Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News For June 13, 2016

TEAMSTERS

US Ecology Workers in Detroit Choose Teamsters Union  Teamster.org  ...US Ecology workers have voted overwhelmingly, by a more than 2-1 margin, in favor of representation by Teamsters Local 283 in Wyandotte, Mich. The 38-worker unit reached out to the Teamsters Union seeking a strong voice to address their workplace concerns. “My co-workers and I have long needed a voice on the job. I had been a Teamster before, and I knew that we needed a strong union,” said Roger Molner, a 13-year employee at US Ecology...

Puerto Rican Day Parade electrifies Fifth Avenue in Manhattan  AM New York  ...George Miranda, president of the Teamsters National Hispanic Caucus and the first Puerto Rican elected to the International Brotherhood’s executive board, had Puerto Rico’s fiscal situation very much on his mind as he prepared to march. The current bill, he complained, “smacks of colonialism” and “doesn’t take into account the government workers and their families at all.” The Teamsters, he said, want the bill “sent back to the House of Representatives” and reworked, Miranda said...

Teamsters Pull Support for Watered-Down Truck Bill  Labor Press  ....The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has withdrawn its support for a bill pending in the state Assembly that would increase penalties for trucking companies that misclassify drivers as independent contractors, after it was amended to define most port truckers as independent. The Teamsters have supported legislation that would extend the state’s “ABC” law to truck owner-operators, classifying them as employees...

Teamsters Clash with Coastal Ports over Driver Classification  Robins Consulting  ...Drayage companies that service the Port of New York and New Jersey are once again squaring off with the Teamsters union in the divisive national debate over whether truck owner-operators are contractors or employees, this time over a bill in the New Jersey legislature, according to Journal Of Commerce...

Local 727 Bargaining Committee, Pepsi Reach Tentative Agreement on Four-Year Contract  Local 727  ...The Teamsters Local 727 Bargaining Committee and Pepsi management returned to the bargaining table on June 10, and after another 10-hour negotiating session, reached a tentative agreement on a new four-year contract. “The company met us much more than halfway on an awful lot of language, like merging the contracts and the grievance procedure. This is a much stronger contract than the members have ever had,” said John T. Coli, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727...

King County Appeares Unwilling to Partner on Joint Labor Agreement  Local 117  ...The Teamsters coalition bargaining team met with King County for a frustrating negotiations session on Wednesday, June 8. In this session, the County appeared unwilling to meet the team halfway on issues that are critical to the union coalition. The day started with the County stating its opposition to the union's proposal for a longevity or merit-based pay structure that would reward union members who have dedicated many years of service to the County...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Striking transport workers disrupt fans' travel to Euro 2016  AP  ...Striking workers rather than security threats are the pressing challenges for European Championship organizers right now, with less than two days until France hosts its biggest event since last year's wave of extremist attacks. France is anticipating around 10 million visitors for the month-long soccer showpiece...

Workers suspend strike at Total's Gonfreville refinery - CGT union  Reuters  ...French CGT union workers have suspended their strike at Total's Gonfreville refinery in Normandy, a union official said on Saturday. This follows decisions on Friday by CGT union workers to suspend their strike at Total's Donges and Feyzin refineries. "The strike suspension proposed by the CGT was voted," CGT union official Thierry Defresne said...

Mexico, Singapore leaders back TPP ratification  Yahoo  ...Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said Friday that he and Singaporean counterpart Tony Tan will promote the ratification of a trans-Pacific trade pact. The two leaders met during Tan's state visit to Mexico, the first by a Singaporean head of state to any Latin American nation...

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Will Hurt Farmers and Make Seed Companies Richer  The Nation  ...Only three of the TPP member countries make patents available for plants, so if experts are right about the implications of this provision, nine other countries could see the introduction of US-style patents on plants. The TPP also requires all member countries to join the Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure, which Public Citizen says will “make it procedurally easier to apply for a patent”... 

Google backs the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership  9to5 Google  ...The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a very controversial trade agreement among twelve countries around the world, and now it has a new ally in the form of one of the world’s largest companies: Google. There’s clearly a lot of anger in response to Google’s stance, however, with many saying that the Mountain View company has officially abandoned its “Don’t be evil” mantra in supporting of the TPP...

TTIP to Trigger Financial Crisis and Taxpayer Bailouts  War on Want  ...A coalition of 14 European and US industry and business associations is leading the charge for TTIP to target rules which were designed to prevent another financial crisis. The coalition, including TheCityUK, British American Business and The Institute of International Bankers, is pushing for financial deregulation under TTIP – a move already rejected by the Obama administration and the US Treasury, but backed by the European Commission...

ILO conference takes a strong stand on the future of work around global supply chains  ITUC  ...An agreement following the ILO ‘’general discussion’’ on decent work in global supply chains was approved today which sets in motion a process that could lead to a legal standard improving the lives of millions of workers in global supply chains. The ILO estimates the number of jobs in global supply chains in 40 countries increased from 295 million in 1995 to 453 million in 2013...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

State Court Upholds $15 Minimum Wage For Fast-Food Workers In New York  CBS  ...A state court has upheld the decision by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration to gradually raise the hourly minimum wage for many fast-food workers to $15. The Appellate Division panel’s five justices are supporting last December’s finding by the New York Industrial Board of Appeals...

Minnesota's minimum wage increases Aug. 1  Echo Journal  ...Minnesota's minimum-wage rates increase Aug. 1. To help employers understand the requirements, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry has updated its minimum-wage fact sheets. Large employers must pay at least $9.50 an hour (annual gross volume of sales made or business done of $500,000 or more)... 

Paid Sick Leave Could Be Legislative Issue Next Year  KSTP  ...When the Minneapolis City Council passed a paid sick leave policy last month supporters applauded loudly in the council chambers. "I think it was an important step for us to move forward, especially for low-income workers that didn't have the opportunity to have a sick leave policy," says state Senator Jeff Hayden. Hayden says lawmakers have had "conversations" about coming up with a statewide policy, but acknowledges it won't be easy... 

ACLU files motion in Wisconsin voter ID federal lawsuit  Star Tribune  ...Groups advocating for voting rights have filed a motion in federal court asking that Wisconsin voters having trouble obtaining the required photo identification be able to cast ballots anyhow. The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty filed a motion Friday seeking the order from U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman...

After SCOTUS Gutted Voting Rights, An Explosion of Democratic Suppression  Common Dreams  ...State and local threats to voting rights have exploded in the three years since the U.S. Supreme Court attacked a critical constitutional protection for minority voters, despite overwhelming evidence of discrimination, a new report by the NAACP reveals. Democracy Diminished, released by the NAACP's Legal Defense and Education Fund (LDF), looks at disenfranchisement around the country since the Supreme Court effectively blocked Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act...

Stand strong against ‘right to work’ laws  (opinion) Statesman Journal  ...Teachers, firefighters, nurses and other public servants dedicate their careers to helping others. They deserve the unfaltering support of a grateful nation. Yet some extremists want to undermine these hard-working public servants’ ability to negotiate a fair wage and essential benefits by touting so-called “right to work” laws...

 

U.S. LABOR

In face of a strike vote by nurses, Brigham said it will hire temp workers  Boston.com  ...Nurses at Brigham and Women are set to vote Monday on a one day strike scheduled later this month. If the strike is approved, the hospital said Friday it would lock out Massachusetts Nurses Association members for five days and hire 700 temporary workers to work alongside the hospital’s 130 non-union nurses, according to The Boston Globe...

Immigrant Blueberry Pickers Vote to Unionize  Labor Press  ...Angry after their pay was cut by more than one-third, more than 400 blueberry pickers in the San Joaquin Valley voted overwhelmingly May 21 to join the United Farm Workers. The workers, largely indigenous Mixtecos and Zapotecos from the state of Oaxaca, had walked off their jobs five days earlier after the farm’s owner, Klein Management Company, cut piecework rates from 65¢ a pound to 60¢...

NLRB changes rule on 'mixed-guard' units  Politico  ...A divided board on Thursday reversed a 32 year-old rule that allowed employers to revoke recognition of bargaining units that include security guards. Under the 1947 Taft-Hartley amendments to the National Labor Relations Act, the board is prohibited from recognizing so-called “mixed-guard” unions, i.e., unions that combine regular employees with security guards...

Labor groups' report slams banks for sales quotas  LA Times  ...Bank workers are routinely pressured to open more and often unneeded accounts for customers as they try to meet strict sales goals, according to a report set to be released Friday by two labor advocacy groups. The report, authored by the National Employment Law Project, rebukes banks that use sales quotas, saying they encourage unethical behavior and harm workers and consumers...

Unions Eager to Dial Up Verizon Wireless Workers  Bloomberg  ...The recently proposed labor agreement for about 39,000 Verizon Communications Inc. wireline workers on the East Coast stands to boost chances to organize thousands of workers within the telecommunications giant's wireless business, union officials and university professors told Bloomberg BNA. “This has to be a major step for organizing. The union is reaching a workplace it has wanted,” said Jeffrey Keefe, a professor emeritus at the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations... 

Who’s an Employee? The Uber-Important Question of Today’s Economy  Techwire  ...Former Uber drivers in a handful of states have filed lawsuits over everything from unpaid business expenses to the company’s practice of discouraging tips. In April, Uber agreed to pay $100 million to disgruntled drivers in California and Massachusetts who felt they were getting too little in pay and other compensation. But that settlement didn’t address the company’s most controversial policy -- its practice of treating its drivers as independent contractors...

U.S. workers are less in danger of being laid off than any time in modern history  Market Watch  ...The average American worker is in less danger of losing a job than anytime in modern history. The percentage of employees who were laid off fell in early June to the lowest level since the government began keeping records in 1949, according to an obscure measure known as the insured unemployment rate. The rate fell a tick to 1.5%...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Orlando Nightclub Attack: What We Know  The Atlantic  ...The Orlando Police Department says 49 people were killed Sunday at the Pulse nightclub. The 50th body was that of Omar Mateen, the attacker. The department had previously said 50 people had been killed. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, though it is unclear whether the organization directly planned the attack or if Mateen carried it out independently... 

Trump Brand Clothes Are Made in China—but It’s Impossible to Find Out Where  The Nation   ...In recent months, China Labor Watch—a workers’ rights group that has successfully connected numerous US corporations with exploitive working conditions in Chinese factories—has tried and failed to locate the facilities in China that have churned out millions of dollars’ worth of gaudy shirts, pants, and neckties for Donald Trump’s various clothing lines...

It Took Less Than 12 Hours For Trump To Blame Immigrants For Orlando Shooting  Think Progress  ...Less than one day after the deadliest mass shooting by a single gunman in U.S. history claimed the lives of at least 50 people, Donald Trump is already seizing the opportunity to push his Islamophobic rhetoric. Hours after expressing gratitude toward the people who said he was “right about radical Islamic terrorism,” the presidential candidate released a fearmongering statement about immigrants from the Middle East...

Ten Degrees Above Average, Alaska is Having Its Hottest Year Since Records Began  Common Dreams  ...Like the rest of the world, Alaska has been unusually hot this year—and it's about to get hotter. That's according to the most recent data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as Climate Central reported. Between March and May of this year, the meteorological spring, the entire state has been about 10 degrees hotter than normal, with an average temperature of 32°F...

We 'Slayed the Dragon': Community Wins as Nestle Drops Water Extraction Plans  Common Dreams  ...After facing community resistance, bottled beverage giant Nestlé Waters North America this week ditched its plans to extract water from a Monroe County, Penn. spring. The plan would have seen Nestlé take 200,000 gallons of water per day from the source in Kunkletown, located in Eldred Township, and truck it away daily to a nearby plant where it would have been bottled under its Deer Park brand...

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