Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News For June 2, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Teamsters’ LA-Long Beach port driver organizing intensifies  JOC.com  ...Teamsters have launched a week-long series of job actions involving drayage companies that serve the ports, intermodal rail yards and warehouses as the union seeks a “radical restructuring” of the industry, according to a union spokesperson. While the organizing efforts are not a new development, the intensity of the Teamsters’ efforts and the scope of the affected area from Los Angeles-Long Beach to San Diego, indicate the union this coming week is ramping up its efforts...

Port drivers go on strike in L.A./Long Beach  American Shipper  ...The Teamster-affiliated group, Justice for Port Drivers, said Wednesday that drivers are striking four companies. Drivers from XPO Cartage, XPO Port Services and K&R Transportation went on strike Wednesday, joining drivers at Intermodal Bridge Transport who went on strike Tuesday afternoon. In addition, warehouse workers at K&R’s sister company, California Cartage Warehouse, are also on strike...

Loews O’Hare Shuttle Drivers Ratify New Contract  Local 727  ...Loews Chicago O’Hare shuttle drivers recently ratified a new three-year contract, which includes raises and preserves seniority for the Rosemont hotel workers. “Protecting our members’ hard-earned seniority rights and keeping health care costs down were our top priorities,” said John Coli Jr., President of Local 727. “This new contract builds on the already strong agreement that existed under the previous management”...

Teamster Mineral County Law Enforcement Officers Go On Strike  Teamster.org  ...Sixteen workers from Teamsters Local 2 went on strike Monday May 30, 2016. Mineral County, Mont. deputies, detention and dispatch officers voted unanimously to reject the offer Mineral County made to the law enforcement employees. The striking employees have been without a contract since July 1, 2015. The Mineral County Board of Commissioners has refused to negotiate with the Teamsters thus far without legal action...

Teamsters Pension Fund Files Lawsuit Against Penn Traffic  Progressive Grocer  ...The New York State Teamsters Conference Pension and Retirement Fund has brought suit against C&S Wholesale Grocers, the company that bought Syracuse, N.Y.-based Penn Traffic’s warehouse distribution division in 2008 for $43 million, alleging that the two companies conspired to avoid paying $58 million into a pension fund for the warehouse workers, according to a published report...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Workers to strike at Colombia's Cerro Matoso nickel mine  Mining Weekly  ...Union workers at Colombia's Cerro Matoso mine, one of the world's largest producers of ferronickel, will begin an indefinite strike on June 14 in protest of work and pay conditions, the union president said. "The union has voted to strike on June 14 because of the negative attitude of the company to resolve workers' demands," Domingo Hernandez, president of the Sintracerromatoso union, told Reuters...

Strikes Continue Against Austerity in Belgium  TeleSUR  ...Parts of Belgium have come to a halt as transport strikes by public sectors workers intensified Tuesday. Workers are protesting against the government's social and economic policies, which includes budget cuts. Train drivers have been on strike for six consecutive days, causing serious disruptions in the capital of Brussels where only limited services of buses, metros and trams were running...

Power Blackout as French Workers Strike Over Labor Bill  ABC  ... Striking workers created blackouts by cutting power to a big electricity line in western France and occupied train tracks at a Paris railway hub Thursday as unions at nuclear plants and the national rail service protested the proposed abolition of some French labor protections. Workers have sector-specific demands, but are also tapping into months of widespread anger at a government bill extending the 35-hour workweek and making it easier to hire and fire workers...

Trans-Pacific Partnership Supporters Pin Hopes on Lame-Duck Vote  NYTimes  ...The same harsh politics that have spawned obituaries for President Obama’s signature trade agreement between the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations could actually help win its ratification in Congress in a lame-duck vote late this year, advocates are hoping. The cause of free and open trade has not faced such political toxicity in decades, with Donald J. Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders all openly hostile to the Trans-Pacific Partnership...

UK leader promises to kill TTIP, will work in parliament to stop trade deal  Independent  ...Jeremy Corbyn has vowed to kill the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), doing further damage to the controversial deal. Mr Corbyn has pledged to scrap the EU’s trade deal with the US. He joins a range of European politicians and campaigners in fighting against the partnership, which attempts to harmonise regulation between the two regions but also appears to weaken consumer protections...

The revolving door in the office of the U.S. Trade Representative  Medium  ...The Obama White House and the Republican leadership in Congress are pushing hard for three massive and environmentally- destructive trade agreements: the Trans Pacific Partnership, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership and the Trade in Services Agreement. These three agreements reflect the philosophy and culture of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, which assume that many forms of regulation by democratic institutions inhibit global economic growth... 

OECD is Latest Economic Bigwig to Question Austerity's "Loop of Doom"  Common Dreams  ...Less than a week after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expressed reservations about neoliberal policies like austerity, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is urging governments to increase spending in order to "make good on promises to current and future generations"...

World's Low-Cost Economy Built on the Backs of 46 Million Modern Day Slaves  Common Dreams  ...Close to 46 million men, women, and children are enslaved across the world, according to a harrowing new report from the Australia-based Walk Free Foundation. Many of them, the analysis notes, are in fact ensnared providing "the low-cost labor that produces consumer goods for markets in Western Europe, Japan, North America, and Australia"...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Virginia’s voter ID law upheld by federal judge  Richmond Free Press  ...A federal judge has upheld a 2013 Virginia law requiring prospective voters to show approved photo identification before being allowed to cast ballots. The Virginia Democratic Party had challenged the law, signed by former Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, saying it was politically motivated and intended to deter young and minority voters from turning out on Election Day...

'Victory for Voting Rights': Illinois Poised to Pass Automatic Voter Registration  Common Dreams  ...In a development heralded as a win for democracy, Illinois lawmakers on Tuesday passed legislation to enact automatic voter registration. It marks "a landmark victory for voting rights," according to the Brennan Center for Justice's Jonathan Brater, who adds that the move "in the nation's fifth most populous state is a big deal in a year when the media spotlight is focused on new burdens voters will face at the polls in 2016"...

Alabama wants voters ready to cast ballots  WRBL  ...Alabama wants to encourage every eligible voter in the state to exercise his or her right to vote. In an effort to emphasize the importance of voting, especially as November’s general election looms, the Secretary of State’s Office is taking action to prepare citizens. The Alabama Secretary of State’s Office is holding voter ID drives across the state in the coming weeks... 

These Seven States Still Operate Debtors' Prisons  Truthout  ...They're supposed to be illegal, but across the United States, debtor's prisons are alive and well. The ACLU, among many other organizations, is hard at work trying to abolish the practice, which amounts to imprisoning people for unpaid debt, like court fees. In multiple states, including those with extremely high prison populations, this practice is still routine. Debtors' prisons unfairly target low-income populations, particularly communities of color, thanks to racial profiling...

Cleveland's proposed $15 minimum wage would tie with Seattle's for highest in America  Cleveland.com  ...If Cleveland's proposed $15-an-hour minimum wage comes to pass, the city will tie with Seattle for the highest minimum wage in America, two local economists told members of Cleveland City Council Tuesday. But unlike Seattle's new wage, which is being phased in and won't hit the $15 benchmark for small businesses until 2021, Cleveland's would be all at once...

 

U.S. LABOR

The Verizon Strike Proves the Internet Still Needs Humans  Wired  ...It’s easy to think of the Internet as consisting mostly of fiber optic pipes buried deep underground and anonymous data centers full of computer servers and networking gear. But despite advances in automation and artificial intelligence, all of this infrastructure takes real human workers to build and maintain. As Verizon has learned, those workers are still hard to replace...

NLRB makes new law on permanent replacements  Politico  ...A divided NLRB on Tuesday made it easier for unions to challenge the use of permanent replacement workers during strikes, ruling that a California continuing care facility used permanent replacements to discriminate unlawfully against union workers...

More transit officers credited with boosting bus safety  Detroit Free Press  ...A safer ride. That's what Detroit transportation and public safety officials say has happened on city buses as the number of transit officers has grown, and their presence has become more visible. Fred Westbrook Jr., president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 26, said the extra officers boarding buses have led to a "tremendous" change...

The Quiet Worker Recovery  The Atlantic  ...Today, all three measures of labor power are resurgent. Wages as a share of the economy are rising at their second-highest rate since the 1990s and the fourth highest rate since the 1960s. Wages for consistently employed workers are now rising at the highest rate since the recession. These gains are fragile and not evenly distributed...

Who Gets Paid Leave Benefits, and Why  Wall Street Journal  ...Just as there’s inequality in pay among professions and companies, there are also wide inequalities in basic benefits. In the absence of national legislation on benefits like paid family leave and paid sick leave, American workers depend on their employers or local or state governments to ensure access to those benefits. As it is, highly paid workers are far more likely to have access to those benefits...

U.S. needs to work less, play more  SCTimes  ...It is no secret that Americans generally work harder, over longer hours and on more days per year than citizens of other highly industrialized nations for less pay and fewer benefits. The United States ranks far behind other countries in offering workers the benefit that most embodies summer: paid vacation...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Paying (and Paying and Paying) a Debt to Society  The Atlantic  ...Convicted felons who get jobs are much less likely to go on to commit another crime. Why are there so many barriers for them to join the workforce? There are 70 million Americans with criminal records—roughly the same number as bachelor’s degrees—and various parts of the government have proposed ways to make them more likely to be employed...

Democrats Targeted for Creating, and Now Ignoring, Mass Incarceration Disaster  Common Dreams  ...A new petition released Tuesday calls on Democratic Party leadership to make ending mass incarceration a core part of the party platform. "So far, both [parties] have fallen short," reads the petition created by non-partisan public policy institute the Brennan Center for Justice. "Even Democratic Party platforms haven't merely been silent; they have actually called for policies creating more imprisonment"...

Black Lives Matter Activist Convicted of Felony Lynching: "It's More Than Ironic, It's Disgusting"  Democracy Now  ...In Pasadena, California, Black Lives Matter organizer Jasmine Richards is facing four years in state prison after she was convicted of a rarely used statute in California law originally known as "felony lynching." Under California’s penal code, "felony lynching" was defined as attempting to take a person out of police custody. Jasmine was arrested and charged...

Addictions are harder to kick when you're poor. Here's why  The Guardian  ...Addiction does discriminate: it hits hardest those who are already down or feel that they will never be able to rise. In many black communities, before crack took off, unemployment rates had been high and rising, driven by the decline in manufacturing jobs and biased hiring and firing practices. But where jobs had more stability, and where drug users weren’t victims of the “war on drugs” policing push, the long-predicted spread to the leafy suburbs never happened...

America’s Profound Gender Anxiety  The Atlantic  ...America is experiencing a period of profound gender anxiety. Mainstream understandings of “gender” are changing, which may be why Mississippi legislators felt the need to codify concepts that have always seemed culturally implicit. Bigotry—fear or animus toward transgender people—is undoubtedly part of the outcry over bathrooms. But that’s not a sufficient explanation...