Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

This Week's Teamster News for November 4-10

 

TEAMSTERS 

Contract Campaigns & Organizing

Swissport Ramp Agents Join Teamsters  Teamster.org  ...After only a four-month campaign, ramp agents working for Swissport have voted to become members of Teamsters Local 120. The 114 ramp agents, who are responsible for handling baggage, join Swissport aircraft fuelers that are already represented by the union at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. “Congratulations to everyone who worked hard to fight for union representation at Swissport,” said Tom Erickson, President of Local 120...

First Student School Bus Drivers And Monitors in Xenia, Oh Ratify Contract  Teamster.org  ... On Nov. 6, Teamsters Local 957 members working for First Student approved an agreement with the company after five months of negotiations and the threat of a strike, which was narrowly avoided. The agreement was ratified by more than a 70 percent margin. “The bargaining unit really came together at the final hour in solidarity to ratify an agreement that is fair to everyone,” said Local 957 President Kenneth Howard...

Contract Ratification for Teamsters Local 174 Members at Mondelez  Teamster.org  ...On November 4, 2017, 14 Teamsters Local 174 members working at Mondelez voted to ratify a new 3-year agreement. The group of drivers, who deliver Mondelez products to stores, were thrilled to finally ratify a strong new contract after months of challenging negotiations. “It was a long process to get here,” said Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks...

Union and Wyndham Hotel Shuttle Drivers Ratify New Contract  Local 727  ...Wyndham Hotel shuttle drivers voted recently to ratify a new contract. This is just the second contract negotiated for this group, who became Local 727 members only five years ago. Highlights of the five-year agreement negotiated by Teamsters Local 727 include larger increases to wages and creation of new trip fees, extra paid time off, and improved working conditions...

University of Minnesota Teamsters authorize strike  Alberta Lea Tribune  ...Hundreds of custodians, food service workers and groundskeepers at the University of Minnesota have voted to authorize a strike. The university and Teamsters Local 320, which represents about 1,500 workers, have been negotiating a contract for months, but the union says talks have stalled. Union secretary treasurer Brian Aldes says the university has offered a raise of about 1 percent...

Striking workers at Ontario Food Terminal set to return to talks Monday  The Star  ...Striking workers at the Ontario Food Terminal are set to return to the bargaining table Monday over their first collective agreement — with job security, fair wages and scheduling hours of work “still a sticking point.” Roughly 25 employees with Teamster Local Union 419 at Ippolito Produce are affected by the strike which began Tuesday...

Public Works employees petition for Teamsters representation  The Independent  ...Chewelah Mayor Dorothy Knauss announced that a petition had been filed by union officials on behalf of the employees that they want to represent in the city’s public works department. “We received a notice from the Public Employment Relations Commission that the public works crew had filed to be covered by the Teamsters Local 690,” Knauss said to the council about the petition...

CSX employees picket for better wages, health insurance  CBS  ...CSX workers picketed downtown Wednesday, demanding better wages, healthcare insurance and safety practices. They’re upset, saying the company took a turn recently and started negotiating with multiple railroads. They claim carriers have profited at the hand of CSX employees. “We’re hoping to get a fair deal,” Teamsters BMWED union representative Perry Rapier said...

Locals

Hoffa: Public Sector Teamsters Stand Up To Anti-Union Efforts  Huffington Post  ...Teamsters Local 238 ran 69 state-sponsored recertification elections for 2,200 bargaining unit members this month. Of the 1,888 members who voted, 1,828 voted to remain with the Teamsters. You read that right – 97 percent of them voted yes! In the end, 57 Teamster units decided to remain with the union...

Local 727 Fighting Hard for Its Members, Files Hundreds of Grievances Against Employers  Local 727  ...Teamsters Local 727 has had a very busy 2017 filing grievances on behalf of its members. Since January, Local 727 business representatives have filed over 300 grievances. Of those grievances, over 40 have been filed for arbitration and many others settled with agreeable terms. In the third quarter alone there have been five arbitration hearings. “This Union takes great pride in its work fighting for members,” said John Coli Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727...

Union Compels UPS to Pay Health and Welfare Delinquency  Local 162  ...Full-time UPS Teamsters in Local 162 and throughout Joint Council 37, are covered by the Oregon Teamster Employers Trust for their health care benefits.  The trust periodically audits all participating Employers, including UPS. A recent audit of UPS revealed that they had shorted the trust over $283,772.32 in health and welfare contributions.  With penalties and interest this amounted to a total of $352,420.38...

Parking Members Receive $0.75 Annual Contractual Raise  Local 727  ...Last year, Teamsters Local 727 negotiated annual wage raises in the master parking agreement. The agreement covers more than 2,000 parking attendants working at commercial and residential locations throughout the Chicago area. Each contract anniversary, increases are allocated between wages and benefit contributions. This year’s annual contract wage increase is $0.75 per hour and went into effect November 1, 2017... 

Opioid Crisis

Teamsters, Ohioans Join in Opioid Vigil at Cardinal Health  Teamster.org  ...Scores of Teamsters and other community members showed up yesterday for a pre-dawn candlelight vigil across from one of the nation’s largest drug distributors in Dublin, Ohio to remember the victims of the opioid crisis which has taken tens of thousands of lives in recent years across the U.S. The event, held outside Cardinal Health’s headquarters right before its scheduled annual shareholders meeting, drew people who shared their stories on how they lost loved ones...

Teamsters' Vigil Continues Pressure On Cardinal Health Over Opioids  WOSU  ...The International Brotherhood of Teamsters continued its pressure on Dublin-based drug distributor Cardinal Health Wednesday morning with a vigil to call attention to Cardinal’s role in the opioid crisis. Before dawn, about 75 Teamsters and their supporters held candles to honor those who've died or are still struggling with addiction... 

Teamster-led shareholder group presses Cardinal Health over opioid crisis  Columbus Dispatch  ...With Cardinal Health’s announcement early Monday that it will separate the roles of chairman and CEO and fill the chairman position with an independent director, Teamsters claimed victory. “This demonstrates the strength of a growing investor movement led by the Teamsters to hold America’s largest drug distributors accountable for their role in fueling the opioid epidemic,” said Ken Hall, general secretary-treasurer of the Teamsters...

Drug wholesaler CEO to step down amid WV pain-pill probe  Gazette-Mail  ...Drug giant Cardinal Health’s CEO is stepping down amid pressure from investors and a flurry of lawsuits in West Virginia and other states that seek to hold the company accountable for the nation’s opioid epidemic. The Teamsters union had planned to protest Cardinal Health’s annual shareholders meeting this week...

Pensions

Sen. Brown announces plan to protect pension of Ohio retirees  WKBN  ...Speaking at the Local 377 Teamsters Hall on Monday morning, the senator said many Ohio retirees are in jeopardy of seeing their pensions cut. d Barker, president of the Local #377 Retirees Club, said something needs to be done. “We didn’t work to retire and get poorer, as we live longer with these pension cuts,” he said. The Butch Lewis Act is named after Butch Lewis, the former retired head of Teamsters Local 100 in Evendale, Ohio...

Political Action

Teamsters Denounce House Passage of Joint Employer Ruling Rollback  Teamster.org  ...The Teamsters Union denounced the passage of legislation (H.R. 3441) introduced by House Republicans that rolls back the 2015 National Labor Relations Board “joint employer” ruling in the case of Browning-Ferris Industries, Inc. The decision ensured strong protections for millions of American workers by holding accountable employers that rely on temporary or contracted workers when those employers call the shots...

Hoffa, New Jersey Teamsters Rally in Support of Phil Murphy for Governor  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa joined hundreds of New Jersey Teamsters and members from other unions at a rally to support of Ambassador Phil Murphy for governor. Following the rally, union members volunteered to get out the vote for the campaign during the final weekend before Election Day on Nov. 7. Speaking at the rally, Hoffa stressed the importance of taking New Jersey in a new direction... 

Port Drivers

Drivers seek $1.1M from carrier over classification as contractors  CCJ  ...The Teamster-backed Justice for Port Drivers says California Multimodal made illegal deductions to the truckers’ paychecks and did not reimburse business expenses. The 275-truck carrier also violated state law by not paying meal and rest break premiums, minimum wage for all hours worked and waiting time penalties, the organization stated...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE 

Turkey: Zara Shoppers Find Notes From Unpaid Factory Workers Sewn Into Clothes  Jezebel  ...Shoppers at Zara in Istanbul have found notes from Turkish factory workers sewn into their garments: The tag reads “I made this item you are going to buy, but I didn’t get paid for it.” It urges shoppers to back their campaign and pressure Zara into paying them. The tags noted that the workers were employed by third-party manufacturer Bravo Tekstil, which abruptly shuttered last year and left them owed several months in wages...

Agreement in meeting on TPP trade deal - Mexican minister  Reuters  ...Ministers from Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries reached agreement in talks on the trade deal on Thursday, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said, although ministers from several other countries declined to comment. Australian trade minister Steven Ciobo said the meeting was “very good” but did not confirm that agreement had been reached...

KORUS revision talks may begin as early as next month  Korea Herald  ...Negotiations between Seoul and Washington regarding the revision of the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement are expected to begin next month, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. The timeline for the FTA revision process still needs to be determined because the US has yet to officially announce whether it intends to push forward with a full or partial revision of the agreement... 

Some NAFTA talks to get early Nov. 15 start in Mexico: sources  Reuters  ...U.S., Mexican and Canadian officials will kick off some of the next round of talks to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement slightly ahead of schedule on Nov. 15, four officials familiar with the process said on Monday.The fifth round of NAFTA negotiations is due to be held between Nov. 17 -21 in Mexico City... 

NAFTA, the Cross-Border Disaster  American Prospect  ...As the talks to renegotiate NAFTA unfold in Washington, most attention in the United States has understandably focused on its domestic impact. Yet the treaty also had an enormous effect on Mexico, spurring a wave of forced migration of millions of people. Today a growing number of union members in all three NAFTA countries believe the treaty should be renegotiated...

'Some kids are not orphans because of this': how unions are keeping workers safe  The Guardian  ...As labor unions across much of the world struggle to increase their membership, how do workers get their employers to raise wages and assure safe conditions? That’s the question some of the world’s most innovative worker groups are asking. Several of those groups gathered last week to launch an ambitious effort to improve the lives of millions of workers in the corporate supply chains...

Bernie Sanders warns of 'international oligarchy' after Paradise Papers leak  The Guardian  ...Bernie Sanders has warned that the world is rapidly becoming an “international oligarchy” controlled by a tiny number of billionaires, highlighted by the revelations in the Paradise Papers. In the wake of the massive leak of documents exposing the secrets of offshore investors, Sanders said that the enrichment of wealthy individuals and companies in tax havens was “the major issue of our time”...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

New York State voters reject constitutional convention, approve proposal to seize pensions of corrupt politicians  NY Daily News  ...Voters on Tuesday rejected the idea of holding a convention to overhaul New York's constitution. With opposition driven by some of the state's most powerful labor unions and interest groups, the proposal to hold a constitutional convention was crushed by more than 50 percentage points, according to early returns...

With Virginia, Voters Give Democrats First Big Wins of the Trump Era  New York Times  ...Voters delivered their first forceful rebuke of President Trump and his party on Tuesday night, with Democrats exploiting Mr. Trump’s deep unpopularity to capture the governorships in Virginia and New Jersey and make significant inroads into suburban communities that once favored the Republican Party. The Democratic Party’s crowning success of the night came in Virginia...

Democrat Phil Murphy elected governor of New Jersey  Business Insider  ...New Jersey voters elected Democrat Phil Murphy to be the blue state's next governor on Tuesday, replacing Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who is now the least popular governor in New Jersey history. Democrat Phil Murphy, a former Wall Street banker and ambassador to Germany under former President Barack Obama, was long expected to beat his Republican opponent...

Democrats In Washington State Win Full Control Of The Government  Huffington Post  ...National parties and wealthy donors poured millions of dollars into this otherwise obscure race because of the significance of the seat. Democrats control the governorship and the state House in Washington, but until Tuesday, they’ve been one seat short of a majority in the Senate. That one-seat differential has mattered. Republicans in the Senate have prevented Gov. Jay Inslee from enacting some of his top legislative priorities...

With Senate vote, Wisconsin joins call for unprecedented convention to amend U.S. Constitution  State Journal  ...State lawmakers have made Wisconsin the 28th state to request an unprecedented national convention to amend the country’s founding document, the U.S. Constitution. The state Senate voted 19-14 Tuesday to pass a resolution that completed Wisconsin’s application for a convention, which does not require the governor’s signature...

After Maine Voters Approve Medicaid Expansion, Governor Raises Objections  NPR  ...Just hours after Maine voters became the first in the nation to use the ballot box to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, Republican Gov. Paul LePage said he wouldn't implement it unless the Legislature funds the state's share of an expansion. LePage has long been a staunch opponent of Medicaid expansion...

Six weeks after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Ricans still waiting for help from Fema  The Guardian  ...More than six weeks after Hurricane Maria, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) is still hobbled by the lack of electricity and reliable cell and internet service – stopping Puerto Ricans from accessing assistance they desperately need. “I feel like it’s constant begging, I’m a professional woman and now I’m crawling, just crawling for help,” said Luz Nereida Montero, a former school administrator who lives in the town of Utuado...

Montgomery County Council unanimously approves $15 minimum-wage  Washington Post  ...The Montgomery County Council voted unanimously Tuesday to require a $15-per-hour minimum wage starting in 2021, joining a small but growing national movement and signaling a revived push to try to implement the wage statewide. Montgomery, the largest and one of the most affluent jurisdictions in Maryland, is the first in the state to require a $15 minimum...

 

U.S. LABOR 

Ohio workers vote on unionization at Chinese supplier plant  Reuters  ...Workers at a Chinese-owned auto glass plant in southwestern Ohio will finish voting on Thursday on whether to join the United Auto Workers, in a test of the union’s strategy for organizing foreign-owned auto factories after a stinging loss in the U.S. Deep South in August. The vote, which began on Wednesday, involves roughly 1,500 workers at the Fuyao Glass Industry Group Co Ltd plant...

Carrier to lay off hundreds more workers — despite cash deal with Trump to save jobs  Raw Story  ...President Donald Trump last year struck a deal with the Carrier Corporation that was supposed to save American manufacturing jobs at the company. Since then, Carrier has laid off hundreds of employees — and that the company is planning to lay off hundreds more workers early next year. Specifically, Carrier says it plans to lay off 215 more workers this coming January...

Sacramento teacher strike averted. Union, city district reach deal ahead of planned walkout  SacBee  ...The Sacramento City Unified School District and its teachers union reached an agreement Monday on a new contract that gives teachers up to an 11 percent raise over the three-year deal and averts a strike for the 43,000-student district. The deal was finalized after being brokered over the weekend by Mayor Darrell Steinberg, school district Superintendent Jorge Aguilar and the Sacramento City Teachers Association... 

Kroger Employees in West Virginia Approve Contract  Associated Press  ...Kroger employees have ratified a new union contract covering 4,200 workers at 34 grocery stores in West Virginia, three in Ohio and two in Kentucky. WVVA-TV reports that about 1,000 members of United Food & Commercial Workers Local 400 voted Monday in Charleston and Clarksburg. The contract with the grocery chain was effective immediately and extends through Aug. 29, 2020...

WGA East, SAG-AFTRA Protest Over Closures of DNAinfo, Gothamist in New York  Variety  ...More than 300 people have rallied in Manhattan to support writers at the recently shuttered New York news sites DNAinfo and Gothamist. The event, held at New York’s City Hall Park, took place Monday — four days after billionaire Joe Ricketts announced he had shut down the sites. The Writers Guild of America East had announced on Oct. 27 that the editorial staffs at the DNAinfo and Gothamist had voted to unionize...

US Postal Service workers in Iowa picket to protest job cuts  KCCI  ...U.S. Postal Service workers have taken to the sidewalks to protest job cuts at Des Moines' main post office and other postal facilities across the country. About 100 people, consisting of postal workers, customers, teachers and others, turned out Wednesday afternoon to protest recent cuts. Mike Bates, president of the Des Moines Area American Postal Workers Union, says the cuts have led to long lines and delayed service for customers...

Appeals court: State must give union workers their pay raises while negotiating new contract  Madison Record  ...The Fifth District Appellate Court dealt Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner a setback Nov. 6 by ruling in favor of union employees on the question of stepped salary increases, saying whether or not there is a collective bargaining agreement in place, AFSCME workers are owed the regular pay raises, which the state hasn't paid since a contract expired in 2015...

Does Labor Have a Death Wish?  (analysis) Politico  ...One year after an election it would like to forget, organized labor is taking it on the chin from a president who won more union households than any other Republican during the previous three decades. Labor leaders overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton. But for the union rank and file, pulling the lever for Donald Trump turned out to be a stunning betrayal of their own movement and its interests...

U.S. Labor Leaders Confront Sexual Harassment in Top Ranks  Bloomberg  ...The AFL-CIO’s chief budget officer and assistant to Trumka, Terry Stapleton, resigned Monday following allegations of sexual harassment. The Service Employees International Union, the second-biggest union in the U.S., is reeling from its own harassment scandal that has seen the departure of four senior staff...

52 and making $28,000 a year: The ‘roaring’ economy is still failing part-time workers  Washington Post  ...President Trump often touts the “roaring” economy, and it’s true the country’s engine is running smoothly by some important metrics: The unemployment rate now sits at a 17-year low, and the United States just recorded its 100th straight month of job growth. But 4.8 million Americans still report feeling stuck in a part-time job when they desire full-time work...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

The Richest One Percent of America Gets Half the Trump Tax Cuts  Daily Intelligencer  ...The richest one percent, who earn 22 percent of all income, and pay 36 percent of all federal taxes, would get 48 percent of the Republican tax cuts. As a percentage of their income, the very affluent would gain far more than anybody else. Republicans think it’s both more fair and more efficient to change the tax code so rich people pay less...

GOP bill would hike taxes on 31 percent of middle-class Americans by 2027, study finds  Washington Post  ...a growing number of nonpartisan analyses show that some middle-class Americans would not get more money in their pockets under the GOP plan. Nine percent of middle-class tax filers (those earning between $48,600 and $86,100) would pay more in taxes next year, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center released Wednesday...

After ‘Paradise Papers,’ Democrats Call on GOP to Slow Down Tax Bill  Bloomberg  ...House Republicans should slow down their consideration of a tax-overhaul bill after investigative reports Sunday alleged offshore tax-avoidance by U.S. multinational companies including Apple Inc. and Nike Inc., congressional Democrats and tax-advocacy groups said...

Suspect in Texas Church Massacre was Thrown Out of Air Force & Jailed for Assaulting Wife & Child  Democracy Now  ...Sunday’s mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, a tiny rural community east of San Antonio, Texas, left 26 people killed and 20 more wounded. The suspected shooter has been identified as a 26-year-old white man named Devin Patrick Kelley from New Braunfels, Texas. Kelley enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 2010. In 2012, he was court-martialed for assaulting his wife and child...

Trump Actions on Protected Status Prompt Outcry from Latino Lawmakers, Advocates  NBC  ...Latino advocates and legislators from both parties criticized the Trump administration's announcement that it would terminate a Temporary Protected Status program that allows about 3,000 Nicaraguans to stay and work in the U.S. legally as well as delay the decision on whether to extend the program to recipients from Honduras...

Syria agrees to sign the Paris climate agreement, making the US the only holdout   Vox  ...Syria will at long last sign the Paris climate agreement, leaving the United States as the only country in the entire world that does not want to be party to the accord.The Syrian delegate made the announcement Tuesday at the United Nations climate summit in Bonn, Germany, where talks are underway to get countries to implement their plans under the agreement faster and more aggressively...

Shutdown threat growing over immigration fight  The Hill  ...Lawmakers are gearing up for an end-of-year fight over a key Obama-era immigration program, raising the chances of a government shutdown. Democrats believe they have leverage to demand an immigration deal going into the end-of-year negotiations because GOP leadership will likely need their votes to keep the government open...

Trump Pick for Top Civil Rights Enforcer Has Made a Career of Fighting Discrimination Claims  Mother Jones  ...After leaving government, Dreiband cashed in on his tenure at the EEOC to start working on behalf of companies fighting off discrimination suits brought by his former employer. He defended big corporations against the EEOC, including CVS Pharmacy in a case over its severance agreements and Bloomberg in a pregnancy discrimination case... 

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