Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For February 24, 2017

TEAMSTERS 

Teamster UPS Aircraft Mechanics File For Release From Mediation  Teamster.org  ...After more than three and a half years of UPS refusing to agree to a new contract with aircraft mechanics and related classifications, Wednesday the mechanics requested that the National Mediation Board (NMB) release them from mediated negotiations with the company. UPS relies on the mechanics, stationed at over 90 gateways across the country, for all maintenance of its cargo aircraft. International Brotherhood of Teamsters Airline Division Director David Bourne delivered the request... 

Teamsters Local 710 Secures More Than $121,000 for Member in Arbitration Win  Local 710  ...A Teamsters Local 710 member at AWC TLX recently returned to work with full back pay totaling $121,339.44 after being unfairly discharged nearly 16 months ago.The arbitration for the wrongful termination case was held last September, and the final ruling in favor of the Union was received at the end of January. The six-figure award includes all back pay, benefits, bonuses, and missed overtime...

New American Canyon labor deal bumps salaries, limits retirement benefits  Napa Vallet Register  ...The American Canyon City Council on Tuesday approved a new five-year labor contract for city workers that gives them salary increases and cost-of-living adjustments, but reduces retirement benefits for newer employees. he agreement came together after a year of negotiations with Teamsters Local 315, which represents most city employees...

Philly Teamsters Local: Beverage Tax Causing 50-70 Percent Drop In Pay  CBS  ...Dan Grace, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Union Local 830, whose members deliver soda and other sugary drinks in Philadelphia, told Rich Zeoli during an interview on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that the city’s beverage tax has exacted a heavy toll on their wallets. “The members of my local are really taking it hard. Their paychecks have declined"...

NAFTA's Mexican Trucking Program  National Law Review  ...The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, together with other groups, sued the Department of Transportation in 2015 over a report that they argued was not based on sufficient data to allow for these long-haul deliveries.  The program remains in effect while that case is still pending. Safety has been one of the biggest concerns raised by critics of the program...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE 

Myanmar workers in Thailand go on strike for labour rights  Myanmar Times  ...A total of 300 Myanmar migrants working at INDEX, a motorcycle helmet factory in Bangkok, went on strike to demand better working conditions and rights. “The 300 Myanmar workers have had their labour rights violated by the employers. A Myanmar worker was accused of being involved in a fire at the factory and was fired. So, all the other Myanmar workers launched a strike, demanding for their rights to be upheld,” AAC member Ko Ye Min told The Myanmar Times...

Ireland: Tesco wants union to end strike as number of striking workers grows to 2,000  The Journal  ...Tesco has called for an end to a “reckless” strike by staff at 22 stores. The acrimony between the company and union Mandate continued last night as five stores rejected strike action and one more voted to join the picket. The row centres on proposed changes to pre-1996 contracts which a small number of staff are currently on...

Trump is right to criticize NAFTA—but he’s totally wrong about why it’s bad for America  Quartz  ...The problem for American workers is not international trade, per se. America has been a trading nation since its beginning. The problem is, rather, the radical new rules for trade imposed by NAFTA—and copied in the myriad trade deals signed by the US ever since—that shifted the benefits of expanding trade to investors and the costs to workers...

Thailand Urged to Drop Charges against Rights Defenders  Solidarity Center  ...The global labor and human rights communities are urging the government of Thailand to drop charges against three human rights defenders who recently released documentation of torture in the country’s three southern provinces, home to a Muslim and ethnic Malay majority. A decision by Thailand’s public prosecutor on whether to prosecute Somchai Hom La-or, Pornpen Khongkachonkiet and Anchana Heemmina on criminal defamation and computer crimes is expected any day...

Trump calls Chinese 'grand champions' of currency manipulation  Reuters  ...President Donald Trump declared China the "grand champions" of currency manipulation on Thursday, just hours after his new Treasury secretary pledged a more methodical approach to analyzing Beijing's foreign exchange practices. In an exclusive interview with Reuters, Trump said he has not "held back" in his assessment that China manipulates its yuan currency, despite not acting on a campaign promise to declare it a currency manipulator on his first day in office...

Greece's Tsipras says the era of austerity is over  Yahoo  ...Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says the era of austerity is over for his country, painting a positive picture Friday of reforms the country has agreed to take after its latest bailout program ends in 2018. Speaking in parliament, Tsipras described the deal reached Monday as an "exceptional success" and said it showed the country's creditors accepted Greece's insistence that it could no longer bear any further budget austerity...

Trump says Republican Mexico border tax could boost U.S. jobs  Reuters  ...U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday spoke positively about a border adjustment tax being pushed by Republicans in Congress as a way to boost exports, but he did not specifically endorse the proposal. Trump, who has lashed out at U.S. companies for moving operations and jobs to countries such as Mexico, had previously sent mixed signals on the proposal at the heart of a sweeping Republican plan to overhaul the tax code...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

New York paid family leave: Phase-in schedule, eligibility, deductions, more  Syracuse.com  ...New York's paid family leave program is a step closer to reality. The state announced Wednesday that regulations have been filed to implement the program. They provide guidance to employers, insurance carriers and employees, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office. The policies will be phased in over a four-year period starting Jan. 1, 2018...

Ohio: GOP effort could ax prevailing wage rule for construction workers  Cincinnati.com  ...Ohio's cities, townships and counties could decide to pay construction workers less than the state-mandated prevailing wage under a new GOP proposal – one that a union leader says abandons the blue-collar mandate from the election of President Donald Trump. Under the bill, set to be introduced next week by state Sen. Matt Huffman, R-Lima, governing bodies of localities would have the option to vote to scrap the commitment to pay the mandated prevailing wage on their taxpayer-paid construction projects...

With Growth Of The Gig Economy, States Rethink How Workers Get Benefits  Huffington Post  ...As more and more Americans hold nontraditional jobs that don’t have benefits attached — think freelance graphic designers or Uber drivers — cities and states are exploring ways to ensure those workers still have access to workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, and other support such as help paying for health insurance. New York state legislators have considered allowing online platforms, such as home cleaning services, to pay into a benefit fund for workers...

Nearly half of states are facing budget shortfalls  PBS  ...Trump and congressional Republicans’ evolving fiscal plans have created uncertainty at the local level, too, as states scramble to get their finances in order while planning for potential federal tax cuts. Both Mr. Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan have said they want to overhaul the federal tax code, a move that could lower taxable income at the state level as well...

Arizona Senate votes to seize assets of those who plan, participate in protests that turn violent  Arizona Capitol Times  ...Claiming people are being paid to riot, Republican state senators voted Wednesday to give police new power to arrest anyone who is involved in a peaceful demonstration that may turn bad — even before anything actually happened. SB1142 expands the state’s racketeering laws, now aimed at organized crime, to also include rioting. And it redefines what constitutes rioting to include actions that result in damage to the property of others...

 

U.S. LABOR 

AFSCME Approves Strike, Faults Rauner's 'Refusal' to Negotiate  NBC  ...The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31, the union representing the largest number of Illinois state employees, announced Thursday that 81 percent of members voted to authorize a strike. Leaders from AFSCME, which represents workers who investigate child abuse, care for veterans and people with disabilities and mental illness, state parks and more, faulted Gov. Bruce Rauner for breaking off contract negotiations with the union more than a year ago...

State drops health care from Iowa union contract proposal  Globe Gazette  ...State negotiators Wednesday offered a scaled-back contract proposal to Iowa's largest public employees' union that conformed to a new state law. It dropped health care and other fringe benefits in a move the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 61's leader angrily said "trashed" 40 years of bargaining...

Parents fight for higher wages for childcare workers  CBS  ...A group of parents is fighting for higher wages for workers at one of the nation’s largest early childhood education companies. According to government data from 2015, childcare workers make an average of $9.77 an hour. That’s only 68 cents more than the earnings of fast food employees and some others in the food and beverage industry. It is 83 cents less than what retail workers earn...

Trump’s moves could embolden unscrupulous employers  Boston Globe  ...Boston-area legal advocates warn that the Trump administration’s new crackdown on illegal immigration will have the additional consequence of giving more power to employers who underpay undocumented workers and subject them to unsafe conditions. Recent memos from the Department of Homeland Security secretary have given immigration officials broad latitude to arrest and deport people who are in the country illegally...

Inside Uber’s Aggressive, Unrestrained Workplace Culture  New York Times  ...When new employees join Uber, they are asked to subscribe to 14 core company values, including making bold bets, being “obsessed” with the customer, and “always be hustlin’.” The ride-hailing service particularly emphasizes “meritocracy,” the idea that the best and brightest will rise to the top based on their efforts, even if it means stepping on toes to get there...

AFL-CIO Dismissing Staff Amid Declines in U.S. Union Membership  Bloomberg  ...The AFL-CIO is dismissing dozens of staff members as part of a restructuring amid continuing declines in union membership and fresh political threats to labor rights. “We will have to end support for some programs that don’t go to our core priorities,” said AFL-CIO spokesman Josh Goldstein, who declined to discuss the number of staff affected. “This is about reimagining and realigning our core priorities to best serve our affiliates”...

Labor Union Officials Left Off Trump's Invitation List for Manufacturing Meeting  Yahoo  ...When President Donald Trump announced last month that he would meet regularly with a group of business leaders on how best to boost U.S. manufacturing, the list included organized labor. The union officials, however, weren’t invited to the very next meeting . Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, and Thea Lee, deputy chief of staff for the federation of 55 unions, are on the White House’s list of leaders but didn’t receive invitations for the meeting held Thursday at the White House...

Two From Big Law On Trump’s NLRB List  Bloomberg  ...Marvin Kaplan (Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission), William Emanuel (Littler Mendelson) and Doug Seaton (Seaton, Peters & Revnew) are the leading candidates for the openings, which are expected to give the NLRB its first Republican majority in nine years. The vacancies come as the board is likely to grapple with a number of significant legal issues, including the extent to which businesses and other entities may be considered joint employers for liability purposes and whether “micro-units” of workers within a larger workplace can unionize...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS 

"Kids Will Be Harmed by This": Trump Admin Rolls Back Protections for Transgender Students  Democracy Now  ...The Trump administration has rescinded key protections for transgender students in public schools. The move reverses President Obama’s landmark decision last May to order public schools to let transgender students use the bathrooms matching their chosen gender identity. The Obama administration had threatened to withhold funding for schools that did not comply...

Can Trump win over African Americans? This survey suggests there’s little chance.  Washington Post  ...As February began, President Trump made a seemingly routine political gesture by convening in the White House with African American allies to mark Black History Month. The event highlighted Trump’s particular challenges in winning over African Americans. Most obviously, he has been dogged by questions about connections between his advisers and the white nationalist movement...

White House Tried to Interfere With FBI Investigation of White House, Officials Say  Common Dreams  ...White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus contacted the FBI and asked them to deny reports that the Trump campaign was in contact with Russian intelligence agents before the November election, CNN reported Thursday, citing multiple U.S. officials who asked to remain anonymous. Such a request would mark a stark breach of protocol put in place to ensure that FBI investigations remain free of political interference...

Report: High-ranking Trump official has extensive ties to Hungarian neo-fascists  Think Progress  ...A deputy assistant to President Donald Trump has spent years working closely with members of Hungary’s anti-Semitic hard right, according to a Friday report from The Forward. The report says Sebastian Gorka, who advises the White House on national security, co-founded a political party with former members of Jobbik, which is frequently described as a fascist party. Gorka — who once said it would be “national suicide” to admit Muslim refugees — also spent time working for the Hungarian National Committee...

I Was a Muslim in Trump's White House  (testimonial) The Atlantic  ...Like most of my fellow American Muslims, I spent much of 2016 watching with consternation as Donald Trump vilified our community. Despite this––or because of it––I thought I should try to stay on the NSC staff during the Trump Administration, in order to give the new president and his aides a more nuanced view of Islam, and of America's Muslim citizens. I lasted eight days...

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