Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For October 17, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Teamster Bus Drivers Ratify First Contract With In Durham Santa Rosa  Teamster.org  ...Teamster bus drivers and monitors at Durham School Services in Santa Rosa County, Fla. voted overwhelmingly, 85-1, in favor of their first agreement with the company. This agreement, reached on Oct.8, 2016, is a victory for these workers, who voted overwhelmingly to form a union with the Teamsters in February 2013... 

First Student Drivers In Connecticut Vote To Join Local 493  Teamster.org  ...vers at a First Student yard in Stonington, Conn. voted overwhelmingly to join the International Brotherhood of Teamsters on Wednesday, October 12, 2016. More than 86 percent of the voting drivers chose the Teamsters union. The 26 workers in the bargaining unit will become members of Local 493 in Uncasville, Conn., which already represents several First Student yards in the state of Connecticut... 

Teamsters Celebrate School Bus Safety Week  Teamster.org  ...The International Brotherhood of Teamsters announced the formation of the Teamsters National School Bus Safety Committee in honor of National School Bus Safety Week, which begins today. The committee is being formed to address safety issues at school bus companies throughout the United States and Canada. The Drive Up Standards campaign, founded by the Teamsters more than 10 years ago, has focused heavily on safety...

Firefighters in California Join Teamsters Local 439  Teamster.org  ...A group of 17 firefighters and administrative assistants from a fire district near Stockton, Calif. have joined Teamsters Local 439. The battalion chiefs, captains, lieutenants, engineer lieutenants, firefighters and administrative assistants work for the French Camp-McKinley Fire Protection District. The workers sought to join Local 439, and the local was recognized in late September...

Seven in 10 UC workers struggle to feed themselves and their families, study shows  LA Times  ...Seven in 10 University of California workers in clerical, administrative and support services struggle to put adequate food on the table, according to a new Occidental College study. Peter Dreier, an Occidental professor of politics who conducted the study with two colleagues and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 2010, said the results were startling...

Teamsters union wins elections at two XPO facilities  JOC.com  ...The Teamsters union made inroads this week, albeit narrow ones, in its battle to organize XPO Logistics, winning representation elections at a less-than-truckload facility in Aurora, Illinois, and at a warehouse in North Haven, Connecticut. The representation votes at the two facilities are part of a broader effort by the Teamsters to bring their union to port, freight, and intermodal workers across the country...

Teamsters Health & Benefits Expo Draws 350  Labor Press  ...More than 350 people perused exhibits from hearing-health providers, pharmacy-benefit managers, and more at the Teamsters Center Services fund’s annual Health & Benefits Expo Oct. 14, held at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Manhattan. The center, a Teamsters’ Taft-Hartley trust fund that provides services to 20 locals, conceived the event 23 years ago, says fund administrator Andy Johnson...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

South Africa: No End in Sight for Robertson Winery Workers' Strike  EWN  ...The Commercial Stevedoring Agricultural and Allied Workers' Union has vowed that its members will continue a month-long strike against Robertson Winery until demands are met. About 220 workers went on strike in August, demanding an R8,500 minimum wage. The union is expected to meet with the employer next week to begin mediation under the auspices of the CCMA...

As Deadline Looms, WikiLeaks Reveals Corporate Demands From The EU  Huffington Post  ...WikiLeaks released demands by the EU to lock in a wide list of services sectors to TISA’s privatization and deregulation provisions, including public services in developing countries. Global union federations, including Public Services International, the International Union of Food workers, International Transport Workers’ Federation, UNI Global Union, and Education International as well as European federations, for the first time made a united call to suspend the talks...

European Commission paralysed over data flows in TiSA trade deal  EurActive  ...European Commission officials have struck a deal that could put a clause guaranteeing international data flows into a trade agreement with 22 countries outside the bloc, including the United States and Australia. But the Commission is in deadlock over whether to cave to pressure from the US despite criticism that salvaging the pact on services could undermine EU privacy law...

Thousands protest TTIP, CETA deals in France, Poland, & Spain as EU vote looms closer  RT.com  ...Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Paris, Warsaw, and Madrid, urging their governments to reject the TTIP and CETA free-trade agreements with the US and Canada. Some 7,000 people demonstrated in the Polish capital of Warsaw on Saturday, RIA Novosti reported. People carried banners that called the deals "toxic," "threatening to local agriculture" and a "dictatorship of corporations." People opposing the deals also fear that genetically modified products might appear on local markets...

Australia Unions at odds with Labor over Trans-Pacific Partnership's 'negligible' benefits  The Guardian  ...Australia’s union movement has set itself on a collision course with the federal Labor party, calling for a rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement which Labor supports in principle. The Australian Council of Trade Unions appeared before the joint standing committee on treaties on Monday, which is reviewing the TPP...

After Seven Years and Millions of Dollars, Decision Announced in Pac Rim Mining Company vs. El Salvador  IPS  ...Civil society groups worldwide that have allied with Salvadoran communities and organizations working on mining and environmental issues reacted to today’s decision by the controversial International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on the seven-year old case of Pac Rim Cayman vs. El Salvador, stating that “there are no winners” in this case...

Anti-Austerity Protesters to Rally in Athens Against Labor Law Reforms on Monday  Sputnik News  ...The rally against planned changes to the Greek labor legislation that the government plans to implement as part of the austerity reforms in the country, will take place in Syntagma Square, the central square of Athens, on Monday, local media reported. The participants of the demonstration will reportedly demand that the government restores collective wage bargaining laws and revokes salaries and pension cuts, raising the minimum wage...

Aid Groups Warn of More 'Unnecessary Deaths' in Haiti as Cholera Outbreak Threatens  Common Dreams  ...Cholera is rapidly spreading in Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew and the country will be struck by another outbreak of the devastating disease if a massive effort isn't launched to prevent it, aid agencies warn. "In its wake, the hurricane left pools of stagnant water, overflowing rivers and dead bodies—creating a breeding ground for the waterborne disease," the Guardian wrote Friday...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Indiana: To Empower Unions, Labor Targets State Elections   NPR  ...Indiana labor unions are hoping to gain back some of the power they've lost in Indiana in recent decades by getting out the vote for state and local Democrats in November. But with a distracting presidential campaign backdrop and an uphill battle to reform state labor policies, organizers are facing a lot of obstacles...

Florida court strikes down ‘obscene’ vote-by-mail law after Democrats sue  Think Progress  ...A court in Tallahassee struck down Florida’s policy of throwing out absentee ballots when the voter’s signature doesn’t exactly match the one the state has on file. The Sunday night ruling sided with the Florida Democratic Party and Democratic National Committee and declared the policy unconstitutional...

California: the deep pockets behind proposition campaigns  SacBee  ...More than 8,400 different donors have given to campaigns for and against the 17 propositions on the Nov. 8 ballot, ranging from Fortune 500 corporations to everyday Californians. But a relative handful of trade groups, tobacco companies, unions and wealthy individuals are responsible for almost all of the more than $350 million in itemized contributions received by the main proposition campaign committees...

Tennessee: America’s Richest Politician Is Putting Thousands of Jobs at Risk  Huffington Post  ...Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, whose family owns the Pilot Flying J chain of truck stops, has refused to release his tax returns since running and being elected in 2010. And it wouldn’t matter so much if Tennessee were your run-of-the-mill state. Tennessee has the highest percentage of minimum wage workers in the country, and its social safety net has all but withered away. It matters because Haslam has a plan that could plunge thousands of state workers into poverty...

Minnesota Chamber sues Minneapolis over sick time rules  Star Tribune  ...Minneapolis’ efforts to mandate the pay and benefits offered by private employers in the city took a pummeling from businesses on Friday. The state’s largest business association, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, sued the city to halt an ordinance requiring businesses to offer sick time to employees...

 

U.S. LABOR

Striking Harvard dining hall workers arrested amid protest over pay  The Guardian  ...Four hundred people gathered in Harvard Square on Friday, cheering as 11 protesting dining hall workers and union officials were arrested for allegedly blocking traffic. Seven hundred and fifty members of the Unite Here Local 26 union began their strike after four months of negotiations over wages and healthcare. More protests are planned for Monday. Students plan a class walk-out...

Verizon Announces Massive Layoffs And Call Center Closings  NH Labor News  ...Verizon has announced it is closing a total of seven call centers, in addition to laying off 3,200 retail store workers nationwide. These are non-union represented jobs, with the exception of six Verizon Wireless stores in Brooklyn, NY and one in Everett, Mass., where CWA members won first contracts this year. Earlier this year, CWA won the return of work from overseas that had been performed by CWA members on the wireline side of the company...

'We're Dying Like Flies': Sick, Retired Coal Miners Betrayed by GOP Senators  Common Dreams  ..."The country must not turn its back on coal miners," right-wing Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell told constituents in eastern Kentucky last week. Yet coal miners—many "facing a slow death" from black lung and other deadly illnesses from a lifetime of mining coal—say that McConnell and other Senate Republicans are doing exactly that, the Associated Press reports...

D.C. Metro sues transit union, refusing to negotiate over punishment guidelines  Washington Post  ....Metro is suing its largest union to preserve control over the written disciplinary guidelines it uses to penalize workers violating its policies. Responding to a complaint from Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, arbitrator David Vaughn decided that Metro must negotiate with the union to institute a new policy on the criteria managers must use to determine punishments. Now, Metro is calling that decision “absurd and irrational”...

LeBron James says union prioritizes help for retired players in talks  NBA  ...NBA players are pushing for more money in the next collective bargaining agreement - for the players who came before them. Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James, vice president of the NBPA's executive committee, told The Associated Press on Thursday the union has made getting aid for retired players a priority in their talks with NBA owners on a new deal...

Amazon to Add 120,000 Workers for Holidays  Wall Street Journal  ...Amazon.com Inc. plans to hire 20% more seasonal workers for its U.S. warehouses this holiday season as some competitors have kept hiring steady. The Seattle retailer plans to add 120,000 seasonal positions, up from 100,000 last year. By comparison, Target Corp. is looking to hire 70,000 additional workers in its stores, the same as last year. However, Target is looking to add 7,500 additional workers for its distribution and fulfillment facilities, up from 6,500 last year, according to a spokeswoman...

U.S. job openings hit eight-month low, labor market still strong  Reuters  ...U.S. job openings fell to an eight-month low in August and hiring was little changed, suggesting some easing in labor market conditions amid an aging economic recovery. Still, details of the Labor Department's monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey report published on Wednesday continued to point to a solid jobs market, with a steady rise in the number of people voluntarily quitting their jobs and declining layoffs...

American Workers Forfeit $272 Billion Worth of Time Off  NBC  ...American workers collectively leave $272 billion worth of vacation time on the table, according to a new study — and it's a drag on worker productivity as well as companies' balance sheets. "There are no winners when people don't take time off," said Katie Denis, senior director of Project: Time Off, a travel industry group that explores how people use (or don't use) their vacation time...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

As Flint Suffers, Big Pharma Slammed for Lead Poison Drug Price Hike of 2,700%  Common Dreams  ...Outrage is growing this week amid revelations that the pharmaceutical company Valeant raised the price for its critical lead-poisoning treatment by more than 2,700 percent in a single year. Before Valeant took control of the medication, known as Calcium EDTA, in 2013, the average price for a package of vials was stable at $950, the medical news outlet STAT reported... 

The 2016 electoral map is collapsing around Donald Trump  Washington Post  ...Forget Virginia. Or Colorado. Or lots of other traditional swing states. Right now, Donald Trump's campaign is in such bad free fall, states that haven't voted for a Democrat in generations are suddenly coming into play as the Republican nominee's path to 270 electoral votes collapses all around him. Over the past 72 hours, polls have come out in Alaska, Texas and Utah that show Trump narrowly ahead of Hillary Clinton...

Donald Trump thinks SNL is rigging the election and should be canceled  CNN Money ...Saturday night, SNL opened with a mocking reenactment of the second presidential debate. The biggest laughs came from Alec Baldwin's portrayal of a stalking, lewd, deceptive Trump. The live SNL audience was cracking up, but apparently the real Trump wasn't. In a tweet, the Republican nominee said that Baldwin's portrayal "stinks." He also called on NBC to end its "boring and unfunny" show. And he said that SNL was trying to rig the election against him...

Central Park Five's Yusef Salaam: Donald Trump Needs to Be Fired from Running for President  Democracy Now  ...In 1989, Yusef Salaam and four other African-American and Latino teenagers were arrested for beating and raping a white woman in New York City’s Central Park. They became known as the Central Park Five. Donald Trump took out full-page ads in New York newspapers calling for their execution. Then, in 2002, their convictions were vacated after the real rapist came forward and confessed to the crime...

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