Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For June 9, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Teamsters Rally Against Philadelphia Mayor's Soda Tax  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters from the tri-state area, members of SEIU, Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division, community allies, and store owners rallied today outside Philadelphia’s City Hall to protest the proposed soda tax. While Coca Cola, Pepsi, Canada Dry trucks and Teamster 18-wheelers circled city hall, rank-and-file Teamsters held signs saying, “No More Taxes”...

Baltimore US Foods Teamsters Spread Strike to Twin Cities Area Facility  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters working at one of the nation’s largest US Foods’ distribution facilities here this afternoon refused to cross the extended picket line of Teamsters from Severn, Md., who began an unfair labor practice strike against the company in April. The 325 drivers, warehouse, yard and maintenance workers and office staff who are members of Local 120 are just the latest group of US Foods workers to honor a picket line supporting the striking Maryland workers...  

Durham School Services to Bargain with Teamsters in Santa Rosa County, Florida  Teamster.org  ...More than three years after Durham School Services bus drivers and monitors voted overwhelmingly for union representation in Santa Rosa County, Fla., Teamsters Local 991 announced the company has agreed to meet at the bargaining table beginning July 12. The announcement comes less than a month after the U.S. Court of Appeals denied Durham’s appeal to contest the certification of the workers’ 2013 election for representation by Teamsters Local 991 in Mobile, Ala...

Teamsters hold strikes in Woburn, Chelmsford  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... 

Lockout Of Union Workers At Hartford Distributors  Hartford Courant  ...Hartford Distributors, a family owned beer wholesaler that covers six counties in Connecticut, locked out 120 Teamsters who work at the warehouse and as drivers on Wednesday. Teamsters Local 1035 Secretary Treasurer Chris Roos said management told negotiators that they would not be allowed to return to work until they agree to a contract....

Trucking Industry, Unions Clash Over Driver Classification in New Jersey  Wall Street Journal  ...The New Jersey Assembly had been considering legislation that would have forced port trucking companies to use mainly employee drivers, and raised penalties for improperly hiring contractors. However, the Assembly’s transportation committee last month merged that bill with an industry-friendly measure. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which backed the original bill, has withdrawn its support...

Port Truck Driver Strike Attracts Global Eyes  Capital & Main  ...The drivers’ strike, which culminated in a march and demonstration in Wilmington Monday afternoon, is the most visible of an international series of worker actions. Workers struck at XPO Cartage and XPO Port Services, XPO Logistics subsidiaries that move goods between the ports and rail lines, warehouses and distribution centers. Jeff Farmer, national organizing director for the Teamsters, is optimistic about the potential leverage workers can bring about by working together across borders...

Teamster Retirees Win Surprise Victory, Force Government Not To Slash Their Pensions  In These Times  ...In a stunning demonstration of the power of grassroots organizing, retired Teamster union members across the Midwest have forced the federal government to back down on plans to slash pensions on thousands of retired workers. The initial decision in favor of the retired truck drivers came May 6, when the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced it would reject a plan to cut benefits for  retirees enrolled in the Central States Pension Fund...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

The Fight Against Walmart’s Labor Practices Goes Global  The Nation  ... Walmart’s fresh summer offerings now features new varieties of labor strife, available in English and Chinese. On the retail empire’s home turf in Bentonville, Arkansas, workers gathered at a media conference organized by the advocacy network Making Change at Walmart, to denounce Walmart’s low wages and hostility to labor organizing...

Paris Grapples With Trash, Strikes Ahead of Euro 2016  US News & World Report ...The trash pileup is a result of a massive strike by sanitation workers. The city of Paris says it normally collects 3,000 tons of garbage per day. The mayor's office said garbage collection has been hindered for several days. The strike has been going on for more than a week...

Curious Catfish Shipments Highlight Need to Stop the TPP  Food & Water Watch  ...in just two months, USDA stopped as many shipments of Vietnamese catfish tainted with illegal drugs and chemicals as FDA stopped in the previous three years combined. These incidents raise important questions about providing careful oversight of imported foods. These questions would only become more vital if Congress passes the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP)...

Hillary Clinton State Department Memoir Omits TPP Reference In Paperback Edition  IBTimes  ...Facing an increasingly tough primary fight against Bernie Sanders last October, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, now the presumptive Democratic nominee, tried to distance herself from her push to negotiate the controversial Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal during her time atop the State Department (2009-2013)...

Merkel urges rapid progress in TTIP talks  Reuters  ...German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday that the European Union and the United States should quickly conclude negotiations on a controversial free trade deal. "We have to make progress quickly," Merkel said at an event organised by her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU), adding the party was clearly committed to the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)... 

Ford in Talks to Begin Building Lincoln Models in China  Industry Week  ...Ford Motor Co., aiming to make China the top market for its Lincoln luxury line, is in talks with partner Changan Automobile Group about producing the brand’s vehicles in Chongqing, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Ford is considering a major manufacturing presence in the southwestern Chinese city that would serve the domestic market and be an Asian export base...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Labor groups brace for long legal fight over controversial Wisconsin Right to Work law  PR News  ...Only one month after Dane County Judge William Foust of Wisconsin ruled Governor Scott Walker’s Right to Work law unconstitutional, the controversial law has been reinstated by a state appeals judge. Luckily for labor supporters, union leaders in the state are still fighting back. Late last month, Judge Lisa Stark granted Attorney General Brad Schimel’s request to reinstate the law...

NJ Paid Sick Leave Bill Stalls Again, But Minimum Wage Hike Advances  JD Supra  ...New Jersey legislators have delayed a vote on the Paid Sick Leave Act to allow the Assembly and Senate a chance to settle their disputes over the bill’s impact on small employers and its preemptive effect on municipal ordinances mandating paid sick leave. These are the same issues that led to failure of the March 2016 vote in the legislature...

Judge denies request to put voter ID on hold  Fox  ...A federal judge will not put a lawsuit over Wisconsin’s voter identification law on hold while another similar challenge is pending in a different court. The U.S. District Court in Milwaukee on Wednesday posted a note in the court file saying the state Department of Justice’s request for a stay in the case was denied. The state requested on Monday that the case be put on hold...

Miami Beach sets local minimum wage higher than state rate beginning 2018  Miami Herald  ...Miami Beach’s City Commission unanimously voted to create a citywide minimum wage Wednesday, the first time that a Florida city has set a local minimum higher than the state mandate — and a challenge to state law. The state minimum is $8.05 an hour. Starting Jan. 1, 2018, the citywide minimum wage will be set $10.31 and increase a dollar a year until 2021, when it will reach $13.31...

California Requires Payments of Prevailing Wages to Drivers Delivering Ready-Mixed Concrete to Publics Works Projects  Lexology  ...Late last year, California expanded the definition of “public works” requiring the payment of prevailing wages to include the hauling or delivery of ready-mixed concrete for a public works project. The new law marks a significant departure from the laws that govern the construction industry, which have distinguished between the performance of construction work and the supply of construction materials...

 

U.S. LABOR

Forget Hunger Strikes; What Prisons Fear Most Is Labor Strikes  Truthout  ...On May 1, prison labor came to a halt in multiple prisons in Alabama, including Holman and Elmore prisons. Starting at midnight that day, prisoners stayed in their dormitories -- refusing to show up for work at their assigned posts. The prisoners' demands were pretty simple: basic human rights, educational opportunities, and a reform of Alabama's harsh sentencing guidelines and parole board...

UAW begins reaching out to Tesla workers, official says  Automotive News  ...UAW officials have had contact with employees at Tesla Motors’ Fremont, Calif., assembly plant, a top union official said in the latest acknowledgment that the union is interested in organizing the automaker’s workers. In an interview with Automotive News, UAW Secretary-Treasurer Gary Casteel said a regional director and staff have been communicating with workers at Tesla’s 5.3 million-square-foot plant...

Browning-Ferris fights U.S. ruling on 'joint employment' in court  Reuters  ...A California waste management company at the center of a closely watched case told a U.S. appeals court on Tuesday that the new U.S. labor board standard for "joint employment" is so broad and vague that it makes it impossible for employers to structure their business relationships with contractors. Many employers use contract labor in part to avoid the costs and complications that come with directly employing workers...

Kroger workers agree to contract, avoiding strike  Roanoke Times  ...Tensions ran high in a meeting that stretched more than three hours at the Berglund Center in Roanoke. About 800 members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400 union gathered to vote on the latest contract proposal from Kroger, which included a pay increase, extended health care for retirees and other benefits... 

Strippers Notch Significant Victory In Quest To Be Treated Fairly  Think Progress  ...On Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a decision confirming that a group of six former dancers who worked for Fuego Exotic Dance Club and Extasy Exotic Dance Club in Maryland should have been treated like employees, not contractors. It affirmed a district court decision that found that the dancers were illegally misclassified and deserved to be paid back wages and damages...

Union demands SF make Uber, Lyft, pay for drivers’ business licenses  SF Gate  ...Uber and Lyft drivers facing more than $600 in late fees and fines from The City are going to see relief, but not all agree that drivers should have been instructed to pay those fines in the first place. The Service Employees International Union 1021 called on The City’s Treasurer Jose Cisneros to shift the chargers away from drivers...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

'Wet Kiss for Wall Street': Warren Shreds GOP Attempt to Gut Dodd-Frank  Common Dreams  ...A Republican plan to dismantle key banking reforms passed in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis has been dubbed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) the "Wet Kiss for Wall Street Act." The plan would roll back a slew of Dodd-Frank regulations and reduce the power of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created by Warren... 

Despite 'Moral Angst' About Inequality, World's Richest Just Keep Getting Richer  Common Dreams  ...At a moment when the wealthiest one percent own more money than the rest of the world combined, a new report finds that in 2015 the world's richest people were able to sit back and watch their assets grow by 5.2 percent to a stunning $168 trillion. The annual report from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) also found that a full eight percent of the world's wealth is currently owned by people worth over $100 million...

Immigrant workers win $1 million in labor-trafficking lawsuits  Sun Herald  ...Immigrant workers who said they were forced to be slaves after coming to Biloxi and other cities on work visas have been awarded judgments that total more than $1 million. U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden issued default judgments Monday against Royal Hospitality Services LLC in 20 civil cases. Individual payments range from $67,000 to $77,999. The complaints of 18 other workers had been resolved in default judgments in December...

The One-Word Reason the Rich Get Richer While the Rest of Us Tread Water? Washington.  (opinion) Daily Beast  ...A few Americans are seeing their incomes soar, and the top 15% or so are doing well overall. Meanwhile, the vast majority tread water or slowly sink. This disparity reflects government policies that subtly take from the many and redistribute upward to the already very rich few; the downward pressure on wages due to globalization; and the decline of unions...

‘They Did Everything They Could Have Done’: The Tragedy Of The Oregon Oil Derailment  Think Progress  ...On Friday, June 3, a Union Pacific train carrying Bakken crude oil derailed on a tiny strip of land running between the Columbia River and the small town of Mosier, Oregon. Sixteen train cars carrying crude oil derailed, and four of those cars were breached, spilling oil and igniting in flames. Following the derailment, a rainbow sheen appeared on the Columbia, near the derailment — a sign that some of the spilled crude had found its way into the river...

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