Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News For November 29, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Teamsters Call For Injunctive Relief In The Face Of Serious Safety Violations Affecting UPS Aircraft Mechanics   Teamsters...The complaint, filed Nov. 23 in U.S. District Court in the Western District of Kentucky, calls on UPS to immediately halt the use of more than 100 lifts that allow workers to reach the mechanical components of the aircraft and rise up to 25 feet from the ground. The complaint states: “All employees who work on the damaged lifts face an imminent risk of severe injury or death”...

New Contract For Public Employees At CUNY   Teamsters Local 237...Local 237 in New York recently announced a contract victory covering 1,150 workers at the City University of New York (CUNY). CUNY is the public university system of New York City and the largest urban university in the United States. As the largest local union in the Teamsters, Local 237 has represented CUNY workers for many years...

UPS Mechanics Seek Injunction In Federal Court    Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky.)...The request, filed last week in U.S. District Court's Western District of Kentucky by the Teamsters Local 2727, comes during collective bargaining with the shipping giant over a new contract and amid allegations that the company has placed several faulty lifts back into service. The union alleges that the UPS circumvented a process for handling Phoenix brand lifts that have malfunctioned...

Chicago Teamsters Hispanic Caucus Honor Business Agent Ramon Williams at Annual Boxing Event   Teamsters Local 700...On Saturday, Nov. 5, the Chicago Teamsters Hispanic Caucus hosted their annual boxing night event at Teamsters City, welcoming more than 200 local Teamsters and guests. This year, the caucus chose to honor Local 700 Business Agent Ramon Williams at the event with a Leadership Award in recognition of his dedication and leadership to the Teamsters...

Minnesota Trucking Company Padlocks Doors, Shutting Out 95 Workers  Transport Topics Online...Lakeville Motor Express in Roseville, Minnesota, abruptly padlocked its doors, locking out 95 truck drivers and dockworkers. Workers said they did not receive their paychecks Nov. 23. The surprised workers, who are part of Teamsters Local 120, found themselves picketing outside the company’s new sister location, Finish Line Express, in Maple Grove...

ABX-Union Dispute Goes to Arbitration   My Dayton Daily News...The issue that sent the pilots to picket lines — company-scheduled “emergency” flights that the pilots said were keeping them on the job for far too long — will now go to an arbitration and grievance process, said Joe Hete, chief executive of Air Transport Services Group, which is based in Wilmington. “First and foremost the judge ruled that the remaining open issue the union raised is a ‘minor dispute,’ so effectively it goes to grievance/arbitration,” Hete wrote in an email to the Dayton Daily News Monday. “Beyond that, should be business as usual”...

Successful Organizing Drive At Canada Cartage   Teamsters Canada...For over a year, Teamsters Local Union 31 has endeavoured to organize Canada Cartage System throughout British Columbia and the Yukon Territory. Thanks to the leadership of President Stan Hennessy and Organizer Ben Hennessy, Local Union 31 has accomplished its goal and they are proud to welcome new drivers into the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT)...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Workers For McDonald's In Malaysia Say They Were Victims Of Labour Exploitation   The Guardian...Workers at McDonald's restaurants in Malaysia claim they earned as little as 60p an hour and were cheated out of months of salary. The workers allege they were subjected to months – and in some cases years – of exploitation by Human Connection HR, a labour supply company contracted by McDonald's in Malaysia to provide workers to its restaurants in Kuala Lumpur. The workers, who come from Nepal, say they had their passports confiscated, in contravention of Malaysian law...

Vietnam Vows Full Speed Ahead With Economic Reforms, With Or Without The TPP   South China Morning Post...The Communist government in Hanoi plans to push ahead with more than 30 separate pieces of legislation proposed to comply with the trade deal, including rules on labour, business, foreign trade, and small-and-medium enterprises. Since a new Constitution was adopted in 2013, Vietnam’s lawmakers have passed more than 100 laws – a scale of change unseen since the nation introduced the market-oriented doi moi reforms in the 1980s...

‘Modernize’ NAFTA, Mexico’s New Ambassador To US Says In Tucson  Arizona Daily Star...Mexico’s new ambassador to the U.S. says the country is prepared to “modernize” the North American Free Trade Agreement and wants to restart a guest-worker system that could address concerns about illegal immigration. “There is no need to fight each other,” Carlos Manuel Sada Solano said during a private meeting Monday with political and business leaders at Hacienda del Sol Resort. “We are working together in order to compete with the rest of the world”...

Japan Caught In Dilemma With TPP Facing Dead End, RCEP And FTAAP In Focus   Xinhua Net...Japan has been pushing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement through the parliament, a desperate move to "save face" for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe but evokes criticism from the opposition camp. Abe has told a special upper house committee that the ruling camp would stick to its plan to get the TPP ratified, despite the fact that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump had made it clear that he would pull the United States out of the free trade pact on the first day in office...

Clinging To Illusions – The Blinkered Elite Who Still Think Austerity Works   The Guardian (opinion)...Look around today: the political class of 2016 is stuffed with people firmly clinging on to their illusions. Come Brexit, come possible break-up of Europe: no lessons will be learned, barely an inch will be deviated from the ordained course. For some, the best pose is an uncomprehending defiance. Taking a break from tending to his £27m property portfolio, Tony Blair tells the New Statesman, “I can’t come into front-line politics. There’s just too much hostility.” Thus does the patron saint of exasperation inform his ex-voters: it’s not me, it’s you...

Tsakalotos Calls On IMF To Stop Pressing For Extra Austerity   Eka Themarini...Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos on Monday called on the International Monetary Fund not to seek a compromise that would be detrimental to Greece in comments at the 27th annual conference of the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce. It is not a courageous step to press Greece for more austerity measures instead of clashing with major European countries to secure the reduction of Greece's debt, Tsakalotos said...

TSSA Union Members Vote In Favour Of More Industrial Action   City A.M....London Underground workers in the TSSA union have voted in favour of striking, the union announced today. In a ballot of 237 members, with 235 valid papers returned, 159, or 67.7 per cent, voted in favour of a strike, with 76 - 32.3 per cent - voting against. When asked whether they would be prepared to take part in industrial action short of a strike, 217 out of 236, or 91.9 per cent voted yes, with 8.1 per cent, or 19 votes, going against...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Help Workers Earn A Living Wage   The Washington Post (opinion)...If all had gone according to the Obama administration’s plans, 4.2 million middle-income workers would have gotten an early Christmas gift. Under a Labor Department regulation issued in May, they were scheduled to become eligible for overtime pay for hours worked beyond 40 per week, starting Dec. 1. But it almost certainly will not go into effect next month, due to a Nov. 22 ruling by Judge Amos Mazzant of a federal district court in Texas...

Proposal At DC Council Would Give Workers 11 Weeks Paid Family Leave   NBC4...D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson plans to propose a family leave bill that would provide up to 11 weeks of paid leave to workers in D.C. Mendelson’s new plan, which appears to have enough support to gain Council approval, would provide up to 11 weeks off for new parents and up to 8 weeks off for workers who need time to care for a family member...

Unions, Gig-economy Firms Gear Up For New York Benefits Battle  Reuters...Faced with a barrage of lawsuits from workers demanding benefits and recognition as employees, some companies in the fast-growing 'gig economy' are looking to settle the issues through legislation. Joseph Morelle, the number two Democrat in the New York State Assembly, said he has been talking about portable benefits with such companies, which use occasional workers to provide rides, deliveries, house-cleaning and other services through websites and apps. He said he plans to introduce legislation early next year, which would be the first of its kind in the United States and is likely to draw scrutiny from organized labor...

NC Board of Elections Orders Counties to Dismiss Protests from McCrory Campaign   WBTV (Raleigh, NC)...The state board of elections issued an order Monday telling county boards to dismiss any election protest that “merely disputes the eligibility of a voter.” The order comes in the wake of the Republican incumbent Governor Pat McCrory campaign and its supporters filing protests across the state alleging fraud by making claims that dead people voted, some voters cast ballots in more than one state or felons voted improperly...

Senate Win Gives California Dems Supermajority in Both Houses   SF Gate...Democrats apparently wrapped up a two-thirds supermajority in both houses of the California Legislature on Monday, enough to pass tax increases or any other legislation on their own, with a victory in a state Senate district based in Orange County. Democrat Josh Newman of Fullerton (Orange County) edged out Republican Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang of Diamond Bar (Los Angeles County) in final results for the 29th Senate District, the Associated Press reported...

 

U.S. LABOR

Workers To Strike Tuesday At O'Hare And Other Chicago Sites   Chicago Tribune...The Fight for $15 campaign, led by the Service Employees International Union, is marking the fourth anniversary of its first strike of McDonald's workers in New York with a nationwide day of protests it says will be its most disruptive yet, in hopes of conveying a message to the incoming Trump administration that it "won't back down" from its movement to raise wages. O'Hare is one of 20 airports across the country where there will be protests and the only airport where workers will hold an unfair labor practices strike...

Airport Workers At Major U.S. Hubs To Join Fight For $15 Protests Tuesday   Washington Post...Authorities say the demonstrations, planned for airports in New York, Los Angeles, Washington and elsewhere will have minimal impacts on operations, but workers are hoping they will draw the attention of travelers returning from the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Workers at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport are taking more serious steps and planning to strike. This could be the largest demonstration of service industry workers as part of the growing labor movement known as the Fight for $15...

Uber Drivers Demand Higher Pay In Nationwide Protest   CNET...Uber drivers will join forces with fast food, home care and airport workers in a nationwide protest on Tuesday. Their demand: higher pay. Dubbed the "Day of Disruption," drivers for the ride-hailing company in two dozen cities, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, will march at airports and in shopping areas. The protest underscores the dilemma Uber faces as it balances the needs of its drivers with its business...

Sticking Points Remain As MLB, Union Look To Avoid Lockout By Thursday Deadline   The Washington Post...Since a strike of record length cost baseball the 1994 World Series and delayed the start of the following season, the sport has endured its share of controversy, led by a steroid epidemic that ate at the integrity of the game during the early part of this century. But even through that, baseball enjoyed two things – enduring labor peace and related prosperity. That record of uninterrupted peace is at stake this week as negotiators from both Major League Baseball and the players' union meet in Dallas in an effort to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement before the current pact expires Thursday...

Philadelphia Teachers' Union President Rejects $100M Offer   The Associated Press...The president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers has rejected a four-year, $100 million contract offer from the district. Philadelphia teachers have been working without a contract for three years and without raises for four. The proposed contract would include bonuses for teachers in hard-to-staff schools, and raises for teachers now maxed out on the pay scale...

Rite Aid Workers Take To The Streets Over Benefit Cuts   Gothamist...According to SEIU 1199, the union that represents the workers and organized the march, Rite Aid currently owes the union's benefits fund millions of dollars. A spokesperson for the union explained that Rite Aid employees were previously covered by health insurance through the benefit fund, but last week were cut due to the firm's lack of payment. The employees are now on Rite Aid's own benefit plan, which they claim is inferior to the union plan...

How Amazon Gets It's Holiday Hires Up To Speed In Two Days   The Wall Street Journal...Amazon.com Inc. wants its warehouse employees to get to work—fast. To prepare for the flood of holiday orders already under way, the retail giant has been using technology ranging from touch screens to robots to shrink the time it takes to train new hires to as little as two days, compared with up to six weeks for a conventional warehouse job. The shorter training period saves Amazon money, and could give the company room to offer higher wages as it seeks to expand its workforce about 40% by adding 120,000 temporary workers at its U.S. warehouses for the peak sales season that runs roughly from November through December...

Will We Ever Be Able To Retire? Boomers And Gen X-ers Are Worried   Washington Post...The Addison Group’s Third Annual Workplace Survey found that 51 percent of American workers surveyed are concerned that they will not be able to retire when they want. Those concerns about retirement were strongest among women. Only 43 percent of women surveyed felt they would be financially able to retire. And by generation, the biggest concerns came from baby boomers and Gen X-ers. Millennials, meanwhile, were significantly more confident about their retirement prospects...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Rigging The “Gig Economy”: A Proposed Bill Will Lure Freelance Workers To Sign Away Their Employee Rights For Cash   Salon.com...The proposal, reportedly in a draft bill Handy has circulated in its home state of New York, would establish a system in which participating companies who categorize workers as independent contractors to pay the equivalent of 2.5 percent of a workers’ income into individual health savings accounts. In return, employees who would enter into a deal like this would essentially accept their classification as non-employees, shutting them out of any efforts later to sue for benefits like overtime pay or unemployment insurance...

We Say Black Lives Matter Because We Have To   Dig Mag (opinion)...As a child, I thought everyone was on a level playing field and had the same opportunities. I was wrong. This I realized the day George Zimmerman was ruled innocent after gunning down Trayvon Martin. And so a new trend began, as if the grim reaper himself was looming over the black community. People of color, of all ages, being shot dead in their cars, at parks, in the middle of streets. Yes, I am angry, and it has everything to do with the color of my skin...

Still Without Clean Water, Flint Demands Aid From Lame-Duck Congress   Common Dreams...The mayor of Flint, Michigan, and over 100 advocacy groups on Monday sent an open letter to all members of Congress, demanding emergency aid to help the city cope with its ongoing water crisis. The city, whose residents continue to suffer from health problems related to lead-tainted drinking water, still does not have clean water...

The Republican Attack On The American Dream   The Atlantic...House Speaker Paul Ryan has put upward mobility front and center in his new conservative reform plan. Ryan's thesis sounds simple: Work is the surest path out of poverty, and government programs should encourage low-income workers to find jobs, develop skills, and work their way off government support. But, Ryan pushes a kind of minimalist-design-aesthetic approach to social policy—to add, one must first take away. With a deep belief that government support for the poor often hurts them in the long run, Ryan has repeatedly proposed to cut welfare programs by trillions of dollars in the next decade...

Pay More And Get Less: The Ryan Plan To Privatize Medicare   Daily Kos...Tom Price, chairman of the House Budget Committee, has indicated Republicans will try to privatize Medicare in a budget reconciliation bill (a sneaky filibuster proof attack). You’re going to hear a lot about “choice” and “efficiency” and the amazingness of markets, but Ryan’s plan basically comes down to two things: 1) you will pay more, and 2) you will get less...