Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News For March 6, 2017

TEAMSTERS

Recycling Workers Join Teamsters in Union Vote  Teamster.org  ...Sims Municipal Recycling workers in Sunset Park voted to join Teamsters Local 210 in an election today overseen by an independent arbitrator. The vote caps an eight-month organizing drive by workers at the recycling facility, which processes all of the city’s residential recycling. An agreement reached Thursday between the union and company averted a strike...

Power to the workers: A union win at Sims Recycling  (opinion) Daily News  ...For months, 66 workers laboring at a city-contracted recycling plant in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, sought to unionize, as is their right. Their employer, Sims Municipal Recycling, resisted. The workers threatened a strike, as is their right. They voted Friday and, under watch of an independent arbiter, joined Teamsters Local 210...

Administrative Law Judge Orders Sysco to Bargain With Teamsters in Grand Rapids  Teamster.org  ...On March 2, 2017, an administrative law judge with the National Labor Relations Board ordered Sysco to begin bargaining with Teamsters Local 406 in Grand Rapids, Mich. after he found that the company threatened, intimidated and unlawfully punished workers during an organizing campaign in 2015...

Sysco Workers in Idaho Join Teamsters Local 690  Teamster.org  ...On March 2, 2017, warehouse workers at Sysco in Post Falls, Idaho voted 19-8 to join Local 690 in Spokane, Washington. The victory comes on the heels of two victories last year at Sysco in West Palm Beach and a third at Sysco subsidiary FreshPoint in Pompano Beach, all in Florida. “It feels great to be a Teamster, something many of us have wanted for years,” said Devon Horner, who has worked at Sysco for more than 11 years...

Teamsters Material Specialists, Southwest Airlines Reach Agreement in Principle  Teamster.org  ...The Southwest Material Specialists Negotiating Team, comprised of Teamster Airline Division International Representatives, local union business agents and rank-and-file committee members, have reached an agreement in principle to amend their current collective bargaining agreement with Southwest Airlines...

Teamsters plan broad organizing push into global supply chain  DC Velocity  ...The Teamsters union, looking to rebuild its membership rolls, has expanded its organizing efforts to reach workers at logistics companies outside the union's traditional niches of trucking, parcel, and airlines. Jeff Farmer, the union's director of organizing, is spearheading the initiative. In an interview last month, Farmer said the Teamsters' strategy will be "focused primarily on transportation and the global supply chain"...

Local 727 Secures First Five-Year Contract for Laz Meters Employees  Local 727  ...Local 727 won a five-year contract for eight Laz Meters street closure monitors, folding it into an existing Laz Meters contract the union secured on behalf of the parking meter company’s 40 other employees. This was the first contract of its kind for this group of workers and it took only two weeks of negotiations to reach ratification. “We’re extremely pleased with how smoothly this process went for our new union members,” said John Coli Jr., President of Local 727... 

Going After the Pain Profiteers  Common Dreams  ...Bornstein also inspired a Teamsters campaign to go after the drug industry CEOs who’ve been profiting off the country’s opioid epidemic. The three largest U.S. prescription drug wholesalers — McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen — have enjoyed strong sales as the country’s opioid problem has reached epidemic proportions...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE 

Australia: hundreds of childcare workers to strike  News.com  ...Hundreds of childcare workers across the country are set to walk off the job on International Women's Day to protest their pay rates, urging the Turnbull government to help. But one federal minister reckons the strike won't bode well with busy parents reliant on day care workers. Early childhood educators will urge the federal government to include policies to improve their pay in this year's budget...

Chile: BHP Union Faces Hardest Test as Escondida Strike Beats 2006  Bloomberg  ...A strike at the world’s largest copper mine faces a critical phase this week as the union expects management to tempt workers with an offer that could end the stoppage in northern Chile. After 30 days of strike, on March 10, BHP Billiton Ltd.’s Escondida can legally make individual offers to workers... 

Nafta Has Room for Improvement, Mexico's Economy Minister Says  Bloomberg  ...Mexico’s top trade negotiator will grant President Donald Trump this: Nafta is in need of updating. He doesn’t agree, however, that the U.S. auto industry has gotten the short end of the stick. The North American Free Trade Agreement has served the U.S., Canada and Mexico well, Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said Friday at a luncheon hosted by the Detroit Economic Club...

Trump Adviser Peter Navarro: Trade Deficits Endanger U.S. National Security  Wall Street Journal  ...The director of President Donald Trump’s newly formed National Trade Council said Monday the administration would make the reduction of U.S. trade deficits its top policy focus. Speaking to a conference of business economists, trade adviser Peter Navarro said the U.S. faced a growing economic and potential national security risk from the commercial behavior of its major trading partners, including China and Germany...

Brazil’s Leaders Tout Austerity (Just Not for Them)  New York Times  ...Brazil’s sickly economy is hemorrhaging thousands of jobs a day, states are scrambling to pay police officers and teachers, and money for subsidized meals is in such short supply that one legislator suggested that the poor could “eat every other day.” Still, not everyone is suffering...

Ukraine: 8 coal miners of mine ‘Stepova’ were killed and 21 miners were injured  KVPU  ...On March 2, 8 miners were killed and 21 miners were seriously injured in an accident at a coal mine ‘Stepova’ State Enterprise “Lvivvugillia." At the moment of explosion 172 miners were down in the mine, including 34 within the explosion area.  21 miners had been taken to the Hospital with injuries and burns of varying severity, including six persons in critical condition. As the Independent Trade Union of Miners  of Ukraine (NPGU) informed, among eight killed workers there were five miners, who were the members NPGU...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES 

Workers kill ‘right-to-work’ bill in New Mexico  People's World  ...The Republican Governor of this state, Susana Martinez, promised to sign HB 432, an anti-union “right to work” (RTW) bill, if it reached her desk. It never did, thanks to dozens of union members who packed the room where the House Labor and Economic Development Committee was meeting February 25 for a hearing on the measure. So many workers showed up, in fact, that the hearing had to be moved to the House chamber itself...

Protesters, undeterred by veto, push for $15 minimum wage  North Jersey  ...Protesters stood along Industrial Avenue near the Teterboro Landing shopping center Saturday afternoon to push for better pay for all workers. Their mission is to encourage Gov. Chris Christie to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Christie vetoed a bill last August that would have raised the minimum wage to this amount. The bill had garnered approval from the state Senate and Assembly before Christie rejected it...

Study says child poverty; income inequality on the rise in southwest Minnesota  Daily Globe  ...More than one in six children in southwest Minnesota live in poverty, significantly more than before the turn of the 21st century.  A report authored by Beth Mattingly, Andrew Schaefer and Douglas Gagnon from the University of New Hampshire Carsey School of Public Policy found that 17 percent of children in southwest Minnesota are either poor or deep poor, compared with 10.3 percent in 1999... 

Trump’s DOJ Will Drop Claim That Texas Voter ID Law Was Purposefully Discriminatory  Huffington Post  ...Reversing a position the Justice Department has maintained for years, the Trump administration’s Civil Rights Division will state in federal court this week that the federal government no longer claims Texas legislators acted with discriminatory intent in 2011 when they passed one of the strictest voter ID laws in the nation...

Class Action Lawsuit Alleging Wage Theft Filed Against Sundance, Inc., a Taco Bell Franchisor in Six States  Yahoo  ... A lawsuit has been filed against a Taco Bell franchisor owning restaurants in six states for multiple violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The collective action complaint, filed on behalf of workers by Pitt McGehee Palmer & Rivers here in U.S. District Court, names the Brighton-based Sundance, Inc. as defendant. Sundance, Inc. operates over 170 Taco Bell restaurants in Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa and Ohio...

Uber to apply for California permit to test self-driving cars  Mercury News  ...In a surprising about-face, Uber said Thursday it will apply for the state permit needed to legally test its self-driving cars here — a step the company previously had refused to take. Uber’s move to work with state regulators comes nearly two months after the California Department of Motor Vehicles forced the company’s autonomous Volvos off San Francisco streets...

 

U.S. LABOR

Pro-union rally in Mississippi unites workers with community: 'We are ready'  The Guardian  ...Two weeks after the defeat of the Machinists Union at Boeing in South Carolina, an estimated 5,000 southern union activists gathered in Canton to lay the foundation of what they hope will be the large-scale community movements necessary to defeat anti-union forces nationwide – and in the White House. In Mississippi, as the UAW seeks a vote, Nissan has begun airing its own anti-union ads this week...

Bernie Sanders, Danny Glover: Union Workers Have it Better  NBC  ...Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders stood with thousands at a pro-union rally near Nissan Motor Co.'s plant in Canton, Mississippi, congratulating workers for their courage "in standing up for justice." "It's our job to tell corporate America that they cannot have it all," Sanders told the crowd. "Start treating the working people of this country with respect and dignity"...

With Farm Labor Getting Scarcer, Big U.S. Farms Are Preparing To Turn To Robots  Forbes  ...Leading California-based growers like Driscoll’s Berries and Taylor Farms are feeling the immediacy of Trump’s executive orders, as millions of dollars of specialty crops are growing right now that will require a workforce to pick them at the end of the season. Together they spend over a billion dollars on labor each year. Both looking to automation – i.e. robots – to tackle their sector’s labor problems...

New bipartisan bill seeks to curb abuse of work visas  CNN  ...New bipartisan legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives on Thursday. It takes aim at two popular work visa programs used in the tech and the business world. Called the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act, the legislation is identical to the bill reintroduced by Senators Chuck Grassley and Dick Durbin in late January. Lawmakers have been debating proposals to change the popular H-1B visa program for years...

Sen. Sherrod Brown’s Proposal Aims to Boost Workers’ Wages, Stability  Wall Street Journal  ...Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, who has long pushed populist liberal themes, is putting together a worker aid package that will help his party make the case it is on the side of working families. The 77-page proposal, to be released during a speech Friday at Ohio State University, focuses on so-called contingent workers—including contractors, temps, subcontractors, part-time workers and “gig” workers...

Thousands of ICE detainees claim they were forced into labor, a violation of anti-slavery laws  Washington Post  ...Tens of thousands of immigrants detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement were forced to work for $1 day, or for nothing at all — a violation of federal anti-slavery laws — a lawsuit claims. The lawsuit, filed in 2014 against one of the largest private prison companies in the country, reached class-action status this week after a federal judge’s ruling... 

Gorsuch Nomination Threatens The Rights Of Everyday Americans  (opinion) Huffington Post  ...Donald Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court should trouble any American who thinks that everyday people should get a fair shake in the courts. When it comes to the rights of workers trying to stand up to unfair practices, Gorsuch’s record is downright frightening...

Fear of Immigration Raids May Harm Workplace Rights  Bloomberg  ...The Trump administration’s increased immigration enforcement could have an unintended consequence: reduced willingness to report workplace rights violations. Getting workers to come forward about workplace rights violations has “always been an issue,” Adrienne DerVartanian, director of immigration and labor rights at Farmworker Justice, told Bloomberg...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Driverless trucks: Coming soon to a road near you?  OC Register  ...Most major truck manufacturers and several well-funded startups are busy testing automated or driver-free vehicles. Test models of cars that will shoosh passengers around town without a human at the wheel have attracted much media attention. But it’s apparent that when driverless vehicles hit the road for real, they’ll be driven by commerce, and that means trucks will likely lead the pack...

'Just racist': EPA cuts will hit black and Hispanic communities the hardest  The Guardian  ...Planned cuts at the Environmental Protection Agency are set to fall heaviest upon communities of color across the US that already suffer disproportionately from toxic pollution, green groups have warned. Donald Trump’s administration is proposing a 25% reduction in the EPA’s $8.1bn budget, eliminating nearly 3,000 jobs and several programs including the agency’s environmental justice office... 

Trump and DeVos Push ALEC Privatization Scheme as Studies Document Voucher Failures  PR Watch  ...Never one to be persuaded by scientific evidence, President Donald Trump was in Florida Friday pushing one of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)'s school privatization schemes even as a fresh batch of evidence emerges showing that private and religious school vouchers harm the students who use them along with the public schools robbed of taxpayer funds in too many states...

Homeland Security report likens anti-Trump protests to ‘domestic terrorist violence’  Raw Story  ...A new report from the Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence wing has likened certain types of political protests to “domestic terrorism,” and specifically outlined anger at President Donald Trump’s election as a driving force. The document comes as Republicans in at least 18 different states have proposed anti-protest bills that seek to criminalize protesters engaging in property destruction and blocking highways, among other forms of protest...

Former Intelligence Chiefs Dispute Trump Wiretap Allegations  Bloomberg  ...Former U.S. intelligence officials continued to dispute President Donald Trump’s explosive allegations that he was subject to wiretapping ordered by his predecessor, saying it never happened, as the controversy continued into a third day. “I can deny it,” James Clapper, the Obama administration’s Director of National Intelligence, said Sunday on NBC...

While we were distracted by Trump, Republicans advanced these 9 terrifying bills  Resistance Report  ...The Republican-led Congress is wasting no time forcing through the most horrendous bills seen in decades while America’s eyes are on Russia. With both houses of Congress solidly under Republican control, there’s little in the way to stop House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from sending bills to President Trump’s desk that embody the most dangerous aspects of radical right-wing ideology...

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