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February 18, 2019

On This Day in 1934
U.S. legislators pass the Civil Works Emergency Relief Act, providing funds for the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, which funneled money to states plagued by Depression-era poverty and unemployment, and oversaw the subsequent distribution and relief efforts.
- Union Communication Services

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Just Sayin’
     "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will. People might not get all that they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get."
~Fredrick Douglass,
Abolitionist


Local and National Union News

Teamsters JC 16 statement on Amazon canceling H2 New York plans
Feb. 15, 2019 George Miranda, President of Teamsters Joint Council 16, had the following statement on Amazon's announcement that it is pulling out of plans to build its second headquarters in Long Island City, NY: "New Yorkers made it clear that Amazon wasn't welcome in our city if it would not respect our workers and our communities. Apparently, the company decided that was too much to ask. We are committed to fighting for the rights of workers throughout the Amazon supply chain and supporting their demand for a voice on the job." Teamsters Related: Amazon’s decision to pull out of New York is a massive blow to corporate welfare and, activists and lawmakers also raised concerns over Amazon’s labor practices and its anti-union track record.

YRC negotiations continue on national items
Feb. 15, 2019 | The last traditional collective bargaining agreement applicable to these companies is the 2008-13 National Master Freight Agreement (NMFA). That agreement was modified and extended through various restructuring MOUs and agreements. The parties are returning to the traditional structural format as the 2008-13 NMFA. After this week, the parties will have resolved most of the non-economic provisions in Articles 1-39. The parties also began discussing supplemental agreements for some regions of the country. Subcommittees were also established to focus on various issues related to the shortage of CDL drivers, purchased transportation, how to grow full-time jobs, job security for the bargaining unit and the unique nature of operations at Holland... Read the full update here.

Teamsters applaud introduction of legislation to protect transit workers
Feb. 13, 2019 The Teamsters support bipartisan legislation that would authorize funding for programs to establish training and technology improvements to help mitigate assaults against transit workers. “All transit workers deserve a safe workplace,” said General President Jim Hoffa. “Whether they drive a bus or work on the rails, these men and women should have the training and technology to help prevent any harm from assault on the job…” Learn more here.

Upstate and Western New York supplement ratified *
Feb. 6, 2019 |  Official vote results. UPS Teamsters covered by the Upstate and Western New York Supplement have ratified the agreement. Voting took place over the past several weeks and votes were tallied yesterday. Four other supplements remain outstanding: Central Pennsylvania; Western Pennsylvania; Local 804; and Local 243 Metro Detroit. Reminder: The national agreement cannot take effect until all the outstanding supplements are ratified. Once ratified, economic improvements are retroactive to August 1, 2018. Vote counts at teamster.org

Teamsters celebrate Black History Month
Feb. 6, 2019 Since 1903, the Teamsters Union has been at the forefront of the struggle for workers’ rights in North America. During Black History Month, Teamsters honor the contributions of African-Americans in our nation’s history and their important place in the union today. Early on in the union’s history, Teamsters advocated for “no color lines” within the labor movement and would not hold with the practice of separate unions for black members. Women and minorities were... Read more

Older news items are posted on 355 News.

Elsewhere in the News
In Case You Missed It

  • Education unions oppose calls to arm teachers
  • UPS Air Cargo Teamsters ratify new contract
  • Teamsters remember James R. (Jimmy) Hoffa
  • Corporate arbitration tactic backfires as claims flood in
  • Amazon dips into contract drivers’ tips to cover their pay
  • Amazon signals it may be open to a PLA in Arlington, Va.
  • California, Teamsters sue FMCSA over truckers’ unpaid rest breaks
  • Unions fight back against Koch, allies since Supreme Court disaster
  • Millions of Americans could be stunned as their tax refunds shrink
  • The 8 most common tax return questions, answered by experts
  • A Presidents Day quiz on U.S. presidents

Raise the Wage Act Would Hike Pay for 40 Million Workers
Feb. 15, 2019| WAGES | Backed by a wide range of unions and women’s groups, veteran lawmakers have reintroduced the Paycheck Fairness Act — a measure designed to put enforcement “teeth” into the nation’s 56-year-old equal pay law. The Paycheck Fairness Act would reverse court and agency decisions which have chipped away at workers’ right to equal pay for equal work ever since the original law was enacted in 1963. The measure “would strengthen and close loopholes in” that law “by holding employers accountable for discriminatory practices, ending the practice of pay secrecy, easing workers’ ability to individually or jointly challenge pay discrimination, and strengthening the available remedies for wronged employees”… Peoples World
A Record Number of US Workers Went on Strike in 2018
Feb. 14, 2019 | WORKERS' RIGHTS | Last year’s labor unrest started with strike in West Virginia and ended with Marriott workers picketing across four states. A record number of US workers went on strike or stopped working in 2018 because of labor disputes with employers, according to new data released Tuesday by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. A total of 485,000 employees were involved in major work stoppages last year — the highest number since 1986, when flight attendants, garbage collectors, and steelworkers walked off the job. The increasing number of workers involved in labor strikes suggests that average Americans are not experiencing the “economic miracle” that President Donald Trump has described... Vox
Unions See An Opening In The Wake of ‘Janus’ Ruling
Feb. 12, 2019 | U.S. LABOR MOVEMENT | The last year has been a whirlwind for the labor movement. There have been unexpectedly positive developments, like the forceful rise in teacher activism across the country, and negative ones, like the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Janus v. AFSCME, which found that unions could no longer collect agency fees for bargaining from workers who do not pay membership dues. The labor movement had been grinding its teeth over that possibility for several years, bracing for its already strained coffers to further deplete. But last weekend, when labor leaders and activists gathered at [the ‘Future of Unions’] two-day conference in Washington, D.C., to discuss their movement, the mood was overwhelmingly jubilant… The Intercept  Related: Sectorial bargaining (like the Teamsters’ pact with UPS) was the biggest topic... Peoples' World
Unions Need to Think Small to Get Big
Feb. 11, 2019 | OPINION | Organized labor can reverse its decline by focusing on smaller workplaces – and using digital tools to organize. New research shows that most workers are unionized in smaller workplaces. Of the nearly 700,000 private-sector employees who joined a union in the past decade, almost two-thirds were unionized in shops with fewer than 250 workers. Labor groups are more likely to win elections for union representation in small workplaces. In a study released this week by the Century Foundation, we analyzed microdata on every union election in the country from April 2007 to December 2018, more than 22,000 in total. We found that bargaining units of 24 or fewer employees were nearly 12 percent more likely to win a union than larger groups. Units with nine workers or under, for example, won 70 percent of their elections, compared with a win rate of 57 percent for units of 100 and 249 employees. What’s more, the fewer employees in a workplace, the more likely they were to win elections by wider margins, underscoring that workers at smaller units are more consistent and cohesive in their support of unions. … The Atlantic
In Case You Missed It

  • Raise the Wage Act would hike salaries for 40 million
  • The case for a 4-day work week
  • Baseball labor talks not progressing smoothly
  • Is the general strike making a comeback?
  • Teamsters challenge FMCSA decision on meal/break rules
  • Amazon will oppose any effort to unionize its NY workforce
  • How 10 air traffic controllers likely ended the government shutdown
  • Construction workers’ unions sue drug companies over opioid crisis
  • DOL considers rule that would make it easier for businesses to exploit workers
  • This week’s labor quote (hat-tip DC Labor):

‘Green New Deal’ Aims to Remake the U.S. Economy
Feb. 8, 2019 | ECONOMY | […] In very broad strokes, the Green New Deal resolution introduced yesterday by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey, (D-MA), sets goals for some drastic measures to cut carbon emissions across the economy, from electricity generation to transportation to agriculture. In the process, it aims to create jobs and boost the economy. The bill calls for a “10-year national mobilizations” toward accomplishing the goals. The resolution also states that the Deal “must be developed through . . . partnership with frontline and vulnerable communities, labor unions, worker cooperatives [and others]” and must ensure the creation of “high-quality union jobs,” guaranteed jobs “with a family-sustaining wage,” and strengthen and protect “the right of all workers to organize, unionize, and collectively bargain free of coercion, intimidation, and harassment.” National Public Radio
 
 
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