Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For June 23, 2016

TEAMSTERS 

Teamster Pilots At Allegiant Airlines Reach Historic Tentative Agreement  Teamster.org  ...More than three years after bargaining, Allegiant Airlines pilots represented by Teamsters Local 1224 have reached a tentative agreement on their first union contract with the airline on Tuesday, June 21, 2016. Teamsters and company negotiators have agreed to meet the week of June 27 to finalize the contract language. There are more than 700 pilots in the bargaining unit...

In Week of Action, Baltimore US Foods Teamsters Extend Pickets to Philadelphia, Minneapolis  Teamster.org  ...This week, Teamsters that work at the US Foods distribution facilities outside Philadelphia and Minneapolis refused to cross extended picket lines of Teamsters from Severn, Md., who began an unfair labor practice strike against the company in April. Teamsters from the US Foods Severn location extended picket lines to the Philadelphia area Monday afternoon in Swedesboro, N.J. and Bridgeport, N.J., Monday morning and Tuesday afternoon...

SCI Bargains in Bad Faith, Proposes 90 Contract Changes to Eviscerate Funeral Members’ Rights  Local 727  ...Funeral industry giant Service Corporation International opened negotiations with Teamsters Local 727 on June 20 by proposing a staggering 90 changes to the contract covering Chicago-area funeral directors, embalmers and drivers. “Right out of the gate, SCI is bargaining in bad faith. The union entered these negotiations with our sights set on reaching a fair agreement and forging a more positive working relationship,” said John Coli Jr., President of Local 727...

Teamsters Send Loud Message with Statewide Action  Local 2010  ...Yesterday, thousands of Teamsters Local 2010 members stood together and sent our message loud and clear to management: “Hands Off Our Guaranteed Wages!”  Teamsters across the state wore stickers and set up desk tents at work, and hundreds of members rallied and picketed at UC San Diego and UC Irvine...

Albany Passage of School Bus "Employee Protection Provision"  Labor Press  ... "The Teamsters applaud the State Legislature for standing up for good jobs for New York City's school bus workers," said Demos P. Demopoulos, Teamsters Local 553 Secretary-Treasurer. "Our union represents thousands of New York City school bus drivers, matrons, and mechanics. When Mayor Bloomberg cut the Employee Protection Provision, the livelihoods of our city's school bus workers changed overnight"... 

Unionization Watch: FedEx, Teamsters Making Moves  Labor 411  ...FedEx employees in Philadelphia and Charlotte are headed toward a better standard of living, and are setting an example for other workers at their company. The Teamsters union is negotiating for the first time with FedEx in those two cities according to the Teamsters website. This is a welcome move for a company that has had labor issues in the past and even very recently with a $240 million settlement...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE 

"The Battle Has Just Started": Activists Denounce Police Killings & Crackdowns on Teachers in Oaxaca  Democracy Now  ...In the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, a deadly police crackdown against teachers has left nine people dead and more than 100 wounded. On Sunday, police descended on teachers in the community of Nochixtlán, where they had set up blockades to protest against neoliberal education reform and the arrests of two teachers’ union leaders last week on what protesters say are trumped-up charges...

France Slaps Unions With Protest Ban, Then Backtracks  TeleSUR  ...A major French union secured government approval to proceed with planned marches after the initial ban was met with a furious popular reaction. French authorities sparked outraged Wednesday when police announced a ban on demonstrations that were set to hit the streets with tens of thousands of protesters against controversial labor reforms...

Ireland: Central Bank mint workers set to strike over pay dispute  Irish Times  ...Mint workers at the Central Bank are to hold a series of one day strikes over a pay dispute. Members of Unite and the TEEU working in the Central Bank mint base in Sandyford will start a work to rule on Monday June 27th. Unite, the union representing the workers said the industrial action will escalate in July in the asbsence of a resolution...

Lack of TPP Action Concerns Business Leaders  Bloomberg  ...While U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman has said the administration has made “great strides” in building support for the TPP, it continues to face headwinds in Congress. Key lawmakers, such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), are demanding changes in several areas of the agreement...

Barney Frank: RIP, TPP  (opinion) Boston Globe  ...Opposition to TPP was one of the few issues that most of the candidates agreed on this year. And strong opposition to the deal was not just a stand-alone position on one specific issue. It was one of the most important manifestations of a profound repudiation of what voters saw as a deeply unfair economic system, in which trade has played a significant role... 

TTIP: UK will be powerless against trade deal outside EU, say campaigners  Independent  ...The TTIP trade deal is unpopular across the political board in Britain. The controversial agreement has been revealed to include provisions for the US to degrade protections on the environment, consumer rights, and would give US companies influence over European laws. campaigners have warned that leaving the EU would make Britain more vulnerable to being forced to accept the terms of the deal at a later stage...

Greece Wants Softer Austerity Targets After Bailout Expires  ABC  ...Greece's left-led government wants easier budget saving targets after its current multi-billion euro bailout ends in 2018, a senior official said Wednesday. Alternate Finance Minister George Chouliarakis said the government will stick to its agreed targets over the next three years, but wants a significant reduction afterwards to allow tax cuts and provide for the risk of weaker economic growth...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES 

Federal judge asked to block enforcement of ND's Voter ID Law  WDay  ...One group has asked a federal judge to temporarily block enforcement of North Dakota's Voter ID law. The request was filed by attorneys representing the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa. A lawsuit was filed early this year claiming that the current voter ID requirements, "disproportionately burdens Native Americans"...

Bevin unveils plan to reshape Medicaid in Ky.  Courier Journal  ...Gov. Matt Bevin on Wednesday announced sweeping changes to the state's $10 billion-a-year Medicaid program, saying he will seek permission from the federal government to reshape the federal-state health program that covers about 1.3 million Kentuckians. Bevin, in a press conference at the Capitol Rotunda, hailed his proposal for a "waiver" from the federal government...

$15 minimum wage approaching final legislative passage  NJ.com  ...The state Senate will vote Thursday on a bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, one of the more contentious issues before the Legislature. That measure would raise the minimum wage from $8.38 to $10.10 on Jan. 1, 2017, and then by more than $1.25 an hour until 2021. After 2021, the wage floor would increase annually based on changes in the consumer price index...

Seattle's great minimum wage experiment  BBC  ...Two years ago Seattle became the first major city in the United States to pass a $15 minimum wage into law. It will come in gradually. This year larger companies started paying employees $13 an hour. It will go up to $15 next year. By 2021, the new $15 minimum will be rolled out to everyone. Since then Fight for 15 has gained momentum. This year both California and New York approved state laws bringing in a $15 an hour minimum wage, along with more than a dozen other cities and counties...

Sen. Brown: Feds need more oversight of Ohio's charter grant spending  Columbus Dispatch  ...In the wake of a report questioning past spending of federal funds, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown wants the U.S. Department of Education to impose special oversight before releasing $71 million in charter school grants to the state. Federal regulators should appoint a special monitor to “ensure that all funds are being spent for their intended purpose,” Brown wrote...

Just how bad is it for Georgia’s 99%?  Better Georgia  ...A recent study from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) revealed that while Georgia’s top 1 percent of earners experienced double digit income growth of 12.3 percent from 2009 to 2013, everybody else experienced negative income growth of -2.7 percent. The average income for the bottom 99% of Georgia families is $45,567, while the average income of Georgia’s one percenters is $1,153,293. Getting into the top .01% will take a cool $5,435,322, minimum...

 

U.S. LABOR 

Nurses' strike challenges 'degradation' of health care  Workday Minnesota  ...Striking Twin Cities nurses say their week-long walkout raises important issues regarding the future of health care – and they are challenging the corporate power behind Allina Health, the owner of the five facilities being picketed. Citing Minnesota's not-for-profit health care laws, the Minnesota Nurses Association (link is external) called on state Attorney General Lori Swanson to dig into Allina’s financials... 

Latino Car Wash Workers Reach $1.65 Million Settlement for Wage Theft  NBC  ...A group of Latino car wash employees, all immigrants, will see the largest per-worker wage settlement ever awarded in their line of work. After years of litigation, 18 Latino car wash employees in the New York and New Jersey area will split a $1.65 million settlement for wage theft and emotional distress. Each worker will receive, on average, about $91,000, and the two plaintiffs who worked the longest received almost $200,000 each...

AFL-CIO prepared to back Atlantic City strike, leader says  Press of Atlantic City  ...The president of New Jersey’s federation of labor unions on Tuesday said his group is ready to throw its full force behind the city’s hospitality workers if they walk out of five casinos July 1, though he expressed hope a strike will be averted. Last week, workers represented by Unite Here Local 54 voted to authorize a strike... 

CTU Rallies for Long-Term Funding Solution  NBC  ...The Chicago Teachers Union demonstrated downtown Wednesday demanding a long-term funding solution for public education. Union members said more funding cuts were not acceptable and blamed politicians from City Hall to Springfield. “It’s been a litany of one cut after another,” CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey said...

Volkswagen will not help UAW union organize Tennessee plant: HR chief   Reuters  ...Volkswagen AG will not assist the United Auto Workers' efforts to organize its plant in Tennessee and reaffirmed its resistance to the union's demands that it start talks over wages for a small fraction of the factory's workforce, its human resources chief said.Late last year, a majority of the maintenance, or skilled trades, workers at VW's plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, voted to be represented by the UAW...

Hotel Housekeepers Make the Beds but Still Can't Afford to Lie in Them   Alternet  ...This week marks the beginning of summer—family reunions, barbeques, and beach vacations— for those who can afford it. Those who can’t include hotel housekeepers, who like many U.S. workers over the past three decades have seen the standard features of a middle-class lifestyle grow even farther out of reach while productivity has more than doubled. This was not always the case. In the 1960s and 1970s, housekeepers could afford a hotel room with their day’s wages...

Can Big Business Dismantle the Joint Employer Standard?  American Prospect  ...As the National Labor Relations Board’s landmark Browning-Ferris Industries joint-employer standard nears its one-year anniversary, its potentially far-reaching implications have business interests and conservatives shaking in their boots. Republicans continue to take political aim at the Board, which they argue has a legal agenda to bolster organized labor’s interests. Meanwhile, the business lobby is ramping up efforts to get the ruling thrown out in federal court...

Firms boost time-off benefits to retain workers  Cincinnati.com  ...The national economy loses out on $500 billion per year in lost business because of companies that do not offer paid family leave. The reason, according to the U.S. Labor Department, is due to the sheer number of women who chose to leave the workforce to bear and raise children. A few companies with operations in the Cincinnati area are working to keep women working, simultaneously cutting down costly workforce turnover, by extending paid family leave policies...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS 

Prison Boycott in Illinois Targets Costs of Incarceration   Truthout  ...During the month of April, at least 100 of those incarcerated at Stateville Correctional Center, about an hour outside of Chicago, Illinois, participated in a boycott of the overpriced phone calls, commissary goods and vending machines. The boycott comes at a time of growing demonstrations led by those inside US prisons. The most successful in recent memory was a series of hunger strikes at California's Pelican Bay State Prison...

Undocumented Immigrant Detainees: The (Passive) Merchandise of a Lucrative Business  Equal Times  ...In the United States, a country with 323 million inhabitants, there are an estimated 11 to 12 million undocumented migrants, of which tens of thousands are locked up in detention centres awaiting a bureaucratic decision regarding their fate. A 2013 report by the research centre In The Public Interest (ITPI) revealed that private firms managing prisons negotiate agreements with states to guarantee high occupancy rates at the facilities...

Obama's sweeping immigration reforms blocked in 4-4 supreme court deadlock  The Guardian  ...Barack Obama’s immigration program to protect some families from deportation relief remains blocked by a court order, after the supreme court deadlocked in a 4-4 tie, a decision crucial to the president’s legacy. The opinion represents a significant blow to Obama during his final months in office. It comes in an election year in which immigration has proven a bitterly divisive issue in the battle to succeed him...

“Pinklining”: How women of color are disproportionately hurt by Wall Street’s predatory practices  Salon  ...A new report details how women, and especially women of color, are disproportionately hurt by Wall Street. “Pinklining: How Wall Street’s Predatory Products Pillage Women’s Wealth, Opportunities & Futures,” details how sexism and racism are “increasingly exploited and exacerbated by Wall Street and the financial sector”...

IMF Warns that US Needs to 'Urgently' Tackle Poverty  Common Dreams  ...Invest in the nation's infrastructure, raise the minimum wage, expand the Earned Income Tax Credit, improve paid family leave, and raise the ceiling for social security contributions. These suggestions, long-advocated for by progressive organizations, are now being encouraged by none other than the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which warned Wednesday of an "urgent need to tackle poverty" in the United States...

Noam Chomsky: America is only a democracy for the 1 percent  Salon  ...Noam Chomsky’s got some tough talk about how the people we vote for, regardless of their party, cater to the elite. “[The United States] became to a high extent run by the business world, and that’s revealed in many ways,” Chomsky said in a video for Concord University West Virginia. “Take voting,” he continued. “The United States has a pretty high abstention level—people who don’t vote. That sector of the population in the United States just doesn’t vote, because nothing represents them. There are no such parties”...

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