Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

This Week's Teamster News for April 8-14

 

TEAMSTERS

Organizing

Niagara Falls Coach Lines School Bus Monitors To Join Teamsters Local 264  Teamster.org  ... Fifty school bus monitors working for Niagara Falls Coach Lines have voted to join Teamsters Local 264. The final margin was 41-2 in favor of joining the union. Wages were among the biggest concerns for the school bus monitors: the workers currently get minimum wage with no benefits...

Ft. Myer's Southern Glazer's Wine And Spirits Drivers Vote Teamsters  Teamster.org  ...Delivery drivers working for Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits in Ft. Myer, Florida, have voted to join Teamsters Local 79, Tampa. The majority of the 30-driver unit voted in favor of joining the union. “Being a Teamster is going to make a big difference on the job for us at Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits," said Enrique Vasquez, a driver...

Teamsters Local 710 to Gain 30 New Delivery Drivers at DPI  Local 710  ...The approximately 270-strong Teamsters Local 710 bargaining unit at DPI is growing 30 members larger as the company expands its business operations. The existing Local 710 contract will cover a new classification of drivers that will deliver fresh salads and sandwiches to over 300 Starbucks locations in the greater Chicagoland area. DPI hired the 30 drivers at its Hodgkins, Ill. facility... 

County jail workers vote to join Teamsters  NC New Online  ...Lawrence County jail corrections officers and cooks voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to join the Teamsters union. The 35-to-3 vote confirmed that the contingency of workers are ready to enter bargaining negotiations for a new contract under Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers Union Local 261. The election was conducted by secret ballot in two shifts, morning and afternoon, in the commissioners meeting room of the courthouse...

UPS Teamsters

UPS Driver Acts Quickly, Contains Hamilton Avenue Fire  WHAV  ...You expect your UPS delivery driver to bring packages, but it is quite another sight for one to run up your front steps and put out a fire. But, that’s exactly what driver Paul Pereira did early Monday night at 18 Hamilton Ave. Pereira, of Manchester, N.H., has worked for United Parcel Service 23 years, currently out of the Chelmsford office. He is a member of Teamsters Local 25... 

A Legendary Life at UPS: 50-Year Driver Danny Kaminski  Teamster.org  ...UPS Teamsters who work with Danny Kaminski call him “the Legend.” It’s a nickname he humbly rejects. “I’m just a regular working guy,” says Danny, a UPS feeder driver and member of Teamsters Local 177 in Hillside, N.J. He recently celebrated 50 years at the company. Working out of the Meadowlands hub in Secaucus, Danny has seen a lot over the course of a half century at Big Brown... 

“Miracles Do Happen”: Local 177 Wins Back UPS Driver's Job, Benefits  Teamster.org  ...Michael Davis is a lawyer who fights for compensation for the injured, but he didn't have much hope for one of his clients: Franklin Marusky, a UPS driver and member of Teamsters Local 177 in Hillside, N.J. Unable to call out of work due to severe injuries from an off-the-job accident, Marusky was terminated from UPS. After calling the Teamsters, Davis was convinced that the union would do all that it could to help Marusky and his family...

UPS Freight Teamster Joins Elite Program to Promote Industry  Teamster.org  ...Charlton Paul has been driving with UPS Freight for 21 years. During that time, he’s maintained an accident-free driving record and has received accolades from the company for his safe driving. Earlier this year, the industry took notice of Paul’s clean record and professional driving skills, too. “I was very excited when they told me that I was selected,” said Paul, who has joined the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) “America’s Road Team” program...

Locals

Teamsters Local 952 Retirees Successfully Lobby for Passage of Transportation Bill SB-1 in California  Teamster.org  ...After intense lobbying by Teamster retirees from Teamsters Local 952, lawmakers in the State Senate and Assembly approved SB-1, a $52 Billion transportation infrastructure package, sending it to Gov. Jerry Brown. The Democratic governor strongly supports the legislation, which will result in roughly $5 billion per year in infrastructure spending...

Local 727 Ratifies New Contract for Chicago Tribune Drivers, Paving Way for Pension Fund Merger  Local 727  ...Teamsters Local No. 727 ratified a new contract for Chicago Tribune drivers that paves the way for the merger of the Tribune’s and 727’s pension funds. The contract was ratified at Local 727’s office in Park Ridge, IL. For the merger of the funds to occur, the Tribune Company must agree to pay a vast sum of money. In return, the company will receive some work rule concessions...

Sun Tran adding new barriers to keep drivers safe  KGUN  ...Sun Tran is installing 27 barriers this week to increase driver safety. The buses already have cameras and fare enforcement officers that occasionally ride the bus, but drivers say they need the additional safety. A spokesperson at Teamsters Local Union No. 104 says there have been at least 35 physical assaults to bus drivers last year... 

New York State Film Tax Credit Program Extended Through 2022  Shoot Online  ...Thomas J. O’Donnell, president of Theatrical Teamsters, Local 817, said, “Theatrical Teamsters Local 817 applauds Governor Cuomo’s budget extending the New York State Film Tax Credit Program. We have witnessed during the stewardship of the Governor an explosion of solid, middle-class jobs in the television industry and with the extension in place, fully expect to see continued growth”...

Teamster Member Writes about the “Tenacity of Local 831”  Joint Council 16  ...The strength of the Teamsters comes from Teamster members. The union is strongest when members are engaged and educated about their union. Teamsters Local 831 member Eric Stephens showed this in a recent letter addressed to Teamsters Local 831 President Harry Nespoli. “I have been with the Department of Sanitation and a proud member of the Uniformed Sanitationmen’s Association Local 831 for over 32 years,” Stephen wrote... 

Local 727 Wins Arbitration Award for Osco Pharmacists  Local 727  ...Teamsters Local No. 727 was awarded an arbitration win on behalf of the more than 500 Osco pharmacists it represents. Arbitrator Elliott H. Goldstein ordered Osco to “cease and desist from enforcing any requirement that staff or head pharmacists obtain outside flu clinics or leads for outside flu clinics” as part of their daily job responsibilities...

Teamsters Hiring 300 People in Northeast Ohio  WTAM  ...How does about $30 an hour sound? Plus time and a half for overtime and benefits too! That's what the Teamsters are using to get good workers for several pipeline projects to be built in Ohio. According to the Teamsters,  the projects will bring gas from the the Michigan border through parts of Ohio into West Virgina. "What I require is for you to have a CDL, a commercial driver's license," said Mike Laborde with the Teamsters Pipeline Training Fund... 

Airline Division

Atlas Air and Teamsters negotiate dispatcher agreement  West Fair Online  ...Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings and the Teamsters Airline Division have negotiated a tentative agreement for dispatchers that would extend their 2012 collective bargaining agreement by four years and increase wages by 30 percent. The agreement, reached on April 4, covers 31 dispatchers who work for the Atlas Air and Polar Air Cargo subsidiaries...

Pensions

Retired Teamsters protest in Omaha over possible pension cuts  Omaha World-Herald  ...Teamsters “have stepped up and fought and won” in the past, Packett said, and they will continue to fight. About 20 members of the local Protect Our Pensions group will travel to Washington, D.C., to lobby lawmakers in June and push for an investigation and possibly an audit of the fund, she said...

Political Action

Teamsters escalate Peru land bond dispute  Politico  ...The Teamsters are weighing in on a controversial land bond issue in Peru and have found themselves unlikely bedfellows with a hedge fund embroiled in an investor-state dispute over the same issue with the South American nation. “Many of our pension funds are holding defaulted Peruvian land bonds through various investment vehicles,” Teamsters President James Hoffa said in a March 24 letter to Peru’s U.S. envoy...

Opioid Crisis

Ken Hall: A shareholder’s prescription for the Big Three opioid distributors  WV Gazette-Mail  ...Flooding America with prescription opioids has meant big money for America’s largest pharmaceutical wholesale distributors and big payouts for their CEOs. But as the overdose death toll mounts and the costs of litigation and enforcement actions climb, shareholders are demanding answers. As a long-term shareholder of these companies, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters has demanded that our elected, corporate board representatives do their jobs...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE 

Belgium: protests outside Ikea stores over drivers' working conditions  The Bulletin  ...Protests were held in front of seven Ikea stores in Belgium on Monday to complain about working conditions for hauliers. Philippe Dumortier, Hainaut province secretary of the Belgian Transport Union said: "We want customers to realise that the sub-contractors Ikea uses for the transport of its goods are foreign, underpaid with almost non-existent social protection"...

A Woman’s Death Sorting Grapes Exposes Italy’s ‘Slavery’  New York Times  ...Her death of a heart attack at 49 in the fields has set off nearly two years of soul-searching in Italy over what the authorities, labor experts and union organizers described as an elaborate system of modern-day slavery — involving more than 40,000 Italian women, as well as migrant and seasonal laborers — that remains at the core of Italy’s agricultural economy...

Trump says he will not label China currency manipulator, reversing campaign promise  Washington Post  ...President Trump on Wednesday said he would not label China a currency manipulator, contradicting one of the biggest economic promises he made on the campaign trail. Trump told the Wall Street Journal that he had changed his mind because China is not currently manipulating its currency, adding that he hoped to enlist China’s help on containing the nuclear threat from North Korea...

Trump promises 'pleasant surprises' on NAFTA  The Hill  ...President Trump told a group of business executives Tuesday that he will have “pleasant surprises” on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). “We’ll have some very pleasant surprises for you on NAFTA,” he said during a meeting with CEOs at the White House... 

Ahead of major decision, Trump is struggling to deliver on his trade promises  Washington Post  ...President Trump, who made opposition to free trade with China and other countries a centerpiece of his campaign and has continued with tough talk since entering office, is struggling to enact policies that match his trade rhetoric. Trump had promised to label China a “currency manipulator” on his first day in office, but his administration has moved slowly to follow through on many of his trade-related threats...

IMF Says Workers May Need Wage Subsidies to Cushion Trade Shocks  Bloomberg  ...The world’s top global economic organizations urged nations to consider policies that would cushion the blow to workers of trade shocks, such as by compensating employees for lost wages. It’s critical for countries to adopt policies that help workers adjust to the negative effects of trade, according to a report by the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and World Trade Organization... 

Inside Japan's Plan to Sidestep Trump on Trade  Bloomberg  ...Ahead of the meeting, President Donald Trump had lashed out at Japan for keeping the yen weak and exacerbating the trade deficit with barriers for U.S.-made cars. For Abe, the criticism threatened to sour relations with an ally that is crucial for Japan’s defense against threats from North Korea and China...

NAFTA reform must benefit the citizens of all three countries  (opinion) The Hill  ...U.S. and Mexican workers alike have suffered major job loss, lower wages and dislocation under NAFTA, a deal negotiated behind closed doors with hundreds of corporate advisors playing a privileged role and the public in both countries shut out. If Trump renegotiates NAFTA behind closed doors with the same interests calling the shots, he could make it worse for working people in all three countries...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

New York’s budget lets all union workers deduct dues from state taxes  Daily News  ...A new provision in Gov. Cuomo’s budget will make it easier for union members to deduct their dues payments from state taxes. The clause in the Empire State’s $153 billion budget — which was approved Sunday night — will put an estimated $35 million into the pockets of union workers in the public and private sectors as well as in the building trades...

New York just OK'd tuition-free college for middle class  CNN  ...New York just became the first state in the nation to make tuition free for middle class students at both two- and four-year public colleges. Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced the tuition-free plan in January. Lawmakers agreed to include it in the state budget...

Federal Judge Says Texas Voter ID Law Intentionally Discriminates  New York Times  ...A federal judge ruled on Monday that the voter identification law the Texas Legislature passed in 2011 was enacted with the intent to discriminate against black and Hispanic voters, raising the possibility that the state’s election procedures could be put back under federal oversight. The judge found that the law violated the federal Voting Rights Act...

Penn. union reps gather is Harrisburg against "right to work" bill  WITF  ...Labor advocates came together at the state capitol this week to speak out against legislation that would make Pennsylvania a "right to work" state. Right to work means that employees in a union shop who don't want to be part of the union can't be charged any fee to support the operation of the union. Supporters say the measure allows worker freedom and economic growth...

In Budget Proposal, Wolf Looks To Raise Pennsylvania Minimum Wage To $12  WESA  ...One of the more contentious parts of Governor Tom Wolf’s budget proposal is a bid to raise Pennsylvania’s minimum wage to $12 an hour. It’s currently $7.25—the lowest the federal government allows. Republicans have repeatedly rebuffed Wolf’s attempts to change it... 

Right-to-work backers in Missouri turning to courts to stop union-led ballot initiative  Post-Dispatch  ...Supporters of Missouri’s new “right to work” law have filed another lawsuit seeking to scuttle an attempt by labor officials to put the issue before voters for an up-or-down vote. In a suit filed Friday in Cole County, attorneys representing two Kansas City police officers and a nurse from Liberty allege that wording for a proposed ballot initiative is riddled with “embarrassing” grammatical errors and is therefore unfair...

Prevailing wage bill advances to full Nevada Assembly  Review Journal  ...A Nevada Assembly panel passed a measure Tuesday lowering the threshold when prevailing wages must be paid on construction projects on school and higher education campuses. Assembly Bill 154 was approved by the Assembly Committee on Government Affairs along party lines, with Democrats voting for it and Republicans against...

Wisconsin Republican lawmakers seek full repeal of prevailing wage law  Journal Times  ...Two Republican state lawmakers signaled Tuesday that they will push to fully repeal the state’s prevailing wage, a minimum pay requirement for workers on public construction projects. State Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Wauwatosa, and Rep. Rob Hutton, R-Brookfield, said in a press release that they’re asking fellow lawmakers to co-sponsor a repeal bill... 

Senate OKs Requiring Minors to Get Permission to Join Unions  US News & World Report  ...The Texas Senate has given preliminary approval to a bill requiring children under 18 to get their parents' permission before joining labor unions. The proposal by Republican Sen. Jane Nelson of Flower Mound passed 20-11 along party lines in the Republican-controlled chamber Monday. It needs a third and final vote that could come Tuesday before heading to the Texas House...

Louisiana lawmakers to consider raising the state minimum wage requirement  WWL  ...Gov. John Bel Edwards is asking state lawmakers to consider raising the state minimum wage, which currently stands at $7.25 an hour. In a city like New Orleans, where the service industry is booming, many say a pump in pay is long overdue...

 

U.S. LABOR

Nissan Faces More Labor Law Charges at Mississippi Plant  US News & World Report  ...The National Labor Relations Board, in a March 31 filing, claims a Kelly Services supervisor illegally threatened the plant would close if the United Auto Workers union begins representing workers. The new charges also claim security guards improperly checked employee badges of union supporters...

Charge Time: Electric Car Workers Accuse Tesla of Low Pay and Intimidation  American Prospect  ...Tesla workers are fighting back against low pay, hazardous conditions, and a culture of intimidation, seeking to unionize through the United Auto Workers. Tesla is the only U.S. automaker using nonunion workers at a stateside plant, and breaking through would give organized labor a foothold in the tech industry as well...

Nestlé’s Makes the Very Best? Georgia Workers Vote To Unionize  In These Times  ...Workers at Nestlé’s facility in McDonough, Georgia, voted 49-46 Wednesday in favor of representation by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), said labor organizer Greg Scandrett. The campaign was tough, so the victory is sweet. “They [Nestlé] fought this from Day 1. They brought in people from HR from all around the country,” Scandrett said...

Over 1,000 Airport Workers Push For Contract After Unionization Vote  CBS  ...ore than a thousand workers at Philadelphia International Airport voted overwhelmingly last week to unionize. Gabe Morgan, vice president of 32 BJ of the Service Employees International Union, says the first step is a big on - getting a contract. Morgan says the new union members are looking for wage increases, better benefits and improved working conditions...

American University Graduate Students Unionize  Inside Higher Ed  ...Graduate student workers at American University voted to form a union affiliated with Service Employees International Union, 212 to 40, they announced Monday. Some 761 students were eligible to vote, according to information from the university. The National Labor Relations Board said last summer that graduate student employees at private institutions are entitled to collective bargaining... 

DoorDash will pay $5 million to settle class-action lawsuit over independent contractors  Tech Crunch  ...On-demand food delivery startup DoorDash has reached an agreement with workers’ rights lawyer Shannon Liss-Riordan regarding a class-action lawsuit that alleged DoorDash misclassified its delivery workers as independent contractors. As part of the settlement, DoorDash will pay class members of the suit $3.5 million, following the court’s approval...

Airline Food Workers at 14 Airports Call on American, United and Delta for Equality  Unite Here  ...This year, major U.S. airlines gave employees, including pilots, flight attendants and technicians, over $2.7 billion in bonuses, a well-deserved share of another year of record industry profits. Yet, at Reagan National and Dulles International Airports, workers at companies supplying airplane meals for these same airlines are paid as low as $8.55 per hour... 

Republicans call on Congress to restrain NLRB  Washington Examiner ...A group of 47 House Republican lawmakers is urging the heads of Congress' appropriations committee to restrain the National Labor Relations Board from implementing several of former President Barack Obama's changes to labor regulations. A letter from the GOP members of Congress argues the board went too far and instituted changes that shift the balance in favor of union recruiting efforts...

Trump overstates job creation numbers under his administration  Politico  ...President Donald Trump claimed credit Tuesday for the creation of more than 600,000 jobs since he entered office, a figure tens of thousands — if not hundreds of thousands — off his administration’s true job creation totals. It’s unclear where Trump’s figure came from. The president has in the past spouted information that is inaccurate and at times demonstrably false...

The Gig Economy’s False Promise  (editorial) New York Times  ...The promises Silicon Valley makes about the gig economy can sound appealing. In reality, there is no utopia at companies like Uber, Lyft, Instacart and Handy, whose workers are often manipulated into working long hours for low wages while continually chasing the next ride or task. These companies have discovered they can harness advances in software and behavioral sciences to old-fashioned worker exploitation...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Withdraws Obama-Era Student Loan Protections  Fortune  ...The Obama policy memorandums withdrawn by DeVos required that the government’s Federal Student Aid office do more to help borrowers manage or discharge their debt, Bloomberg reports. DeVos said in a press memo that she was rescinding the previous administration's list of demands to "demonstrate sound fiscal stewardship of public dollar"...

How Jeff Sessions wants to bring back the war on drugs  Washington Post  ...Law enforcement officials say that Sessions and Cook are preparing a plan to prosecute more drug and gun cases and pursue mandatory minimum sentences. The two men are eager to bring back the national crime strategy of the 1980s and ’90s from the peak of the drug war, an approach that had fallen out of favor in recent years as minority communities grappled with the effects of mass incarceration...

Trump Lays Groundwork for Federal Government Reorganization  Bloomberg  ...President Donald Trump is issuing a presidential memorandum that will call for a rethinking of the entire structure of the federal government, a move that could eventually lead to a downsizing of the overall workforce and changes to the basic functions and responsibilities of many agencies...

Trump Reversals Hint at Wall Street Wing’s Sway in White House  New York Times  ...President Trump made three startling economic policy reversals on Wednesday, stepping away from pledges he made as a candidate and even policies he supported only days ago. The shifts confounded many of Mr. Trump’s supporters and suggested that the moderate financiers he brought from Wall Street are eclipsing the White House populist wing led by Stephen K. Bannon...

Trump administration moving quickly to build up nationwide deportation force  Washington Post  ...The Trump administration is quickly identifying ways to assemble the nationwide deportation force that President Trump promised on the campaign trail as he railed against the dangers posed by illegal immigration. An internal Department of Homeland Security assessment obtained by The Washington Post shows the agency has already found 33,000 more detention beds to house undocumented immigrants...

After United’s stock tanks, CEO finally apologizes to brutalized passenger  Think Progress  ...At one point during the day on Tuesday, United Airlines’ stock had sunk to the point where nearly $1 billion had been knocked off the company’s value. So perhaps it’s no coincidence that on Tuesday afternoon, United CEO Oscar Munoz finally apologized to David Dao, the 69-year-old Asian doctor who was brutalized Sunday evening as he was forced off a plane...

Sean Spicer Apologizes After False Claim Nazis Never Used Poison Gas  Democracy Now  ...White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer continued an apology tour Wednesday, after he tried to drum up support for more U.S. military attacks against the Syrian regime by comparing President Bashar al-Assad to Adolf Hitler and falsely claiming Hitler never used chemical weapons... 

What’s at Stake in Trump’s Proposed E.P.A. Cuts  New York Times  ...The Trump administration’s proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency budget are deep and wide-ranging. It seeks to shrink spending by 31 percent, to $5.7 billion from $8.1 billion, and to eliminate a quarter of the agency’s 15,000 jobs. The cuts are so deep that even Republican lawmakers are expected to push back...

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