Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For January 13, 2017

PROGRAMMING NOTE: We will take a break from publishing the daily news round-up on Jan. 16 in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. We will resume news blog postings on Jan. 17.

 

TEAMSTERS 

Teamsters Local 396 Waste Workers Overwhelmingly Ratify Contract  Teamster.org  ...Workers at Waste Management, Inc. in Southern California who belong to Teamsters Local 396 overwhelmingly ratified a contract that sets standards for waste workers in the region. "This contract provides substantial improvements to the workers' medical coverage as well as significant wage increases and increases in company contributions to the workers' pension plan," said Ron Herrera, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 396 in Covina...

Local 722 Secures Reinstatement For Member After Wrongful Termination  Teamster.org  ...In a recent arbitration, reinstatement and back pay were secured for a Teamster who was wrongfully terminated from Bay Valley Foods in Dixon, Illinois. The Teamster is returning to work with more than $79,000 in owed wages and full benefits thanks to the efforts of Local 722 President and Principal Officer Steve Mongan. In the award, the arbitrator concluded that “no just cause for any discipline was proven”...

George Miranda Continues as Teamsters Joint Council 16 President  Labor Press  ...The delegates of Teamsters Joint Council 16 reelected its executive board at a meeting on January 11. The delegates, who are elected leaders of the 27 Teamster locals in New York City, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley, reelected George Miranda as President and the six other executive board officers unanimously to a new four-year term...

Small Businesses Urge Extension of N.Y.’s TV/Film Production Tax Credit Program  Yahoo  ...Small businesses across New York State are calling on Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature to extend a tax credit program they say is critical to sustaining thousands of good paying jobs in New York’s booming television and film production industry. Al Kharieh, owner of Walton Hauling in Brooklyn, says the program allowed him to expand and hire more people. "Our company deals exclusively with the film and television industry and with Local 817 Teamsters"...

OSHA puts out workplace violence rules  People's World  ...Workplace violence is a particular problem in health care, the AFL-CIO, the Steelworkers, the Teamsters, AFSCME, the Communications Workers and the Service Employees told the agency when they supported NNU’s petition for the rule-making. “Voluntary measures” by employers “are inadequate,” they said. Health care and social service workers suffered 52 percent of all workplace violence injuries in 2014...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE 

Nigerian Oil Workers Go On Strike, Stop Production At Several Flow Stations  OilPrice  ...Oil workers in Nigeria have stopped crude production at several flow stations owned by state-run company NNPC as labor unions went on strike on Tuesday to protest unpaid wages, Reuters reports, quoting labor union representatives. The workers on strike at the Oleh flow station in the Niger Delta demand fair pay and working conditions, and the right to unionize... 

BA workers strike over "poverty wages"  Mmaring Report  ..."British Airways should be under no illusion about our members' determination to secure a settlement that addresses their concerns over poverty pay", said Unite national officer Oliver Richardson. Industrial action brought fresh disruption for travellers in Britain on Tuesday as rail workers and airline cabin crew walked off the job, the day after a major strike on the London Underground...

Myanmar: 200 workers strike over unpaid wages  Myanmar Times  ...Nearly 200 workers from a Yangon garment factory have been striking for the past week, demanding their unpaid wages. The workers, from the Hallmark garment factory, say they were not paid on January 5, the official factory pay day. They also said they were given no notification of why their monthly wages were withheld, and so rolled out the picket line on January 6...

China-backed trade deal may not gain from TPP's loss  CNBC  ...America's expected withdrawal from the much-ballyhooed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is widely expected to prop up an alternative trade deal backed by China. Some analysts aren't so sure. Infighting among RCEP participants, particularly India, may plague the pact regardless of the TPP's fate. RCEP covers 16 nations, versus the TPP's 12 members, but many believed it will be an easier deal to ink because it's nowhere as far-reaching as the TPP...

Parliament gives boost to EU-Canada CETA trade deal  New Europe  ...The long-negotiated EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) has received approval from a committee of the European Parliament and from Germany’s top court, increasing its chances of entering force later this year. The European Union and Canada signed the CETA deal in October, but only after opposition from a region of Belgium and hesitation in Austria and other countries...

Kerry defends Asia trade deal on Vietnam trip  DW.com  ...Speaking to students in Vietnam on Friday, Kerry defended the 12-nation trade pact that President-elect Donald Trump has said he will do away with. While he said he could not predict whether the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would survive, Kerry stressed that US commitments and interests in the region remained unchanged...

Mexico's president warns that if U.S. wants to talk trade, he'll have to talk security, too  Los Angeles  ...Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has warned that Mexico will push back if the U.S. attacks Mexico on trade or other fronts — using its cooperation on crucial issues such as immigration and security as leverage. Peña Nieto said conversations with the U.S. about taxes or trade deals would also include conversations about U.S.-Mexico collaboration on immigration and security...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES 

Right-to-work measures advance, unlikely to appear before voters  Post-Dispatch  ...After hours of debate this week, a House panel on Wednesday approved controversial right-to-work legislation, bundling five similar bills into one package that will soon head to the House floor for consideration. The legislation is a longtime priority for Missouri Republicans who argue that the measure – which limits unions' ability to collect dues from their members – is a pro-business job creator...

Texas Democrats Push For At Least $10.10 Minimum Wage  Observer  ...Democrats, union leaders and activists revived an effort at the Capitol Thursday to raise the state’s minimum wage, which hasn’t changed since 2009, from $7.25 an hour to at least $10.10 per hour. That nearly 40 percent increase would raise hourly wages for about 2.4 million workers, according to Ann Beeson, executive director for the Center for Public Policy Priorities, a left-leaning think tank...

Lawmaker makes renewed push to establish paid family and medical leave program in Nebraska  Omaha World-Herald  ...A state senator from Bellevue will make another attempt to establish a paid family and medical leave program in Nebraska. Offering the benefit for private and public sector employees would give working people another reason to move or relocate to the state, Sen. Sue Crawford said Thursday after introducing Legislative Bill 305 in the Nebraska Legislature...

It’s a New Game for Uber Drivers If New York Passes This Law  Bloomberg  ...State Senator Diane Savino, a former union official who plans to introduce the legislation this month with the assembly’s majority leader, says both labor and management stand to gain. “When you have stability in an industry, and predictability, it’s always better,” she says. “At the same time, it will provide some stability and protection for this shifting workforce”... 

New minimum wage hikes help more people than they harm  The Hill  ...On Jan. 1, the legal minimum wage increased in no less than 19 states. In 12 states, this was due to new legislation or ballot initiatives, while in 7 others, it was due to automatic increases based on indexation. After the changes, some 29 states have minimum wages higher than the federal level...

Workers weigh in on minimum wage increase  Tucson News  ...Business owners and employees are feeling the effects of Prop 206. Back in November, Tucson voters approved a minimum wage increase to $10 an hour. “I think that it was time for minimum wage increase because people can’t live off $8 an hour,” said Coree Holman a local hair stylist... 

 

U.S. LABOR 

Momentive, union talks fall apart in NY  Saratogian News  ...Striking workers are calling on billionaire Leon Black, whose firm has provided replacement employees, to negotiate a contract between their union and Momentive Performance Materials in Waterford. The move comes two days after talks between the union and company broke down. CWA union executive Robert Master said, “We offered major concessions by increasing health-care contributions and reducing health and welfare benefits coverage for our retirees in an earnest attempt to help the company cut costs"...

Airport workers who spoke up about unsafe conditions claim it cost them their jobs  Miami Herald  ...A dozen airport workers who spoke up about unsafe working conditions in a luggage-handling area of Miami International Airport known as “the tunnel” allege that doing so has cost them their jobs. Some of those workers, as well as supporters and members of the local 32BJ Service Employees International Union, visited the Miami-Dade County Commission and mayor’s offices in downtown Miami on Thursday morning to raise awareness of the issue...

Pay Gap Between College Grads and Everyone Else At A Record  AP  ...Americans with no more than a high school diploma have fallen so far behind college graduates in their economic lives that the earnings gap between college grads and everyone else has reached its widest point on record. College graduates, on average, earned 56 percent more than high school grads in 2015, according to data compiled by the Economic Policy Institute... 

Lowe’s to Cut Thousands of Store Workers, Shuffle Jobs  Wall Street Journal  ...Lowe’s Cos. is cutting thousands of workers and shuffling the jobs of thousands more, according to people familiar with the matter, as the home-improvement retailer tries to adapt to shifting shopping habits. The company plans to eliminate less than 1% of its workforce, or fewer than 3,000 jobs, said a person familiar with the matter...

Amazon says it will create 100,000 full-time, full-benefit jobs in the US  Business Insider  ...Amazon said Thursday that it plans to create more than 100,000 "full-time, full-benefit" jobs in the US over the next 18 months. Many of the jobs will be in new fulfillment centers and will range from engineering to software-development roles, the company said...

Unions, Companies Clash Over Proposed OSHA Hearing Loss Rule  Bloomberg  ...Union and industry representatives are raising their voices over OSHA’s proposal to revise its rule for whether an employee’s hearing loss should be considered job-related. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and labor-related organizations called the possible change a “clarification” of existing requirements...

These Hardee’s Workers Wound Up With Less Than Minimum Wage Under Labor Pick  Huffington Post  ...Puzder’s company violated minimum wage law by paying Hardee’s workers with pre-paid Visa debit cards, according to a 2014 investigation by the Labor Department obtained by the Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank. Workers incurred fees on those cards whenever they used ATMs outside of the designated network to redeem their pay...

Those factory jobs aren’t coming back — because they don’t exist anymore  Salon  ...Unfortunately for America’s struggling working class, the majority of manufacturing jobs that have disappeared over the past few decades are never coming back, for one simple reason: They no longer exist. This reality is evidenced by a simple trend in manufacturing in America since the end of the Great Recession...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Baltimore Agrees To Sweeping Police Reform Deal  Huffington Post  ...The city of Baltimore and the Department of Justice agreed to a far-reaching deal Thursday that will require the Baltimore Police Department to implement a more transparent disciplinary system and prohibit officers from stopping city residents without reasonable suspicion. The proposed 242-page consent decree follows a 15-month-long investigation into the police department...

Secretary of State nominee won’t rule out a Muslim registry  Think Progress  ...Rex Tillerson, the president-elect's pick for Secretary of State, won’t rule out support for Trump’s controversial promise to enforce a national registry to identify American Muslims. In fact, he would consider expanding the registry to “other groups that are threats to the United States” if it can be used as a tool for vetting...

New Administration Moves Closer To Gutting Elizabeth Warren’s Consumer Watchdog  Huffington Post  ...Big business and congressional Republicans salivate at the idea of gutting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the brainchild of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Now, President-elect Donald Trump is moving toward what they’ve long wanted: a weak agency that sides with financial predators over consumers. Warren pushed for the CFPB to be created in the wake of the financial crisis as part of the 2010 Wall Street regulatory reform law... 

Big Pharma-Backed Dems Join GOP to Block Sanders Effort to End Drug Price Gouging  Common Dreams  ...While the Republican Party is publicly dismantling millions of Americans' health safety net, more than a dozen Democrats late Wednesday quietly threw their weight behind Big Pharma and voted down an amendment that would have allowed pharmacists to import identical—but much less expensive—drugs from Canada and other countries...

Obamacare Repeal Would Give 400 Super-Rich U.S. Households A Giant Tax Cut  Huffington Post  ...Repealing Obamacare would give 400 of the richest families in America a tax cut worth an average of $7 million each, even as it yanks health insurance away from low- and middle-income Americans. That may sound like a harsh way of characterizing repeal. But it’s an accurate one, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities...

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