Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

This Week's Teamster News for August 26-Sept. 1

 

TEAMSTERS

Contract Campaigns & Strikes

Teamsters Win Jobs Fight at Furniture Dealer  Joint Council 16  ...Teamsters Local 814 announced an agreement with Waldner’s Business Environments today that brings to an end to the unfair labor practice dispute that spread across New York City. Under the agreement, Waldner’s has committed in writing to use companies that pay their workers fair wages and benefits...

Middleborough School Bus Drivers and Monitors Ratify Teamster Contract  Teamster.org  ...Teamster school bus drivers and monitors with Middleborough Public Schools have overwhelmingly ratified a three-year agreement. The drivers and monitors, members of Teamsters Local 653 in South Easton, voted 22-1 in favor of the agreement...

Worcester School Bus Drivers and Monitors Ratify Teamsters Contract  Teamster.org  ...On Aug. 30, Teamsters Local 170 members that work as Special Education Drivers & Monitors at Durham School Services approved an agreement with the company after nine months of negotiations and the threat of a strike, which would have affected 12,000 students in the City of Worcester. The agreement, which covers approximately 130 workers, was ratified by more than a 90 percent margin...

O.M.A. Construction Teamsters Ratify First Contract After Long Struggle  Teamster.org  ...Almost a year to the day after the National Labor Relations Board certified Teamsters Local 174 as the representative of a group of 50 O.M.A drivers and mechanics, the group voted by a margin of 95 percent last night to ratify their first contract, finally making them full-fledged members of Teamsters Local 174...

Teamsters Protest Cummins Inc. Health Care Cuts at Great American Trucking Show  Teamster.org  ...From Thursday, August 24 to Saturday, August 26, Teamsters alerted participants at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, Texas, about diesel engine maker Cummins Inc.’s attacks against family health care and the threat this poses to American families. Once a socially responsible corporate leader, Cummins has adopted an extremely high deductible medical insurance plan for employees...

UPS Aircraft Mechanics Protest at One of The Company’s Biggest Hubs as Frustrations Rise Over Contract Delays  Teamster.org  ...Dozens of Teamsters Local 2727 aircraft mechanics and related classifications protested outside one of UPS’ largest air hubs today, saying they’re ready to do whatever it takes to settle a fair contract that protects the health benefits they and their families depend on. The protests in Ontario will continue on Tuesday as the mechanics head back to the bargaining table with UPS...

Teamsters Protest Low Wages at University of Maine  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters Local 340 members in the University of Maine System (UMS) Service & Maintenance Department staged an informational picket line at the Orono Campus to demand an end to substandard wages. The workers are responsible for maintaining the University of Maine’s buildings, infrastructure and facilities across nine campuses... 

Strike ends at Mount Vernon plant; workers returned Monday  KY3  ...Workers at a manufacturing plant in Mount Vernon returned to the job Monday after reaching a new labor deal. The strike at Reyco Granning Suspensions involved more than 100 employees. Teamsters Union Local 245, based in Springfield, represented the employees who walked off the job on August 14... 

Community Action

Teamsters Disaster Relief Fund Coordinating Efforts with South Texas Leader  Teamster.org  ...International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa has directed international union staff to provide all necessary support to members impacted by Hurricane Harvey and the resulting floods. “The Teamsters Disaster Relief Fund has been front and center for our members during times of crisis,” Hoffa said...

Teamsters Organizing Power Displayed at the TNBC  Teamster.org  ...The Teamsters National Black Caucus (TNBC) recently wrapped up another successful conference, held this year in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The 42nd annual Educational Conference and Banquet’s theme this year was “Empowerment through Education is the Bridge to the Future”...

New Yorkers Demand ICE Release Eber Garcia Vasquez  Joint Council 16  ...Unions, advocates for the immigrant community, and elected officials are demanding the release of Eber Garcia Vasquez, a private sanitation worker and a long-time member of the Teamsters union. Garcia Vasquez was detained on August 24th and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement plans to deport him... 

Elected, union officials ask ICE to release Long Island man facing deportation  Politico  ...Vasquez emigrated from Guatemala in the 1980's and has been a Teamsters member working for a private sanitation company for 26 years. Last Thursday, during a check-in with immigration authorities that his lawyer described as routine, Vazquez was detained and moved to a jail in Bergen County, New Jersey, pending removal from the country...

Leaders

A Labor Day Message from Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa  Teamster.org  ...This Labor Day, we remember that the purpose of a union is to stand together. Our union’s response to the devastation of Hurricane Harvey makes this Labor Day more meaningful than ever. The Teamsters Union has always been an early responder in times of crisis, donating and distributing emergency supplies, coordinating logistics, raising money for those in need and more... 

Teamsters Local 631 Secretary-Treasurer Appointed to Nevada State AFL-CIO  Teamster.org  ...The Nevada State AFL-CIO Executive Board has unanimously voted to appoint Teamsters Local 631 Secretary-Treasurer Tommy Blitsch to the position of Vice President At-Large. The vote was taken during the Nevada State AFL-CIO’s 61st Constitutional Convention last week...

Locals

Revere Electric Drivers Vote Unanimously to Join Local 710  Local 710  ...Delivery Drivers at Revere Electric in Mokena, Ill. voted unanimously to join Teamsters Local 710 on August 4. The Local’s newest members sought out representation from the hall’s experienced staff to gain a voice in their workplace. The Business Agents at Local 710 have been working diligently with the organizing department at Teamsters Joint Council 25 to help these workers become a part of the union...

Workers At Durham School Services in Metropolis, Ill. Join Teamsters Local 50  Teamster.org  ...After a nine month organizing campaign, drivers and monitors at Durham School Services in Metropolis, Ill. have voted overwhelmingly to join Teamsters Local 50. The 37 workers transport the students in Massac Unit School District Number One, which covers Metropolis and surrounding areas...

For-hire drivers will continue to fight for the freedom to unionize  Local 117  ...Drivers in Seattle’s for-hire industry expressed disappointment at yesterday's order by the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to temporarily block Seattle’s collective bargaining law. Seattle for-hire drivers who work for companies like Uber and Lyft are not protected by traditional labor laws, such as Seattle's $15 an hour minimum wage law and its paid sick and safe ordinance...

"Prime(d) for Disaster": Teamsters Local 1224 Pilots Take Concerns About Prime Air to Amazon's Front Door, the Streets of Seattle  PR Newswire  ...Teamsters Local 1224 pilots who fly for Amazon's new air delivery operation will begin running a mobile billboard warning CEO Jeff Bezos, investors and customers about  intensifying operational problems at their airlines that spell trouble for Amazon's logistics ambitions...

Union Files New Unfair Labor Practice Charges Against River North Parking, As Arbitration Looms  Local 727  ...With five arbitrations looming against River North Parking, Teamsters Local 727 has filed three new unfair labor practice charges against the company as a result of its failure to process three of the arbitrations and its refusal to provide information to the Union. Two of the arbitrations are scheduled to be heard on September 11, 2017...

NLRB Schedules Multi-Day Hearing on Labor Violation Allegations at Palmer Food Services  Teamster.org  ...The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ordered Palmer Food Services to attend a multi-day hearing to answer for numerous alleged unfair labor charges against the employer starting on October 16, 2017 in Buffalo. The Teamsters earlier this year filed unfair labor practice charges against Palmer for what the union asserts is an illegal, coordinated an attack on worker rights against the drivers and warehouse employees of the company...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE 

Workers strike at VW plant in Portugal  Channel NewsAsia  ...Production at a Volkswagen factory in Portugal was paralysed on Wednesday (Aug 30) as workers went on strike over plans to introduce a mandatory Saturday shift to allow for production of a new compact SUV model. "Participation in the strike is very high, production in the factory is at a complete stop," said Eduardo Florindo, head of the SITE Sul union, one of two which called the 24-hour strike...

Top French union calls strike after Emmanuel Macron unveils crunch labour reform  Telegraph  ...Emmanuel Macron faces a union showdown after he unveiled ambitious labour reforms and asked the "impatient" French not to judge him after only 100 days in office.  France's  major hardline union, CGT, blasted the reform as a "declaration of war" that spelled "the end of the work contract"... 

NAFTA nations plan talks progress under barrage of Trump threats  Reuters  ...Trade negotiators plan to take small steps forward in a second round of talks to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) this weekend, trying to ignore daily threats from U.S. President Donald Trump to tear it up if he does not get his way...

Corporate Power Grab: Chamber of Commerce Fights to Preserve NAFTA ISDS Tribunals  Daily Kos  ...As the United States, Canada, and Mexico begin talks aimed at renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is warning the Trump administration not to touch investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions in the existing agreement. ISDS gives multinational corporations the ability to challenge government policies not before the courts, but before international arbitration tribunals made up of three corporate lawyers...

Mexico to Trump: We will not negotiate NAFTA through social media  The Hill  ...Mexico on Sunday pushed back against a string of critical tweets from President Trump taking aim at the country, saying it refused to discuss aspects of the bilateral relationship “through social media or any other news platform.” Trump on Sunday morning took to Twitter to accuse Mexico of being “one of the highest crime nations in the world”...

Canada says 'hard no' on Trump change to NAFTA dispute resolution  Washington Examiner  ...Canada will oppose any effort to change the investor-state dispute resolution system in the North American Free Trade Agreement, imperiling the Trump administration's efforts to fundamentally change the trilateral trade deal...

As The U.S. Reels From Harvey, Deadly Floods Ravage Other Parts Of The World  Huffington Post  ...At one point a Category 4 hurricane, Tropical Storm Harvey has drawn international attention and an outpouring of support from around the globe. Elsewhere in the world, similar disasters have recently claimed thousands of lives and continue to threaten millions of people’s livelihoods. Extreme flooding in South Asia has killed more than 1,200 people and forced millions to flee their homes, BuzzFeed News and Al Jazeera point out...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

With state law set to preempt St. Louis minimum wage, groups push for Missouri-wide hike  Post-Dispatch  ...Monday’s state law comes two years to the day that then-Mayor Francis Slay signed the St. Louis ordinance. Court challenges from business interests delayed the ordinance’s effective date until the Missouri Supreme Court ruled in February that the law could take effect, which it did in May... 

Gov. McMaster wants 401(k) retirement system for South Carolina workers  The State  ...S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster wants to end South Carolina’s pension system for new state workers and only offer a 401(k)-style retirement plan. McMaster sent his proposal in a letter to a special House-Senate panel tasked with making changes to the state’s public workers retirement options...

New Illinois Law Could Automatically Register 1 Million Voters  Mother Jones  ...Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law on Monday a bill that will automatically register eligible residents to vote. The bill, which unanimously passed the state legislature in July, could sign up over a million new voters, voting rights advocates say. Illinois is the 10th state to pass or enact automatic voter registration since 2015...

Illinois governor vetoes bill to raise state's minimum wage to $15 an hour  Los Angeles Times  ...llinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed a bill that would have raised the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022, arguing that it would hurt businesses and ultimately reduce jobs. Advocates for the wage hike had been anticipating a veto by the Republican governor... 

Michigan: Rep. Jon Hoadley announces bill to protect call center workers  MLive  ...State Rep. Jon Hoadley, D-Kalamazoo, announced new legislation he will introduce to protect Michigan call center workers. At a Wednesday event outside an AT&T call center in downtown Kalamazoo, Hoadley described the U.S. Call Center Worker and Consumer Protection Act. The bill would require companies to give the state 30 days notice before closing down call centers...

Fight for $15 group, union push to elect pro-labor Democrats in Michigan  Detroit Free Press  ...A recently announced effort by a powerful union and the Fight for $15 organization to get pro-labor Democrats elected in 2018's gubernatorial elections is targeting Michigan as a critical battleground. The Service Employees International Union, one of the biggest and most affluent unions in the country, and Fight for $15 have launched a $100-million effort...

Maine state union members vote to accept LePage’s ‘right to work’ contract language  Bangor Daily News  ...Two of Maine’s largest public-sector labor unions have agreed to eliminate the requirement that all employees pay union fees whether or not they are members. Both unions eliminated agency fees in exchange for higher raises than the state was offering otherwise, and both unions will receive raises of 6 percent spread over the next two years...

Rightwing alliance plots assault to 'defund and defang' America's unions  The Guardian  ...Rightwing activists across the US have launched a nationwide campaign to undermine progressive politicians by depriving them of a major source of support and funding – public sector unions. The new assault is being spearheaded by the State Policy Network (SPN), an alliance of 66 state-based thinktanks, or “ideas factories” as it calls them...

 

U.S. LABOR

San Diego County's biggest union announces strike date  San Diego Union-Tribune  ...As tensions continue to escalate in ongoing contract negotiations, San Diego County government’s largest labor union announced Tuesday night that its members will go on strike Sept. 12 and 13. Service Employees International Union Local 221 said that the county is not negotiating in good faith, so the labor organization said its members will not show up at work in two weeks...

Airport workers' union strikes deal with airline  Metro  ...After years of protests and unrest, 32BJ SEIU, the union that represents service industry employees, including low-wage workers in fast food, healthcare and airport services, has struck a long-awaited deal between the union, American Airlines and its contractors...

Laborers in Harvey Flood Zone Get Helping Hand From Unions  Bloomberg  ...Lots of workers will be needed to rebuild and repair parts of the Gulf Coast region devastated by Hurricane Harvey. But the current priority for unions is the safety of their members in the area. More than 1,300 union members covered by the Central South Carpenters Regional Council live in the Texas counties and Louisiana parishes that have been declared disaster areas...

NY Metro-North top union leaders back rail strike vote  Lohud  ...The executive board of Metro-North’s largest union agreed to ask its 2,400 members to authorize a rail strike that could impact the daily commute of tens of thousands of commuters from the Lower Hudson Valley. The 5-0 vote by the general chairmen of the Association of Commuter Rail Employees was a clear-cut indication that the union’s leadership has gotten behind executive director James Fahey’s call for a rail strike...

The Trump administration’s ongoing attack on workers  Washington Post  ...Labor Day will soon be upon us, and while it is important to celebrate the American workforce, we must also unpack the anti-worker campaign being carried out by the Trump administration. When it comes to supporting the jobs and living standards of many of the voters who helped elect him, Trump is not simply failing. He is actively working to make people’s lives worse...

Study: Unions in four Wisconsin cities among fastest-shrinking nationwide  Oshkosh Northwestern  ...Four Wisconsin cities are among 15 nationwide that registered the largest drop in union membership in the last decade, according to a newly released report. Financial news site 24/7 Wall St. found union membership nationwide has fallen from its peak of 35 percent in the 1950s to 10.7 percent in 2016...

Justices May Decide to Revisit Public Union Fees  Bloomberg  ...The U.S. Supreme Court may decide by the end of September whether to take up the case that could put an end to mandatory union fees for public sector workers, advocates on both sides of the issue say. Lawyers for a pair of Illinois government workers challenging the “fair share” fees say the justices may rule on their review petition during the Supreme Court’s next conference, which starts Sept. 25... 

Report: Ending DACA would put 700,000 jobs at risk  Axios  ...Ending DACA, which President Trump is seriously considering, could cause 30,000 people per month to lose their jobs, according to new research. DACA was introduced by Barack Obama in 2012. It shields illegal immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children from deportation for 2 years at a time, and grants them eligibility for a work permit...

U.S. Labor Department approves $10 million for workers displaced by Harvey  Chron  ...The U.S. Department of Labor on Tuesday announced an initial $10 million National Dislocated Worker Grant to assist with cleanup and recovery efforts in Texas. "The Department of Labor is deploying resources to help Texans who find themselves unable to work, and without a paycheck, get back on their feet. An initial investment of $10 million will be provided to help Texas assess their workforce needs," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta...

Top labor leader says there's no working with 'racists' in the White House  NY Daily News  ...There's no working with the “racists” and the “Wall-Streeters” in the White House, the nation’s top labor leader said Wednesday. AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, speaking at a breakfast organized by the Christian Science Monitor, said there was no chance at a productive relationship with President Trump and his administration...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

118,000 people and no drinking water: Flooded Beaumont cannot determine when it will restore water supply  CNBC  ...Early Thursday morning, officials of Beaumont, Texas, announced the city lost both the primary and secondary sources for its water supply system. "Due to rising waters of the Neches River caused by Tropical Storm Harvey, the City of Beaumont has lost service from the main pump station," Beaumont fire rescue captain Brad Penisson said in a statement...

Hurricane Harvey didn't come out of the blue. Now is the time to talk about climate change.  (opinion) The Intercept  ...The right will waste no time exploiting Harvey, and any other disaster like it, to peddle ruinous false solutions, such as militarized police, more oil and gas infrastructure, and privatized services. Which means there is a moral imperative for informed, caring people to name the real root causes behind this crisis...

US crude jumps $1.27, settling at $47.23, but posts nearly 6% loss in August  CNBC  ...Gasoline spiked to a more-than-two-year high on Thursday after a report that the largest U.S. refinery could remain offline for up to two weeks due to impacts from Tropical Depression Harvey. Meanwhile, U.S. crude oil prices posted the steepest monthly loss since March as concerns spread over falling demand in the world's top oil-consuming country after Harvey knocked out almost a quarter of its refineries...

Trump would slash disaster funding to the very agencies he’s praising for Harvey response  Washington Post  ...President Trump effusively praised his administration’s Hurricane Harvey response, an effort he began touting on Twitter last weekend even before the storm made landfall. But not too long ago, the president proposed a budget calling for cuts to some of the federal government’s most consequential efforts to prepare states and local communities and help them recover from catastrophic events such as Harvey...

Jeff Sessions reveals deadly misunderstanding of what public safety actually is  Think Progress  ...Attorney General Jeff Sessions struck a new blow in his war against police reform on Monday, announcing that President Donald Trump will rescind an executive order from his predecessor restricting local cops’ access to hardware designed for war zones. The long-predicted move puts grenade launchers and bayonets back on small-town police department shopping lists...

Should the rich be taxed more? A new paper shows unequivocally yes  The Guardian  ...Since 1980, economic policy making has been dominated by the idea that deregulation, less generous welfare and tax cuts will stimulate higher investment, higher productivity, higher growth and higher living standards for all. None of this has occurred and, what’s more, the social mobility in the decades after the second world war has been thrown into reverse...

Racial profiling, ignoring sex crimes, and birtherism: Arpaio’s legacy  Think Progress  ...President Donald Trump issued a pardon for Sheriff Joe Arpaio late Friday night, effectively guaranteeing that the man who helped shape one of the country’s most violent anti-immigrant crackdowns will avoid doing time for racial profiling and targeting Arizona’s Latinx community in particular...

If You Want To Fight White Supremacy, Condemning Neo-Nazis Is Not Enough  (opinion) Huffington Post  ..Several public figures ― including religious leaders, journalists and lawyers ― have noted on Twitter that as Americans condemn white supremacy in its most extreme forms in rallies and protests, they should also be condemning white supremacy as it is manifest in public policy...

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