Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News For February 21, 2017

TEAMSTERS 

Milwaukee Teamsters Overwhelmingly Ratify Contract With Roundy's  Teamster.org  ...More than 700 Teamsters that work at Roundy’s Distribution Center in Oconomowoc, Wisc., overwhelmingly ratified a new three-year contract that makes strong gains for the membership in wages, maintenance of benefits and retirement security. The drivers and warehouse workers, represented by Teamsters Local Union 200 in Milwaukee, Wisc., ratified the collective bargaining agreement by a margin of 96 percent...

Liberty Bakery Kitchen Employees Vote to Join Teamsters  Teamster.org  ...Workers at Liberty Bakery Kitchen in Brockton voted this week to join Local 653, joining a dozen drivers at the facility that produces donuts for Dunkin’ Donuts who organized with the Teamsters last year. The campaign to organize the 88 bakery employees began last October. It occurred despite a contentious battle with the company to halt the effort...

Local 727 Files Unfair Labor Charges Against Coca-Cola Refreshments for Unlawful Delay in Processing Grievances  Local 727  ...For months, Local 727 has been awaiting Step One responses to numerous grievances from Coca-Cola. In addition to this unexplained delay, Coke also recently refused to process grievances and abruptly ended previously scheduled grievance meetings. As a result of these actions, Teamsters Local 727 has filed an unfair labor practice charge against Coca-Cola Refreshments...

Teamsters group aims to organize ride-hailing drivers under historic Seattle Uber unionization law  Geekwire  ...The deadline has come and gone for organizations to declare their desire to represent drivers for ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft and taxi companies like Eastside for Hire under Seattle’s landmark driver collective bargaining ordinance, and only one group has signed up: Teamsters Local 117... 

Minnesota workers, businesses back proposal to stop wage theft  Workday Minnesota  ...One of the most egregious current examples is Lakeville Motor Express, a trucking company that allegedly changed its name and location to avoid paying thousands of dollars to its employees. The workers’ union, Teamsters Local 120, is leading an effort to recoup what was lost. "We are union strong and we are here to fight for our rights!" said Samuel Nunn, one of the 95 affected workers...

Noel Canning workers go on strike Monday night  Yakima Herald  ...About three dozen workers at Noel Canning went on strike at 5 p.m. Monday over what they say are unfair labor practices. About a dozen men on Monday night held picket signs that read “Teamsters Local 760 on Strike” along South First Street near its intersection with Arlington Street and at the front gate of the company on Arlington Street...

Surveillance of Railway Workers - the Degedation of Work  Teamsters Canada  ...Canadian Pacific has launched a campaign to legitimize constant video surveillance of its workers, alleging that this measure would improve safety in the rail industry. “This initiative by management would be used as a tool to intimidate workers and advance a culture of fear under the guise of safety,” states the President of Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) Doug Finnson... 

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE 

Global Unions Rally for 350 Fired Georgia Workers  Solidarity Center  ...Some 350 workers at the Georgia chemical company Rustavi Azot recently were dismissed without notice or compensation and nearly 2,000 more threatened with firing unless they accept new, short-term contracts. The actions by the company, which produces mineral fertilizers, ammonia, sodium cyanide and nitric acid, generated protests in Rustavi and Tbilisi, garnered international support and prompted local media speculation about potentially questionable business dealings by the company’s former owner, Bank of Georgia...

Abe, U.S. lawmakers agree to work on economic ties, trade after summit  Japan Times  ...Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a group of lawmakers from the U.S. House of Representatives agreed in Tokyo on Monday to further strengthen bilateral ties, including in economic areas, according to the Foreign Ministry. The visit by the bipartisan delegation from the Congressional Study Group on Japan follows Abe’s summit earlier this month with U.S. President Donald Trump...

Friends of the Earth U.S. and Japan Call for Resistance to Trump and Abe Trade Talks  (opinion) Huffington Post  ...Friends of the Earth U.S. and Friends of the Earth Japan agree that Trump’s negotiating objectives for a Japan deal have nothing to do with fair trade and everything to do with magnifying corporate power and despoiling the planet. Any U.S.-Japan trade agreement, negotiated by Trump, is certain to roll back a wide range of environmental safeguards in areas such as food safety, chemical regulation, agriculture, pollinator protection, energy, and climate change...

Dingell hopes President Trump will act on re-negotiating NAFTA  Michigan Radio  ...Democratic U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell agrees with a major campaign promise of President Trump: NAFTA needs to be re-negotiated. Dingell co-sponsored a resolution introduced by Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Oregon, last week that she calls a “road map” to reshaping the trade deal. "Michigan's the heart and soul of the American Auto Industry,” Dingell said. "And since NAFTA passed, we have seen factories shuttered, jobs lost, and real incomes drop for too many people"...

Trump Administration Considers Change in Calculating U.S. Trade Deficit  Wall Street Journal  ...The Trump administration is considering changing the way it calculates U.S. trade deficits, a shift that would make the country’s trade gap appear larger than it had in past years, according to people involved in the discussions. The leading idea under consideration would exclude from U.S. exports any goods first imported into the country, such as cars, and then transferred to a third country like Canada or Mexico...

Canada: Atlantic premiers vow vigilance on trade with U.S.  Globe and Mail  ...Atlantic Canada’s premiers say they are focused on strengthening trade ties with the United States as Canada looks to establish its economic footing with President Donald Trump’s administration. The premiers emerged from a two-day meeting in Corner Brook, N.L., Monday pledging vigilance with the region’s largest trading partner, and acknowledging the need to promote their interests...

Greece’s lenders shift from austerity to reforms  EurActiv  ...The Eurogroup took a small step on Monday (20 February) towards the completion of the second review of Greece’s €86 billion rescue programme, placing the emphasis on reforms over austerity to reduce the country’s huge debt pile. Emphasis will be given on “deep” structural reforms to win back IMF support and convince Athens to adopt new measures to complete the bailout programme review...

Amazon hiring 5,000 workers in U.K. despite Brexit fears  CNN  ...Amazon said Monday that it will hire 5,000 new employees in the U.K. this year, making it the latest elite tech firm to brush aside fears over the country's exit from the European Union. The e-commerce giant -- which already employs 19,000 full-time workers in the U.K. -- said it plans to hire for a wide range of positions...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES 

Koch Brothers Lobbyist Attends Iowa Collective Bargaining Bill Signing  Iowa Public Radio  ...Governor Branstad Monday downplayed a controversy over his signing last week of a controversial bill wiping out most collective bargaining rights for Iowa’s public workers.  A lobbyist for a conservative group that backed the bill was on hand for the bill-signing which was off-limits to the public. Americans for Prosperity, which is funded by the billionaire Koch brothers, lobbied for the bill... 

New study confirms that voter ID laws are very racist  Think Progress  ...A new study by political scientists Zoltan L. Hajnal, Nazita Lajevardi, and Lindsay Nielson explains what these laws do accomplish, however. According to Hajnal and his co-authors, turnout among Hispanic voters is “7.1 percentage points lower in general elections and 5.3 points lower in primaries” in states with strict voter ID laws...

Hundreds of Texans may have voted improperly, AP reports  Dallas Morning News  ...Texas election officials have acknowledged that hundreds of people were allowed to bypass the state's toughest-in-the-nation voter ID law and improperly cast ballots in the November presidential election by signing a sworn statement instead of showing a photo ID. The cases do not amount to voter fraud because people still had to be registered to vote to qualify for an affidavit, said John Oldham, Fort Bend County's elections chief... 

Election Day A Holiday? California Bill Looks To Give Workers Paid Vacation To Vote  IBTimes  ..Lawmakers in California have introduced a bill into the State Assembly aimed at increasing voter turnout by making Election Day a paid holiday, according to local reports Friday. Private businesses would not be required to halt operations, but the bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Evan Low, said he hoped that employers give their workers the day off...

Immigrant Communities Battle New Anti-Sanctuary-City Bills in Red States  Truthout  ...Several states, including Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina, Iowa, Idaho and Pennsylvania have introduced measures that would require police agencies to hold anyone in custody until US Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) can determine if they should be deported, or potentially lose state funding. Some states are going even farther than that...

 

U.S. LABOR 

UAW steps up efforts with foreign automakers, Tesla  Detroit Free Press  ...The UAW is escalating its organizing efforts with several automakers and is using widely different strategies as it tries to translate ongoing campaigns into tangible wins, UAW leaders and other sources say. While the union's campaign to organize some automakers has appeared, at times, to stall in recent years, there are signs of renewed UAW activity in Mississippi with Nissan and in California with Tesla...

Bank workers will protest to form their first US union — and the whole world is watching  Mic  ...Behind the pristine business attire and impeccable offices, banks in the United States have a secret: Their public faces — tellers and salespeople — are harried working-class people. Now, bank tellers in the United States will ask for the same protections enjoyed by workers across the world: a union. On Tuesday, over 15,000 U.S. bank workers with the Spain-based bank Santander will declare their intent to establish this country's first bank workers' union... 

House Republicans launch latest hit on federal unions  Washington Post  ...Two House subcommittees joined forces for Republicans to hit what they consider to be abuses of “official time.” That system allows government labor organization officials to engage in certain, but certainly not all, union-related activities while being paid by federal agencies. Federal employees and their representatives can expect other actions affecting the workforce, in fact those actions have already begun...

Trump’s Labor Pick Has a History of Attacking Voting Rights  The Nation  ... Acosta served briefly as a Bush appointee to the National Labor Relations Board, and then was appointed by Bush as the assistant attorney general with responsibility for leading the US Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. It was in that latter role that Acosta intervened in a pair of lawsuits brought by Ohio civil-rights activists who objected that the Ohio law that permitted the challenging of the right of voters to cast their ballots was unconstitutional...

#DayWithoutImmigrants: One-Day Strike Closes Businesses Around Country  NBC News  ...Just how much does the U.S. rely on immigrants? Americans are finding out. In cities across the country, businesses closed their doors on Thursday to show support for the #DayWithoutImmigrants campaign. Spread on social media and messaging apps, the day aimed to make a point about the economic impact immigrants have on the U.S. labor force...

Employees Across U.S. Fired After Joining ‘Day Without Immigrants’ Protest  CNBC  ...More than 100 protesters across the country were fired from their jobs after skipping work to take part in last week's "Day Without Immigrants" demonstration. Restaurants and day cares were among the businesses in states like Florida, Tennessee, Oklahoma and New York where bosses fired workers after they didn't show up for work in order to protest...

Republicans move forward in their quest to drug test unemployed people  Think Progress  ...House Republicans are making progress in their quest to allow states to drug test people who are unemployed. This week, they passed a resolution that undoes a rule from the Department of Labor under President Obama’s tenure that kept any drug testing for unemployment benefits very narrow... 

Trump's Health Insurance Pick Actually Thinks Maternity Leave Coverage Should Be Optional  Bustle  ...Trump's pick to lead the government's health insurance programs is hitting Capitol Hill for hearings before the Senate Finance Committee this week. And from the sounds of things, she's got a gripe with what's currently a guaranteed, mandatory aspect of private health insurance ― maternity leave. As revealed in her hearing, Seema Verma doesn't believe maternity leave should be required for health insurance plans to cover...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Trump family’s elaborate lifestyle is a ‘logistical nightmare’ — at taxpayer expense  Washington Post  ...Barely a month into the Trump presidency, the unusually elaborate lifestyle of America’s new first family is straining the Secret Service and security officials, stirring financial and logistical concerns in several local communities, and costing far beyond what has been typical for past presidents — a price tag that, based on past assessments of presidential travel and security costs, could balloon into the hundreds of millions of dollars over the course of a four-year term...

Lawmakers Feel the Heat as Resistance Shows Up in Droves to Town Halls  Common Dreams  ...Energized crowds in New York, South Carolina, and Wisconsin on Saturday morning gave lawmakers a hint of what awaits them in their home districts during the upcoming Congressional recess. The Buffalo News reported that "[h]uge crowds of raucous progressives and quieter conservatives overwhelmed [Republican] Rep. Tom Reed's town hall meetings in Ashville and Cherry Creek Saturday morning...

Senate Confirms Austerity Champion Congressman as Influential White House Staffer  District Sentinel  ...Te Senate approved of President Trump’s chief budget and policy aide on Thursday, in a 51-49 vote. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) was the lone Republican to reject Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), on the grounds that the Tea Party Congressman has extended his frequent calls for fiscal austerity to the defense budget. Mulvaney is now set to lead the Office of Management and Budget...

What Scott Pruitt’s confirmation means for the EPA  Vox  ...Of all Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks, it’s hard to find anyone who’s been more overtly hostile toward the agency he’s about to lead than Scott Pruitt has been toward the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt made no secret of this; during his tenure as Oklahoma’s attorney general, his bio page called him “a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda”...

The racial wealth gap: How African-Americans have been shortchanged out of the materials to build wealth  EPI  ...Overall, housing equity makes up about two-thirds of all wealth for the typical (median) household. In short, for median families, the racial wealth gap is primarily a housing wealth gap. This is no accident. Besides facing discrimination in employment and wage-setting, for generations even those African-American families that did manage to earn decent incomes were barred from accessing the most important financial market for typical families: the housing market...

The Lies, Exaggerations, and Obfuscations That Came Out of Trump’s Mouth While He Called the Media “Dishonest”  Slate  ...The self-proclaimed “least anti-Semitic person you’ve ever seen,” who is also the “least racist person,” who is also the president of the United States, held a press conference on Thursday to inform the media that they are “fake news” and that their dishonesty is “out of control.” What followed was a stunning display of Trump’s ability to lie, exaggerate, obfuscate, and mislead the public while insisting that it was actually the media who were doing all of those things...

Trump denounces anti-Semitic attacks in the U.S.  Yahoo  ...After urging from many — including his former presidential rival — President Trump denounced anti-Semitism Tuesday morning. On Monday, at least 11 Jewish community centers were evacuated after bomb threats, bringing the total number of centers that have been threatened since Trump’s election to 54. In addition to the bomb threats, more than 100 headstones were recently desecrated at a historic Jewish cemetery near St. Louis...

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