Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For December 16, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Butte County Workers Join Teamsters  Teamster.org  ...Butte County workers in the social services and general services units have voted to join the Teamsters. Combined, there are more than 1,000 new members of Local 137 in Redding, Calif. “With this win in Butte County, we now have over 41,000 public services members represented by the Teamsters in California alone,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President...

Port Authority Police Officers Join Teamsters Local 79  Teamster.org  ...Police officers and security agents at the Lee County Port Authority in Fort Myers, Florida have voted to form their union with Teamsters Local 79. The workers voted on Tuesday, Dec. 13 and Wednesday, Dec. 14. The vote was 30-12 and there are 43 workers in the bargaining unit. The officers and agents work at two area airports...

Teamsters 117 Joins International Effort to Ensure Fair Working Conditions in the Gig Economy  Local 117  ...A network of European and North American unions, labor confederations, and worker organizations issued a call yesterday for transnational cooperation between workers, worker organizations, platform clients, platform operators, and regulators to ensure fair working conditions and worker participation in governance in the growing world of digital labor platforms. John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117 in Seattle, Washington, referenced public policy changes that could help stabilize platform-based work...

University of California workers plan 5-day strike in January  OC Register  ...A union announced Thursday that University of California workers will strike for five days in January, a move aimed to disrupt operations as students and faculty return from winter break. Teamsters from Local 2010 said that the strike would protest the “numerous violations” of state labor law and unfair practices...

After Raucous Hearing Last Week, Council Majority Doubles Down on Pro-Union Position for Uber Drivers  Seattle Met  ...Five city council members think the standard that qualifies an Uber driver to participate in a unionization vote should be higher than the one recommended by the mayor’s team. Uber wants more drivers to vote, labor suspects, because having a bigger pool including part time drivers will likely divide and conquer the push for a union. The Teamsters are more interested in having full-timers at the bargaining table...

Selectmen, town unions reach new deals  Seacoastonline.com  ...Voters will be asked to approve new three-year contracts for four town employee unions next March. Selectmen ratified and voted this week to move the contracts to the March ballot for the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 2664 (firefighters) and Local 3017 (fire supervisors), International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 633 and the State Employees of New Hampshire SEIU Local 1984...

CEDA locks out workers after collective bargaining talks fail  Fort McMurray Today  ...After months of negotiations towards a collective bargaining agreement, 15 unionized mechanics were suddenly locked out of their workplace by CEDA on Wednesday. “The worst thing is we’re literally three sentences away from reaching a collective agreement,” said Wayne Garner, vice president of Teamsters Local 362...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Mexico: union winning fight for domestic workers   Mexico News Daily  ....Labor stability and lawful benefits normally granted to Mexican workers may soon be available to more than 2.3 million people employed as domestic laborers. The efforts of a new trade union, with support from the National Council to Prevent Discrimination, or Conapred, have now made it mandatory in certain states for employers who hire unionized domestic workers to do so under established contracts...

UK: Post Office strikes to go ahead after talks break down  The Guardian  ...Post Office workers will go ahead with five days of strikes next week after talks over jobs, pay and pensions broke down on Thursday. The Communications Workers Union (CWU) said the Post Office had rejected its offer to suspend strike action in exchange for suspension of the closure of main post offices and for “meaningful negotiations” on pensions and jobs...

Shifting political winds warp EU trade policy  Politico  ...Even if the transatlantic trade pact is not continued, some of the substantial work on regulatory cooperation will go on anyway, two participants pointed out. “For example, the [Food and Drug Administration] — European Medicines Agency cooperation and the joint audits of manufacturing facilities would continue”...

Brexit trade deal with EU could take 10 years, UK envoy to EU says: BBC  Reuters  ...A post-Brexit trade deal between Britain and the European Union might take 10 years to finalize and could still fail, the United Kingdom's ambassador to the bloc has told Prime Minister Theresa May's government, the BBC reported on Thursday. Ivan Rogers, Britain's envoy to the EU, warned ministers that the European consensus was that a deal might not be done until the early to mid-2020s... 

Bangladesh: “We Are Nothing but Machines to Them”  Slate  ...On April 24, 2013, the dreams of a sweatshop-led path out of poverty got a rude jolt. That morning, an eight-story building housing five garment factories collapsed, killing 1,134 men and women, most of whom were crushed to death under concrete and iron as they were making clothes for dozens of international brands. Reporters and labor activists sifting through the debris found links to Benetton, JCPenney, Joe Fresh, and The Children’s Place, among others...

Rights Groups Decry Detention of Nepali Domestic Workers  Solidarity Center  ...Some two dozen human rights organizations are condemning the detention of two Nepali domestic workers in Lebanon, one of whom was deported. Sushila Rana and Roja Maya Limbu were detained “without formal and clear explanation of the charges levelled against them,” according to the International Domestic Workers Federation. Rana was deported December 10, while Limbu has been detained for more than a week without access to a lawyer.

Greece's anti-austerity measures incur creditors' wrath  Aljazeera  ...Greece's left-wing government announced its first counter-austerity measures in more than a year, only to incur the wrath of creditors and beneficiaries. Meanwhile, in the capital Athens pensioners were furious that the government's planned handout to them is a relatively small amount - Tsipras said he will spend $650m on 1.6 million pensioners earning under $30 a day...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES 

Arizona businesses sue to block pay raises  NBC  ...Arizona's most powerful business group filed suit Thursday to block a voter-approved minimum-wage increase from taking effect Jan. 1. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry's lawsuit could block a pay raise for hundreds of thousands of Arizona workers that was overwhelmingly approved last month through Proposition 206... 

North Carolinians Revolt Over Republicans' Brazen Post-Election Coup  Common Dreams  ...Refusing to accept Republican lawmakers' brazen power grab, hundreds of North Carolinians flooded the halls of the General Assembly building in Raleigh Thursday evening to shame the officials as they passed a series of measures aimed at stripping power from Governor-elect Roy Cooper...

New Hampshire: GOP playbook to quickly pass right to work through Senate  NH1.com  ...Expect a speedy push by state Senate Republicans to pass a clean right to work bill early next month. A Republican source with knowledge of GOP plans in the chamber predicts to NH1 News that the state Senate will pass the legislation in the first couple of weeks of January and that the state House of Representatives will have the bill by the end of the month. Some 26 states across the nation currently have right-to-work laws...

New Jersey: Bed Bath & Beyond hit with class action suit over 'fluctuating OT' pay  NJ.com   ...Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. is being sued by a group of New Jersey workers claiming the company has been shorting its employees of overtime pay for years. The class action lawsuit, filed in Middlesex County Superior Court, accuses the company of violating New Jersey's Wage and Hour Law by not paying some of its employees time-and-a-half for hours worked over 40 hours...

Pennsylvania: unions plan special delivery to 'Senator Grinch'  PennLive  ...Unions are delivering Christmas cards extending holiday greetings from the workers who are about to join the ranks of the unemployed to the York County Republican's district office on North George Street in York. The senator has taken partial credit for leading the charge to stop funding that would have averted the need for the layoffs scheduled to take place on Monday, six days before Christmas...

Twin Cities legislators say Walmart is dumping its security costs on the public  City Pages  ...Legislators from St. Paul and Brooklyn Park say the discount giant has been gobbling up an unfair portion of their cities’ public resources. Rather than hiring their own security to deal with petty crimes, they say, Walmart is forcing taxpayers to subsidize security for its stores...

 

U.S. LABOR 

Airport personnel in New York, New Jersey strike union deal for 8,000 workers  Daily News  ...Eight thousand airport workers in New York and New Jersey inked a contract with employers Thursday that recognizes them as part of the 32BJ SEIU union — the first time they’ve been able to join organized labor. The deal signed Thursday by 32BJ Service Employees International Union and the airline companies that employ the workers took seven months of negotiations...

MTA Workers Union Express Their Labor Concerns with Post-It Notes  NY1.com  ...On Wednesday, Transport Workers Union Local 100 took the "Subway Therapy" idea to the MTA's Lower Manhattan headquarters. "Dont't Touch My Health Benefits," read a post-it note. "Diesel Killing Us" read another. The stunt was part of the union's public push for a new contract, with more money and safety protections...

Momentive workers strike for six weeks  NBC  ...With less than two weeks to go before Christmas and Chanukah, union workers continue to strike outside Momentive Performance Materials 24 hours a day. On Tuesday, the union representing striking workers, IUE-CWA Local 81359/81380 held a solidarity rally in its fight for a fair contract, supported by other area unions...

As N.J. loses manufacturing jobs, more workers head to retail and service work  NJ.com  ...Service jobs have supplanted manufacturing, trade and construction as the main source of employment in New Jersey, according to data from the newly released 2011-2015 Census five-year snapshot. Those industries have each lost tens of thousands of workers. Manufacturing was the largest sector to lose workers between the 2005-2009 and 2011-2015 Census surveys...

Apple owes $2 million for not giving workers meal breaks  CNN  ...Apple has been ordered to cut a $2 million check for denying some of its retail workers meal breaks. The lawsuit was first filed in 2011 by four Apple employees in San Diego. They alleged that the company failed to give them meal and rest breaks, and didn't pay them in a timely manner, among other complaints... 

Why so many teachers need a second job to make ends meet  Washington Post  ...Many teachers are paid so poorly, in fact, that they have to take second jobs to pay their bills. A study released earlier this year found that in 2015, the weekly wages of public school teachers in the United States were 17 percent lower than comparable college-educated professionals — and those most hurt were veteran teachers and male teachers... 

Has worker pay really risen the most under Obama?  MarketWatch  ...The White House is taking a victory lap in the final economic report of President Barack Obama’s term, pointing to all the progress made in the last eight years. One of the accomplishments the report cites: the biggest increase in inflation-adjusted worker pay since at least the 1960s. Real hourly pay for private-sector workers excluding supervisors has climbed at an annual 0.8% rate in the current business cycle, White House figures show...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS 

A Blueprint to End Mass Incarceration  The Atlantic  ...The report concludes that 576,000 inmates currently locked up for crimes ranging from mail fraud to simple burglary could be swiftly released without endangering their fellow Americans. Many of those Americans view incarceration as a largely punitive tool. But the report instead focuses on whether or not prison sentences reduce crime or enhance public safety...

Philando Castile had THC in his blood — and cop’s lawyers say that justified shooting him  Raw Story  ...The attorneys for the Minnesota officer who shot Philando Castile earlier this year are arguing that the shooting was justified because Castile was allegedly high on marijuana during his fatal encounter with police. The 32-year-old Castile’s death garnered national headlines earlier this past July when his girlfriend filmed his fatal encounter with police and posted it online...

EPA admits that fracking can contaminate drinking water  Think Progress  ...In light of the facts that tap water near some fracking wells has become flammable, that two families in Pennsylvania last year won a court case over the impacts of fracking on their water, and that scientists have found arsenic in water sources near fracking, the EPA’s announcement Tuesday should not come as a surprise...

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