Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

This Week's Teamster News for June 17-23

 

TEAMSTERS

XPO & Port Strike

XPO Port/Rail Drivers From Los Angeles To US-Mexico Border Strike Over Illegal Job Classification  Teamster.org  ...port and rail drivers misclassified as “independent contractors” at XPO Cartage, Inc., part of XPO Logistics, Inc., began an “Unfair Labor Practice” strike to protest illegal job classification that robs them of their employee rights. Drivers are picketing XPO facilities in Commerce, Rancho Dominguez, and San Diego, and are picketing at America’s largest port complex, the twin ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach...

L.A. and Long Beach port workers begin striking  Los Angeles Times  ...Around 60 truck drivers and warehouse workers serving the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports began striking terminals across the region Monday morning. The strike was called by the Teamsters union Local 848 to protest what it alleges is illegal subcontracting, misclassification and wage theft by trucking companies...

Truck Drivers on Strike at Ports of LA, Long Beach  NBC  ...Truck drivers and warehouse workers from companies serving the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports went on strike Monday morning to protest being classified as independent contractors, which they say is a scheme to deny them the compensation they're due. Barb Maynard, a Teamster representative for truckers and workers, said the strike involves several of the large companies that do transport business at the ports...

Drivers' strike in California raises questions of modern slavery  Supply Chain Dive  ...Representing approximately 500 port drivers and supported by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and Local 848, picketers are calling out port trucking companies like XPO Logistics and California Cartage for their habit of allegedly misclassifying drivers as independent contractors rather than employees... 

You know how bad Uber is for drivers. Port truckers have it worse. Much worse.  USA Today  ...As rough as it may be living off Uber fares, the challenges pale in comparison to what a group of independent truckers in southern California face, USA TODAY reported last week after investigating the industry for more than a year. There are about 16,000 truckers whose job is to move half of all American imports from the ports near Los Angeles...

Port truckers don’t want clean air rules to eat up their paycheck  Press-Telegram  ...Truckers say they want clean air — but not at their expense. “We are all for zero emissions, but if you are going to go do that you have to find a way so that workers don’t pay for it,” said Eric Tate, secretary-treasurer for Teamsters union Local 848. Last week, the local announced about 100 truck drivers will go on strike this week...

UPS Teamsters

Teamsters Announce Memorial Fund for Victims of San Francisco UPS Shooting  Teamster.org  ...International Brotherhood of Teamsters Joint Council 7 in Northern California announced the establishment of the “All Charities Teamsters Memorial for W. Chan/M. Lefiti/B. Louie” fund to help raise money for the families of the victims of the June 14 tragedy at the San Francisco UPS facility that resulted in the deaths of three members at the hand of their fellow driver...

Prayer service held at UPS warehouse for four men who died in last week’s shooting  SF Examiner  ...Less than a week after three UPS workers were gunned down by a colleague at a Potrero Hill warehouse, a group gathered feet from the scene to mourn the dead Monday. Joseph Cilia, secretary treasurer of Teamsters Local 2785, said most of the people who were working last week when the shooting happened have not yet returned to work...

Teamsters Appoint Local 25 Business Agent John Murphy as UPS Freight Director  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa has appointed John A. Murphy as UPS Freight Director in the Teamsters Package Division. Murphy is a 40-year Teamster who currently serves as a business agent at Teamsters Local 25 in Boston. He began his career working at Consolidated Freightways and has been involved in negotiations for numerous national Teamster contracts in the freight industry... 

Four Million Miles and Counting: UPS Teamster Walter Beasley  Teamster.org  ...The first thing Walter Beasley does in the morning before heading in to work is listen to the traffic report. He takes note of all the delays on the interstates, planning alternate routes as he maps out his day behind the wheel. Walter, a member of Teamsters Local 191 in Bridgeport, Conn., began driving for UPS in 1967...

On The Picket Line

Long Island Senator Kaminsky Sides with Clare Rose Workers  Joint Council 16  ...New York State Senator Todd Kaminsky had the following statement on the ongoing strike at Anheuser-Busch distributor Clare Rose. Workers have been on strike for nearly two months against wage cuts and the loss of their pension. “The time is long past due for Clare Rose to return to the bargaining table. Long Island has supported Clare Rose for decades"...

Strike comes to an end at Quality Beverage in Taunton; workers to return Monday  Taunton Gazette  ...A strike that has been going on at Quality Beverage in Taunton for more than three weeks has finally come to an end. “Quality Beverage and elected representatives from Teamsters Local 170 have successfully concluded negotiations on a five-year collective bargaining agreement"...

Political Action

Pennsylvania Teamsters Rally at Capitol in Protest of Anti-Worker Legislation  Teamster.org  ...More than a thousand Teamsters from across Pennsylvania rallied on the steps of the state capitol today to protest legislation designed to weaken worker protections and undercut their ability to bargain for improvements on the job. Currently, there are a number of bills introduced in the general assembly that are a direct attack on working families... 

More than 1,000 Teamsters rally to keep their 'fundamental right' to join a union  Penn Live  ...Union members swarmed the Capitol steps Tuesday afternoon to voice their opposition to right-to-work legislation in Pennsylvania. The crowd was joined by Gov. Tom Wolf, who encouraged them to tell their legislators their concerns with right-to-work laws. The ability to join a union, Wolf said, was a "fundamental right." The rally was organized by the Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters... 

Locals

Budget Rental Car Agents Join Teamsters Local 385  Teamster.org  ...Service agents at Budget Car Rental at the Orlando, Florida airport have voted, by a more than 3-1 margin, to join Teamsters Local 385. The vote was 35-11 and there are 53 workers in the bargaining unit. The election took place on June 2. The workers are seeking fair wages, improved benefits, job security, a voice on the job and a grievance procedure to challenge unfair management decisions...

Teamsters, Local Workers Speak Out at Legislature, Call On Long Island Pols to Help Stop “Another Clare Rose”  Joint Council 16  ...A group of Long Island workers, members of Teamsters Local 814, took to the mic at a meeting of the Suffolk County Legislature to protest their employer’s plans to permanently replace them. The contingent thanked lawmakers for helping pressure Farmingdale-based office furniture dealer Waldner’s Business Environments to return to the bargaining table...

Local 727 and Quala Wash Ratify Richest Contract in Quala Wash History  Local 727  ...The Teamsters Local 727 Bargaining Committee and Quala Wash management reached agreement on a new three-year contract for the company’s 30 industrial tank cleaners. The annual wage increases the workers will receive are the largest in the bargaining unit’s history with Quala Wash, which has also agreed to pay 100% of the premiums for the employee-only, low deductible health care plan and apply the same amount of savings toward its other health insurance plans...

Teamsters Union files complaint against Paris for part-time firefighters  Sun Journal  ...The Teamsters Union has filed a complaint against the town with the Maine Labor Relations Board over scheduling issues for part-time firefighters. The town and union are in the middle of contract negotiations. On June 9, Teamsters Local 340 Secretary-Treasurer Lorne Smith filed a prohibitive practice complaint with the Maine Labor Relations Board... 

Ratto Rising  Bohemian  ...Amid the mounting scandals and unraveling of the Trump administration—the most anti-labor presidency since Ronald Reagan—there was an important victory for the labor movement in Sonoma County. On May 19, drivers, mechanics, recycling and clerical workers employed by North Bay Corporation (a subsidiary of the Ratto Group) voted to join Teamsters Local 665 by a 271–31 margin in a National Labor Relations Board election...

Rail Teamsters

Arkansas governor signs BLET-backed bill to protect train crews  BLET  ...Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson recently signed into law a BLET-backed bill that imposes harsher penalties on criminals who target railroad workers. Act 955 is designed “to protect freight rail employees and public transit employees by enhancing the penalties of certain criminal offenses”...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE 

Thousands of Haitian Workers Are on Strike Against Foreign-Owned Sweatshops  In These Times  ...Thousands of textile workers in Haiti have stopped work in factories and taken to the streets to demand of improved working conditions in the country’s maquiladora export industry. For more than three weeks, workers have mobilized to demand higher wages, an eight-hour workday and protections against increased quotas...

VW's Slovak workers strike over pay, halt production lines  Reuters  ...Volkswagen was hit by its first ever strike in Slovakia on Tuesday as workers began a walkout to demand a higher pay increase which could hurt the central European country's manufacturing output. About 70 percent of VW's 12,300 employees at its three factory facilities joined the protest, union chief Zoroslav Smolinsky said, adding that production would be hit...

German workers fight for a fair contract with Amazon   Jacobin  ...For over four years, Germany’s nationwide service-sector union ver.di has been fighting for a fair contract at Amazon’s shipping facilities. The company has faced over 150 strike days, most recently when hundreds of workers stopped work at multiple locations over Easter...

Trump sparks rush of NAFTA lobbying  The Hill  ...Lobbyists are gearing up for the looming renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a sweeping trade pact of critical importance to the United States, Canada and Mexico. Trade officials from the three nations will take the lead at the negotiating table... 

NAFTA agriculture ministers see 'few' differences over trade  Reuters  ...The United States, Canada and Mexico have "relatively few" differences on agricultural trade, the three countries' agriculture ministers said after meeting on Tuesday to discuss the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. There are some "irritants" for each country, however...

World Offers Cautionary Tale for Trump’s Infrastructure Plan  New York Times  ...The rest of the planet bears a warning for President Trump’s plan to lean heavily on private business in conjuring a trillion dollars’ worth of American infrastructure: Handing profit-making companies responsibility for public works can produce trouble. In India, politically connected firms have captured contracts on the strength of relationships with officialdom...

Despite Trump’s criticism, companies in Charlotte are sending more jobs overseas  Charlotte Observer  ...Despite President Donald Trump’s push to bring back American jobs, offshoring work to countries such as India is alive and well – and in some Charlotte industries such as retail and banking, it’s a trend that’s increasing...

From War to Cholera, Yemen Is Facing World's Largest Humanitarian Crisis  Democracy Now  ...More than 10,000 people have died amid the ongoing U.S.-backed, Saudi-led war in Yemen, which has also destroyed the country’s health, water and sanitation systems, sparking a deadly cholera outbreak. The cholera death toll has risen to 1,054. The United Nations warns some 19 million of Yemen’s 28 million people need some form of aid, with many of them at risk of famine...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES 

Washington State Lawmakers Near Deal on Paid Family Leave for All Workers  Seattle Weekly  ...Workers in Washington would enjoy the best paid family leave benefits in the nation under a tentative accord reached by Democratic and Republican lawmakers late Wednesday. “We’ve reached agreement on a framework,” Rep. June Robinson, D-Everett, said Thursday. “It will be the strongest policy in the country”...

California Is Massively Expanding One of the Most Effective Tools to Make Work Pay Better  The Nation  ...Governor Jerry Brown and the Legislature just finalized a budget that will substantially expand one of the state’s most effective tools to make work pay better: the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC. The EITC puts money directly back in the pockets of families who need it most—those among us who often work the hardest but earn the least...  

New York state lawmakers hope to pass watered down ‘Buy American’ policy for bridge and road projects  NY Daily News  ...State lawmakers are again looking to make "Buy American" an official policy in New York — but only for certain projects and products. With just three scheduled days left before the end of the Legislature's annual session, lawmakers are hopeful of passing a scaled-down version of the “Buy American” plan for state contracting...

Arkansas Closer to Adopting Voter ID Law  US News & World Report  ... Arkansas legislators have approved rules necessary to implement a new voter-identification law that could go into effect as early as September. The state Board of Election Commissioners approved the rules Wednesday for a new law that says voters should show photo identification before casting ballots, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported...

Missouri circuit court judge rules 'right-to-work' repeal petition language is misleading  St. Louis Post-Dispatch  ...A Cole County circuit court judge ruled Thursday that the language of a ballot initiative seeking to overturn Missouri's "right to work" law is unfair and insufficient. The controversial new law bans union dues as a condition of employment, a long-sought change by Missouri Republicans. The AFL-CIO hopes to put the law in front of voters...

Pennsylvania: latest pension bill received little pushback from unions  Post Gazette  ...The pension reform bill passed by the Pennsylvania Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf last week makes more changes than unions would have liked and less than Republican advocates had sought. Unlike past efforts at pension reform, this bill was not actively opposed by most Pennsylvania public sector labor unions, however...

California: No Heat Safety Rules Yet For Indoor Workplaces  Capital Public Radio  ...California requires employers in several outdoor industries to take extra precautions on hot days to protect their workers, but the state has yet to establish heat safety rules for indoor workplaces. Paola Laverde is with the state's workplace safety agency, Cal/OSHA. "They're looking into this issue right now," Laverde says... 

Study: Seattle minimum wage hasn't cut jobs  ABC  ...Seattle's $15-an-hour minimum wage law has boosted pay for restaurant workers without costing jobs, a new study shows. The report, from the University of California at Berkeley, is certain to add to the debate as activists around the country push for increases in local, state and federal minimum wages...

 

U.S. LABOR 

Trump Administration Sides With Employers Over Workers On Arbitration Agreements  Huffington Post  ...The Trump White House will stand with corporations over workers in a looming Supreme Court battle involving arbitration agreements, according to a copy of an amicus brief obtained by HuffPost on Friday. Arbitration agreements prevent workers from pursuing class-action lawsuits for back wages and other damages from their employers...

Big Business Cheers Rollback on Labor Rule  Bill Moyers  ...Big franchise businesses are sighing with relief thanks to yet another rollback of an Obama-era rule. Known as the joint employment rule, it governed just who is liable when workers rights are violated. Under President Obama, the definition of joint employer was expanded...

Trump Takes Steps to Undo Obama Legacy on Labor  New York Times  ...President Trump, who came into office courting labor unions and vowing to stand up for American workers, is taking a major step to alter the direction of federal labor policy, positioning the National Labor Relations Board to overturn a series of high-profile Obama-era decisions. The moves arrive after Mr. Trump’s proposed deep cuts to the Labor Department... 

Ben & Jerry's protested by dairy workers who want better pay  CBS  ...Dairy farm workers and activists are asking Ben & Jerry's to put its money where its mouth is. A Ben & Jerry's factory was the site of a protest march on Saturday, with dairy workers pushing for better pay and living conditions on farms that provide milk for the ice cream maker...

Sakuma workers win their first contract  Socialist Worker  ...Five years of organizing by farmworkers paid off on June 16 when members of Familias Unidas por la Justicia overwhelmingly ratified their first contract with the Sakuma Bros. Farms, one of the largest berry growers in Washington's Skagit Valley. "I'm proud to be a union member and to have participated in the negotiation of a contract," said Celestino Santos, a member of FUJ's negotiations committee... 

University of Pittsburgh grad students continue push for union  The Pitt News  ...Some graduate students have been buckling down these past six months on something other than master and doctoral degrees. The Graduate Student Organizing Committee has been garnering support for unionization since they formed in late 2015, working in partnership with the United Steelworkers...

Ironworker Randy Bryce Challenges Paul Ryan In Powerful New Ad: ‘Let’s Trade Places’  Huffington Post  ...There are more than 500 days until the midterm election, but House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is already facing his second challenger. Randy Bryce, a union ironworker, announced Monday that he would seek the Democratic nomination to run against Ryan, and released a video emphasizing what has so far been the biggest issue of the year: health care... 

Online Retail Boom Means More Warehouse Workers, And Robots To Accompany Them  NPR  ...Technologists say that, increasingly, humans will work side by side with robots — instead of robots working alone. Amazon says robots and humans enabled the Tracy warehouse to fulfill customer orders faster. That means more customers and more human workers...

Why Amazon-Whole Foods may not be a prime union target  USA Today  ...Amazon’s bid to purchase Whole Foods isn’t likely to aid unionization efforts at either company, despite the fact that the grocery industry overall is relatively highly unionized. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, whose members include 850,000 grocery store workers, has no plans to try to unionize Whole Foods’ grocery workers. At least not yet...

Amazon-Whole Foods Deal Is Bad News For Store Cashiers And The Fight For $15 Minimum Wage  Forbes  ...The Amazon-Whole Foods deal will have winners and losers. Among the winners will be consumers, as Amazon’s technology and superior services will provide more grocery options. Among the losers will be traditional neighborhood stores, which won’t be able to compete with Amazon’s razor thin operating margins – and minimum wage employees like cashiers...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS 

Philando Castile verdict a painful result of laws rigged to protect cops  (opinion) NY Daily News  ...The people of Minnesota, and the entire nation, are told to remain calm and trust the system. The people of Minnesota, and the nation, then remained calm. We gave the system a shot. We waited for charges to be filed. We waited for the trial. We waited for the verdict. Then this is what we got...

The Better Care Reconciliation Act: the Senate bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, explained  Vox  ...Senate Republicans on Thursday revealed the Better Care Reconciliation Act, their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The bill asks low- and middle-income Americans to spend significantly more for less coverage. The bill would roll back the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of the Medicaid program...

Meet the 13 Senators Deciding on Your Health Care Behind Closed Doors  TIME  ...Known as a wily tactician, McConnell has been pushing the line that Americans deserve “relief” from failing Obamacare. Louisville, Ky.-based Kindred Healthcare, a health care services company, was the third-largest contributor to McConnell’s campaign committee from 2011 to 2016, donating $104,650. Health insurer Humana was number 4...

Uber founder Travis Kalanick resigns as CEO amid a shareholder revolt  Washington Post  ...After several tumultuous months that culminated in a shareholder revolt, Travis Kalanick stepped down Tuesday as chief executive of the ride-hailing giant Uber. Kalanick, who helped found Uber in 2009 and established it as Silicon Valley’s highest flying start-up, will stay on Uber’s board of directors...

The Future of Drone Delivery Hinges on Predicting the Weather Block by Block  Bloomberg  ...As Amazon.com Inc., United Parcel Service Inc., Domino’s Pizza Inc., and others gear up to launch autonomous drone deliveries of books, pills, and pizza, companies are realizing it’s the quality of hyperlocal weather data more than anything else that will steer their packages around storm clouds and through wind-buffeted urban canyons...

ALEC continues churning out blueprints for right wing experiments  People's World  ...Misleading but slick marketing names are just one hallmark of ALEC – the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council. That’s why ALEC concocted “FACT” in the field of asbestos trusts and “REINS” to put up barriers to safety regulations. Beyond such name deceptions, ALEC creates menu bills for legislators to pluck out from Column A or B what they can sell right now in their home states...

Trump seeks sharp cuts to housing aid, except for program that brings him millions  Washington Post  ...President Trump’s budget calls for sharply reducing funding for programs that shelter the poor and combat homelessness — with a notable exception: It leaves intact a type of federal housing subsidy that is paid directly to private landlords. One of those landlords is Trump himself, who earns millions of dollars each year as a part-owner of Starrett City...

U.S. Tied to Torture in Network of Secret Yemen Prisons Run by UAE  Democracy Now  ...Human Rights Watch and the Associated Press have just published explosive new reports on a secret network of prisons in southern Yemen run by the United Arab Emirates and Yemeni forces. Dozens of people, including children, have been "arbitrarily detained, forcibly disappeared, tortured, and abused" in these prisons, according to Human Rights Watch. American forces reportedly participated in interrogations of detainees who were abused, a potential violation of international law...

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