Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

This Week's Teamster News for November 11-17

 

TEAMSTERS

Contract Campaigns & Organizing

Saginaw Social Service Workers Vote For Teamster Representation  Teamster.org  ...Recently, social service coordinators, case managers and counselor-aides at Bannum Place in Saginaw, Mich., voted for Teamster representation by Local 406. Bannum Place is a community home for people coming out of the federal prison system. The workers there assist with finding employment for the residents as well as monitoring them as they re-adjust to life outside of prison...

ABF, Teamsters disclose schedules for talks on collective bargaining pact  DC Velocity  ...ABF Freight, the less-than-truckload unit of ArcBest Corp., and the Teamsters union will exchange initial proposals on Dec. 18 and 19 for a new collective bargaining agreement covering about 8,600 unionized employees, ArcBest said today. Negotiations to reach an agreement will begin the week of Jan. 7, Fort Smith, Ark.-based ABF said. The current five-year compact expires March 31...

Thruway, Teamsters reach contract agreement for toll takers, maintenance workers  Times Union  ...After five years without a contract, the state Thruway’s 2,462 toll takers, maintenance workers and others represented by the Teamsters union have a deal.Members of Teamsters Local 72 are expected to ratify the new contract by Nov. 30, state negotiator Joe Bress told board members of the state Thruway Authority on Monday. “You’ll have five years going forward,” he said of the agreement which runs through June 2022...

Teamsters Hold Day Of Action Against Gender Pay Discrimination At Theatre Supplier Warehouse  Workers Independent News  ...Teamsters Local 630, based in Los Angeles, held a national Day of Action on Friday to bring attention to pay discrimination at Vistar’s Ontario, California warehouse, where women are paid an average of 26% less than men doing similar work.  Vistar supplies popcorn and candy for major movie theatre chains across the country.  Eighty-five warehouse workers and drivers have just concluded their third unfair labor practice strike...

Teamsters, Ross County Sheriff's Office reach agreement on 3-year contract  Chillicothe Gazette  ...The county, Ross County Sheriff George Lavender and Teamsters Local 284 have gotten past their final hurdles to reach a contract agreement that will start to make up a pay disparity between Ross County's law enforcers and those of other counties. Earlier this month, the Ross County Commissioners rejected a state fact finder's report on contract negotiations involving the Ross County Sheriff's Office...

Community Action

Cardinal Health announced program to address opioid crisis  Columbus Dispatch  ...Last week, an investor group led by the Teamsters protested at Cardinal’s annual shareholders meeting over opioid deaths and the company’s alleged role in the crisis. And two days before that, the company announced Barrett would relinquish the CEO title at the end of the year and step down as executive chairman in November 2018. The Teamster-led group wanted the company to separate the roles of CEO and chairman...

Waste industry dispatches from Puerto Rico: 'We did what we could do'  Waste Dive  ...The New York Department of Sanitation, for example, sent 31 employees to Puerto Rico to aid in relief efforts. 77 Teamsters from across the country went down at once, too. Waste Dive was able to speak with three department employees and one Teamster about their weeks of working in Puerto Rico, and how their jobs in New York prepared them for the challenges of working in a disaster zone...

Local 315 Member Recounts Puerto Rico Relief Efforts  Local 315  ...After settling back into the groove at UPS North Bay, local 315 member Tim Davenport reflected on his experiences volunteering in Puerto Rico, and the unyielding power of solidarity driven among people during devastation. Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan was home to many Teamsters, union members from over 20 other unions, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, her staff, and some 20 policemen...

Pensions & State Action

Teamsters Support Brown-Neal Legislation to Solve Pension Crisis  Teamster.org  ...The Teamsters Union strongly supports legislation introduced today by Sen. Sherrod Brown and Rep. Richard Neal  that would establish a new agency within the U.S. Treasury Department authorized to issue bonds in order to finance loans to pension plans in financial distress. The “Butch Lewis Act of 2017” would provide a path to fixing the country’s growing pension crisis by providing the financial support the plans need to avoid insolvency...

Sen. Sherrod Brown: Protecting pensions that Ohio retirees have earned  Herald-Dispatch  ...t's bad enough that Wall Street squandered workers' money - and it's worse that the government that's supposed to look out for these folks is trying to break the promise made to them. This crisis affects the massive Central States Teamsters Pension Plan, the United Mine Workers Pension Plan, the Ironworkers Local 17 Pension Plan, the Ohio Southwest Carpenters Pension Plan, the Bakers and Confectioners Pension Plan, and others around the state...

Iowa workers defy attempt to weaken their unions  Pekin Daily Times  ...Teachers and Teamsters, prison guards and other government employees in Iowa last month voted overwhelmingly to stay with fellow workers in unions to make their voices heard, state officials announced Oct. 24, when statewide balloting showed that 97.3 percent of unionists re-certified their unions. Teamsters president James Hoffa commented, “Given the roadblocks constructed by anti-union elected officials in the state, the results are overwhelmingly positive"...

Port Drivers

Federal agencies used port trucking companies with labor violations  USA Today  ...The U.S. military helped fuel labor abuse at America’s largest ports by relying on trucking companies to move goods even after they violated labor laws and were found to have cheated Teamster-backed drivers out of fair pay, a USA TODAY Network investigation found. XPO Logistics and California Cartage, both found guilty of labor infractions, continue to work as federal contractors or subcontractors... 

Sanders calls on Trump to end exploitation of truck drivers  Lake County News  ...U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called on President Donald Trump Friday to sign an executive order ending the exploitation and abuse of port truck drivers, who are supported by the Teamsters. Sanders’ request comes after he met with Los Angeles port truckers to discuss the exploitative labor practices exposed by USA Today. “The federal government should not be rewarding trucking companies that exploit and abuse their own workers,” Sanders wrote in a letter to Trump... 

Strikes

Kansas City Teamster Drivers Strike Sysco  Teamster.org   ...Teamsters Local 41 Sysco drivers are now on strike at the company’s Olathe, Kan., distribution center after management allegedly threatened reprisals for the workers’ union activity. Nationally, Sysco faces multiple federal investigations of unlawful company surveillance, threats, discrimination, and terminations of union supporters in Kansas, Florida, California, South Carolina, Michigan and Washington. Pickets went up around 4 a.m. CST, one day before Sysco convenes its 2017 annual shareholder meeting...

Minnesota Teamster Drivers Strike Sysco  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters Local 120 Sysco drivers honored a picket line extension here today after company workers in Olathe, Kansas, began an unfair labor practice strike earlier in the day. “We stand with our coworkers in the Kansas City area by honoring a picket line extension,” said Donald Huff, a driver with Sysco in St. Paul...

Local 754 Members Strike Bay Valley Foods  Teamster.org  ...Members of Local 754 working at Bay Valley Foods in Pecatonia, Illinois, went on strike Sunday. TV news 23 reported that, "...the company is trying to move their jobs out of Pecatonia and into Iowa. They are also fighting for adequate pension and keeping their healthcare costs from going up." Chuck Murdock, Assistant to the Trustee of Local 754 said, "We gave the company an offer that they could've accepted back in September"...

Nearly 100 Bay Valley Foods employees strike against contract negotiations  WIFR  ...96 Bay Valley Foods employees went on strike around 4 a.m. Members of the Teamster's Labor Union Local 754 say they have been bargaining for months for a contract that keeps jobs in Pecatonica, that provides adequate funding to their pensions and doesn't force them to pay increases to their insurance plans. Members say they are willing to strike as long as they have to...

Strike looms at University of Minnesota campuses  WDAZ  ...Brian Aldes, Teamsters Local 320, "They need to be able to be competitive in the economy. They need to be able to consume. They need to be able to provide for themselves that their families and be contributors to their communities." If the university doesn't agree to a raise, they say they'll go on strike, leaving the five campuses with fifteen hundred fewer helping hands...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Workers to ramp up strike action at Canadian mine in Mexico  Mining.com  ...Miners who have been on strike for the past 11 days at the Media Luna mine in the Mexican state of Guerrero say that they might ramp up actions and shut down two more sections of the mine if their demands keep getting ignored. The representative for the National Executive Committee of the Mining Union said that the arrival of 100 officers of the Mexican armed forces to the mine spurred the protesters' anger...

Pleas sewn into clothing by workers in Turkey are 'tip of iceberg': expert  Reuters  ...Workers in Turkey who stitched pleas for help into clothing sold by retailer Zara are “just the tip of the iceberg” and highlight the need for mechanisms to address concerns about labor conditions, a top human rights expert said on Wednesday. Shoppers in Istanbul discovered notes in clothing saying workers had not been paid at the Bravo Tekstil factory in Turkey...

Richest 1% own half the world's wealth, study finds  The Guardian  ...The globe’s richest 1% own half the world’s wealth, according to a new report highlighting the growing gap between the super-rich and everyone else. The world’s richest people have seen their share of the globe’s total wealth increase from 42.5% at the height of the 2008 financial crisis to 50.1% in 2017, or $140tn (£106tn), according to Credit Suisse’s global wealth report published on Tuesday...

Mexico to respond to tough U.S. proposals at fifth NAFTA round  Reuters  ...Mexico will respond to U.S. demands for changes in content rules for autos and an automatic expiration clause in the NAFTA trade deal when negotiations on reworking the accord begin again this week, a top government official said on Tuesday. A fifth round of talks to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement starts on Wednesday in Mexico City...

U.S. business groups ask trade agency to keep trucking rules in NAFTA  St. Louis Post-Dispatch  ...More than 100 U.S.-based retailers, agriculture groups and transportation councils urged the government’s trade agency on Tuesday to preserve trucking provisions in any new version of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has proposed eliminating the provision that allows Mexican trucks to move more easily into the United States, and vice versa...

TPP Trade Deal Advances Without United States  New York Times  ...Countries in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal have agreed on the core elements to move ahead without the United States, officials said on Saturday, after last minute resistance from Canada raised new doubts about its survival. Taking the agreement forward is a boost for the principle of multilateral trade pacts after U.S. President Donald Trump ditched the TPP this year in favour of an "America First" policy he believes would save U.S. jobs...

Uber Just Lost a Legal Battle in the U.K. and It Could Have a Major Impact for Gig Economy Workers  Inc  ...Uber lost the latest round in the battle over its operating model Friday, when a British panel ruled that the company's drivers are workers, not independent contractors, in a decision with broad implications for the so-called gig economy. The Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld a lower panel's decision, agreeing that the two drivers in this case were "workers" under British law...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES 

New York: on-call workers to get extra pay  Democrat & Chronicle  ...Employees who work "on call" may soon get extra pay if their shifts aren't scheduled with at least two weeks' notice in New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration on Friday advanced new regulations for employee scheduling that are meant to provide protections for on-call workers, who are asked to call in before working a shift to ensure that they are needed...

Iowa union appeals rejection of collective bargaining lawsuit  The Gazette  ...The state’s largest public employee union is appealing a district judge’s ruling that denied the union’s challenge to Iowa’s new collective bargaining law. AFSCME Council 61, which represents roughly 40,000 public workers in Iowa, made the announcement Tuesday afternoon. In February, the Republican-controlled Iowa Legislature overhauled the state’s collective bargaining laws...

Maryland: Montgomery County’s $15 minimum wage bill signed into law  Washington Post  ...Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) signed legislation Monday that requires a $15-an-hour minimum wage starting in 2021 for businesses with at least 51 employees, and giving smaller businesses a bit more time to implement that wage. The wealthy county is the first jurisdiction in Maryland, and the second in the region behind the District, to adopt a $15 minimum...

California may limit liability of self-driving carmakers  AP  ...California regulators are embracing a General Motors recommendation that would help makers of self-driving cars avoid paying for accidents and other trouble, raising concerns that the proposal will put an unfair burden on vehicle owners. If adopted, the regulations drafted by the California Department of Motor Vehicles would protect these carmakers from lawsuits in cases where vehicles haven’t been maintained according to manufacturer specifications...

Puerto Rico: Whitefish draws scrutiny over money charged to island  The Hill  ...The Montana energy company that was awarded a contract to repair Puerto Rico's power grid in the wake of Hurricane Maria is facing scrutiny over the amount of money it has charged the island's state-run utility, according to a report from The New York Times...

New York: immigration arrests at state courthouses up 900 percent, advocates say  Think Progress  ...The number of immigrants arrested or detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency at courthouses in New York has gone up 900 percent in 2017, according to the New York Daily News. Last year, the advocacy group Immigrant Defense Project documented 11 arrests or attempted arrests in New York. That number went up to 110 this year, the publication reported...

Iowa: Boulton, Hubbell lead early in crowded race for governor  Des Moines Register  ...After a long summer of organizing and campaigning, Iowa’s Democratic race for governor is coming into focus with two clear frontrunners and an emerging dark horse, according to party activists and campaign observers interviewed in recent weeks. State Sen. Nate Boulton and retired businessman Fred Hubbell, both of Des Moines, lead the seven-candidate field...

Remember Scott Walker? Undead Wisconsin governor plots his comeback  Salon  ...Walker went back to Wisconsin after his fall from grace, where his approval rating was mired at 37 percent, and then traveled the state on a "listening tour." He's now in the mid-40s and believes he can win again, despite his unpopularity, because he "gets things done." He's counting on his enthusiastic endorsement of Donald Trump and his close relationship with Vice President Mike Pence to put him over the top... 

 

U.S. LABOR

Disney workers rally again for pay increase ahead of union negotiations with company  WFTV  ...Unionized Disney employees took to the streets again Monday in an effort to persuade the company to increase the average worker's pay from $10 to $15 an hour. The unions represent 38,000 Disney workers -- everybody from food and beverage workers to ride operators -- who have a current minimum pay of $10 an hour...

Unionized Metro Transit workers authorize strike during Super Bowl  Star Tribune  ...Unionized bus drivers, LRT operators and others at Metro Transit voted overwhelmingly to reject a final contract offer and authorize a strike during Super Bowl festivities next year. The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1005, which represents about 2,500 workers at Metro Transit, voted 93 percent in favor of rejecting the Metropolitan Council’s last contract offer and authorizing a strike...

Hotel Workers Union Celebrates Anti-Harassment Ordinance  CBS  ...As more allegations of powerful men sexually abusing and harassing women come out, the union representing thousands of Chicago hotel workers is celebrating a new ordinance it says will protect them. Unite Here Local 1 plans to host a celebration at 9 a.m. Tuesday marking the passage last month of what they refer to as the “Hands Off Pants On” ordinance...

Fight over paid leave heating up in Congress  The Hill  ...A bitter fight is looming in Congress over the push for paid family leave, despite broad backing for the idea from both parties and the White House. Republicans and Democrats are divided over the details of a legislative proposal. Meanwhile, White House adviser Ivanka Trump is pushing an alternative plan, leaving no clear path forward...

US transportation workers to face testing for prescription opioids next year  CNBC  ...Safety-sensitive transportation workers — including flight crew, air traffic controllers, truck drivers and train engineers — will be screened for several common opioid painkillers starting next year, according to a new federal rule published Monday. Previous drug tests screened for cocaine and marijuana. The rule adds screening for hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone and oxycodone...

Trump says he loves miners. Critics say he’s putting their lives in danger.  NBC  ...The Trump administration is taking steps to delay, modify and roll back Obama-era safety measures intended to protect mine workers. It's delaying a rule requiring that certain mine operators conduct safety inspections before workers begin their shift. It wants to drop a provision that these operators have to document workplace hazards...

Raises: Survey shows 52% of workers didn't get one in the past year  USA Today  ...More than half of Americans have not gotten a bump in salary over the past 12 months, a new survey finds, despite a tight labor market that’s making it harder for employers to find workers. But employees with more education and higher incomes are more likely to get a raise, the Bankrate.com survey shows. Fifty-two percent of those polled didn’t see their paychecks budge the past year...

Tax Bill Could Increase Worker Status As Contractors, Decrease Benefits And Protections  Forbes  ...A new analysis of the Senate tax bill by Shu-Yi Oei and Diane Ring of the Boston College School of Law suggests part would make it easier for companies to call workers contractors, not employees. For anyone who was followed the contractor trend or has worked as one, the result likely would be less steady work, greater tax impacts on workers, a loss of benefits including healthcare insurance, and elimination of many protections provided by labor law...

Why didn’t unions stop sexual harassment?  (analysis) Politico  ...Many of the revelations about sexual harassment that tumbled forth in recent weeks centered on two heavily unionized industries: Hollywood and the news media. Why didn’t their labor unions stop Harvey Weinstein and the others? The reasons, according to interviews with union officials, women’s advocates, and legal experts, include the “gig” nature of much Hollywood employment; a reluctance by victims to report abuse to anyone, including union reps; and the labor movement’s own male-dominated culturet...

The fastest-growing jobs in America pay about $22,000 per year  Washington Post  ...The largest two categories of America's fastest-growing jobs offer some of the country’s lowest wages and weakest benefits. Over the next ten years, analysts expect to see 1.2 million more jobs for home health and personal care aides, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By 2026, the home health aide industry will add 425,600 positions, an increase of 46.7 percent, the government estimates show. The occupation’s median annual wage today is $22,600...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

House Republicans pass bill that would raise taxes on middle class families  Think Progress  ...The House of Representatives voted to pass the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act early Thursday afternoon. Key parts of the GOP House tax plan include: reducing the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent; creating a special 25 rate on small businesses; eliminating many popular personal exemptions; and repealing the estate tax, a tax levied on individuals with assets worth over $5.5 million dollars...

Senate tax bill would cut taxes of wealthy and increase taxes on families earning less than $75,000 by 2027  Washington Post  ...The tax bill Senate Republicans are championing would give large tax cuts to the rich while raising taxes on American families earning $10,000 to $75,000 over the next decade, according to a report released Thursday by the Joint Committee on Taxation. President Trump and Republican lawmakers have been heralding their bill as a win for hard-working Americans...

Republicans’ tax bill could trigger a $25 billion cut to Medicare  Vox  ...The Republican tax reform bill could trigger an automatic $25 billion cut to Medicare. Republicans are trying to pass a $1.5 trillion tax cut — which the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday could trigger a sequestration across some major mandatory spending programs, like Medicare, federal student loans, and agriculture subsidies, and even some funding for customs and border patrol...

Paradise Papers Show How Misguided the G.O.P. Is on Taxes  (opinion) New York Times  ...Even in the face of the Paradise Papers revelations, Republicans want to lower taxes on big corporations and rich individuals even further. Businesses and the wealthy, the Republicans’ argument goes, will bring their money back to our shores and pay taxes on it if rates are lower. But there are few mechanisms included in their tax package that would actually push either group to do so, rather than keep it abroad and away from taxation...

How the American dream turned into greed and inequality  (opinion) Business Insider  ...Yet the idea that every American has an equal opportunity to move up in life is false. Social mobility has declined over the past decades, median wages have stagnated and today's young generation is the first in modern history expected to be poorer than their parents. The lottery of life - the postcode where you were born - can account for up to two thirds of the wealth an individual generates...

Study: Black People Are 75 Percent More Likely to Live Near Toxic Oil and Gas Facilities  Mother Jones  ...Environmentalists have long contended that communities of color are disproportionately affected by pollution from the oil and gas industry, and a study released on Tuesday details the extent of the harm. According to Fumes Across the Fence-Line, a report from the NAACP and the Clean Air Task Force, black people are 75 percent more likely to live in so-called “fence-line” communities...

The Trump Effect, One Year Later: Thousands of Women Running for Office  Truth Out  ...In the year since Trump won the presidency, groups working toward women's political empowerment have reported an unprecedented surge of interest in politics, especially at the local level. Thousands of women who had not considered or embarked on bids for office began stepping up...

Trump Chooses Former Big Pharma Executive As Next HHS Secretary  Huffington Post  ...President Donald Trump on Monday announced that he plans to nominate former pharmaceutical executive Alex Azar to replace Tom Price as health and human services secretary. The health and human services post has been vacant since late September, when Price resigned after he was caught repeatedly using taxpayer money to pay for chartered jets for government trips. Azar until January was an executive at drugmaker Eli Lilly...

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