Labor News

Union Busting SF Mayor Ed Lee Helps Billionaire Owners of UBER & Lyft With Privatization Of Public Spaces

Current News - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 16:31

Union Busting SF Mayor Ed Lee Helps Billionaire Owners of UBER & Lyft With Privatization Of Public Spaces

http://www.sfexaminer.com/mayor-lee-strikes-deal-allow-uber-lyft-vehicle...

Mayor Lee strikes deal to allow Uber, Lyft vehicles to use SF curb space

In exchange for traffic data from Uber and Lyft, Mayor Ed Lee has agreed to a pilot program to convert some parking spaces into painted curbs that could be legally used by ride-hail drivers. (Aleah Fajardo/2016 Special to S.F. Examiner)
By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez on November 7, 2017 12:00 pm

Mayor Ed Lee and tech giants Uber and Lyft struck a deal this week to provide city curb space for ride-hail vehicles as part of a new pilot designed to ease San Francisco traffic, the San Francisco Examiner has learned.

In exchange for traffic data from Uber and Lyft that The City will use to combat congestion, Lee agreed to a pilot program to convert some parking spaces — in a yet-to-be determined commercial corridor — into painted curbs that could be legally used by ride-hail drivers.

That data is a holy grail sought aggressively by city leaders to help transportation planners ease local traffic, including City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who has filed with the California Public Utility Commission to obtain such data. The CPUC regulates Uber and Lyft in California.

“The City and shared mobility organizations both want the same thing for our city — a world class transportation network that is safe and efficient for everyone,” Lee wrote in a Tuesday morning email to the CEOs of Uber and Lyft, Dara Khosrowshahi and John Zimmer, respectively.

The deal follows Lee’s effort to negotiate with Uber and Lyft that began in May, which was first reported by the Examiner, to combat increasing traffic jams and safety concerns that city leaders say is exacerbated by 5-6,000 Uber and Lyft vehicles that descend on San Francisco daily, out of a pool of 45,000-plus local ride-hail drivers.

The deal struck by Lee, Uber and Lyft comes after months of negotiations behind the scenes.

In the letter to the Uber and Lyft CEOs, Lee wrote that prior to the implementation of the pilot program, ride-hail companies will electronically ban ride-hail drivers from using certain locations via the cellphone app, called geofencing.

Geofencing would help designate for drivers which painted curbs they could use to pick up passengers, Lee wrote, and the ride-hail companies will begin “in-app education” of customers and riders on the new protocol.

“To ensure compliance,” Lee wrote, “The City will require data, such as anonymized trip details, from shared mobility providers (Uber and Lyft).”

Uber said it was “excited” to collaborate with the Mayor’s Office and would share data through a third party, but did not clarify what level of data would be shared.

Notably, the company has said that it shares trip data in heat maps, which they call “Movement,” but it lacks specificity necessary to help transportation planners.

“Lyft looks forward to partnering with the Mayor’s Office” Lyft spokesperson Chelsea Wilson said in a statement. She added, “The details of the program are still being finalized, but we believe there is a way to share anonymized data that helps The City understand the current transportation environment while still protecting user privacy.”

Exactly what commercial corridor the pilot will take place in, and in which neighborhood, has not yet been determined, according to Lee’s letter.

After the agreement was announced Tuesday, Supervisor Hillary Ronen voiced her desire to find alternatives for Uber and Lyft on Valencia Street, where cyclists complain thousands of ride-hail drivers block bike lanes each day.

“I strongly urge that Valencia [Street] be selected as the corridor for this program,” Ronen told the Examiner. However, she said she does not want parking to be impacted.

Meanwhile, in a public letter Ronen sent to Uber and Lyft on Tuesday, she asked the companies to voluntarily geofence Valencia, and only pick up riders on side streets.

Data from the San Francisco County Transportation Authority shows on one average Dolores Street block on any given Friday, there are about 280 ride-hail pickups and dropoffs, the Examiner previously reported. On just one block of Valencia Street near 16th Street, by contrast, there are as many as 2,190 daily pickups and dropoffs by ride-hails like Uber and Lyft.

Though no neighborhood has been identified for Lee’s pilot with Uber and Lyft, the agreement will kick off an outreach effort with the Board of Supervisors, merchants and residents, to see who would be willing to host this ride-hail pilot.

At least one Lyft driver is a fan, with some concerns. Ken, who declined to give his last name, drove on Fulton Street as he discussed his concerns about the deal with The City.

“It depends on the location. Just like here, we don’t need a white zone, you know what I’m talking about?” he said, gesturing to Alamo Square Park

Ken, a three-year Uber driver who switched to Lyft two months ago, said it would be more useful to have white zones to pickup and drop off passengers along Market Street, for instance, or Valencia Street, where bicyclists have held human chain protests to highlight the danger of Uber and Lyft vehicles swooping into bike lanes to pick up passengers.

“I know there’s a lot of drivers on the street,” Ken said. “Traffic is getting worse and worse.”

Tags: UberLyftprivatizationpublic spaces
Categories: Labor News

Georgia: Defend Georgian trade unions

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: IndustriALL
Categories: Labor News

Egypt: New Draft Trade Union Law Suppresses Freedom of Association

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: ITUC
Categories: Labor News

Turkey: Unpaid labourers are 'slipping pleas for help into Zara clothes'

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Independent
Categories: Labor News

Georgia: Union busting continues at Rustavi Azot in Georgia

Labourstart.org News - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: IndustriALL
Categories: Labor News

Cambodia: Unpaid labourers are 'slipping pleas for help into Zara clothes'

Labourstart.org News - Sun, 11/05/2017 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: The Independent
Categories: Labor News

Kenya: Nurses End Their 5-Month Strike After Deal With State

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: allAfrica
Categories: Labor News

Nigeria: Strike: Labour suspends negotiation with Kogi Govt over murder of its leader

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: The Daily Post
Categories: Labor News

UK Bus Boss Fires Workers After Burning Workers Out ‘I can’t work with you a moment longer’: boss fires bus drivers with blunt note

Current News - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 06:10

UK Bus Boss Fires Workers After Burning Workers Out
‘I can’t work with you a moment longer’: boss fires bus drivers with blunt note
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/nov/01/sydney-hardy-nippybus-bo...

Staff angry after Sydney Hardy shuts down Somerset company Nippybus ‘to pursue my dream of not having to work here’
The Nippybus depot in Great Western Road, Martock.
The Nippybus depot in Great Western Road, Martock. The closure of Nippybus has affected hundreds of passengers, including more than 300 students. Photograph: SWNS.com
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Steven Morris and agency
@stevenmorris20
Wednesday 1 November 2017 18.00 GMTFirst published on Wednesday 1 November 2017 11.05 GMT
The boss of a Somerset bus company who took his fleet off the road without warning and sent staff a brusque and foul-mouthed note explaining he could not bear to work with them “a moment longer” has been criticised by drivers, mechanics and passengers.

Staff at Nippybus said they were out of pocket and desperately searching for new jobs to pay their bills, while hundreds of passengers, from children to pensioners, were left trying to find a way to get to school, work and the shops and to keep medical appointments.

Campaigners said the Nippybus situation highlighted problems faced by under-pressure bus services, especially in very rural areas, across the UK.

Guardian Today: the headlines, the analysis, the debate - sent direct to you
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In an internal memo to staff, Sydney Hardy, 57, explained in no uncertain terms he was “getting off” after 13 years in charge of Nippybus, which is based in the village of Martock, near Yeovil.

He wrote: “There is a difference between giving up and knowing when you have had enough. I have had enough and realise I cannot work with you, the people I employ, a moment longer.

“There comes a time in any relationship when you just have to say ‘Fuck it’, say goodbye and move on. This is my time! I am quitting to pursue my dream of not having to work here.”

Hardy added: “The gates are now closed and will not open so you can stay in your scratchers and have a lie in.”

MD Syd Hardy
MD Syd Hardy
The gates were indeed closed on Wednesday and Hardy was not available for further comment. A security guard was posted at the fence and fetched possessions for employees who arrived from time to time. Some were also handed payslips – though they said no money had gone into their banks.

Driver Terry Lehmann said he was “gobsmacked” when he went on the company’s site to check the rota and came across Hardy’s note. “How can a human being do that to his colleagues? It’s disgusting,” he said.

Another driver, Steve Atkins, said staff were “in total shock”, adding: “Everybody’s got mortgages and bills to pay. I’ve had to ring up and cancel all my direct debits. There’s no way I can cover them.”

Dave English, who was a driver at Nippybus for almost nine years, claimed the company was struggling because it had been losing drivers. “Everyone was doing long shifts, but he [Hardy] just expected us to do them. The memo makes out that it’s the drivers’ fault this has happened, but without us he would never have had his company.”

The county council has been working hard to find replacement buses for the routes, including school runs, that were covered by Nippybus.

Martock councillor Neil Bloomfield said many people in the area relied heavily on the buses to get to work and to the shops. “We have a high proportion of people who don’t have cars. They are very isolated without buses.”

Bloomfield said there was a shortage of drivers in Somerset partly because many were working on the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant project. “It is a worry for people here,” he said.

Rail workers on five networks to strike over driver-only trains
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Lianna Etkind, public transport campaigner at the Campaign for Better Transport, said: “Buses are the lifeblood of local communities and economies, and play a major part in reducing road congestion and air pollution as well. Unfortunately, we are hearing more and more of small bus companies ceasing operations without any warning, leaving staff without jobs and passengers without a means to get to work or school.”

People from Martock shared their tales of misery caused by the demise of Nippybus. Marie Bennett, who works at Claire’s cafe next to the bus yard, said her 16-year-old daughter, Kaitlyn, was forced to go to college on the back of a motorbike. “I wasn’t so happy with that,” she said. Her boss, Claire Lambert, said the loss of the company would have a knock-on effect on other businesses in the village.

A temporary bus service has been running between Yeovil and the village. Jon Tucker, who has relied on the buses since losing a leg in a road accident, said he and his family would struggle without a regular, reliable service.

“I go to the gym in Yeovil three times a week to help improve my mobility and take the children into town to the cinema and bowling at the weekend. We need a good service.”

Retired power company worker Barry Fry said many elderly people would be lost without buses. “There are lots of vulnerable people who rely on that bus.

“We don’t know what is going on at the moment, which is very concerning. It’s disgraceful that the company has acted like this.”

Tags: UK bus workersoverworkstress
Categories: Labor News

Australia: AWU raid: something is deeply wrong with how unions are treated in Australia

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 11/01/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: The Morning Herald
Categories: Labor News

Global: Take action against Apple’s labour abuse now

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Good Electronic
Categories: Labor News

Hong Kong: Hong Kong: Unions and allies demand collective bargaining rights

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: IUF
Categories: Labor News

Mauritius: A victory against casualization of labour after 10 days of Hunger strike

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: BWI
Categories: Labor News

FedEx ‘deeply saddened’ by ‘tragic accident’ at Lubbock airport facility

Current News - Sun, 10/29/2017 - 18:57

FedEx ‘deeply saddened’ by ‘tragic accident’ at Lubbock airport facility

http://lubbockonline.com/news/2017-10-17/fedex-deeply-saddened-tragic-ac...
Posted October 17, 2017 06:40 pm - Updated October 17, 2017 07:08 pm
By Adam D. YoungA-J Media Local News Editor
FedEx ‘deeply saddened’ by ‘tragic accident’ at Lubbock airport facility

Federal officials are looking into a death after what FedEx officials are calling an accident late Tuesday morning at the FedEx facility at Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport.

Lubbock police spokeswoman Tiffany Pelt confirmed officers responded to a report of a death just before noon at the FedEx facility, but that the death is not being investigated as a homicide.

“There was nothing suspicious that warranted a homicide callout,” she said.

A spokesman for FedEx released a brief statement to the A-J Monday.“We are deeply saddened by this tragic accident,” the statement reads. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and colleagues affected by the loss of our team member. We are cooperating fully with investigating authorities.”

Asked for additional details about the death, FedEx did not release additional details by late Tuesday, including information about the employee, what happened or potential impacts to the facility’s operations.

A statement from the Federal Aviation Administration late Tuesday indicated the accident came during maintenance on equipment.

“We will investigate the accident to determine whether the maintenance was being performed in accordance with approved safety procedures and if the mechanic had received adequate training,” according to the statement from FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford.

Lunsford referred the A-J to company or local authorities for specific details.

Juan Rodriguez, a spokesman with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, released a statement to the A-J Tuesday confirming “OSHA has an open and ongoing investigation into this incident.”

“No other information is available until the case is closed,” the statement reads.

Tags: FedExhealth and safetyosha
Categories: Labor News

Pakistan: Railway union leader imprisoned for terrorism after organizing rally

Labourstart.org News - Sun, 10/29/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: LabourWatch
Categories: Labor News

Labor, Mumia, The Trial And The Fight For Freedom With Mumia's Lawyer Rachel Wolkenstein

Current News - Sat, 10/28/2017 - 22:00

Labor, Mumia, The Trial And The Fight For Freedom With Mumia's Lawyer Rachel Wolkenstein
https://youtu.be/vTzNrB-zlyk
Mumia Abu-Jamal is one of the most important political prisoners in the United States. Rachel H. Wolkenstein who has been a lawyer for Mumia from the start of his legal fight for freedom spoke in San Francisco on October 27, 2017. She was introduced by ILWU Local 10 retired longshoreman Jack Heyman, Mumia is also an honorary member of CWA NABET and was a reporter in Philadelphia from many years before he was charged with murder. The meeting was sponsored by the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia.
Additional media:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8i7pCEMScw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfwDWlLZE5s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o25AsBn8WYU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABosvjawnj4
For more information:
www.laboractionmumia.org
Production of Labor Video Project
www.laborvideo.org

Tags: MumiaILWU Local 10NABETframe-up
Categories: Labor News

DC Transit Union ATU Local 689 Threatens Safety Stand-Down, Could Delay Service

Current News - Sat, 10/28/2017 - 11:06

DC Transit Union ATU Local 689 Threatens Safety Stand-Down, Could Delay Service
https://wamu.org/story/17/10/27/transit-union-threatens-safety-stand-pot...
October 27, 2107
Martin Di Caro

Members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 brought their safety concerns to the WMATA board on Thursday.

Martin Di Caro / WAMU

Metro’s largest labor union issued a warning on Thursday to the transit authority’s leadership that employees will stop working if they encounter what the union believes to be unsafe working conditions, potentially delaying rail or bus service or halting maintenance activities. It was not immediately clear how many employees would participate, or when.

Leaders of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, which represents 9,200 front line workers, were careful to avoid describing the threat of a “safety stand-down” as a planned job action, because transit strikes are illegal under the terms of the union’s collective bargaining agreement with WMATA.

After a string of attacks on bus drivers and other safety disputes with management, the union contends Metro is not listening to its concerns or acting quickly enough to rectify them. Metro denies the charges, saying it meets with union leaders regularly and has taken action to protect bus drivers on the most dangerous routes.

“We are finished talking. We are finished asking you to listen to us,” said ATU Local 689 president Jackie Jeter in remarks before the Metro board and general manager Paul Wiedefeld during a public meeting at WMATA headquarters.

“We have talked about safety. We have talked about what needs to be done. We have talked about the changes that need to take place,” Jeter said. “Talking about them has not saved our workers.”

Jeter addressed the board moments after another union leader attempted to read a list of names of transit workers who have died on the job, but who exceeded the two-minute time limit for public speakers at WMATA board meetings. Board chairman Jack Evans tried in vain to gavel the meeting back to order, provoking angry shouts from both union members and disability rights advocates who were in attendance to protest cuts to a popular taxicab program run by the District.

The threatened “safety stand-down” recalled an incident on the morning of Sept. 1, when drivers on Metro’s X2 bus line refused to drive unless each was given a transit police officer to ride along with them. ATU Local 689 denied that the drivers refused to do their jobs, but Metro forcefully denounced their behavior as “an unauthorized and potentially unlawful labor action” that severely delayed service.

The Sept. 1 incident happened days after passenger Opal Brown threw urine on an X2 driver as she got off the bus. She dumped the liquid over a protective plastic shield installed around the driver’s seat. The union says the shields are ineffective.

Asked if Metrorail and bus riders should expect unannounced service delays, Jeter said nothing was planned. She also sought to refute the notion that the union was organizing strikes.

“Metro uses any excuse they can to take you away from the narrative that we are working in unsafe conditions,” Jeter said.

“Whatever you want to call it, call it. We are not going to work in unsafe conditions. If I am a worker and I encounter an unsafe situation, I should have the right to take myself out of that situation until safety is procured. That is the difference between a strike and a stand-down,” Jeter added.

Metro general manager Paul Wiedefeld said he wasn’t sure what union leaders meant when they addressed him during the board meeting.

“Obviously we are very serious about any safety concerns. We deal with them when people bring them to us, and that is what we’ll do,” Wiedefeld said, before referencing the collective bargaining agreement’s prohibition against job actions that affect passenger service.

“We also have a contract that has certain requirements in it that they need to meet,” he said. “We are working hard on the bus assault issue. We are working with the union.”

Jeter cancelled a meeting scheduled with management on Thursday to discuss bus driver safety concerns, according to a Metro spokesman.

ATU Local 689 and Metro management have been engaged in a contentious contract negotiation that reached an impasse this summer – more than a year after the previous, four-year labor deal expired. It will be up to an arbitrator to settle the ongoing dispute over wages and benefits, including management’s proposal to shift new employees from defined pensions to a 401(k) retirement plan.

Tags: ATU 689health and safetylabor rights
Categories: Labor News

DC Transit Union ATU Local 689 Threatens Safety Stand-Down, Could Delay Service

Current News - Sat, 10/28/2017 - 11:06

DC Transit Union ATU Local 689 Threatens Safety Stand-Down, Could Delay Service
https://wamu.org/story/17/10/27/transit-union-threatens-safety-stand-pot...
October 27, 2107
Martin Di Caro

Members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 brought their safety concerns to the WMATA board on Thursday.

Martin Di Caro / WAMU

Metro’s largest labor union issued a warning on Thursday to the transit authority’s leadership that employees will stop working if they encounter what the union believes to be unsafe working conditions, potentially delaying rail or bus service or halting maintenance activities. It was not immediately clear how many employees would participate, or when.

Leaders of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, which represents 9,200 front line workers, were careful to avoid describing the threat of a “safety stand-down” as a planned job action, because transit strikes are illegal under the terms of the union’s collective bargaining agreement with WMATA.

After a string of attacks on bus drivers and other safety disputes with management, the union contends Metro is not listening to its concerns or acting quickly enough to rectify them. Metro denies the charges, saying it meets with union leaders regularly and has taken action to protect bus drivers on the most dangerous routes.

“We are finished talking. We are finished asking you to listen to us,” said ATU Local 689 president Jackie Jeter in remarks before the Metro board and general manager Paul Wiedefeld during a public meeting at WMATA headquarters.

“We have talked about safety. We have talked about what needs to be done. We have talked about the changes that need to take place,” Jeter said. “Talking about them has not saved our workers.”

Jeter addressed the board moments after another union leader attempted to read a list of names of transit workers who have died on the job, but who exceeded the two-minute time limit for public speakers at WMATA board meetings. Board chairman Jack Evans tried in vain to gavel the meeting back to order, provoking angry shouts from both union members and disability rights advocates who were in attendance to protest cuts to a popular taxicab program run by the District.

The threatened “safety stand-down” recalled an incident on the morning of Sept. 1, when drivers on Metro’s X2 bus line refused to drive unless each was given a transit police officer to ride along with them. ATU Local 689 denied that the drivers refused to do their jobs, but Metro forcefully denounced their behavior as “an unauthorized and potentially unlawful labor action” that severely delayed service.

The Sept. 1 incident happened days after passenger Opal Brown threw urine on an X2 driver as she got off the bus. She dumped the liquid over a protective plastic shield installed around the driver’s seat. The union says the shields are ineffective.

Asked if Metrorail and bus riders should expect unannounced service delays, Jeter said nothing was planned. She also sought to refute the notion that the union was organizing strikes.

“Metro uses any excuse they can to take you away from the narrative that we are working in unsafe conditions,” Jeter said.

“Whatever you want to call it, call it. We are not going to work in unsafe conditions. If I am a worker and I encounter an unsafe situation, I should have the right to take myself out of that situation until safety is procured. That is the difference between a strike and a stand-down,” Jeter added.

Metro general manager Paul Wiedefeld said he wasn’t sure what union leaders meant when they addressed him during the board meeting.

“Obviously we are very serious about any safety concerns. We deal with them when people bring them to us, and that is what we’ll do,” Wiedefeld said, before referencing the collective bargaining agreement’s prohibition against job actions that affect passenger service.

“We also have a contract that has certain requirements in it that they need to meet,” he said. “We are working hard on the bus assault issue. We are working with the union.”

Jeter cancelled a meeting scheduled with management on Thursday to discuss bus driver safety concerns, according to a Metro spokesman.

ATU Local 689 and Metro management have been engaged in a contentious contract negotiation that reached an impasse this summer – more than a year after the previous, four-year labor deal expired. It will be up to an arbitrator to settle the ongoing dispute over wages and benefits, including management’s proposal to shift new employees from defined pensions to a 401(k) retirement plan.

Tags: ATU 689health and safetylabor rights
Categories: Labor News

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