Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

This Week's Teamster News for September 23-29

 

TEAMSTERS

Community Action 

No Matter Harvey or Irma’s Wreckage, Teamsters Disaster Relief Leaves No Stone Unturned  Teamster.org  ...n a less than a month, our membership has been devastated by three back-to-back hurricanes that caused such catastrophic damage in so little time, it pales in comparison to anything else in recent memory. In the aftermath of these storms, Teamsters are on the front lines. At the Houston warehouse, Teamsters Local 988 members are wasting no time getting much needed supplies to their community...

Central States Teamsters Dig Deep for Disaster Relief  Teamster.org  ...The workers at Central States Pension Fund are members of Teamsters Local 743 in Chicago. On Wednesday, September 20, they surprised General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall with an act of generosity that shows what a union is all about. Hall was attending a meeting at the Central States Pension Fund when the employees presented him with a check for $81,945 for the Teamsters Disaster Relief Fund...

Governor Cuomo Announces National Guard, State Police, First Shipment Of Supplies Being Sent To Puerto Rico  Long Island  ...Priorities will be established on site, but may include roadway clearance, debris removal, highway repairs, other heavy construction work and the transportation of supplies. George Miranda, President, Teamsters Joint Council 16 & President of Teamsters National Hispanic Caucus, has also put out a call for 50 volunteer truck drivers to join the DOT workers and Empire State Relief and Recovery Effort...

Teamster Women Spur The Change We All Want To See  Teamster.org  ...The third and final day of the 2017, Teamsters Women's Conference wrapped up on Tuesday, in San Antonio, Texas with emotional and moving speeches on gender inequality and raising awareness on mental illness. Clair Clarke, Assistant of Women Transport Workers’ & Equalities at the International Transport Federation (ITF), kicked off the final day's opening remarks with an empowering address on gender inequality...

Contract Campaigns

UPS Proposal Screening Committee Conducts First Meeting  UPS Rising  ...On Monday, September 25, the UPS National Negotiating Committee (NNC) met in the Washington, D.C. area, to go through contract proposals received from UPS members. The proposals received at the Package Division throughout July and August surpassed the numbers that anyone could recall. The NNC members went through the proposals...

UPS Freight Negotiation Committee Reviews Contract Proposals  UPS Rising  ...The UPS Freight Negotiating Committee met in the Washington, D.C. area, to go through many contract proposals received from UPS Freight members. After reviewing the proposals, there are many issues and concerns that need to be addressed such as subcontracting...

Teamsters hint at strike, which UPS calls impossible  Business Chronicle  ...After four years of contract negotiations, the tension between Teamsters Local 2727 and the United Parcel Service Inc.  remain high. But a spokesperson UPS said, no matter what the union says, a strike is not imminent. The teamsters group, which is based in Louisville and represent a workforce of approximately 1,300 employees, filed their second request Friday...

Union and First Transit DuPage Ratify New Contract  Local 727  ...First Transit DuPage Pace drivers voted to ratify a new contract. The new three-year agreement represents the richest contract ever achieved for the 27 Teamsters Local 727 members at the DuPage facility. It includes significant wage increases over the life of the contract, enhanced seniority privileges, and improved working conditions...

Striking Washington Hop Workers Travel to NYC to Picket Corporate Headquarters  Joint Council 16  ...Striking Teamsters from Yakima, WA are picketing on Madison Avenue today against S.S. Steiner, their employer and a major hop producer and distributor. The four workers flew across the country to represent 27 Teamsters who went on strike last week, protesting company demands to weaken protections in their union contract...

Local 174 Members at First Student Vote to Authorize Strike Action  Local 174  ...School bus drivers at First Student gathered in the Local 174 Union Hall auditorium this past weekend to discuss and vote on the next step in their battle for healthcare and retirement security. After a nearly two-hour informational meeting, the workers voted by a resounding 96% margin in favor of authorizing a strike action against their employer...

Teamsters Rally at University Gala  Local 320  ...Teamsters Local 320 and AFSCME members at the University of Minnesota held a rally outside a major gala for wealthy donors who committed $500,000 each to the University. Union members who work for the University are being treated unfairly by management negotiators during contract talks. Pleas were made by Brian Aldes, Teamsters Local 320 Secretary Treasurer to the wealthy donors to encourage University President Eric Kaler to settle the contract...

Union rallies for contract at SugarHouse casino  The Inquirer  ...Frustrated by slow progress toward a first collective bargaining contract, Teamsters Local 929 held a rally, complete with Teamster-driven trucks and a giant inflatable rat at the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia Friday, just as the casino was readying itself for its weekend business...

Five Collective Bargaining Agreements Approved by Lewis County Commissioners  The Chronicle  ...Five separate collective bargaining agreements were approved for four-year terms by the Board of Lewis County Commissioners on Monday. Four of the contracts are with Teamsters 252 representing the prosecutors clerical group, the assessors group, the supervisors group and a combined group...

BPU Reaches Extension With Solid Waste Employees  Post-Journal  ...The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities has reached a three-year extension with the Teamsters Local 264, who represent solid waste employees. The board earlier this week approved the extension, which will last through 2021 because the current contract doesn’t expire until the end of 2018...

Locals

Teamsters Take Fight for Affordable Health Care, Good Jobs at Praxair to Shareholder Meeting  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters confronted Praxair’s CEO at a shareholder meeting in Danbury, Conn., about the company’s planned merger with German-based Linde and what it means for U.S. workers. Teamsters represent tankhaul drivers for both companies across the United States.Praxair members in Morrisville, Pa. and Wilmington, Del., represented by Local 107, continue to fight for affordable health care, job security and a strong contract...

UPS considering golf-cart deliveries in Richmond  Richmond Register  ...Richmond's golf course community, Gibson Bay, could soon see golf carts on its streets, but there won't be golfers at the wheel. The carts will be driven by UPS delivery personnel. A representative with Teamsters Local 89, the union that represents UPS drivers in Kentucky, told the WSJ part-time golf-cart drivers earn an average of $15 per hour, while the starting wage for a UPS truck or van driver in Kentucky is $18.75 per hour...

Art Handlers, Long Overlooked, Push for Better Wages and Union Representation  Artsy  ...The use of nonunion work led to a confrontation with a Teamster at a worksite during a massive project involving 235 pieces of artwork. Molina began looking for art handlers that were both unionized and specialized. In May 2016, she reached the Art Handlers Alliance, who let her know about the Bill of Rights and introduced her to Julian Tysh, the political coordinator for Teamsters Local 814...

National Campaigns

Union Investors Serve Notice on XPO  Teamster.org  ...Trade union investors meeting in Berlin today served notice on US-based logistics provider XPO that it must reform its labour practices. The message was sounded by ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) president Paddy Crumlin, speaking to a meeting of the Committee on Workers’ Capital (CWC) that included trustees of major pension funds whose assets are managed by Orbis Investment Management, XPO’s largest shareholder...

Teamsters Urge NAFTA Negotiators to Address Labor, Trucking  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa and Teamsters Canada President François Laporte in response to the end of round three of NAFTA renegotiations here on Wednesday: “Teamsters sent a strong and diverse coalition to Ottawa to advocate for workers during NAFTA talks. Teamsters urged Canadian officials to work with the United States to fix the mistake of including long-haul trucking in the original NAFTA...

U.S., Canadian Teamsters Work Together for Working Families in NAFTA Round III  Teamster.org  ...The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with members in transport and manufacturing in both the U.S. and Canada, brought leaders to Ottawa over the weekend to influence the on-going secret NAFTA renegotiation. Several issues that are priorities for Teamsters are on the table in the third round of talks, including workers’ rights, highway safety and dairy market access...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Spain: Barcelona Dockworkers Refuse to Operate Police Shipp Sent to Thwart Referendum  Herald Tribune  ...Barcelona dockworkers announced on Thursday that, in order to defend civil rights, they had voted not to operate a cruise ship charted by Spain’s interior ministry to house police reinforcements sent to the Catalonia region ahead of a contentious independence referendum. "In a general assembly, Barcelona’s stevedores have voted not to operate the Rhapsody ship in defense of civil rights,” the Barcelona dockworker union, OEPB, announced...

Victory for Kenya Domestic Workers Migrating for Jobs  Solidarity Center  ...Kenyans going abroad to work as domestic workers will be required to have contracts, salaries and details of their work assignments before they leave, according to the (Kenya) Daily Nation. The draft policy, crafted by the Labor Ministry and the Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotel, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers (KUDHEIHA), is part of KUDEIHA’s ongoing efforts to advance the rights of domestic workers...

Top NAFTA negotiators join talks as U.S. presents draft text on labor  Reuters  ...The United States on Tuesday unveiled draft text on labor standards during the negotiations on modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement as top officials from Canada, the United States and Mexico joined talks in Ottawa. The U.S. said the labor proposal would ensure enforceable mechanisms to raise labor standards in the NAFTA but Canadian labor unions said it was inadequate...

NAFTA Trade Talks in ‘Bread and Butter’ Phase, Haven’t Heated Up Yet  Wall Street Journal  ...Parties renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement are making progress on “bread and butter” commerce issues here in the Canadian capital, senior Canadian and U.S. officials said Monday, but little headway on such items as how to resolve trade disputes. Canada and Mexico have yet to hear from their U.S. counterparts on more controversial measures...

NAFTA Negotiators Turn to Thorny Issue as Ministers Arrive  Bloomberg  ...Negotiators are set to focus on one of the most controversial topics in talks to update the North American Free Trade Agreement -- the rules governing the source of inputs for manufactured goods -- as administration officials from the U.S. and Mexico arrive in Canada...

Mexico appears willing to improve conditions for workers  The Star  ...Under pressure from Canada and the U.S., Mexico appears willing to agree to enforceable labour standards to improve working conditions as the price for ensuring duty-free trade with its North American neighbours. Mexico is prepared to accept tougher labour provisions than are in the 23-year-old NAFTA...

In Mexico, $2 per hour workers make $40,000 SUVs  ABC News  ...In Mexico — where the auto industry has boomed under the North American Free Trade Agreement, with plants like the Audi factory that opened in Puebla state in 2016 — the industry has created a class of workers who are barely getting by, crammed into tiny 500-square-foot apartments in government-subsidized projects that they pay for over decades. Many can't afford even a used car...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Puerto Rico: Profits vs. Lives as Trump Admin Blocks Aid from Reaching Devastated Island  Democracy Now  ...One week after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, President Donald Trump says he will visit the island next Tuesday, even as most of the 3.5 million U.S. citizens who live there remain in the dark, without access to power, clean water, food and fuel. Facing withering criticism, Trump held a press conference Tuesday and denied he has neglected the disaster...

Puerto Rico: "Hysteria is starting to spread” in the wake of Hurricane Maria  Vox  ...Five days after Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, bisecting the entire island, the US territory is in the grips of a serious, life-threatening crisis, with humanitarian aid getting in far more slowly than is needed. The island is running short on food, fuel, and access to clean water and there’s limited communications...

Michigan state worker collective bargaining reforms to spur more fights  Lansing State Journal  ...Michigan state government's decision last week to limit collective bargaining rights for its employees could spur a flurry of small fights in the coming months over regulatory rewrites and, perhaps, a push by union members to make sure next year's elections give them a friendlier administration. The Michigan Civil Service Commission voted 3-1 on Wednesday to update a number of civil service rules...

Rhode Island governor signs bill guaranteeing paid sick time  WPRI  ...Gov. Gina Raimondo signed a bill Thursday requiring Rhode Island employers to provide paid sick leave to employees. The law, which takes effect next year, will require employers to offer their workers up to three sick days per year in 2018. The number will increase to four days in 2019 and five days thereafter...

Maryland lags behind in paid family leave policies  Baltimore Sun  ...Yet both Maryland and the U.S. as a whole lag behind most of the developed world when it comes to laws that require workplaces to offer paid time off for family needs. Currently, only three states — California, New Jersey and Rhode Island — have paid family leave laws in effect, while New York, Washington state and the District of Columbia have passed measures that will be implemented in the coming years...

California Bill To Combat Rampant Wage Theft In Construction Industry Now On Governor’s Desk  Workers Independent News  ...Legislation  to combat rampant wage-theft in California’s construction industry passed the state legislature this month with strong majorities.  Assembly Bill 1701 would hold general contractors and their subcontractors jointly liable for unpaid wages, all the way down the chain.  If signed by Governor Jerry Brown, which seems likely, it will go into effect at the end of the year...

U.S. Supreme Court to take up union fee case first sparked by Illinois Gov. Rauner  Chicago Tribune  ...The U.S. Supreme Court will take up an Illinois case originally brought by Gov. Bruce Rauner that challenges the practice of government employee unions collecting fees from nonmembers, a question the court deadlocked over last year. In one of his first acts in office, the Republican governor attempted to halt the passing along of the union fees in order to invite a legal challenge of the practice...

Red-State Governments Are Trying to Take Back Minimum-Wage Hikes and LGBTQ Protections  The Nation  ...For at least a decade now, the far right has exploited its near-total domination of state government to clamp down on the mere possibility that progressive change could take root in the small specks of blue—the defiant, often Democratic cities—that hover in their midst. Legislatures and governors have used their power to roll back promising local legislation. Workers in St. Louis suffered through a cruel Labor Day this year...

 

U.S. LABOR

Teachers vote overwhelmingly to maintain unions in initial voting  Des Moines Register  ...Thirteen bargaining units representing nearly 1,300 Iowa teachers and faculty have voted overwhelmingly to maintain their union affiliations in the first wave of elections required under Iowa's new collective bargaining laws. Iowa Public Employment Relations Board staff tallied votes Tuesday, as the two-week voting period drew to a close...

NFL Player’s Union: No Worker Should be Forced To Surrender Their Rights To Keep Their Job  Workers Independent News  ...NFL Player’s Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith says the union will never back down over the right of NFL player’s to speak out and protest. Sunday saw a remarkable solidarity display of NFL players, coaches and executives uniting to defend the right of NFL players to take a knee during the national anthem at games or otherwise use their First Amendment rights...

“A Huge Victory”: Tennessee Electrolux Workers Secure First Contract  Workers Independent News  ...Workers in Memphis, Tennessee have secured a first contract with Swedish home appliance giant Electrolux only nine months after first unionizing. The agreement guarantees pay raises and creates joint committees that give workers a voice in labor-management relations, safety and training. Paul Shaffer, Business Manager of IBEW Local 474, credits solidarity from Swedish union IF Metall for contributing to their election and contract victories...

Supreme Court opens its new term with a direct attack on workers’ rights  Think Progress  ...the Court will open this term with a trio of cases that are very likely to immunize many employers from consequences for their illegal actions. The three cases — National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil USA, Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris, and Epic Systems v. Lewis — all involve employment contracts cutting off employee’s rights to sue their employer for legal violations...

Senate OKs Trump pick for NLRB  Washington Examiner  ...The Senate on Monday confirmed business lawyer William Emanuel, President Trump's pick to fill an open seat on the National Labor Relations Board, by a vote of 49-47. The vote was narrow but not a surprise. Democrats filibustered Emanuel's nomination last week, but the Senate voted 49-44 in favor of cloture...

DOL Announces Minimum Wage Increase for Federal Contractors  National Law Review  ...The U.S. Department of Labor has announced an upcoming increase to the minimum wage rate for contractors working on or in connection with contracts covered by Executive Order 13658, which applies to certain federal construction, service, and concession contracts. Executive Order 13658, "Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors," was signed by then-President Barack Obama in 2014...

Access to the courts is now barred for more than 60 million American workers  EPI.org  ...In a trend driven by a series of Supreme Court decisions dating back to 1991, American employers are increasingly requiring their workers to sign mandatory arbitration agreements. Under such agreements, workers whose rights are violated can’t pursue their claims in court but must submit to arbitration procedures that research shows overwhelmingly favor employers...

Target raises minimum hourly wage to $11, pledges $15 by end of 2020  Reuters  ...Target Corp said on Monday it would increase its minimum hourly wage this year by a dollar to $11, vowing to raise this by the end of 2020 to $15 an hour -- the so-called “living wage” labor advocates across the United States are campaigning for. The Minneapolis-based retailer provided assurances that the move would not hurt its previously announced full-year and quarterly earnings forecasts...

What DACA Means to Food Industry Workers  Civil Eats  ...Given the administration’s and congress’s conflicting and confusing messages about DACA, the program and the fate of the Dreamers are on the line. According to estimates, approximately 16 percent of DACA-eligible workers are employed in food preparation and serving, more than any other industry... 

Deaths of farmworkers in cow manure ponds put oversight of dairy farms into question  Washington Post  ...The deaths have rattled Idaho’s dairy industry as well as local immigrant communities that do the bulk of the work producing nearly 15 billion pounds of milk annually on the industrial-sized farms in the state’s southern prairie. As farms have transitioned from family operations into big businesses involving thousands of cows and massive machinery, new safety concerns have emerged...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Republicans scrap health bill: 'We don't have the votes'  ABC  ...Republican leaders won't hold a vote this week on their Obamacare replacement plan, the Graham-Cassidy bill, after three members of the Senate said they wouldn't approve the measure. The Graham-Cassidy bill was the Republicans' latest bid to honor a years-long promise to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, the signature legislation of the Obama administration, and their latest defeat on the issue...

For the NFL, It Was ‘Choose-Your-Side Sunday’  The Nation  ...From Trump’s perspective—leader of, as former NFL player Adalius Thomas called it in a scathing critique of Trump on MSNBC, “The Divided States of America”—these players probably seemed like a smart target. Trump reserves his greatest venom for black people and women—as we have seen time and again—and certainly thought that going after wealthy black athletic dissenters was a clever move. But it didn’t line up as he had hoped...

U.S. Economic Expansion is Unevenly Spread, Study Says  Wall Street Journal  ...The U.S. economic expansion is lifting a handful of vibrant communities to new heights but also leaving broad tracts of the country stagnant or sinking, according to a new report. The study, by the Economic Innovation Group, finds that a small number of high-growth cities and towns are fueling U.S. growth and masking economic struggles in decaying industrial towns, swaths of the rural South and other areas of the country...

Poll: 86 percent support Dreamers staying in the country  The Hill  ...A majority of Americans in a new survey are in support of letting recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program stay in the country. A Washington Post/ABC News poll finds 86 percent of respondents are in favor of allowing DACA recipients who are eligible for renewable two-year work permits to stay in the country...

A Gift to Rich Families Like His, Trump's Push to Repeal Estate Tax Denounced as 'Shameful'  Common Dreams  ...In President Donald Trump's sales pitch for his newly-unveiled tax plan on Wednesday, he told a crowd in Indianapolis that the proposal includes "historic tax relief" for middle-income Americans. But a key tenet of the plan is the repeal of the estate tax, which would only offer a tax break to the wealthiest Americans...

Trump Is Promising Massive Tax Cuts But It Sure Won’t Be Low Income Families Who Benefit  ReverbPress  ...Under Trump’s proposal, the number of tax categories will be cut from seven to three. Currently, America’s top earners have a 39.6 percent tax bill. That will be cut to 35 percent. At the moment, it is not clear what the rate will be for the other two categories, although Trump gave a hint as to what low income earners will be facing...

Trump plans to slash US refugee admissions  AP  ...The Trump administration will allow no more than 45,000 refugees into the United States next year, officials said Tuesday, in what would be the lowest admissions level in more than a decade. President Donald Trump is expected to announce the cap on refugee admissions following a lengthy debate within his administration about whether to go higher or lower...

St. Louis Police Have Declared an All-Out War on Protesters, Media and Even Themselves  The Root  ...Before Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson found Police Officer Jason Stockley not guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith, St. Louis activists and religious leaders warned that it could get ugly. They said they were going to “shut it down.” They were right about the “ugly” part...

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