Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News For January 5, 2017

TEAMSTERS

Teamsters Ratify Strong Agreement at Minnesota Refinery  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters Local 120 members have overwhelmingly approved a four-year agreement with Western Refining in St. Paul Park, Minn. The agreement includes a 14 percent wage increase over the life of the contract, time off improvements and the addition of new jobs to address safety concerns, among other gains. The operators and maintenance staff had voted unanimously, 148-0, to strike...

University of California workers plan five-day strike to protest wages  Daily Bruin  ...Skilled trade workers will strike for five days at UCLA after failing to reach agreement on wages with the university. Teamsters Local 2010, the union representing the workers, voted in December to hold the strike, which will last from Friday to Tuesday. The union also held a 24-hour strike on Nov. 16 over contract negotiations...

Teamsters Commend Governor’s Investment in JFK  Teamsters NYC  ...George Miranda, President of Teamsters Joint Council 16 and Chairman of the Board of the Teamsters Airline Division on today’s announcement by Governor Andrew Cuomo of billion dollar investments in JFK Airport. Teamsters Joint Council 16 represents 120,000 workers in Downstate New York: “Our airports are not just key to the transportation of people and goods, they are also a key source of jobs for New York’s working families. We commend Governor Cuomo for his commitment to investing in our region’s airports"...

School security monitors instructed to be hands off  Wave3  ... School security guards are being told to step back instead of stepping in. Fed up with guards being scapegoats when students get dangerously out of control, Teamsters Local Union No. 783 president John Stovall is urging them to stand down. He wants Jefferson County Public School officials to create new, clear guidelines on how school security monitors are supposed to do their jobs...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE 

Chile: Tough labor talks could lead to strike at Escondida copper mine - union  Reuters  ...Workers at BHP Billiton-owned Escondida, the world's biggest copper mine, could go on strike in February if collective contract talks with the company are unsuccessful, union spokesman Carlos Allende told Reuters on Wednesday. The warning came after the company rejected all the workers' demands, Allende said. He said the proposal the company presented would cut the benefits workers receive in their current contract...

Democrats Press Trump on Trade  US News & World Report  ...At the top of the group's wish list is the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, which Trump repeatedly blasted last year as "the worst trade deal in history." Trump has pledged on his first day in office to begin the process of renegotiating NAFTA or withdrawing from it altogether...

Trump will need Democrats' help to rework NAFTA  (analysis) The Hill  ...Trump still must build a majority in favor of his new NAFTA in the House and Senate. Congressional Republicans overwhelmingly support the model of trade agreements Trump says he wants to change. Those agreements have little to do with eliminating real trade barriers, such as the tariffs that the 1995 World Trade Organization deal largely eliminated...

Mexicans Are the Nafta Winners? It’s News to Them  New York Times   ...In Mexico, there is an increasing belief that Nafta, despite drawing an enormous amount of investment to the country, has been a big disappointment. “At the end of the day, as a development strategy, it should have led to higher sustained growth, generated well-paid salaries and reduced the gap between Mexico and the United States,” said Gerardo Esquivel, an economist at the Colegio de México... 

Canada's Top CEOs To Earn Average Worker's 2017 Salary By Lunchtime Jan. 3  Huffington Post  ...Before noon today, Canada's highest-paid CEOs will earn more than the average working person's income for all of 2017. That's the conclusion of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, an Ottawa-based think-tank that has tracked CEO compensation in this country for a decade. It says this year's elite group of chief executive officers will earn the average, full-time Canadian wage by 11:47 a.m. on Jan. 3 — the second working day of 2017...

Nearly 200 children freed from south India brick kiln in one of biggest rescues  Yahoo  ...Indian police rescued nearly 200 children, most of them under the age of 14, who had been found working in a brick kiln in the southern state of Telangana in one of the biggest operations in the region, officials said on Wednesday. The children were rescued from a brick kiln in Yadadiri district, 40 kilometers (25 miles) from state capital Hyderabad, as part of "Operation Smile", a national campaign to tackle child labor and missing children...

Coffee from Rainforest Alliance farms in Brazil linked to exploited workers   The Guardian  ...Serious labour rights violations have taken place at Brazilian farms linked to some of the largest international coffee certification systems, including Rainforest Alliance and UTZ, according to an investigation by Repórter Brasil. The report by the civil society organisation, published this week, found that monitoring systems at so-called sustainable coffee plantations failed to spot irregularities...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES 

Kentucky: 2 bills targeting labor unions advance  Courier-Journal  ...House Republicans advanced a pair of bills targeting labor unions on Wednesday, a show of force for the new GOP majority over thunderous protests from hundreds of workers who watched helplessly from the hallway. The bills approved by a House committee would ban mandatory union membership as a condition of employment, would not allow employers to deduct union dues from workers’ paychecks without written permission, and would forbid public employees from going on strike...

Missouri: The Speaker Who Will Deliver Right-to-Work  Missouri Times  ...Richardson will earn a coveted accolade in Republican circles when he becomes the speaker of the House that made Missouri a right-to-work state. Since Republicans captured the majority in 2003, many legislative leaders have made Right-to-Work and labor reform a major priority. However, there hasn’t been a supportive Right-to-Work governor until next week...

Massachusetts: Worker shortages, moderate growth expected for 2017  Boston Globe  ...The state’s leading economists expect the Massachusetts economy to grow at a moderate pace this year, but warn that the low unemployment rate could create worker shortages in certain fields, including construction and skilled manufacturing. “The Massachusetts economy is fast approaching full capacity,” the editorial board of the economic journal MassBenchmarks said in its 2017 forecast...

Activists Hope Minimum Wage Increases Will Pressure Donald Trump  Newsweek  ...While Congress has not raised the $7.25-per-hour federal minimum wage in seven years, 19 states will increase their minimum wage on New Year’s Day, while three more, plus the District of Columbia, have set wage increases for mid-year. The majority of those increases are due to ballot initiatives approved by voters, including votes this November in Arizona, California, Colorado, D.C., Maine, Oregon and Washington...

Koch Brothers Are Out to Conquer the Countryside  (opinion) WHAV  ...It’s time for progressives to focus on the outer rings, where the Koch brothers, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and their corporate cohorts have laid siege to our state governments. It’s not a coincidence that such a large flock of corporatists and right-wing ideologues now roosts in state offices and keeps pushing exactly the same anti-people rhetoric and tactics... 

 

U.S. LABOR

Hardee’s Plans Layoffs as Hearing on Puzder Approaches  Bloomberg  ...CKE Restaurants Inc., the conglomerate helmed by Labor Secretary-designate Andrew Puzder, notified 51 workers Jan. 3 that they will be laid off in March when the company relocates to Nashville, Tenn., according to a letter obtained by Bloomberg. The layoff notices come about two weeks before a Senate panel is scheduled to debate Puzder’s nomination...

Retired ironworkers could face pension cuts next month  Washington Post  ...The cuts proposed by his pension plan, a small Cleveland-based fund with about 2,000 members, were approved by the Treasury Department on Dec. 16. It is the first time the agency has given the green light for a private pension plan to cut benefits for its members. The proposal, which will reduce benefits by 20 percent on average, must now be voted on by the retirees and workers in the Iron Workers Local 17 Pension fund...

DC: ATU track inspector fired 'for being a whistleblower'  WUSA  ...Trap Thomas was fired Wednesday morning after nine years as a Metro track inspector. He said Metro managers have been targeting him since 2011, that’s when he started blowing the whistle on repeated safety violations. Members of ATU local 689 said the systematic failures can’t be blamed on handful of people like Thomas who said reporting to OSHA and other agencies cost him his job...

Obama administration moves against federal contractors that owed back pay to workers  Washington Post  ...How the dealmaking Trump crowd will deal with federal contractors remains to be seen, but the Obama administration is making a statement during its final weeks in office. In the waning days of December, the Labor Department took strong action against two companies that it said has cheated workers. On Dec. 30, Labor announced a move to debar or prohibit any new federal contracts with Restaurant Associates... 

Macy’s Will Cut 10,000 Jobs After Poor Holiday Sales  New York Times  ...Struggling with sagging sales over another crucial holiday shopping season, Macy’s announced on Wednesday that it was eliminating more than 10,000 jobs as part of a continuing plan to cut costs and close 100 stores. Macy’s, the country’s largest department store chain, said sales at its stores had fallen 2.1 percent in November and December compared with the same period in 2015... 

Media Coverage Misses Gig Worker Concerns  Forbes  ...Whether you call it gig working, the 1099 economy, or another label, the phenomenon of people driving passengers, doing odd jobs, delivering food from restaurants, walking dogs, or providing many other services has been hot in the media. But the largely positive wave of attention may have missed much of the downside participants have experienced...

Rising Inequality Is Far From Inevitable  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... 

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS 

Two Major Credit Reporting Agencies Have Been Lying to Consumers  The Atlantic  ...The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced that two of the three major credit-reporting agencies responsible for doling out those scores—Equifax and Transunion—have been deceiving and taking advantage of Americans. The Bureau ordered the agencies to pay more than $23 million in fines and restitution...  

Noam Chomsky: Surfing the web for ‘random factoids’ is not education — it’s a ‘cult generator’  Raw Story  ...“If you don’t have [an idea what you’re looking for], exploring the internet is just picking out random factoids that don’t mean anything,” Chomsky stated. Without a specific strategy, he believes the internet is far more likely to be harmful than helpful. “Random exploration through the internet turns out to be a cult generator,” Chomsky concluded....

What does a Trump presidency mean for criminal justice reform?  The Hill  ....Criminal justice reform has garnered bipartisan support. Both conservatives and liberals have recognized the systemic problems in the system. Wealthy conservatives, such as the Koch brothers, have funded several criminal justice initiatives while George Soros, the liberal leaning billionaire, funded progressive District Attorneys in multiple election races...

Black teen files $5 million lawsuit against white cop who assaulted her at 2015 Texas pool party  Raw Story  ...The family of a black teen who was brutally pulled down by her hair and then tackled by a white Texas police officer as she attempted to leave a pool party in 2015 is suing the officer who attacked her, the police department and the city of McKinney. According to the Dallas News, Dajerria Becton and her legal guardian, Shashona Becton, have filed a $5 million suit...

Teamster Privilege Auto and Home

As a member of IBT you now have access to valuable features and benefits, including special group discounts on auto and home insurance offered through MetLife Auto & Home – a leading provider of quality auto insurance coverage.

Sign Up For Action Alerts

Mobile alerts from Teamsters. Periodic messages. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to 86466 to stop receiving messages. Text HELP to 86466 for more information.Terms & Conditions