Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News For January 26, 2017

TEAMSTERS

Hoffa: Dem Infrastructure Bill Should Further Dialogue on U.S. Investment  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa on the unveiling of a $1 trillion infrastructure proposal by Senate Democrats yesterday: “For years, the nation’s workers have been hamstrung by political infighting that halted the passage of a substantial infrastructure bill that would improve the nation’s transportation, energy and water systems and create good-paying jobs. That, however, is hopefully about to change"...

Teamster Pilots Win Again Against Flexjet, Flight Options  Teamster.org  ... For the second time in eight months, a federal judge in Cleveland has ordered Flexjet and Flight Options to bargain in good faith with more than 600 Teamster pilots, after the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Teamsters Airline Division and Local 1108 won yet another motion for injunctive relief against the merged carriers...

Teamsters President Hoffa Praises Trump: He’s Off to a Good Start  Free Beacon  ...Teamsters president James Hoffa on Wednesday praised President Donald Trump for his early actions on infrastructure, trade deals, and keeping jobs in the United States. Fox News host Neil Cavuto had Hoffa on his show to discuss some of the executive orders that Trump has signed since assuming office. “He’s not just going to be the big business president; he’s going to be the president of everybody here,” Hoffa said...

Teamsters Applaud Minnesota for Filing Fraud, Wage Theft Lawsuit Against LME/FLE  Teamster.org  ...The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry has filed a lawsuit accusing trucking firms LME INC, Finish Line Express and Lakeville Motor Express of fraud and wage theft. This comes just over two months after Lakeville Motor Express closed, laying off 95 workers with no notice three days before Thanksgiving. Tom Erickson, President of Teamsters Local 120 which represents the 95 laid-off employees, sees this as an important first step...

UC regents to vote on first tuition increase in 7 years  SF Chronicle  ...University of California employees, who are also members of the Teamsters Local 210, shouted in protest against cuts in their benefits and tuition hikes outside of a University of California Board of Regents meeting in San Francisco. The University of California's governing board plans to vote Thursday on a proposal that would raise tuition for the first time in seven years...

Fall River sanitation union set to vote on settlement with city Thursday  Herald News  ...The rift between the city and former sanitation workers has been in the hands of the state Department of Labor Relations since the summer after Mayor Jasiel Correia II privatized trash hauling. But there may be movement on the clash with a vote scheduled for Thursday morning with remaining members of Teamsters Local 251 on a proposed settlement...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Kenya’s refusal to agree to the demands of striking doctors is making the country sick  Quartz  ...The doctors are not the only group of workers striking in Kenya. Last week, lecturers at public universities joined the doctors, refusing to teach over poor pay. In December, nurses also went on strike, demanding better wages and asking the government to streamline the disparities between those working for the county and national governments...

Japan Open to Bilateral Trade Deal With U.S. After Trump Exits TPP  Bloomberg  ...Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signaled that he’s open to a bilateral trade deal with the U.S. after Donald Trump formally withdrew from a 12-nation Asia-Pacific accord this week in one of his first acts as president. One-on-one talks with the U.S. on a trade deal are “not absolutely impossible,” Abe told lawmakers on Thursday in Tokyo, adding that he’s finalizing negotiations for a summit with Trump...

UK-US trade deal will have 'very small upsides' for Britain, says former Bank of England economist  Independent  ...Economists have poured scorn on claims of huge benefits from a UK-US trade deal, as Theresa May jets in to meet Donald Trump. A former member of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee forecast “very small upsides” from an agreement – easily outweighed by big losses from leaving the EU’s single market...

US May Withdraw From TTIP to Make Way for New Inward-Oriented Trade Policy  Sputnik News  ...The United States under the new administration may discard the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) just like it did with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), to pave the way for new trade policy, focused on local economies and sustainable jobs, experts told Sputnik...

FedEx CEO urges Trump to "rethink" trade positions  CBS  ..Within hours of taking the oath of office, President Donald Trump went right to work, making good on his campaign pledge to pull the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. FedEx (FDX) founder and CEO Fed Smith said the executive order shows the president is “certainly a man of his word.” But he urged Mr. Trump to “rethink” his trade positions...

Brazil prosecutor says Temer labor reforms illegal  Reuters  ...Brazil's top labor prosecutor said President Michel Temer's proposals to modernize the country's labor laws were illegal in a report published on Tuesday that provided ammunition to workers' unions fighting the reforms. Updating outdated labor laws to allow outsourcing and more flexibility in contracts and work hours is part of Temer's plan to reduce business costs...

After stronger 2016, Greece hopes lenders will drop austerity demands  Reuters  ...Greece hopes stronger than expected public accounts in 2016 will convince its lenders to sign off on a bailout review without demanding more austerity, government officials said before a meeting of euro zone finance ministers. The officials told Reuters that last year's primary surplus - which excludes debt servicing costs - reached 1-1.5 percent of gross domestic product, beating a target of 0.6 percent of GDP set in its bailout plan as the tax take improved...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES 

Wisconsin Rep. lawmakers pen bill that critics say would harm unions, local governments  WIZM  ...The hits just keep on coming for unions in Wisconsin. The latest shot at labor organizations in the state comes in the form of a bill penned by Republican lawmakers that critics say would not only harm unions but limit choices of local governments for bidding out public projects. Stephanie Bloomingdale, from the AFL-CIO said that the proposal simply limits local control. "This is about taking away an important tool from local government to determine the future of their own communities," she said...

Right-to-work bill clears major hurdle in Missouri Senate  Kansas City Star  ...Republicans took a huge step forward Wednesday in their quest to make Missouri a right-to-work state. On a 21-12 vote, the Missouri Senate gave initial approval to legislation allowing employees in unionized workplaces to opt out of paying unions for the cost of being represented. The Senate is expected to give the bill final approval Thursday...

Connecticut Democrats Push for $15 Hourly Minimum Wage  Wall Street Journal  ...Democratic lawmakers in Connecticut are pushing to raise the state’s hourly minimum wage to $15, but they face a tougher fight to get it through as the state Senate is now evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. The state’s minimum wage, currently $10.10 an hour, has increased for each of the past four years...

New Mexico house committee advances bill to raise state’s minimum wage  NM Politics  ...Lawmakers took a step Wednesday toward raising New Mexico’s minimum wage. Members of the House Labor and Economic Development committee voted 6-5 along party lines to advance a bill sponsored by Rep. Miguel Garcia, D-Albuquerque, that would increase the state minimum wage from $7.50 an hour to $10.10 over the next three years...

​Ohio, Kentucky among states that would be most affected by ACA repeal  Business Courier  ...Ohio ranks among states that would be most affected by a reversal of the Affordable Care Act, according to a new report. Ohio would be the ninth-most-affected state by a repeal of the ACA if President Donald Trump’s executive order on Jan. 20 is approved, according to the personal-finance website WalletHub...

 

U.S. LABOR

SEIU President on Donald Trump and the ‘Fight for $15’ Movement  Newsweek  ...The Service Employees International Union (SEIU)—the nation’s second largest—was one of those excluded from Monday’s meeting. But even before that, the union was girding for war. “We are battening down the hatches,” President Mary Kay Henry said in an interview. Henry tacitly acknowledged the union’s need to expand its reach, promising to broaden the “Fight for $15” movement...

About 1,000 Shasta County employees ready to strike  Record Searchlight  ...About 1,000 Shasta County employees are ready to strike. The strike comes after about a year of negotiations between the county and the United Public Employees, Local 792. All 927 members of UPEC are eligible to strike and the union will begin a five-day strike on Monday. Employees will picket in front of the County Administration Building on Court Street in Redding...

Judge Rejects $80 Million Penalty in Wal-Mart Truck Drivers’ Lawsuit  Wall Street Journal  ...A federal judge on Wednesday refused to force Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to pay $80 million in penalties in a lawsuit alleging the retail giant failed to pay hundreds of truck drivers in California the minimum wage for certain tasks. Wal-Mart acted in good faith when paying the drivers and reasonably believed its payment policy aligned with California law, according to U.S. District Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco...

White House Freezes Overtime, Pay Data Regulations  Bloomberg  ...White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus Jan. 20 instructed federal agencies to freeze all pending regulations, a move that seems to include a number of labor and employment initiatives that were in the works under the Obama administration. Priebus told the agencies to hold off on sending new regulations to the Office of Management and Budget and to postpone for at least 60 days all regulations that have been published but haven’t yet taken effect...

President’s Budget Pick Didn’t Pay Taxes on His Nanny Because He Didn’t Think She Was Doing Real Work  Slate  ...Rep. Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s nominee for director of Office of Management and Budget, has a history of taking a hard line against government employees and publics servants who don’t pay their taxes. One would think that, given his commitment to this cause, Mulvaney would be awash in shame and contrition for the recent discovery that he owes $15,000 in unpaid taxes for a nanny he and his wife hired to help take care of their triplets between 2000 and 2004...

Ellison bags another top union endorsement in DNC chair race  Politico  ...Keith Ellison is adding another major endorsement in his bid to become Democratic National Committee chairman: UNITE HERE, a prominent union representing thousands of culinary and hospitality workers. UNITE HERE International Union President D. Taylor announced the endorsement of the Minnesota congressman in a letter to supporters Wednesday...

Office That Protects Whistleblowers Fires Warning Shot Across President's Bow  TPM  ...The Office of Special Counsel, an agency that protects whistleblowers in the federal government, on Wednesday issued a reminder that any non-disclosure agreements or policies on employee communications must include language notifying federal employees of their whistleblower rights...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Democrats pave the way toward spending $1 trillion on roads, ports and other projects  SacBee  ...A lot more money could fuel improvements to California’s highways, airports and rail lines under a 10-year, trillion-dollar infrastructure plan proposed Tuesday by Senate Democrats. The ambitious but broad-stroke Democratic plan amounts to an opening bid, nudging the White House and congressional Republicans to start down the road toward a major infrastructure bill that California lawmakers would help write...

President Blocks Syrian Refugees and Orders Mexican Border Wall to Be Built  New York Times  ...President Trump on Wednesday began a sweeping crackdown on illegal immigration, ordering the immediate construction of a border wall with Mexico and aggressive efforts to find and deport unauthorized immigrants. He planned additional actions to cut back on legal immigration, including barring Syrian refugees from entering the United States...

Orders on Border Wall Stir Concern Over Presidential Power  Wall Street Journal  ...President Donald Trump’s wide-ranging immigration and national-security initiatives are prompting Republican allies in Congress to evaluate whether his impulse to take executive actions might eventually infringe on their congressional authorities. Many Republicans say the president is within his rights to reverse former President Barack Obama’s executive actions and take steps to ensure the country’s security, consistent...

Immigration hard-liners angered by president’s softer tone on ‘Dreamers’  Politico  ...Donald Trump promised during the campaign that he’d “immediately” kill Barack Obama’s unilateral actions to shield hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants from deportation. Now, just four days into the new administration, immigration hardliners are demanding that the new president follow through...

President's Voter Fraud Conspiracy Theory Dubbed "Prelude to Massive Suppression"  Common Dreams  ...President Donald Trump's call for a "massive investigation" into widely debunked "voter fraud"—and his vow to "strengthen up voting procedures" depending on what that probe reveals—is merely laying the groundwork for further Republican voter suppression measures, democracy experts are warning...

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