending bill scuttled the measure Thursday in a stark display of the potency of a civil rights issue suddenly prominent in the presidential race and responsible for a legal standoff between the Obama administration and several states...

States Caught in Tug-of-War Over Whether Cops Can Keep Your Stuff   BillMoyers.com  ...Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on May 19 became the latest state leader to sign contentious legislation restricting civil asset forfeiture — the process that allows police to seize and keep property suspected of being connected to illegal activity, without having to convict, or even charge, the owner with a crime...

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