Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News For February 8, 2017

TEAMSTERS

White Castle Teamsters Unanimously Ratify New Contract  Local 710 ...Teamsters Local 710 warehouse workers at Chicago-area distribution company White Castle unanimously ratified a new three-year agreement in September. The contract is in effect from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2019. The Local 710 Bargaining Committee successfully secured wage increases of 75 cents per hour in each of the three years of the agreement — much higher raises than the members have received in previous contracts...

Teamsters Step Up Dispute over NetJets Maintenance Outsourcing  AINonline  ...The Teamsters Airline Division and Local 284 are stepping up pressure on NetJets over its wage and outsourced maintenance concerns. They are now sending letters to NetJets owners outlining complaints about wages that the union said are below that of major airlines and saying it would “categorically reject” the idea NetJets workers must compete against lower-cost vendors...

Grundy County Sheriff's Department at odds with Teamsters Local 700  Morris Herald-News  ...On Feb. 1, Teamsters Local 700 filed an Unfair Labor Practice with the Illinois Labor Relations Board against the Grundy County Sheriff and Grundy County after the employer stopped providing health insurance for the Grundy County Sergeants while the parties are trying to negotiate a new contract, according to a press release from Teamsters Local 700...

Teamsters ratify contract with Honeywell  Workday Minnesota  ...Members of Teamsters Local 1145 have ratified a new contract with Honeywell, avoiding a possible lockout. In balloting on Saturday, members voted 547 in favor and 158 against the contract, Local 1145 Secretary-Treasurer Dave Hedberg reported on the Local 1145 website. Negotiations last through the midnight expiration of the previous contract on Jan. 31 and concluded at 6 a.m. Feb. 1 with the company’s “best and final offer,” the union said...

Civilian contract workers strike at Vandenberg Air Force Base  KEYT  ...Rain or shine, "we are striking we have withheld our labor from the company RGNext this morning," says Lynn Swenson, with Teamsters Local 986. About a dozen or so civilian contract workers decided to strike on Tuesday. Many of them have been working on the Vandenberg Air Force Base for a long time, some almost 40 years on the job...

Seventy-seven lose jobs after Promotions Unlimited loses financing  Journal-Sentinel  ...Roosevelt Capital LLC, which does business as Promotions Unlimited in Mt. Pleasant, a distributor for small retailers, has closed, costing 77 people their jobs. Employees at the firm are owed wages, and some may be out as much as three weeks worth of pay, said Wes Gable, a business agent with Teamsters Local 200. The union represents more than 30 workers at Promotions...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Workers Set to Strike at World’s Largest Copper Mine  Wall Street Journal  ...Workers at the world’s largest copper-mining operation are expected to strike on Thursday, driving up copper prices on fears of a shortage of the metal and expectations it could trigger stoppages at other mines. A strike at the BHP Billiton Ltd.-controlled Escondida mine in Chile would follow unsuccessful talks on worker compensation between union officials and management, most recently mediated by the Chilean government...

Officials Consider the US-South Korea Free Trade Deal  VOA  ...American business leaders are urging South Korean leaders to increase market access to U.S. companies seeking to sell goods in South Korea. The business leaders want to persuade U.S. President Donald Trump not to introduce policies that harm trade between the countries. During the U.S. presidential campaign, Trump threatened to make changes to the bilateral free trade deal...

Philippines to explore FTA with US  Manila Bulletin  ...The Philippines will explore a bilateral free trade agreement with the US even as it will prioritize completion and implementation of existing and ongoing trade deals. Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said the government will pursue free trade agreement option with the US in light of the Trump administration’s preference for bilateral FTAs instead of regional trade grouping arrangement...

Australia Strives for ‘TPP Minus 1’ After Trump Withdraws  Bloomberg  ...Australia will push the case for a Pacific trade deal without the U.S. at a meeting with other potential members in Chile next month, Trade Minister Steven Ciobo said. The Trans-Pacific Partnership remains “absolutely” relevant without the U.S. and the text of the accord would only need minor tweaking to allow for America’s withdrawal, Ciobo said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Wednesday...

China balks at joining TPP  ZDNet  ...The Chinese government has expressed unwillingness to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the absence of the United States, instead favouring its Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) deal. The Chinese foreign minister added that the goal is to form an Asia-Pacific free trade area through the RCEP pathway...

Brazil, Argentina push for closer trade with Mexico in Trump era  Reuters  ...The leaders of Brazil and Argentina said on Tuesday they would pursue closer ties with Mexico and other Latin American nations alarmed by U.S. President Donald Trump's promises to tear apart trade deals and build a wall to protect American jobs. In a state visit to Brasilia, Argentina President Mauricio Macri said that South American regional trade bloc Mercosur would focus on strengthening its relationship with Mexico, Latin America's second-largest economy after Brazil...

Trump Scraps The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) for Bilateral “Free Trade”  (opinion) Global Research  ...Trump is a dedicated free trader. He just rejects multilateral, multi-country free trade deals like TPP and NAFTA. He wants even stronger, pro-U.S. business free trade deals and intends to renegotiate the existing multilateral treaties — to the benefit of U.S. multinational corporations and at the expense of the U.S. trading partners...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Colorado Senate GOP push anti-union "right to work" bill  The Gazette  ...Senate Republicans on Monday advanced a measure that would add Colorado to the list of so-called "right to work" states, prohibiting mandatory union membership. Despite opposition from throngs of union members and leaders, as well as many in the business world, Republicans on the Senate Business, Labor and Technology Committee pushed the bill along on a party-line vote...

Nevada lawmakers seek to increase hourly minimum wage to $11  Nevada Appeal  ...Democratic state lawmakers are proposing Nevada workers earning the hourly minimum wage get a raise each of the next five years. Senate Bill 106 would increase the wage floor by 75 cents each year until employers who offer health insurance pay workers at least $11 an hour and those who do not offer it pay $12 an hour...

Minnesota: legislation to halt local labor protections draws vocal opposition  Workday Minnesota  ...Corporate special interests clashed with working people during a Capitol hearing on legislation that would roll back ordinances extending earned sick and safe time to an estimated 150,000 workers in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The measure would restrict local governments from establishing higher employment standards – like earned sick time, fair scheduling and minimum wage – within their boundaries... 

New York: in response to Trump, Assembly passes 'sanctuary state' bill  Politico  ...In New York’s broadest response yet to President Donald Trump’s early weeks in office, Democrats who dominate the state Assembly passed a bill Monday that would make New York a “sanctuary state,” and members are poised to again pass legislation that would open tuition assistance programs to undocumented students...

Fight For $15 Minimum Wage Resumes In Baltimore  CBS  ...Baltimore’s City Council will once again consider a bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Backers lost the “Fight For $15” last year, but new legislation is expected to be introduced at tonight’s council meeting. Under the bill, the wage would gradually increase over several years...

 

U.S. LABOR

Workers unionize at Whole Foods in Duluth  Workday Minnesota  ...Workers at Whole Foods Co-op in Duluth Minnesota voted 43-42 to form a Union and join the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1189. The vote took place Jan. 26, but the official vote tally was being held up as seven ballots were challenged based on supervisory status, the union said on Feb. 3. The National Labor Relations Board deteremined the challenged votes were cast by management employees and therefore would not count in the final results... 

Lawmakers Join Striking Workers At Momentive Plant  WAMC  ...A group of New York state lawmakers appeared in Saratoga County on Monday to meet with picketing union workers at a Waterford chemical plant. Timothy Larson, a logistics operator at Momentive Performance Materials in Waterford, stood outside the main gates with a megaphone as trucks pulled into the site in freezing temperatures. Union workers with IUE-CWA Local 81359 and 81380 have been striking for more than three months, since November 2nd...

NLRB memo says athletes at private universities should be treated as employees  Post-Gazette  ...A memo published by the National Labor Relations Boards’ general counsel last week could increase the likelihood that high-level football players at private institutions will one day be able to unionize — and further push for employee rights. Richard Griffin, the NLRB’s general counsel, sent a memo Wednesday to the board’s regional directors stating Division I Football Bowl Subdivision football players who attend private universities should be classified as employees...

California Unions Playing Defense as Trump Presidency Begins  KQED  ...In California, union representation continues to grow. But nationally it’s on the decline. Over half the states in the country are right-to-work states. That means employees cannot be compelled to join unions. Sylvia Allegretto is a labor economist with the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics at UC Berkeley. She says it will be telling to see how the federal Department of Labor will act on workplace policies under Trump...

Trump Administration Puts Support Behind Right-to-Work Laws  Bloomberg  ...The Trump administration reaffirmed support for right-to-work laws, days after House Republicans reintroduced a bill that would prevent unions from requiring nonmembers to pay representation fees.  “The president believes in right to work. He wants to give workers and companies the flexibility to do what’s in the best interest for job creators,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said during the Feb. 3 daily news conference. “Obviously the vice president has been a champion of this as well”...

Inside Amazon’s robot-run supermarket that needs just 3 human workers  NY Post  ....If you’re a robot stealing somebody’s job, it’s best to stay hidden. That’s what Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos appears to be thinking, as his Seattle-based web giant has contemplated a two-story, automated grocery store in which a staff of robots on the floor upstairs grabs and bags items for shoppers below...

Automation puts jobs in peril  USA Today  ...Automation has allowed Marlin Steel to thrive, but across the country, workers feel threatened. Donald Trump catapulted into the White House by giving voice to those fears and promising to save American factories and jobs by rewriting trade deals, taxing imports and removing regulations. Futurists have warned for years that automation will take your job. Now it's happening...

Labor Leaders’ Cheap Deal With Trump  (opinion) New York Times  ...The edifice that Mr. Trump is building is rigged to collapse on the very people these unions are supposed to defend. Today labor leaders face a clear choice. They can join the diverse and growing movement that is confronting Mr. Trump’s agenda on every front and attempt to lead America’s workers to a clean and safe future. Or they can be the fist-pumping construction crew for a Trump dystopia — muscle for a menace...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS 

Court dubious of government arguments on Trump's travel ban  Politico  ...The Justice Department struggled to convince a federal appeals court Tuesday to allow the federal government to resume enforcement of President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban executive order. The Trump administration had hoped to persuade the appeals court to stay the entirety of a Seattle federal judge’s order...

Republican targets rule that exposes how much more CEOs make than their workers  Think Progress  ...Under new rules enacted as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform act, companies are now required to report how much median employees at their firms make and compare it to what their CEOs make. But now that rule appears to be in danger. On Monday, the acting chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Michael Piwowar, called for reconsideration of the rule... 

Betsy DeVos' Confirmation Signals Dark Times for Democrats  TIME  ...Senators rallied in the dark, pulled graveyard shifts on the empty chamber floor and manned phones in the Capitol as switchboards lit up with calls. In the end, neither a fierce push by grassroots activists nor the 24-hour talkathon staged by Senate Democrats could stop Betsy DeVos from becoming Secretary of Education...

Despite Trump Voter Fraud Claims, House Committee Votes To Eliminate EAC, Agency In Charge Of Election Integrity  IBTimes  ...The proposal to do away with the commission committed to ensuring election integrity was opposed by 38 different organizations including the League of Women Voters, NAACP and Voting Rights Institute. “The EAC serves every American voter by conducting research, collecting data and sharing information among elected officials, the public, and interested organizations,” a joint statement issued by the pro-democracy groups stated...

Republican Senators Vote to Formally Silence Elizabeth Warren  New York Times  ...Republican senators voted on Tuesday to formally silence a Democratic colleague for impugning a peer, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, by condemning his nomination for attorney general while reading a letter from Coretta Scott King. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, had been holding forth on the Senate floor on the eve of Mr. Sessions’s expected confirmation vote...

Melania Trump reveals plan to leverage presidency to ink ‘multi-million dollar’ endorsement deals  Think Progress  ...First Lady Melania Trump revealed her intention to leverage the presidency to ink new “licensing, branding, and endorsement” deals worth many millions of dollars. In the filing, Melania Trump’s lawyer described the position of First Lady as a “once-in-a-lifetime” money making opportunity...