Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For May 3, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Corona, Calif. US Foods Teamsters Launch Unfair Labor Practice Strike  Teamster.org  ...On Sunday, Teamsters who drive for US Foods in Corona began an unfair labor practice strike to protest allegations that the foodservice giant violated federal law that protects workers’ rights. Almost immediately, Corona workers extended their picket line to 10 other US Foods distribution centers and resident yards in Southern California and Phoenix, Ariz., where 750 Teamsters have ceased work to honor the picket lines. The picket line extensions are still up today...

Teamsters strike at food distribution center  Press Enterprise  ...Joining a job action that also affects La Mirada, Vista and Phoenix, 92 Teamsters who drive for US Foods in Corona began a strike Sunday. “The company's not talking to us. We'll be out here at least through Mother's Day,” said Eric Tate, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 848. Teamsters spokesman Ted Gotsch said in an email the strikers are protesting allegations that the company violated federal law that protects workers rights...

Kroger distribution center to temporarily replace striking union workers  The Gazette  ...The now six-day-old strike by Teamsters Local 455 against the operator of a Kroger Co. distribution center in Fountain has heated up after the union filed a federal complaint against the company. Meanwhile, the company has scheduled a job fair for Tuesday and Wednesday to hire temporary replacement workers...

Kenneth Feinberg: No Teamsters pension decision, yet  Kansas City Star  ...Kenneth Feinberg has not yet decided the fate of hundreds of thousands of retired Teamsters’ pensions, the noted mediator said Monday. Feinberg has been charged by the U.S. Treasury to decide whether the Central States Pension Fund has complied with a controversial 2014 law in proposing cuts to retirees’ monthly checks in a bid to prevent the fund’s collapse...

Social media excoriates Schnucks Markets for firing 190 teamsters at new warehouse  Labor Tribune  ...Hours after word was out that Schnucks was going to fire 190 Teamsters and turn their work over to a non-union, out-of-state logistics firm whose employees earn less than half of what a Local 688 member earns, their customers lit up social media: angry, pissed and making it clear that their shopping needs could, and in some cases will immediately, be met elsewhere...

Union Offers to Enter Mediation After Osco Halts Movement  Local 727  ...The Teamsters Local 727 Bargaining Committee offered to enter mediation with Osco management after the company did not mirror the major movement by the union on the final scheduled day of bargaining Friday. “Honestly, we weren’t progressing the way we hoped we would after we dropped all of our proposals for just the core issues this morning,” said John T. Coli, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Forty thousand public sector workers strike against Costa Rican government  WSWS  ...An estimated 40,000 Costa Rican state workers and students staged a two-day strike on April 26 and 27 to oppose policies of the government of President Luis Guillermo Solís Solis, which is attacking workers’ incomes, public education, health care, and the right to water...

PM John Key launches TPP charm offensive ahead of trade deal law changes  NZ Herald  ...New Zealand will make another step towards progressing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) when legislation is introduced in Parliament next week. The law changes are required to bring New Zealand's domestic rules into line with the 12-nation trade agreement. Legislation will be tabled in Parliament on Monday, and is expected to get its first reading on May 12...

President Obama is urging Congress to pass TPP  The Hill  ...The Obama administration is working closely with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to build support for the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The issue has been widely debated by presidential front-runners in each party, who have given Obama's trade policy scathing reviews...

TTIP trade talks 'likely to stop', warns French minister  BBC  ...Matthias Fekl said a freeze in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership talks was the "most likely option" without a change from the US. The French minister, who threatened to leave talks last year, said Europe was offering a lot with little in return. It comes a day after Greenpeace leaked documents from the talks... 

Greenpeace Leaks U.S.-E.U. Trade Deal Documents  New York Times  ...The Dutch chapter of the environmental activist group Greenpeace on Monday disclosed a trove of documents from the talks over a proposed trade deal between the European Union and the United States. The documents, Greenpeace said, showed that American trade negotiators had pressed their European counterparts to loosen important environmental and consumer protections, along with other provisions...

Brazilian workers rally on May Day against institutional coup  Green Left  ...Brazilian workers were planning May Day rallies ahead of May 1 to defend democracy against what is being cast as an attempted parliamentary coup against President Dilma Rousseff. The move came as representatives from both sides of Brazil's political divide made their case for or against impeachment on April 28...

“Ponzi austerity” scheme imposed by E.U. and U.S. bleeds Greece dry on behalf of banks, says ex-finance minister  Salon  ...The former finance minister of Greece says the European Union and international financial institutions are imposing unjust “ponzi austerity” on his country, while banks rake in billions and the Greek people suffer. The Troika has demanded that Greece impose harsh austerity measures, cutting social services, slashing government programs and privatizing state assets...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Chris Christie Vetoes Equal Pay Bill, Calling It ‘Business Unfriendly’  Think Progress  ...New Jersey’s lawmakers want to require employers to pay women the same as men for essentially the same work. But Gov. Chris Christie (R) thinks they went too far. The bill that passed both chambers of the state’s legislature would have banned employers from paying women less for “substantially similar” work as men...

AG asks appeals court to stay right-to-work ruling  Daily Reporter  ...Wisconsin’s attorney general has asked an appellate court for an emergency stay of a Dane County judge’s ruling striking down the state’s right-to-work law. Brad Schimel says Judge William Foust’s ruling has created confusion and should be put on hold while an appeal is pending. Schimel said earlier he would seek the stay after failing to get a stay from Foust himself...

As Vulture Funds Circle, Puerto Rico Set to Default on Debt  Common Dreams  ...Puerto Rico says it will default on its debt Monday, escalating the economic crisis on the island that sees no sign of stopping in the face of exploitative hedge funds. The commonwealth is expected to miss its upcoming $422 million bond payment for its Government Development Bank. The default comes after U.S. Congress failed to act to help the island territory last week...

Advocates: High Court Signals it Won't Stop $15 Minimum Wage  Associated Press  ...The U.S. Supreme Court weighed in for the first time Monday on a $15-an-hour minimum wage, signaling it does not plan to stop the movement that is spreading across the nation, worker advocates say. The justices refused to hear a challenge to Seattle's law, which franchise owners said discriminates against them by treating them as large businesses...

$15 an Hour Won’t Help These Workers  The Nation  ...California’s low-wage economy is a function of two factors: too few dollars per hour, and too few hours per week. Often, it’s both, which adds up to an unlivable wage. The $15 minimum wage addresses just one side of the equation, and advocates for low-wage workers want to make sure that the new minimum wage comes with workdays long enough to earn a living...

Raise the Minimum Wage, Reduce Crime?  The Atlantic  ...American labor activists have mounted a national campaign to increase the minimum wage. They have made many arguments about the rising cost of living, the long-term effects of poverty, and the obstacles even faced by families who have two incomes. But in a new study, the White House has made a novel argument: Raising the minimum wage reduces crime by 3 to 5 percent...

 

U.S. LABOR

Verizon Strike 2016 Update: Unions Decline Company's 'Final Offer'  Patch  ...Verizon has put forth its “final offer” to almost 40,000 striking employees. But will union members accept the communication giant’s terms? Don’t hold your breath. Last week, Verizon's Chief Administrative Officer Marc Reed announced that the company has put its “last, best and final offer” on the table to members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the Communications Workers of America (CWA)...

Follett Corp. workers authorize strike, continued negotiations  Morning Call  ...Workers at two Follett Corp. plants in the Lehigh Valley on Sunday authorized their union to declare a strike should continuing negotiations with the company fail to bear fruit, Steelworkers Local 2599 President Jerry Green said. Follett employs about 215 union workers in Northampton County in the townships of Forks and Hanover. The potential strike is over "non-economic issues," such as the scheduling of shifts, vacations and overtime, Green said...

VW to meet with UAW over labor stalemate at Chattanooga plant  Times Free Press  ...Volkswagen's top human resources official in Germany plans to meet with the United Auto Workers' secretary-treasurer this month over the labor impasse at the Chattanooga plant. Karlheinz Blessing, VW's board member in charge of human resources companywide, and Gary Casteel, the UAW official overseeing the union's Southern organizing efforts, are to meet to try to settle the dispute...

Farm Workers Are Taking On Poor Pay And Conditions — And Winning  Huffington Post  ...Farmworkers in the U.S. earn extremely low wages — an average annual individual income of $12,500 to $14,999, according to the Department of Labor’s National Agricultural Workers Survey. Most lack health insurance and many work long hours — more than half of NAWS respondents report working more than 40 hours a week...

Detroit Teachers Hold Sickout to Protest Broken Funding Promises  Common Dreams  ...Nearly every public school in Detroit was shut down on Monday as teachers city-wide held a "sickout" over news that the embattled district would not be able to pay them past June 30. The protest kept 94 out of 97 schools closed after the Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) announced the action on Sunday...

Laid-off Warrick Alcoa workers to get help to find new jobs  News & Observer  ...More than 300 workers who lost their jobs last month when Alcoa closed its Warrick County smelter in southwestern Indiana may be eligible to get federal help to find a new job. The United Steelworkers filed a petition requesting help for the workers. It cited foreign companies with cheaper products as the reason the plant shut down...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Robert Reich: The Racial Wealth Gap in America Is Worse Than You Might Think  Alternet  ...Wealth inequality is even more of a problem than income inequality. That’s because you have to have enough savings from income to begin to accumulate wealth — buying a house or investing in stocks and bonds, or saving up to send a child to college...

US Chamber Works Behind the Scenes to Gut Whistleblower Protections  Truthout  ...Efforts to gut the federal False Claims Act backed by the US Chamber of Commerce got a hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday. The federal push builds on previous back-door Chamber efforts through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to discourage states from pursuing fraud claims...

Activists Have Declared War on Hedge Funds — and They Might Be Winning  NY Mag  ...the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, or NYCERS voted to pull its money out of all hedge funds. The perception that hedge funds are a raw deal for everyone but their fee-fattened managers has not only become mainstream with astonishing speed, it has begun to pose a threat to an industry that pretty recently seemed to be on top of the world...

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