Minimum-wage debate heats up in Pennsylvania
Sept. 1, 2015 | Nineteen U.S. cities and counties experienced mandated wage increases this year; 29 states and Washington, D.C., already require employers to pay workers more than $7.25. Pennsylvania isn’t part of this group – yet. There are five bills pending in the state Legislature proposing to raise the minimum wage, with different methods and standards ranging from $8.75 to $15. Full story...
Hoffa: New platform makes unions strong, America stronger
Sept. 2, 2015 | Today, more than 1.4 million members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are compensated for their skills and hard work with salaries and benefits that give them dignity and allow them to live a middle-class lifestyle. If this were true of more American workers, our economy and our country would be better off. This is a message the Teamsters intend to bring to the entire American workforce as part of the union’s new “Let’s Get America Working” campaign — if our nation is to prosper it must be union strong, America stronger. The Teamsters are unveiling a plan to help achieve those goals. Continued...
Teamsters call out UPS over ALEC politics
Sept. 4, 2015 | The U.S. Teamsters Union has joined a broad-based coalition of 84 investor, public interest and civil rights groups to persuade the United Parcel Service (UPS) to cut its ties with the controversial American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Launched in 1973, ALEC says it is a think-tank that provides a "constructive forum for state legislators and private sector leaders to discuss and exchange practical, state-level public policy issues. It also develops model policies and resolutions on economic issues". However according to public interest non-profit SourceWatch, ALEC is a corporate "bill mill" dominated by Republican politicians that enables corporations to provide state legislators wishlists that benefit their bottom line: "Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations and pay for a seat on [its] task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve 'model' bills," claims SourceWatch. Continued...
OSHA is still working on silica
Sept. 4, 2015 | Obama may join other presidents who have tried and failed to contain industrial dust...The struggle to control silica is part of a pattern of weakness that characterizes OSHA. “They aren’t able to address a long list of commonsense problems, because the process of addressing them is just too hard,” says Harris, now a private attorney and a distinguished scholar at Cornell. The agency has a small budget and an ever-lengthening list of bureaucratic boxes it needs to check each time it wants to toughen regulations. “We made silica a priority from the beginning of the Obama administration, and it still takes seven or eight years,” says OSHA head David Michaels. “We will get it out before the end of President Obama’s term.” Continued... Why does this matter? Local 992 represents workers employed at U.S. Silica, a leading producer and supplier of silica sand, frac sand and other industrial minerals.
UAW in no rush to negotiate with Detroit automakers
Sept. 9, 2015 | UAW President Dennis Williams said Monday the union is making progress with all three Detroit automakers and is not ready yet to pick a target in its contract negotiations, even though there are only seven days left before contracts expire for about 141,000 autoworkers.. This year, the UAW also has the difficult task of meeting the expectations of many union members who haven't had a raise in 10 years. Continued… Related: Hoffa pledges solidarity with UAW in Big Three negotiations. “I know you haven’t picked a target yet, but it’s one of those three,” Hoffa said. “If the UAW goes on strike, I make a pledge on behalf of the 1.4 million Teamster members – we will honor your picket lines."
Labor Dept. awards Teamsters $4.6 million training grant
Sept. 16, 2015 | The Teamsters Safety and Health Department has been awarded a $4.6 million grant by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to establish apprenticeship programs for workers in the trucking industry. The grant will be awarded over a five-year funding cycle. Continued...
Teamsters protest as Treasury debates allowing pension cuts for 1.5M retirees
Sept. 21, 2015 | The retired Teamsters are among a group of as many as 1.5 million retirees from a long list of different labor unions nationwide that could see their pensions slashed under a new law quietly approved late last year. The immediate target of the angry Teamsters was the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which is in charge of administering the new law, the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA)…[the] MPRA allows pension fund trustees new freedom to reduce promised benefits in cases where the long-term solvency of the fund is in danger. Full story… Also, Hoffa joins Congressional leaders, retirees at rally to stop pension cuts. Watch the video.
Increased job deaths show need to focus on workplace safety
Sept. 28, 2015 | Why do we need unions? The reasons are many, but a key statistic released last week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) highlights an often-overlooked one – to monitor workplace safety. Too many people die at the workplace. The Labor Department reported that 4,679 workers were fatally injured on the job in 2014., up two percent from the previous year… Labor Secretary Tom Perez said the numbers are not acceptable. Continued... Shop stewards, see this week's Steward Tip.
Battle against TPP heads to Atlanta
Sept. 30, 2015 | Trade officials involved in the negotiations of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) may believe they are nearing the end of the process with meetings in Atlanta this week. But the Teamsters and other fair trade allies aren't going down without a fight... As the Teamsters have said before, there are just no good reason for everyday Americans to support this agreement. First and foremost is the deal won't create any new jobs here. Full story...