Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News For December 19, 2016

TEAMSTERS

Teamsters Stand in Solidarity with European Truck Drivers  Teamster.org  ...This week truck drivers across Europe are demanding that IKEA end exploitation in its supply chain. “We have seen similar issues here in the United States as rampant misclassification and ill-advised provisions in trade agreements have threatened the livelihood of hard-working truck drivers trying to earn a living wage,” said International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa...

University Of California Administrative Workers To Strike In January  CBS  ...Administrative workers at the University of California will go on strike at all 10 UC campuses, five medical centers and the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab next month, a union spokesman said Thursday. The system-wide Teamsters Local 2010 strike by administrative workers, planned for Jan. 10, is in solidarity with a corresponding five-day strike at the University of California at Los Angeles, union spokesman Christian Castro said...

Raynham Center Water District Workers Join Teamsters  Teamster.org  ...Nine employees that work for the Raynham Center Water District in Raynham, Mass. voted to join Teamsters Local 653 in South Easton, Mass., securing a strong voice to represent them on the job. The workers, who did not have any representation prior to the vote, approached Local 653 three weeks ago to discuss joining the Teamsters. Local 653 represents more than 200 public service workers in Massachusetts including 130 members at Brockton Public Schools...

Pilots who fly Amazon planes suggest company may not deliver  Chicago Tribune  ...Union pilots who fly products for Amazon.com are taking concerns about pay, working conditions and staffing shortages directly to online shoppers with a digital marketing blitz that suggests the internet retailer may struggle to deliver holiday gifts on time. The union began running advertisements on Facebook and Google last week, paid for by the Airline Professionals Association, Teamsters Local 1224...

New Independent Review Officer Approved by Court  Teamster.org  ...Judge Loretta Preska of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on Friday approved the appointment of the Honorable Barbara S. Jones to serve as the Independent Review Officer for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Independent Disciplinary Office. Jones replaces former U.S. Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti who retired in October...

Union workers, retirees prepare for pension fight in 2017 with unified front  NBC  ...Wisconsin union workers are joining with other states to bring a united message to Washington in the fight for their pensions. Back in May the Treasury Department rejected proposed cuts to the Teamster's Central States Retirement Plan. Teamsters have now established the National Unified Committee to Protect Pensions. The group is working to educate lawmakers, especially newcomers on their mission...

Drug firms poured 780M painkillers into WV amid rise of overdoses  Gazette-Mail  ...In 2015, McKesson's CEO collected compensation worth $89 million — more money than what 2,000 West Virginia families combined earned on average. “What's most remarkable is that the boards of the companies are paying the CEOs as if they were innovators and irreplaceable entrepreneurs, when in fact they are just highly paid middlemen, betting on market consolidation and ever-rising drug prices,” said Ken Hall, international secretary-treasurer of the Teamsters union...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE 

Kazakhstan Seeks to Dissolve Unions  Solidarity Center  ...Union leaders tell the Solidarity Center that the Kazakhstan government has launched a campaign to intimidate union members and to malign and discredit the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (CFTUK). In addition, the regime has initiated legal action to liquidate the confederation, while leaving intact a government-aligned federation. Yet even in the face of threats and danger, union leaders and workers say they vow to hold protests if the CFTUK is dissolved...

Spain: 30,000 March in Anti-Austerity Labor Protest in Madrid  TeleSUR  ...After years of depreciatory right-wing austerity, thousands of workers in Madrid took to the streets Sunday to protest the Spanish government’s labor policies. Nearly 30,000 people showed up to the marches organized by two of the country’s biggest labor unions, the General Union of Workers or UGT and the Workers' Commissions or CCOO...

Kenya’s striking medical workers are using social media to challenge the government  Quartz  ...The ongoing health workers strike in Kenya has taken a new dimension with medics adopting social networking sites to air their grievances. In the process they have forged a discussion in the new information spaces, and rallied support for their actions. Kenya’s medical workers have downed tools to demand the implementation of a collective bargaining agreement signed in 2013... 

EU sees Japan free-trade deal in early 2017  Reuters  ...The European Union said on Saturday it is close to an agreement with Japan on a free-trade deal that has taken on greater significance after President-elect Donald Trump announced U.S. plans to withdraw from a separate pact with Pacific nations. In a statement, the EU's chief trade negotiator with Tokyo said a deal was possible by early next year if Japan opens up to EU farm goods and Europe can agree to granting unfettered access to Japanese cars...

Free trade deals end year on a low note  Radio NZ  ...New Zealand's free trade supporters are licking their wounds after a year of setbacks, culminating in the demise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. With protectionism in vogue, they fear opening up markets will get even harder. "TPP in cold storage, the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) in serious difficulty, the environmental goods agreement not moving forward," International Business Forum executive director Stephen Jacobi said. "Not a very good end of year report"...

Brazil austerity move slammed as disaster for the poor  Aljazeera  ...The government's attempt to pull the country out of its worst recession in decades via a drastic austerity measure has been blasted by critics - including a UN special rapporteur - as a disaster for the poor. The constitutional amendment known as PEC 55 passed the final vote in Brazil’s senate on Tuesday...

Free Cash in Finland. Must Be Jobless.  New York Times  ...The Finnish government is initiating an experiment in a form of social welfare: universal basic income. Early next year, the government plans to randomly select roughly 2,000 unemployed people — from white-collar coders to blue-collar construction workers. It will give them benefits automatically, absent bureaucratic hassle and minus penalties for amassing extra income...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES 

Illinois threatens to follow Kentucky's lead with Right to Work legislation  MENAFM Press  ...After the Sixth Court of Appeals ruled that Kentucky's Right to Work ordinances on a county-by-county basis do not break federal law, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has expressed his intent to follow the Bluegrass State's lead. Rauner, who has argued for Right to Work since his election, seeks to bypass the mostly Democratic state legislature by enacting the controversial legislation using the tactics utilized in Kentucky...

LePage says Maine officials won’t enforce parts of minimum wage law for 3 weeks  Boston Globe  ...Maine’s new minimum wage law, which would bump the base pay for bartenders and restaurant servers, is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 7, but state officials won’t enforce parts of the law for more than three weeks. Tipped workers in Maine are paid $3.75 per hour, according to WCSH, which is half of the state’s minimum wage. Starting Jan. 7, the tipped workers’ minimum is scheduled to increase to $5 per hour...

Texas begins $350 million Medicaid cuts — and feds say it will be ‘devastating’ for disabled kids  Raw Story  ...The state of Texas this week reportedly began implementing $350 million in Medicaid cuts, which federal agencies have warned will be “devastating” to services provided to disabled children. KXAS reported on Sunday that the $350 million in cuts to Medicaid program passed by the GOP-controlled legislature had taken effect...

Analysis finds higher minimum wages help families without cutting jobs  Workday Minnesota  ...A new analysis by four economists, three of whom serve on President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, shows the minimum wage hikes that 18 states and Washington, D.C., have enacted since the last federal increase a decade ago have raised the pay of the lowest-paid workers without cutting the numbers of jobs or hours they work. The analysis refutes the oft-repeated claims by minimum wage hike foes that such increases cost jobs...

Keith Ellison Just Made North Carolina Politics A Democratic Party Fight  Huffington Post  ...The wild battle over the future of North Carolina state politics became a central fight in the future of the Democratic Party on Friday, as Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) joined state lawmakers to denounce Republican efforts aimed at eliminating the political power of incoming Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat. “It’s wrong,” Ellison told reporters on a conference call. “And we have to stand against it. It’s undemocratic. It’s un-Republican. It’s un-American”...

 

U.S. LABOR 

Pittsburgh Port Authority drivers and mechanics approve tentative contract  Post-Gazette  ...Port Authority’s drivers and mechanics approved a new tentative contract tonight. About half of the union’s 2,200 members turned out to vote on the proposal which includes an 11.25 percent wage increase over four years. The same proposal was rejected by members in September, but the president and business agent for Local 85 of the Amalgamated Transit Union, Steve Palonis, thought the vote then was caused by the union members not having enough information about the deal...

Driving Uber Toward Unionization  The Nation  ...The call for a $15 hourly minimum wage and a union seems a distant prospect for app-based contract drivers who are generally neither considered employees nor waged workers. But Uber drivers are taking to the courts and the streets to turn the taxi industry’s disruption into a new legal avenue for labor justice. Although efforts to challenge Uber’s non-employer status through federal litigation have stalled so far, a ruling issued in October by the New York State Department of Labor could set a major precedent...

Judge says appeals by Uber drivers don't impact NLRB probe  Reuters  ...U.S. Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim in San Francisco on Wednesday said a September ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Mohamed v. Uber that the arbitration agreements signed by Uber drivers were enforceable had no impact on the NLRB's authority to investigate complaints that they were illegal...

Amazon drivers say they are pushed to the limit as holiday deliveries reach a frenzy  LA Times  ...Delivery drivers say Amazon is working them past a reasonable point, and often avoids paying them overtime or giving legally required meal breaks. n the last two years, drivers in four states have sued the company for allegedly misclassifying them as independent contractors. Those drivers have said they don’t get overtime pay and can earn less than the minimum wage because they spend so much on gas every week...

Department of Labor tells 5th Circuit overtime rule is valid  Reuters  ...The department in a 57-page brief told the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the key error by U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings in Lubbock, Texas in his November ruling was his finding that DOL lacked the power to base overtime eligibility on workers' salaries, even though it has done so for over 75 years...

Employers nationwide gave raises to avoid paying overtime. Now they're taking them back.  Mic  ...As a result of the ongoing tussle between the administration and federal courts regarding overtime pay that began in 2014, an injunction against the rule means a victory for big business interests — and rescinding of raises for workers...

BLS: Refuse collection fatality rate increases, remains fifth most dangerous occupation  Waste DIVE  ...In total, the industry - as defined by the categories of solid waste collection, solid waste landfill and materials recovery facilities - had 50 fatalities in 2015. This was up from 40 in 2014, mainly due to the fact that no fatalities had been recorded at landfills in the past two years and nine occurred in 2015. The private sector saw more of an increase than the public sector in these categories...

Why so many U.S. manufacturers are putting up ‘Help Wanted’ signs  Washington Post  ...One reason for the labor shortage is the fear of change, said Michael Hicks, a business professor at Ball State University in Muncie, Carlock’s city. Many of the open roles involve computer assistance, which requires job training. Although some companies and state programs will cover the tuition bills, some workers, particularly those who’ve held the same job for decades, are hesitant to take them up on the offer...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS 

Killings by US police logged at twice the previous rate under new federal program  The Guardian  ...A new US government program to count killings by police, which draws on data collected by the Guardian, has recorded a sharply higher number of deaths than previous official efforts. Homicides by police were logged by the Department of Justice’s new system at more than twice the rate previously reported by the FBI, according to new data that was published by the department on Thursday...

Climate change played a role in dozens of floods, heatwaves, and droughts last year  Think Progress  ...The report, released Thursday, looked at 30 “strange” weather events that took place throughout 2015, from the sunny day flooding in Florida to extremely cold weather in the Northeast. Of those 30 events, NOAA scientists found that 24 of them had been influenced by climate change...

U.S. immigrant deportations fall to lowest level since 2007  Pew Research Center  ...The Obama administration deported 333,341 unauthorized immigrants in the 2015 fiscal year, a decline of about 81,000 (or 20%) from the prior year, according to newly released data from the Department of Homeland Security. The number of deportations fell for the second year in a row and reached its lowest level since 2007, during the George W. Bush administration...

How Google's search algorithm spreads false information with a rightwing bias  The Guardian  ...Google’s search algorithm appears to be systematically promoting information that is either false or slanted with an extreme rightwing bias on subjects as varied as climate change and homosexuality. Following a recent investigation by the Observer, which found that Google’s search engine prominently suggests neo-Nazi websites and antisemitic writing, the Guardian has uncovered a dozen additional examples of biased search results...

Retiree Health Insurance

This program consists of several different benefits for Teamster retirees. These Teamster benefits can help you and your family cut the rising cost of health care.

Sign Up For Action Alerts

Mobile alerts from Teamsters. Periodic messages. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to 86466 to stop receiving messages. Text HELP to 86466 for more information.Terms & Conditions