Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For January 3, 2017

TEAMSTERS

Teamsters Certified as Bargaining Representative at East End Bus   Teamsters...The Teamsters were certified as the bargaining representative for East End Bus following a Dec. 21 decision by the National Labor Relations Board to dismiss a challenge brought by the company. The workers originally voted on Feb. 26 for Teamster representation. Local 1205 in Farmingdale, N.Y. will represent the 328 drivers, matrons, dispatchers and mechanics in the bargaining unit. That election result will now become officially valid...

Local 449 School Bus Drivers and Aides Ratify First Contract   Teamsters...On Dec. 10, Teamster school bus drivers and aides that work for Student Transportation of America and serve the Lockport, N.Y. and Starpoint, N.Y. school districts ratified their first contract after a vote for Teamster representation on May 20. There are 210 workers in the bargaining unit...

O’Reilly Auto Parts Faces Possible Work Stoppage, Service Delays   Teamsters...Teamsters who deliver O’Reilly Auto Parts to the company’s retail outlets across Minnesota, voted unanimously to walk off the job if the company does not abandon contract demands that will drive down living standards and create unnecessary safety risks. The workers, represented by Teamsters Local 120, have been working without a contract since Dec. 10...

Teamsters Warn Western Refining Investors, Stakeholders of Possible Strike at Minn. Refinery   Teamsters...Today, the Teamsters Union hosted a call for Western Refining investors and industry analysts discussing the fragile state of contract negotiations between company management and 185 operators and maintenance staff at the company’s St. Paul Park, MN refinery represented by Teamsters Local 120.  The refinery workers recently voted unanimously 148-0 to strike if a fair agreement cannot be reached at the bargaining table.  The current collective bargaining agreement expires midnight on Dec. 31; a work stoppage could commence at that time...

New School Administrators Vote for Teamster Representation   Teamsters...Financial aid advisors, student success advisors, lab supervisors, program administrators, making center technicians and IT support staff at the New School voted on Nov. 30 to join the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. There are 123 members in the bargaining unit. The workers will be represented by Local 1205 in Farmingdale, N.Y., which already represents a bargaining unit of approximately 130 members at the progressive university for designers, architects, activists, musicians and others...

Teamster Pilots at Kalitta Air Win Important Workplace Improvements with New Contract   Teamsters...More than six years after contract negotiations began, Kalitta Air pilots ratified a new contract with the airline on Tuesday, Dec. 20. The contract is a major victory for pilots and their families, and will bring about significant improvements in job security, scheduling, benefits and pay...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Garment Factories Dismiss 'At Least 1,500 Workers'   Al-Jazeera...Police in Bangladesh described the protests as illegal and said that they had arrested 30 workers, including seven union leaders, as well as a television reporter covering the unrest. Tens of thousands of workers walked out of factories in the manufacturing centre of Ashulia, that make clothing for brands such as GAP, Zara and H&M earlier this month, prompting concerns over supply during the holiday season...

Robert Lighthizer Is Named U.S. Trade Representative   Wall Street Journal...Donald Trump will name Robert Lighthizer, a former trade official under President Ronald Reagan, to head the U.S. Trade Representative office, the first in a final push of appointments anticipated this week as Mr. Trump fills the remaining senior government vacancies in the run-up to his inauguration, the transition team said Tuesday...

Trump Could Face Long Path to US-UK Trade Deal   Politico...Talks between the United States and the United Kingdom on a potential trade deal could be President-elect Donald Trump’s crash course in the often painstakingly slow world of international negotiations. Top Trump advisers have spoken openly of their interest in an agreement with the U.K., which voted in June to begin divorce proceedings with the 27 other members of the European Union and forge new economic ties with the rest of the world...

Mexico's Minimum Wage Set to Rise Nearly 10%   Fox Business...Labor, government and business leaders on the Minimum Wage Commission agreed to raise the daily minimum wage to 80 Mexican pesos, or about $4, from 73 pesos, a break from a yearslong custom in which annual increases were roughly in line with inflation. Mexico's discussions on raising the minimum wage coincide with moves in the U.S., where some 4.4 million workers in 20 states are set to receive increases at the beginning of the year...

A Framework for Ethical International Trade   Huffington Post (opinion)...Trade is a tool, a means, which can be utilized in a destructive or in a constructive fashion. Depending on how trade policy is implemented, either the positive or negative effects will come to fruition. Trade in slaves, children, organs or poisonous waste is forbidden and few would argue to the contrary. Trade policy must abide by the fundamental values guiding society from human dignity to sustainable development to the common good. We therefore call for an ethical trade policy...

Singapore Prime Minister Says Prospects of Trans-Pacific Partnership Have Dimmed   Wall Street Journal...Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Saturday prospects of a Trans-Pacific Partnership have dimmed, and his country was continuing to pursue other avenues of economic cooperation. “Another major focus has been strengthening ties with major partners to create opportunities for Singapore companies and Singaporeans,” Mr. Lee said in his New Year message...

Japan Builds a Fight for $15 Movement of Its Own   Toward Freedom...On Sunday afternoon, some 400 protesters — comprised of workers, students and retirees — poured into the streets of Tokyo’s bustling commercial center. At the front of the line were members of AEQUITAS, a group of young labor activists who have taken on Japan’s Fight for $15 living wage movement. “We don’t need poverty wages,” they shouted, as shoppers and tourists took out their phones to capture the rare spectacle. “If you’re struggling, raise your voice"...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

There’s Some Really Good News for Low-wage Workers This Weekend   The Washington Post...It has been a difficult year for the left politically, but at least with respect to the minimum wage, progressive activists had major victories — including in a couple of very red states. As a result, the minimum wage will increase in 19 states as 2016 comes to a close, according to figures compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Two more states and the District of Columbia will raise the minimum later in the new year...

Minimum Wages Set to Increase in Many States in 2017   The Wall Street Journal...Minimum wages will increase in 20 states at the start of the year, a shift that will lift pay for millions of individuals and shed light on a long-running debate about whether mandated pay increases at the bottom do more harm or good for workers. In Massachusetts, the minimum wage will rise $1, to $11 an hour, a change that affects about 291,000 workers. In California, the minimum goes up 50 cents, to $10.50 an hour...

Calls for NC Boycott In Wake of Anti-Democratic GOP Maneuvers   Common Dreams...In the wake of the North Carolina Republican Party's anti-democratic grab for power and refusal to repeal the anti-LGBTQ HB2 earlier this month, calls are mounting for an economic boycott of the state. "The fact that many other injustices have been added to [the] outrage [of HB2] and pushed forward in the final week of 2016 by an out-of-control Republican legislature demands that we respond with every nonviolent tactic available to us," argues Rev. William J. Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP and architect of the Moral Monday movement...

How Paid Parental Leave Changed In 2016   Fast Company...As the year draws to a close, some real progress has been made, but 2016 wasn't exactly a watershed year for paid parental leave. The U.S. still comes in last out of 41 developed nations for its lack of a federal mandate for paid parental leave, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Although the benefit usually applies to new mothers, 31 of those 41 countries mandate paid leave for fathers, too...

Fight For $15: First Phase Of NY State's Minimum Wage Increase Starts December 31, 2016    Gothamist...Earlier this year, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that will eventually raise state minimum wage to $15/hour—and it goes into effect on December 31st, 2016. His office is making sure everyone knows about it with a public awareness campaign. There will be television ads (below) as well as a hotline—1-888-4-NYSDOL— for minimum wage workers who do not receive their pay increase by December 31st, 2016 to report their employers...

Right-To-Work Will Likely Be A Big Issue for N.H. Lawmakers in 2017   New Hampshire Public Radio...A Republican leader in the state legislature wants New Hampshire to bar unions from charging non-members for representing them. With Governor-elect Chris Sununu also backing so-called right-to-work, the issue will be prominent when lawmakers return to Concord next year. Divisions in the GOP and Democratic governors have stymied efforts to enact right-to-work in the past...

 

U.S. LABOR

Feds Go After Concessions Company That Shorted Senate Workers $1 Million   The Huffington Post...The Labor Department wants to bar a concessions company from receiving new federal contracts, after the company allegedly stiffed low-wage workers inside the U.S. Senate out of $1 million. In June, the department announced that Restaurant Associates would repay 674 Senate workers back wages after the company failed to pay employees the prevailing wage under federal law and didn’t compensate employees for all the hours they worked. Restaurant Associates has since paid back the workers...

Union Reps Up In Arms Over Governor's Health Plan   Fort Mason Daily Democrat (Fort Mason, IA)...According to  American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 61 President Danny Homan, Branstad's plan for health insurance will not only affect union members. "Gov. Branstad’s proposal to take away public employees’ bargaining rights in determining their health insurance plans should concern all working-class Iowa families,” Homan said. “Public employees have repeatedly forgone wage increases as a means of maintaining their health insurance benefits. If the Branstad-Reynolds Administration wipes away the health insurance that has sustained working families for decades, the fallout could be detrimental in many communities where the local economy depends on public employees"...

Harvard Grad Student Unionization Up In The Air   Science Mag...For Harvard University, the presidential election wasn’t the only high-profile vote of 2016. In November, the institution’s graduate students cast ballots on whether to join a union. The initial tally has the noes leading by approximately 180 votes—but the eligibility of more than 300 votes is currently being challenged. If union supporters carry the day, the world’s wealthiest university will become home to the newest chapter of the United Auto Workers (UAW)...

Walmart is Stealing Police Services from Communities   People's World...Walmart soaks up a disproportionate amount of time from community police because, unlike most other retailers, Walmart does not do enough on its own to protect against shoplifters. State Rep. John Lesch, a prosecutor in St. Paul for 15 years, wants to do something about it. Lesch is backed by Making Change at Walmart, an employee-led group that rolled out a campaign in mid-December to hold the nation’s largest retailer accountable for the strain its stores put on local resources. With support from the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the organization unveiled a public service announcement (PSA) set to air on local TV networks...

Half Of California’s Workforce is Voting On Raises This Month. Will the Deals Pass?   Sacramento Bee...More than half of the state’s workforce represented by five unions this month will get a say on 14 labor agreements that mostly close the book on a major bargaining year for state government. They cover a wide range of workers, including office assistants, nurses, Caltrans mechanics and firefighters. The deals generally stick close to the Brown administration’s opening offer: A raise of about 11.5 percent over four years offset by a new payroll deduction for retirement health care costs that could take up to 4.6 percent of a worker’s paycheck...

Deal With Income Inequality to Make America Great Again   Newsweek...In a recent issue of The Economist, President Barack Obama set out four major economic issues that his successor must tackle. It’s hard to quibble with the items on the president’s list. Slow productivity growth, rising inequality, inadequate employment and the lack of sustainable economic growth all are important problems that a President Trump will have to face...

Here’s What Working Parents Have to Look Forward to in 2017   Fortune...Next year is already looking better than this one—at least for female workers. For many women working in the U.S., 2016 was a year of disappointment. But instead of dwelling on the past, let's look to the future, and in particular workplace policies. There's actually quite a bit for women—and workers in general—to be excited for in 2017...

What Really Worries Gig Workers Now   Forbes...What do independent workers tend to vent about online? Taxes, general worries and insurance coverage topped the list, according to a recent analysis by Cision, a media communication technology and analytics company, which looked at conversations in the news and social media. The study does point to some big gaps in the marketplace of services for free agents. Clearly, based on the findings, many people who work independently need guidance on how to earn more money, cope with a complex tax system and obtain good insurance...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

The Champions of the 401(k) Lament the Revolution They Started   Wall Street Journal...Many early backers of the 401(k) now say they have regrets about how their creation turned out despite its emergence as the dominant way most Americans save. Some say it wasn’t designed to be a primary retirement tool and acknowledge they used forecasts that were too optimistic to sell the plan in its early days. Others say the proliferation of 401(k) plans has exposed workers to big drops in the stock market and high fees from Wall Street money managers while making it easier for companies to shed guaranteed retiree payouts...

Rising Inequality Is Far From Inevitable   The American Prospect...The latest study of deepening inequality by three of the most careful scholars of the subject, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saens, and Gabriel Zucman, has prompted another round of shrugs from economists that inequality is just in the nature of the advanced economy. Supposedly, these inexorable trends reflect technology, globalization, and increasing rewards to more advanced skills. The poor are paid in correct proportion to their contribution to the national product, which alas, isn’t much...

The Industry Where Black Women Earn 42 Cents for Every Dollar Earned by a White Man   The Nation...One of the great contradictions of the American economy is that the workers who feed us are the workers who struggle the hardest to feed themselves. The corporations that produce and market America’s sustenance are also the monopolies whose low wages have pauperized a workforce of more than 21 million nationwide...

The Rise of Pesticide Giants and Other Food Stories to Watch Next Year   Mother Jones...Now 2016 is nearly over, and it's time to look ahead to the food politics stories of the coming year. For the first time since George W. Bush exited the White House in 2009, the Republican Party owns the presidency as well as solid majorities in the US House and Senate. That gives them vast potential to overhaul food policy with little threat of gridlock...

The GOP’s First Act of Governing: House Republicans Vote to Gut the Office of Congressional Ethics   Salon...As their first act of 2017, House Republicans voted late Monday night to put the Office of Congressional Ethics completely under the jurisdiction of the Republican-led House Ethics Committee, turning an independent office into a partisan operation. The Goodlatte amendment — introduced by Judiciary Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R- Virginia — was adopted by the party. According to the Washington Post, “Because Monday’s vote was taken in a private party meeting, there is no public tally of how members voted on the proposal"...

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