Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For January 27, 2017

TEAMSTERS

Sen. Flake Legislation to Repeal Davis-Bacon an Attack on Working Families  Teamster.org  ...With his introduction of legislation to eliminate prevailing wage on federal infrastructure and construction projects this week, U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) has leveled a vicious attack on livelihoods of millions of middle class workers. en. Flake’s crusade to repeal Davis-Bacon shows his ignorance of the current plight of working Americans,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa...

Fall River Teamsters members reject settlement agreement  Herald News  ...Department of Community Maintenance workers under Teamsters Local 251 rejected a settlement agreement and new contract on Thursday, but both union and city officials are saying little about the issue. However, The Herald News received a copy of a proposed memorandum of agreement that indicates the administration offered the workers $225,000 to drop a suit before the state Department of Labor Relations that claims the city violated labor law...

Molson Negotiations Could Be Difficult  Teamsters Canada  ...Negotiations for the renewal of the collective agreement for the 700 or so workers at the Molson plant on Notre-Dame Street in Montreal are expected to be difficult. A visit by Teamsters representatives to workers on the picket lines at Molson’s Toronto plant does not bode well for labour relations. Éric Picotte, the union president of the Notre-Dame Street brewery, visited his 300 brothers and sisters affiliated with the brewery workers’ union in a show of solidarity...

Teamsters Add Gender Identity To Non-Discrimination Policy  NewNowNext  ...The International Brotherhood of Teamsters instructed its locals across the United States to update their bylaws this year, declaring that members can no longer discriminate against a fellow worker based on mental disability or gender identity. Members of the truck driver labor union took an oath under the old laws that had them swear to not “discriminate against a fellow worker on account of race, color, religion, sex, age, physical disability, national origin or sexual orientation”...

State sues Roseville trucking company for fraud and wage theft  Star Tribune  ...The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) has sued a Roseville trucking firm and its affiliates, accusing them of pretending to go out of business to lock out union workers and withhold back pay without notice. The company’s union employees and Teamsters officials picketed and alleged that Lakeville Motor, which had addresses in Roseville and New Brighton, merely relocated to Maple Grove...

Court Orders Flexjet/FO Back to Bargaining Table  AIN Online  ...A U.S. District Court judge for the Northern District of Ohio this week ordered Flexjet and Flight Options to return to the bargaining table with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT Local 1108), which is representing the 600 pilots that fly for the operators. The January 24 decision marked the second time in eight months that a federal judge has called on Flexjet and Flight Options to bargain in good faith...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE 

Honduran Unions Win Improved Labor Law  Solidarity Center  ...A four-year campaign by Honduran labor unions to improve workplaces and strengthen the rights of workers culminated with the Honduran National Congress approving a new labor inspection law last week. Honduran unions, working in concert, successfully built a consensus with business and government to ease passage of their proposed new law. In 2015, a tripartite process was initiated by the government at the urging of unions to replace the antiquated labor inspection legislation...

Audi workers strike at Hungary engine plant  Automotive News Europe  ...Audi workers at the automaker's engine plant in Hungary stopped work for two hours on Thursday in a protest over pay. Earlier this week Audi's Hungarian workers set up a strike committee in the dispute, as labor shortages in the country drive up pay expectations. The warning strike affected workers at the engine plant, but not those at the car assembly plant also in Gyor, the AHFSZ union said...  

Canada: workers at Morton House give 100 per cent strike vote  Barrie Today  ...Workers in Ontario Public Service Union (OPSEU) Local 355 at Morton House in Barrie gave their bargaining team a 100 per cent strike mandate as the employer continues to refuse the workers' modest requests. "It's about the need for fair wages," said bargaining team chair Steve Young. "We haven't seen any significant wage increases since about 2002... 

White House to seek quick progress with Japan's Abe on replacement trade deal  Reuters  ...President Donald Trump will seek quick progress toward a bilateral trade agreement with Japan in place of a broader Asia-Pacific deal he abandoned this week, when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits the White House next month, an official in the Trump administration said on Thursday. "I see Abe’s visit being more about finding a follow-through, a replacement for TPP," said the official, referring to the Trans-Pacific Partnership that Trump ditched on Monday...

President says plans lots of bilateral trade deals with quick termination clauses  Reuters  ...U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he would strike numerous bilateral trade deals, as opposed to multilateral accords like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and they would include clauses to allow a 30-day termination notice. "Believe me, we're going to have a lot of trade deals," Trump told a gathering of Republican lawmakers... 

WTO says $1 trillion global trade treaty about to come into force  The News International  ...A trade accord that will boost global exports by $1 trillion should come into force within two weeks, the head of the World Trade Organization said on Thursday, just as the rhetoric of U.S. President Donald Trump clouds the outlook for global trade. The Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) will have a major impact on poorer countries, because it standardises and simplifies customs procedures...

Will President Go After Nafta With Tweezers or a Hammer?  New York Times  ...So with Donald J. Trump in charge, what happens now to the North American Free Trade Agreement? It’s one thing to assail it as the “worst trade deal ever” as the president did during the campaign. It’s quite another to come up with an arrangement that is more advantageous to American workers and businesses...

White House walks back plan to fund wall with import tax  Politico  ...White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Thursday walked back his statement that President Donald Trump supports a plan to tax imports in order to pay for a wall along the U.S. -Mexico border. Spicer suggested that a 20 percent tax on imports from countries "like Mexico" could be used to fund the proposed barrier along the southern U.S. border...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES 

Right-to-work a step closer as Missouri Senate approves fast-tracked bill  Post-Dispatch  ...Senate lawmakers gave final approval Thursday to their chamber’s “right-to-work” bill, sending the legislation to the House without approving any proposed changes from opponents who worry the policy is anti-worker. The bill has been fast-tracked by GOP supermajorities eager to get it to Gov. Eric Greitens’ desk, saying that it will create jobs and bring more business to the state. House lawmakers already have passed their own version of the bill...

Wisconsin Lawmakers Debate Barring Union Requirement For Public Construction Projects  WPR  ...Local governments couldn't require contractors on public projects to hire union labor under a new plan in the state Capitol. The proposal from Rep. Rob Hutton, R-Brookfield, would bar local governments from requiring public labor agreements from those construction companies. Public labor agreements can include requirements that workers are union members, minorities or veterans. They can also set working conditions, including rules governing strikes or overtime...

Illinois: minimum wage bill could be removed from Senate package  The Southern  ... Legislation that would increase the state minimum wage to $11 an hour by 2021 will not be discussed as part of the Illinois Senate’s “grand bargain” until further negotiations are held. Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, who sponsored the bill, said the Senate is still working on establishing a minimum wage proposal that different supporting groups can agree on...

DOJ Delay in Texas Voter ID Case Sparks Concern Amid President's Debunked Fraud Claims  NBC  ...Just hours after Trump was sworn in as president last Friday, Justice Department lawyers challenging Texas' voter ID law asked a federal appeals court to delay a hearing in the case. The hearing had been scheduled to consider whether the law intended to discriminate against racial minorities, or whether it merely did so incidentally...

States Vie to Be Part of Trillion-Dollar Infrastructure Spending Sprees  New York Times  ...New Jersey wants a railroad tunnel under the Hudson River, California wants high-speed rail linking north and south, Florida wants improved seaports, and most everyone wants highways and bridges. President Trump and congressional Democrats have proposed trillion-dollar infrastructure spending sprees, and among their most ardent allies are the nation’s governors, Republicans and Democrats, who cite years of pent-up demand for fixing or expanding old assets and building new ones...

Teens sue Wisconsin over nightmare conditions in juvenile jails  Think Progress  ...The class action lawsuit claims the state holds inmates as young as 14 in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, in seven by ten-foot cells, for months at a time. “The segregation cells are dirty and smell like sweat and urine,” according to the lawsuit. The United Nations considers solitary confinement for longer than 15 days a form of torture...

 

U.S. LABOR 

Ford to pay $9,000 in profit sharing to UAW workers  Detroit News  ...Ford Motor Co. said Thursday that its more than 56,000 United Auto Workers hourly employees will receive profit sharing of $9,000 on average this year. The company made the announcement as part of its 2016 earnings. The UAW workers will receive the money March 9, Ford representatives said...

NLRB Orders Union Elections for Yale Graduate Students  ABC  ...The National Labor Relations Board has granted petitions for graduate students in nine departments at Yale University to vote on whether they want union representation. The order Wednesday from the NLRB regional director in Boston calls for nine separate elections. Local 33-UNITE HERE sought elections first in departments where union support appears strongest, a strategy that was contested by the university...

U.S. Auto Workers’ Bonuses Surge as Companies Post Gains  Wall Street Journal  ...Workers at domestic car factories are reaping the benefits of America’s increasing demand for high-margin pickups and sport-utility vehicles, with union employees expected to take home among the biggest bonus checks ever. The three U.S. auto makers began reporting fourth-quarter earnings Thursday, with results showing Detroit’s reliance on light-trucks is fueling profit growth...

Will Border Wall Bring Construction Jobs?  Bloomberg  ...President Donald Trump made clear Jan. 25 that he intends to follow through with his plan to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Labor leaders say the implications for construction jobs are still fuzzy. Any job creation will be minimal and temporary at most, Marc Scribner, the Competitive Enterprise Institute senior fellow on infrastructure, told Bloomberg BNA Jan. 25... 

Share of U.S. Workers in Unions Falls to Lowest Level on Record  Wall Street Journal  ...The share of American workers in unions fell to the lowest level on record in 2016, showing a return to the downward trend for organized labor after membership figures had stabilized in recent years. The total number of union members fell for both private- and public-sector workers last year, the first overall decline in four years, the Labor Department said Thursday... 

Have Unions Accepted Death?  (opinion) The Concourse  ...Every year, the government releases updated numbers on union membership in America. And every year, the number falls. Where is the rage, rage against the dying of the unions? The immediate future political landscape for unions is not promising. In the next few years, there will likely be a Supreme Court decision that will have the effect of slashing public union membership significantly...

Labor nominee's hearing pushed back again  The Hill  ...President Trump’s nominee for Labor secretary, Andy Puzder, is facing yet another setback on Capitol Hill. The Senate Labor Committee announced Thursday that Puzder’s confirmation hearing once again will be delayed until Feb. 7. This is the third delay for restaurant executive... 

Puzder as Labor Secretary would be cruel joke on working families  (opinion) Union-Tribune  ...The nomination of Andrew Puzder to be secretary of labor threatens the well-being of wage earners in the United States. The president's choice to head the Labor Department is a man whose business history is the antithesis of the department’s stated mission. Andrew Puzder is CEO of CKE Restaurants, parent company of the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s fast-food chains...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

For Most Americans, Dow 20,000 Carries Little Benefit  AP  ...While Wall Street celebrates yet another stock market record - surpassing 20,000 on the Dow Jones industrial average - many Americans have little reason to cheer. Despite the spread of 401(k) retirement plans, the wealthiest 10 percent of households own roughly 80 percent of stock market wealth. The Dow's 23 percent surge over the past year has benefited mostly investors who were already well-off...

Sanctuary Cities Vow to Fight President's Order  Common Dreams  ...Sanctuary cities are already fighting back against President Donald Trump's executive order on Wednesday to strip them of funding if they protect undocumented immigrants. Mayors and lawmakers from around the country assured Trump that they would fight him on the order and refuse to enforce federal immigration laws. The promises of shelter came one after the other on Wednesday and Thursday...

WH: Trump will sign directive on voter-fraud probe  The Hill  ...President Trump plans to sign a directive on Thursday afternoon to move forward with an investigation into his claims of widespread voter fraud, according to the White House. "Right now, it will be a follow-up on the announcement yesterday to better understand voter fraud,” press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters... 

President's war on EPA regulations will kill jobs and a lot of people  (opinion) Think Progress  ...The president has launched a major effort to hurt job growth, stifle innovation, and make Americans sicker and less productive. How? By waging war on regulations, particularly those designed to protect the environment. Trump ran on a pledge to kill regulations, and focused much of his wrath on EPA climate rules such as the Clean Power Plan... 

Scientists are planning their own march on Washington  The Hill  ...Several scientists are reportedly planning a march on Washington and have taken to social media to garner support. The idea began from a subreddit, The Washington Post reported, where scientists discussed a way to respond to the Trump administration’s skepticism of climate change and other science-focused policy issues...

Betsy DeVos Ethics Report Reveals Ties to Student Debt Collection Firm  Daily Kos  ...Public education advocates are demanding another hearing on Trump nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, after her dismal performance in front of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee (HELP) January 17th and after the late release of her ethics report on January 20th. The report details some 102 companies that might pose a conflict of interest for DeVos and sheds new light on the nominee’s investments and ethics...

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