Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For May 4, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Hoffa: Michiganians demand action on pensions  Detroit News  ...Thousands of Teamsters, including Michigan members, retirees and their families, rallied on Capitol Hill last month to let Congress and federal authorities know they are not backing down in their fight to preserve their hard-earned Central States Pension Fund benefits. The demonstration drew 15 lawmakers, including members of Michigan’s congressional delegation...

Teamsters retirees await word on deep pension cuts  Detroit Free Press  ...Thousands of Teamsters retirees anxiously await a decision this week on whether the U.S. Treasury will allow their pension checks to be cut by half or more as soon as July. The troubled Teamsters Central States Pension Fund -- which has more than $16 billion in net assets -- proposed a rescue plan in the fall of 2015 that's designed to save the fund from financial fallout... 

Teamsters Urge Swift Shareholders to Vote for Proposal, Against Directors  Teamster.org  ...Swift Transportation's failure to rein in CEO Jerry Moyes' excessive pledging of stock highlights deep concerns with the company's corporate governance and the material risks created by having a board beholden to a minority stockholder through a dual-class voting structure...

Pepsi Sends Union Last, Best, Final Contract Offer  Local 727  ...Pepsi management sent the union its last, best and final contract offer on Monday afternoon. The Teamsters Local 727 Bargaining Committee presented the company with its last, best and final offer at the end of a 16-hour negotiation meeting on Thursday, April 28. The union gave the company 48 hours to respond with its last, best and final contract offer...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Ireland: Luas workers are on strike today for a tenth time  Breaking News  ...A tenth day of strike action by Luas workers is taking place today. 90,000 passengers are this morning affected by this industrial unrest that is showing no signs of abating. The light rail service is in its 10th day of shutdown as part of the long running pay dispute at the company...

TPP Unlikely to Empower US to Write Global Trade Rules - Advocacy Group  Sputnik News  ...The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement is unlikely to put the United States in a better position than countries like China to write and enforce the rules of the global economy, Coalition for a Prosperous America CEO Michael Stumo told Sputnik...

TPP & TTIP Harmful, Economic Studies Find  Peoples Voice  ...Three independent economic studies have been done, two of Obama’s TTIP treaty with Europe, and one of his TPP treaty with Asia, and all three independent economic analyses find that the publics in each participating country will suffer, and that the owners of international corporations (especially in the U.S.) will benefit, if the proposed ‘trade’ deal goes into effect...

President Obama Pushes a Weak Case on TPP   Alternet  ...President Obama continued the administration’s boasting about how the TPP will eliminate Vietnam’s tariff on exports of U.S. whale meat. You may have missed it, but this tariff, along with Malaysia’s tariff on U.S. exports of shark fins, and Japan’s tariff on our ivory exports, are among the 18,000 tariffs that President Obama said would be eliminated by the TPP in a Washington Post column today...

Public Protests Would 'Bury TPP Deal at the Graveyard of History'  Sputnik News  ...In a recent op-ed piece for The Washington Post, US President Barack Obama noted that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would help his country lead in global trade. Analyst William Jones said the economic consequences of the initiative will be disastrous. The TPP agreement brings together 12 nations accounting for 40 percent of the global economy...

TTIP Trade Deal Between U.S., EU Risks Collapse After Greenpeace Leak  Huffington Post  ...Few people on this side of the pond noticed, but over the past day or so, a major proposed transatlantic trade pact has come to the brink of collapse. And its possible demise also throws into question the future of a separate proposed free trade deal between Canada and the European Union...

European Union and bankers demand more pain in Greece  Socialist Worker UK  ...The European Union (EU) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) are demanding yet more austerity in Greece. Greece’s government, led by left party Syriza, has already pushed through massive cuts and privatisations in exchange for Greece’s third bailout. Unions promise a 48-hour general strike as soon as a planned pension reform reaches parliament...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Birmingham Fights Back on the Minimum Wage  New York Times  ...Earlier this year, when the state government of Alabama passed a law to nullify a Birmingham ordinance to raise the city’s minimum wage, the racist overtones of the action were jarring. An all-white majority of the state legislature joined forces with the state’s white governor to deny the stated will of a majority-black city...

Trickle-Down Economics Has Ruined the Kansas Economy  Mother Jones  ...Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, launched an "experiment" in conservative policy after he was elected in 2010, drastically slashing the state's income taxes under the assumption that the move would kick-start Kansas' economy and rev up job creation. The Koch-funded organization Americans for Prosperity helped Brownback push the bill, and have remained staunch defenders of the changes...

Florida agency's misleading attack on California's minimum wage hike  Politifact  ...As Scott toured the West Coast for the second time attempting to attract businesses, Enterprise Florida (the state’s public-private economic development arm) ran radio ads in San Francisco and Los Angeles attacking California’s $15 wage and trumpeting Florida’s superior job prospects. Florida will add 2.1 million jobs from 2012 to 2026. That’s still 600,000 jess jobs than California will add in the same time frame with the $15 wage...

Despite Deal, Lawmakers Predict Voter ID Fight to Keep Going  CBS  ...Missouri lawmakers from both parties see the voter ID issue as far from settled, even as the Republican-controlled Legislature is poised to tighten the state’s requirements after Democrats managed to stall a pair of proposals for about a month. Senate Republicans passed a bill on a 24-8 party-line vote...

What's the Goal of Voter-ID Laws?  The Atlantic  ...As states around the country enact or consider voter-ID laws, the battle formations are well-rehearsed. Conservatives who back the laws say that there’s a danger of fraudulent votes, which pollute the democratic process at best and swing elections at worst. Liberals who oppose them counter that there’s next to no evidence of actual voting fraud...

New York’s Paid Family Leave Policy Faces Uncertain Stardom  Women's eNews  ...The policy, adopted by the state earlier this month, will entitle a worker, starting in 2018, to half a week’s pay for 12 weeks and then, by 2021, to two-thirds of a weekly pay check for up to 12 weeks. But it also remains untested territory, advocates and academics agree. Does earning 50 percent, or even up to two-thirds, of your weekly income suffice?... 

 

U.S. LABOR

CWA Calls Verizon Offer ‘Meaningless’ Without Job Security  Labor Press  ...Verizon offering its striking workers a bigger raise is “meaningless” as long as the company keeps insisting on undermining their job security, says a union representing them. “The issue really isn’t the money,” says Communications Workers of America official Bob Master. “The central issue is the protection of good middle-class jobs”...

Union Complains to F.C.C. That Verizon Is Pressuring Phone Customers  New York Times  ...A union representing thousands of striking Verizon workers and several consumer groups plan to complain to federal regulators on Tuesday about the tactics Verizon uses to persuade customers to switch their home phone service to fiber-optic lines...

Detroit Schools Shuttered as Lawmakers 'Illegally' Withhold Teacher Pay  Common Dreams  ...Ninety-four of 97 Detroit Public Schools (DPS) remained shuttered on Tuesday as the ongoing city-wide teacher "sickout" prompted calls for Michigan lawmakers to "stop playing political games and do the right thing for Detroit's students, educators, and community." The Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) announced a second day of action after the city and state lawmakers failed to assure the union that teachers will be paid their full yearly salary... 

Garment Factory Workers in Southern California Are Calling for a Boycott of American Apparel  In These Times  ...The General Brotherhood of American Apparel Workers (GBWAA), a union for garment workers at American Apparel’s southern California manufacturing facilities—one of which, its downtown Los Angeles location, is the largest garment-making factory in the country—has called for a boycott of the brand’s merchandise, pointing to mass layoffs and reduced compensation and benefits...

UFCW Scores Another Labor Board Win for Walmart Workers  MakingChangeatWalmart.org  ...Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers’ Making Change at Walmart campaign (MCAW) released the following statement regarding a new complaint issued by the NLRB general counsel. The NLRB’s complaint alleges that Walmart engaged in multiple unfair labor practices, such as not permitting a worker to have a coworker accompany him or her into a disciplinary “open door” meeting...

Just Because Big Coal Is Collapsing Doesn’t Mean Appalachia Has to Follow  The Nation  ...While greens hailed King Coal’s downfall, the heart of coal’s empire shuddered: From North Yorkshire to Appalachia, where mineworkers fought and died for decent livelihoods in the mines, a way of life that sustained generations is evaporating. Paradoxically, these mining towns are also on the front line of the worst immediate impacts of coal pollution, but that doesn’t make the disruption any less painful...

The underpaid and overworked may soon get some relief  CNN  ...By mid-May, the Department of Labor is expected to formally expand the number of workers entitled to overtime pay. The changes are intended to give a fairer shake to very low-paid salaried workers who don't get overtime even though they put in well over 40 hours a week. Why? Because they have some 'managerial duties'...

New Report Finds Rampant Safety Abuses in NYC Commercial Wast Jobs, Leading to Worker Deaths and Injuries  NYCOSH  ...A new report released today reveals commercial waste work is among New York City’s most dangerous jobs. The report, Dirty and Dangerous, by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH), found that non-union commercial waste companies routinely violate legal requirements with impunity, with high rates of preventable injuries and fatalities...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Who's Behind Unpaid Prison Labor in Texas?  Truthout  ...Several of the officials charged with regulating Texas's prison labor program, wherein thousands of workers behind bars are compelled to produce goods and provide services for free, are connected to some of the richest and most powerful institutions and people in the state. At the moment there are ongoing lockdowns at eight Texas prisons, which follow a general work strike initiated by Texas inmates...

Gripped by Climate Disruption, World on Brink of Global Water Crisis  Common Dreams  ...Global water shortages, exacerbated by human-caused climate change, are likely to spur conflict and migration across the Middle East, central Asia, and Africa—all while negatively impacting regional economies, according to a new World Bank report published Tuesday...

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