Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

This Week's Teamster News for June 3-9

 

TEAMSTERS 

Broadway Teamsters Campaign

Broadway Casting Directors Union Rallies Outside Tony Awards Rehearsals  Teamster.org  ...Broadway casting directors rallied with union and theater supporters outside the Tony Awards rehearsals at Radio City Music Hall, calling for a union contract. Casting directors are the only Broadway workers without a union, and they do not get healthcare or retirement contributions from the shows they work for. Casting directors are organizing a union with Teamsters Local 817 and are calling on Broadway producers to negotiate a union contract...

Broadway Actors and Crews Support Casting Directors Union  Joint Council 16  ...Famous actors and Broadway casts are throwing their support behind Broadway’s casting directors, and calling on the Broadway League – the producers’ association – to negotiate with the casting director’s union.  Casting directors are joining Teamsters Local 817, which already represents film and television casting directors...

Stars come out in support Broadway casting directors forming union  NY Daily News  ...Broadway casting directors are getting some star power in their fight to be recognized as part of a union. Numerous Broadway shows and musicals have come out in support of the roughly 40 casting directors who work in theater — starting a #FairnessforCasting campaign on social media. The push coincides with the run-up to the Tony Awards...

Locals

Union Warns Against Driverless Trucks Hauling Hazardous Material  Teamster.org  ... Hazardous material drivers and gas cylinder fillers who work at Airgas here have been negotiating a new contract since the current agreement expired in February. After continued bargaining and several contract extensions, the workers went on strike May 31. The workers, represented by Teamsters Local 251, are concerned about their families’ health care...

Teamsters Fight On After Seattle Votes For Soda Tax  Teamster.org  ...The Seattle City Council voted 7 to 1 yesterday to impose a soda tax on all beverages that contain sugar, despite the harm the tax will have on working families. Local 174 members, who deliver soda beverages throughout the city, had rallied and testified at City Council meetings in previous months against the tax. City officials had said that the tax would result in $15 million in additional funding for elementary schools and food assistance for families in need...

Delta Dental Teamster reinstated after unfair termination for attendance  Local 856  ...Teamsters 856 took on the egregious application of an employer’s attendance policy, and won. Janet Masolo worked in customer service for Delta Dental for nearly nine years. Throughout her time there, she was awarded for her work and service to the company... 

SMG Lays Off Security, Fire and Safety Officers at McCormick Place Behind Union’s Back  Local 727  ...Without reaching an agreement with Teamsters Local 727, SMG laid off its security, fire and safety officers that Local 727 represents at McCormick Place, the international trade show venue in Chicago. Additionally, SMG has not called its former part-time workers at Navy Pier, who were let go as a result of Allied Universal’s takeover, to replace the part-time officers it laid off... 

Teamsters Local 710 to be Released from Trusteeship  Teamster.org  ...The Teamsters Union announced that Teamsters Local 710 in Mokena, Ill. will be released from trusteeship. The local will be released from trusteeship following an election of officers. The release notice recommends an election be scheduled as soon as September 2017. “I accepted the unanimous recommendation of the panel appointed to review Local 710’s trusteeship and listened to the hundreds of members that submitted written statements,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa... 

Teamsters fund trustees claim Greensburg concrete contractor owes payments  Penn Record  ...Two union trustees are suing Greensburg Concrete Block Co., alleging breach of contract. Gino Bosetti and Robert Cleary, trustees of the Western Pennsylvania Teamsters and Employers Pension Fund, filed a complaint on May 23 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against Greensburg Concrete Block Co. alleging that it failed to remit contributions to the labor group...

Organizing & Contract Wins

Brush Hill Tours Workers Vote To Unionize  Teamster.org  ...Charter bus drivers and cleaners with Brush Hill Tours voted 27-1 to become members of Teamsters Local 653 on June 1. “Congratulations to all of our new members who fought hard for recognition,” said Brian J. McElhinney, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 653 in South Easton, Mass. “I especially want to thank our executive board as well as Sean O’Brien and the executive board of Teamsters Joint Council 10 for everything they did to secure this victory”...

Teamsters reach tentative agreement with Republic Services over 4-year contract  Local 117  ...Teamsters Local 117 achieved a fully-recommended offer with Republic Services over a contract involving 120 recycle and yard waste drivers employed at the company’s locations in Bellevue, Seattle, Lynnwood and Kent. "Recycle and yard waste drivers perform difficult, dangerous work to protect the public health and keep our neighborhoods clean," said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117...

Local 727 and Fleischmann’s Vinegar Unanimously Ratify Richest Contract in Fleischmann’s History  Local 727  ...The Teamsters Local 727 Bargaining Committee and Fleischmann’s Vinegar management reached unanimous agreement on a new five-year contract for warehouse employees. Members will receive the largest wage increase in Fleischmann’s history retroactive to May 1, 2017. “I’m tremendously proud of our bargaining team for all their diligence in reaching this agreement,” said John Coli, Jr., President of Local 727...

Taylor Farms and employees reach pay raise agreement  The Californian  ...After a two-day strike, Taylor Farms employees and management reached an agreement Tuesday morning to have a pay increase of $1.50 per hour effective immediately, according to Ricardo Camacho, one of the employees leading negotiations with the company. About 25 employees, Taylor Farms representatives and Teamsters Union Local No. 890 negotiated for two days...

School Bus Teamsters

Teamster Local 179 Bus Driver, Monitor Save Children from Fire  Teamster.org  ...May 22, 2017 was just a normal day for Bus Driver Monica Lally and Monitor Joyce Marfell. They were on their way to Patterson Elementary School, transporting four students as they normally do. But then, disaster struck unexpectedly. Lally and Marfell were on their way to pick up the fifth and final student when Lally noticed smoke coming from the hood of the vehicle...

Teamsters Local 313 Drivers Ratify Contract With First Student  Teamster.org  ...Steilacoom School District Bus Drivers with First Student have voted to ratify their first contract as members of Teamsters Local 313. The agreement, which covers 25 drivers, was ratified by an almost two-to-one margin. “Congratulations to all of our drivers who fought hard and maintained solidarity in the face of adversity,” said John Emrick, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 313...

Shore Point Lockout

N.J. Beer Distributor Cuts Off Workers’ Paychecks and Healthcare  Huffington Post  ...For months, Teamster Local 701 members were negotiating with the state’s largest beer distributor to reach a deal on a new contract. But on April 30, Shore Point President and CEO Jim Annarella decided to play tough guy and locked his workers out. Not only were these workers left without income, Shore Point cut them off from their health insurance...  

Trade & Political Action

Hoffa: A New, Pro-Worker NAFTA  The Detroit News  ...The Trump administration in the next week will receive scores of comments on how to best revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) so it creates a pact built for a 21st century economy. And the Teamsters want to make sure there is a pathway to prosperity for millions of U.S. workers who were left behind in the deal’s first incarnation...

Hoffa: Broadening ‘Buy American’ Is The Path To Prosperity  Huffington Post  ...Most taxpayers want their tax dollars spent on American-made goods and services. Democrats and Republicans alike share this patriotic “fair trade” value that our government should spend our money at home – whether it’s state and municipal contracts or big federal infrastructure investments. bad trade deals with their generous government procurement chapters have undermined the letter and spirit of our Buy American laws...

UPS Teamsters

Teamsters Local 396 Fights Back Against UPS Subcontracting  Teamster.org  ...Across the table from UPS management, Teamsters Local 396 representatives took the company to task on its recent schemes to take work away from Teamster drivers in Southern California. A series of grievances filed on the matter were debated yesterday at the National Grievance Committee Panel being held this week. “Subcontracting is a growing problem at UPS that we will need to push back on aggressively in the upcoming negotiations,” said Sean O’Brien, Director of the Teamsters Package Division...

Forty-Year UPS Package Car Driver Takes Job ‘One Stop at a Time’  Teamster.org  ...It takes an impressive level of skill and dedication to drive one of the nation’s most recognizable trucks — making deliveries day-in and day-out to residences and businesses all around town. Teamsters Local 710 member Tom Winke has been doing just that for a remarkable four decades as a UPS Package Car Driver...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE 

Low-wage Workers Risk Lives in Cambodia’s Building Boom  Solidarity Center  ...In Cambodia’s booming construction industry, where up to 250,000 workers toil on building projects during peak season, laborers wear sandals or flip-flops and cloth gloves, if they have gloves at all, their heads covered only with towels or soft hats they bring to work. One-third are women, who receive lower wages...

Libya’s Biggest Oil Field Halted by Workers’ Protest  Bloomberg  ...Libya’s biggest oil field shut down due to a protest by workers, stalling a revival in the politically divided country’s production of crude. Workers are protesting a colleague’s death at the field, halting about 270,000 barrels a day, according to another person familiar with the matter...

Mexico Not a NAFTA 'Back Door' for Chinese Goods: Economy Minister  New York Times  ... Mexican Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo said on Tuesday that the North American Free Trade Agreement's rules of origin can be improved but denied that Mexico was a "back door" for Chinese goods to enter the United States. Guajardo also said he believed there were grounds to believe that NAFTA can be renegotiated to benefit the United States, Canada and Mexico...

The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Just Won’t Die  In These Times  ...New Zealand and other signatories are quietly reviving the neoliberal trade deal, confident the political winds in the U.S. will shift. Months ago, the just-inaugurated President Trump signed a memorandum pulling the United States out of the agreement, following an election season in which the TPP had served as a bipartisan whipping boy...

U.S., Mexico clear way for NAFTA with new deal on sugar trade  Politico  ...The United States and Mexico have averted a major trade crisis after reaching a preliminary agreement on Tuesday that staves off steep tariffs on imports of Mexican sugar. The deal in principle could clear away at least one contentious issue between the two governments standing in the way of upcoming NAFTA talks...

China won't release activists detained in probe of Ivanka Trump supplier  CNN  ...The Chinese government is refusing to release three activists who were detained while investigating working conditions at a company that made shoes for the Ivanka Trump brand and other prominent retailers. The U.S. State Department had urged China to free the men immediately and give them "the judicial and fair trial protections to which they are entitled"...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES 

Kansas Legislature overrides Brownback’s veto of bill that rolls back his 2012 tax cuts  Kansas City Star  ...The Republican dominated Kansas Legislature that has soured on Gov. Sam Brownback’s vision for the state voted late Tuesday to roll back the governor’s signature tax cuts. Lawmakers voted to override Brownback’s veto of a tax plan estimated to bring the state more than $1.2 billion over a two-year span...

North Carolina: the Supreme Court just made it easier to get away with gerrymandering  Think Progress  ...The Supreme Court handed down a brief order on Monday affirming a lower court’s ruling that North Carolina’s state legislative maps were an illegal racial gerrymander. That sounds like good news for advocates who oppose the maps drawn by the Republican-controlled legislature — but the decision could actually encourage more gerrymandered maps in the future...

Georgia GOP Candidate For U.S. House: ‘I Do Not Support A Livable Wage’  Huffington Post  ... Karen Handel, the Republican candidate for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, said Tuesday that she does “not support a livable wage.”  Among the questions posed to Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff during a televised debate was whether they favor of a minimum wage increase. Ossoff said he does — that “the minimum wage should be a living wage”...

Illinois Gov. Says He Doesn't Like Minimum Wage or Chicago School Board Bills  Northern Public Radio  ...Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner expressed his reservations about two recent state bills.  One would raise the state's minimum wage; the other would allow Chicago residents to elect their own school board. Both houses of the General Assembly approved a plan to step up the minimum wage to $15 per hour over the next five years...

Mass. will 'absolutely' see $15 minimum wage, Rosenberg predicts  Metro  ...The minimum wage in Massachusetts stands at $11 and no further increases are scheduled, but Senate President Stanley Rosenberg says the Bay State will "absolutely" see a $15 minimum wage law, or at least a statewide vote on it. "If it doesn't happen in the Legislature, it will be on the ballot," Rosenberg said...

Defying Trump, California Governor Jerry Brown just signed a climate agreement with China  Mic  ...On Tuesday, during a trip to China, California Governor Jerry Brown signed an agreement with China's Science and Technology Minister, Wan Gang, vowing to work together to develop green technologies and reduce emissions, the Associated Press reported. Brown was attending an international clean energy conference...

250,000 Minnesota hourly workers make minimum wage or less  Fox 9  ...Nearly 250,000 hourly workers in Minnesota earn $9.50 an hour or less, according to a new report from the state Department of Labor and Industry.  The 2016 Minnesota Minimum wage report presents trends about the Minnesota's minimum wage workers examines the state of the workers in over the year...

Repeal of prevailing wage would hurt Wisconsin economy  (opinion) Milwaukee Journal Sentinel  ...Out-of-state companies received $32 million in contracts for municipal projects in Wisconsin between January and April of this year, up from about $21 million during the same period in 2016. That represents a 53% increase. In 2015, the Wisconsin Legislature voted to end prevailing wage in local projects...

 

U.S. LABOR

AT&T Reaches Deal With Half of the Workers Who Went on Strike  Fortune  ...AT&T reached a tentative agreement on a new contract for 17,000 workers on Friday night, settling with almost half of the employees who walked out on short strike last weekend. The four-year deal with the Communications Workers of America union still must be approved by the workers in California and Nevada...

Twin River Casino Workers Vote to Authorize Strike  US News & World Report  ...Several hundred workers at the Twin River Casino in Rhode Island have voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike after their employer switched them to a more costly health care plan. The union that represents the workers says they voted 327-5 on Wednesday to give the company until early Friday to come up with a deal...

Westinghouse, Union Reach Deal to End Newington Employee Lockout  NH Public Radio  ...Union employees and the Westinghouse Electric Company have reached an agreement to end a two-week long lockout at the company’s Newington facility. Last month, members of the International Brother of Boilermakers and Westinghouse Electric found themselves at odds over renewal of a labor contract...

Charter school teachers to vote on joining CTU  Chicago Tribune  ...Unionized teachers at Chicago charter schools are set to begin voting Monday on a plan to join the Chicago Teachers Union, a merger that would alter the politics of the city's education system by pulling the independently operated schools under the direct influence of a powerful labor group that has sought to limit charter expansion...

Construction unions to get raises in new contracts for southeast Wisconsin  Daily Reporter  ...Carpenters, laborers and cement masons in the southeast corner of the state will all be getting annual wage increases under agreements reached with contractors represented by the Associated General Contractors of Greater Milwaukee. Under the three-year contract reached with North Central Regional Council of Carpenters, union carpenters in southeast Wisconsin will get 3 percent raises...

While Trump is Playing Golf (Again), This Company is Laying Off Over 1,000 Workers  Labor 411  ...President Donald Trump campaigned on his promise to keep jobs in the US. So why was he silent on Kellogg's news that it is closing distribution centers and laying off more than 1,000 employees? Maybe it's because he was too busy playing golf again. This weekend was his 23rd golf trip since he took office. Or maybe he has realized that he has very little or interest in keeping jobs at home...

Labor Department walks back Obama-era guidance on 'joint employers' and gig workers  Los Angeles Times  ...In a departure from the Obama administration’s worker-friendly approach to labor violations, the U.S. Labor Department on Wednesday said it has retracted a standard for determining whether companies are responsible as “joint employers” for working conditions of people employed by franchisees, temp agencies and other contractors...

New high court challenge to labor unions follows 4-4 split  CBS  ...Conservative groups are wasting little time in trying to deal a crippling blow to labor unions now that Justice Neil Gorsuch has joined the Supreme Court. A First Amendment clash over public sector unions left the justices deadlocked last year after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. But union opponents have quickly steered a new case through federal courts in Illinois...

Feds find 'simply inhumane' living conditions for workers at Arizona farm  AZ Central  ...An Arizona farm accused of housing its workers in "inhumane" living conditions is at the center of a federal crackdown on worker-visa fraud and abuse. The U.S. Department of Labor announced Tuesday it will aggressively pursue employers and others abusing workers and worker-visa programs and increase protections for American workers... 

How Trump Made Wage Theft Routine  American Prospect  ...Immigrants who are victims of wage theft are increasingly afraid to pursue legal remedies. “The Trump administration’s rhetoric on immigration and its approach to enforcement have made immigrant communities obviously fearful in a new way,” says Laura Huizar, a staff attorney with the National Employment Law Project...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Comey Bluntly Raises Possibility of Trump Obstruction and Condemns His ‘Lies’  New York Times  ...James B. Comey, the recently fired F.B.I. director, said Thursday in an extraordinary Senate hearing that he believed President Trump had tried to derail an investigation into his national security adviser, and accused the president of lying and defaming him and the F.B.I. Mr. Comey offered a blunt, plain-spoken assessment of a president whose conversations unnerved him from the day they met...

Trump Is Selling a Privatization Scam, and Calling It an Infrastructure Plan  Alternet  ...President Trump’s original proposal for a $1 trillion infrastructure jobs plan was, in principle, a worthy idea, a practical way to create jobs and improve the country’s highways, bridges, railways, and airports. In reality, Trump’s jobs agenda is a sham that does not involve a trillion dollars, won't do much for the country's infrastructure and won’t create many jobs...

Bernie Sanders releases a blistering report on Donald Trump’s infrastructure package  Vox  ...Sanders has embraced the idea of a big infrastructure spending bill to repair the nation’s roads and bridges. But he opposes the "public-private partnerships" Trump has proposed to accomplish this objective. "Trump wants to hand over more critical public infrastructure to private investors who will squeeze profits from the American people," Sanders's report says... 

America’s Freedom to Protest Is Under Attack  The Nation  ... A recent audit by an international human-rights monitor reveals that, even before Trump’s buffoonery took over the White House, Washington was failing dramatically to live up to its reputation as a beacon of democracy. UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Assembly Maina Kiai’s dissection of the nation’s systematic betrayal of basic human rights centers on America’s shrinking public square...

Trump approval rating hits new low in Quinnipiac poll  Politico  ...President Donald Trump’s approval rating hit another low in Quinnipiac University’s poll, which found this week that 34 percent of voters approve of his job performance and 57 percent disapprove. Trump’s previous low in the Quinnipiac survey was a 35 percent positive and 57 percent negative rating, registered on April 4...

Attack draws visceral Trump tweets, not facts  Associated Press  ...President Donald Trump can’t be counted on to give accurate information to Americans when violent acts are unfolding abroad. The latest deadly London attacks, like one in the Philippines last week, prompted visceral reactions from Trump instead of statements shaped by the findings of the U.S. intelligence and diplomatic apparatus... 

Trump promises 'cheaper, faster and safer travel' with private air traffic control  CNN  ...The Trump administration wants to turn over control of the nation's skies to private business. President Trump announced plans Monday to privatize the nation's air traffic control system, arguing that it is the best way to modernize the system. Democratic lawmakers pointed to customer service horror stories at the nation's privately-held airlines...

NSA report details Russian hacking effort days before election  The Intercept  ...Russian military intelligence executed a cyberattack on at least one U.S. voting software supplier and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials just days before last November’s presidential election, according to a highly classified intelligence report obtained by The Intercept. The top-secret National Security Agency document analyzes intelligence very recently acquired by the agency... 

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