Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For December 22, 2016

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Today's Teamster Nation news round-up is the last post of the year. We will resume news blogs on Tuesday, January 3, 2017. Have a safe and happy holidays and a great New Year's.

 

TEAMSTERS

New York’s Heating Oil Drivers Win New Union Contract  Teamsters NYC  ...Just in time for the holidays, Teamsters Local 553 announced today that New York’s heating oil workers have approved a new union contract that provides substantial raises and increased contributions to pension and healthcare funds. The contract was approved by a 99% majority of union members. “This union contract represents the American dream for hundreds of working families in New York,” said Demos Demopoulos, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 553... 

Workers at Henderson materials supplier expect to strike through holidays  Review-Journal  ...The workers at Rinker Materials Hydro Conduit, east of the intersection of North Boulder Highway and Galleria Drive, demand higher pay and the rescinding of contract concessions they made to help the company through the recession, said Tommy Blitsch, head of Teamsters Local 631 in Las Vegas...

MN investigating allegations surrounding carrier’s sudden closure  CCJ  ...Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith announced state officials are looking into allegations a newly opened carrier is the reincarnation of a longtime trucking company that closed abruptly and told employees and vendors it could not pay them. The Teamsters union says it represents 90 of Lakeville’s 95 employees...

Teamsters Join Bronx Environmental Justice Rally for Waste Equity  Teamsters NYC  ...South Bronx residents, community organizations, and environmental justice advocates gathered yesterday at New York City Council Member Rafael Salamanca’s office to rally for waste equity in the Bronx. The South Bronx handles more than one-third of NYC’s garbage and has 14 waste transfer stations, compared to most NYC communities, which have none... 

Teamsters Running Organizing Drive at Sims Recycling in Brooklyn  Sunset Park Patch  ...The Teamsters are attempting to organize about 70 works at the Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility operated by Sims. Teamsters organizer Plinio Cruz said that between 70 and 80 percent of the facility's workers want the union, more than the 30 percent required to officially request union recognition from Sims...

Maine Shaw’s Osco Pharmacists Ink Labor Contract  Progressive Grocer  ...After months of deadlocked negotiations, pharmacists at Shaw’s grocery stores in 15 Maine locations have signed their first-ever collective bargaining agreement with the West Bridgewater, Mass.-based grocer, a banner of Albertsons Cos. The approximately two dozen Osco pharmacists voted to join South Portland Maine-based Teamsters Local 340 in April 2015. According to the local, they’re among the first in their field to unionize...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Dozens of Bangladesh factories close as workers strike   Yahoo  ...Dozens of garment factories in Bangladesh shut down Thursday as a workers' strike escalated over a pay claim. The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) closed 55 factories in a suburb on the outskirts of Dhaka, association president Siddikur Rahman said, after police arrested at least seven people who were leading the strike...

Nigeria: 100 Arik Flights Cancelled Over Workers' Strike  AllAfrica  ...No fewer than 100 Arik Air flights were affected yesterday following the shutdown of the airline's operations by aviation workers. Aviation unions, including the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and Air Traffic Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSAN) had shut down the airline's operations over nonpayment of salaries...

Vietnam, Uncertain of TPP, Focuses on Alternatives  VOA  ...For the United States, Vietnam has been a poster child for how economic bonds can rise out of the ashes of war, but now the tumult of 2016 has brought uncertainty to the two countries' trade relations. Nothing symbolized that more than the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Vietnam had pinned its hopes of prosperity through trade on TPP... 

UN to Measure Digital Impact in Trade of Services  Bloomberg  ...Negotiations stalled in recent weeks on the Trade in Services Agreement, or TiSA, a deal among 23 economies, including Costa Rica, which focuses exclusively on the services industry. The agreement was on track to wrap up by year’s end but paused at least in part because the European Union refused to agree to certain e-commerce provisions that promote cross-border data flow and prohibit local data storage requirements...

China Eyeing Trade Deal as U.S. Leaves TPP Deal  WNAX  ...The U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal in favor of bilateral deals, may have given new impetus to China to complete its Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or “R-CEP.” Talks just concluded in Indonesia, with the next round coming up in Japan in February. R-CEP could create the world’s largest free-trade bloc, covering half the world’s people and 30 percent of the global economy...

Ukraine adopts austerity budget along IMF lines  The Nation  ...Ukraine's parliament on Wednesday approved an austerity federal budget for 2017 that doubles minimum wages but keeps the deficit in line with the target set by the International Monetary Fund. Lawmakers haggled over the bill into the early morning hours before passing it with some reservations about the social provisions it lacked. The IMF is keen to see Ukraine keep its deficit to within three percent of gross domestic product...

UK's austerity welfare spending is closer to poorest nations of EU  The Guardian  ...Britain’s version of austerity is more aligned to the poorest nations of the European Union, according to figures from Brussels which reveal the UK was the only rich EU country to cut welfare spending as a proportion of GDP between 2011 and 2014...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES 

Arizona: judge refuses to halt state minimum-wage hike  AZ Central  ...A Maricopa County Superior Court judge has refused to halt Arizona's new minimum-wage increase from going into effect Jan. 1. Various business organizations, including the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, banded together to file the lawsuit challenging Proposition 206 and seeking to halt it from going into effect...

Ohio’s Kasich blocks local control over minimum wage  MSNBC  ...Ohio’s current minimum wage is $8.10 per hour, a figure that will rise to $8.15 per hour next year. If a city decided it wanted a minimum of $8.20 per hour, the new state law would prevent such a change – regardless of the wishes of local voters or local officials. What’s more, it’s not just Ohio: the Huffington Post reported that 20 states have now passed laws “that preempt local governments from raising the minimum wage"...

California: Lawsuit accuses Google of illegally curbing employee communication  Reuters  ...In the class action lawsuit filed on Tuesday in California state court in San Francisco, the employee, identified only as "John Doe," says Google's employment agreements are illegally broad and violate various state labor laws. The plaintiff says the confidentiality agreements that all Google employees are required to sign essentially bar workers from saying anything about the company... 

The fight to end on-call retail shifts makes progress — but federal protections are still unlikely  Salon  ...On Tuesday, the attorneys general of eight states and the District of Columbia announced the latest results of their effort to eliminate just-in-time scheduling, the practice of forcing workers to be on call whenever needed — or even if they aren’t. New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced on Tuesday that six employers have stopped the practice... 

Activists protest Santander bank’s role in Puerto Rico debt crisis  Bay State Banner  ...Local activists gathered outside Santander’s State Street bank branch in downtown Boston last week to decry the company’s role in Puerto Rico’s debt crisis. During the demonstration, organized by Massachusetts Jobs with Justice, protestors charged that executives from Santander — a Boston-based bank with a significant dealings in Puerto Rico —not only profiteered off the island’s financial turmoil, but also used government positions to push policies that exacerbated it...

 

U.S. LABOR 

Trump hotel workers celebrate two major union victories  Think Progress  ...More than a year after winning a union election, about 500 workers at Trump Las Vegas hotel announced Wednesday that they have successfully bargained their first contract. While specific details are not yet available, the Culinary Workers Union says the four-year agreement “will provide the employees with annual wage increases, a pension, family health care, and job security”...

Owners pass new labor deal; players vote next  ESPN  ...A new labor deal in the NBA is on the verge of being finalized, after owners voted Wednesday to approve a proposed seven-year collective bargaining agreement that was tentatively agreed to last week. The owners' vote was unanimous and players are expected to finish casting their ballots in the coming days, two people with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press...

The Long-Term Jobs Killer Is Not China. It’s Automation.  New York Times  ...Labor economists say there are ways to ease the transition for workers whose jobs have been displaced by robots. They include retraining programs, stronger unions, more public-sector jobs, a higher minimum wage, a bigger earned-income tax credit and, for the next generation of workers, more college degrees...

Union Says Walmart Is Discriminating Against Black Customers by Locking Up Black Hair Products  NY Mag  ...The ad, which is helmed by Making Change at Walmart, a campaign funded by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, expands on claims the union made two weeks ago. Both then and now, the union says three Walmarts, including two in Hampton Roads, Virginia, barricade hair-care products marketed toward African-Americans...

Gig Workers and Job-Related Bias: Are Protections on the Way?  Bloomberg  ...Uber and other companies in the on-demand economy soon may have more to worry about in their battle over worker classification than increased wages. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has long maintained that some companies misclassify employees as independent contractors to evade their obligations under federal employment bias laws, and the agency recently stated its intent to look into whether gig companies may be doing the same...

With holiday demand high, seasonal workers are scarcer than ever  SF Chronicle  ...Unemployment around the country and especially in the Bay Area is approaching prerecession lows; in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward metro area, it was at 3.9 percent as of October. In a tight labor market, employers both large and small are saying that hiring for holiday demand — retail clerks, warehouse workers and other short-term help — has been tougher this year than any they can remember...

Millennials aren’t lazy, they’re workaholics  Boston Globe  ...The millennial generation, the first to grow up with smartphones in their hands, is often stereotyped as lazy and entitled. But workplace experts say workaholics are common among 19-to-35-year-olds, perhaps more so than among older members of Generation X and baby boomers...

Nine New Findings About Inequality in the United States  New York Times  ...The bottom half of the country has been shut out from income growth for 40 years. The average pretax earnings of an American in the bottom 50 percent by income was $16,197 in 2014, a nearly invisible 2.6 percent gain over 40 years. Over the same period, the top 10 percent of Americans saw their pretax incomes grow by 231 percent...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS 

Obama Urged to Grant Clemency to Native American Activist Jailed for 40 Years  Democracy Now  ...As President Obama’s last month in office begins, Amnesty International and other groups are calling on the president to grant clemency to Native American activist Leonard Peltier, who has been imprisoned for 40 years. The former member of the American Indian Movement was convicted of killing two FBI agents during a shootout on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975...

Lawmakers leave N.C. ‘bathroom bill’ in place  Washington Post  ...North Carolina lawmakers failed Wednesday to repeal a law regulating transgender people’s use of public restrooms, despite convening in a special legislative session for the express purpose of rescinding the controversial law. The legislature adjourned Wednesday evening after a brutal day in which Republicans feuded over whether to fully or partially repeal the measure...  

New Orleans Agrees To Pay $13.3 Million For Police Post-Katrina Killings  Huffington Post  ...New Orleans offered apologies and reached settlements totaling $13.3 million in civil rights lawsuits brought against the city for the killings of residents by police in the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the mayor said on Monday. Mayor Mitch Landrieu said the city reached deals with 17 plaintiffs to settle all claims in the cases that have prompted local police reforms and federal investigation into suspected misconduct by numerous officers...

Obama makes final push on key legacy areas  CNN  ...He's placing an indefinite ban on oil drilling in huge swaths of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, wary of a successor who promised a boost in US energy production. He's advised lawmakers of plans to transfer almost one-third of the remaining population at Guantanamo Bay to other countries. And he's hastening his efforts to reduce the prison sentences for hundreds of non-violent drug offenders...

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