Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For October 31, 2016

TEAMSTERS

NY Teamsters Seek Contract for Broadway Casting Directors  Deadline  ...Teamsters Local 817, which represents New York’s film and TV drivers and casting directors, is seeking a contract for Broadway’s casting directors. “Did you know that casting directors are among the only craftspeople on Broadway that do not have employer-provided health care and pension benefits?” wrote Teamsters Local 817 president Thomas J. O’Donnell in an open letter to the Broadway community...

City Working with Companies and Union to Avert NYC School Bus Strike  ABC  ...Mayor Bill de Blasio says he's optimistic that a school bus strike threatened for Tuesday will not take place. Drivers plan to strike two bus companies serving 600 routes in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. A spokesman for the Teamsters union says 85 percent of its members at Jofaz Transportation and Y&M Transit voted in favor of a strike at a meeting Wednesday night...

Sun Link streetcar workers vote to join Teamsters  Tucson.com  ...In early October, 14 of 19 eligible Sun Link Streetcar employees voted on whether to join the Teamsters Union and, among those who participated, the result was a unanimous yes. That vote adds to the union density of the local transit system, in which the far more numerous Sun Tran and Sun Van drivers are already represented by the same union... 

Pepsi Members Receive Seniority Implementation Dispute Awards  Local 727  ...Several Pepsi members filed grievances against the beverage giant due to wrongful decision-making in recent job placements and, as a result of an arbitration, won awards. “Pepsi did not follow the contract by executing the bid incorrectly,” John Coli, Jr., President of Teamsters Local 727, said... 

UCSD Skilled Workers Protest Stalled Contract Negotiations  The Triton  ...Members of The Teamsters Local 2010 Skilled Trade Workers Union gathered around Library Walk to protest stalled negotiations with administrators to form a fair contract on Tuesday, Oct. 25. The workers are requesting a contract that includes providing fair wages, stopping rising health, retirement, and parking costs and ending the practice of hiring outside workers for lower wages... 

Port truck drivers, gig-economy workers have much in common  Press Telegram  ...A truck driver showed his payment statement as Teamsters from Local 848 prepared to walk a picket line stopping truck drivers temporarily at Intermodal Bridge Transport, Inc., in Wilmington on Wednesday morning. In a good year, he says he can rake in $80,000 a year. But the barrel-chested grandfather says he takes home only $25,000 after paying gas, insurance, taxes and rental fees for the big-rig he drives...

Daimler and unions reach agreement on a new 5-year contract at the Portland truck plant  NW Labor Press  ...Workers at Daimler’s Portland truck plant ratified new five-year union contracts Oct. 29 by overwhelming margins. Machinists Lodge 1005 is the largest of four unions at the plant, and bargains jointly with Teamsters Local 305, Painters Local 1094, and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 49...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

UK: Post Office workers to strike over job losses, pension changes and branch closures  ITV.com  ...Post Office workers and managers across the country will stage a fresh strike Monday in a dispute over jobs, pensions and branch closures. Members of the Communication Workers Union and Unite will walk out for the second time in as many months, with further action closer to Christmas not ruled out. The unions are in dispute over the closure of the final salary pension scheme, job losses...

EU, U.S. trade deal not dead yet: EU's Malmstrom  Reuters  ...A much-debated trade deal between the European Union and the United States is not dead and negotiations will continue with the new U.S. administration after November's elections, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said on Saturday. Paul Magnette, the premier of Belgium's region of Wallonia who led opposition to the Canadian trade deal, told his parliament on Friday that with the concessions he managed to agree, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) was "dead and buried"...

Froman getting 'ready to go' on TPP  Politico  ...If the Obama administration gets its lame-duck vote on the TPP, it will be ready. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman tells Morning Trade that its preparation for such a moment has been exhaustive — and he expressed optimism, in light of outreach that’s been done on Capitol Hill, of strong support from Republicans and Democrats who voted last year to give President Barack Obama “fast track” authority to finish the deal...

Japanese split on TPP   Asian Review  ...Only 38% of the Japanese public supports having the parliament approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, while 35% are opposed, according to a new Nikkei/TV Tokyo survey conducted from Friday to Sunday. The government and ruling parties seek swift passage to create a free trade zone encompassing 12 Pacific Rim nations...

Messy victory for EU in Canada trade pact  Politico  ...After seven years of negotiations and more than two weeks of being held hostage by Belgium’s Wallonia region, the landmark trade pact between the EU and Canada was signed Sunday at a hastily rescheduled “summit” that lasted little more than two hours. In announcing that Wallonia had decided to approve the Canada deal, Paul Magnette, the region’s minister-president, declared that he had won concessions that would wipe out any prospect of the EU completing a similar landmark accord with the United States...

New Zealand PM John Key says TPP has a 50:50 chance of being passed in Congress lame-duck period  NZ Herald  ...Prime Minister John Key believes the TPP still has a 50-50 chance of being passed in the lame-duck Congressional period after the November 8 presidential election. He says a lot would depend on the direction given by Congress' top ranking Republican, Speaker Paul Ryan, and whether Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton won the election...

UK: Uber drivers win key employment case  BBC  ...Uber drivers have won the right to be classed as workers rather than self-employed. The ruling by a London employment tribunal means drivers for the ride-hailing app will be entitled to holiday pay, paid rest breaks and the national minimum wage. The GMB union described the decision as a "monumental victory" for some 40,000 drivers in England and Wales...

Brazil’s Austerity – Steps Towards The Abyss  Social Europe  ...In 2015, Brazil started to implement a fiscal policy based on austerity, following with some years of delay the path that many European countries, such as Greece, Portugal and Spain had entered into right after the 2008 international financial crisis. In Europe, the results of this policy choice are well-known. As summarized by Joseph Stiglitz, in a recent interview, as the Troika ‘started insisting on more and more austerity, the economies got weaker, tax revenues went down...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

W.Va. anti-union group not reporting political activity  Gazette-Mail  ...An anti-union group linked to organizations involved in campaign violations in Montana and allegedly unreported political contributions in Iowa has mailed pro-Republican political material to voters in West Virginia, while not reporting that activity to the Secretary of State’s Office. Letters obtained by the Gazette-Mail show that a group operating under the name West Virginia Right to Work Committee has mailed out letters that praise state senators who supported the state’s recently passed right-to-work law...

S. Dakota: at least 3 groups backing ballot measures raise over $1M  Daily Progress  ...State campaign finance reports released Friday show that at least three groups backing South Dakota ballot measures have taken in over $1 million each since late May. The reports, which cover May 24 through Oct. 24 in most cases, offer a comprehensive peek into campaigns' finances before Election Day. Supporters of a labor-backed ballot measure that would allow unions to charge fees to nonmembers have brought in more than $620,000...

Some servers in central Maine fear losing tips under Question 4  Portland Press Herald  ...The referendum proposal, which goes before voters as Question 4, also would bring the minimum wage for tipped workers, currently set at half the regular minimum wage, up to $12 an hour by 2024. Proponents of the increase, including the Maine People’s Alliance and AFL-CIO, which spearheaded efforts to get the initiative on the ballot, say the change would help workers and put more money in the economy...

W.Va. labor rallies set ahead of election  Metro News  ...Organized labor in West Virginia will stage a number of rallies around the state in the coming days. The events are called “Working Family Rallies” and are aimed at generating interest in a number of issues organized labor believes are crucial with the current makeup of the legislature...

D.C. Chamber of Commerce Slams Paid Leave Proposal  City Paper  ...For the second time this week, old D.C. Council colleagues are locking horns over a proposal for paid family leave. Former At-Large Councilmember Vincent Orange, who now directs the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, has joined Mayor Muriel Bowser in taking aim at a bill that D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and his staff are marking up. The rub is over how to finance the benefit, which the D.C. government would administer... 

NYC Council to Pass First-Ever 'Gig Economy' Wage Theft Bill  Village Voice  ...New York City is about to approve first-of-its-kind legislation protecting freelancers and "gig economy" workers against wage theft. Nearly three-quarters of independent contractors have struggled to collect payment during their career, according to the Freelancers Union...

 

U.S. LABOR

No Deal Yet As SEPTA Strike Looms; Negotiations 'Tense'  ABC  ...Negotiations to avert a strike that would affect SEPTA bus, trolley, and subway riders are continuing Monday morning. The talks at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel in Center City, which went on through the weekend, were described as tense. 5,700 of SEPTA's unionized workers are threatening to go on strike. At issue are healthcare, pension and non-economic issues like schedules, break times and driver fatigue...

AFL-CIO Backs SAG-AFTRA Strike Against Video Game Companies  Variety  ...AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has issued a strong statement of support for the six-day-old SAG-AFTRA voice actors strike against video game companies. “The AFL-CIO stands in solidarity with the SAG-AFTRA voice-over and motion-capture performers who are on strike after failed negotiations with eleven video game employers,” Trumka said. “Performers deserve a modern contract that offers the protections necessary to work in today’s video game industry”...

Unions, others call for equity from Nashville’s boom   The Tennessean  ...Construction cranes dominate Nashville’s skyline, developers have discovered riches in previously ignored neighborhoods, and the city tops all sorts of lists that rank the nation’s hottest places to live. But a group of Nashville unions and other like-minded organizations say too many Nashvillians aren’t benefiting from the economic boom...

1 In 6 Workers That Die On The Job In US Are Temporary Or Contract Workers  NH Labor News  ...The American Staffing Association, trade group for the fast-growing temporary and contract worker industry, has ignored critical safety issues at “Staffing World 2016,” a national conference taking place this week in San Diego. “One out of every six workers who dies on the job in the United States is a temporary or contract worker”... 

Retailers Follow Wal-Mart's Lead on Overtime Rule Compliance  Bloomberg  ...Large retailers are complying with the Labor Department’s new overtime requirements more than a month before enforcement begins, even as their lobbyists try to block the rule in Congress. The regulation, expected to make some 4 million new workers eligible for overtime pay starting Dec. 1, is a signature piece of the president’s middle-class agenda...

New York Attorney General forces Amazon delivery firm to pay $100G settlement  Daily News  ...A company contracted by Amazon that failed to deliver on pay day must pony up $100,000 to more than 100 workers, according to a settlement announced Friday by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Cornucopia Logistics cheated the employees out of wages by deducting pay for lunch breaks that weren’t taken and failing to compensate workers for all of their hours...

Do Unions Like Donald Trump? AFL-CIO Poll Shows GOP Nominee Lagging Behind Mitt Romney  IBTimes  ...Donald Trump has positioned himself as the champion and voice of the middle class throughout his campaign, but his support among union members does not reflect that idea. A poll of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the largest federation of unions in the United States, reveals union support for Trump is waning... 

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Will the DOJ or FCC Stop the AT&T Merger from Creating World's Largest Media Conglomerate?  Democracy Now  ...Telecommunications giant AT&T has agreed to purchase Time Warner for $85 billion. If approved by federal antitrust regulators, the megamerger would give AT&T control over Warner Bros. film and television studios, along with CNN, TNT, HBO and many other brands. Critics warn of further limits to competition and higher prices for customers...

Why these economists say Hillary Clinton’s tax hike could create jobs  Washington Post  ...According to new dynamic projections from the Tax Policy Center, Clinton's plan to increase taxes would help the economy over the long term if the revenue was used to reduce the deficit, while Trump's plan to reduce taxes would prove counterproductive. The projections are based on a model developed by economists at the University of Pennsylvania...

Agreeing On More Money For Roads, Bridges May Be Easier Than Finding Workers  NPR  ...Aside from funding, there is also a question about how to find the skilled labor to build all those roads and bridges. "One measure that we see is that the average age of a new construction worker in this country is 28," he says, not the young high-school graduates of before. "And that tells us that most people view construction as a career of last resort." One reason, he says, is that over the years, educational institutions cut back on training programs...

The Justice Department closed this troubled private prison. Immigration authorities are reopening it.  Washington Post  ...When the Justice Department announced two months ago that it wanted to end the use of private prisons, Cibola County Correctional Center was exactly the kind of facility that officials desired to shut down. As soon as this week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is going to begin moving immigrant detainees into the facility under a new set of agreements with Corrections Corporation of America, a county official said...

The case for firing James Comey  (opinion)  Think Progress  ...The Justice Department, as former Deputy Attorneys General Jamie Gorelick and Larry Thompson explain in the Washington Post, operates “under long-standing and well-established traditions limiting disclosure of ongoing investigations to the public and even to Congress, especially in a way that might be seen as influencing an election.” Yet Comey gave unclear but highly damaging information to a major presidential candidate’s political enemies just eleven days before the 2016 election...

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