Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For August 26, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Golden State Lumber Workers Join Teamsters Union  Teamster.org  ...Employees at Golden State Lumber in Newark, Calif., designated Teamsters Local 853 as their bargaining representative by a 3-1 margin. The 26-person unit which includes all drivers, load builders, yard men, saw operators, forklift operators, lumber handlers, lumber shippers and receivers chose Local 853 despite the meetings held by management in attempts to convince them otherwise...

Northern California Construction Teamsters Ratify Agreement  Teamster.org  ...Construction Teamsters in Northern California and Nevada have ratified an agreement with the United Contractors Association and the Associated General Contractors by an enthusiastic margin. The new Master Construction Agreement covers nearly 400 hardworking men and women in the construction industry. The four-year agreement provides for improvements to wages, pension and paid sick leave compensation, and maintains the existing active and retiree health and welfare plans...

NMB Dismisses Challenges Against Teamsters at Flexjet, Flight Options  Teamster.org  ...On Monday, the National Mediation Board (NMB) dismissed challenges filed by Flexjet and Flight Options against the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. All of the allegations stem from a December 2015 election where the Teamsters were chosen to represent Flexjet and Flight Options pilots as a single unit when the two companies merged under the umbrella of One Sky, LLC... 

Union says Schnucks' new solicitation ban linked to worker layoffs  Columbia Missourian  ...Schnucks' solicitation ban may have more to do with union worker layoffs than the customer experience. Schnucks said its new policy is intended to benefit the "comfort of the customers," according to previous Missourian reporting. But a representative with Teamsters Local 688, a mid-Missouri union, said the new policy's real goal is to keep unhappy union members off Schnucks' property...

Highway Workers, Town Agree on New Contract  Tapinto  ...After five years of working without a new collective bargaining agreement, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 456, which represents members of the Carmel Highway Department, finally has a new contract. The Carmel Town Board voted unanimously to ratify the new agreement at its Aug. 17 meeting. “It’s a great accomplishment for all sides,” said Councilman Jonathan Schneider...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Airport security workers' strike starts today  The Portugal News  ...According to the head of the airport workers union Sitava, the strike may have an impact on security as overtime work requirements “are constant”. Fernando Henriques said workers of these two companies, whose jobs include scanning passengers’ luggage, are responsible for the security of around 40 million passengers who pass through Portuguese airports each year...

2,000 Angolan port workers strike over pay  Mexico Star  ...More than 2 000 employees at Angola's second biggest port in Lobito have downed tools after going without pay for four months, striking workers said on Wednesday. "We have families and it's now four months since we have seen the colour of our money," one striker Sebastiao Domingos said. "Our employer promised to pay us last month but we haven't seen anything"...

S. Korea: Hyundai Motor Ends Strikes With Tentative Union Deal  Wall Street Journal  ...Hyundai Motor Co. reached a tentative wage deal with its unions, which puts an end to damaging strikes and paves the way for a similar deal at its Kia Motors Corp. affiliate. “Both the management and workers agreed to a less generous wage package in consideration of worsening business conditions,” a union leader said...

Groups Demand Clinton Publicly Oppose Lame-Duck TPP Vote  Common Dreams  ...Heavy-hitting progressive groups have sent a letter to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, urging her to make "a clear, public, and unequivocal statement opposing any vote on the disastrous Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the post-election, 'lame-duck' session of Congress." The letter, also published at Medium, says Clinton's "continued leadership is sadly necessary as President [Barack] Obama refuses to abandon this unpopular deal"...

McConnell: Senate won't take up TPP this year  The Hill  ...Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) appeared to close the door Thursday on the Senate taking up the Obama administration's signature Asia-Pacific trade deal during what's left of the president's term. "The current agreement, the Trans-Pacific [Partnership], which has some serious flaws, will not be acted upon this year," McConnell said at the Kentucky State Farm Bureau breakfast Thursday... 

President Obama Aligns with Big Business to Smash Opposition to the TPP  Common Dreams  ...Everything will work out this time around. At least, that is the argument President Obama is making as he prepares for a final push to pressure lawmakers into backing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement that has been deemed "NAFTA on steroids" by critics who believe it will further erode labor conditions, harm the environment, and grant corporations unprecedented power...

Why Canadian auto labor talks matter for Michigan workers  Detroit Free Press  ...Contract talks between the Detroit Three and Unifor, Canada's largest private-sector union, typically fly under the radar in Michigan even though auto parts worth billions move across the border annually and support jobs throughout the state. But everyone concerned about a vibrant economy and healthy automotive industry — especially those who work for automotive suppliers — should care about the talks, which began this month and face a Sept. 19 contract expiration, industry analysts say...  

Refugees In Italy Are Giving What Little Money They Have To Help Earthquake Victims  Think Progress  ...In a show of solidarity this week, more than six dozen asylum seekers living in a shelter in southern Italy donated almost 200 Euros to the victims of central Italy’s deadly earthquake. The 75 asylum seekers, who are given small personal allowances of about 2.50 Euros a day, wanted to give back to a country where they have felt welcomed. According to Buzzfeed, the money is equivalent to “each of them giving up one day’s worth of the 17.50-euro allowance they receive each week"...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES 

California Legislators Want To Tax Carbon, But Give The Revenue To The People  Think Progress  ...When it comes to carbon, California legislators have a clear message for Congress and President Obama: Put a price on it, and give the money back to the people. On Tuesday, the California State Senate voted to pass AJR 43, a joint resolution urging the federal government to enact a tax on carbon-based fossil fuels...

Minneapolis and Arizona voters will get a chance to raise the minimum wage  Daily Kos  ...Voters in Arizona and Minneapolis, Minnesota, will have the chance to vote on minimum wage increases this November, according to court rulings in both places. In Minneapolis city officials are appealing the decision, though. Minnesota’s minimum wage is $9.50 an hour for large employers and $7.75 an hour for small employers...

Dept. Of Labor Hits 6 NY Nail Salons With Wage Violations  Law360  ...Six Long Island, New York, nail salons were ordered Wednesday to pay more than $200,000 in back wages and civil penalties after the U.S. Department of Labor found the businesses violated overtime and recordkeeping rules for employees, discoveries that came as part of an ongoing crackdown on an industry accused of exploiting immigrants...

California Assembly passes bill to implement Secure Choice  PI Online  ...The California Assembly on Thursday approved implementing a state-run Secure Choice retirement savings program, the final legislative step in creating the program for private-sector workers without a retirement plan. The legislation requires companies with five or more employees that do not offer a 401(k) plan or similar retirement benefits to set up a retirement plan...

Injured Workers Face Stacked Deck During Workers’ Comp Appeals Process, Critics Say  NBC News  ...Injured workers face an uphill, long-odds battle if they want to appeal the denial of medical care through California’s workers’ compensation system, state data shows. Since reforms made in 2013 under Senate Bill 863, injured workers can no longer appeal treatment denials in front of a judge. Now, the state contracts with a private, for-profit corporation that reviews appeals under a process called “Independent Medical Review.”

Walmart Heiress Alice Walton, a Resident of Arkansas, Is Spending Thousands to Influence New York City Elections  Jezebel  ...The Village Voice reports that exactly none of the donors for new super-PAC New Yorkers for Independent Action actually live in the counties in question. One donor, Walmart heiress Alice Walton, lists an address as far away as Arkansas. The super-PAC is interested mainly in an education tax credit that would benefit private and parochial schools and the companies/individuals who donate to them... 

 

U.S. LABOR

Southwest’s Labor Chief Departs Amid Rancorous Union Talks  Bloomberg  ...Southwest Airlines Co.’s head of labor relations is retiring less than a month after four of the carrier’s largest unions sought the resignation of its top executives amid stalled contract negotiations. Randy Babbitt joined Southwest in 2012 and is departing following more than 50 years in the industry, including a term as head of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, the airline said in a statement Tuesday...

This is Huge: NLRB Rules Graduate Student Workers Can Unionize  In These Times  ...In a strongly-worded opinion released Tuesday, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that teaching and research assistants at Columbia University and at other private institutions of higher education have the right to organize unions and collectively bargain with the universities that both employ and teach them. The three Democratic NLRB members wrote that even if students are enrolled in the university to educate themselves, they also meet the definition of an employee...

Columbia University Hoping Slick Website Will Convince Graduate Students Not to Unionize  Jezebel  ...Columbia University, which opposes the decision, has responded with a well-designed and quietly fear-mongering website, ostensibly intended to edify and inform students about “the potential benefits and drawbacks of having their interests represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW),” the union that joined the Graduate Workers of Columbia-GWC in its petition to the NLRB...

Trump Business Recently Dealt With Joint Employer Issue  Bloomberg  ...One of Donald Trump’s companies recently had a run-in with joint employer liability, which could make the Republican presidential nominee an ally for opponents of the NLRB’s move to expand legal responsibility for businesses. Trump Miami Resort Management, which operates the Trump National Doral golf resort in South Florida, recently settled claims by a group of catering workers who said they weren’t paid for a 10-day event at the property...

A Labor Movement That’s More About Women  The Atlantic  ...The University of Toledo law professor Nicole Buonocore Porter writes that many unions in the early 1900s excluded women from their ranks because they feared that the competition would lower men’s wages and harm the traditional family structure. But today’s working world is different. Women now make up 47 percent of the American workforce and are the equal if not primary breadwinners in 40 percent of families... 

Uber would rather give drivers lots of small benefits than make them real employees  Quartz  ...Uber has partnered with Betterment, a startup that manages financial assets with algorithms, to provide easy Individual Retirement Account signups for drivers who want some security during their golden years. The company can only offer drivers so many benefits before stepping into the role of traditional employer. It attempts to get around these restrictions with things like its “power driver plus” program...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Pew study: Majority of Americans still oppose Trump's wall  Politico  ...Donald Trump has vowed that there will be a wall on the United States’ border with Mexico if and when he is president — “100 percent,” as he put it to Sean Hannity on Tuesday. But the percentage of Americans backing the edifice in a new Pew Research Center study on attitudes about immigration released Thursday is far lower: 36 percent...

Will America Finally Stop Privatizing Everything?  The New Republic  ...Is this the beginning of the end of the three-decade-long project of privatizing public functions? Ronald Reagan started us down the privatization path in the 1980s, championing the myth that private enterprise is always and forever more efficient than the government. Last week’s Justice Department decision to not renew 13 contracts with companies managing incarceration facilities for the Bureau of Prisons has cracked that foundation...

The disgusting EpiPen price hike is everything that’s wrong with the pharmaceutical industry and politics   Salon  ...It would have been easy to miss the EpiPen story this week, drowned out as it almost was by the latest rounds of “What did the Clintons do now” and “Is Donald Trump really pivoting?” But it is an important story for what it says about corporate tax loopholes, the robber barons of the pharmaceutical industry, and an absurd and ungainly health care system that so often puts profits and share prices ahead of the health of American citizens...

Rights Advocates Slam Baltimore's "Incomprehensible" Police Spying  Common Dreams  ...Revelations that Baltimore police are spying on residents from the air—which the department publicly confirmed for the first time on Wednesday—have prompted outrage from civil liberties activists who slammed the program as "incomprehensible and unacceptable." Bloomberg revealed this week that the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) had secretly been spying on its residents with small aircrafts outfitted with cameras...

Schuette says 'nobody's off the table' in Flint probe  Detroit Free Press  ...Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said that his independent investigation into the Flint water crisis was delayed by his office getting the same bad information from the state Department of Environmental Quality that the governor says he received. But now that the investigation has begun, he said, it won’t end until he has determined the role that everyone played in one of the nation’s greatest clean water tragedies...

Migrant mothers at Pennsylvania center suspend hunger strike ‘due to threats’  The Guardian  ...Female asylum seekers held with their children at the Berks County Residential Center in Pennsylvania say they have been “pushed to suspend” a two-week long hunger strike “due to threats from immigration officials.” In a letter to reporters, 22 mothers who refused meals to protest their indefinite detention said they were told: “If our health is weak, the government can take our children from us and send us to jails for adults”...

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