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June 27, 2017

On This Day in 1985

A 26-day strike of New York City hotels by 26,000 workers—the first such walkout in 50 years—ends with a 5-year contract calling for big wage and benefit gains.

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Labor Headlines

US labour news headlines from LabourStart

Local and National Union News

Call your senators now to oppose their ACA repeal and replace bill
June 26, 2017 | Senate Republicans recently released their Affordable Care Act repeal and replace bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act. This legislation is terrible for working families in America. The bill will likely cause tens of millions to lose insurance coverage over the next decade while cutting taxes for the very wealthy and corporations. The Teamster have long opposed proposals to tax workers health benefits; this legislation retains the 40% excise tax (“Cadillac tax”) on high-quality plans but repeals all other ACA taxes. Hardworking Americans shouldn’t have to experience a 40% penalty on their collectively bargained benefits while the wealthy and corporations see their taxes repealed. Tell your senators to VOTE NO on the the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.

Anheuser-Busch distributor agrees to reopen negotiations with strikers
June 26, 2017 | Clare Rose, the Anheuser-Busch distributor in Long Island whose workers have been on strike since April 23rd, has agreed to reopen negotiations with Teamsters Local 812…

Port truck drivers end strike in Los Angeles
June 26, 2017 | A week-long strike by Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach truck drivers and warehouse workers culminated in a large and raucous rally on the steps of the Los Angeles city hall on Friday, June 23. Striking workers and their allies then proceeded inside to deliver nearly 10,000 petition signatures calling on Mayor Eric Garrett, as well as Long Beach mayor Robert Garcia, to end indentured servitude at the ports they oversee…

More than 1,000 Teamsters rally to keep their ‘fundamental right’ to join a union
June 21, 2017 | Union members swarmed the Capitol steps Tuesday afternoon to voice their opposition to right-to-work legislation in Pennsylvania. The rally was organized by the Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters and drew and estimated 1200 attendees ranging from Teamsters to Steelworkers and AFSCME members…

Teamster motorcycle enthusiasts ride in 19th annual bike run
June 20, 2017 |  Despite high humidity and threatening skies, more than 25 Local 355 members, retirees, and guests met at the Baltimore union hall early last Saturday morning to prepare for the annual bike ride that took them northwest into Pennsylvania’s mountain area via mostly secondary roads. A brief rain shower was a minor consequence to the riders once they pulled into Pine Grove Furnace State Park, a 696-acre protected park located at the northern tip of the Blue Ridge Mountains. A beautiful park pavilion was the perfect spot for the Local-sponsored cookout. Kudos to Business Agents Eric Wood, Chip Elgert and Bill Alexander for their expert trip coordination. Photos are up here.

Memorial fund set up for victims of UPS San Francisco shooting
June 20, 2017 | Teamsters Joint Council 7 in Northern California announced yesterday the establishment of a fund to help raise money for the families of the victims of the June 14 tragedy at the San Francisco UPS facility that resulted in the deaths of three members at the hand of their fellow driver. “We are encouraging our affiliates and our members to consider joining us in making a contribution to help the families who have been devastated by this terrible act,” said Ken Hall, Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer. Details here.

Older news items are posted on 355 News.

Elsewhere in the News
So How Much Is Too Much?
June 27, 2017 | ECONOMY | O.K. We live in a capitalist country. I get that. As a matter of fact, much to the chagrin of some of my more leftist friends, I’m glad we do. I’ve never had any desire to be a monk; never took a vow of poverty. I like owning my own home, and a car and a couple of good suits. I really enjoyed my last vacation, and I like going out to dinner and a movie too. Not only that, but I think there is something to be said for the link between capitalism and initiative. I admit it. I’m a product of my culture and my upbringing. “Work hard and get ahead,” was drummed into my skull pretty early in life, and if I were to be honest, that formula has served me, if not perfectly, at least pretty well over the years. And, I don’t think I’m alone. I think millions of people have been lifted out of poverty over the years by virtue of the fact that we live in a capitalist country. So, having gotten all that out of the way, I still have a question…
How Union-Busting Bosses Propel the Right Wing to Power
June 26, 2017 | LABOR HISTORY | U.S. bosses fight unions with a ferocity that is unmatched in the so-called free world. In the early days of the republic, master craftsmen prosecuted fledgling unions as criminal conspiracies that aimed to block their consolidation of wealth and property. During modern times, corporations threaten the jobs of pro-union workers in over half of all union elections—and follow through on the threat one-third of the time. In between, bosses have resorted to spies and frame-ups, physical violence, court injunctions, private armies of strikebreakers, racist appeals and immigrant exploitation. The labor question has never been a genteel debate about power and fairness in America…
Victims of UPS’s Deadly Drive for Profit
June 26, 2017 | WORKERS’ RIGHTS | On June 14, a 38-year-old United Parcel Service driver, Jimmy Lam, shot and killed three co-workers, wounded two others and then killed himself at the UPS hub in San Francisco in the Potrero Hill neighborhood. This tragedy is obviously upsetting for those of us who work at UPS, along with our family and friends. But it doesn’t come as a real surprise given the undue stress of the job. Members of the Teamsters union who work at UPS are reminded daily of management’s antagonistic relationship with us. Yet the mainstream media made an issue that Lam had a “grievance with the company”– as if this is unusual…
In Case You Missed It

  • ‘Philando can be any of us.’
  • Veto the cold-hearted health bill.
  • U.S. workers are under attack, says new U.N. report.
  • New Baltimore law protects subcontracted worker.
  • Court: Non-majority union organizing can continue.
  • Trump takes steps to undo Obama legacy on Labor.
  • Grocery unions slam Amazon acquisition of Whole Foods.
  • Trump takes employer’s side in Supreme Court class-action case.
  • The Rick Smith Show: Where working people go to talk.

NLRB Extends Worker Protections to Include Text Messages
June 23, 2017 | ORGANIZING | Employers can now find themselves liable for unfair labor practice charges for text messages sent to workers during union organizing campaigns after a historic ruling by the nation’s top arbiter. The National Labor Relations Board unanimously ruled in RHCG Safety Corp. and Construction & General Building Laborers, Local 79 that a senior manager violated federal labor law after sending aggressive texts to a worker. “U working for Redhook or u working in the union?” the supervisor said in an exchange with a worker during the union campaign…
Grocery Unions Slam Amazon Acquisition of Whole Foods
June 23, 2017 | JOBS | Leaders of U.S. unions reacted angrily to the news June 16 that Amazon will acquire Whole Foods for $13.4 billion. Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, called the deal a “disruptive and destructive battle between two of the nation’s leading low-road employers”—Amazon and Walmart—that “will leave workers with fewer jobs and lower wages.” Amazon is widely believed to have plans to cut costs by replacing cashiers with self-service checkout, although the company has denied that. “Amazon’s brutal vision for retail is one where automation replaces good jobs,” United Food and Commercial Workers President Marc Perrone said in a statement. Neither company has a good reputation for labor policies. Amazon warehouses hire workers through temp agencies to avoid responsibility for wages and conditions, and “pickers” have to walk more than 12 miles a shift and
Port Truck Drivers, Gig-Economy Workers Have Much In Common
June 22, 2017 | MISCLASSIFICATION | In a good year, port truck driver Jose Portillo says he can rake in $80,000 a year. But the barrel-chested grandfather says he takes home only $25,000 after paying gas, insurance, taxes and rental fees for the big-rig he drives. Portillo is an independent contractor. He and other truck drivers, bemoaning that they don’t get vacation, overtime or workers’ compensation in case of an accident, have worked with the union to file a complaint against trucking companies, contending that they are really employees. The debate isn’t new. Since the deregulation drive of the 1980s, the contractor model has dominated the trucking industry. But truckers like Portillo now share the road and have much in common with a new brand of worker…

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Updated: Jun. 27 (13:01)

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