Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News For March 8, 2017

TEAMSTERS 

Hoffa: New DOT Report Fails to Recognize Benefit of Well-Rested Truckers  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa on a new Department of Transportation (DOT) report that states truck drivers experienced no net benefits from expanded rest breaks put in place by the Obama administration under revised hours-of-service (HOS) rules: “The DOT inspector general signed off on a study which had been rigged by the trucking industry from the start"...

Georgia State shuttle drivers apply pressure for more pay  State Signal  ...Panther Express shuttle drivers are requesting higher wages and said they are likely to protest unless negotiations bring the desired increases. The driver’s union contract – the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) – expires in April and covers wages and benefits. The CBA is under negotiation between MV Transportation, the company subcontracting drivers to Georgia State, and Teamsters 728, the union representing those drivers...

Workers at Sunset Park recycling plant vote to unionize  Brooklyn Paper  ...They’re done trash talking. Workers at a Sunset Park recycling facility voted to join the Teamsters union after a heated labor confrontation and threats to strike. The vote caps an eight-month unionizing effort by the workers at the Sims Municipal Recycling facility who complained of mistreatment and a union-busting campaign by management...

Young Women Learn About the Teamsters  Teamster.org  ...More than 400 young women recently learned what it’s like to be a Teamster. The students from 22 vocational high schools received valuable career advice from Teamsters Local 25 in Boston at the first ever Massachusetts Girls in Trades Conference and Career Fair. It was there that they learned about what it’s like to work in construction and commercial driving occupations...

Wichita and Teamsters agree on airport police and fire contract  Wichita Eagle  ...Police and firefighters will get raises of about 3 percent a year under a contract approved Tuesday between the Wichita City Council and the Teamsters Union. The new labor pact will give the employees a 2.5 percent raise immediately and an additional half-percent cost of living increase June 3, according to city documents...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE 

Health Workers’ Strike in Kenya: Signs of a Long Road Ahead for Decentralization  Huffington Post  ...Over the last three months, a nationwide strike in Kenya has brought public health care to a standstill. Doctors and nurses throughout the country are protesting the central government’s failure to implement a 2013 agreement to raise wages, improve equipment, and provide better training for medical professionals. This mass strike has highlighted the issues surrounding Kenya’s struggle to decentralize its health care system...

Empowering Women at Work Focus of High-Level UN Meeting  Solidarity Center  ...Hundreds of high-level government delegates at the Committee on the Status of Women (CSW) meeting at the United Nations in New York this month will for the first time discuss women’s economic empowerment and the role of labor unions as core to achieving women’s rights. “Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Changing World of Work,” the topic of the March 13–24 meeting, represents a huge milestone for working women around the globe...

Asia Urged To Ditch U.S. and Go Ahead With Regional Trade Deal  Bloomberg  ...Asian countries should pursue a Pacific trade pact even after the U.S. walked away, and its standards should be incorporated into other regional deals, according to a report authored by half a dozen former trade envoys. Donald Trump withdrew from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership in one of his first acts as U.S. president, throwing an agreement that covered 40 percent of the global economy into disarray...

Nafta Talks Likely Won't Begin Until Later This Year, Ross Says  Bloomberg  ...The U.S. government probably won’t begin “real” negotiations to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement until later this year, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said. “I would like the results tomorrow, but that is not the way the world works,” Ross said Wednesday in an interview with Bloomberg Television. He said it probably will be “the latter part of this year before real negotiations get under way”... 

Lighthizer nomination hearing set for Tuesday  The Hill  ...The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing Tuesday on the the nomination of Robert Lighthizer to be the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). The 69-year-old lawyer and former Capitol Hill staffer will meet with the committee to discuss his vision for the nation’s trade agenda in a Trump administration...

The biggest challenge facing women? Work, say men and women globally  Reuters  ...The world would be a better place for women if they had access to more and better quality jobs, according to a street survey of women and men in 10 countries in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. Ahead of International Women's Day on March 8, the Thomson Reuters Foundation asked about 100 people in Britain, Italy, the United States, Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal, India, Thailand, Brazil and Colombia what they saw as the biggest challenge for women...

UK: austerity isn’t working for everyone – especially women  Raw Story  ...Women have borne the brunt of government austerity policies since 2010. Cuts to spending on services and social security have a disproportionate gender impact because women rely more on these services, benefits and tax credits than men do. It is therefore ironic that the UK is set to announce another budget that will do little to redress the imbalance on International Women’s Day...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES 

Republicans continue fight against STL minimum wage hike  Missouri Times  ...Two bills aimed at restricting minimum wage increases by the state’s political subdivisions filed last Wednesday by two House Republicans will have hearings Monday afternoon in the House Rules – Administrative Oversight Committee. Reps. Jason Chipman and Dan Shaul filed the legislation after the Missouri Supreme Court ruled unanimously last Tuesday to allow a St. Louis ordinance increasing the minimum wage to go into effect...

Bill allowing charter schools clears Kentucky House  WCPO  ...The House of Representatives moved quickly Friday to approve a bill allowing charter schools in Kentucky, prompting a vigorous debate touching on the politics of race and class in a state struggling with poverty and some low-performing schools. Kentucky is one of seven states that don't allow some form of charter schools, which are publicly funded but exempt from most of the state standards that govern every other public school...

These 5 wealthy, out-of-state men helped finance the GOP takeover of Kentucky’s House  Herald-Leader  ...Last fall, a group of five wealthy men from out-of-state dumped at least $211,500 into Republican efforts to take over the Kentucky House of Representatives for the first time since 1921. They live from Miami to New York, but have one common bond: Arthur Laffer, a prominent conservative economist who served in the Reagan administration. They also share a similar goal: reshaping how Kentuckians pay taxes...

Advocates for a Higher Minimum Wage Dominate Statehouse Hearing  Iowa Public Radio  ...Opponents of a bill banning a higher minimum wage which is working its way through the Iowa House far outnumbered supporters at a public hearing at the statehouse last night. The bill would rescind minimum wages approved in Polk, Linn, Johnson, and Wapello Counties that are higher than the statewide wage of $7.25 an hour...

West Virginia Attorney General Backs Right-To-Work Law  U.S. News & World Report  ...West Virginia's attorney general has appealed a judge's ruling blocking the state's new right-to-work law from taking effect while the court challenge against it continues. Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has asked the state Supreme Court to vacate the preliminary injunction, arguing that the state AFL-CIO and other unions that sued won't face irreparable damage...

Drugs are killing so many people in West Virginia that the state can’t keep up with the funerals  Washington Post  ...Deaths in West Virginia have overwhelmed a state program providing burial assistance for needy families for at least the fifth year in a row, causing the program to be nearly out of money four months before the end of the fiscal year, according to the state's Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR). Funeral directors in West Virginia say the state's drug overdose epidemic, the worst in the nation, is partly to blame...

 

U.S. LABOR 

Graduate workers at Columbia get OK from National Labor Relations Board to join union  Daily News  ...Graduate workers at Columbia University got a win Tuesday from the National Labor Relations Board in Brooklyn, which upheld their recent vote to join a union. Research assistants and teaching assistants at Columbia University cast ballots in December to become part of Graduate Workers of Columbia-United Auto Workers...

With Appellate Order, AFSCME Strike Decision Likely Delayed For Months NPR  ...A court order revealed late last week makes it much less likely state employees will go on strike anytime soon. With Gov. Bruce Rauner insisting his administration is at impasse with the AFSCME union, he wants to impose a contract on state employees. Among other things, that would mean a wage freeze and higher health insurance premiums. But a Springfield-based Appellate Court has put all that on hold while Rauner and AFSCME fight over whether they’re really at impasse... 

Nurses Locked Out of Work Following Strike  Philly Mag  ...Monday marked the second day in which hundreds of staffers at Delaware County Memorial Hospital were off the job. As many as 400 strike workers took to the streets outside of the hospital in Upper Darby on Monday, the Inquirer reports, to protest staffing issues at the hospital. Negotiations between the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals and Prospect Medical Holdings on the matter have come to a halt...

Chicago Teachers May Launch Nation’s Largest Charter School Union  American Prospect  ...Teachers at Chicago’s biggest and best-regarded charter school network have set out to form a union, a move that if successful would create the largest charter school union in the nation. In an open letter to administrators and school board members, teachers at the Noble Network of Charter Schools requested permission to organize a union without interference or fear of retaliation...

Black and Hispanic women are paid substantially less than white men  EPI  ...As we stand together this week in solidarity with women of all backgrounds, it is crucial to remember that women, on average, face a pay penalty compared to men. A typical, or median, woman working is paid 83 cents for every dollar a typical man is paid. However, the gender wage gap differs for women of different levels of education and for women of color...

Donald Trump Will Decide Whether You Get Overtime Pay  Huffington Post  ...If Trump’s team put forward a rule with a lower salary threshold, that could placate business groups enough to prevent a legal challenge, while still bringing some workers new protections. And Trump may feel sufficient political pressure to replace Obama’s rule if he allows it to wither. After all, he promised higher wages for working-class Americans throughout his campaign...

When Did Solidarity Among Working Women Become a ‘Privilege’?  The Nation  ...The international women’s strike of March 8 is being put together with the unpaid labor of mostly women-led and grassroots organizations. Under the radical coalition, Women Workers Rising, other labor unions and grassroots labor groups are calling for a demonstration at the Department of Labor in Washington, DC, to “end workplace violence and harassment and promote pay equity, one fair living wage, paid leave and labor rights at work”... 

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Driverless shuttles make their debut  Mercury News  ...Shuttle buses that make steering wheels, accelerators, brake pads — and even human drivers — obsolete made their debut Monday at an East Bay business park. The futuristic cubes — a variation on driverless cars that are the first of their kind in the U.S. — get around using 21st century technology, including lasers on all four corners, GPS navigation and sensors that detect obstacles...

The GOP’s Plan Is Basically a $600 Billion Tax Cut for Rich Americans  The Atlantic  ...This bill seems exquisitely designed to please nobody—except for rich people who want a tax break. Perhaps that’s why one of the few groups to praise the bill was Americans for Tax Reform. Look beyond the bill’s quasi-mandate and tax credits, and the Obamacare replacement bill is a $600 billion tax cut, with the benefits going almost entirely to the wealthy...

DHS head confirms he's considering separating families at border  The Hill  ...Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Monday he is considering separating children and parents caught crossing the border illegally. Kelly told CNN's Wolf Blitzer the measure would help deter Central Americans from embarking on the dangerous trip many undocumented migrants take to reach the United States...

The mass deportation of African immigrants that isn’t getting media attention  Think Progress  ...The number of Senegalese deportations is a troubling sixfold increase from the 2016 fiscal year when 21 Senegalese people were deported, according to an official ICE report. Just the previous year, 17 of the 22 Senegalese people removed from the United States were deported for non-criminal offenses, according to a Department of Homeland Security report. The recent increase may be a harbinger of more African and Caribbean immigrant deportations to come...

We Can't Toll Our Way to a $1 Trillion Transportation Investment Plan  (opinion) TTD.org  ...Pouring $1 trillion into our infrastructure — as the President has proposed — would create millions of middle-class jobs and upgrade and modernize our transportation system to which our nation’s leading civil engineers give a low grade. This is something both Republicans and Democrats agree on. That’s the good news. The bad news? There is too much focus on using the tax code to incentivize private investment in infrastructure projects... 

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