Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

This Week's Teamster News for September 9-15

 

TEAMSTERS

Automation

Hall Voices Teamsters' Opposition to Inclusion of Trucks in Self-Driving Bill  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall testified yesterday at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on self-driving technology, urging for the exemption of commercial vehicles from pending legislation and the need for further analysis of the safety, jobs and cybersecurity impact of developing technologies. Hall noted the Teamsters Union is concerned about the impact of advanced automated technologies on highway safety...

Teamsters chief fears U.S. self-driving trucks may be unsafe, hit jobs  Reuters  ...The head of the 1.4-million member International Brotherhood of Teamsters union is mounting an aggressive effort to convince Congress to reject new rules to speed the deployment of self-driving trucks, warning they could lead to the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs and reduce road safety. “I‘m concerned about highway safety. I am concerned about jobs,” Hoffa said in an interview...

Community Action

New York Teamsters Become “Sanctuary Union” Following Deportation of Union Member  Joint Council 16  ...Following the deportation of a long-serving Teamster member last week, Teamsters Joint Council 16 today passed a resolution to become a “sanctuary union.” As a sanctuary union, the Teamsters will not assist federal immigration agents in deporting its members and will proactively provide trainings, legal assistance, and organize support for immigrant Teamsters...

Long Island Teamster's deportation is a wakeup call: Unions must protect their immigrant members  NY Daily News  ...Hundreds of immigrants are being deported every day, and have been for years, but the impact hits home when it happens to one of your own. Over the last two weeks, my union, the Teamsters, watched as one of our long-serving members was taken from his family and deported...

Labor Unions Are Stepping Up To Fight Deportations  Huffington Post  ...Ron Herrera, the secretary-treasurer at Teamsters Local 396 in Los Angeles, said it was a point of pride for his union to secure clauses in their sanitation contracts guaranteeing workers a grace period for dealing with any snags that come up with their work papers. The contract assures that, so long as they can eventually clear up the problem, the workers won’t lose their jobs or their seniority while they deal with immigration officials...

Why This Sanitation Worker Left His Job to Volunteer for a Council Candidate  Joint Council 16  ...One week ago, Jose Lopez was sorting New Yorkers’ recycling at Sims, a recycling plant in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. But last Wednesday, he took a leave of absence to volunteer for a City Council candidate who is very important to Jose and other workers at Sims. City Council Member Carlos Menchaca has represented the diverse Brooklyn neighborhoods of Sunset Park and Red Hook for the last four years...

Disaster Relief

Missouri and Kansas Teamsters Lend Helping Hand to Hurricane Victims  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters throughout Missouri and Kansas and community members raised money to buy three trailer loads of emergency supplies for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, and Teamster trucks delivered the supplies to Texas this morning. Teamster volunteers from ABF Freight delivered the supplies to Houston and Beaumont, Texas...

Once the Storm Calms, Teamsters Local 19 Embraces the Call to Action  Teamster.org  ...Phil Cady and Art Collins are United Airlines mechanics who also serve as shop stewards with Teamsters Local 19. As long-time Houston residents, they’ve seen severe weather before, but Hurricane Harvey was something different altogether. “There’s a lot of suffering out here; not just our people, but everyone.” Collins said. “The devastation, I’ve never seen anything like it"...

Relief efforts put warehouse space to good use  Houston Chronicle  ...Shortly after the first responders returned home, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters came knocking. " 'Aren't you guys the picket people?' He literally said that," said Robert Mele, president of Teamsters Local 988. His local, as well as Teamsters Local 19 and Local 919 were expecting about 50 trucks from other Teamsters Locals around the country...

Teamster drivers lend a hand to the hurricane relief effort  Local 117  ...When disaster strikes, Teamsters roll in to help out. That’s what three members at Republic Services did when their boss asked for volunteers to help clean up in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey that devastated south Texas earlier this month. One of them was Ben Goodrich, a Local 117 residential yard waste driver, who has serviced neighborhoods in Snohomish County for the last ten years... 

Local 25 and Medford Firefighters come together to aid Hurricane Harvey victims  Wicked Local ...Members of Teamsters Local 25 and the Medford Firefighters Local 1032 recently came together to support victims of Hurricane Harvey. The Medford Fire Department collected stacks of bottled water, diapers, clothes, blankets, dog food and other much-needed items from local residents, and Local 25 brought a large 18-wheel truck to collect the supplies and transport them...

Unions respond to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma with help, funds  Workday Minnesota  ...The Teamsters (link is external) union organized a convey of seven trucks from Las Vegas, San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco loaded with supplies for the residents of Houston, the union reported. The convoy received a police escort through two states on its way to Texas. The same Locals and Joint Councils coordinated a similar effort for the victims of Katrina in 2005...

Locals & Joint Councils

Over 100 film and television location workers join Teamsters at Labor Day Parade  Joint Council 16  ...Over 100 film and television location workers signed up with Teamsters Local 817 at today’s Labor Day Parade. Assistant Location Managers, Location Scouts, Location Coordinators, and Location Assistants are the latest entertainment workers to join Local 817, and will get the benefits of a strong Teamsters contract, after years of organizing... 

Los Angeles Metro Security Officers Ratify Five-Year Agreement  Teamster.org  ...The Transit Security Officers of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Authority overwhelmingly voted to accept a new contract with 94% of those voting in favor of ratification on Thursday, July 6, 2017. The officers are members of Local 911, Bellflower, Calif. The five-year deal includes guaranteed yearly wage increases, yearly increases to the health and welfare cap, and an increase to the uniform allowance...

Teamsters Local 330 Members Reject Contract; Demand Improvements to Address Worker Retention  Teamster.org  ...Members of Teamsters Local 330 that are employed by Durham School Services voted overwhelming to reject the final offer by the company on Sunday, September 10 and authorized strike action if a fair and acceptable agreement could not be reached. The contract covers approximately 250 bus drivers, mechanics, and monitors employed by Durham, providing school transportation services to Community Unit School District 300...

Union Power Is Putting Pressure on Silicon Valley’s Tech Giants  Bloomberg  ...The first such recent effort, in 2014, unionized 87 Facebook Inc. shuttle drivers employed by contractor Loop Transportation Inc. Initially, Loop resisted recognizing the union, citing Facebook’s opposition, according to California Teamster leader Rome Aloise. So the Teamsters forced a vote by the drivers that was supervised by the National Labor Relations Board (the union won)...

Teamsters at the San Francisco Zoo took on outsourcing, and won  Local 856  ...In August, Teamsters 856 members at the San Francisco Zoo called out their employer’s attempt to outsource custodial work, and stopped them in their tracks. “Outsourcing the skill, knowledge, and experience of dedicated in-house employees that are committed to quality work leads to a poor product and reduced service levels,” said Teamsters 856 Secretary-Treasurer and Principal Officer Peter Finn...

'Norwalk has been phenomenally supportive' of strikers  Norwalk Reflector  ...The strike by Maple City Ice Co. truck drivers entered Day 11 Monday. “This group has never had to strike,” said Mark Schmiehausen, a trustee and business representative of Teamsters’ Union Local 20. “We came to an impasse over the pension fund,” he added. “We want the company to continue to participate in the pension fund”...

New York Teamsters Members Say Yes to Pension Cuts  Bloomberg  ...Members of a Syracuse, N.Y.-based pension for unionized workers approved the plan’s proposal to cut benefits. In a vote tally announced Sept. 13 by the Treasury Department, the New York State Teamsters Conference Pension and Retirement Fund became only the third multiemployer plan to fully complete the approval process to cut benefits under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014...

U of MN workers protest opening of $4 billion fundraising campaign, say they won’t be driven into poverty  Fight Back News  ...About 100 members of Teamsters Local 320, AFSCME Local 3800, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and others rallied Sept. 8 on the University of Minnesota campus at the McNamara building to demand decent contracts for the university workers’ unions. After the rally, workers marched into a press event that included university President Eric Kahler...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

France strikes: Workers stage mass protests at Macron's plans to weaken labour laws  Independent  ...Workers across France walked out on strike on Tuesday in protest at Emmanuel Macron’s plans to weaken the country’s labour laws. Around 4,000 stoppages were called across the country, with 180 separate street protests staged nationwide and the largest marches concentrated in Paris, Marseille, Lyon, and Nantes...

Women pickers toil unprotected in Pakistan's cotton fields  Reuters  ...Women labourers make up the bulk of the estimated half a million cotton pickers in Pakistan, the world's fourth biggest cotton producer. Pakistan's government and provincial authorities say they are taking steps to ensure the use of safety gear, but women's rights groups say nothing is done when farm owners don't comply...

Canada Is Using NAFTA to Demand Protection for US Unions  The Nation  ...As unions and Big Business prepare to square off in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, there will be heated debate over the continental trade pact’s impact on job losses and offshoring. But there’s one major source of “cheap labor” that isn’t much talked about: America. Canada wants to fix its southern neighbor’s labor laws... 

NAFTA: U.S. wants to insert 5-year termination clause in the agreement  National Post  ...The United States is seeking to insert a so-called sunset clause into a new NAFTA, a controversial proposal that would automatically terminate the agreement after five years unless all three member countries agree to extend it. That idea has been quietly floated for months by U.S. officials who finally made it public Thursday...

Trudeau Teams Up With Canadian Labor in Push for Nafta Reforms  Bloomberg  ...Trudeau, the country’s most left-leaning prime minister since his father, has repeatedly said the new Nafta must be more progressive. Among its core objectives, Canada has proposed including environmental provisions and those related to gender and the rights of indigenous peoples. But it’s labor that’s been at the forefront...

New NAFTA must terminate corporate kangaroo courts  (opinion) The Hill  ...By pushing for a little-known but damaging legal concept buried in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the chamber has chosen to represent the interests of a handful of corporations instead of the interests of responsible business owners who are focused on the needs of their local communities and the environment...

Ohio lost 50,000 jobs to NAFTA: Near top in U.S.  Cleveland.com  ...About 50,000 primarily blue-collar workers in Ohio have lost jobs to NAFTA from 1994, when the free trade zone between the United States, Canada and Mexico was created, through 2016, according to an analysis of Labor Department data by Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch in Washington, D.C... 

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

New York unions fight proposed workers compensation rules that reduce payments for injured employees  NY Daily News  ...State labor leaders are pushing back against a set of proposed Workers Compensation regulations they claim will slash benefits to injured workers. The proposed regulations, which were unveiled by the Workers Compensation Board earlier this month, would drastically reduce payments to workers who’ve suffered diminished use of an arm or leg...

California Governor, Senate Leader Reach Deal on ‘Sanctuary State’ Bill  KQED  ...After weeks of negotiations, Governor Jerry Brown and California’s state Senate leader agreed Monday to legislation that would severely restrict interactions between California law enforcement agencies and federal immigration agents. The bill builds on previous state laws that limited the ability of  local police and sheriffs departments to work with ICE...

New Hampshire Superior Court Blocks Penalties Within SB 3 (Voter Suppression Bill)  NH Labor News  ...Hillsborough County Superior Court South put penalties for violating SB 3 on hold and granted both parties standing, siding with the New Hampshire Democratic Party on both key issues. SB 3 would impose immense burdens on eligible New Hampshire voters, and is designed to have a disproportionate effect on young people, low-income, elderly and disabled voters...

Michigan: Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda push for state minimum wage increase  FOX  ...Fonda reminisced on her early activism days, meeting with Michigan's auto industry workers decades ago. Now she’s back and educating people on the One Fair Wage ballot initiative that she says will raise the state’s minimum wage from $8.90/hr to $12 by 2022 and for tipped staff employees in the restaurant industry, from $3.38/hr to $12 as well by 2024...

Wisconsin GOP’s $3 Billion Tax Giveaway To Foxconn Largest In State History  Workers Independent News  ...One Wisconsin Now says the $3 billion from taxpayers includes no guarantee that Foxconn will live up to its promises to create and sustain thousands of jobs. The deal has no protections for workers’ rights to organize unions at the company owned by billionaire Terry Gou. The Foxconn Chair once referred to the company’s workers as animals...

Unions could get a boost from California's cap-and-trade spending proposal  Los Angeles Times  ...Cap-and-trade funding for electric car rebates in California could come with new strings attached. If passed by lawmakers, the legislation would require state regulators to develop a process for determining whether automakers are "fair and responsible in the treatment of their workers" before vehicles can be eligible for the rebates... 

California Assembly passes drug price transparency bill  Mercury News  ...The California State Assembly on Monday overwhelmingly approved Senate Bill 17, controversial legislation that could soon become the nation’s most comprehensive law aimed at shining a light on prescription drug prices. SB 17 aims to make drug prices for both public and private health plans more transparent...

Hurricane Irma unleashes the forces of privatization in Puerto Rico  The Intercept  ...Vultures circling the wreckage of Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Irma are closing in on a long-sought prize: the privatizing of the island’s electric utility. Puerto Rico avoided the very worst of the storm, which darted just north of the U.S. territory. But it didn’t escape unscathed. Following a request from Gov. Ricardo A. Rosselló, the White House declared a state of emergency...

 

U.S. LABOR

IBEW Union Workers Challenge the Spectrum of Corporate Greed  Huffington Post  ...Last week, union workers of Local Union No. 3 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) organized a packed town hall along with staff representing state and city elected officials. IBEW has been on strike against Charter communications, the telecommunication giant which owns Spectrum. The six month labor dispute has left the families of Local 3 financially crippled without pay...

8,000 Airport Workers in Chicago Just Won a Wage Raise and the Right to a Union  In These Times  ...Eight thousand workers at Chicago’s two airports have scored a major victory in their two-year campaign for higher wages and a union. On Wednesday, the City Council unanimously passed an ordinance requiring private contractors to abide by new labor standards in order to be licensed by the city... 

Frontier pilots ready to walk off the job if new labor agreement can’t be reached  Denver Post  ...Frontier Airlines pilots are ready to strike if contract talks with the Denver-based carrier fall apart. One hundred percent of eligible pilots recently voted in favor of walking off Frontier jets if the airline and pilots can’t reach a new collective bargaining agreement, according to the Air Line Pilots Association union...

Two Labor Unions End Partnership With Harley-Davidson  New York Times  ...- Two labor unions ended a two-decade long partnership agreement with Harley-Davidson Inc on Tuesday, citing issues with senior management. Union leaders belonging to the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) and the United Steelworkers (USW) said they were concerned with the way Harley's management was handling staffing related to seasonal production...

Are elite universities 'safe spaces'? Not if you're starting a union  The Guardian  ...A corporation that is determined to keep its employees from organizing, on the other hand, would stall and delay and refuse to recognize the union until Trump’s new, right-wing NLRB can saddle up and ride to the rescue. And guess what: that is exactly what these universities are doing – refusing to begin contract negotiations, filing challenges to the elections, appealing this and that...

Lost wages, serious illness and poor labor standards: The dangers of rebuilding Texas and Florida  Think Progress  ...As Texas prepares to rebuild after Hurricane Harvey devastated much of the state, and Florida starts picking up the pieces from the destruction wreaked by Hurricane Irma, emergency workers may face exploitation for the sake of greater profits and speedier project completion. Past abuses after similar natural disasters have left laborers without all of their wages and with serious illnesses... 

The Uncertainties of Being Asked to Work During a Hurricane  The Atlantic  ...Almost as soon as government officials started warning residents of many parts of South Florida to get out of Irma’s path, people began seeking advice on social media on what rights and protections workers have during the storm. One of the most common questions was whether workers could be fired for not showing up to work because they had left town ahead of the storm... 

Jeff Sessions Says Dreamers Are Stealing American Jobs. The Government’s Own Numbers Show That’s Absurd.  Slate  ...Sessions betrayed not only a cruel, zero-sum view of the economy but a shocking misunderstanding of the current job market. Today, at a time when the unemployment rate is 4.4 percent and the economy has added payroll jobs for 83 straight months, there are a bunch of reasons why you might be unemployed. DACA is almost certainly not one of them... 

Support for labor unions is at decade high, poll finds  NY Daily News  ...Union approval is at its highest level among Americans in a decade — but still not as high as it once was. A Gallup Poll released for Labor Day found 61% of adults in the U.S. approve of labor unions — the highest percentage since 2003, when approval was at 65%. The 2017 approval rate is up 5 percentage points from last year and 13 points above the all-time low of 48% in 2009...

The growing gap between black and white workers’ wages in the US is getting harder to explain  Quartz  ...The authors of the San Francisco Fed study conclude that their research “implies that factors that are harder to measure—such as discrimination, differences in school quality, or differences in career opportunities—are likely to be playing a role in the persistence and widening of these gaps over time...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS 

Bernie Sanders unveils universal healthcare bill: 'We will win this struggle'  The Guardian  ...Battle lines have been drawn as Bernie Sanders launches his latest attempt to establish a healthcare system that covers all 323 million Americans. Standing in opposition to Sanders’ plan are what he calls the “most powerful and greedy forces in American society”: the pharmaceutical industry, insurance companies, Wall Street and the Republican party...

Trump, Dems move closer to deal on DACA  CNN  ...President Donald Trump is moving closer to a deal with Democrats that would protect hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants from deportation. But the parameters of any deal, including a potential pathway to citizenship for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) participants and funding for his marquee campaign promise of a wall along the US-Mexico border are up in the air...

Appalachian poor, left out of health debate, seek free care  Gazette Mail  ...Even with the passage of “Obamacare” in 2010, they have no insurance because they exist in a desperate in-between zone, unable to afford coverage but ineligible for Medicaid. And because they haven’t benefited from the Affordable Care Act, the debate on Capitol Hill over repealing it has been all but irrelevant to them...

Wave of Kentucky counties file lawsuits against drug distributors for creating ‘a public nuisance’  Herald-Leader  ...Fiscal courts in more than a dozen Kentucky counties filed separate lawsuits in federal court Tuesday and Wednesday seeking damages against wholesale distributors of painkillers called opioids for allegedly inflaming the state’s drug problem. The lawsuits say that certain distributors registered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency “unlawfully sold millions of prescription opioids” in each county...

Pope says humanity will 'go down' if it does not address climate change  Reuters  ...Pope Francis said the recent spate of hurricanes should prompt people to understand that humanity will “go down” if it does not address climate change and history will judge those who deny the science on its causes. “If we don’t turn back, we will go down,” Francis told reporters on Sunday on the plane returning from Colombia...

A tale of two Irmas: rich Miami ready for tumult as poor Miami waits and hopes  The Guardian  ...In Liberty City, the African American neighborhood that inspired the Oscar-winning movie Moonlight, the chances of escaping Irma’s devastating wrath were all but non-existent. When almost half the residents are below the federal poverty level, generators and storm windows are not an option, let alone a few boards of plywood and a tank of gas...

5 false statistics Trump’s voter fraud panel will use to restrict voting  Think Progress  ...The meeting comes amid renewed criticism from Democrats and voting experts who claim the panel is spreading false information in order to make it harder for people to vote. In August, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) linked the kind of disenfranchisement for which the commission will advocate to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville...

Senate approves resolution condemning white supremacist groups  The Hill  ...The Senate easily passed a resolution on Monday condemning white supremacist organizations and urging President Trump to speak out against hate groups. The resolution — introduced last week by Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) — cleared the upper chamber by unanimous consent... 

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