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PSR Fleet Memo for August 21 2015

IBU - Mon, 08/24/2015 - 09:08
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Categories: Unions

South Africa: 50 000 steel industry jobs on the line

Labourstart.org News - Sun, 08/23/2015 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Business Report
Categories: Labor News

No Nooses in the Workplace! Daryle Washington IBT 350 Recology Worker Targeted For Exposing Hanging Noose Racist Incident

Current News - Sun, 08/23/2015 - 14:40

No Nooses in the Workplace! Daryle Washington IBT 350 Recology Worker Targeted For Exposing Hanging Noose Racist Incident

Daryle Washington is a Teamsters Local 350 member who used to work at Recology Corporation in San Francisco.

On December 10, 2013, a coworker named Jon Peralta picked up a noose, walked out of his stall, tightening it as he went, and dropped it in the stall of one of his black coworkers.

Even though Daryle repeatedly spoke up on behalf of his coworkers, the company only suspended Peralta for six days. Later on December 30, Peralta picked up a Jet magazine and threw it at a black coworker. This time Peralta was suspended for only 14 days. Daryle's coworkers feared for their life, but Recology did nothing.

The company refuses to fire Peralta because his mother is in a relationship with one of the managers! Instead, they retaliated against Daryle. They harrassed him, denied him promotions that he was clearly qualified for, transferred him, denied him worker's comp and forced him to continue to work alongside Jon Peralta. He suffered anxiety attacks from the stress.

Meanwhile, Daryle's union won't defend him, because Peralta is in the union too!

Recology has refused to change its policies or apologize. Daryle has sued Recology in court and the company offered a settlement, but he has refused to take it until the company agrees to publicly apologize for tolerating this behavior.

Zero tolerance for racist nooses!
Justice for Daryle Washington!

Contact: Daryle Washington Defense Committee
(415) 832-9480 / darylewashington@yahoo.com

For video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NuFYf0dhVUQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5PBHHR2m38

For more information:
http://sfbayview.com/2015/06/recology...
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...
http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article...
For more video:
http://youtu.be/b_KDzRoocjA
https://vimeo.com/128108774
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3P1z...
For more video:
http://youtu.be/b_KDzRoocjA
https://vimeo.com/128108774
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3P1z...
For more information:
http://sfbayview.com/2015/06/recology...
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...
http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article...
Production of Labor Video Project

Tags: racismhanging noosesIBT 853
Categories: Labor News

Greece: Syriza accuses Canadian gold miner of holding 2,000 workers hostage

Labourstart.org News - Fri, 08/21/2015 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Associated Press
Categories: Labor News

Japan JR East begins decontaminating tracks in areas affected by nuclear crisis despite dangerous levels of radiation

Current News - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 21:23

Japan JR East begins decontaminating tracks in areas affected by nuclear crisis despite dangerous levels of radiation
http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20150821p2a00m0na0020...

Workers remove weeds along the JR Joban Line tracks in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, on Aug. 20, 2015, in preparation for work to decontaminate the tracks on a trial basis. (Photo courtesy of JR East Mito branch)
East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) began on Aug. 20 to decontaminate tracks on the Joban Line, which have been affected by the Fukushima nuclear crisis, on a trial basis, company officials said.

The work, which is part of JR East's efforts to resume services between Tomioka and Namie stations, got under way in a section between Yonomori and Futaba stations where radiation levels are particularly high.

After analyzing data showing how radiation levels have declined following the decontamination, JR East is expected to consider when to resume services between Tomioka and Namie stations.

The company will remove rails and sleepers in a 50-meter section at six separate spots, where radiation levels are 2.8 to 28 microsieverts per hour, and remove surface soil. All these six spots are situated in a zone where it is difficult for evacuated residents to return in the foreseeable future, with annual cumulative radiation levels exceeding 50 millisieverts, in the town of Okuma. All decommission workers are required to put on protective gear.

On Aug. 20, workers removed weeds around the tracks and created roads through which necessary equipment will be brought into these areas.

Services on the Joban Line have been suspended in some sections in Fukushima Prefecture since the outbreak of the nuclear crisis triggered by the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing tsunami.

JR East aims to resume services on the Odaka-Haranomachi section by the spring of 2016, the Namie-Odaka section by March 2017, the Tatsuta-Tomioka section by March 2018 and the Soma-Hamayoshida section by the spring of 2017.

Click here for Japanese article
August 21, 2015 (Mainichi Japan)

Tags: Railroad workersRadiationFukushima
Categories: Labor News

Solidarity message from MUA Queensland branch

ILWU - Thu, 08/20/2015 - 10:52

Members of the Maritime Union Australia, Queensland Branch in Brisbane recently  recorded a solidarity message to the ILWU while on the picket line.

Categories: Unions

Uber’s Attempt To Silence Its Drivers May Have Just Backfired

Current News - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 22:19

Uber’s Attempt To Silence Its Drivers May Have Just Backfired
http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/18328/uber-drivers-court-case
WEDNESDAY, AUG 19, 2015, 5:56 PM
Uber’s Attempt To Silence Its Drivers May Have Just Backfired
BY CLARK TAYLOR

<12183655143_5b0d955bdf_z.jpg>
A judge has ruled that Uber's requirements of its drivers are unfair and illegal. (Flickr / Joakim Formo)

Much has been made over how Uber, the car service that enables users to hail a car within minutes of pressing a few keys on their smartphones, is jumpstarting the “gig-economy.” Frequently lost amid the discussion over disrupting existing industries, however, is the fact that workers in this new economy often gett the short-shrift. That fact was made extremely evident in a recent order against the company written by U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen in which he found that the terms Uber imposes upon its drivers as a condition of driving for the company, including a forced arbitration clause, are unconscionable and unenforceable under California law. In plain English, he ruled that the provisions were so unfair and one-sided in favor of Uber that they could not be enforced in a court of law.

The case was brought by Ronald Gillette and Abdul Mohamed, who began driving for Uber in California in 2013 and in Boston in 2012, respectively. Not only do riders arrange their rides via smartphone, but drivers also arrange to work for Uber via smartphone. When Gillette and Mohamed decided to work for Uber, they logged on to the app to join the Uber “fleet” and a message popped up on their screens asking if they agree to “all the contracts” listed. If they indicated they agreed, another message popped up that said “PLEASE CONFIRM THAT YOU HAVE REVIEWED ALL THE DOCUMENTS AND AGREE TO ALL THE NEW CONTRACTS.” The two choices were “YES, I AGREE” and “NO.” After clicking the “YES, I AGREE” option, both Gillette and Mohamed gained access to the app and began driving for Uber.

Gillette was subsequently terminated by Uber because “’something had come up’ on his consumer background report.” Mohamed’s access to the app was subsequently revoked “at least in part as a ‘result of information obtained [by defendants] through [a] Consumer Reporting Agency’,” and he lost his ability to pick up passengers as an Uber driver. This was only the beginning of their troubles with Uber.

To understand how forced arbitration squeezes workers and deprives them of the protections otherwise guaranteed by law, we have to get into a bit of legalese. The terms to which Gillette and Mohamed agreed by clicking the “YES, I AGREE” option on their phones included a clause stipulating that any dispute between Uber and the driver will be resolved in an arbitration proceeding rather than in open court.

As almost any first year law student can tell you, a party is bound by the contract she signs. Even if a court determines that a contract was validly made, however, there are a number of bases upon which courts can deem contracts unenforceable. These include, among others, contracts considered to be against the law, contracts signed under duress and contracts that are unconscionable.

For example, a court wouldn’t enforce a contract in which one party contracts with another to commit a crime because the agreement is against the law. A court would not enforce a contract signed by someone with a gun to their head as that would clearly constitute duress. Although there is no one test to determine if a contract is unconscionable, “gross inequality of bargaining power, together with terms unreasonably favorable to the stronger party,” may lend credence to an argument that a contract or a particular clause within it is unconscionable.

After evaluating Uber’s arbitration provision, Judge Chen found that the clause was, in fact unconscionable, and thus unenforceable. In coming to this decision, Judge Chen reviewed all of the language in Uber’s contracts, taking readers of his opinion on a tour of the worst aspects of this one-sided deal.

• First, the clause prohibited the plaintiffs from bringing enforcement actions on behalf of other individuals—an essential tool for enforcing civil rights laws—as provided for by California state law.
• Second, the clause required the plaintiffs to pay a portion of the arbitrator’s costs and fees, whereas in court they would not have to pay a judge for his or her time.
• Third, the clause required that any arbitration proceeding be confidential, contrary to open access to court proceedings.
• Fourth, in a brazen move, while Uber denied its drivers access to court and forced them to proceed to arbitration, it carved out a provision which enabled the company to bring a case in court under certain circumstances.
• Fifth, and last, the provision allowed Uber to modify the terms of the contract at any time, without granting its drivers the same ability.
Arbitration is an alternative method of dispute resolution that bypasses our civil justice system. It can be an appropriate forum when it is knowingly and voluntarily agreed to by the individual as well as the company after a dispute arises.

But a recent study found that outcomes in arbitration for workers—win rates, damage awards, and settlement amounts—are starkly inferior to outcomes workers receive when they go to court. As one federal judge lamented in a forced arbitration case, “there is a reason that arbitration is the favored venue of many businesses for deciding employment disputes, and it is not to ensure that employees are afforded the best chance to have their claims adjudicated by a judge or jury picked from the community.”

Arbitration proceedings are not governed by the same rules of procedure which exist in a court proceeding and are designed to ensure fairness and due process. For example, those who have been wronged are generally able to gain access to the key documents that the other side possesses and that are often crucial to prove their cases. In contrast, arbitration proceedings are often secret and deprive aggrieved individuals the opportunity to present their case to a jury of their peers. Because arbitration proceedings are secret and not public, they shield companies that break the law from public accountability and scrutiny. And arbitration clauses frequently prohibit individuals from appealing a ruling against them.

Even worse is the fact that forced arbitration clauses such as the one used by Uber are on the rise. In 2010, 27 percent of non-unionized workers—or 36 million people—were subject to forced arbitration clauses. That figure is likely much higher now as the Supreme Court has issued two decisions in recent years that have made arbitration even more favorable to employers.

Indeed, management-side attorneys have written about how forced arbitration clauses help their clients’ bottom lines, especially those provisions that include language banning workers or consumers from joining together to form a class to obtain collective relief. A 2015 report by a national management firm shows that the percentage of employers using forced arbitration and class action bans more than doubled from 21% in 2011 to almost 46% in 2014.

If Uber had its way, its drivers would be bound to address disputes with the company through forced arbitration in a secret, private tribunal. The drivers would also be prohibited from joining together in class action suits—which is often the only way individuals can hold large companies accountable for their wrongdoing.

Thankfully, Judge Chen recognized the unfairness that “permeated” Uber’s terms with Gillette, Mohamed, and the other drivers in their lawsuit and found it unenforceable. Uber has appealed the case to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals—remember, the kind of appeal that is not allowed under forced arbitration—so we will soon find out if other judges share Judge Chen’s perspective on what is fair and what is not.

For the record, Uber doesn’t stop at imposing forced arbitration on its drivers. Uber also refuses to classify its drivers as employees and treats them instead as independent contractors, who are not entitled to the rights and protections afforded employees. We need updated laws to handle these new employment arrangements that are becoming more and more frequent in our sharing economy. Until we have such laws, drivers like Gillette and Mohamed will not only be denied the basic rights and benefits associated with being classified as employees; they will continue to be subject to a sham system of justice in which they cannot have their claims heard in open court with the basic protections afforded by a court proceeding.

Tags: Uberlabor rights
Categories: Labor News

Iraq: Iraq’s new labour law: positive but ‘clipped’

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Stronger Unions
Categories: Labor News

Indonesia: Crisis of leadership in Indonesian trade unions

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Jakarta Post
Categories: Labor News

Australia: Foreign Slave Ship Trading in Australian Waters

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: MUA
Categories: Labor News

Global: Industry bargaining for living wages

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: IndustriALL Global Union
Categories: Labor News

India: 'Don't call me Room Boy!' say hotel housekeepers fighting for respect

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 08/19/2015 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: IUF
Categories: Labor News

China: In China, there is no firefighters’ trade union and it shows

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: China Labour Bulletin
Categories: Labor News

Iran: Head of Tehran teachers' group, Esmail Abdi, faces new charges

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Payvand/Radio Zamaneh
Categories: Labor News

Beating of bus driver by Dallas middle schoolers emerges on tape as officials promise new probe: report

Current News - Tue, 08/18/2015 - 15:05

Beating of bus driver by Dallas middle schoolers emerges on tape as officials promise new probe: report
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/video-shows-beating-bus-driver-mid...
BY TOBIAS SALINGER NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Tuesday, August 18, 2015, 6:47 AM

A Dallas-area school bus driver was beaten up by middle school students because he asked who threw a Dr. Pepper bottle at him, according to reports.

Video showing a group of seventh and eighth grade students punching and pushing George Diaz, 63, out of the bus surfaced Friday in a report by KDFW-TV. The security footage from February displays the students going after him after he stops the bus to ask who had thrown the bottle.

Diaz was able to get back into the bus and finish the route after the beatdown Feb. 12. Three students from Forest Meadow Junior High School were suspended, the TV station reported.

Officials with Dallas County Schools promised a new investigation Monday into the apparent assault.

FOX 4
Dallas-area bus driver George Diaz recounts the videotaped assault in February by junior high school students.
Diaz, who has hired a lawyer, has said the agency’s police didn’t probe the one-sided scuffle and even discouraged him from pressing charges.

Superintendent Rick Sorrells, in an interview with KDFW, promised to examine the Dallas County Schools Police Department’s handling of the case and meet with the bus driver.

Diaz tapped attorney Pete Schulte to represent him after the former deputy sheriff and prosecutor weighed in on the video in the TV station’s initial report.

The video shows a bottle flying past Diaz and landing on the dashboard. Diaz says the kids beat him when he asked who threw the projectile.

“The bus driver is the adult in charge,” Schulte told KDFW. “These are middle schoolers. They have to listen to the authority that's on that bus, and when they don't and they start throwing punches, that's a crime."

Follow on Twitter @tobysalkc

Tags: bus driverbeating
Categories: Labor News

Lebanon: Beirut port at a standstill as workers strike over rubbish

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 08/17/2015 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: ITF
Categories: Labor News

Chile: 70 Miners Block Themselves in Mine to Protest Wages

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 08/17/2015 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: teleSUR
Categories: Labor News

Lebanon: Global campaign launched as waste crisis causes growing health risk at Port of Beirut

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 08/17/2015 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: ITF Global Union
Categories: Labor News

PMA: ILWU contract to pave road to automation "Manning and jurisdiction disputes are expected to be common in the coming years as terminal operators invest in costly automation that will improve productivity, slash labor costs -- and eliminate hundreds of

Current News - Sun, 08/16/2015 - 23:03

PMA: ILWU contract to pave road to automation "Manning and jurisdiction disputes are expected to be common in the coming years as terminal operators invest in costly automation that will improve productivity, slash labor costs -- and eliminate hundreds of longshore jobs."
http://www.joc.com/port-news/us-ports/pma-annual-report-says-new-arbitra...

Bill Mongelluzzo, Senior Editor | Aug 16, 2015 1:03PM EDT

A completely revamped arbitration system in the new longshore contract will significantly reduce the productivity-busting work slowdowns that have plagued West Coast ports since the previous contract in 2008, and will pave the way for terminal automation in the years ahead, according to Pacific Maritime Association President James McKenna.

In an introductory letter to the 72-page PMA 2014 Annual Report, McKenna described how the 2002 International Longshore and Warehouse Union contract enabled employers to introduce computer technology at marine terminals, and the 2008 contract ensured unfettered access to automated cargo-handling machines.

“The latest contract will enable us to solidify those gains by providing a clear path forward for automation projects, as the result of a new waterfront arbitration system,” McKenna said. Knowing that the arbitration system will allow them to quickly resolve the endless ILWU work slowdowns and work stoppages that kill productivity, terminal operators are ready to invest billions of dollars in automation, “dollars that will pave the way toward more productive and efficient ports,” he said.

Dockworkers engaged in more than 200 slowdowns or work stoppages during the 2008-14 contract, the PMA report stated. Employers had no choice but to rely on the “patchwork nature” of the previous arbitration system that allowed these job actions to interrupt cargo-handling operations while the local arbitrator in the individual port regions adjudicated the disputes. Oftentimes the process resulted in a marine terminal being shut down for the remainder of the work shift.

Under the West Coast arbitration system, both the ILWU local as well as the employer are able to call in the local arbitrator to resolve disagreements. Those disputes could involve a difference of opinion over manning, whether a picket line set up by a third-party group such as harbor truckers was “bona fide” under the contract, or jurisdiction. Under the former system, the local arbitrators in Los Angeles-Long Beach and Seattle-Tacoma were nominated by the ILWU and agreed to by the PMA. The PMA nominated the local arbitrators in Northern California and Portland, with the agreement of the ILWU.

Manning and jurisdiction disputes are expected to be common in the coming years as terminal operators invest in costly automation that will improve productivity, slash labor costs -- and eliminate hundreds of longshore jobs. The previous arbitration system, which critics on both sides said favored either the ILWU or the PMA, depending upon which group nominated the employer, caused some terminal operators to shy away from investing hundreds of millions of dollars to bring in automated guided vehicles, automated stacking cranes and other equipment that is not manned by dockworkers.

The arbitration system in the new contract that was ratified in late May establishes in each port range a three-person panel, one nominated by the ILWU, one by the PMA and the third will be a professional arbitrator with no previous ties to the waterfront.

“The new system will replace the patchwork nature of the old system with more uniformity and, presumably, more certainty,” the PMA report stated.

An automated terminal is quite costly. The automation project at OOCL’s Middle Harbor terminal in Long Beach will end up costing more than $1 billion, with at least half of that investment going toward the purchase of automated machines and the terminal infrastructure to support it. In order to make such investments, terminal operators must be confident that the contract’s arbitration system will prevent dockworkers from engaging in work stoppages and slowdowns that prevent the terminal from achieving its return on investment.

Beneficial cargo owners who diverted cargo to other ports during the year-long 2014-15 contracting process also need a culture of reliability if they are going to return to the West Coast. “After all, shippers crave certainty, and they crave reliability,” the PMA report stated. Under the new arbitration system, West Coast ports will resume their investments in technology and automation to reshape the waterfront, the report said.

Contact Bill Mongelluzzo at bill.mongelluzzo@ihs.com and follow him on Twitter:@billmongelluzzo

Tags: ilwuPMAContract
Categories: Labor News

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