Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For January 12, 2017

TEAMSTERS 

Teamsters Local 399 Ratify Commercials Contract  Deadline  ....Members of Teamsters Local 399 have voted to ratify the terms of a new five-year commercials contract covering drivers and location managers. The new deal with the Association of Independent Commercial Producers, which goes into effect on February 5, provides for 3% raises in each year of the pact and the maintenance of the current level of pension and health benefits for the life of the contract...

Local 2010 ULP Strike Makes Waves Across California  Local 2010  ...Yesterday, thousands of UC clerical, administrative and skilled trades workers stood together to strike at every UC campus, medical center, and the Lawrence Berkeley Lab. “Today’s strike shows that the workers who make the University of California work will no longer put up with unfair treatment,” said Jason Rabinowitz, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 2010...

Union at R.I. Hospital challenges sick leave policy  Providence Journal  ...The union representing employees at Rhode Island Hospital is speaking out against Lifespan's new attendance policy effective Jan. 1 that reduces the number of unplanned absences employees are permitted before they can be disciplined. UNAP and the Teamsters Local 251 held an informational picket Wednesday afternoon outside Rhode Island Hospital...

Federal Judge Deals Swift Transportation Legal Setback  Wall Street Journal  ...Trucking companies operating around the nation’s ports have faced hundreds of employee-classification claims, in a campaign backed by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which would gain a path toward organizing drivers if they are classified as company employees rather than independent operators...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE 

UK rail union to ballot for more London Underground strikes  Reuters  ...A major rail union raised the prospect of more travel chaos in London when it said on Wednesday it would hold a strike ballot among train maintenance workers on the London Underground, just two days after a walkout caused havoc for commuters. The RMT union said London Underground management had gone back on agreements over work rosters and had not consulted with the union over reduced staffing levels...

Half a million Arab Israeli workers strike over demolition of Palestinian homes  Independent  ...Arab citizens of Israel have gone on a nationwide strike after Israeli authorities destroyed 11 Palestinian homes they said were illegal in the central town of Qalansawe. Workers in both the public and private sectors were encouraged to participate in Wednesday’s symbolic one-day walk out. It is estimated that of Israel’s 1.5million Arab citizens, around 500,000 took part...

Tillerson Says He Does Not Oppose TPP Free Trade Agreement  Sputnik News  ...US Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday in his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee he does not oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement, but shares some of President-elect Donald Trump’s concerns on whether it serves the country’s interests...

As TPP hopes fade, Vietnamese companies chart new paths for expansion  Asian Review  ...Vietnam has trade agreements with more than 10 economies, including Australia, Chile and the ASEAN Economic Community, which links the country to fellow members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Unlike the TPP, these deals do not include rules of origin for products and materials, so exporters can compete on quality alone...

World Economic Forum: Inequality, Divisions Are Primary Risks to Global Economy  Wall Street Journal  ...The rising income gap and growing rifts in Western societies are the main global risks, according to a report by the World Economic Forum ahead of its annual forum in Davos next week. Climate change and technological disruption were also listed as important risks in a survey...

Uber driver is employee, not freelancer: Swiss agency  Reuters  ...An Uber driver is an employee for whom the company must pay social security contributions, a Swiss insurance agency has ruled, dealing a blow to the U.S. ride-hailing platform that says drivers are independent contractors. In October, a British tribunal ruled Uber should treat its drivers as workers and pay them the minimum wage and holiday pay...

Colombia is By Far The Most Dangerous Country for Human Rights Defenders  Huffington Post  ...What is more shocking than even these statistics, is the lack of reporting on them that one hears in the mainstream media. Colombia in particular receives barely a whisper of reportage from the U.S. press, despite its uniquely bad human rights situation, a human rights situation which has only gotten worse as the peace process in that country progressed... 

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES 

Missouri lawmakers fast track right-to-work legislation  KSDK  ...Republican Missouri lawmakers are wasting no time taking action on what they say is a priority this session-- passing right-to-work legislation. So far, five different bills have been filed in the Missouri House proposing making Missouri a right-to-work state, and one bill has been filed in the Missouri Senate...

‘Fight for $15’ reaches Hawaii; Sen. Green to seek higher minimum wage  Tribune Herald  ...Sen. Josh Green, D-Kona, Ka‘u, said he will introduce a bill in the upcoming session to boost the wage — which increased Jan. 1 from $8.50 to $9.25 — incrementally to $15 by 2023. He said the increase is needed because of Hawaii’s high cost of living and that the previous minimum wage bill passed in 2014 didn’t go far enough. The last scheduled increase will be to $10.10 next year. “The recent increases were very long overdue and still inadequate,” Green said...

Wash. Lawmakers Introduce Paid Family and Medical Leave Bills  Public News Service  ...Bills have been introduced in both the Washington state House and Senate to give new parents and those who are sick or caring for a loved one paid time off from work. A coalition of legislators, business owners, parents and advocates announced the proposal to bring paid family and medical leave to the state in Olympia on Tuesday. State Rep. June Robinson of Everett, sponsor of House Bill 1116, says paid leave has advantages, both for employers and employees...

Anti-labor zealots are borrowing pages from Scott Walker's playbook  Madison.com  ...Kentucky Republicans launched the new year with a race to enact sweeping anti-labor legislation, and they weren’t concerning themselves with the question of whether they had a mandate to assault labor unions and undermine wages and workplace protections. They were moving immediately, aggressively, and thoroughly to implement an across-the-board assault on workers...

Protests Erupt as Lawmakers Continue Spread of Anti-Worker Legislation Nationwide  Common Dreams  ...Just days after Kentucky became the 27th state in the nation with such an anti-worker law, Republicans controlling legislatures in New Hampshire and Missouri are working fast to pass their own so-called right-to-work laws. As economist Dean Baker has summed them up, right-to-work laws guarantee "the ability for a worker to benefit from union representation without having to pay for union representation"...

 

U.S. LABOR 

AFSCME to accept wage freeze, higher health costs  Journal Star  ...The largest state employee union said it will accept a four-year wage freeze and higher health insurance costs in an attempt to get the Rauner administration back to the bargaining table. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees sent a letter to Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner on Monday outlining what it called a "framework" to resume contract talks that broke off a year ago...

Federal Judge Rules Swift Misclassified Truck Drivers as Independent Contractors  Trucks.com  ...A federal judge ruled against Swift Transportation Co. determining that five drivers classified as independent contractors should have been considered employees of the giant carrier. The plaintiffs claimed in the case that due to the misclassification Swift failed to pay them all the wages required by federal and state wage and hour laws, including the Fair Labor Standards Act...

Retail Unions, Workers Face ‘Precarious’ Times  Bloomberg  ...Retail workers and the unions that represent them should be on alert after the recent announcement of hundreds of Macy’s, Kmart and Sears stores closing, a labor professor told Bloomberg. The growth of e-commerce, namely, online retailers such as Amazon, has a hand in pushing out traditional department stores and their workers, Francis Ryan, director of the Labor Studies and Employment Relations graduate program at Rutgers University, told Bloomberg BNA Jan. 9... 

Boeing internal memo sets details of engineer layoffs in 2017  CNBC  ...Boeing Co warned on Tuesday that it will conduct involuntary layoffs of engineers, part of a cost-cutting drive as the aerospace and defense company responds to increasing competition amid slowing aircraft sales. The reductions, disclosed in an internal memo seen by Reuters, also include dozens of job categories eligible for voluntary layoffs in Washington state, southern California and South Carolina...

Restaurants run by labor secretary nominee report 'disturbing' rates of sexual harassment  The Guardian  ...Two-thirds of female fast food workers at restaurants operated by Andrew Puzder, the controversial nomination for US labor secretary, experienced sexual harassment at work, a rate much higher than the industry average, a stinging advocacy survey has claimed. Many female workers, according to the research conducted by Restaurant Opportunities Center United, have been harassed by customers referencing the highly sexualised advertising campaigns...

Labor Department aims to protect healthcare workers  The Hills  ...The Department of Labor will protect healthcare professionals from workplace violence. Healthcare and social workers face a “substantially higher” rate of workplace violence than is common in other industries, said David Michaels, who runs the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration...

UPS drivers trained to spot human trafficking  Courier-Journal  ...UPS drivers will be trained to recognize and report human trafficking in collaboration with the Truckers Against Trafficking organization, the company announced Wednesday. UPS's 8,000 freight drivers will receive the training, which began last month, by the end of the year, according to UPS spokeswoman Kara Ross...

Las Vegas launches a first: Driverless public transit  News 3LV  ...The shuttles will run on a trial basis on Fremont Street between Las Vegas Boulevard and Container Park between January 11th and the 20th. They will be the first driverless shuttles on a public street in America.Las Vegas wants to position itself as a high-tech hub and sees the project as a way to reinforce an image of an innovation incubator. Last year, the city designated core parts of downtown as an “Innovation District”...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS 

Protests as 'Big Oil Personified' Faces Capitol Hill Hearing  Common Dreams  ...Pointing to Tillerson's longtime seat at the helm of oil behemoth ExxonMobil, climate group 350.org and other environmental organizations were protesting Tillerson's nomination both inside and outside the hearing Wednesday morning. "We won't allow our climate diplomacy to be in the hands of a dinosaur like Rex Tillerson," said 350 executive director May Boeve...

Obamacare is one step closer to repeal after Senate advances budget resolution  Washington Post  ...Senate Democrats made a late-night show of resistance against gutting the Affordable Care Act by forcing Republicans to take politically charged votes against protecting Medicare, Medicaid and other health-care programs. The measure narrowly passed without the support of any Democrats...

Coretta Scott King: Jeff Sessions would ‘irreparably damage’ my husband’s work  Think Progress  ...The late Coretta Scott King famously opposed Sessions’ 1986 nomination to a federal judgeship in Alabama. But because then-Judiciary Chairman Strom Thurmond (R-TN) had never entered her 1l800-word letter testifying against Sessions into the congressional record, no copies were publicly available as Sessions faced his Senate colleagues on Tuesday morning...

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