Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

This Week's Teamster News for October 7-13

 

TEAMSTERS

Community & Political Action

Teamsters, Labor Allies Propose a Pro-Worker Path Forward for NAFTA  Teamster.org  ...Top Teamsters leaders joined with members of Congress and their fellow union allies from across North America today in laying out a path forward for a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as negotiators meet in the nation’s capital to discuss changes to the trade pact...

Teamsters Remember Members Killed in Las Vegas Shooting  Teamster.org  ...The Teamsters are mourning the deaths of two members and one retired member who were killed this week in the senseless Las Vegas shooting that claimed the lives of 58 people. In addition, there are reports that several Teamsters were injured during the incident as well. Dana Gardner of Local 1932 and Rachael Parker of Local 911, both from California, died during the massacre...

Teamsters Support Improved Pensions for N.Y. Law Enforcement  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa today wrote New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to request enactment of a new law that would provide for an optional 20-year retirement for county correction officers and deputy sheriffs in the state. In his letter, Hoffa urged the governor to sign the measure into law in order to end the pension disparity between correctional officers and other law enforcement... 

End of the road: will automation put an end to the American trucker?  The Guardian  ...The stage has been set for a battle between the forces of labor and the tech titans. In July, the powerful Teamsters union successfully pushed Congress to slow legislation for states looking to broaden the use of autonomous vehicles. After arm-twisting by the union, the US House of Representatives energy and commerce committee exempted vehicles over 10,000lb from new rules...

Contract Campaigns

Teamsters, Swissport reach a tentative agreement  Teamsters Canada  ...Teamsters Local Union 419 and Swissport reached a tentative agreement during the night of Tuesday, October 10. The strike will continue until the tentative agreement is formally ratified. Over 700 cabin cleaners, baggage handlers and other ground crew workers employed by Swissport at Pearson Airport have been on strike since late July...

St. Paul School Cafeteria Workers Vote To Authorize Strike  CBS  ...Cafeteria workers at St. Paul public schools have voted in favor of authorizing a strike. Teamsters Local 320 says 92 percent of the district’s 300-plus nutrition services employees voted Tuesday. A joint mediation session between the Teamsters and the district is set for Tuesday, Oct. 24. If negotiations fail, workers could go on strike as early as November... 

UPS Teamster Locals to Review Contract Proposals  UPS Rising  ...On Tuesday, October 17, representatives from each local union that represents UPS and UPS Freight Teamsters will be meeting in the Washington, D.C. area to review and approve national contract proposals that will be submitted to UPS when negotiations begin. This “two-person” meeting includes two representatives from each UPS and UPS Freight local union... 

Disaster Relief

Teamsters, Waste Management and DSNY mobilize to storm-battered Puerto Rico  Waste Dive  ...A group of 77 Teamsters members from across the country departed for Puerto Rico Oct. 4 from Newark, NJ, in a flight sponsored by United Airlines. The flight carried volunteers from other groups and carried supplies, as well. For two Teamsters who Waste Dive spoke with, the mission in Puerto Rico is personal...

Plymouth County sheriff sending donations to Florida hurricane victims  Wicked Local  ...Volunteers from Teamsters Local 25 are driving the trucks nearly 1,700 miles from Plymouth to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office in Rockland Key, Florida. McDonald and union President Sean O’Brien will be on hand Tuesday morning to see the trucks off...

United Airlines And Unions Fly Through Sham Attacks On Labor To Help Out In Puerto Rico  Forbes  ...After Maria struck, right wing web sites circulated false reports that Puerto Rican truck drivers, members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters had gone on strike and refused to deliver supplies. In reality, most drivers could not get to work. Among the volunteers on the relief flight were 91 Teamsters...

Puerto Rican Teamsters Stories are Bogus  FactCheck.org   ...Distribution of aid in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria wasn’t delayed by a Teamsters strike, as has been widely circulated online. There was, in fact, no strike. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters issued a statement on Oct. 2 denouncing the claim...

Locals

Local 727 Applauds Repeal of Job-Killing Beverage Tax  Local 727  ...Teamsters Local 727 applauds the repeal of the Cook County Beverage Tax Ordinance today by the Cook County Board of Commissioners. The repeal, which goes into effect December 1, means that working families will no longer be required to pay an exorbitant amount of money for soft drinks, fruit juices and other beverages...

“Perseverance Paid Off”: Rightful Pension Credits to Be Awarded to YRC and Holland Teamsters  Local 710  ...Eighty-five Teamsters Local 710 members and pensioners from YRC/Holland Clerical and YRC Maintenance are finally able to celebrate: They won their long and challenging fight to be made whole in what was rightfully owed to them in their pensions. The Teamsters will be awarded one year and eight months of pension credits from June 2011 to April 2013... 

Horizon Air pilots blast Alaska management over service cuts  ATW  ...In a public letter published as a full-page ad in The Seattle Times, the executive committee of Teamsters Local 1224—the Portland affiliate of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) union representing Horizon’s pilots—said the pilot shortage Alaska management has cited for preemptively canceling hundreds of Horizon flights and deferring deliveries of Embraer E175 aircraft is not the “full story”...

Puerto Rico Updates

Hurricane Maria’s Aftermath: Saturday, October 7  Teamster.org  ...The Teamster Disaster Relief volunteers have been on the ground since Wednesday working diligently to restore some semblance of stability in Puerto Rico as it still reels from the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Maria. “Teamsters hit the ground running; we’ve got several trucks now and we’re getting much more soon,” said Roy Gillespie, Teamsters Joint Council 13 Human Rights Coordinator... 

Hurricane Maria's Aftermath: Sunday, October 8  Teamster.org  ...Less than four days after landing in San Juan, the Teamsters Disaster Relief team has already expanded its mission across the island in the weeks following Hurricane Maria’s havoc. Workers are providing relief in Fajardo, Cataño, and even Yabucoa, where the eye of the hurricane first made landfall. Infrastructure has been destroyed on the island...

Hurricane Maria's Aftermath: Monday, October 9  Teamster.org  ...Coordinating with government agencies, other labor unions, the Red Cross, non-profit organizations, and other groups has been central to successful disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico by the Teamsters. “Over the weekend, we were filling in for the public works department in the City of San Juan,” said IBT Organizer Ricardo Hidalgo. “We’ve all been working sixteen to twenty-hour days, but they’ve been doing it for weeks"... 

Hurricane Maria's Aftermath: Tuesday, October 10  Teamster.org  ...Disaster relief involves multiple organizations looking to get hundreds of thousands of people water, food, and other necessities all in a matter of days – an effort that presents a great deal of logistical challenges. Fortunately, Teamsters are resourceful. Relief workers often communicate by text, and they travel in teams...

Hurricane Maria's Aftermath: Wednesday, October 11  Teamster.org  ...The tragedies brought by Hurricane Maria didn’t end after the storm. On Monday and Tuesday, disaster relief workers in Puerto Rico had to deal with a new challenge: mudslides that emerged following new rainfall on the island. No Teamster volunteers were hurt, but the situation illustrates how the forces of nature don’t stop wreaking havoc just because a storm has ended...

Hurricane Maria's Aftermath: Thursday, October 12  Teamster.org  ...A lot of Teamsters made sacrifices to go to Puerto Rico to help out those affected by Hurricane Maria. For Local 631 member Marco Cruz, that meant one of his most prized possessions. “My employer, Clark-Webster, told me that my job would be waiting for me when I get back,” Cruz said. “Still, I’m going to be off of work for some time, so I sold my Harley Davidson"...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

France: Public workers stage nationwide strike against Macron's labor reforms  DW.com  ...French civil servants are on strike today in a bid to put pressure on President Emmanuel Macron's cost cutting plans in the public sector. Nine public sector unions representing more than five million workers called the nationwide strikes and demonstrations against Macron's plans to cut 120,000 civil service jobs, freeze pay, alter sick leave policy and cut social employment schemes...

Zimbabwe Vendor Ban Targets Vulnerable Workers  Solidarity Center  ...The government in Zimbabwe is moving to ban market vendors in Harare at a time when more than 90 percent of the workforce labors in the informal economy and 85 percent or more Zimbabweans are seeking decent work. “People who are into street vending are not into it for their liking, but are being forced due to the collapsed economy,” the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) says...

GM warns Canadian union it could wind down striking SUV plant  Reuters  ...General Motors Co on Wednesday warned leaders of Canada’s Unifor labor union that it will start to wind down production of its popular Chevrolet Equinox sport utility vehicle at an Ontario factory unless workers there call off a month-long strike. The strike has been fueled by union opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement...

Trump war of words with big business over NAFTA escalates  The Hill  ...President Trump renewed his threat to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as the biggest business lobby aggressively pushed back in an escalating war of words between the two sides. Trump bashed NAFTA during his populist campaign for the presidency...

U.S. businesses fear NAFTA doomed; Mexico warns of consequences  Reuters  ...The most powerful U.S. business lobby accused the Trump administration of making “poison pill proposals” to sabotage NAFTA on Tuesday, as Mexico’s foreign minister said the demise of the regional trade pact would hurt bilateral cooperation. The process of renegotiating the 23-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement has turned increasingly acrimonious...

On NAFTA negotiations, Trudeau says Canada has to be 'ready for anything'  CBC  ...Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that what while it is possible to re-negotiate NAFTA so all three countries come out with a better deal, Canada has "to be ready for anything" that might come next. Trudeau said that Trump is prone to making surprising decisions but Canada is ready to deal with the unpredictability of the U.S. administration...

Mexico readies for worst as 4th round of NAFTA talks open  Washington Post  ...Mexico appeared to be preparing for the worst as the fourth round of talks on the North American Free Trade Agreement were opening in Washington on Wednesday. Mexico’s foreign relations secretary, Luis Videgaray, said Tuesday his country won’t accept “limited, managed trade,” an apparent reference to demands for higher U.S. and regional content rules on products like auto parts...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Texas: court declines to speed Texas voter ID challenge as elections loom  Statesman  ...A federal appeals court Tuesday declined to have all 14 judges participate in the appeal over the Texas voter ID law — a decision that will keep the issue unresolved heading into the 2018 elections, one judge said. Civil rights groups and minority voters who challenged the voter ID law as discriminatory had asked for the entire court to hear the appeal as a way to speed the case toward resolution...

Minnesota Republicans Running for Governor Support Voter ID  US News & World Report  ...Four Republicans running for governor in Minnesota all support requiring voters to show identification at the polls, despite the idea being rejected during a 2012 statewide vote. The candidates —Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, former Republican Party chair Keith Downey, state Rep. Matt Dean and state Sen. Dave Osmek — say the 2012 vote isn't the last word on the issue...

DC paid family leave law could be changing  WTOP  ...Less than a year after the D.C. City Council passed a generous paid family leave bill, lawmakers are already considering changing the measure to soften the tax burden on business owners. The current law’s benefits would be funded through a 0.62 percent tax on D.C. businesses, which is expected to generate $250 million annually...

Best states and cities in the US for paid family leave  CNBC  ...While eligible employees are protected under the Family and Medical Leave Act, which offers 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a year for employees to take care of a newborn child or family member, the cities and states listed here have developed their own policies...

Even at $15 an Hour, Need Is Close By  New York Times  ...“The Fight for 15,” as the movement is known, began in New York five years ago, when 200 fast-food workers marched to demand $15 an hour and the right to unionize from their employers. Since then, the movement has spread to 300 cities around the world and won various political and corporate victories — last year Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation that would secure a $15 an hour minimum wage for all workers in New York ...

Weeks After Hurricane, Puerto Rico Lacks Water, Working Hospitals, Electricity & Considers Solar  Democracy Now  ...Three weeks after Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria, President Trump asked Congress for $4.9 billion loan to help the island pay government salaries and other expenses. This comes as he allowed a 10-day waiver of the Jones Act to lapse, restricting shipments of food, fuel and medicine from foreign-flagged ships as nearly half of the island still lacks clean water and nearly 90 percent lacks electricity... 

Trump threatens to abandon Puerto Rico recovery effort  Washington Post  ...President Trump served notice Thursday that he may pull back federal relief workers from Puerto Rico, effectively threatening to abandon the U.S. territory amid a staggering humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Declaring the U.S. territory's electrical grid and infrastructure to have been a “disaster before hurricanes,” Trump wrote Thursday that it will be up to Congress how much federal money to appropriate to the island...

Congress: Rebuild Puerto Rico before you build Trump’s wall  (opinion) Salon  ...Last week, a panel in the House of Representatives authorized up to $10 billion to be spent on President Donald Trump's infamous U.S.-Mexico border wall. Yet instead of complaining that the devastation wrought on Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria has "thrown our budget out of whack," Trump could dedicate federal dollars to rebuilding the devastated commonwealth...

 

U.S. LABOR

New Orleans' largest hotel forms union; here's what move means for hospitality industry  The Advocate  ...The Hilton's roughly 500 unionized employees joined about 1,500 other workers whom Unite Here represents in the area, including at Harrah's Hotel and Casino, which joined in 2014. The recent spate of activity, though still a small sliver of the industry's local numbers, marks a striking turn after decades during which unions made little headway at the city's hotels...

Thousands begin voting on AFSCME, ISEA unions  Quad-City Times  ...Thousands of city, county and school district employees in Iowa will begin voting Tuesday on recertifying their union representation in a process union leaders call “unfair” and “punitive.” “There is nothing fair about this election. Nothing. That’s what the public needs to know,” said Danny Homan president of the state’s largest public union, AFSCME Iowa Local 61...

The LA Times’ Cliché Anti-Union Tactics  Jobs with Justice  ...Last week, a majority of newsroom staffers at the Los Angeles Times announced their intention to join together in union and join their colleagues at other newspapers who are already members of NewsGuild-CWA. Soon after, Tronc, the corporate owners of the paper, issued a letter to tell the Times staff that their union wasn’t welcome...

Charges Against Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones Filed to the National Labor Relations Board  WBAP  ...Charges have been filed against Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to the National Labor Relations Board in Fort Worth, after he made statements threatening to bench players who did not stand for the national anthem. The United Labor Union’s Wade Rathke filed the charge against Jones, claiming the team owner violated the National Labor Relations Act...

U.S. mail carriers emerge as heroes in Puerto Rico recovery  Reuters   ...Mail carriers gather information on sick and elderly residents in far-flung parts where hospitals have closed. Data is fed into the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief office in San Juan so medical attention can be provided. Restoration of the power grid is months away and many rural roads are blocked by mudslides, sink holes and downed trees and telephone poles...

More than 50% of workers subject to mandatory arbitration  Chron  ...More than half the nation's private sector workforce is barred from the courthouse if they have disputes over pay, working conditions or discrimination, according to new survey of employers about their use of mandatory arbitration contracts... 

Will the Supreme Court Unravel Public Employee Unions?  The Atlantic  ...This term at the U.S. Supreme Court seems likely to end with an assault foretold—on America’s public-employee unions. It will come in a case called Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, which was granted review on September 28. Janus challenges—for the third time in five years—the financial stability of public employee unions. By coincidence, these unions are an important pillar of the Democratic Party...

Trump's anti-union labor department says unions get Americans insured  Newsweek  ...President Donald Trump’s anti-union Labor Department released a study that showed joining a union is one of your best shots at getting health care coverage. Almost every union worker—94 percent—had access to employer-provided health care benefits as of March of this year, a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows... 

Trump tries to weaken federal unions, but membership grows in reaction to GOP actions  Washington Post  ...President Trump and Capitol Hill Republicans have been good for federal unions, even as they attempt to undermine the labor organizations and the public servants they represent. With the GOP running the White House and Congress, membership in federal unions is on the rise, fed by an administration and legislature that leaves the workforce anxious about budget cuts, layoffs and an erosion of civil service protections...

Dems press Trump to require opioid testing for transportation workers  The Hill  ...Democrats are pressing the Trump administration to move ahead with a stalled rule that would require opioid testing for certain transportation workers. Currently, the Department of Transportation (DOT) only administers a five-panel drug test for safety-sensitive transportation workers, which includes marijuana, cocaine and PCP...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

'Just ash and bone': At least 31 dead, hundreds still missing as California wildfires rage  Washington Post  ...The death toll rose to 31 Thursday as California authorities began assessing the damage from the deadliest spate of wildfires to strike the state in more than 80 years, even while the blazes continued to flatten swaths of land and drive people from their homes. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials said some 190,000 acres had scorched across the state...

State Official Charged with Involuntary Manslaughter in the Flint Water Crisis  Mother Jones  ...On Monday, the Michigan attorney general’s office announced that Dr. Eden Wells, who was the state’s chief medical officer, would be charged with involuntary manslaughter for her role in the Flint water crisis. In June, she was charged with obstruction of justice after she allegedly attempted misled investigators and tried to stop an investigation into the crisis... 

Poll: Most Americans Don’t Want Young Immigrants Deported  NBC  ...ust 1 in 5 Americans want to deport young immigrants brought to the United States as children and now here illegally, the focus of a politically fraught debate between the White House and Congress. Americans also have largely negative opinions about President Donald Trump's signature immigration pledge to build a wall along the entire U.S.-Mexico border...

Trump promises to lower taxes for truckers — and get rid of potholes, too  CNBC  ...President Donald Trump on Wednesday made lofty pledges about the benefits of the work-in-progress Republican tax plan — and threw in a promise to rid roads of potholes, to boot. Speaking in Pennsylvania to a crowd that included truckers, Trump promoted a tax framework he claimed would boost job creation and put more money in middle-income Americans' pockets...

Mike Pence’s NFL Walkout Was a Cheap, Transparent Stunt  The Nation  ...Pence used the NFL to star in a cheap, transparent political stunt. The narrative Pence tried—and failed—to sell was that he showed up at the Colts-49ers game in Indianapolis and then supposedly left in a huff after being shocked—shocked!—to see the San Francisco 49ers kneel...  

Trump EPA's 4-Year Strategic Plan Doesn't Mention 'Climate'  Common Dreams  ...If President Donald Trump's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hadn't already made it abundantly clear that addressing climate change is near the very bottom of its list of priorities, the agency's newly unveiled four-year "strategic plan" should remove all doubt, as it does not contain a single mention of "climate change"—or even just "climate"...

US police killings undercounted by half, study using Guardian data finds  The Guardian  ...Over half of all police killings in 2015 were wrongly classified as not having been the result of interactions with officers, a new Harvard study based on Guardian data has found. The finding is just the latest to show government databases seriously undercounting the number of people killed by police...

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