Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

This Week's Teamster New for August 19-25

 

TEAMSTERS

Casting Directors Campaign

Broadway Casting Directors Union Marches on Broadway Producers’ Office  Joint Council 16  ...Broadway casting directors and supporters escalated their campaign for a union contract with a rally today in Shubert Alley and a march through Times Square to the offices of the Broadway League. 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 and Fellow Teamsters Rally for Union Recognition  PlayBill  ...Broadway casting directors and industry allies marched from Shubert Alley to outside the offices of The Broadway League August 21 in a rally to garner support for a union contract. There are approximately 40 full-time casting directors currently representing Broadway productions—and myriad others on part-time contracts—who are represented by Local 817...

Casting Directors Challenge B’way League To Begin Bargaining  Labor Press  ...Casting directors responsible for some of the Great White Way’s most lucrative shows, marched on the Broadway League’s 7th Avenue offices on Monday morning, in open defiance of the organization’s tough talk and mulish refusal to bargain for healthcare and pension benefits. “There has been some small progress, [but] there is still a lot of ridiculous and pointless resistance,” Broadway casting director Will Cantler told LaborPress this week...

Broadway casting directors hoping to unionize hold rally in Times Square  NY Daily News  ...Broadway casting directors trying to get a union contract held a rally and march in Times Square Monday. They’re one of the few job titles in Broadway that doesn’t belong to a union — and casting directors have been battling with the Broadway League for months to get recognition as part of Teamsters Local 817...

Contract Victories

Philadelphia School Administrators Approve Teamsters Contract  Teamster.org  ... Members of Teamsters Local 502/Commonwealth Association of School Administrators (CASA) have overwhelmingly ratified a four-year agreement with the School District of Philadelphia. The contract covers 550 school administrators with Local 502/CASA and includes long overdue wage increases and bonuses...

Indiana Red Cross Workers Ratify Teamsters Contract  Teamster.org  ...American Red Cross mobile-unit and fixed-site staff throughout Indiana and Western Ohio have voted to ratify their first agreement as members of Teamsters Local 414. The contract was unanimously ratified yesterday and covers approximately 150 employees. The Red Cross workers join the nearly 1,500 other Red Cross workers represented by the Teamsters from coast to coast...

Red Cross workers ratify Teamsters contract  Business Weekly  ...American Red Cross mobile-unit and fixed-site staff throughout Indiana and Western Ohio have voted to ratify their first agreement as members of Fort Wayne-based Teamsters Local 414. The contract was unanimously approved on Aug. 20 and covers about 150 employees, the local said Monday...

Seattle Teamsters bask in contract settling disruptive CalPortland strike  Concrete Products  ...Teamsters Local 174 rank & file have approved a four-year contract with the Seattle market’s principal ready mixed operators: CalPortland, Cadman and Lehigh Cement, Stoneway Concrete, and Salmon Bay Sand & Gravel. Ratification of a deal covering nearly 300 drivers had major implications for concrete deliveries in downtown Seattle and areas immediately north...

SCI Ratifies New 4-Year Contract  Local 727  ...Teamsters Local 727 members employed by Service Corporation International ratified a new four-year contract that retroactively started on July 1, 2016 and expires on June 30, 2020. The Local 727 bargaining committee was able to successfully combat the company’s 95 separate contract proposals to preserve many important provisions that are vital to the membership... 

Giving Back

Sikorsky’s Home Run for Heroes a success  Stratford Star  ...Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, and the Teamsters Local 1150 held their 7th annual Home Run for Heroes charity baseball game on Saturday, Aug. 19, raising nearly $90,000 for local veterans’ charities. More than 2,000 fans had a chance to see a Sikorsky helicopter land on center field...

Political Action

Hoffa: NAFTA Reform That Puts Workers First is Essential as Talks Continue  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa in response to the conclusion of the first round of NAFTA renegotiation talks that ended Sunday: "The Teamsters have been calling for NAFTA withdrawal or its dramatic renegotiation for more than 20 years. Therefore, we support undertaking this long-overdue overhaul of an agreement that was flawed when ratified"...

Mo. Fight Against RTW is a Win for Workers  Teamster.org  ...The Teamsters joined with the labor allies in the last few months to gather signatures to force a citizens’ vote on whether to enact the law. And late last week, they showed up at the state Capitol with some 310,000 of them, more than three times the amount needed to force a November 2018 referendum on whether RTW should become law...

Contract impasse with prison guards goes to fact-finding   Union Leader  ...The union representing New Hampshire prison guards, Teamsters Local 633, on Monday reiterated its claim that the state prison system is "in deep crisis" due to a shortage of correctional officers, as fact-finding gets under way in the labor dispute. The union representing more than 380 correctional officers launched a campaign called "Safe Prisons, Safe New Hampshire" in June...

Strikes & Contract Battles

Teamsters on Strike at Vistar Foodservice for Equal Pay & Respect  Teamster.org  ...Teamster warehouse workers and drivers who work at Vistar Foodservice’s distribution facility have been on strike since last week after more than a year of unsuccessful negotiations with the company. The 85 warehouse workers and drivers are members of Teamsters Local 630 in Los Angeles and are calling attention to ongoing pay discrimination against women and other unfair labor practices at Vistar, a division of Performance Food Group...

Teamsters With Allentown Housing Authority Vote to Authorize Strike  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters Local 773 members with the Allentown Housing Authority voted unanimously to authorize a strike Tuesday night. The Teamsters have been seeking a fair contract from their employer for nearly a year. The Allentown Housing Authority wants to increase workers’ health care costs by 200 to 300 percent...

Taxi drivers demonstrate power through strike at Sea-Tac Airport  Local 117  ...Taxi drivers exerted their collective power at Sea-Tac Airport today by staging an hour-long work stoppage that sent Port officials and the drivers’ dispatch company reeling. At approximately 9:30 a.m., drivers in the airport taxi lot got out of their cabs, raised signs, and began chanting, “Unfair, unfair!” Cab service for arriving passengers slowed to a trickle...

Teamsters strike at VCT enters 5th week  The Stand  ...Dozens of Teamsters at Veneer Chip Transport, Inc. have been on an unfair-labor-practice strike for five weeks after their employer unilaterally imposed health care cuts and other changes in the terms of employment in July. VCT is a Fife-based trucking firm that picks up wood chips and residuals from lumber mills all over Western Washington and delivers them to other mills that manufacture paper products...

UPS mechanics leader expects strike, company says it’s ‘union rhetoric’  Insider Louisville  ...UPS aircraft mechanics and other maintenance workers will return to the negotiating table with the logistics company next week — but a union leader doubts the parties will reach an agreement, which would move them closer to a strike. Tim Boyle, president of Teamsters Local 2727 — which represents 1,300 employees, including about 550 in Louisville — told Insider the parties remain at an impasse, especially over health benefits...

Swissport Workers Vote to Continue Strike at Pearson  Teamster Canada  ...Tonight, close to 700 baggage handlers and ground crew workers at Pearson Airport voted 98% to continue their month-long strike. The workers are members of Teamsters Local Union 419. Their responsibilities include handling baggage and cargo, towing planes, cleaning cabins, and performing flight operations tasks for over 30 airlines...

Teamsters Local 320 threatens Hubbard County with possible labor strike  Park Rapids Enterprise  ...Hubbard County Social Services employees overwhelmingly voted to authorize a labor strike if county administration did not resolve its outstanding issues through state-facilitated mediation. According to a press release from Teamsters Local 320, the negotiators for Hubbard County failed to put forward a consistent contract offer for Social Services employees during two days of mediation...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

U.K. McDonald's workers to coordinate strike with allies around world  The Guardian  ...Workers at two McDonald’s restaurants in the UK will go on strike on 4 September, the US Labor Day holiday, in an attempt to coordinate action against the fast food giant with allies around the world. The announcement of the symbolic date comes after staff at restaurants in Cambridge and Crayford, in south-east London, voted overwhelmingly on Friday to go on strike... 

S. Korea says no to US request to discuss renegotiating FTA  Washington Post  ...South Korea’s top trade negotiator said Tuesday that Seoul will not discuss renegotiation of the free trade agreement with the U.S. without first looking into what is really causing the U.S. trade imbalance. Trade Minister Kim Hyung-chong said Seoul proposed a joint study with Washington to evaluate the impact of the 5-year-old bilateral trade deal...

Mexico, Canada dismiss Trump threats to scrap NAFTA trade pact  Reuters  ...Mexico and Canada on Wednesday dismissed U.S. President Donald Trump's latest threat to scrap NAFTA, describing it as a negotiating tactic aimed at winning the upper hand in talks to update one of the world's biggest trading blocs. Initial talks between Mexico, the United States and Canada to update NAFTA ended in Washington over the weekend amid signs of deep division on key issues...

Marcy Kaptur: Nafta failed American workers. Here's how Trump can fix our trade woes  The Guardian  ...Nearly three decades ago, we were told Nafta was the epitome of a modern trade agreement. Supporters assured job growth, increased economic flexibility for North American industries and new buyers for American goods. The Nafta trade model simply has not lived up to those promises. Wages in Mexico and the US have stagnated or declined...

NAFTA countries enter confidentiality deal on negotiations  CBC  ...Canada, the United States, and Mexico have entered a confidentiality agreement to protect each other's offers during NAFTA negotiations, with a list of rules designed to prevent leaks during the talks. Each government is prevented from distributing texts, emails, proposals and presentations gathered from the other countries...

An International Living Wage Is Here If We Want It  (opinion) Splinter  ...NAFTA is being renegotiated. If we play our cards right, this could be a chance to take one step towards an international minimum wage. Some say this is a bad idea. Counterpoint: No, it’s a good idea. The AFL-CIO, America’s biggest labor organization, has submitted a long list of proposals for tweaks to NAFTA...

The U.S. Should Not Reward Mauritania for Slavery Practices  (opinion) AFL-CIO  ...Thousands of men, women and children in Mauritania live in slavery. Under the direct control of their masters, they are treated as property and receive no payment for their work. Meanwhile, Mauritania receives preferential access to U.S. markets under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade benefits program...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Missouri: historic petition stalls Right to Work enactment  Richmond News  ...Voters – and not state legislators – will get to decide if Right to Work is right for Missouri. In a historic effort to overturn Right to Work, more than 310,000 Missouri voters submitted their signatures on a rarely used petition drive to put the Right to Work bill before the voters. That unprecedented number of signatures overwhelmingly met the minimum requirement to place the measure on ballots...

Texas: Federal Judge Blocks New Voter ID Law  Huffington Post  ...A federal court on Wednesday struck down a new Texas voter ID law that was meant to fix a previous law that was determined to be intentionally discriminatory. In June, Texas adopted a voter ID law, called SB 5, which was meant to serve as a remedy to Texas’ 2011 voter ID law, SB14, that a federal judge had blocked, ruling it was passed with the intent to discriminate against black and Latino voters...

North Carolina Governor Signs Law Creating Division to Investigate and Prosecute Employee Misclassification Claims  JDSupra  ...The North Carolina General Assembly began considering legislation intended to deter companies from misclassifying persons who should be designated as employees. This effort has been supported by members of the construction and other industries who claim that they have been placed at a competitive disadvantage...

Michigan: UAW slams proposed state worker rules changes  Lansing State Journal  ...State-worker unions are trying to rally their members in opposition to proposed rules changes that would expand the list of issues that can't be discussed during contract negotiations. In a letter posted on Facebook last week, Michigan's largest state employee union urged "each and every one of" its members to attend a Sept. 20 meeting of the state Civil Service Commission...

New Hampshire Democratic Party Files Lawsuit Against Republican Voter Suppression Law  NH Labor News  ...The New Hampshire Democratic Party filed a lawsuit with the Hillsborough County Superior Court on SB 3, the voter suppression law that was passed and signed into law this spring by a Republican legislative majority and Republican Governor Chris Sununu. Legal issues with SB 3 include the fact that registering to vote requires a “verifiable act” to demonstrate intent to be domiciled in the state...

Kentucky's pension crisis can't be solved with 401(k) plans, group says  Courier-Journal  ...Moving public employees into 401(k)-style pension plans would not help Kentucky dig its way out its pension funding crisis, according to a report released Tuesday by a group called the Kentucky Public Pension Coalition. Moving from traditional pension plans to 401(k)-type plans "would increase the cost of paying off the existing unfunded liabilities" of about $43 billion within Kentucky public pension plan...

Texas state workers fear fallout from changing math on pensions  Texas Tribune  ...On Wednesday, the board will consider lowering its earnings assumption for the $26 billion trust fund and changing its predicted rate of return from 8 percent per year to as little as 7 or 7.25 percent. Labor advocates fear the Legislature would respond to the change by shifting more financial burden onto the system’s beneficiaries...

On Monuments and Minimum Wages  American Prospect  ...The experience of Birmingham is indicative of a broader GOP-led assault on the political power and home rule of Southern cities, home to large black populations, often led by black politicians, and, increasingly, purveyors of progressive policies that seek to improve upon the low standards of state law. From the removal of Confederate monuments to the enactment of local minimum wages, Republican-controlled statehouses are preempting blue cities—and undermining black voices... 

 

U.S. LABOR

Machinist and aerospace union strikes at Wyman-Gordon  Houston Chronicle  ...Union workers at Wyman-Gordon went on strike Monday to protest proposed pay and benefit cuts at the aerospace and energy manufacturing facility in northwest Houston. Formal contract negotiations between management and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers began during the first week of August... 

Security officers, supporters stage sit-in at Amazon HQ  The Stand  ...On Friday, more than 50 tech workers, security officers, janitors, union members and community supporters held a sit-in at Amazon headquarters demanding that the tech giant hold Security Industry Specialists (SIS) — the contractor Amazon hired to protect its campus — accountable for fair workplace standards and provide officers a path to form their union...

Donald Trump drains Secret Service budget, agents go without pay  Daily Kos  ...Providing protection for Donald Trump’s frequent trips, his New York home, and an unprecedented number of people in his extended family, has been a huge drain on the Secret Service. Agents have hit overtime limits, and annual budgets have been burned through in only seven months, leaving no funds to pay agents following Trump on his extended vacation...

Labor groups step up pressure on Trump to deliver  Washington Post  ...Labor leaders, once courted by President Trump, are stepping up their campaign to turn workers against the White House if it does not deliver more on jobs and trade — and if it does not stop undoing Obama-era regulations. The most visible effort, which starts in Indianapolis on Monday afternoon, is a two-week tour organized by the coalition Good Jobs Nation...

2,000 Striking Auto Mechanics Say Their Whole Industry Needs Realignment  In These Times  ...On August 1, the nearly 2,000 members of Auto Mechanics Union Local 701 voted overwhelmingly to strike after rejecting a contract at the end of July. If the strike doesn’t produce the contract the union wants, many young mechanics could be facing tough decisions about their future...

Illinois farms welcome foreign workers amid a tight labor market  SaukValley.com  ...As the nation’s immigration debate roils, farms like Rendleman are far beyond the question of whether immigrant labor is needed. They say they can’t survive without it, their towns are better for it and that reforms are necessary to maintain and replenish the manpower they need to pull in each season’s harvest...

Federal lawmakers seek to crack down on wage theft  Workday Minnesota  ...Saying too many bosses steal workers' wages, congressional Democrats introduced legislation to crack down on wage theft, through stiff fines, enabling worker class action suits, and, in the worst cases, threats of criminal prosecution. The measure is designed to particularly help low-wage workers, the lawmakers said. But overall, citing Economic Policy Institute data, they said employers steal at least $15 billion yearly from workers...

‘You’re Fired’ may be harder than Trump thinks when it comes to federal workers  Washington Post  ...In its efforts to fulfill the president’s campaign promise to “drain the swamp”of entrenched federal workers, the new political leadership in Washington is meeting resistance from powerful federal employee unions and finding that maneuvering around long-guaranteed civil service protections is not easy...

Flawed System Lets Contractors Cheat Workers on Federal Building Jobs  NBC News  ...Last year, the federal government spent more than $40 billion on contracts covered by Davis-Bacon. But a Center investigation found that about 70 percent of the businesses caught violating the law in 2016 don't appear in federal databases designed to track companies' contracting records. Weak oversight allows subcontractors in particular to shortchange workers...

Uber, Lyft drivers hold wage protest, pack LAX  ABC  ...Large crowds of local rideshare drivers held a demonstration over low wages at Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday, impacting traffic for travelers at the Central Terminal Area. Protesters at the rally, which was organized by Uber and Lyft drivers, said they were holding the demonstration to speak out about their pay being less than minimum wage...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

The Trump administration disbands a federal advisory committee on climate change  Washington Post  ...The Trump administration has decided to disband the federal advisory panel for the National Climate Assessment, a group aimed at helping policymakers and private-sector officials incorporate the government’s climate analysis into long-term planning. The charter for the 15-person Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment expires Sunday...

Trump plans major tax cut for the rich but Americans want the exact opposite  Think Progress  ...President Trump’s plans to give a massive tax break to the rich but a polling shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans favor raising taxes on the wealthy. The disconnect could complicate Republican efforts to pass tax legislation this year. “As progressives strategize for the tax fight coming this fall, they open the debate with a clear advantage: public opinion is on their side”... 

Trump 'Officially' Declared an Opioid Emergency and Then Officially Did Nothing  Vice  ...With more than 100 Americans dying every day from drug overdoses, Trump declared it was time to take action. The announcement was conspicuously short on details. Declaring a national state of emergency involves more than just a brief statement from the president to the press...

'Walmart on steroids': Beware of Amazon's growing monopoly  The Hill  ...When news first broke that Amazon was buying Whole Foods, it sent shockwaves throughout the retail food market. The stock prices of top grocery stores all declined, and thousands of Whole Foods workers began to worry whether Amazon’s love of automation and preference to use robots instead of people would mean the end of their jobs... 

Thousands Protest in AZ as Trump Threatens Govt Shutdown over Border Wall & Defends C’ville Remarks  Democracy Now  ...In a campaign rally in Phoenix on Tuesday night, President Donald Trump repeatedly defended his response to the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville as thousands of protesters who had gathered outside were attacked by police with tear gas and pepper balls...

Interior recommends Trump shrink national monuments  The Hill  ...Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Thursday he's asking President Trump to shrink “a handful” of national monuments that previous presidents designated to protect land and water. In a formal report he’s sending to Trump on Thursday, Zinke will not ask the president to eliminate any of the 27 protected areas that were under review... 

Trump Is Fueling a Rising Terror Threat From White Supremacists and Neo-Nazis  Mother Jones  ...Another high-level US security official confirmed that law enforcement leaders see a rising danger from the far right. Trump’s response “has been hard to view as anything other than a disaster,” this official said. “There are real concerns about where it leads the country. More of this stuff seems possible”..

The Trump White House’s ugly new strategy: Use ‘dreamers’ as a bargaining chip  Washington Post  ...Trump will have to decide on the fate of some 800,000 “dreamers” — people brought here illegally as children who enjoy temporary work permits and protection from deportation. McClatchy reports today that some senior White House officials want Trump to use the uncertainty over the fate of these 800,000 human beings as a “bargaining chip,” to pressure Congress into supporting his border wall...

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