Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News For August 2, 2016

 

TEAMSTERS

Ready Mix Workers Get Set To Strike   Teamsters...Northern California Ready Mix drivers have turned down a last, best and final offer from Central and Cemex Ready Mix companies. The contract would have covered 600 drivers, yard persons and batch persons, who have also authorized a strike against both companies...

Apple Shuttle Drivers Agree To Union Contract   USA Today...Unionized service workers at Apple reached an agreement on Monday to receive basic perks like pension contributions and holiday time. Thirty-three Apple unionized shuttle drivers employed by Loop Transportation agreed to a contract to receive health benefits, pension contributions, holiday time, vacations and overtime...

Apple Shuttle Drivers Ratify Teamsters Contract For Health Benefits, Pension, Overtime And Vacations   NBC...The 30 Loop Transportation drivers that are part of the team have been fighting for these changes for about two years, when they began pushing for benefits in addition to seeking higher pay. Employees are now given 100 percent health care coverage by Kaiser Permanente, and the new pension plan requires their employer to make a $1 per hour contribution on their behalf, according to Stacy Alvelais, business agent with Teamsters Local 853. The agreement runs through March of 2018...

Petoskey Council Oks New Union Contract For Public Works Employees   Petoskey News-Review... A new labor agreement between city officials and Teamsters union-represented staff in the Petoskey Department of Public Works includes some updated approaches to retirement benefits. This contract, approved by the membership of Teamsters State, County and Municipal Workers Local 214 prior to Monday's meeting, took effect on Monday and is to remain in effect through March 31, 2019. It applies to roughly a dozen employees with Teamsters representation...

Teamster Pension Group To Meet Saturday At Stadium View   Green Bay Press-Gazette...Retired Teamsters in Green Bay and northeastern Wisconsin have been fighting to preserve their pensions since last year when the Central States Pension Fund announced it would make steep cuts to monthly payouts retirees received in order to stay solvent. The U.S. Treasury rejected the proposed cuts earlier this year, but local Teamsters continue to stay involved in the fight...

Allegiant Airlines Pilots Ratify Contract   Travel Pulse...Las Vegas-based Allegiant, a low-budget carrier that specializes in flying from small, regional airports to resort destinations, announced it has reached an agreement on a new contract with the pilots’ union, represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT)...

The Bullies’ Club   Jacobin Magazine...Like many of Trump’s businesses, the UFC’s worker exploitation depends on the absence of organized labor. Last August, when the Teamsters and Unite-Here! initiated a campaign to organize UFC fighters, the company was quick to reach out to its employees. “Being a part of their union could force you to be completely submissive to union bosses . . . If you value your voice and independence, we encourage you to reject the unions,” they wrote...

How Good NYC Jobs Got Trashed: A Father And Son In The Private Garbage-Hauling Industry Say The Race To The Bottom Must End   NY Daily News...in the day, commercial sanitation and public sanitation were both good jobs. Everyone who worked in commercial sanitation was a Teamster member, and we had one contract that held all companies to a high standard, including wages and benefits on par with our counterparts at the New York City Department of Sanitation. But while the city sanitation workers have remained New York’s Strongest, the more than 8,000 people in the private hauling industry, who pick up all commercial trash and recycling, have become New York’s Forgotten...

Tom Morello And Talib Kweli Protest Against TPP As Fellow Stars Stay Quiet   The Guardian...As the nation watched the conventions, a group of artists led by the former Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello and Talib Kweli criss-crossed the country on the Rock Against the TPP tour, seeking to bring attention to the highly controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. The tour was organized by advocacy groups with differing political stances, such as Fight for the Future, the Sierra Club and the Teamsters, and pushes attendees to call on their representatives to vote against the deal when it hits the House floor this fall...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Joseph Stiglitz: The High Health Costs Of TPP’s “Free Trade”   Global Trade Watch (opinion)...Despite protests from industry lobbyists who are upset that they did not get everything they wanted, big pharmaceutical companies are some of the biggest winners in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This supposed “free trade” agreement between the United States and 11 countries in the Americas and Asia would enshrine expansive monopoly protections for intellectual properties that shield drug makers from competition and provide them with new powers to challenge government decisions aimed at managing health care costs...

Anti-TPP Activists Are Flying A 25’ Protest Blimp Outside Representative Scott Peters’ Office Calling For Him To Oppose Unpopular TPP Deal    Fightforthefuture.org...Activists involved with the nationwide Rock Against the TPP tour, which stopped in San Diego on Saturday, are now taking their message directly to local lawmakers, flying a 25’ inflatable protest blimp outside Representative Scott Peters’ office at 4350 Executive Drive, San Diego, CA, calling for him to oppose the unpopular, anti-democratic, Trans-Pacific Partnership deal...

Brazil Rejects U.S. Anti-Dumping Ruling On Steel, May Go To WTO   Reuters...Brazil will wait for the U.S. International Trade Commission to rule on a Department of Commerce anti-dumping determination on its cold-rolled steel before appealing to the World Trade Organization, a senior Brazilian official said on Monday. The Commerce Department said last week that Brazilian cold-rolled steel was being subsidized by seven export promotion programs in Brazil and passed its anti-dumping determination to the ITC to rule whether there is injury to U.S. producers...

Free Trade Is Killing Colombian Labor Activists   The Nation...While trade has liberalized, intense violence has besieged Colombia’s incipient union movement, facing brutality from paramilitary, criminal, and state forces. Unionization efforts have stalled as dozens of union activists have been murdered, often without legal recourse. Amid anemic enforcement of human-rights protections, the AFL-CIO reports, “Since the [free trade agreement] was signed, workers attempting to exercise their rights have suffered at least 1,466 threats and acts of violence, including 955 death threats and 99 assassinations”...

Big Spending Makes A Comeback While Austerity Starts To Fade   Bloomberg...The global mood music now is different from most of the period since the last financial crisis. Instead of the doctrine of belt-tightening and spending cuts, today’s political narrative talks about higher-quality jobs, investment, or the dangers of inequality. In few economies is this more obvious than in America. Where once the government shut down during a spat over spending, now neither candidate in the U.S. presidential election is talking much about the deficit...

CNN And Fox News Are Finally Covering The TPP After Ignoring It For Two Years   The Intercept...Up until recently, cable news outlets almost completely ignored the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) — the 12-nation government agreement that would dramatically expand corporate and investor rights at the expense of medical affordability, the environment, and labor rights. The impact of this news blackout was devastating on Americans’ ability to understand what the agreement entailed. A June 2015 New York Times poll found that 78 percent of Americans said they had heard or read “not much” or “nothing at all” about the TPP. But now that the TPP has become a major factor in the presidential campaign, that silence is finally ending...

Trouble For The TPP: Business Groups’ Desperate PR Campaign Signals Possible Failure For Trade Deal   Salon.com...Trade Benefits America, a coalition of business groups, has put millions of dollars into influencing lawmakers of both parties to support the 12-nation agreement, specifically in the lame duck session of Congress after the elections. They’re ginning up support by having constituents write letters, by flooding town halls and political events, and even running ads in key House and Senate races, making trade an issue in the elections...

Liam Fox Criticised For ‘Unethical’ Decision To Open Trade Office In North Carolina   Huffington Post...The new Conservative international trade secretary plans to open a mission in the state capital, Raleigh, as part of the government’s push to expand the UK’s trade links following the Brexit vote. However Labour leadership candidate Owen Smith has attacked the move as “plain wrong”. In March, North Carolina introduced a law which, among other things, bars transgender people from using bathrooms that match their gender identity, and it prevents towns from passing LGBT anti-discrimination laws...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Vote For $15    Dissent...Litigation is currently underway to establish unionization rights specifically for McDonald’s franchise workers by overturning a precedent on joint employment at the National Labor Relations Board. Still, even with the legal power to unionize, achieving a collective bargaining contract for an estimated 750,000 workers across more than 14,000 outlets nationwide is a massive leap—though no longer unimaginable given what these workers have already achieved...

Quicken Loans Workplace Policies Held Unlawful   Bloomberg BNA...Quicken Loans Inc. violated federal labor law by maintaining employment policies that interfered with workers' rights to discuss labor unions and their job conditions, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held. The court endorsed the National Labor Relations Board's view that an employer violates the law by merely maintaining a rule employees reasonably would view as coercive...

Best And Worst Industries For Paid Family Leave   Chicago Tribune...While Americans generally support paid family leave — a poll conducted this spring by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 72 percent of Americans 40 and older support the benefit — efforts to adopt a national standard haven't gone anywhere. Advocates are now more hopeful. "It's taken on an inevitability," said Ellen Bravo, executive director of Family Values @ Work, an advocacy group. "Not that it will happen by itself, that it will take work. It took a decade to get the first three states"...

Paid Sick Time Law Proposed For November 2018 Ballot In Michigan   Detroit Free Press...The Board of State Canvassers on Monday approved proposed ballot wording submitted by Raise Michigan to create the Earned Sick Time Act. The group would have to collect more than 250,000 valid signatures to send the proposed legislation to the Legislature. If lawmakers then rejected the legislation or did not act on it, the question would go on the November 2018 ballot...

Left Turns To Ballot Measures To Enact Political Change   The Hill...“At federal and state levels, for everyday people, the legislative gridlock, nothing is happening in our government that people feel like is progress,” said Justine Sarver, who heads the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, a group that serves as a strategy clearinghouse for progressive causes. “People are fed up with the level of corporate power that they’re seeing in their government and their representation.” The rush of liberal ballot issues is something of a reversal from the last several decades, when conservatives used the initiative process to pass limits on taxes, implement term limits for state legislators, roll back regulations and push contentious social issues...

Subway To Crack Down On Wage Violations By Franchisees   Reuters...Fast-food chain Subway, the largest franchisor in the country, has entered into a novel agreement to monitor franchise owners' compliance with wage-and-hour laws after the U.S. Department of Labor found rampant violations at franchises, the agency announced on Monday. Under the agreement signed on July 26, Connecticut-based Subway will terminate existing franchises or block franchisees from opening new restaurants if they knowingly flout minimum wage, overtime and meal and rest break laws, and will regularly meet and share data with the department...

Good Crop, Bad Crop   Slate...There is one particularly powerful tool at the disposal of the U.S. Department of Labor: Tucked within the Fair Labor Standards Act, a landmark bill passed during the Great Depression, is something called the “hot goods provision.” This little-known statute empowers the agency to block products made in violation of wage and child labor laws from being shipped across state lines, compelling violators to pay fines and change their practices...

Defend Democracy By Restoring The Voting Rights Act   Washington Post (opinion)...Not long ago, we could stop laws like this before they took effect. But the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder struck down a core part of the Voting Rights Act. The act used to require jurisdictions with the most troubling histories of discrimination to run new voting rules by the Justice Department or a federal court before those rules could be implemented. Shelby County nullified the way jurisdictions were chosen for this review process, leaving no pre-clearance at all. Discriminatory laws can now take effect without federal clearance...

 

U.S. LABOR

Southwest Pilots Seek CEO’s Ouster, Citing ‘Misguided Focus’   Bloomberg...“We can no longer sit idly by and watch poor decision after poor decision deeply affect our customers and Southwest Airlines,” Jon Weaks, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association, said in a statement Monday. The union, representing about 8,000 pilots, also called for the ouster of Chief Operating Officer Mike Van de Ven. The union’s comments are an effort to pressure the airline into meeting pilots’ demands during contract talks, Randy Babbitt, Southwest’s senior vice president for labor relations, said by e-mail. Talks between the two have been underway for about four years...

Nurse Sues Dallas' Methodist Health Over Docked Lunch Pay   Dallas Morning News...A nurse has filed a collective action lawsuit against Dallas' Methodist Health under the Fair Labor Standards Act, alleging that the system routinely docks nurses’ pay for lunch breaks they don’t take. The case calls into question a long-standing policy that fails to properly compensate non-exempt nurses for work performed, according to a document filed Thursday with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas...

Unions Hone Strategies At The DNC   Philadelphia Inquirer...Nobody comes to a political convention without an agenda - not Hillary Clinton, not Bernie Sanders, not the hundreds of lobbyists, and particularly not organized labor. For them, and everyone else, the convention was about making impressions and making contacts...

NJ Senate Approves Unemployment Insurance For Striking Workers   NJ.com...The bill emerged during a six-week strike involving Verizon workers who walked off the job in protest of the telecommunications giant's contract demands. About 4,600 of the 40,000 East Coast employees on strike work in New Jersey. They returned to work in June. The Senate vote, though, comes as 1,000 Taj Mahal casino and hotel employees enter their second month striking in a dispute over benefits...

Zara Workers Unionize For First Time In US   Buzzfeed...The Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU) will represent the more than 1,000 Zara employees, who greet customers, stock shelves, run fitting rooms and handle sales at the brand’s Manhattan-based stores. The union also represents workers at department stores like Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, as well as supermarkets, drug stores, and car washes...

AFSCME, SEIU Announce Unity Partnership   Workday Minnesota...Two of the nation’s largest unions, AFSCME (link is external) and the Service Employees International Union (link is external), who represent thousands of the same types of workers – nurses, public service workers and more – will create “unity partnerships” for joint planning, bargaining, legislation, politics and organizing. And down the road, their plan adds, they may merge...

SEIU Local 1000 Oks Strike Vote Amid Talks With Gov. Jerry Brown   Sacramento Bee...California’s largest state employee union has taken the first step to strike, authorizing a membership vote amid contract negotiations with the Brown administration. The move by SEIU Local 1000 follows a July 8 offer from Gov. Jerry Brown that included a 12 percent salary increase over four years for the 95,000-employee union, but would require higher payments toward retiree health benefits. The union’s contract expired July 1...

Unions Flex Political Muscle At The DNC -- But Uber And Airbnb Lurk    American Prospect...Labor unions’ fingerprints were all over last week’s Democratic National Convention, sending a clear reminder to the party faithful that—despite decades of waning membership—unions are still a critical component of the Democratic Party. From convention speeches to sponsored events, unions made the case for their role as both the party’s foremost advocate of its most progressive policies and as its most effective foil against pseudo-populist Donald Trump...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Activists Push To Restore Voting Rights To Ex-Felons In Florida   Orlando Sentinel...For the past year, the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition has been collecting signatures supporting a state constitutional amendment to restore voting rights to felons after they've completed their sentences — including prison time, parole and probation. The effort is about to clear a significant hurdle as it nears the 68,314 names needed to trigger a Florida Supreme Court review of the proposed ballot language, coalition president Desmond Meade said. If the court approves the wording, the group can push ahead to put the question on the 2018 ballot...

What Does Black Lives Matter Want? We Now Have It In Writing   The Nation...One commonly asked question about this moment in black-led organizing—what some broadly refer to as the Black Lives Matter movement—is what its participants want. What are BLM’s goals and why, some critics ask, is the movement so reactive, only vocal and visible in response to police violence against black people? Starting today, anyone with such questions can refer to the Vision for Black Lives, a document that lays out six demands and 40 corresponding policy recommendations to paint a picture of what today’s black activists are fighting for...

The San Francisco ‘Tech Tax’ Is Dead    TIME...About a week prior to the meeting, protestors marched down that central corridor, from Twitter’s headquarters to Uber’s, delivering giant “invoices” to those companies and demanding they “pay their fair share.” Groups such as Jobs with Justice decorated moving boxes with phrases like “Tech rents mean more tents,” referring to “tent cities” filled with displaced people that have been springing up in San Francisco as well as nearby cities such as Oakland. More than 100 people chanted slogans like “Twitter got handouts! We got forced out!”...

Massachusetts Just Took This Big Step Towards Equal Pay   Fortune Magazine...Massachusetts has just passed the most comprehensive law regarding the subject of equal pay. The law was signed by Republican Governor Charlie Baker on Monday, making Massachusetts the first state to pass a law that prohibits employers from asking interviewees about their salary history, keeping them from basing someone’s pay on what they previously made, though anyone can volunteer that information if they so choose...

 

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