Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News For February 17, 2017

Due to the holiday on President's Day, the Teamster news blog will not publish on Monday, Feb. 20. The next news roundup will publish on Tuesday, Feb. 21. 

 

TEAMSTERS

Teamsters Support Resolution to Renegotiate NAFTA  Teamster.org  ...The Teamsters Union applauds the introduction of a resolution by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) calling for the start of the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The resolution outlines a number of key provisions that must be included in the text of any renegotiation of NAFTA. These include strong, enforceable labor and environmental standards...

House Dem's NAFTA redo would drop cross-border trucking provision  Fleet Owner  ...Both the Teamsters and Public Citizen were vocal opponents of implementing the cross-border trucking provision with Mexico, seeking in Congress and the courts to block the requirement included in the 1994 treaty. Indeed, it took 20+ years, several partial programs and some $2 billion in annual retaliatory tariffs by Mexico before the trucking program was fully implemented...

Teamsters Applaud Defeat of Right-to-Work Legislation in New Hampshire  Teamster.org  ...The Teamsters Union applauds the defeat of right-to-work legislation in New Hampshire today, where the House of Representatives voted 200-177 in a bipartisan rejection of the anti-worker bill. “This is a great victory for the working men and women in New Hampshire,” said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President... 

Teamsters International Officer Election Certified  Teamster.org  ...The results of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters election of officers have been certified by election supervisor Richard Mark. General President Jim Hoffa, General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall, International Vice Presidents and International Trustees elected in the membership vote  will begin a five-year term in mid-March...

Leaders of Carhaul Local Unions Overwhelmingly Endorse Tentative Agreement  Teamster.org  ...Leaders of Carhaul local unions from across the country overwhelmingly endorsed a new tentative National Master Automobile Transporters Agreement (NMATA) today in Detroit, paving the way for members to vote on the contract. Ballots are scheduled to be mailed out to members on or about March 10 and are tentatively scheduled to be counted on March 30. Local unions will conduct informational meetings leading up to the March 10 mailing date...

Trucking Company Violated Law in Terminating Teamster Supporters  Joint Council 16  ...The National Labor Relations Board ruled last week that a New York company, Dawn Trucking, violated the law when it terminated workers the day after they voted to form a union with Teamsters Local 282. “Local 282 is pleased that this employer was held accountable for retaliating against workers who bravely came forward to better their lives,” said Teamsters Local 282 President Thomas Gesualdi...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Freeport Mine Workers Strike Against Indonesian Government  KJZZ  ...A strike Thursday sent home thousands of workers from Freeport McMoRan’s Indonesian operations. Union workers are demonstrating against the government today. It's the latest blow to international operations affecting one-third of the company’s copper business. Thirty-three thousand workers have stopped production at Freeport’s Grasberg mine in Indonesia after the company halted operations. A union is planning a formal demonstration against the government...

NZ and Australia to work together to salvage TPP  Radio NZ  ...The country's Prime Ministers held formal meetings in Queenstown today, along with a joint media conference. Speaking at the media conference this afternoon, Prime Minister Mr English said New Zealand and Australia were to work together to engage with other Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) members to take the stalled deal forward. Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull said NZ and Australia were "very much of the same mind" when it came to trade deals...

Vietnam Shrugs Off the Loss of TPP  Bloomberg  ...Because of its export-driven economy, Vietnam probably would have benefited from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade treaty more than any other nation. Now that President Donald Trump has withdrawn the U.S. from the deal, Vietnam is turning to its Asian neighbors. The end of the treaty “will push us to expand in other markets,” says Nguyen Duc Kien, deputy head of the National Assembly economic committee... 

In private meeting, Trump signals support for Ex-Im Bank  Washington Examiner  ...President Trump now may be in favor of the Export-Import Bank, according to Republican lawmakers who met with him privately Thursday, even though Trump once condemned the bank as corporate welfare. Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said Trump spoke positively about reviving the trade bank, which has been hobbled thanks to Senate Republicans who have refused to approve a full board of directors... 

NAFTA is 'killing the American Dream,' Michigan workers say  CNN  ...Sal Moceri gets visibly agitated at the very mention of the word "NAFTA." He thinks the trade deal killed the American Dream. "NAFTA was one of the worst contracts ever negotiated for the American worker," the 61-year-old Ford worker told CNNMoney. Michigan has lost nearly 300,000 manufacturing jobs since 2000. Moceri kept his job, but he says he has a lot of friends who didn't. Many economists say there's no way those jobs will come back...

China awards Trump valuable new trademark  ABC  ..The government of China awarded U.S. President Donald Trump valuable rights to his own name this week, in the form of a 10-year trademark for construction services. Critics say Trump's global intellectual property interests could be used by foreign states as leverage over the president and may violate the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution, which bars public servants from accepting anything of value from foreign governments...

Greece says 'not a euro more' from its austerity-impoverished population  RT  ...European Union officials are urging Greece and its creditors to strike a financial aid deal for the country quickly to safeguard economic recovery. However, Athens has refused a demand from its creditors for more austerity measures. The Greek government said it would not ask for “a euro more” from its impoverished citizens. Failure to agree on debt relief and economic reforms raises doubts over the future of the €86 billion Greek bailout program...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES 

Right to work fails in NH House, 200-177  Concord Monitor  ...Republican Gov. Chris Sununu says he is “deeply disappointed” the House voted to kill a proposed right-to-work bill. Sununu set the policy as a priority of his first term and met with representatives before the vote to try and ensure its passage. Top state Republicans had spent the days before the vote trying to sway opinions toward right-to-work. On Wednesday, leaders at the GOP state party suggested they may not help Republicans who oppose the bill in the next election cycle...

Iowa Lawmakers Pass Sweeping Anti-Union Bill  In These Times  ...Lawmakers in Iowa have voted to dismantle the state’s 40-year-old collective bargaining law, dramatically weakening the power of public sector labor unions and leaving some 185,000 public workers unable to bargain over benefits, healthcare, vacations, retirement, and nearly all workplace issues outside of wages. Iowa is a right-to-work state, and the new law would prevent voluntary union dues from being deducted from a public employee’s paycheck...

Hawaii: Thousands Of Teachers Protest Over Education Funding  Honolulu Star Advertiser  ...Several thousand public school teachers packed the grounds of the state Capitol on Monday as part of a rally calling on the governor and lawmakers to increase funding for public schools and raise teacher salaries. The Hawaii State Teachers Association, which organized the event, is in negotiations with the state for a new labor contract for its 13,500 members...

Arkansas House Approves Cuts to Unemployment Benefits  Arkansas Business  ...A bill that would decrease the number of weeks laid-off employees could receive unemployment benefits passed in the House 62-26 on Wednesday. Rep. Robin Lundstrum, R-Elm Springs, lead sponsor of the bill, said, "Our employers have been overpaying now for years on their unemployment taxes, and this would give them a relief"...

Eight weeks of paid leave for new parents about to become law in D.C.  Washington Post  ...A bill to offer workers in the District of Columbia some of the most generous paid family leave benefits in the nation will become law, barring last-minute intervention from Congress. D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, who was considering vetoing the bill over its cost, has decided not to do so...

Unions Are Losing Their Decades-Long ‘Right-to-Work’ Fight  Bloomberg  ...Following decades of declining membership, unions face an existential crisis as right-to-work laws being pushed at state and federal levels would ban their ability to collect mandatory fees from the workers they represent, a key source of revenue for organized labor. Once largely confined to the conservative South, right-to-work is encroaching on unions’ longtime strongholds in the North and Midwest...

 

U.S. LABOR

UAW poised to resurrect 'Buy American' campaign  Detroit Free Press  ...UAW President Dennis Williams said today that the union may soon launch a “Buy American” ad campaign urging Americans to buy cars made in the U.S. by union workers and wants to work with the Trump administration to retool the North American Free Trade Agreement. Williams said he's "in discussions" to air TV commercials promoting the "buy American" movement and wants to make it easier for consumers to identify foreign-made vehicles at car dealerships...

Longshore Union, Employers Seek Early Pact at U.S. East Coast Ports  Wall Street Journal  ...Cargo companies and the union representing longshore workers at East Coast and Gulf Coast seaports are getting an early start on contract negotiations at gateways long marked by tensions. This week, the International Longshoremen’s Association held informal contract talks in Florida with the United States Maritime Alliance Ltd., which represents the employers of some 25,000 unionized Atlantic and Gulf Coast port workers...

Leaders of American Airlines pilots' union blast CEO  ABC  ...Support from labor unions was critical when Doug Parker's US Airways forced a merger with American, but now the CEO of the world's biggest airline is under fire from unions unhappy about pay that lags rates at rival Delta. Leaders of the pilots' union say they have lost confidence in the ability of Parker and senior executives to lead the airline. Flight attendants picketed Tuesday at company headquarters and three big airports...

Auto union president: Organizing at Tesla depends on workers  Reuters  ...The president of the United Auto Workers union said on Thursday UAW organizers are in contact with workers at Silicon Valley electric car maker Tesla Inc, but said any formal effort to organize workers will "be determined by the interest of employees." UAW President Dennis Williams said the UAW is not paying a worker who went public with concerns about working conditions at Tesla's Fremont, California factory, as Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk charged last week... 

Penske settles suit over driver meal, rest times in California  DC Velocity  ...Third-party logistics giant Penske Logistics has agreed to pay $750,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by three drivers in California alleging the company violated state laws by failing to compensate them for meal and rest breaks. The drivers also charged Penske deducted pay for rest periods that were never taken. The settlement, which was reached at the end of January, ends a nine-year battle between Reading, Pa.-based Penske and the drivers over the alleged violations...

On a ‘Day Without Immigrants,’ Workers Show Their Presence by Staying Home  New York Times  ...It first spread on social media, rippling through immigrant communities like the opposite of fear and rumor: a call to boycott. In the New York region and around the country, many cooks, carpenters, plumbers and grocery store owners decided to answer it and not work on Thursday as part of a national “day without immigrants” in protest of the Trump administration’s policies toward them...

Trump Names R. Alexander Acosta As His New Labor Secretary Nominee  BuzzFeed  ...President Donald Trump named R. Alexander Acosta as his new labor secretary nominee in a press conference Thursday. If confirmed by the Senate, Acosta will be the first Hispanic member of Trump’s cabinet. The announcement comes one day after Trump’s original nominee for the job, fast-food CEO Andy Puzder, withdrew his name from consideration during a chaotic week for the administration... 

Making union elections more fair  UComm  ...A group of 106 university and law school professors of labor law and employment relations has petitioned the National Labor Relations Board to issue a rule amending its long-held position regarding “captive audience” meetings held by employers in connection with NLRB-conducted union elections. The petition, filed on January 15, 2016, requires “equal time” for unions...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS 

Report: More than 55,000 US bridges structurally deficient  AP  ...A new report says the Brooklyn Bridge and Washington's Arlington Memorial Bridge are among thousands of spans considered structurally deficient. Although the numbers of deficient bridges have declined in recent years, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association's analysis of transportation department data shows more than 55,000 bridges in the U.S. have been deemed deficient. ARBTA says deficient bridges are crossed about 185 million times a day...

The biggest beneficiaries of the government safety net: Working-class whites  Washington Post  ...Working-class whites are the biggest beneficiaries of federal poverty-reduction programs, even though blacks and Hispanics have substantially higher rates of poverty, according to a new study to be released Thursday by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Government assistance and tax credits lifted 6.2 million working-class whites out of poverty in 2014, more than any other racial or ethnic demographic...

Trump's Billionaire Cabinet: How They Harm Working People and Take America's Wealth for Themselves  HedgeClippers  ...Speaking about his tax plan, he claimed “no one will gain more from these policies than low and middle income Americans.”He vowed to drain the “swamp” of political insiders and financial elite. But as President, Trump has quickly embraced the Wall Street billionaires he criticized as a candidate...

Republican Health Proposal Would Redirect Money From Poor to Rich  New York Times  ...Republicans in Congress have been saying for months that they are working on a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare in the Trump era. Now we have the outline of that plan, and it looks as if it would redirect federal support away from poorer Americans and toward people who are wealthier. A white paper drafted by House leadership and the staff of the House and Senate committees that oversee health policy details a structure that could replace large sections of the Affordable Care Act...

Federal immigration raids net many without criminal records, sowing fear  Washington Post  ...The U.S. government said the series of ICE raids last week netted at least 683 “criminal aliens,” the first major immigration enforcement wave under President Trump. But a growing chorus of activists, lawyers and lawmakers have pointed to a sharp discrepancy between what ICE says it is doing and what immigrant families are seeing and reporting in cities across the nation...

An amazing moment in history: Donald Trump's press conference  CNN  ...President Donald Trump launched an extraordinary denunciation Thursday of his critics, complaining he inherited a "mess" and slamming stories that his campaign was constantly in contact with Russia as "fake news." Trump held court during a news conference that lasted an hour and fifteen minutes, carving out a stunning moment in modern American political history. He displayed a sense of anger and grievance rarely vented by a President in public -- let alone one who has been in office for just four weeks...

Trump says he will issue a new order after a 'very bad decision' blocked his initial travel ban  LA Times  ...Faced with a string of legal defeats across the country, President Trump on Thursday effectively abandoned efforts to uphold his controversial ban on travel from several countries with links to terrorism and said he would issue a new order next week crafted to withstand constitutional challenges...

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