Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For January 4, 2017

TEAMSTERS

Hoffa: Workers need real pension reform  The Detroit News  ...The Teamsters won a battle over pensions last month in Congress as part of a short-term spending bill. But there is still a long way to go in this fight to protect the retirement security of hundreds of thousands of workers in Michigan and across the United States. Months of lobbying by union members halted efforts to include legislation unveiled last fall that would have created a false fix for pensions...

Hoffa: USTR Nominee Lighthizer May Signal Positive Change in Future U.S. Trade Policy  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa on the nomination of Robert Lighthizer for USTR by President-elect Donald Trump: “With the nomination of Robert Lighthizer to be the U.S. Trade Representative, President-elect Trump has laid the groundwork for following through on his campaign promise to end the U.S. trade policies that have devastated working families for the past 30 years"...

Injunction Denied: Local 2010 Strike is Legal  Local 2010  ...Today the State of California denied the University’s request for an injunction to stop workers from striking, rejecting UC’s argument that the strike is illegal. Teamsters in the CX unit will be on strike January 10, 2017, in protest of the University’s unfair practices.  Teamsters in the skilled trades at UCLA will be on strike January 6-10...

Governor Cuomo Vetoes Anti-Musician/Performer Legislation  Broadway World  ...Tino Gagliardi, President of Local 802 AFM, the Associated Musicians of Greater New York; James Claffey, President of Local 1 IATSE; Kate Shindle, President of Actors' Equity Association; Mike Hodge, President of SAG-AFTRA NY Local; and Thomas J. O'Donnell, President of Theatrical Teamsters Local 817 today applauded Governor Cuomo for vetoing S7709/A10283-A...

Delivery drivers vote to strike Minnesota auto parts company  Post-Bulletin  ...Delivery drivers from Teamsters Local 120 voted unanimously to strike O'Reilly Auto Parts in Minnesota unless the company agrees to a renewed labor contract that increases pay and safety standards. Union officials announced the move Friday in a statement. The workers deliver auto parts to most of O'Reilly Auto's 99 retail stores across Minnesota from a distribution center in Brooklyn Park...

Raleigh Police, Firefighters Renew Calls For Raises  INDY Week  ...At the city's pre-budget public hearing on Tuesday night, police officers and firefighters renewed their calls for higher pay for first responders, telling city council that officers are leaving Raleigh for greener pastures in the county and elsewhere. Teamsters Local 391 vice president Rick Armstrong cited increased "scrutiny" as a reason why officers need raises...  

Bronxites to city: Slash our trash  Mott Haven Herald  ...Lifelong Hunts Point resident Oneida Rodriguez, a representative for Teamsters Local 813, which represents garbage workers, said passage of Intro 495A is overdue. “My child has chronic asthma due to pollution,” she said. “We need a reduction in truck traffic. We don’t have trees, we don’t have parks, so we have to pollute less. This is something that’s been fought since I was a young girl”...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Zambia Vedanta mine workers strike over delayed pay talks: union  Reuters  ...Zambian workers have downed tools at a mine and copper processing plant belonging to Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), a unit of Vedanta Resources, in a dispute over the pace of wage talks, a union official said on Wednesday. "The day shift workers have not entered the plant, they are protesting the slow pace of salary negotiations," National Union of Mine and Allied Workers (NUMAW) trustee Jonathan Musukwa told Reuters...

Ugandans at Chinese company strike over alleged harassment  WBOC  ...t least 400 Ugandan workers at a Chinese-owned construction company went on strike Tuesday to protest alleged sexual harassment by managers and poor pay. The angry employees staged a demonstration outside the offices of the state-owned China Railway Seventh Group in Uganda's capital, Kampala...

Union gets support for Trinidad energy sector strike  Jamaica Observer  ...The World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) Tuesday expressed support for the Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU) that has threatened to call a strike at the state-owned oil company, PETROTRIN from Wednesday if last minute talks over salary increases for workers fail. OWTU President General Ancel Roget said prior to talks with PETROTRIN officials on Tuesday that the union was seeking a 10 per cent wage hike after the company had proposed a zero salary increase for the period 2014-2017...

Canada must brace for 'hardline' approach from new U.S. trade representative, experts warn  CBC  ...Canada should brace for a tougher, hardline approach to trade negotiations with the U.S. under Donald Trump's new pick to front the trade file, experts warn. Saul Klein, dean of the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria, said he wasn't surprised by today's appointment of "trade hawk" Robert Lighthizer as U.S. trade representative because he is aligned with the president-elect's protectionist views...

Mexico eyes border, migration as leverage in trade talks  Reuters  ...Mexico aims to defend free trade with the United States by using border security and immigration policy to gain leverage in talks with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump after he takes office next month, senior officials say. To defuse Trump's threats to disrupt trade and investment, policymakers say Mexico aims to strike a balance between hearing out his concerns over illegal immigration and U.S. jobs, and adopting a firm posture to protect its own economic interests...

Finland Becomes First Country to Provide Citizens Basic Income  TeleSUR  ...Finland kicked off its basic income program Monday, giving US$587 per month to 2,000 of its citizens, an amount that — if extended to the entire adult population — will be guaranteed regardless of income, wealth or employment status. The trial program will run for a period of two years. Participants were randomly selected, but had to be receiving unemployment benefits or an income subsidy to be eligible...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Kentucky Expected to Pass “Right-to-Work” This Week  AFL-CIO  ...The Kentucky State Legislature is poised to pass “right-to-work” as soon as this week.The measure would change Kentucky law to allow workers to receive the benefit of union contracts without being legally obligated to pay dues for such representation. Signifying the importance to the GOP of crushing organized labor in Kentucky this session, Kentucky State House Republicans have marked the legislation as “House Bill 1”...

'Everything is on the table' for collective bargaining debate in Iowa  Des Moines Register  ...Big changes to state and local government workers' benefits, disciplinary procedures and the way they negotiate their employment contracts may be coming to Iowa. Republican lawmakers, newly empowered and emboldened after last November's election, are making clear they intend to rewrite the state’s collective bargaining law, sparking what could be one of the fiercest battles of the legislative session that opens next Monday...

Minimum wage increases in 4 out of 6 New England States, leaving NH with lowest  NH1.com  ...The minimum wage is increasing in four of the six New England states Sunday. Massachusetts is raising its minimum wage from $10 to $11 an hour. Minimum wage in Vermont will increase to $10 per hour, up from $9.60. The minimum wage for tipped employees also increased to $5 an hour. Connecticut will increase from $9.60 to $10.10 an hour, while Maine will go from $7.50 to $9 an hour...

Not so fast, state-level Republicans say to local minimum wage increases and sick leave laws  Daily Kos  ...Ohio was just the latest example. In its end-of-year rush, the state’s Republican legislature passed and Gov. John Kasich signed a bill blocking cities from raising the minimum wage locally. But such “pre-emption” laws are increasingly common. Backed by ALEC, these laws make a mockery of the idea of local control, saying that state laws on things like minimum wage and sick leave are the ceiling, not the floor...

North Carolina Republicans Beg Supreme Court To Uphold Racist Gerrymandering  Reverbpress  ...Back in late-November, leftists cheered when a federal court found North Carolina guilty of racially-based gerrymandering and forced the state to hold a new special election in 2017. Combined with McCrory’s loss in the 2016 gubernatorial election, it seemed that North Carolina was poised to return to its progressive roots. McCrory fought against the loss by stripping the governor position of powers...

Seattle workers welcome higher wages with start of new year  My Northwest  ...As the first wave of Seattle workers celebrate the $15 an hour wage that advocates fought for, minimum wage earners across Washington state are also seeing a bump in pay. The state’s minimum wage increased to $11 an hour on Sunday as part of the first of a multi-step increase approved by voters in November...

 

U.S. LABOR

Lawmakers join CWA, IBEW call to stop FairPoint job cuts  Fierce Telecom  ...A group of Northern New England lawmakers have joined the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) in protesting FairPoint’s latest round of layoffs in its Northern New England region. In November, FairPoint announced that it would lay off 110 employees in its northern New England region go from the company as it continues to see ongoing declines in its legacy TDM services business lines...

Split NLRB Allows USC Adjunct Profs Union Vote To Proceed  Law360  ...A split National Labor Relations Board on Friday affirmed a decision allowing adjunct professors at the University of Southern California’s art school to vote on whether to form a union, finding that their role in setting school policy via faculty committees does not make them managers. Board Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce and member Lauren McFerran opted not to review a December 2015 decision ordering a union election at USC’s Roski School of Art and Design...

Steelworkers protest loss of jobs, benefits  Trib Live  ...Steelworkers huddled beneath umbrellas, protecting lit candles from a steady downpour as they held a vigil to protest layoffs and benefit cuts at the Akers National Roll plant in Avonmore. “It helps nobody for the plant to be closed,” said Lou Bonnoni, president of United Steel Workers District 10, Local Union 1138...

Don't bankrupt labor department's mission, wages chief tells Puzder  The Guardian  ...David Weil, the chief enforcer of the nation’s wage and hour laws, is worried that the fast food executive will undermine efforts to crack down on widespread wage violations. “I obviously am concerned about things I hear,” Weil said, voicing apprehension that labor secretary nominee Andy Puzder might be far from zealous in enforcing the nation’s minimum wage and overtime laws...

Ford Cancels Plans for New $1.6 Billion Mexico Plant  Bloomberg  ...The next-generation Focus compact car will be built at an existing factory in Hermosillo, Mexico, and Ford will cancel plans to build a plant in San Luis Potosi, Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields said Tuesday. The second-largest U.S. automaker will build two products at a factory in Wayne, Michigan, where it assembles the Focus now, protecting about 3,500 jobs...

Media Credits President-Elect For Sprint Jobs  Huffington Post  ...President-elect Donald Trump took credit Wednesday for bringing a total of 8,000 jobs to the U.S., when those jobs were part of a previously announced commitment that there’s no evidence Trump was involved in. Media outlets quickly ran with the news that Trump was bringing jobs back to the U.S...

‘Routine’ Jobs Are Disappearing  Wall Street Journal  ...One of the most worrying economic trends over the past few decades has been the decline of middle-class jobs in the U.S. As “routine” jobs—often middle-class work based on a relatively narrow set of repeated tasks, such as welding-machine operators or bank tellers—disappear, many workers who would typically have held them have taken on lower-paying low-skill manual work or simply dropped out of the labor force, according to new...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Flooded with phone calls from voters, House GOP drops effort to gut ethics panel  Think Progress  ...The House GOP reversed course on Tuesday, deciding in a closed door meeting to abandon a plan approved less than 24 hours earlier to gut the independent Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE).  The reversal came as members of Congress said their offices were flooded with calls from constituents angered by the decision...

Six NAACP protesters arrested after occupying Sen. Jeff Sessions’ office in Alabama  Daily News  ...Six NAACP demonstrators were arrested after occupying the Mobile office of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, calling for him to turn down his controversial nomination to become the next U.S. Attorney General. More than a dozen protesters entered the office around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Benard Simelton, president of the Alabama State Conference of the NAACP, told the Daily News from Sessions’ office...

Inequality Is Only Getting Worse  The Nation  ...A recent study of stratification and eroding quality of life across generations, between races, and between socioeconomic classes sheds light on how America's so-called "middle class" perceived itself. Social-inequality trends over the past half century indicate that class divisions are growing more rigid, most are getting worse off, and those at the bottom are falling further, faster by the day...

Ethics advocates warn Trump that he needs to do more to divest from family business  Washington Post  ...A bipartisan group of ethics advocates lobbed a second letter to President-elect Donald Trump on Monday evening warning him that he needs to do more to separate himself from his family business interests. The letter comes after Trump announced some changes in his business empire, with more expected before Inauguration Day...

Massive women's march planned around inauguration  Workday Minnesota  ...A massive women’s protest march will lead the huge demonstrations, in Washington and around the nation, to greet -- in a manner of speaking -- the president-elect when he takes the oath of office on Jan. 20. Unionists will be right in the middle of them. And many of the participating organizations are already laying plans to continue the protests and the activism right through the first 100 days. The biggest plans will bring at least 155,000 women to Washington on Jan. 21...

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