Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News For January 22, 2016

TEAMSTERS

More Than 700 Teamster Safeway Jobs Saved in Maryland  Teamster.org  ...Today, Teamsters Union leaders, elected officials and representatives of Safeway announced an agreement to stop the closure of the Safeway Collington Distribution Center in Prince George’s County, Md. The agreement will save more than 700 Teamster warehouse jobs and add an additional 25 jobs at the center...

Deal reached to keep Safeway distribution center open  Baltimore Sun   ...Safeway plans to take over operations of its Prince George's County distribution center, hiring more than 700 people in a deal that avoids the closure of a major jobs base. The agreement was announced Thursday by the Teamsters union. The plan reverses layoffs anticipated since October, when the firm running the center for Safeway said it planned to relocate operations, affecting about 700 full- and part-time workers...

Teamsters Endorse Atlas Air, Southern Air Merger  Teamster.org  ...In an all-cash, debt-free transaction Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. purchased Southern Air Holdings, Inc. for over $100 million dollars today. The acquisition will be subject to approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation and is expected to be finalized in the next few months. Teamster aviation workers are represented at both carriers, which will combine to form the world’s largest cargo carrier upon completion of the merger...

Local 710 Stands Firm at the Bargaining Table for Jewel Negotiations  Local 710  ...The Teamsters Local 710 Jewel Bargaining committee met again today in Park Ridge to continue negotiations for the two upcoming contracts. Local 710 provided the employer with copies of the contracts and went through each proposed change, addition and housekeeping elements of both the driver and warehouse contracts...

Winston-Salem Journal: Teamster Leader Urges MillerCoors to Keep Plant  Teamster.org  ...The Winston-Salem Journal newspaper is reporting that Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President, has written to MillerCoors executives asking them to reverse their decision and keep the Eden brewing facility open. In the letter, Hoffa wrote that the Eden plant closing was timed "to avoid regulatory scrutiny" during the federal government's antitrust review of the proposed merger deal.  The facility employes over 570 members of the Teamsters Brewery and Soft Drink Workers Conference...

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Upheaval in the Factories of Juarez  The Atlantic  ...Women and men, more than 70 of them, were fired on December 9th from the factory on the Mexican side of the Mexico-Texas border where they made printers for the American company Lexmark. They say they were terminated because they were trying to form an independent union. The company says they were fired because they caused a “workplace disruption”...

UK Workers Face Stricter Rules On Strike Action  SkyNews  ...Junior doctors and Tube staff - currently threatening further strike action this winter - are among workers facing new rules on ballots for industrial action. The Government has announced that the legislation will apply to industrial action in fire, health, education, transport, border security and nuclear decommissioning...

70 Migrant Farm Workers Fled Abuse in South Africa  Solidarity Center  ...In Lephalale, South Africa, a coal mining town near the Botswana border, more than 70 farm workers, including 19 women, are crowded into a handful of tents in a disaster relief center after fleeing the commercial farm owner who shut off water and electricity in their company-run homes for months after they asked for a wage increase. The Zimbabwean migrants worked on four vegetable farms operated by Johannesberg Farm...

TPP: Police undertake riot training  NZ Herald  ...New Zealand Police have been undertaking mass riot training ahead of the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in Auckland next month. The trade agreement, that has sparked widespread controversy due to its closed-door negotiations, will be signed by international diplomats on February 4...

Provincial ministers meet with Ottawa to discuss TPP  Global News   ... Canada has seen a change in government since the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) terms were agreed on, but one thing hasn’t changed; our provincial government’s support. Representatives from the federal government were in Regina on Thursday as part of their nationwide TPP consultation effort...

MEPs support ambitious global trade pact  Politico  ...The European Parliament on Monday backed talks on a proposed pact with 22 countries that aims to improve international trade in areas including banking, health care and telecommunications. The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), which the EU is negotiating with the U.S., Canada, Australia, Turkey and others, won strong support in the Parliament’s international trade committee...

Ed Shultz: Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) State of the Union mystery  Eclectablog  ...If implemented, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could undermine many of President Barack Obama’s landmark achievements and thus his legacy on jobs and economic recovery, health care access, financial reform – and close to Michigan’s heart – the U.S. auto industry rescue and more. The great mystery is why Obama called for congressional passage of the TPP in his final State of the Union address?...

Greeks From All Walks Of Life Unite Against Austerity Measures  Huffington Post  ...Farmers in tractors, lawyers in ties, engineers in hard hats and hundreds of other workers across industries united in massive protests around Greece this week. On Wednesday and Thursday, people demonstrated against the Syriza government's long list of proposed economic reforms that included cutting pension costs, and raising tax rates and social security contributions... 

Portugal's new Socialist government scrapping unpopular austerity measures  US News  ... Portugal's new Socialist government is promising to lower the country's budget deficit this year, while also scrapping unpopular austerity measures. A draft 2016 state budget presented to Parliament on Friday puts the deficit target at 2.6 percent, down from an expected 3 percent last year... 

IMF's Prescription for Europe: Exploit Refugees with Low Wages  Common Dreams  ...The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday released a report urging the European countries accepting a majority of refugees to "temporarily" pay them less than minimum wage. In its report, the IMF recommended implementing a short-term differentiation between asylum seekers and EU citizens...

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES

WV Senate passes right-to-work on party line, as court decision looms  Gazette Mail  ...The West Virginia Senate passed a controversial “right-to-work” bill Thursday, by the barest of margins, just hours or days before a state Supreme Court ruling could switch the balance of power in the Senate. With the Senate galleries packed with union members opposing the bill, and with the pending court decision leaving it unclear how much longer Republicans may control the Senate, the bill passed by a vote of 17-16 after more than 90 minutes of sometimes-contentious debate...

Voter ID Proposals Move Forward in Missouri House  CBS  ...Republicans’ decade-long effort to add an ID requirement for voters won initial approval Wednesday in the Missouri House of Representatives. In a voice vote, lawmakers finalized the language of a bill and a constitutional amendment aimed at requiring a photo ID to vote. The measures still need a final vote to pass the chamber, and the constitutional amendment would need voter approval...

WV house committee debates prevailing wage repeal  Register Herald  ...Continuing the march of Republican agenda bills, the House Committee on Government Organization Wednesday passed out HB 4005, the bill to repeal the state's prevailing wage requirements for public projects. The bill was single-referenced and will be reported to the House of Delegates floor Thursday. The committee debated the controversial bill, which was stalled during the committee meeting Wednesday morning...

WV House Democrats Attempt to Slow Prevailing Wage Bill  WV Public  ...The House Government Organization Committee approved a bill Wednesday that would repeal the state’s prevailing wage - the hourly wage rate and benefits workers are paid on state construction projects. The bill hasn’t had its first reading on the floor yet, but House Democrats are still trying to slow it down...

Florida senate won't appeal redistricting ruling  News 4  ...Clearing the way for elections later this year with a map that could boost Democrats' numbers in the Senate, Republican leaders decided Wednesday not to appeal a Leon County judge's ruling setting districts for the chamber's 40 seats. The decision ends a four-year legal and political battle over Senate district lines and closes out state judges' roles in the redistricting process...

The State of Nevada could see a rise in minimum wage  3 News  ...Imagine a $13 dollar minimum wage in Nevada. It could become a reality if a measure to raise hourly wages goes through and the move just passed a major hurdle. District Judge James Wilson in Carson City rejected challenges to the proposed constitutional amendment to gradually bring up Nevada's minimum wage...

ALEC's "Rich States, Poor States" Paints a Happy Face on Failing State Policies  PR Watch  ...Today, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) rolls out another edition of its "Rich States, Poor States" publication. The publication annually slaps a fresh coat of paint on the flawed fiscal and economic austerity policies favored by the group and its corporate patrons. It's going to take a lot of paint this year...

Right-to-work laws hidden by Orwellian language  (opinion) DAonline  ...RTW laws are often said to increase the freedom of workers by allowing them to choose how they spend their money and to reduce “rigidity” and “inflexibility” in “the labor market.”  a market is more flexible if employees are easier to fire and there is no minimum wage. Since labor unions have historically opposed groundless firing and low wages...

 

U.S. LABOR

Wal-Mart strikes lawful, must reinstate workers: NLRB judge  Reuters  ...Wal-Mart Stores Inc. unlawfully retaliated against workers who participated in strikes in 2013 and must offer to reinstate 16 dismissed employees, a National Labor Relations Board judge ruled on Thursday. Administrative Law Judge Geoffrey Carter said in a ruling posted on the board's website that the U.S. retailer violated labor law by "disciplining or discharging several associates because they were absent from work while on strike"...

UAW-GM workers at Cruze plant request strike notice  Detroit News  ...United Auto Workers leaders are determining if Ohio workers who build the Chevrolet Cruze for General Motors Co. should strike over unresolved issues with their local contracts. UAW Region 2-B Director Ken Lortz said Local 1112 and Local 1712, which represent roughly 4,150 hourly workers at GM’s Lordstown Complex, have requested that UAW International leaders approve a five-day strike letter...

Lordstown UAW begins water donation drive for Flint  WFMJ  ...Autoworkers at GM Lordstown are reaching out to help people who are struggling with the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Members of UAW Locals 1112 and 1714 are joining forces in a water donation drive. At the Local 11-12 union hall the first donations are starting to stack up. Even though emergency government funds have been approved to assist residents in Flint, the unions say they want to do their part to help...

Staff union ratifies new labor deal with SEIU Local 1000  SacBee  ...Administrative staff members who work for SEIU Local 1000 have ratified a contract with a small raise for senior employees, ending nearly four years of contentious talks. The deal left intact, however, cuts to retiree health benefits that Local 1000 had imposed last year on its employees, who are represented by United Auto Workers Local 2350...

Transit union blames fatal Greyhound crash on driver fatigue  The Hill  ...A union for transit workers is blaming a deadly Greyhound crash in Northern California this week on driver fatigue. The Washington, D.C.-based Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) said the accident and other similar incidents are the result of bus drivers being overworked.  “In America, this is a national crisis. We have buses that are rolling off the roads and killing people," ATU International President Larry Hanley said...

Detroit Teachers Fed Up With Unsafe School Conditions Hold Massive ‘Sickout’  Think Progress  ...Detroit’s public school teachers are staging mass “sickouts” — which involves large groups of teachers across the city all calling in sick to work — to protest against what they call “deplorable conditions,” such as mold, warped floors, and dead rats. Steve Conn, the former president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers union has indicated the group he leads, the Detroit Strike to Win Committee, will vote on a strike demand to remove Earley...

5 Unlikely Industries Where Workers Are Clamoring to Join Unions  Mother Jones  ...Ddespite decades of setbacks, the labor movement still shows signs of life—and not just in its typical blue-collar stomping grounds. Workers across the economy are realizing that unions can help them win better working conditions and higher wages. Here are five industries where unions have made surprising gains...

Labor experts call for major reform to union election law  Aljazeera  ...106 labor scholars — including law professors, historians and industrial relations experts from universities across the country — filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) asking the administrative body to reform regulations around captive audience meetings. Under their proposed rule, employers would be penalized if they held captive audience meetings without giving the union “an equivalent opportunity to address employees,” according to the petition...

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Flint water crisis: governor's brand of corporate politics set stage for disaster  The Guardian  ...There is no doubt Snyder is a red-blooded Republican with free-market and socially conservative stripes – and a relish for power. The governor’s poisoned “customers” in Flint are experiencing an unexpected side-effect of Snyder’s penchant for dispatching unelected state overseers to run struggling cities with sweeping executive powers...

How austerity poisoned the people of Flint, Michigan  DW  ...Democracy had, in effect, been suspended in Flint. Facing a $15 million (13.8 million euros) deficit, the city was placed under emergency management by the state of Michigan in 2011. A series of unelected emergency managers, empowered by the governor to make fiscal decisions for Flint, proceeded to double residents' water rates to help ease pressure on the budget...

Skewed Courts Team Up with Debt Predators to Screw Nation's Poor  Common Dreams  ...Courts across the United States are systematically failing poor and low-income individuals as predatory financial companies buy up large portfolios of past debt and then win profits by targeting vulnerable people who may or may not be responsible for the alleged delinquencies. That's the key conclusion of an in-depth investigation conducted by Human Right Watch HRW)...

The Davos Club: Meet the People Who Gave Us a World in Which 62 People Own as Much as 3.6 Billion  Alternet ...Global elites meet in the remote Swiss town of Davos each year for the World Economic Forum. Each year, before the summit, Oxfam International publishes a report on global wealth. This year’s report came out with some shocking news. In 2010, 388 individuals owned as much wealth as half the world’s people, around 3.6 billion people. Last year, the number fell to 80...

Six Years After Citizens United, Call to 'Reclaim Democracy' Louder than Ever  Common Dreams  ...On the sixth anniversary of Citizens United, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that unleashed the scourge of dark and unlimited election spending into the political process, campaign finance reform advocates are spotlighting the tangible solutions that could loosen the stranglehold of corporate interests on U.S. democracy...

Why Big Blizzards In Winter Don’t Disprove Global Warming  Think Progress  ...Another epic blizzard threatens 50 million people on the East Coast, with a bulls-eye on Washington DC. And leading climatologists again explain how human-induced climate change, especially warming-fueled ocean temperatures, are super-charging the amount of moisture in the atmosphere the storm will dump on us...

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