Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News For February 23, 2017

TEAMSTERS 

Nestlé Teamsters Ratify New Contract  Teamster.org  ...Confectionary workers at the Burlington, Wisc. Nestlé plant ratified a new five-year agreement this weekend, securing a strong contact that included wage gains and maintenance of health care and retirement benefits. The 357 workers, represented by Teamsters Local 200 in Milwaukee, Wisc., will receive 2.5 percent wage increases each year of the agreement... 

Teamsters Endorse Maria Elena Durazo for DNC Vice-Chair  Teamster.org  ...Statement by Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa: “Today, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters proudly endorses Maria Elena Durazo in her re-election bid as the Vice-Chair of the Democratic National Committee. She has been a strong advocate for the Teamsters waste and port campaigns and will continue to be a strong voice for working families and labor"...

Truckers on L.A.’s docks fight for union rights  People's World  ...Truckers working on the docks at Los Angeles-Long Beach, the nation’s busiest port, want the Department of Defense (DOD) to stop their employer, California Cartage, from continually committing wage theft. The complaint, sent by the Teamsters union to the DOD on behalf of the Cartage workers, is a continuation of the long-running campaign being waged by port truckers to be correctly classified as “employees” protected by U.S. law and having the right to join a union...

Sunset Park Strike Could Target City's Largest Recycling Facility  Sunset Park Patch  ...More than 70 percent of the workers at the SIMS Municipal Recycling facility in Sunset Park have signed a petition saying they want to unionize under the Teamsters, union spokesman Alex Moore said Wednesday. But according to Moore, SIMS has yet to accept the employees' appeal. As a result, a strike could be on the table at the facility, the spokesman said... 

Drink Tax Defies Predictions With $5.7M In Revenue  CBS  ...Fears of layoffs in the beverage industry are now growing as this 1.5 cent-per-ounce tax takes hold. Supermarkets  and distributors are reportedly considering layoffs. Sources with Teamsters Local 830 tell CBS 3 layoffs are “imminent”  and that some workers have seen their take-home pay drop by 50 to 75 percent because they’re moving less product...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE 

Italy: government asks Alitalia not to cut pay as workers strike tomorrow  Italy 24  ...The government has asked Italian airline Alitalia to not push it with the trade unions and to retract its “diktat” to reduce employee pay packets from March 1 by no longer applying the collective contract that expired at the end of 2016. The company responded by convening a meeting with the unions at 16:30 today through Assaereo, the industry association the company adheres to...

Gabon oil workers strike at Maurel et Prom Gabon fields - union  Daily Mail  ...Workers in Gabon have gone on strike at the Maurel et Prom Gabon SA oilfields halting production of 28,000 barrels per day, Sylvain Mayabi Binet, deputy secretary general of the National Organization of Petroleum Employees, said. "All wells are stopped so zero production," Binet told Reuters. Binet said the workers wanted a separation allowance worth six months salary per year of service following the sale of a 72.65 percent stake in Maurel et Prom Gabon SA to Indonesian national oil company Pertamina...

Without TPP, Canada looks for new Asian trade deal  Global News  ...Canada is searching for a new “coalition of the willing” to forge trade links in Asia following President Donald Trump’s decision to kill the Trans-Pacific Partnership, says the new Liberal trade minister. Trump followed through on his promise to pull the U.S. out of the 12-country Pacific Rim pact in the days after his inauguration last month, a decision that has effectively killed the TPP...

TTIP Neither Alive Nor Dead, EU Ready to Continue Discussions With US  Sputnik News  ...The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations were paused at the end of the administration of former President Barack Obama, but the European Union is ready to resume discussions with the administration of US President Donald Trump, EU Ambassador to the United States David O'Sullivan said on Tuesday. He noted that while the EU is ready to continue discussions on the matter if the Trump administration is interested, at the moment there is no one to talk with...

Trump Plan: Deport to Mexico Immigrants Crossing Border Illegally, Regardless of Nationality  ProPublica  ...Buried deep in the Trump administration’s plans to round up undocumented immigrants is a provision certain to enrage Mexico — new authority for federal agents to deport anyone caught crossing the southern border to Mexico, regardless of where they are from. If present immigration trends continue, that could mean the United States would push hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans, Hondurans, Salvadorans, Brazilians, Ecuadorans, even Haitians into Mexico... 

With NAFTA in Trump’s crosshairs, Mexico’s border factories brace for the unknown  Washington Post  ...NAFTA, which Trump has called “the worst trade deal in history,” set the foundation for the current economic ecosystem in border towns by allowing companies in the United States to send raw materials to their plants in Mexico for assembly and import the finished product back to the United States — generally without paying duties...

Jaded Greeks resigned to more austerity  EKathimerini  ...Greeks appeared resigned on Tuesday to accepting further budget cuts and tax rises after their government agreed to a last-minute compromise of new reforms to keep bailout funds flowing. Athens and its creditors – the eurozone and International Monetary Fund – agreed on Monday to resume talks on the long-stalled bailout review, but only after Greece agreed to examine what it described as "fiscally neutral" reforms from 2019 onwards...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES 

Connecticut Public Employees Oppose Pension Bill  Public News Service  ...Hundreds of state workers packed the Legislative Office Building in Hartford on Tuesday to oppose a bill that would end collective bargaining over pension benefits. House Bill 5552 would apply to recent and future state and municipal employees. Proponents of the bill say it would bring Connecticut law into line with surrounding states. But Ben Phillips, communications director for the Connecticut State Employees Association (CSEA), disagrees... 

Connecticut: minimum wage: one bill lives, another dies  CT Post  ...A key committee on Tuesday narrowly approved a plan to raise the current $10.10 per-hour minimum wage to $15 over the next five years. But the partisan divide in the Labor and Public Employees Committee resulted in the death of a Senate version of the bill. An identical House version survived, 7-6, after an hour-long debate. The current $10.10 minimum wage would rise to $11 next Jan. 1, then a dollar a year until 2022...

W.Va.: Senate approves bill dealing with unemployment benefits for striking workers  Metro News  ...Striking workers who are on picket lines voluntarily would not be eligible for unemployment benefits with a bill the state Senate has sent to the state House of Delegates. Later Wednesday, Trump spoke in favor of the bill on the floor of the state Senate before the Senate approved the bill with a 22-11 vote and sent it on to the House...

Missouri lawmakers vote to slash unemployment benefits  Post-Dispatch  ...The Missouri House on Wednesday reaffirmed its commitment to a plan that would cut the amount of time people can claim jobless benefits to one of the shortest periods in the country. Shell Knob Republican Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick's proposal would shorten the benefits period for laid-off workers from 20 weeks to 13 weeks if the unemployment rate is below 6 percent...

Debate over Nevada’s minimum wage raises serious constitutional question  Review-Journal  ...So far, the debate in the Nevada Legislature has been about whether to raise the hourly minimum wage and, if so, by how much, to $12 or $15. But there’s a more basic question: Can the Legislature even legally raise the minimum wage through a bill? Back in 2004 and 2006, voters approved a constitutional amendment that provided for a minimum wage and a mechanism for future increases...

Committees take up gender pay; millennial legislators get together   SacBee  ...California has a long way to go to close its gender pay gap. Despite legislative efforts to balance pay for men and women, a report released last October found that women who work for the state make 80 cents on the dollar compared to their male colleagues. Female state workers face a greater pay disparity than California’s private sector and federal workforce, according to a report from the California Department of Human Resources...

 

U.S. LABOR 

Tentative agreement in Green Island Honeywell lockout  Times Union  ...A tentative contract agreement between Honeywell Aerospace Workers at its Green Island and South Bend, Ind., plants has been reached following federal mediation Tuesday in Chicago. John Pinto, acting director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, announced the agreement. More than 40 workers at Honeywell's Green Island plant, members of United Auto Workers Local 1508, have been locked out since May 9 after rejecting an earlier contract proposal...

UAW reaches tentative agreement with Challenge Manufacturing to end strike  EINNews  ...Over 300 UAW members at Challenge Manufacturing have reached their first tentative agreement to end a three-week strike. “We congratulate UAW members of Local 710 at Challenge Manufacturing on their first contract after difficult negotiations,” said UAW President Dennis Williams. Members of Local 710 at Challenge Manufacturing reached their first tentative agreement after the Michigan-based company located a stamping supply facility in Kansas City...

Sunnyvale city workers rally for wage increase   Mercury News  ...Saying that the region is too expensive and that they haven’t received a net pay raise in years, members of the Sunnyvale Employee Association held a rally near city hall Feb. 15 demanding an increase in wages. Roughly 100 workers from across the city’s government—administrators, planners, engineers, public works maintenance, water pollution control, civilian support for the department of public safety and more—came armed with signs in the hope of getting what they say would be their first raise in five years...

Donald Trump's Loud Silence on Unions  The Atlantic  ...The president’s 20-minute speech, made to a room of people who normally wear hard hats, was more striking for what it didn’t discuss: the role—if any—that organized labor should play in ensuring that prosperity. It was a surprising omission, given the plant’s recent history: Earlier in the week, workers at the very same Charleston-area Boeing facility voted against unionizing...

Gorsuch seen as business-friendly on labour, workplace issues  CTV News  ...In a decade as a federal appeals court judge, Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch has criticized courts for giving too much power to government agencies that enforce the nation's labour and employment laws. As a lawyer in private practice, he also backed curbs on some class-action lawsuits. His conservative approach could tip the balance in labour rights cases and other high court clashes that have split the court... 

Trump Deportation Threats to Constrict Already-Tight Job Market  Bloomberg  ...President Donald Trump’s sweeping crackdown on undocumented immigrants will strain an already tight U.S. job market, with one study suggesting that removing all of them would cost the economy as much as $5 trillion over 10 years. That represents the contribution of the millions of unauthorized workers to the world’s largest economy, about 3 percent of private-sector gross domestic product, according to a recent paper issued by the National Bureau of Economic Research...

Trump supporters counting on labor-friendly DOL chief  (opinion) The Hill  ...President Donald Trump faces significant challenges wherever he looks, but he also has a real opportunity to help a group of Americans who proved critical to his victory and are now looking to him for leadership — the working men and women of this country. After years of being largely ignored by policymakers, working Americans finally got a break under President Obama...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Trump Administration Rescinds Protections For Transgender Students  Huffington Post  ...President Donald Trump’s administration announced on Wednesday that it will no longer bar schools from discriminating against transgender students, rescinding a policy put in place by the previous administration. In May, under President Barack Obama, the departments of Education and Justice issued guidance mandating that any school that receives federal money must treat a student’s gender identity as his or her sex...

Multiple arrests at Dakota Access Pipeline protest site  CNN  ...Officials plan to enter a closed Standing Rock camp site near the Dakota Access Pipeline early Thursday following the arrest of 10 people after a deadline to leave the area expired. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum said the remaining 25 to 50 or protesters holding out in the Oceti Sakowin camp site will be allowed to leave without being arrested so contractors can continue cleaning up the protest site near the controversial 1,172-mile long pipeline...

E-Mails Reveal EPA Chief Cozied Up to Industry He Regulates  Bloomberg  ...Newly installed EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt closely coordinated with major oil and gas companies, refiners and groups linked to the billionaire Koch brothers to combat environmental regulations during his time as Oklahoma attorney general, according to thousands of pages of e-mails released Wednesday. The documents, released under court order to the Center for Media and Democracy, a nonprofit watchdog, follow a pitched battle over whether Pruitt should lead the Environmental Protection Agency...

Anger Rises Across The Country At GOP Congressional Town Halls  NPR  ...Republican members of Congress aren't exactly getting a warm welcome in their home districts during this week's recess. Angry constituents have confronted legislators at town halls across the country, upset over everything from the GOP's plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, the Trump White House's travel ban, alleged Russian interference in the U.S. elections and more...

Poll: Support for Obamacare is rising  Politico  ...The 2010 health care law is becoming more popular, even as it heads toward the chopping block — further complicating efforts by President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans to repeal and replace it. While both Trump and Republicans in both chambers of Congress campaigned on repealing the Affordable Care Act — passed exclusively with Democratic votes and signed by then-President Barack Obama — a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll shows voters are now split evenly on the law...

Black Lives Matter reacts to executive orders  Raw Story  ...A Black Lives Matter co-founder said Monday that African-Americans and black immigrants should “rise up” and “defend each other” in response to President Donald Trump’s executive orders aimed at tightening and further enforcing the country’s immigration laws, The Observer reported. Opal Tometi, who helped start the movement five years ago and also serves as executive director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), said the two groups are both affected by what she called a racist system...

Trump talks a lot about the ‘forgotten man,’ but so far he’s just helping Wall Street  (opinion) Washington Post  ...Iin theory, allowing companies to bring their foreign profits home at a much, much lower tax rate than they could today—as a prelude to a system where overseas earnings wouldn't be taxed at all—would bring in a flood of cash that could boost investment and jobs. In practice, though, it would probably just bring in a flood of cash that would boost investor payouts and stock prices...

For many anti-Trump activists, the Democratic Party is 'part of the problem'  DW.com  ...Asked about the role of the Democratic Party in the anti-Trump movement, della Porta, who currently researches populism on the left, is blunt: "At the moment, the Democratic Party is part of the problem. They can see to which extent they can follow the movement, but at the moment they are perceived by many activists as being more part of the problem than as a potential solution"...

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