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February 21, 2017

On This Day in 1834:

Responding to a 15 percent wage cut, women textile workers in Lowell, Mass., organize a “turn-out”—a strike—in protest. The action failed. Two years later they formed the Factory Girl’s Association in response to a rent hike in company boarding houses and the increase was rescinded. One worker’s diary recounts a “stirring speech” of resistance by a co-worker, 11-year-old Harriet Hanson Robinson.

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Labor Headlines

US labour news headlines from LabourStart

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Updated: Feb. 21 (05:01)

James R. Hoffa Memorial College Student Essay
Teamsters Local Union No. 677
House Democrats Reintroduce Bill to Strengthen OSHA
Teamsters local 570
House Democrats Reintroduce Bill to Strengthen OSHA
Teamsters Local 355
Golfers - Put this date on your calendars
IUEC Local 10
STEWARD UPDATE WEEKLY 2/15/17
IBEW Local 659
House Democrats Reintroduce Bill to Strengthen OSHA
Teamsters Local 992
 
     
Cut Waste and Fraud, Not Medicare
Updated On: Jun 24, 2011

Medicare was billed $116 million for off-label antipsychotics used to dope nearly 1 in 7 nursing home residents, mostly for dementia

By TERRY J. ALLEN
In These Times.com

[June 24, 2011] - Up to 30 percent of U.S. health care expenditures are wasteful, Medicare’s chief actuary estimates, and Medicare could trim up to $150 billion from its $500 billion 2010 tab without harming care. Here are some low-hanging billions in waste and fraud and poor practices.

  • Punish Pharma Phraud The $4 billion worth of medical-related fraud the feds recaptured last year is presumably a fraction of the taxpayer-subsidized scams that pharma got away with. The top 10 federal False Claims Act settlements in 2010 involved health care, with pharmaceutical company fraud accounting for eight.
  • Kill Pay to Delay When patents are expiring, drug companies pay off other firms to delay marketing cheaper generics. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the deals raise costs for consumers, including Medicare and Medicaid, by $3.5 billion a year.
  • Don’t Dope for Dementia Most of the antipsychotic prescriptions Medicare paid for in the first half of 2007 were “erroneous,” the Health and Human Services inspector general found. During that period, Medicare was billed $116 million for off-label use of antipsychotics to dope nearly 1 in 7 nursing home residents, mostly for dementia. Not tested for or known to ameliorate dementia, the antipsychotics were promoted by companies that paid kickbacks to doctors, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported.
  • Mandate Infection Controls About 1 in 10 hospital patients acquire infections that cause preventable deaths and create $6.7 billion to $11 billion a year in extra costs.
  • Bargain For Drug Prices Congress barred Medicare and Medicaid from negotiating bulk discount rates, thereby funneling an estimated $14 billion a year from taxpayers to drug companies.
  • You’d Better Shop Around Drug companies charge Americans far more for brand-name meds than much of the world pays. If U.S. consumers paid the same as Canadians (rather than 38 percent more), they would have saved $50 billion in 2003, Boston University researchers found.
  • Cut DTC Advertising Only the United States and New Zealand allow direct-to-consumer drug ads. U.S. health care and pharma laid out $4.5 billion in 2009 for DTC.
  • Bar Office Visits Each day, 100,000 pharma reps visit America’s 311,000 office-based physicians to influence drug choice through perks and junkets at a cost of $19 billion a year.
  • Revamp FDA Drug Approval Require that new drugs be tested not only against placebos, but against existing treatments. For example, it turns out Avastin ($50 per injection) was little different from Lucentis ($2,000 a shot) for treating macular degeneration. In 2008, 480,000 Avastin shots cost Medicare $20 million, while only 337,000 shots of Lucentis totaled $537 million.
  • Make Polluters Pay Prevention through lifestyle change is good, and it’s fun to watch Michelle Obama dance and garden, but it’s better to punitively fine industrial polluters and force them to curb the use of environmental toxins linked to asthma, heart disease, mental retardation and cancer.
  • Implement Evidence-Based Testing Expensive and often invasive diagnostics can do more harm than good. The New York Times reported that in 2009, Medicare paid doctors more than $100 million for nearly 550,000 colonoscopies—with 40 percent going to patients over 75 for whom routine screening is neither safe nor effective. Medicare spent more than $50 million in 2008 on equally ill-advised routine screening for prostate cancer in men 75 and older, and for cervical cancer screening in women 65 and older with previously normal Pap smears. Medicare pays $1.6 billion on drug-coated cardiac stents, when studies show them no more effective in preventing heart attacks or death than drugs or lifestyle changes.
  • Regulate BigPharma Profits BigPharma justifies its massive profits by arguing that a new drug costs $1.32 billion to develop. But after government grants and tax breaks, the real figure is $55 million.

Public funding should trigger profit limits. Add savings like these to the elimination of tax breaks for rich individuals and corporations, and U.S. health care will get a lot healthier.


General Membership Meetings:
Mar. 5, 2017  - Baltimore
Mar. 12, 2017  - Salisbury

10:oo am.
Please be present and on time.

Bring a coworker!

Current Campaigns
  • The ‘Let’s Get America Working!’ campaign seeks to restore a dynamic and prosperous middle class to drive economic growth by helping to advance policy decisions that create and maintain good middle-income jobs, guarantee retirement security, expand access to the American Dream, and ensure that the benefits of the ongoing economic recovery are felt by the many, not just the few.

  • We Are eXPOsing XPO’s Global Greed

    XPO Logistics is a top ten global logistics and transportation company with annual revenue of $15 billion and 89,000 employees, another 10,000 workers classified as independent contractors, and thousands more working for firms that subcontract with XPO. We are the REAL workers at XPO Logistics worldwide exposing the truth about the company’s global greed, illegal wage theft, unsafe conditions, and abhorrent and vicious anti-worker, anti-union tactics. 

    This greed includes mistreating former Con-way Freight workers in the United States who are being kept in the dark about terminal closures and layoffs, and the company’s illegal refusal to bargain contracts and denying their workers’ federally protected right to organize. It also includes port, rail and last-mile drivers around the country and in Southern California fighting wage theft in excess of $200 million because they are misclassified as independent contractors and denied the right to form their union. This greed has caused numerous lawsuits and strikes.  Greed also means an unsafe workplace and mistreating its warehouse employees.

    XPO’s greed extends to Europe beginning with breaking its promise to not layoff any workers for at least 18 months. French workers and the unions have been fighting back against XPO’s disrespect, lies and attempts to slash jobs. Similar struggles are taking place in Great Britain, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, and across Europe.

    Join the worldwide struggle now! Get involved with this campaign by joining the Facebook group “XPO Exposed.”

    Together, we can eXPOse the company’s global greed and win fairness, respect and dignity for tens of thousands of XPO employees around the world!

  • This webpage provides information on the Teamsters Union’s legislative advocacy at both the federal and state level as well as our field activity to support those policy positions and to get strong labor candidates elected to office.  Among other resources, you will find our federal legislative scorecard, formal statements of policy position and communications to Capitol Hill,  a weekly update on federal legislative happenings, an overview of bills we are tracking at the state level, and quick links to take action on priority issues.

  • Negotiations for the National Master Automobile Transporters Agreement (NMATA) are under way. On Wednesday, June 3, 2015 representatives from carhaul local unions met in Detroit to approve the contract proposals and the next day, Thursday, June 4, 2015 the Teamsters National Automobile Transporters Industry Negotiating Committee (TNATINC) exchanged the contract proposals with the employer group.

    The committee will work hard to protect members’ health, welfare and pension benefits, protect job security and other address other top priorities

    The National Master Automobile Transporters Agreement (NMATA) and its supplements expire on August 31, 2015. The national contract covers almost 6,000 Teamster carhaulers.

    In addition to protecting benefits and job security, other top priorities are wages, the grievance procedures and safety and health issues.

  • The IBT-Airline Division has established this page as a place to get up-to-date information about the Republic Airways Holdings (RAH) bankruptcy.  Please check here for the latest information about the bankruptcy.

  • Workers’ pensions are being endangered by both Congress and those charged with overseeing them. The Teamsters and our members are standing united to say “No!” to cuts and “Yes!” to greater retirement security!

  • The Teamsters Union represents more than 250,000 members at UPS and UPS Freight. UPS remains an active member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) despite the organization’s anti-worker and anti-union agenda that seeks to undermine and weaken worker protections.

  • This web page provides information on our fight against fast-track legislation. The measure requires Congress to take only a quick up-or-down vote on secret trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and does not allow such agreements to be amended. It limits Congress’ constitutionally mandated oversight of such trade deals and lets others decide what’s best for America. The result is fewer good-paying U.S. jobs and unsafe food and products for Americans. Read more to find out why fast track is the wrong track for Teamsters and America.

  • Workers across the country at FedEx Freight and Con-way Freight are standing shoulder to shoulder to form their unions with the Teamsters to win a more secure future. Momentum is building with a first wave of victories with many more to come.

    There is growing worker resentment toward the companies after years of being treated unfairly. While the companies have suddenly made improvements since workers began to organize, workers know that without a legally binding contract the company can take these things away at any time.

    The unfulfilled promises that have been made to drivers and dockworkers over the past decade are coming back to haunt management.

    But now workers are taking action and standing up for themselves by forming their union. It's a different era now. It's Teamster Time! LIKE our Facebook page, here.

  • Teamsters are been standing together to protect good jobs at Sysco and US Foods. Our solidarity on many fronts helped to defeat the mega-merger of the two companies, which would have put thousands of jobs at risk. But challenges remain as both companies refine their plans. Join our campaign to ensure these foodservice giants honor their agreements with 11,500 Teamsters and help us bring more Sysco and US Foods workers into the Teamster family. LIKE our Facebook page, here.

     

 
 
Teamsters Local 355
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