Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

This Week's Teamster News for October 21-27

 

TEAMSTERS

Community Action

Teamster Disaster Relief Volunteers Come Home from Puerto Rico  Teamster.org  ...Thursday, after two weeks in Puerto Rico, the Teamsters Disaster Relief finished their two-week long mission to bring the island back on its feet after it suffered the most devastating storm in modern history. “I’m glad we were able to help, even if it was in a small way,” said Roy Gillespie, Joint Council 13 Human Rights Coordinator... 

Teamsters Offer Disaster Relief Assistance for Victims of California Wildfires  Teamster.org  ...Wildfires have been raging throughout Northern California, with a particularly hard-hitting impact in Sonoma, Napa, and Mendocino counties. At least forty people have been killed and more than 200 people are reported missing, as firefighters continue to contain the inferno that began October 8. So far, over 40 Teamsters lost their homes in the fires and are left with nothing...

Puerto Rico aid workers reflect on tough relief logistics, island’s future  NY Daily News  ...Teamster Daniel Maldonado, 40, a business manager and truck driver for Local 445, said his crews drove aid teams all across the island — clearing roads as needed — and unloaded FEMA trucks full of much-needed supplies. Both the Teamsters and the nurses also brought supplies of their own that they handed out, including sought-after medicines, said Mehrjou...

Teamsters Partner With Military Spouse Employment Program  Teamster.org  ...In the latest development with the Teamsters Military Assistance Program (TMAP), the union has officially partnered with the Department of Defense’s Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) to help the spouses of active-duty or retired military personnel find high-quality jobs. This new partnership between the Teamsters and MSEP will work to fill the gap in working family income... 

Ken Hall: The Big 3 Are Fueling the Opioid Epidemic. Now They Need a Watchdog.  Fortune  ...In the wake of millions of lives lost, it has never been clearer that we need to hold these companies accountable. Washington may be taking notice, but government action is only part of the battle. Corporate governance matters, too. That’s why the International Brotherhood of Teamsters is leading a growing investor effort calling for crucial changes to corporate governance and compensation practices at McKesson, AmerisourceBergen, and Cardinal Health...

Contract Campaigns & Organizing

Marin County public employees group vote to affiliate with Teamsters 856  Local 856  ...MCMEA, an association of public employees in Marin County, has voted to affiliate with Teamsters 856. The over 300-person association includes County professionals in public works, health and human services, the County sheriff’s office, information technology services, and more from Marin County. The affiliation agreement joins MCMEA members with Local 856...

Albion College Custodial Workers Vote for Teamsters  Teamster.org  ...By a unanimous vote, the custodians working for GCA Services at Albion College in Albion, Mich., have voted to be represented by Teamsters Local 1038. There are 24 custodians in the unit and they join the 70 clerical and facility operations workers at the college that are already represented by the local union. “We are pleased to welcome GCA Services custodians at Albion College to our local union,” said Greg Nowak, President of Joint Council 43 and President of Local 1038...

St. Paul school nutrition workers to vote on tentative contract  Workday Minnesota  ...St. Paul public schools nutrition services workers will vote Thursday on a new tentative contract that raises the wages of the lowest-paid employees, Teamsters Local 320 announced. The union, which had authorized a strike if needed, reached the deal after more than 16 hours of mediation. The contract "elevates all workers paid below $15 per hour up to $15 by 2019," the union said in a statement... 

Striking S.S. Steiner workers in Yakima say their rights are on the line  Yakima Herald  ...The workers, represented by Teamsters Local Union No. 760, have been without a new contract for more than a year and negotiations with the hop supplier broke down a few weeks before the strike’s start on Sept. 19. A few workers have traveled to New York City to picket in front of S.S. Steiner’s office on Madison Avenue. The main point of contention in the contract negotiations is S.S. Steiner’s request to modify arbitration...

Flexjet, Flight Options Management Refuses to Implement Teamster Pilots' CBA Award  Teamster.org  ...Senior management of luxury private jet providers Flexjet and Flight Options informed the Teamsters last week that they would not implement the Merged Collective Bargaining Agreement (“MCBA”) covering the combined Flexjet and Flight Options pilot groups that was awarded by an arbitrator on October 10, 2017. The award follows a lengthy arbitration process...

Seattle schools warn that bus drivers may go on strike  Komo News  ...Contract negotiations are continuing between the bus provider and the drivers union. "There's a lot of work going on behind the scenes right now, especially with the Seattle School Board, to try and see if we can put more pressure on First Student to do the right thing," said Jamie Fleminge spokeswoman of Teamsters Local Union 174, which represents the drivers...

Lake County Commissioners approve raises for their Teamsters employees  NWI.com  ...The Lake County Board of Commissioners have approved a labor agreement giving county highway workers pay raises for the next three years. Commissioners voted 3-0 Wednesday to adopt a contract with Teamsters Union Local 142 to set salaries and working conditions for the highway department's 71 employees...

Locals

Hollywood Teamsters, IATSE Condemn Sexual Harassment in Entertainment Industry  Variety  ...The Hollywood Teamsters union and the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees published the statements on their web sites two weeks after the Oct. 5 disclosure in a New York Times article detailing the settlements of eight lawsuits against Weinstein, including those filed by Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan. “Sexual Harassment in the workplace is not to be tolerated or taken lightly,” said Steve Dayan, secretary-treasurer of Local 399 of the Intl. Brotherhood of Teamsters... 

Teamsters Local 118 Secures Significant Settlement of Multiple NLRB Unfair Labor Practice Charges Against Palmer Food Company  Teamster.org  ...The International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local Union 118 based in Rochester, N.Y., achieved a significant victory for unionized labor with a settlement of more than $60,000 in damages following a long-running dispute with Palmer Food Company, Inc. The case involved numerous unfair labor charges filed with the Federal National Labor Relations Board in Buffalo that alleged a broad attempt to crush union activity at the company...

Local 727 Obtains Reinstatement and Back-Pay for Unjustly Laid Off Edward Hotel Workers  Local 727  ...Five Edward Hotel (formerly Holiday Inn Express O’Hare Rosemont) shuttle bus drivers were returned to work after being unjustly laid off because of an alleged revocation of Edward Hotel’s Department of Transportation registration. Just like it did in August, Teamsters Local 727 acted immediately upon learning of the layoff and filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board...

Inside NYC’s uneven pot policy for homeless kids  New York Post  ...“Children who commit the same infraction are treated differently,” said Gregory Floyd, president of Teamsters Local 237, which represents both school safety agents and shelter guards. “The mayor has two different policies for handling children.” City Hall spokesmen confirmed the disparate treatment, explaining that a child on school grounds is in the principal’s custody...

Amazon HQ2 bid has some New Yorkers worried about wages, incentives  AM New York  ...Although Teamsters is not focused on HQ2, the union raised concerns about Amazon’s plans to open a fulfillment center on the West Shore of Staten Island, where it is slated to receive up to $18 million in state tax credits, provided it creates 2,250 full-time jobs. “We want to ensure that the jobs that arMie created pay wages that support families,” George Miranda, president of Teamsters Joint Council 16, said in a statement... 

Port Drivers

Teamster Leaders Join Port Truck Drivers in Supporting Jobs, Clean Air Reforms  Teamster.org  ...Teamster leaders and port truck drivers fighting for their employee rights with the help of the Teamsters announced their support today for measures that would take steps to address the broken employment system that exists in port trucking and empower local ports to reduce pollution, mitigate traffic congestion, heighten highway safety and improve efficiency...

Federal bills aim to stop exploitation of Teamster-backed port truckers  USA Today  ...House Democrats will introduce two federal bills Thursday aimed at cracking down on port trucking companies that have for years exploited their workforce with lease-to-own contracts that forced drivers to work around the clock for pay that sometimes dipped to pennies on the hour. The measures come in response to an investigation that revealed truckers were working as modern-day indentured servants while hauling goods for America’s retail giants...

CA Truckers file wage theft claims  AJOT  ...Fred Potter, Director of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ Port Division, sent a letter to Sidney Brown, CEO of NFI Industries, urging him to resolve ongoing issues and bring the company into compliance with U.S. labor laws. 30 days later, Mr. Potter has not received a response to his letter. The following are excerpts from the letter: “We trust that you are aware port drivers and warehouse workers have engaged in at least 15 unfair labor practice strikes and picketing over the last three years"...

  

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE 

UK rail workers on five networks to strike over driver-only trains  The Guardian  ...Workers at five railway operators are to strike in November in bitter disputes over the role of guards and the driver-only operation of trains. Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) on Southern, South Western Railway and Greater Anglia will strike for 48 hours from 8 November, and those on Merseyrail and Arriva Rail North for 24 hours on the same date...

Greece: strike brings Athens Metro to a standstill, streets gridlocked  Reuters  ...The Athens Metro came to a standstill on Thursday when workers in the Greek capital began a 24-hour strike to oppose the possible privatization of the rail operator. The strike disrupted the daily commute for thousands of Athenians and caused gridlock on streets leading to the city center. Metro workers are protesting the transfer of Attiko Metro operator and other state-owned enterprises to a sovereign wealth fund set up under the latest international bailout with the EU and the IMF...

Workers Say NAFTA’s Neoliberal Foundations Need to Be Dismantled from the Left—Not the Right  In These Times  ...Rejecting both economic nationalism and free-market fundamentalism, workers across North America are building transnational solidarity and demanding labor rights for all. Last week, nearly 60 representatives of unions and civil society organizations from Mexico, Canada and the United States gathered in Chicago for a two-day meeting to discuss strategies for collaboration as their governments renegotiate the 23-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement...

‘Army’ of Lobbyists Hits Capitol Hill to Preserve Nafta  New York Times  ...Automakers, retailers and other business leaders stormed Capitol Hill on Tuesday in an extraordinary show of force against a Republican president they fear will cripple or kill the North American Free Trade Agreement, an outcome business leaders said could devastate their profits and harm the United States’ ability to compete in a global market...

Nafta or No Nafta, the $12.43-an-Hour Pay Gap Is Irresistible  Bloomberg  ...President Donald Trump’s vow to scrap or revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement was expected to put a scare into companies considering these kinds of moves. But many are sticking to plans to set up shop in Mexico even if the pact isn’t renewed, according to the experts who help firms relocate and find new plants...

Amid NAFTA talks, WTO reignites Mexico-U.S. tuna dispute  Reuters  ...Mexico’s economy ministry said on Thursday that it would appeal the World Trade Organization’s ruling against its challenge to U.S. tuna marketing rules, reigniting a long-standing dispute between major trade partners amid tough talks to update NAFTA. “Mexico does not agree with the legal reasoning of the WTO ruling”...

Wilbur Ross: Trump Is Prepared to Take U.S. Out of NAFTA If Treaty Isn't Changed  The Street  ...If the U.S. doesn't secure substantive changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement, President Trump will make every effort to withdraw the country from the 23-year-old treaty, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Wednesday, Oct. 25. "The president is not a bluffer," Ross said a New York conference hosted by the Paley Center for Media... 

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Iowa: in biggest vote since new law, public unions overwhelmingly choose to recertify  Des Moines Register  ...Thousands of Iowa teachers, snowplow drivers and corrections officers voted overwhelmingly to maintain their union affiliations in a round of high-stakes voting that concluded Tuesday. Results issued Wednesday by the Iowa Public Employment Relations Board showed 436 out of 468 public-sector bargaining units voted to recertify their organizations...

No more Michigan state worker reforms planned, but unions still worry  Lansing State Journal  ...Last month's vote to limit collective bargaining rights for state employees should be the last major reform to come out of the Michigan Civil Service Commission for some time, its chairwoman said Monday. Still, after several years of setbacks and scares under Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, union officials said they're bracing themselves for more...  

Illinois Gov. wins victory on right-to-work bill  Journal Star  ...Gov. Bruce Rauner scored a major victory Wednesday when the Illinois House failed to override his veto of a bill prohibiting local right-to-work zones. The House voted 70-42 on Senate Bill 1905, one vote short of what was needed to override the veto. A day earlier, the Senate picked up additional Republican votes in overriding Rauner’s veto...

Rigged: How Voter Suppression Threw Wisconsin to Trump  Mother Jones  ...Three years after Wisconsin passed its voter ID law in 2011, a federal judge blocked it, noting that 9 percent of all registered voters did not have the required forms of ID. Black voters were about 50 percent likelier than whites to lack these IDs because they were less likely to drive or to be able to afford the documents required to get a current ID, and more likely to have moved from out of state...

As Sanctuary State, California Takes Deportation Fight To New Level  Huffington Post  ...As more states and counties take immigration policy into their own hands, California is stepping up its fight to protect unauthorized immigrants by not only refusing to detain immigrants slated for deportation, but now also by declining to tell federal immigration officials when they will be released from local jails...

South Carolina's Governor Is Pulling a Nasty Anti-Immigrant Stunt  Splinter  ...South Carolina may not have a single sanctuary city within its borders, but that’s not stopping Republican Governor Henry McMaster from backing a harsh anti-immigrant measure to force local communities into cooperating with state and federal immigration officials, whether they want to or not. McMaster announced he would back an upcoming bill which would withhold some state funding from any city that adopts sanctuary status...

States use a troubling 'tool' to roll back minimum wage gains  CNBC  ...The country's lowest-paid workers saw increases in their paychecks in 19 states, with the highest new minimum wages this year in Massachusetts and Washington at $11 per hour. In coming years, New York and California will bump up their minimum wages to $15. But in some areas of the country, local wage laws are meeting with resistance from state governments...

Democrats call for investigation into Puerto Rico utility deal  The Hill  ...House Democrats are pushing for an investigation into a contract signed by a small energy company to help restore Puerto Rico’s electrical grid. The company is based in the small Montana hometown of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Zinke’s office told the Post he knows the company’s CEO and that one of his sons worked at the firm as a summer job...

 

U.S. LABOR 

Solano County’s largest union plans to strike  Daily Republic  ...Hundreds of members from Solano County’s largest employee union are expected to picket the government center and flood the board chamber during the supervisors’ meeting Tuesday. Leaders for Service Employees International Union 1021, which represents about 1,800 employees, said Monday they have given the county notice of their intention to strike...

Tesla firings spark protests from dozens of workers, family members  Mercury News  ...Several dozen Tesla workers, family members and union supporters protested Tuesday at the automaker’s factory, seeking the reinstatement of some of the hundreds of recently fired employees. A coalition of labor groups also blasted the electric vehicle maker in a letter to Tesla executives, questioning whether union-supporters were dismissed because they publicly raised issues about wages and safety at the plant...

Deputies break up rally of hundreds of Disney workers demanding pay increase  WFTV  ...Hundreds of Disney employees demanding a pay increase rallied Thursday evening at an entrance of Walt Disney World, causing traffic to slow to a crawl and prompting deputies to eventually break up the crowd. he rally lasted almost two hours, with Disney employees marching through crosswalks to block traffic and chanting, “Disney workers need a raise,” in an effort to raise awareness for their cause...

AFL-CIO calls for break with ‘lesser of two evils’ politics  Workday Minnesota  ...The AFL-CIO convention called for a break with “lesser of two evil politics,” but came up short when it comes to projecting a clear path to how that will be accomplished. “The time has passed when we can passively settle for the lesser of two evils,” reads the main political resolution passed Tuesday by delegates...

CWA union to oppose Sprint, T-Mobile deal over job losses  Reuters  ...The 700,000-member Communications Workers of America (CWA) union said on Tuesday it would oppose a deal to merge wireless carriers Sprint (S.N) and T-Mobile, arguing that such a move would cost tens of thousands of jobs in the United States...

Amid Puerto Rico’s Water Crisis, Unions Step In Where Trump Is Failing  Huffington Post  ...Trump has given no indication that he is concerned. “I give ourselves a 10” out of 10, he said last week, when asked how he’d rate his response to the humanitarian crisis on the U.S. island. That’s led a group of unions and nonprofits to take matters into their own hands with Operation Agua, a new program to fund and deliver water filtration devices directly to people’s houses, schools and relief centers... 

Post-hurricane cleanup could kill more workers than storms themselves  The Guardian  ...More workers could die from the long-term effects of cleaning up after hurricanes Harvey and Irma than were killed by the storms, according to a nationwide network of workplace health and safety groups. The mainland US death toll for the two hurricanes, which battered Texas and Florida in August and September, now stands at approximately 200 people... 

Getting ready for “right to work” nightmare nation  People's World  ...What’s going to happen when the Supreme Court rules, next June or maybe some time before, that “right to work” laws that already obtain in more than half the states, are now the law of the land? If the justices rule against labor in the Janus case, that could be the case for millions of workers in the public sector across the country. Right to work is the principle that non-union members need not contribute to the union that, in fact, represents them even if they do not choose to pay dues... 

Want to Get Back to Normal? Strong Unions Are Key  (opinion) American Prospect  ...At their best, labor unions provide the stability that allows democracy to flourish. When working people organize, they can call out corruption and inequality without fear of reprisal. Union members raise standards for non-union workers in everything from wages to benefits to time off. So if we want to get back to normal, strong unions are key... 

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS 

216 GOP House Members Vote to Destroy the Safety Net and Deliver a Trillion-Dollar Tax Cut to the Rich  Common Dreams  ...The GOP-controlled House of Representatives on Thursday narrowly passed a Senate-approved budget resolution that moves Republicans one step closer to their ultimate goal of delivering massive tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans and imposing "grotesque" and "heartless" cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and other life-saving safety net programs...

Puerto Rico is slipping into an environmental crisis  Vox  ...Five weeks after Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, the island appears to be in the midst of a growing environmental catastrophe.The environmental health, waste, and pollution crises are not simply a result of the storm. After Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, millions of Americans have found out the hard way how close they are to toxic waste and how easily they can be exposed...

Darkness: life in Puerto Rico without electricity  Vox  ...Local and federal officials say it will be months before the power is fully restored, and they acknowledge that in some places it could take far longer because their crews have yet to even reach the hardest-hit areas. The head of Puerto Rico’s debt-ridden power utility says repairs will cost $5 billion...

The FCC plans to roll back some of its biggest rules against media consolidation  Washington Post  ...The Federal Communications Commission will vote next month to eliminate a decades-old rule designed to preserve media diversity in local markets, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said Wednesday. The move is aimed at supporting economically struggling media outlets in an age of digital consumption. But critics say it will lead to greater media consolidation and the loss of independent voices...

The US Needs a New Civilian Conservation Corps  The Nation  ...David Baake, a Democratic primary candidate for Congress in New Mexico’s Second District, issued a call in July for a new CCC, a “Climate Conservation Corps.” Modeled on the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps, Baake proposed putting Americans to work installing energy-efficient technology, retrofitting homes in low-income communities, and taking on “other projects that contribute meaningfully to the fight against climate change, like reforestation and wetland restoration”...

The great dealmaker? Lawmakers find Trump to be an untrustworthy negotiator.  Washington Post  ...President Trump campaigned as one of the world’s greatest dealmakers, but after nine months of struggling to broker agreements, lawmakers in both parties increasingly consider him an untrustworthy, chronically inconsistent and easily distracted negotiator. As Trump prepares to visit Capitol Hill on Tuesday to unify his party ahead of a high-stakes season of votes on tax cuts and budget measures, some Republicans are openly questioning his negotiating abilities...

'We call it the Muslim Ban 3.0': the young Yale lawyers fighting Trump's order  The Guardian  ...Trump’s travel bans have prompted a forceful counter campaign, bolstered by a soft-spoken Yale professor who leads a team of passionate proteges. As outrage spread across America, an ambitious plan started to form. Wishnie mobilized about 20 current students to start researching and drafting papers that would, in collaboration with the American Civil Liberties Union, be filed with a duty judge in Brooklyn...

Jeff Flake, Bob Corker, and John McCain join Trump to gut a major consumer protection  The Intercept  ...With a razor-thin margin, the Senate passed a resolution to nullify a signature regulation from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which banned forced arbitration provisions. Such clauses, tucked into the fine print of contracts that nobody reads, deny consumers the ability to contest claims through a class-action lawsuit. Both Corker and Flake, along with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., joined in the effort to give Trump a major win...

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