Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

This Week's Teamster News for October 28-November 3

 

TEAMSTERS

Contract Campaigns

St. Paul Public Schools Teamsters Ratify Strong Contract   Teamster.org  ...At Minnesota's St. Paul Public Schools, 300 workers work hard each day feeding 39,000 kids. It’s not an easy job, but these nutrition service workers love what they do. Many have memorized thousands of kids’ names and which kids have which food allergy. It’s a population where 72 percent of the kids are eligible for free or reduced-rate lunches and some receive three free meals a day to ensure they get enough to eat...

Danville Teamsters Ratify Newest Contract With First Student  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters Local 26 members that work as drivers, mechanics and monitors at First Student approved an agreement yesterday with the company after several months of negotiations and the threat of a strike, which would have affected 6,000 students in Danville Public Schools. The agreement, which covers approximately 110 workers, was ratified by more than a 75 percent margin...

Houston Southern Glazer's Drivers Ratify First Contract With Teamsters Local 988  Teamster.org  ...Delivery drivers and warehouse workers at Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits (Southern Glazer) in the Houston area have ratified their first contract with Teamsters Local 988. The nearly 200-member unit voted overwhelmingly for the contract. “Congratulations to the drivers and warehouse workers at Southern Glazer on ratifying their first contract,” said Robert Mele, President of Local 988... 

Teamsters Technicians and Related, NetJets Reach Agreement in Principle  Teamster.org  ...The negotiating team comprised of Teamsters Airline Division representatives, Teamsters Local 284 business agent and rank and file committee members for the NetJets Technicians and Related Group have reached an “agreement in principle” to amend their current collective bargaining agreement with NetJets...

Teamsters, Republic Services in talks  IndeOnline  ...Teamsters Local 92 and Republic Services based in Massillon are in the midst of contract talks that have employees working under an expired agreement. Union members last weekend voted 160-0 to reject one offer from the company. “Not one guy voted for it,” said Doyle Baird, Local 92 president. The local, which has 2,300 members, represents 180 employees at Republic Services in Massillon...

Workers march into University of Minnesota president’s office  Fight Back News  ...About 40 members of AFSCME Local 3800, Teamsters Local 320, and their supporters rallied in front of the admiration building, Morril Hall, Oct. 31 and then marched into the office of University of Minnesota’s President Kahler. Protesting workers then delivered petitions signed by thousands of employees and supporters that read in part, “The university is a wealthy institution with plenty of money, that is in the midst of a $4 billion fundraising campaign"...

Seattle Public Schools says it will seek $1.2M a day if school-bus drivers go on strike  The Seattle Times  ...Seattle Public Schools said Tuesday that it intends to seek damages of $1.2 million per day from its school-bus contractor if the contractor’s drivers go on strike and students have no way to get to school. In a letter to First Student, the district strongly encouraged the company to resolve its issues with its 400 bus drivers, who are represented by Teamsters Local 174...

Teamsters Hold Public Picket Against CSX Future Health Benefits  Transport Topic  ...A division of the Teamsters union held what it called an informational picket Oct. 30 against Jacksonville-based CSX Corp., saying the company is planning to “drastically reduce our health insurance benefits.” The protest was held outside the CSX Moncrief Yard terminal on North McDuff Ave. and brought members of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division to the demonstration... 

Leaders

Election Appeals Master Issues Final Decision Regarding 2016 Election  Teamster.org   ...Judge Kathleen Roberts, the Election Appeals Master, yesterday issued her final decision, denying the election appeals which sought a rerun of the Election of International Union Officers that was conducted in 2016. The decision brings closure to the process and reaffirms the re-election of General President Jim Hoffa and General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall and the election of International Vice Presidents and International Trustees...

Teamsters, ITF Delegation Hold Meetings to Discuss Strategic Relationships for Global Campaigns  Teamster.org  ...A delegation led by the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) met with representatives from the Teamsters Union this week to participate in three days of meetings and training sessions. The primary goal of the program was to help further the collective effort to build a more strategic relationship between unions on an international level to improve strategies when dealing with global corporations...

Taylor, European Union Leaders Meet to Discuss UPS  UPS Rising  ...Teamsters Package Division Director Denis Taylor met with a delegation of Nordic labor union leaders who represent UPS workers in Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The delegation included representatives from the United Federation of Danish Workers, the Swedish Union for Service and Communications Employees, the Norwegian Transport Workers’ Union, the Finnish Transport Workers’ Union AKT and the Nordic Transport Workers’ Federation...

Locals

Ford contractor to pay $21.6 mln over Teamsters' refusal-to-hire claims  Reuters  ...An industrial services contractor will pay $21.6 million to settle claims that it refused to hire workers represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters at a Ford Motor Co plant in Kentucky, and forced its employees to join a different union, the National Labor Relations Board said on Monday. VIUSA Inc, formerly known as Voith Industrial Services, will pay $14.4 million to about 260 members of a Teamsters Local 89...

Teamsters Local 700 Files Lawsuit on Behalf of Department of Corrections Members  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters Local 700 filed a lawsuit on Oct. 27, 2017 against multiple parties of Cook County government on behalf of the approximate 3,400 union members at the Cook County Department of Corrections, including more than 100 members who were previously terminated or suspended by an illegally constituted Merit Board... 

Organizing

Hoffa: There’s value in membership  The Detroit News  ...Organizing is the life blood of every union. And last week, more than 150 Teamster organizers from across the country gathered in Detroit to strategize on how to educate workers about the value of union membership. Michigan is a union state and it is a Teamsters state, so not surprisingly we’ve had some success here...

Sysco racks up 79 violations over union vote in West Michigan facilities  MLive  ...Most of the violations involve the company threatening, intimidating and unlawfully punishing workers during an organizing campaign. The judge ordered the country's largest food distributor to reinstate Brewster, stop threatening employees and immediately begin negotiating a contract with the Grand Rapids-based Teamsters Local 406...

Political Action

Hoffa: New House Tax Bill Benefits Big Business, Wealthy Over U.S. Workers  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa in response to the roll out of a new House Republican tax proposal today that would give corporations and the nation’s wealthiest households a huge tax cut: ”At a time when big business is already pocketing sky-high profits and the top one percent of earners are seeing their incomes significantly grow, it is confounding why Congress would focus on increasing their wealth at the expense of the country’s workers"... 

Teamsters Support U.S. Labor Department Appeal of Injunction of Overtime Rule  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa on the report that the U.S. Department of Justice today filed an appeal of the permanent injunction against the implementation of an overtime rule finalized during the Obama administration on behalf of the U.S. Labor Department: “With today’s appeal, critical and long overdue reforms to the Labor Department’s overtime regulations that were issued in 2016 have a chance to move forward"... 

Investor group presses U.S. drug companies on opioid controls  Reuters  ...“These considerations are especially critical at Cardinal given the potential reputational, legal and regulatory risks Cardinal faces over its role in the nation’s opioid epidemic, including its history of compliance challenges concerning the distribution of controlled substances,” the resolution’s sponsors, including the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, said in a supporting statement...

House Dems file bill to examine driver classification of port carriers  CCJ  ...The lawmakers introduced the bill with the backing of the Teamsters Union, which has in recent years directed various actions to protest both the cost of emissions compliance and the independent contractor model used by drayage carriers on both coasts but particularly in California. The bill’s backers call the truck leasing practices by port carriers “a scheme to underpay hard working truck drivers”...

Industry faces long haul to legalize self-driving semis  The Detroit News  ...Samuel Loesche, legislative representative at International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which counts 600,000 professional drivers among its membership, said his union is remaining vigilant about the possibility of self-driving truck supporters moving to put the truck provisions back into the autonomous driving bill when it comes to the Senate floor...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Kenya: ministry urges tea workers to end strike  Daily Nation  ...The Labour Ministry has asked the Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers’ Union (KPAWU) to call off their strike, even as acrimony between the over 40,000 tea plantation employees and employers persists. The ministry reminded the union that the court had declared the strike, which started on October 17, illegal...

Ireland: union leaders threaten to ramp up Irish Rail strike over Christmas  Independent  ...Union leaders have threatened to ramp up a strike at Irish Rail over Christmas. They also accused Transport Minister Shane Ross of being "absent without leave" at a picket at Heuston Station this morning. The first of five 24-hour stoppages by Irish Rail workers is underway today, affecting 70,000 Dart users, 45,000 users of commuter services, and 40,000 Intercity customers...

Child Labor Returns to Uzbekistan's Cotton Fields  Solidarity Center  ...In recent years, Uzbekistan has increased the number of public-sector workers required to pick cotton, because the country nearly ended child labor in 2014 after pressure from the international community, including the Solidarity Center. Recent reports, however, indicate that the practice of forcing children to pick cotton has not ended in all parts of the country, with children sent to the fields...

Trade Union: Bangladesh Boosts Protections for Garment Workers  VOA  ...Bangladesh will extend an agreement to protect garment workers drawn up in the wake of the Rana Plaza disaster and embed it into national regulations, promising more stringent safety checks for its 4 million apparel workers, a labor union said. Poor working conditions and low wages have long been a concern in Bangladesh's garment industry...

Threats to NAFTA cast doubt over Mexico's oil tenders, investment  Reuters  ...Uncertainty about the fate of the North American Free Trade Agreement and investor protections it guarantees could crimp future investment in Mexico’s oil industry, including a high-stakes January deepwater auction. Ahead of a fifth round of NAFTA talks in Mexico City in mid-November, Washington’s tough demands that partners Canada and Mexico resist has clouded the future of the 23-year-old pact...

Problematic U.S. proposals mean hard way forward for NAFTA: Canadian official  National Post  ...A senior Canadian foreign ministry official says it is hard to see a way forward in the North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiations because of a series of “problematic” proposals by the Trump administration. Martin Moen, the director general of the North American and investment division at Global Affairs Canada, said Thursday they include recent U.S. proposals...

'TPP 11' negotiators make headway before crucial summit next week  Asian Review  ...The 11 remaining Trans-Pacific Partnership members have narrowed down the rules that should be shelved from the original deal -- an important step ahead of a pivotal summit in Vietnam next week. "We were able to further the debate [on rule suspensions]," Kazuyoshi Umemoto, Japan's lead negotiator, told reporters on Wednesday...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

Iowa: A Glimmer of Hope in the Face of Anti-Union Attacks  American Prospect  ...In the face of a GOP onslaught against workers, the state’s public-sector union members overwhelmingly voted in favor of recertifying their respective unions. The message was clear: Don’t touch our unions. Since voting began in September, 436 out of 468 public-sector bargaining units voted to recertify their unions, with 88 percent participation, according to results released last Wednesday...

New Hampshire Bill to establish paid family, medical leave in NH moves forward  Union Leader  ...In a bipartisan 13-6 vote on Tuesday, the House Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee voted to move forward with HB 628, establishing paid family and medical leave insurance in New Hampshire. The bill would require New Hampshire Employment Security to establish and administer a family and medical leave insurance fund...

New York labor unions lead fight against state's constitutional convention  Concord Monitor  ...Labor unions are leading the fight against a New York ballot measure to hold a constitutional convention, arguing that it’s just too risky to tinker with the state’s governing document and threaten existing protections for worker’s compensation, unemployment benefits and collective bargaining... 

Illinois lawmaker says she'll keep pressing to raise state's minimum wage  Sauk Valley  ...The principal sponsor of a bill to gradually raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour said the votes weren’t there to attempt an override of Gov Bruce Rauner’s veto of the bill. Instead, Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, said she’ll continue to negotiate to find a compromise that will have the support of enough lawmakers to overcome a gubernatorial veto...

Kentucky teachers rally outside capitol protesting 'abhorrent' pension plan  WDRB  ...teachers showed up in full force to rally against a proposed pension plan. "It's almost like it's a nightmare," Mary Beth Armstrong said. "We need to listen to the other people that have ideas instead of just saying, 'It's my way or the highway.'" Signs spelled out tough words against a 401(k)-style plan, part of what Gov. Matt Bevin said will fix Kentucky's ailing pension system, fully funding state workers' pensions in 30 years...

Washington state court ruling protects state workers’ privacy  The Stand  ...The Washington Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld state employees’ right to privacy and upheld public employee unions’ appeal against the Freedom Foundation. In a unanimous decision, the court blocked the Freedom Foundation’s attempt to get state employees’ dates of birth — which in this day and age opens the door to all kinds of privacy, safety and security breaches...

Mississippi’s richest county uses police checkpoints to enforce segregation, lawsuit claims  Think Progress  ...Part of the reason the state’s wealthiest county remains so divided, according to a new class-action lawsuit filed Monday, is that county leaders want it that way — and are willing to use local law enforcement to enforce an unofficial cordon around the county’s roughly 40,000 black residents...

Puerto Rico: As Whitefish Contract Faces Scrutiny, Fluor and Other Companies Move to Privatize Water  Democracy Now  ...Earlier Tuesday, Long testified before the Senate that his agency had nothing to do with approving the controversial $300 million no-bid contract with Whitefish Energy, a tiny company based in the Montana hometown of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. Meanwhile, Democracy Now!’s Juan González says other companies are moving in to privatize other services on the island, such as the public water utility...

 

U.S. LABOR

Workers see slight boost in pay, benefits  Chicago Tribune  ...U.S. workers’ wages and benefits grew faster in the third quarter, adding to recent signs that American workers are seeing their pay climb. The Labor Department said Tuesday that total compensation was up 0.7 percent from July through September after growing 0.5 percent in the second quarter. Wages and salaries, which account for about 70 percent of compensation costs, rose 0.7 percent...

AT&T Makes 'Final' Contract Offer to 20,000 Wireless Workers  Fortune  ...AT&T made what it called a “final offer” directly to about 20,000 unionized employees in its wireless business who have been working without a contract since February. But the Communications Workers of America union, which represents the employees, blasted the proposal and the company’s effort to email the terms directly to employees ahead of a planned bargaining session scheduled for next week...

Thousands of Oakland workers go on strike over failed negotiations  ABC  ...Nearly 2,000 Oakland city workers held a one-day strike in protest of an unsuccessful five-month negotiation with the city over fair wages and worksite safety. "We have an understaffed labor force," said Lina Hernandez with the Service Employees International Union Local 1021. "We're working with more than half a labor force that is temporary and part-time workers, with no benefits, like health care and who receive no contributions to the city's retirement plan"...

BCTGM UNION: Nabisco Has A New CEO But The Fight Continues Against Outsourcing  NH Labor News  ...Last year, Mondelez International chose to outsource some 600 jobs from its Chicago Nabisco bakery. In the same year, its CEO, Irene Rosenfeld, made $16.7 milllion. Today, Rosenfeld officially steps down from her position and new Nabisco/Mondelez CEO Dirk Van de Puta begins his new job...

How Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Hate Is Galvanizing Hotel Workers to Fight Back  In These Times  ...No friend of labor or working-class immigrants, President Donald Trump is nevertheless providing a back-handed boost to the hotel workers’ union UNITE HERE by helping it sign up new members at its union locals around the country. Trump’s threats to punish immigrants has prompted more and more workers to look to the union as a way to protect themselves...

Facebook is facing a class-action lawsuit for trying to avoid paying its workers overtime  Quartz  ...A lawsuit filed in a U.S. district court in Illinois alleges that Facebook routinely and knowingly misclassified certain workers as not eligible for overtime compensation. Although it has to be approved by the court, it is proposed as a class action, filed by a former client solutions manager at the company...

Democrats Have An Ambitious Plan To Help Rebuild Labor Unions  Huffington Post  ...Democratic leaders unveiled a comprehensive plan to overhaul federal law in a way that would strengthen the ailing labor movement. One proposal would ban states from enacting “right to work” laws, which give workers the option to stop supporting unions while still enjoying the benefits of representation. Other proposals include creating new penalties for companies that engage in union-busting...

Meet Trump's Anti-Worker Labor Department Nominees  Truthout  ...On October 18, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee advanced a number of Trump labor picks to the full Senate, where they will likely be confirmed by the GOP-controlled body. While Trump's labor efforts have received little attention from the mainstream media, the administration has effectively begun to chip away at the few protections which still exist for workers...

Booker calls on antitrust regulators to start paying attention to workers  Vox  ...Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) is challenging federal antitrust officials to explain what they are doing about the impact of corporate concentration on labor markets. “It appears that your Agencies have not prioritized the responsibility to ensure that workers have meaningful choices that allow them to fairly bargain among potential employers,” Booker writes in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department”... 

Sexual Violence Is a Workplace Crisis. The Solution Is Organizing  In These Times  ...The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission estimates that “anywhere from 25 percent to 85 percent of women report having experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.” In the restaurant industry, some two-thirds of women and a majority of men reported facing sexual harassment by managers...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Republicans’ ‘middle class tax cut’ overwhelmingly benefits the richest  Think Progress  ...House Republicans have finally unveiled their tax reform plan and overhaul of the federal tax code. “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” is being promoted by the GOP as huge tax cut to the middle class, a point which many economists and tax experts have repeatedly pushed back against since details of what Republicans would include in the plan were slowly released over the past few weeks...

The huge tax heist  (opinion) Salon  ...You know the plot: The bank robbers set off a bomb down the street from the bank, and while everyone’s distracted they get away with the loot. In the reality TV show we’re now suffering through, Donald Trump is the bomb. The robbers are the American oligarchs who bankroll the Republican Party, and who are plotting the biggest heist in American history – a massive tax cut estimated to be up to 5.8 trillion dollars...

Swamp Things: More Than 50% of President Trump’s Nominees Have Ties to the Industries They’re Supposed to Regulate  The Daily Beast   ...Nearly a year since he won election, the president has turned federal agencies over to the private industries that they regulate. And he has done so to a degree that ethics groups say they have never witnessed. The Daily Beast examined 341 nominations the president has made to Senate-confirmed administration positions. Of those, more than half have some notable conflict of interest...

In defeat for Trump, judge blocks transgender military ban  Reuters   ...A federal judge in Washington on Monday blocked President Donald Trump from banning transgender people from serving in the U.S. military, handing a victory to transgender service members who accused the president of violating their constitutional rights. Trump announced in July that he would ban transgender people from the military...

New York attack suspect charged with federal terrorism offenses  CNN  ...The suspect in New York's deadliest terror attack since 9/11 has been charged with federal terrorism offenses in Tuesday's attack that left eight people dead, authorities said. Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, a 29-year-old Uzbekistan native who was living in New Jersey, is charged with providing material support to ISIS, violence and destruction of motor vehicles, said Joon H. Kim, acting US attorney for the Southern District of New York...

Ryan Zinke: cowboy in Trump's cabinet taking aim at America's public lands  The Guardian  ...Earlier this week, his agency set off a new firestorm of criticism by announcing that entrance fees for some of America’s most popular national parks will increase substantially next year. “To make it cheaper for coal compaIrelnies to strip mine in watersheds and make it more expensive for families to visit Yosemite is a perversion of American values,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club...

Trump’s Gang of Climate Deniers Has Grown Into an Army  New Republic  ...Nine months into Trump’s presidency, he continues to nominate climate deniers to key spots in his administration. The latest denier of note is Trump’s nominee to lead the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Oklahoma Congressman Jim Bridenstine... 

ACLU Sues Over 10-Year-Old Undocumented Immigrant Seized After Emergency Surgery  Huffington Post  ...The ACLU sued the Trump administration on Tuesday for detaining a 10-year-old undocumented immigrant and separating her from her parents after Border Patrol agents encountered the girl at a Texas checkpoint on her way to emergency surgery. The ACLU gave notice on Monday that it would file a lawsuit if the Office of Refugee Resettlement failed to release 10-year-old Rosa Maria Hernandez by 3 p.m. on Tuesday...

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