Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

This Week's Teamster News For May 13-19

 

TEAMSTERS

Political Action

Hoffa: Teamsters Will Continue to Fight for Workers’ Needs as Part of NAFTA 2.0  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa in response to the White House’s issuance of a final NAFTA notification letter today that will lead to a renegotiation of the North American trade agreement in the coming months: “From the beginning more than a quarter century ago, the Teamsters have been front-and-center in sticking up for workers and their rights under NAFTA... 

Pennsylvania Teamster Elected Mayor of Jeannette, Pa.  Teamster.org  ...Curtis Antoniak, a recently retired Teamster with the City of Jeannette, Pa.’s Public Works Department, won an election for Mayor in the a small Pennsylvania city roughly 30 miles outside of Pittsburgh on Tuesday. “The Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters supports and encourages its members to seek local office,” said William Hamilton, Eastern Region Vice President and Principal Officer of the Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters...

XPO Teamsters

XPO Shareholders Revolt Against Overweight CEO Pay  Teamster.org  ...XPO Logistics, Inc. shareholders delivered one of the sharpest rebukes of CEO pay so far this proxy year when a near-majority of outside shareholders opposed the company’s “say-on-pay” measure following a $20 million mega-equity grant to CEO Bradley Jacobs. “It is a farce that the company’s founder and largest shareholder requires a three-fold increase in his compensation,” said Teamster General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall... 

UPS Teamsters

UPS Teamster Locals, Leaders Meet at Unity Conference to Discuss 2018 Contract  Teamster.org  ...Hundreds of local union leaders, business agents, shop stewards and members packed a room at the Teamsters Unity conference last week to hear about preparations being made for negotiations on the 2018 UPS contract. "We have many issues we need to face in the upcoming negotiations. For example, harassment against our members is out of control again. That’s why we need to make certain during these negotiations that we have the best team in place,” O’Brien said...

Rail Teamsters

Teamsters Demand Explanations from Garneau  Teamsters Rail  ...Teamsters are demanding that Transport Minister Marc Garneau explain how workers' rights are protected under Bill C-49, which places railway workers under constant video and voice surveillance by their employers. "Marc Garneau's proposal is an unprecedented violation of Canadian's privacy," said Doug Finnson, President of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference. "How can he possibly think that workers aren't getting the short end of the stick?"...

BLET reaches tentative agreement with Indiana and Ohio Railway  BLE-T.org  ... The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) has reached a tentative contract with the Indiana and Ohio Railway (I&O), governing rates of pay and work rules for approximately 50 engineers, conductors, and trainees. Ballots and instructions, along with a synopsis of the agreement, have been mailed to active members working for the I&O... 

New legislation requiring cameras on trains will violate workers’ privacy, rail union says  National Post   ...The union representing rail workers says new legislation that would require cameras to be installed on Canada’s trains threatens workers’ privacy and came as a surprise. But Transport Minister Marc Garneau said Wednesday he’s spoken with the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference about the proposal, and the union knew what was being planned...

Clare Rose Strike

Clare Rose Begins Illegally Replacing Long Island Strikers  Joint Council 16  ...Clare Rose began permanently replacing striking union members at the Long Island Budweiser distributor on Monday. It is a violation of federal labor law to permanently replace workers who are striking over unfair labor practices. “This is union busting 101,” said Mark Pooler, who has delivered beer at Clare Rose for 26 years. Last week, Teamsters Local 812 filed the latest Unfair Labor Practice charge at the National Labor Relations Board against Clare Rose...

Long Island official threatens to rescind tax break for Clare Rose beer distributor  Daily News  ...Brookhaven town supervisor Ed Romaine overruled an earlier decision from Industrial Development Agency, which at its monthly meeting said it would not hold Clare Rose accountable for any drop in employee numbers due to the Teamsters Local 812 job action...

Teamsters Protest Clare Rose at Anheuser Busch-Sponsored Politico Event  Joint Council 16   ...Last night, the Teamsters Union protested Anheuser-Busch distributor Clare Rose, Inc. at POLITICO’s “An Audit on Tax Reform” event at the W Hotel in Washington, DC. The event was sponsored by Anheuser-Busch. The protestors carried signs and distributed handbills that read, “Anheuser-Busch: Tell Clare Rose To Pay Its School Taxes.” In Long Island, Anheuser-Busch uses Clare Rose Distributing to distribute its Budweiser line of beers...

Clare Rose Distributors Hit with Unfair Labor Charge  Labor Press  ...Teamsters Local 812 filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge against Clare Rose, the Budweiser distributor for Long Island, on Thursday May 11 at the National Labor Relations Board. It is the fifth charge the union has filed over the last month and the government agency is currently taking testimony and investigating the other charges...

Ongoing N.Y. labor strikes hinge on employer benefit contribution  Daily News  ...On Long Island, a third-generation family-run beer distributorship is going toe-to-toe with its employees and their union, Teamsters Local 812, over the pension. Clare Rose wants to pull out of the Teamster’s fund, alleging that it’s “critical” status means the future retirement of employees is at risk...

Locals

Teamsters Unionize S.F. Shuttle-Van Service  Labor Press  ...Drivers for the San Francisco commuter-van service Chariot have joined Teamsters Local 665. The company, which was acquired by Ford Motor Co. last year, agreed to recognize the union after a majority of the 215 drivers signed authorization cards, the Teamsters announced May 2. “It usually doesn’t happen this quickly; it reflects positively on them,” said Doug Bloch, political director of Teamsters Joint Council 7...

Light it up Blue Stoneham receives Local 25 donation  Wicked Local  ...Teamsters Local 25 President Sean O’Brien recently presented more than $300,000 to local nonprofits, including a $5,000 donation to Stoneham’s Light It Up Blue, a local organization committed to raising awareness and acceptance for children with autism. “We couldn’t be prouder of the contributions Local 25 has been able to make within the autism community,” said O’Brien...

Teamsters Fighting Against Seattle's Job-Killing Beverage Tax  Teamster.org  ...On February 21, 2017, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray proposed a 2-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages for the City of Seattle. On April 27, 2017, the proposed tax was lowered to 1.75-cents-per-ounce, but expanded to include diet beverages as well. Teamsters Local 174 has been fighting hard against this tax on every front, including press conferences, news interviews, one-on-one meetings with members of the Seattle City Council, public comment during Seattle City Council meetings...

Schnucks comes up with new policy on solicitors after its boycott by Teamsters  Post-Dispatch  ...Schnucks last year banned all third-party solicitors after members of Local 688 of the Teamsters passed out leaflets at its area stores, urging customers to support a boycott. The union was calling attention to Schnuck’s decision to shift work to a new, nonunion distribution center in Kinloch. The decision to ban all solicitors, however, quickly became a public relations headache...

Auburn public works employees protest wages, benefits  Sun Journal  ...Employees of Auburn Public Services gathered in front of Auburn Hall late Monday to protest what they argue are "substandard" wages and health benefits. Ray Cote, business agent for Teamsters Local Union No. 340, said labor contract negotiations between the union and the city broke down recently after the city turned down the union's health care proposal...  

97 percent ratification on Teamster’s new labor contract  The Aggie  ...The Teamsters Local 2010, the University of California’s (UC) union, successfully ratified a new five-year contract on April 19. The contract ensures a 19.4 percent wage increase over the course of five years, a $1,200 ratification bonus per clerical employee, a health care price increase cap and a choice of retirement plans. The union is composed of around 12,000 clerical and administrative workers and 800 skilled workers... 

Teamsters union threatens strike by weekend at San Benito Foods if demands not met   Benito Link   ...A few dozen year-round and seasonal workers belonging to Teamsters Union Local 890 protested outside San Benito Foods near downtown Hollister on Tuesday, demanding higher wages for all and benefits for seasonal workers. Union representative Jose Perez said negotiations are continuing with management, but the union is prepared to call for a strike as soon as Saturday...

Teamsters Canada

Teamsters in Solidarity With Construction Workers  Morning Star  ...The strike mandate that construction workers have given their respective unions in Québec reflects a generalized feeling of exasperation among workers. Teamsters Canada stands in solidarity with their struggles and wholeheartedly supports all their demands for fair treatment...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE 

Hundreds of Thousands Strike in Greece as Cuts Near Approval  New York Times  ...Hundreds of thousands of Greeks walked off the job on Wednesday, heeding the call of labor unions to join a 24-hour general strike to protest a new round of austerity measures nearing approval in Parliament. The effects of the strike, which came in response to pledges from the leftist-led government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to Greece’s international creditors, were widespread...

Kenya: Services Paralysed At City Hall As Workers Strike  All Africa  ...Operations have been paralysed at City Hall after hundreds of Nairobi City County workers went on strike to demand their salaries. The employees picketed outside the county headquarters on Wednesday. The Kenya County Workers Union Secretary-General Bernard Inyangala said they had withdrawn services from parking, licencing and City Mortuary...

Canada-U.S. Lumber Dispute: Quebec Workers Brace For Layoffs  Huffington Post  ...Hundreds of Quebec forestry workers are experiencing the first sour tastes from the softwood lumber battle with the United States as they prepare for the start of layoffs. Starting Monday, Resolute Forest Products is cutting shifts at seven sawmills and delaying the start of forest operations that will affect 1,282 workers...

Trump administration sends NAFTA renegotiation letter to Congress  CNBC  ...The Trump administration on Thursday notified Congress that it plans to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, the three-member deal with Mexico and Canada that President Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked. The United States can start renegotiating the agreement 90 days from the notification to Congress... 

Push now on for new Trans-Pacific Partnership, minus the US  The Australian  ...Trans-Pacific Partnership countries, at a critical meeting in Vietnam this weekend, are set to decide whether to pursue the trade deal without the US and to consider a possible timetable. Since President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the deal Japan has shown signs it would back a renewed agreement, giving hope to Australia and New Zealand, which support an Asia-­Pacific trade pact...

Trump Administration Weighs Adding Currency Rules to Nafta  Wall Street Journal  ...The Trump administration has told senators it is considering adding rules barring currency manipulation to the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to congressional aides, a departure from past U.S. policy that could set a precedent for other trade deals. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a Senate meeting Wednesday that he is looking at currency rules as a part of planned renegotiations...

Trump's trade policy is unlikely to deliver big wins for US workers  Houston Chronicle  ...The Trump administration recently notched two wins for its international trade strategy, hailing both as big gains for U.S. workers. The first was the confirmation of Robert Lighthizer on May 11 as U.S. trade representative. That same day, the White House announced progress in opening up the Chinese market for U.S. card payment service companies...

The Workers Who Answer Your Customer-Service Calls  The Nation  ... A new report by the union Communications Workers of America (CWA) outlines how AT&T’s outsourcing of jobs to overseas third-party contractors is turning once-stable, US-based union jobs into exploitative low-paid gig work in Asia and Latin America. The report affirms rising unrest among CWA members in AT&T’s US divisions, who have threatened to strike in the coming weeks...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Strict North Carolina Voter ID Law Thwarted After Supreme Court Rejects Case  New York Times  ...The Supreme Court on Monday refused to revive a restrictive North Carolina voting law that a federal appeals court had struck down as an unconstitutional effort to “target African-Americans with almost surgical precision.” The court’s decision not to hear an appeal in the case effectively overturned one of the most far-reaching attempts by Republicans to counter what they contended, without evidence, was widespread voter fraud...

Mich. prevailing wage foes prepare new petition drive  The Detroit News  ...A pro-business group pushing to repeal Michigan’s prevailing wage law has drafted new petition language and is seeking advance approval from the state to begin collecting signatures. The Board of State Canvassers will meet Thursday to consider the form of a petition submitted by Protecting Michigan Taxpayers that would lift a 1965 law...

Bill to raise Nevada’s minimum wage moves to Senate  Review-Journal  ...A bill that would raise Nevada’s minimum wage moved forward on a 4-3 party-line vote Monday. The Senate Commerce, Labor and Energy Committee passed Senate Bill 106 to the full Senate. If it wins approval there, it must still be heard in the Assembly. Nevada’s current minimum wage is $7.25...

Texas House panel approves bill requiring parental consent for minors to join unions  Texas Tribune  ...A bill that would require parental consent for minors to join a labor union could be headed to the full Texas House. The House Economic and Small Business Development Committee on Monday approved Senate Bill 75 along a party-line vote, with one of the committee’s four Democrats, state Rep. Hubert Vo, D-Houston, absent for the vote. SB 75 was voted out of the Senate in April...

Report: 1 In 20 New York Workers Get Paid Less Than Minimum Wage  Gothamist  ...Five percent of New York workers were paid less than the minimum wage between 2013 and 2015, according to a recent analysis of federal data. The report, by the union-backed Economic Policy Institute (EPI), analyzed data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau. Its authors found that among the 10 most populous states, New York has the third-highest rate of minimum wage violations...

Why wage theft is a serious problem in California  Pasadena Star-News  ...What could be worse than working for minimum wage? How about working for minimum wage and having your employer cheat you out of a big chunk of your pay? That reality is evident in newly released figures from the Economic Policy Institute. The statistics show that low-wage workers in California lose nearly $2 billion a year to minimum wage violations...

Missouri prevailing wage repeal fails, contractors pleased  News Tribune  ...Contractors around Jefferson City felt relieved Friday night after the General Assembly failed to approve a bill that would've repealed Missouri's prevailing wage law. Currently, construction workers are paid a state-set minimum wage on state and local construction projects in Missouri because of a state law created in 1959. House Bill 104 proposed to repeal that law... 

Gov. Brown's budget proposal includes an extra $15 million to help Californians facing deportation  LA Times  ...Gov. Jerry Brown has earmarked an extra $15 million in the state’s budget to expand legal defense services for people battling deportation, a move that could be interpreted as a response to the Trump administration’s broadened immigration enforcement orders. The one-time cash infusion would boost the state government’s financial help to those in the country illegally to $33 million...

 

U.S. LABOR

40,000 AT&T Workers Are Set To Strike  In These Times  ...Around 40,000 members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) at AT&T could walk off their jobs, starting Friday, for a three-day strike, as pressure continues to mount on the corporation to settle fair contracts. In California and Nevada, around 17,000 AT&T workers who provide phone, landline and cable services have been working without a contract for more than a year. Last year, they voted to authorize a strike with more than 95 percent support...

NLRB files complaint against VW over practices at Tennessee plant  Reuters  ...The U.S. National Labor Relations Board has filed an unfair labor practices complaint against Volkswagen AG for hiking health insurance premiums and changing working hours of a group of skilled workers who voted for union representation in 2015. The complaint is part of a lengthy battle over the NLRB's recognition of the vote by roughly 160 skilled workers at VW's Chattanooga plant in Tennessee to be represented by the United Auto Workers union...

Bannon Ally Said to Be Weighed as Top DOL Diplomat  Bloomberg  ...Ellis—who has written for controversial conservative publications and is aligned with White House adviser Steve Bannon—has emerged as one of two contenders to run the DOL’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB), said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The little-known deputy undersecretary position at ILAB is considered an essential piece of the White House push to restore U.S. manufacturing jobs...

Feds: Arizona farm kept workers in squalor, didn't fully pay  ABC  ...The federal government says an Arizona farm has kept temporary Mexican workers in squalid conditions and paid some of them only a fraction of what they are owed. The Department of Labor says that G Farms housed about 70 workers here on a visa in a dangerous and unsanitary encampment composed of school buses, semitrailers, a cargo container and an open-air shed...

More protests, tough questions at shareholder meeting of Oreo-maker Mondelez  Chicago Tribune  ...It was deja vu all over again at the annual shareholder meeting Wednesday for Mondelez International, a global snack food company known for brands like Oreo cookies and Ritz crackers. Outside, union protesters again chanted their opposition to the Deerfield-based company's decision to slash hundreds of jobs from the longtime Nabisco plant on Chicago's Southwest Side last year and move some production lines to Mexico...

Yale Grad Students Fasting To Win Union Negotiations With School  Hartford Courant  ...After months of escalating protests, vigils, civil disobedience, arrests and in recent weeks a hunger strike, Yale graduate students are now planning a major protest for commencement ceremonies Monday – all in an attempt to get the university to negotiate with their union, Local 33 UNITE HERE...

Expert: Bradley Foundation is walking fine line on politics  Journal Sentinel  ...The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation has been giving money to groups critical of labor unions for more than a decade — long before Gov. Scott Walker began his efforts to curb the power of labor groups in Wisconsin. But internal records hacked from the Bradley Foundation server show that a couple of major grant recipients have listed as a goal to "defund" labor organizations...

A class-action lawsuit says Walmart discriminated against pregnant employees  Mic  ...Walmart is facing a class-action lawsuit from two former employees who say the retailer's management discriminated against them during their pregnancies. According to Rewire, the suit claims supervisors failed to make "on-the-job" accommodations for pregnant employees, forcing them to continue performing strenuous physical labor at the cost of their health...

America’s biggest employers leave their hourly workers out of paid family leave  Think Progress  ...Starbucks got a lot of glowing press for announcing an expansion of its paid family leave benefits for in-store employees in January, extending the time off for new birth mothers to six weeks at full pay. But according to a new report from the advocacy organization PL+US, the company has one of the most unequal paid leave policies between corporate employees and hourly retail workers...

An end to overtime? U.S. House passes a bill letting employers offer ‘comp’ time instead of paying overtime  NW Labor Press  ...A bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives on May 2 would allow employers to offer “comp time” instead of paying overtime. HR 1180, the “Working Families Flexibility Act of 2017,” would undermine the federal overtime protection that has been in place since 1938. House Workforce Committee Chair Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.) called the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) an “antiquated federal law”...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

California’s self-driving cars are rolling – and sometimes crashing  SacBee  ...Self-driving cars have logged hundreds of thousands of test-drive miles on California highways over the last few years and could be available for public use by the end of 2017. Manufacturers, though, are still working out the kinks. Sometimes the vehicles crash. Other times, self-driving systems disengage, which means the vehicle shifts into manual mode – triggered either by the driver or vehicle sensors...

Trump doesn’t believe in climate change, but it’s going to drown Mar-a-Lago  Vox  ...President Donald Trump has called climate change a “hoax” and a very expensive “tax” on American businesses that make the US less competitive. He has threatened to withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord. And yet climate change is already imperiling Mar-a-Lago, the crown jewel of Trump’s extensive real estate portfolio and his preferred location for carrying out many of his official presidential duties...

Republicans plan massive cuts to programs for the poor  Politico   ...House Republicans just voted to slash hundreds of billions of dollars in health care for the poor as part of their Obamacare replacement. Now, they’re weighing a plan to take the scalpel to programs that provide meals to needy kids and housing and education assistance for low-income families... 

Mother's Day at an ICE detention center  The Intercept  ...U.S. policy on detaining families and children has fluctuated over the years. For decades, people seeking asylum in the U.S. were released while awaiting their hearings. Even with minimal supervision, the overwhelming majority of those not detained showed up for their asylum hearings. Obama’s family detention camps were strongly condemned for their inhumane conditions, but Trump has arguably made the situation even worse...

Trump Reportedly Revealed Classified Info During Meeting With Russian Officials  Huffington Post  ...President Donald Trump disclosed “highly classified information” during a meeting with Russian officials last week, according to The Washington Post. The revelations raise new questions about the already controversial meeting of Trump, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Sergey Kislyak, who is the Russian ambassador to the U.S...

Robert Mueller, Former F.B.I. Director, Is Named Special Counsel for Russia Investigation  New York Times  ...The Justice Department appointed Robert S. Mueller III, a former F.B.I. director, as special counsel on Wednesday to oversee the investigation into ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russian officials, dramatically raising the legal and political stakes in an affair that has threatened to engulf Mr. Trump’s four-month-old presidency...

The growing movement to impeach Trump  Think Progress  ...The report that President Trump asked former FBI Director James Comey to end an active investigation of Michael Flynn, who had just resigned his position as Trump’s National Security Adviser, has become an existential threat to his presidency. “I must say, I was in the Nixon administration as you know and I thought after watching the Clinton impeachment I’d never seen another one, But I think we’re in impeachment territory for the first time,” said former Nixon adviser David Gergen...

Trump Nominates Actual Fascist David Clarke for Department of Homeland Security  NY Mag  ...Words like fascist and authoritarian get thrown around too promiscuously. But there is no other way to describe David Clarke, who today announced that he was named assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Clarke, a Milwaukee sheriff, rocketed into national prominence as a conservative provocateur by virtue of his rabid opposition to Black Lives Matter...

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