Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For June 3, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Teamsters hold strikes in Chelmsford, Woburn  Wicked Local  ...Members of Teamsters Local 25 are striking against ABC Supply Co., a wholesale distributor of windows, siding and other building exterior products, at 20 Industrial Ave. in Chelmsford, two locations in Woburn and one in Stoughton. Participants in picket lines at the Chelmsford site declined to be interviewed but confirmed that the strike, which has been going on for several weeks, concerns a pension dispute with the company...

MTS Strike Over; Union Workers Ratify Labor Contract  Coronado Patch  ...A week-long strike of more than 300 Metropolitan Transit System workers has ended. First Transit, the Cincinnati, Ohio-based company contracted to operate MTS Access services and 18 of 95 fixed-route MTS buses, announced Thursday that it has reached an agreement with Teamsters Local 542, the union representing the employees...

Truckers strike over employment status  Marketplace  ...Teamster-backed drivers are currently striking at a pair of the nation’s busiest ports — Long Beach and Los Angeles — as a way to demand reclassification. Every day, as many as 25,000 short-haul trucks trek to and from the ports, transporting containers filled with goods that end up in stores like Wal-Mart, Target and Costco...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

French rail strike weakens, but pilots plan action during Euro 2016 soccer  Reuters  ...French rail travelers endured more misery on Thursday as strikes cut train services by half but a militant union's bid to widen protests against planned labor reforms to air traffic control and the Paris metro appeared to fail. In an unrelated dispute over pay, Air France pilots called a strike for June 11-14, coinciding with the start of the month-long Euro 2016 soccer championships...

Canada: Postal union braces for July lockout  The Star  ...The postal workers’ union says that Canada Post wants to shut down the post office in early July, citing management’s refusal to budge on changes to pensions, benefits and job security. “We’re expecting them to lock us out,” said Mike Palecek, national president of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers... 

Global unions want VW to bargain with UAW  Times Free Press  ...IndustriALL Global Union's Executive Committee has adopted a resolution calling on German car manufacturer Volkswagen to bargain with a United Auto Workers group at the company's Chattanooga plant. A gathering more than 200 union representatives from over the world took place late last week at the Frankfurt, Germany, headquarters of IG Metall, German affiliate of IndustriALL Global Union...

US government agency's own numbers predict virtually no gains from TPP  Boing Boing  ..The United States International Trade Commission, "an independent, bipartisan, quasi-judicial, federal agency of the United States that provides trade expertise to both the legislative and executive branches," has just tabled a deep, 792-page report on the likely economic benefits to the USA from the secretly negotiated, anti-democratic Trans-Pacific Partnership, and they predict that the agreement will deliver 0.01% growth...

Senator Debbie Stabenow says the The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) isn't right for Michigan  WXYZ  ...Senator Debbie Stabenow joined us to talk about the TPP during a live webcast from the 2016 Mackinac Policy Conference. She says the Trans-Pacific Partnership isn't the right trade policy for some Michigan businesses. "We want to export products and not jobs," Senator Stabenow said. She spoke of issues with currency manipulation that Ford and others have brought up...

NZ minister announces engagement on Trade in Services Agreement  Voxy  ...Trade Minister Todd McClay has announced public sessions on the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) in June, following attending a TiSA Ministerial meeting in the margins of the OECD Ministerial Conference in Paris. Services are an important part of New Zealand’s economy, accounting for two-thirds of economic activity and 70 per cent of employment. 

UN Envoy Warns Austerity Policies Hitting the Poor Hardest  ABC  ...The U.N.'s expert on debt and human rights says economic austerity policies are hitting poor people hard in Greece and Spain and undermining social rights in the European Union. U.N. envoy Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky said Friday that it's not acceptable when people "no longer have the means to buy adequate food, lose access to essential medical services or cannot keep a roof over their head"...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Labor campaign kills anti-worker measures in N.M.  People's World  ..."The session's ending, but we're just getting started," the New Mexico Federation of Labor exclaimed after right-to-work, repeal of prevailing wages for construction workers and a "pre-emption bill' to make it illegal for cities to set their own labor and wage laws all died. Right-to-work lost in a state senate committee on a 5-4 vote, with the five Democrats outvoting the four GOPers...

Thousands of Ohio Voters in Poor Neighborhoods Will Be Unable to Vote in November  Gawker  ...Over 100,000 voters in Ohio’s three largest counties may show up to the polls in November and find themselves unable to vote. The largest chunk of these will be Ohioans who live in poor, black neighborhoods, and who would be likely to vote Democrat, if they were allowed to vote at all...

Alabama poll finds strong support for paid family leave  AI.com  ...An Al.com poll that asked readers if they support paid family leave shows a similar result to a national poll that showed the measure a popular one. Almost 61 percent of the Al.com readers who took part in the poll said they support paid time off from work to care for a newborn or a seriously sick family member. Just over 35 percent said they do not support paid time off of work...

Walmart CAN afford $15 minimum wage  (opinion) CNBC  ...Walmart raised its minimum wage to $9 in 2015 and to $10 in 2016, after years of protests by workers. While important steps in the right direction, these increases are not enough. An employee working 34 hours per week (which Walmart considers full time) at $10 per hour still earns less than $18,000 per year and cannot meet her family's basic needs on Walmart's wages alone, even in states with low costs of living, according to a recent study...

Fraud accusations grow in California’s embattled workers’ comp system  Reveal News  ...Southern California prosecutors have filed a new round of charges against medical providers who care for the state’s injured workers, raising further questions about state oversight of the program that covers 15 million people. The cases push the tally of medical providers facing criminal charges close to 100...

 

U.S. LABOR

Eastland Food Workers Join UFCW Local 328  UFCW.org  ...On May 20, the hard-working men and women at Eastland Food Products Inc. in Cranston, Rhode Island, took a major step to address workplace issues by voting 74-37 to join UFCW Local 328. Despite the anti-union tactics of management, they remained united and proved once again that when workers choose to stand together, they can be resilient no matter the opposition they may face...

Workers fired during strike could get millions  SF Bay  ...A ruling Tuesday by the National Labor Relations Board requires an Oakland employer to reinstate 38 union workers and reimburse them possibly millions of dollars after the workers were fired during a 2010 strike, an attorney for Service Employees International Union – United Healthcare Workers West and officials for the union said...

Some Sanity on Striker Replacements  On Labor  ...Since 1938, when the Supreme Court decided Mackay Radio, there’s been a famous contradiction in U.S. labor law with respect to strikes.  On the one hand, we know that the NLRA protects the “right to strike.”  If that protection is to mean anything, it must mean – and it does mean – that an employee can’t be fired for striking.  On the other hand, Mackay holds that, at least in certain circumstances, employees can be permanently replaced if they go on strike...

Fired BNSF whistleblower awarded $1.66 million  Komo News  ...A former railroad conductor says he blew the whistle on BNSF Railway and it cost him his job. But now he's claiming victory after winning a whopping verdict over his firing. Six years ago he was working as a BNSF conductor in Custer, not far from Ferndale, when he got the call to move 42 rail cars parked on a side track...

New York City Uber Drivers Sue Over Employment Status  Fortune  ...A group representing 5,000 Uber drivers in New York City filed a lawsuit on Thursday accusing the ride-share company of depriving drivers of various employment protections by misclassifying them as independent contractors. The proposed class action lawsuit filed in federal court in Manhattan by the New York Taxi Workers Alliance on behalf of 10 drivers is the latest to claim Uber drivers should be considered employees...

Inside Uber’s Auto-Lease Machine, Where Almost Anyone Can Get a Car  Bloomberg  ...Xchange isn't intended to be a moneymaker, said an Uber spokesman. But it has plenty of critics who accuse the company of looting the pockets of its drivers. The program is plagued by a lot of questions that surround other subprime lending programs aimed at risky borrowers with bad credit... 

Economy Adds Just 38,000 Jobs In May, Unemployment Rate Down To 4.7 Percent  Think Progress  ...The economy added 38,000 jobs in May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday. The unemployment rate dropped to 4.7 percent. The monthly jobs tally is far below the 160,000 new jobs that economists had forecast for May, and continues a steep dropoff in monthly hiring after two years of strong job growth...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

U.S. crackdown on payday lenders sharpens political battle lines  Reuters  ...The U.S. government's move on Thursday to restrict payday lenders' ability to profit from high-interest loans marks its first crackdown on an industry accused of preying on desperate consumers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unveiled a proposal that would require lenders to use a "full-payment" test to determine whether borrowers can afford each loan payment and still meet basic living expenses... 

At least 33 US cities used water testing 'cheats' over lead concerns  The Guardian  ...At least 33 cities across 17 US states have used water testing “cheats” that potentially conceal dangerous levels of lead, a Guardian investigation has found. Of these cities, 21 used the same water testing methods that prompted criminal charges against three government employees in Flint over their role in one of the worst public health disasters in US history...

How Prison Debt Ensnares Offenders  The Atlantic  ...Even after serving time for a felony conviction, former inmates can remain legally bound to the judicial system for the rest of their lives due to court-imposed fines and fees related to their crime. In some counties in Washington State that adds up to an average of $9,204, according to Alexes Harris’s new book A Pound of Flesh...

"The System Is Set Up to Protect Officers": Activists React to Lack of Charges in Jamar Clark Case  Democracy Now  ...Federal prosecutors in Minnesota announced Wednesday that no charges will be filed against the two police officers involved in the shooting death last fall of Jamar Clark, an unarmed 24-year-old African American. Clark was shot in the head after a scuffle with officers who responded to a report of an assault...

Trump University Documents Expose Presumptive Con-Man-in-Chief  Common Dreams  ...A swindle and a sham that "preyed upon the elderly and uneducated to separate them from their money" is how people who worked for Trump University described the methods behind the self-titled, now-defunct real estate education program run by the presumptive Republican nominee...

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