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Chicago ATU 308 Preliminary 97.4% Strike Vote

Current News - Thu, 07/06/2017 - 22:11

Chicago ATU 308 Preliminary 97.4% Strike Vote
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrvib4rLpYo
Published on Jul 4, 2017
On June 29, 2017 the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 308, the union of the rail division at the Chicago Transit Authority, held a city-wide preliminary strike authorization vote among its members. Of 927 members who voted, 97.4% voted YES for a strike. Scenes and interviews from the voting locations.

Tags: ATU 308strike voteCTA
Categories: Labor News

Bangladesh: Garment factory blast raises fresh concerns over workers’ safety

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 07/06/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Eco-Business
Categories: Labor News

USA: New initiative takes on fight for women's leadership in union movement

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 07/06/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: TAP
Categories: Labor News

Swedish Dockworkers, APMT Gothenburg Mediation Ends without Result

Current News - Thu, 07/06/2017 - 14:06

Swedish Dockworkers, APMT Gothenburg Mediation Ends without Result
https://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/224500/swedish-dockworkers-apmt-g...
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Image Courtesy: Svenska Hamnarbetarna
The latest mediation round between Swedish Dockworkers’ Union, section 4, and APM Terminals Gothenburg has been terminated after the latest attempt of reaching a deal on collective bargaining agreement fell through.

Dockworkers union said that it had proposed on Tuesday, July 4 that the parties sign a collective agreement built on a previously proposed mediation bid as a temporary solution, “to try to normalize relations and to work towards a sustainable solution in agreement negotiations forward.”

As disclosed, the conditions were that the agreement would be short and clear.

However, APM Terminals rejected the offer, the union informed, adding that, according to the government-appointed mediators, the company was not interested in a short contract.

Following the latest developments, the mediators announced that there were no preconditions for a reconciliation of the two parties on the matter, terminating the mediation round that was launched on June 16.

In June, APM Terminals Gothenburg served a notice of termination to 160 staff members, out of a total of 450 employees, due to “a sharp fall in volumes over the past year”.

However, earlier this month, the union said that there was no new information about APM Terminals recent announcement that the company will lay off 150 dockworkers in Gothenburg.

“The Swedish Dockworkers’ Union (SDU), which organises some 85% of the dockworkers at the container terminal, is still barred from participating in the redundancy talks and currently lacks insight in the ongoing related negotiations between APMT and the minority union STWU,” the union added.

In May this year, APMT imposed a partial lockout that was in effect from 4 pm (1600 hrs) on 19 May until midnight (2400 hrs) on 30 June.

According to the union, the employer’s industrial action meant that the dockworkers were shut out from the port without pay and that the terminal was shut down between 16.00 and 07.00 on all weekdays during the said period, resulting in production loss of 371 hours.

APMT had justified the move saying that after 14 blockades and nine days of strike action by SDU over the past year, the company needed a way of ensuring reliable service.

APMT Gothenburg is open but is operating slower than usual due to the recent cyber attack on its parent company Maersk.

World Maritime News Staff

Tags: Swedish dockersunion bustingSwedish Dockworkers’ Union (SDU)
Categories: Labor News

Colombia: Sugar union leader murdered

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 07/05/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: IUF Global Union
Categories: Labor News

Statement By SF Taxi Workers Alliance On Deregulation And Attack On Taxi Workers

Current News - Wed, 07/05/2017 - 11:51

Statement By SF Taxi Workers Alliance On Deregulation And Attack On Taxi Workers

http://www.sftwa.org

The world is experiencing a change in the way taxicab services are delivered on a global scale. The reason for this change is because of the development of an application (app), utilized on a smart phone that calls a person nearby driving his or her own car. The developers of this app, as a taxi service, call the type of business in which they are engaged peer-to-peer or “sharing.” It was based on illegal file-sharing apps (like Napster) which Kalanick was twice found guilty of running. It is different from the old “gypsy cabs” because the app has a Yelp-like rating system, to alert other users about the quality of the driver, and a built in payment system in which both “peers” are identifiable for potential crimes (failure to pay or kidnapping). The developer of the app makes money by charging the driver a percentage of each ride he/she performs. The driver makes money by charging the customer for the price of the ride. The driver (peer) uses the app entirely voluntarily and is an independent contractor paying a fee to a service for calls.

Those whose job it is to regulate vehicles for hire, at both the city and state levels, have allowed them to operate under the rubric of “not wanting to stifle innovation.” SF Mayor Ed Lee declared July 13, 2013 “Lyft day” after his own MTA was issuing Uber “cease and desist” notices (October 20, 2010).” The CPUC then took it upon themselves to usurp regulatory oversight by declaring them (during a hasty two-day meeting) a new form of livery industry, Transportation Network Company (TNC) which they do regulate. They can therefore go anywhere in the state without regulation from local municipalities. Of course, they do not go anywhere, but rather to the cities with the greatest market for their services; that market is San Francisco. Over fifty thousand TNCs now flock to San Francisco daily to pick up fares, contributing to the air pollution and traffic congestion that everyone now recognizes.

This business has decimated traditional for-hire ride services, particularly taxis. Taxi drivers have seen their number of rides (and income) cut substantially by one third to one half. Many drivers have simply quit driving taxi. Some have become Uber drivers. As a result half of the taxi fleets stand idle. Now Uber and Lyft drivers with grievances against the TNCs have approached labor unions and asked for representation. Their desire for labor recognition belies the fact that for taxi workers they are considered the labor equivalent of “scabs.” Neither taxi drivers nor TNC drivers are strictly speaking workers. If not for the decline in their incomes most taxi drivers and TNC drivers would not have any interest in unions. Why, therefore, should the labor movement have any interest in un-organizable independent contractor taxi drivers?

Taxi drivers were among the first occupations to become “independent contractor” in 1978 when the employer-employee relationship broke down due to Proposition K. Cab companies saw the independent contractor status as a way to shift the risk for taxi operation entirely to the driver. The driver now paid a flat “gate” to take the cab out and returned the cab with a full tank of gas. The companies therefore made a definite profit every day regardless of how poorly the driver did. Independent contractor status has now spread far and wide throughout the workforce, undermining labor’s efforts to organize workers. Taxis, however, have been limited by city regulation by the requirement to possess a medallion, which the city issues. Thus taxi drivers have been able to achieve a decent income, despite the intention of the independent contractor status to drag incomes down. With the over-supply of drivers that the TNCs provide, the independent contractor device works and the incomes of taxi drivers and TNC drivers fall below the minimum wage for employer-employee workers.

To be continued . . . .

Tags: UberLyftderegulationindependent contractorsunion busting
Categories: Labor News

Ireland: Unions warn against threats of AI and Brexit to worker rights

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 07/04/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: The Irish Times
Categories: Labor News

UK BA flying pickets are determined to bring bloody awful bosses back down to earth

Current News - Mon, 07/03/2017 - 19:47

UK BA flying pickets are determined to bring bloody awful bosses back down to earth
https://socialistworker.co.uk/art/44905/BA+flying+pickets+are+determined...
by Dave Sewell

British Airways (BA) cabin crew were back on the picket lines at London Heathrow airport today, Saturday.

Around 3,000 Unite union members in BA’s “mixed fleet” had began a new walkout. It was the launch of their longest strike to date after a three-month gap and a series of talks, set to continue for 16 days.

Workers are angry as ever at their low pay. Jason, who was on picket line at Hatton Cross Tube station, said, “I’ve had to work second jobs to make ends meet.

“It’s really tiring to come back from a trip and instead of recuperating do an eight or ten hour shift at a bar or waiting tables.

“Because our basic pay is so low we have to live off our flight allowances.

“That means your pay is inconsistent too—it depends what you fly in a given month.”

One worker explained that in a bad month they were paid less than half of what they got in a good month. Other workers are in locked in a trap. They have to get advances on their wages one month to pay off the advance on their wages they needed the previous month.

Many still live with their parents, or rely on the income of a partner. Few come close to the total pay BA advertised when they took the job.

Workers rejected BA’s insulting offer to end the dispute. One picket told Socialist Worker, “It just moved around the same pot of money without adding to it—robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

Bonuses

And it came with a sting in the tail—workers who strike have a series of bonuses taken off them, including the staff travel discount. Sarah told Socialist Worker, “I have two little kids to support, and on this wage that’s not possible.

“Now I’m losing the staff travel allowance it means I can’t take them on holiday. And that’s just because I exercised my legal right to strike for what I believe in.”

Despite this, striker Shane said, “It’s liberating to be on strike. I was worrying about it all last night and I’m definitely glad I came down. We can win if we stick together, and more people seem to be taking action this time.

“They’ve seen that the only way to resolve this is by getting behind the strikes. And they’ve seen what striking is—that what you lose is much less than what you stand to win.”

One first time striker, Harry, was driven to join the walkout by the “unfair treatment of my colleagues and myself”. “We’re responsible for evacuating an aeroplane in an emergency,” he said.

“If that’s the case then we should get a fair wage so we can afford to eat and drink and enjoy our lives a bit.”

In response to the strike BA has cancelled some flights, diverted its other fleets to cover some and “wet-leased” other airlines to cover others. Zak pointed out, “In a way this means we’re already winning—they are having to spend millions on wet-leasing, besides the cancellations.”

And for many pickets, the fact that BA would rather spend money on breaking the strike than paying a living wage only made them angrier.

They largely accept the idea that it’s impossible to ask other workers to refuse to fly their routes.

Nevertheless, the potential is there, particularly among BA’s other fleets where many workers support the strike and stand to gain from beating the penny-pinching bosses.

And to overcome BA’s intransigence this question of solidarity will have to be addressed.

Division and low pay is the point of the mixed fleet. It was set up in 2010 to undercut the collective bargaining of BA’s existing workforce.

It relies on a high turnover of workers, bringing lower expectations and a lower level of organisation. Graham said, “The whole model is that after three years they don’t want you any more.”

But there’s something missing from the model. Bosses didn’t reckon with workers’ determination. Jason said, “We’re striking because we love the job—and we want to be able to afford to do it long term.”

Donate to the strike fund at sites.google.com/view/mfunite/how-to-support
Send messages of support to @MFUnite on Twitter

Tags: BA Flight Attendants strikecabin crewslave wages
Categories: Labor News

UK: Bank of England staff to strike for first time in 50 years

Labourstart.org News - Sun, 07/02/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Unite the Union
Categories: Labor News

Australia: ACTU wins first national family and domestic violence leave in the world

Labourstart.org News - Sun, 07/02/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: ACTU
Categories: Labor News

Indonesia: Govt warns Freeport about laying off 4,000 employees

Labourstart.org News - Sun, 07/02/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Jakarta Post
Categories: Labor News

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