Feed aggregator

July 1 2016 Friday Nite Edition

IBU - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 09:48
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Categories: Unions

July 2 2016 Fleet Memo

IBU - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 09:48
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Categories: Unions

June 24 2016 Fleet Memo

IBU - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 09:46
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Categories: Unions

June 18 2016 Fleet Memo

IBU - Mon, 07/11/2016 - 09:46
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Categories: Unions

Japan Railway Workers Doro-Chiba: Fight back against forced exposure to radiation! Refuse work while exposed to radiation! Stop “reuse” of contaminated soil

Current News - Sat, 07/09/2016 - 12:04

Japan Railway Workers Doro-Chiba: Fight back against forced exposure to radiation! Refuse work while exposed to radiation! Stop “reuse” of contaminated soil
www.doro-chiba.org

International Labor Solidarity Committee of Doro-Chiba (National Railway Motive Power Union of Chiba)

Fight back against forced exposure to radiation!
Refuse work while exposed to radiation!
Stop “reuse” of contaminated soil!

June 2016
International Labor Solidarity Committee of Doro-Chiba

In September 2013, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shamelessly lied to win the 2020 Olympics for Tokyo, claiming that the contaminated water leaking from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant was “under control” and there had been “no health problems,” nor would there be.

Now all the lies and cover-ups have been exposed. Over 1,000 contaminated water storage tanks already occupy almost all of the space
at the nuclear plant site. The
$300 million “ice wall” project,

once hyped as the most reliable
solution for substantial reduc-
tion of contaminated water by
preventing groundwater infil-
tration into the wrecked reactor
buildings, has become a fiasco.
Far from being a “wall,” it is
now derided as a “lace
curtain.” As many as 173 child
thyroid cancer or suspected
cancer cases have appeared in
the last five years. The
incidence rate in Fukushima ranges to around 50 times that of the general population.

The Abe government is forcing evacuees to move back to villages, towns and cities in Fukushima Prefecture that remain heavily contaminated. It is doing this by terminating all compensation payments available for evacuees by 2018. This amounts to economic coercion. The Japanese government has achieved a change to radiation exposure standards from 1mSv/y to 20mSv/y. According to the Japanese government’s post-disaster decontamination target, 20mSv/y is now acceptable. This is 20 times the maximum allowed dose for the general public! Moreover, on July 12th, the Abe government will lift an evacuation order for the bulk of Minamisoma City (designated a “zone in preparation for the lifting of the evacuation order”), which has been in place since the 2011 accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. In accordance with Abe’s plan, on the same day JR East Japan will resume rail services between

Wastewater storage tanks at Fukushima Daiichi NPP

Haranomachi Sta- tion and Odaka Sta- tion, which is about 16km from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, on the JR Joban Line.

Japan’s Ministry of the Environment has raised the level of recyclable conta- minated waste to 8,000Bq/kg, 80 times more than the current norm. It also plans to recycle the waste for use in public works, espe- cially construction for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Even more incredi- bly, Tokyo Metro- politan Government is planning to build a cross-country course, rowing and canoe-kayak water-

way and mountain bike course on a landfill called Central Breakwater Disposal Site, which is the most dangerous hot spot. The site has been a constant dumping ground for highly radioactive waste (8,000Bq/kg to 100,000Bq/kg), such as incinerator bottom ash, incinerated sewage sludge ash and clean water sediment.

The previous governor of Tokyo, Naoki Inose, cooperated with Prime Minister Abe and helped bring the 2020 Olympics to Tokyo, but was then forced to resign over a loan scandal. Inose’s successor, Yoichi Masuzoe, easily won the position with the full support of Abe, but has also now resigned due to yet another financial scandal. The Olympics are intrinsically linked to the interests of only a handful of large capitals and their governments. In order to secure their own survival, they put money first, rather than valuing the lives of ordinary people.

On June 24th, the Abe
administration and
Shikoku Electric Power
Co. trampled on the
protesting municipal
workers and local
residents, and started
loading MOX fuel into
the No. 3 reactor at
Ikata Nuclear Power
Plant in Ehime Pre-
fecture. Since April
14th and the Kuma-
moto Earthquake, tre-
mors have continued to
affect wide parts of Kyushu. This indicates that the Median Tectonic Line, the largest belt of faults running from central Honshu to Kyushu, has now finally started to move. In spite of a disaster as large as the Kumamoto Earthquake, the Abe administration and Kyushu Electric Power Co. still refuse to shut down Sendai Nuclear Power Plant, the only nuclear power plant operating in the country. And furthermore, they insist on reopening Ikata Nuclear Power Plant in July, which is located on the Median Tectonic Line.

“We care only about today, regardless of what may happen tomorrow.” This is the reality of Japanese imperialism and the Abe administration, which is desperate to survive in the worldwide economic depression.

Crush the Abe administration that is rushing to reopen Japan’s nuclear power plants!
Follow the example of Doro-Mito and refuse to work in conditions exposed to radiation!
Stop radiation-contaminated soil from being used for constructing Olympics-related facilities!

News & Documents

Nuclear refugees tell of distrust, pressure to return to Fukushima

by Yuri Kageyama

AP
The Japan Times, March 11, 2016

They feel like refugees, although they live in one of the world’s richest and most peaceful nations.

Five years ago, these people fled their homes, grabbing what they could, as a nearby nuclear plant melted down after being hit by tsunami, spewing radiation. All told, the disaster in Fukushima displaced 150,000 by the government’s count.

About 100,000 are still scattered around the nation, some in barrack-like temporary housing units and others in government-allocated apartment buildings hundreds of kilometers away.

Although authorities have started to open up areas near the damaged reactors that were previously off limits, only a fraction of residents have

returned. For example, in the town of Naraha, where evacuation orders were lifted in September, 459 people, or 6 percent of the pre-disaster population, have gone back.

Read more

Constitution does not specifically ban Japan’s use of nuclear weapons: Cabinet official

The Japan Times

March 19, 2016

Japan’s Constitution does not necessarily ban the use of nuclear weapons, Yusuke Yokobatake, director-general of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau, said Friday.

“We don’t think that the use of all kinds of nuclear weapons is prohibited under the Constitution,” the head of the constitutional watchdog told the House of

Councilors’ Budget Committee in response to a question from Shinkun Haku of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan. Read more

Abe Cabinet says Article 9 does not ban possessing, using N-weapons

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
April 2, 2016
The Abe Cabinet has decided that war-renouncing Article 9 of the Constitution does not necessarily ban

Japan from possessing and using nuclear weapons.

Read more.

Japanese Protest Ahead of Obama’s Visit to Hiroshima

By Morichika Nakamoto
Telesur
March 6, 2013
Hundreds of Japanese protested on Thursday ahead of the visit of U.S.

See also:

president Barack Obama to Hiroshima, after his remarks that the trip would

not include an official apology from his government. Read more

Doro-Chiba’s Statement opposing Obama’s visit to Hironima

You can find the archive of Doro-Chiba Quake Report here: http://dorochibanewsletter.wordpress.com/

71th Anniversary of Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima

August 6

Stop nuclear war in Korean Peninsula with the power of international workers’ solidarity!

Unite angry voices in Hiroshima, Okinawa and Fukushima! Abolish all nuclear weapons, all military bases and all nuclear power plants!

Overthrow Abe government that promotes constitutional revision, war and nuclear armament!

Morning rally: qq Time: 8:30 a.m.
Place: Atomic Dome

Main rally:
Time: 12:30 p.m.
Place: Small Arena of Prefectural Gymnasium

March:
Time: 3:00 p.m.

Contact: hiro-100@cronos.ocn.ne.jp http://86hiroshima.blogspot.jp/

Tags: JapanDoro-Chiba
Categories: Labor News

Mexico: Teacher protests continue despite deaths, food shortages

Labourstart.org News - Fri, 07/08/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Humanosphere
Categories: Labor News

Korea (North): North Korea sends 'state-sponsored slaves' to Europe - rights group

Labourstart.org News - Fri, 07/08/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Thomson Reuters
Categories: Labor News

WW7-5-16 The UK RMT And Brexit, India National Railway Strike and the Relevance Of the San Francisoc '34 General Strike

Current News - Fri, 07/08/2016 - 15:08

WW7-5-16 The UK RMT And Brexit, India National Railway Strike and the Relevance Of the San Francisoc '34 General Strike
https://soundcloud.com/workweek-radio/ww7-5-16-uk-rmt-and-brexit-india-a...
WorkWeek looks at the reason that the UK Rail Maritime And Transport Union RMT urged a yes vote to leave the EU through Brexit. We interview Paul McDonnell who is a London bus driver and also on the National Executive Committee of the RMT.
Next we hear about the first national railway strike in India in 45 years over wages and working conditions.
Last we discuss the relevance of the 1934 general strike in San Francisco. The strike was successful in building the ILWU and brought hundreds of thousands of workers into unions in Northern California. Jack Heyman a retired member of ILWU Local 10 and with the Transport Workers Solidarity Committee talks about the issues facing workers today.
Additional media information
http://www.rmt.org.uk/home/
https://www.facebook.com/RMTunion/photos/pb.199676720083396.-2207520000....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XD_COY4rrQo
https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-d710-EU-defence-of-workers-rights-...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cwrh2OgMWc
www.transportworkers.org
Production of WorkWeek Radio
workweek@kpfa.org
https://soundcloud.com/workweek-radio

Tags: RMTIndia Rail StrikeBrexit1934 General Strikesolidarityracism
Categories: Labor News

ILA’s Daggett, Waterfront Commission trade insults over wildcat strike probe "Daggett said commission harasses ILA members “by holding their waterfront passes over their heads. "They’re trying to run this port like SS troops in WW2"

Current News - Fri, 07/08/2016 - 09:35

ILA’s Daggett, Waterfront Commission trade insults over wildcat strike probe "Daggett said the commission harasses ILA members “by holding their waterfront passes over their heads and threatening them with the loss of their jobs. It’s got to stop. They’re trying to run this port like SS troops in World War II."
http://www.joc.com/port-news/longshoreman-labor/international-longshoremen’s-association/ila’s-daggett-waterfront-commission-trade-insults-over-wildcat-strike-probe_20160621.html
Joseph Bonney, Senior Editor | Jun 21, 2016 3:25PM EDT

International Longshoremen’s Association President Harold Daggett accused the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor of harassing ILA members and said the commission’s general counsel is better suited to be “running a women’s prison as a warden.”

Daggett was angered by a statement by Phoebe Sorial, the commission’s general counsel, in response to an effort by Daggett and four other ILA officials to quash subpoenas the commission issued in its investigation of a Jan. 29 wildcat strike at the Port of New York and New Jersey.

Sorial said the ILA officials “made no effort to quash any of the other subpoenas that were served on their rank-and-file members with respect to the walkout. They only saw fit to do so when they, themselves, were called in for questioning.”

Daggett said that was a cheap shot. “They gave the impression that we stood by and let the members take care of themselves. That’s not true,” he told JOC.com. “Every one of the 50 members who answered the subpoenas went to the Waterfront Commission with two attorneys paid by the international. It cost money, but we did it for the members.”

He added, “I don’t know where they got their lawyers over there. Their general counsel would be better off running a women’s prison as a warden.”

Daggett said the commission harasses ILA members “by holding their waterfront passes over their heads and threatening them with the loss of their jobs. It’s got to stop. They’re trying to run this port like SS troops in World War II."

Asked for comment, Sorial said, “It is unfortunate that, when left without anything else, Mr. Daggett has resorted to ill-advised remarks and personal attacks.”

Ronald Goldstock, the Waterfront Commission’s New York commissioner, said, “If in fact that is what Harold Daggett said, then it appears that he is losing it.”

There’s no love lost between the commission and the ILA. The union and the New York Shipping Association have butted heads with the commission for years with the industry groups accusing the agency of illegal meddling in collective bargaining issues involving hiring, seniority and drug testing.

Last month, a New York judge issued a sharply worded decision overruling what he called the commission’s “mean spirited” refusal to reinstate an ILA crane operator who had rehabilitated himself after abusing drugs. The ILA and NYSA contend the commission’s drug testing is harassment and conflicts with drug-testing requirements in the union-employer contract. The commission disagrees.

“They’re doing everything in their power to destroy the ILA, just so they can justify their existence,” Daggett said. “If they want to fight, I’ll give them a fight. I’m going to stand up to them on behalf of my members. We’re not afraid, because we haven’t done anything wrong.”

The commission has subpoenaed several dozen ILA members for questioning about who called the Jan. 29 strike and why. ILA officials said they did not authorize the one-day strike but that members advised they suddenly walked out to protest heavy-handed tactics by the Waterfront Commission.

Daggett and other ILA officials contend the commission’s investigation is beyond the bistate agency’s statutory authority. The commission, unique to the New York-New Jersey port, is a law enforcement agency that conducts background checks, licenses dockworkers and conducts investigations.

The ILA and its employers are promoting legislation to remove New Jersey from commission jurisdiction and to transfer the agency’s law enforcement and licensing duties to the state police. Commission officials say the bill would be unconstitutional.

Similar legislation was approved by New Jersey lawmakers in 2015 with no dissenting votes but was vetoed by Republican Gov. Chris Christie. Daggett attributed the veto to Christie’s presidential ambitions and said he hopes Christie or a Democratic successor will sign the bill if it is passed again.

A recent flash point between the commission and the ILA and NYSA has been demands by Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Ras Baraka that more of his city’s minority residents be hired for longshore jobs at the New York-New Jersey port, much of which is in Newark.

Baraka recently led a demonstration at the port to publicize his demands. Daggett said the demonstration interfered with truck traffic but that “the Waterfront Commission didn’t do anything about it. If the ILA were to do it, they’d never allow it.”

He said the demonstrators “tried to provoke our men into a fight. We told them to ignore it and keep working.”

Contact Joseph Bonney at joseph.bonney@ihs.com and follow him on Twitter: @JosephBonney.

Tags: ILArepressionNY Ports
Categories: Labor News

One of DC Metro’s new board members has potential conflicts of interest, echoing problems of previous board-Union Busting Anti-Labor Record-ATU 689 Calls For Resignation

Current News - Fri, 07/08/2016 - 08:12

One of DC Metro’s new board members has potential conflicts of interest, echoing problems of previous board-Union Busting Anti-Labor Record-ATU 689 Calls For Resignation
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/one-of-metros-n...

A Metro train arrives at the Metro Center station. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)
By Robert McCartney July 6 at 5:35 PM

ATU Local 689 calls for Immediate Resignation of Metro’s Board Member:Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 called for new federally appointed Metro Board member David Strickland’s immediate resignation on Wednesday July 6th, citing a clear conflict of interest. This complicates negotiations that began recently to renew multiyear union contracts for Metro workers. Strickland is a partner at the Venable law firm, which is Metro’s top legal adviser on labor negotiations. ATU local 689’s president Jackie L. Jeter said, “Venable is well known as an anti-union law firm with a history of going around the country instructing companies on tactics to weaken and break unions. Strickland’s association as a partner with Venable is too strong to be separated from his board duties.” Jeter warned that Strickland could prejudice the rest of the board regarding the current negotiations even if he recused himself. “Recusal from votes is not enough when you play a key role in influencing other people on the board who do have a vote,” she said. – Christian Berk

One of Metro’s new board members has potential conflicts of interests because of his day job as a Washington transportation lawyer, raising concern among some that his appointment could fuel perceptions that special interests have undue influence at the transit agency, Metro officials said.

Board member David L. Strickland’s first conflict could arise because he is a partner at the Venable law firm, which is Metro’s top legal adviser on labor negotiations, the officials said.

Strickland, a federal appointee to the board, also risks a conflict, they said, because he represents a coalition of transportation companies that includes Uber and Lyft, which are both vying for Metro’s paratransit work.

Venable, in a one-sentence statement, said Strickland will recuse himself from any board vote or discussion of any matter at Metro in which the firm is directly involved. The firm and Strickland declined further comment.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, who appointed Strickland to the board for his safety expertise, was aware of Strickland’s possible conflicts of interest but DOT ethics officials concluded that the recusal process would be adequate to address them, a spokeswoman for the secretary said.

New Metro board member David Strickland is a partner at the Venable law firm and a former administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)
Still, the case again calls attention to past worries about Metro board members’ outside business interests that create entanglements with the agency’s work.

[Foxx, saying ‘no more excuses’ for Metro, names 3 new board members]

It also revealed a new source of tension between Metro and the Transportation Department, which has been pushing the transit agency relentlessly to improve its safety performance and financial management. Some board members complained that Foxx should have found someone without Strickland’s ties.

And it created a new complication for major labor talks that began recently to renew multiyear union contracts for Metro workers.

Metro’s largest union, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, which represents about 13,000 workers, called for Strickland’s immediate resignation. It cited a “clear conflict of interest” and what it called Venable’s “infamously known” record of anti-union tactics.

Foxx named Strickland to Metro’s 16-member board in April as part of a major shake-up aimed at forcing the agency to move faster on safety. Foxx, who controls four seats on the board, ousted three longtime members and replaced them with experienced transportation safety professionals.

Strickland is a former administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. His practice at Venable involves automotive safety and cyber­security, and the spokeswoman for Foxx said Strickland is not directly involved with the firm’s work for Metro.

But some of Strickland’s colleagues at Venable are important players with the transit agency. The firm, in addition to serving as Metro’s principal counsel on labor talks, has worked for the transit agency in business transactions, telecommunications and litigation, according to a July 2015 contracting document.

Metro has paid Venable a total of $508,700 for its work since the start of 2014, an agency spokesman said.

In addition, Strickland is counsel and spokesman for a coalition of five companies formed in April to push the federal government to approve driverless cars. The Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets includes Uber and Lyft, both of which are interested in getting Metro contracts to provide paratransit service for the disabled and elderly.

Some advocates for people with disabilities have opposed the move, expressing concern about Uber’s lack of accessible vehicles and the level of training its drivers receive in dealing with passengers with special needs. Other concerns have been raised about the company, mostly centered on safety and the vetting of its drivers.

[Could Metro and Uber be teaming up?]

Because of Strickland’s potential conflicts, a Metro board member said he was unhappy about “the perception, as it relates to the public and others,” that board members could obtain “monetary gains as a result of their association” with the agency.

The board member noted that a previous federal appointee to the panel, Mortimer L. Downey, had to recuse himself from some actions because he had a contract to advise a major Metro contractor, Parsons Brinckerhoff.

Strickland’s appointment is “just another example . . . that the feds don’t do their background work properly,” said the board member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid publicly antagonizing Foxx or Strickland.

Downey’s alleged conflict of interest resulted in an ethics investigation in which he was cleared. But to eliminate any perception of wrongdoing, Downey gave up his work for Parsons Brinckerhoff.

Asked about Strickland’s case, Downey, a former board chairman, said it was natural for people appointed to the panel to have potential conflicts of interest. He said the recusal process in the board’s code of ethics was the appropriate remedy.

“You have people on the board who have other jobs and other interests, and sometimes they overlap,” Downey said. “If they were totally uninvolved with matters having to do with Metro, I’m wondering what good they’d be on the board.”

In an earlier case, former Metro board member Tom Downs drew criticism from the union and others for serving on an advisory board of a company that won a Metro contract for paratransit service.

Downs said he made a statement at a public board meeting recusing himself from any involvement in the decision and physically left Metro headquarters when discussions of the contract arose. He recommended that Strickland take similar action.

[Metro board chairman cleared of alleged ethics violation]

The transit workers union warned that Strickland could prejudice the rest of the board regarding the current labor talks even if he recused himself.

“Strickland’s role is especially troubling because Local 689 is in contract negotiations and he is in close communication with key players that are a part of our negotiations,” said the local’s president, Jackie L. Jeter. “Recusal from votes is not enough when you play a key role in influencing other people on the board who do have a vote.”

She added: “Venable is well known as an anti-union law firm with a history of going around the country instructing companies on tactics to weaken and break unions. Strickland’s association as a partner with Venable is too strong to be separated from his board duties.”

A Metro spokesman said that board members recuse themselves on a case-by-case basis for individual board actions and that“such an occasion has not yet arisen for Mr. Strickland.”

Foxx’s spokeswoman said that the department officials “looked closely at Mr. Strickland’s background prior to the nomination, vetting him for potential conflicts that may arise.”

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She said his work at Venable “does not in any way involve legal representation to [Metro] on labor matters.” The department also found that his work for the coalition involving Uber and Lyft “is the development of policies for self-driving vehicles; he is not an advocate for any particular Coalition members’ business interests.”

As a result, the spokeswoman said, DOT concluded “that the recusal practices in the Code of Ethics for WMATA’S Board of Directors would effectively address any possible conflict of interest. ”

Strickland’s potential conflicts were also discussed at length within Venable before the appointment was made, according to a Metro official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

The official, who was familiar with Strickland’s thinking, said Strickland planned to establish “a very clear firewall” between Metro board matters and issues where Venable is directly involved.

Mary Pat Flaherty contributed to this report.

Tags: ATU 689corruptionunion busting
Categories: Labor News

China: Strikes continue unabated in China during first half of the year

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 07/07/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: China Labour Bulletin
Categories: Labor News

ILWU West Coast dockworkers will honor “Hour of silence” on Thursday, July 7

Current News - Thu, 07/07/2016 - 10:05

ILWU West Coast dockworkers will honor “Hour of silence” on Thursday, July 7
http://www.ilwu.org/west-coast-dockworkers-will-honor-hour-of-silence-on...
JULY 6, 2016 2:25 PM

West Coast dockworkers will honor an international “day of action” on Thursday, July 7th , by observing an “hour of silence” from 11am to 12 noon, in honor of workers who have died on the docks here and abroad.

The International Day of Action is being organized by the International Dockworkers Council (IDC) and the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF). The groups represent thousands of dockworkers at ports throughout the world.

The union provided the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) employer group with advanced notice of the observance. The PMA has acknowledged and recognized the union’s request.

“We stand in solidarity with dockworkers in America and around the world who are calling attention to dangerous working conditions and the need to respect the rights of all workers,” said ILWU International President Robert McEllrath.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT: Craig Merrilees 510-774-5325 July 6, 2016

West Coast dockworkers will honor “Hour of silence” on Thursday, July 7th

West Coast dockworkers will honor an international “day of action” on Thursday, July 7th, by observing an “hour of silence” from 11am to 12 noon, in honor of workers who have died on the docks here and abroad.

The International Day of Action is being organized by the International Dockworkers Council (IDC) and the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF). The groups represent thousands of dockworkers at ports throughout the world.

The union provided the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) employer group with advanced notice of the observance. The PMA has acknowledged and recognized the union’s request.

“We stand in solidarity with dockworkers in America and around the world who are calling attention to dangerous working conditions and the need to respect the rights of all workers,” said ILWU International President Robert McEllrath.

###

Tags: ilwuGlobal Day Of Action
Categories: Labor News

7/7/16 Global Day Of Action For Dockers

Current News - Thu, 07/07/2016 - 10:02

7/7/16 Global Day Of Action For Dockers
http://www.ilaunion.org/july-7th-global-day-of-action-for-dockers/
global-day
30 JUN JULY 7TH, GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION FOR DOCKERS
Posted at 03:37h in Home, ILA News by Emily
0Likes
Click to Download the original Word file

CALL FOR ACTION
Comrades, Port-workers,

We all live in a globalized world. Indeed, we especially feel the implications of globalization each day at work. In our industry, shipping lines are grouped into a few alliances and port operators concentrate and develop the same strategies to achieve the same goals in ports around the world. Faced with this reality, the International Dockworkers Council (IDC), in conjunction with the International Transport Federation (ITF), will coordinate an HOUR OF OBSERVANCE TO THE FALLEN AND ACTION, set to take place:

JULY 7th, 2016 AT 8:00 AM

This DAY OF GLOBAL ACTION is a historical experience. It is the first time the world will carry out a collective action which highlights the contribution of dockworkers to the world economy, and which speaks to the professional risks involved in their work. This action will display the resolve of these works to defend not only the security of their jobs, but also their working conditions, dignity, and collective bargaining power.

In my capacity as General Coordinator IDC, I appeal to all affiliated to the Council and to port workers at larger, to participate actively in this action.

This step will be the first and you have to give the port the world.

NEVER AGAIN WILL WE WALK ALONE!

Jordi Aragunde Miguens
IDC General Coordinator

INFORMATION ON THE DAY OF ACTION AND MATERIALS
CAMPAIGN
We want to see action being taken locally, regionally and globally on 7 July around these key issues:

• Health & safety
• Precarious work
• Respect for collective bargaining rights and agreements
• Labour standards in global companies
• Automation and social justice
ACTIVITIES AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Organise an activity for 1h at 8am to support the day of action/observance. Use the campaign materials (in English, French, German and Spanish) to support your actions.

Take photos and video clips during your actions and share them on social media. Share with us on the event page on Facebook and on twitter @ITFglobalunion @ETFdockers @IDC_Dockers and use the hashtag #DefendDockersRights

INFORMATION AND MATERIALS
Information and downloads available at:

http://www.idcdockworkers.org/en/home/8-noticias/628-international-day-o...

www.defenddockersrights.org

You may download from the website, or at the links below (except for the high resolution banner)

• A briefing for dockers (for your ports, also attached)
• A leaflet aimed at the public and employers (for public use, also attached)
• A placard you can feature in your photos.Print out copies and get dockers to write why they’re proud of the job they do plus their name and locaiton. Here’s an example. (also attached)
• A banner design that you can add your own logo to and use in your activities.BANNER DESIGN (only for download)
• Jpeg files with the horizontal and square event banner for use in social media (attached)

Tags: ITFGlobal Soldiaritydockers
Categories: Labor News

China: Walmart workers launch wildcat strikes across country

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 07/06/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: The Financial Times
Categories: Labor News

West Coast dockworkers will honor “Hour of silence” on Thursday, July 7

ILWU - Wed, 07/06/2016 - 14:25

West Coast dockworkers will honor an international “day of action” on Thursday, July 7th , by observing an “hour of silence” from 11am to 12 noon, in honor of workers who have died on the docks here and abroad.

The International Day of Action is being organized by the International Dockworkers Council (IDC) and the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF). The groups represent thousands of dockworkers at ports throughout the world.

The union provided the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) employer group with advanced notice of the observance. The PMA has acknowledged and recognized the union’s request.

“We stand in solidarity with dockworkers in America and around the world who are calling attention to dangerous working conditions and the need to respect the rights of all workers,” said ILWU International President Robert McEllrath.

 

Download a copy of the press release here.

Categories: Unions

India Government Threatens Railway Workers About "dire consequences" Of National Strike On July 11, 2016

Current News - Wed, 07/06/2016 - 08:47

India Government Threatens Railway Workers About "dire consequences" Of National Strike On July 11, 2016
http://www.livemint.com/Politics/Pyz9mereyCUxcVuYDlBQvN/Government-worke...
Tue, Jul 05 2016. 02 16 AM IST
Govt workers strike: Railway Board warns employees of dire consequences
The Railway Board has sent a letter to all railway organisations with advice on steps to be taken immediately in view of the proposed strike from 11 July

Jyotika Sood

Some central government employees unions, including those in railways, roads, defence and income tax departments, have given a strike call on 11 July. Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint
New Delhi: The Railway Board has warned employees of severe consequences, including fines, imprisonment and sacking, if they join an indefinite strike planned by government workers starting 11 July.

The Railway Board has written a letter to all the zonal manager and railway organizations on the steps that should be taken immediately in view of the proposed strike by central government employees, including railway servants.

Citing the Railway Servants Act, the board said “Rule 237 of the code stipulates that whole time of a railway servant is at disposal of the government, which pays him. Therefore, if any railway servant willingly flouts this condition of service, then the services are liable to be terminated after following the due procedure”.

It also states that according to the Act, if any railway employee entrusted with any responsibility connected with the running of train or rolling stock abandons duty, they are liable to be punished with imprisonment for up to two years or a fine or both.

It warned employees that the Railway Board under the Railway Services (Conduct Rules) 1966 believes in the principle of “no work, no pay” for the period of absence due to participation in a strike. Besides, the principle will also lead to “break in service”, effectively meaning that for pensions and other benefits, their past services would not be counted in accordance with instructions. The communication was circulated across all the railway offices on 1 July and was informed to the employees on Monday.

The employees were warned that since the statutory conciliation proceedings are going on with deputy chief labour commissioner, a strike would be treated as illegal.

A Railway Board official said on condition of anonymity that “this is a standard procedure which is followed where employees are warned of the consequences before they take a final call. We are quite hopeful that negotiations would sought out most of the issues.”

A section of the central government employees unions, including those in railways, roads, defence and income tax departments, have given a strike call on 11 July saying they were “disappointed” by the pay hike approved by the cabinet under the Seventh Pay Commission. These unions would announce their final decision on 7 July.

According to the National Joint Council of Action (NJCA), a confederation of government staff unions, as many as 3.3 million central government employees, including 1.3 million railway employees, are unhappy with the commission’s recommendations. There is strong resentment among lower-level central government staff as the government did not hike the minimum wage to Rs.26,000 a month as demanded by them against the commission’s suggestion of Rs.18,000.

Apart from it, railway employees have several other demands such as payment of productivity-linked bonus, revocation of the new pension scheme and implementation of the old pension scheme, a pension system like defence’s one rank, one pension and dependent parents of rail employees be sanctioned railway pass and medical facilities.

B.C. Sharma of the National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR) said, “The threat is not only given by railway board but also labour commissioner. However, even we have been following respective procedures as per the Essential Services Act. We had given a 30-day notice and enough platforms and time for government to negotiate. The government in no way can label this strike as illegal.”

Sharma said that the railway employees, along with other ministerial employees, have also received warning letters from the labour commissioner’s office.

“We (on behalf of government employee unions) have submitted our response to the labour commissioner’s office stating very clearly that as per the law, we were supposed to give a 30-day notice period and we have abided by it. Delays on their (government and railway ministry) behalf cannot be attributed to the government employees,” he said.

Jyotika Sood

Tags: India Railway StrikeIndian Government
Categories: Labor News

The Surprising Collection of Politicos Who Brought Us Destructive Airline Deregulation How removing airline regulations became a liberal cause.

Current News - Tue, 07/05/2016 - 23:01

The Surprising Collection of Politicos Who Brought Us Destructive Airline Deregulation
How removing airline regulations became a liberal cause.
http://www.alternet.org/labor/how-liberals-deregulated-airline-industry
By Michael Arria / AlterNetJuly 3, 2016
Photo Credit: Wikimedia

On Aug. 3, 1981, about 13,000 employees of the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization went on strike in order to get higher pay, improved workplace conditions and a 32-hour workweek. President Reagan told the nation that the strike was a "peril to national safety" and demanded that the workers return to their jobs in 48 hours. Reagan fired the 11,345 air traffic controllers who ignored the order and banned them from federal service for life. Some were jailed, the union was fined and eventually it went bankrupt.

Reagan busting up PATCO is generally viewed by advocates and critics of unions as a defining moment in the history of American labor. However, few people contemplate the full impact of Reagan’s action. The workers weren’t just fired; they were permanently banned from federal service jobs. Many were jailed and thousands fell into poverty. The union was bankrupt and decertified.

There’s also a curious irony to the situation, which most people overlook: PATCO had backed Reagan during the presidential campaign.

One part of that story involves Ronald Reagan. Although the Republican candidate’s rhetoric was overwhelmingly pro-business, the campaign believed that it should identify a few labor unions that were worth courting. PATCO was a logical choice; many air traffic controllers were military veterans with socially conservative views.

The other part of the story is Jimmy Carter. The president’s Federal Aviation Administration had been extremely shrewd while negotiating with PATCO, and the Airline Deregulation Act, which Carter signed into law, further eroded the relationship.

The legacy of airline deregulation is seldom debated, even in progressive circles. It was no NAFTA, which had a discernable economic impact on the United States and Mexico; casual observers often assume that airline deregulation couldn't have been that bad, as flight prices have certainly gone down since the shift. Access to the skies, prior to the early '80s, meant access to a certain level of luxury. Swank design, three-course meals and unlimited amounts of booze.

Even now, despite the fact that flying in the United States is a major inconvenience for many people, there is still a belief that it’s better than the alternative. In an interview a few years before his death, Alfred Kahn, often referred to as the father of airline deregulation, took responsibility for the cramped legroom and reduced service quality. To Kahn’s mind, the tradeoff evened out. "Airlines were pretty unhealthy financially before deregulation, too. We didn't make things worse,” he said.

The Airline Deregulation Act was signed into law by President Carter, but the liberal role in this legislation certainly isn’t limited to the 39th president. Its legislative history is a case study on the birth of a new kind of Democratic politics, one that disowned the Keynesian near-consensus of the 1960s in favor of supply-side economics.

Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy was eyeing a presidential run in the early '70s, but lacked a compelling cause for voters to associate him with. At first, it seemed like Kennedy was the logical choice to take on Nixon, as he could claim jurisdiction for his subcommittee that was investigating the Watergate burglary and effectively build his opposition into a White House run. Kennedy’s committee had held three months of closed-door hearings on Watergate, and the prospect of a Kennedy taking on a corrupt president who hated the senator’s family was the stuff of Hollywood. The newspaper columnist Stewart Alsop imagined it would be, “the biggest political television show since the McCarthy hearings.”

The program, of course, never came to be. Republicans immediately shot back with questions about Kennedy’s connection to the 1969 drowning death of Mary Jo Kopechne. Kennedy “is the last person in the country who should lecture us,” declared Barry Goldwater. Kennedy’s camp soon realized the GOP had a point. Regardless of whether or not the president was a crook, mainstream America would have a hard time with the optics. “Of all Democrats,” wrote the New York Times’ Tom Wicker, “Kennedy [is] the one least able to make the moral case against the Nixon administration.” It was impossible to ever completely separate Watergate from Chappaquiddick in the collective conscious.

Kennedy needed a different cause to distinguish his political career if he was going to run for president, and because of the personal scandal that hovered over him, it couldn’t feature an overriding ethical component. Stephen Breyer, now an associate justice on the Supreme Court, traveled to Washington in 1974 to preside over Kennedy’s subcommittee on administrative practices and procedures. The airlines weren’t regarded as the highest priority in 1974, but there was some recent precedent when it came to altering the economic structure of domestic transportation. Nixon’s Council of Economic Advisers had sought to establish legislation that would stop price collusion in the rail and trucking industries.

Breyer made a list of subjects Kennedy’s panel could potentially tackle and traveled to the senator’s house to go over them. The scene is described in Barbara Sturken Peterson and James Glab’s Rapid Descent: Deregulation and the Shakeout in the Airlines:

“[O]ut of the list of ten items, all aimed at giving substance to the committee and, by implication, Kennedy himself, regulation of the airline industry was plucked from obscurity. Breyer recalled that he felt compelled to point out to Kennedy why no one in Congress had gone near the subject—it was too technical and dull to generate much press coverage. But the more they chatted, the more Kennedy perceived the advantages of such an exercise. Relaxing regulations on airline would inevitably lower fares, Breyer said. Kennedy would appear as a champion of the consumer at a time of raging inflation and soaring oil prices. And economists had been arguing for years that airlines could operate much more efficiently without regulation.”

The United States Senate Judiciary Committee began hearings on airline deregulation in 1975, with Ted Kennedy leading the charge. Since 1938, airline prices and routes had been set by the Civil Aeronautics Board. The system was stringent and bureaucratic, and nearly every attempt to provide lower fares was rejected. Meanwhile, airline profits were guaranteed. In addition to these justifiable gripes, CAB was also a government agency during a time when confidence in institutions had all but eroded. In his book Hard Landing, Thomas Petzinger Jr. describes the allure of such a target:

An attack on the CAB would have a wonderful populist ring, while exposing the labyrinth of federal airline regulation would give Kennedy at least a narrow conservative stripe; he could be seen as a champion of the growing movement to curb the size of big government.

Breyer enlisted the help of his friend Phil Bakes, who had been working on the Watergate prosecution. The two men immediately hit a wall when they realized all airline issues had to go through Howard Cannon, a senior Democratic senator from Nevada. Not only was Cannon chairman of the Subcommittee on Aviation, he was heavily connected to the airline industry, as it was instrumental to the success of Las Vegas. So Kennedy began allowing his staffers to work alongside Cannon’s, contacted him before any public announcements related to the hearings, continually praised his leadership and downplayed his intentions. This was all done while Breyer, Bakes and others launched an ideological campaign for public support. As Petzinger describes it:

“Everything had to be perfect. No one was asking to abolish the CAB, other than a few academics in Cambridge and Ithaca. Deregulation—the word itself was just being born. It was a concept without a constituency. Nobody had ever written his congressman asking for it. This was policy making from whole cloth. Every small advantage had to be seized, every tiny argument mustered.”

Kennedy’s most important intellectual weapon in the war was one of those academics: Alfred Kahn, a Cornell professor and New York State utilities regulator. Kahn, who described himself as a “good liberal Democrat,” had caught the eye of Kennedy’s committee because of his 1970 two-volume work The Economics of Regulation. The book’s thesis was that even faulty competition was preferable to regulation. Kahn’s testimony for the committee was regarded as insightful and humorous; the press was laudatory.

Another notable voice in favor of deregulation was consumer advocate and eventual presidential candidate Ralph Nader. In fact, the idea that government regulation served the interests of business had become a popular one, thanks in part to the consumer advocacy movement. A 1977 poll reported that 81 percent of the American people believed “large companies have a major influence on the government agencies regulating them.”

In Fluctuating Fortunes: The Political Power of Business in America, David Vogel writes that:

“The deregulation of airlines first appeared on the political agenda... when the consumer movement was still relatively influential, and the argument for airline deregulation originally reflected the influence and ideology of consumerism. By the mid-1970s, owing in part to the influence of Ralph Nader and streams of book-length exposes of the regulatory process published under his auspices, ‘the idea that government regulation served business interests permeated mass attitudes.’”

Nader was one of the first people to testify. He told the committee, “Throughout the land people are repulsed by arrogant and unresponsive bureaucracies serving no useful public purpose, and they are looking at this congress to get on with the national house cleaning job that is needed.”

The foes of airline deregulation, like American Airlines chairman Bob Crandall, eventually lost Cannon as an ally. He had been their most powerful bulwark against the push for deregulation, able to block any reform via his aviation subcommittee. Cannon was close with many in the industry, but he wanted to be re-elected and Vegas’ casinos wanted cheap charter flights. In addition to this, Kennedy was a rising star and Cannon was better off aligning himself with the lawmaker than publicly opposing him.

Jimmy Carter was sworn into office in 1977, and that year he appointed Alfred Kahn the chairman of CAB to spearhead the deregulation of the industry. A bipartisan coalition emerged, arguing against regulation. The American Association of Retired Persons, the National Taxpayers Union, the Aviation Consumer Action Project (which was affiliated with Ralph Nader), the Cooperative League of the U.S.A., the American Conservative Union, Common Cause and the Public Interest Economics Group all advocated for legislation.

Cannon introduced an airline deregulation act into the Senate barely a year later, and in the fall of 1978, Jimmy Carter signed it into law.

At the signing ceremony, Carter remarked, “For the first time in decades, we have deregulated a major industry. When I announced my own support of airline deregulation soon after taking office, this bill had few friends. I'm happy to say that today it appears to have few enemies.”

Despite the frustrations of flight in the United States, airline deregulation doesn’t seem to have many enemies nowadays either. Insofar as people know about it, they often assume that the legislation effectively democratized the skies and allowed the middle class to travel more readily. In many ways, this is true: in the late '50s, more than 80 percent of Americans had never been on a plane. Having to put up with a few inconveniences, in exchange for access to air travel, seems like a pretty great tradeoff, as Kahn said.

However, a deeper examination of the airline industry makes this entire argument cloudy. In a 2013 AlterNet piece on the legacy of airline deregulation, David Morris identifies a number of troubling economic reports that cast major doubts on the common assertion that the policy had a direct impact on lowering ticket prices:

• Deregulation advocates point to the 50 percent price drop in airfares since 1980, but they neglect to point out that their own research indicates that only a portion (possibly a very small portion) can be credited to deregulation.
• A 1990 study by Paul Dempsey of the Economic Policy Institute adjusted for changes in energy prices and concluded that airline fares fell more rapidly in the 10 years before 1978 than the 10 years after.
• The most thorough analysis of the legislation’s economic impact was done by David B. Richards. His research indicates, “That the grant of pricing freedom to the airline industry has generally resulted in average prices being higher than they would have been had regulation continued...”
“How could this be?” Morris asks. “The answer is simple. Without constraints, unfettered competition often becomes unfettered concentration. Paradoxically, the authors of the original deregulation law seemed to understand that this could be a problem... But liberals and conservatives, blinded by the large number of new entrants into the market in the 1980s and the oil-price-drop-induced fare decreases, looked the other way when major airlines began to merge.”

As for the frequently overlooked dark side of airline deregulation, it was nicely summarized in a 2014 Jacobin piece by Llewellyn Hinkes-Jones:

“By drastically reducing ticket costs, the major airlines would take on an unsustainable amount of debt that, combined with the loss of business to the new entrants, would lead to layoffs or bankruptcy. Pension funds were then raided and labor contracts voided to pay for the price wars. With each airline company collapse, thousands of employees were laid off, decimating union membership.

To compete, the legacy airlines also drove down the salaries of their pilots, and cut benefits and vacation time. Besides a reduction in compensation, a two-tiered pay system has been set up with decent pay for incumbent pilots and markedly low wages for new entrants. Starting salaries for pilots are now as low as $15,000 a year, even as CEO pay rises inexorably. Remarking on a career in which he had seen his pay cut in half and his pension eliminated, captain Sully Sullenberger told the BBC in 2009 that he did not know ‘a single professional pilot who wants his or her children to follow in their footsteps.’”

This kind of economic structure has inevitably led to the service cuts and ridiculous baggage fees we associate with traveling today. To accept Kahn’s rhetoric about a tradeoff is to assume that a tradeoff was ever actually necessary, or that there wasn’t a way to improve airline regulation short of busting the entire thing up.

In November 2014, President Obama’s Justice Department dropped its lawsuit against the merger of US Airways and American Airlines, paving the way for just four airlines to control 85 percent of the U.S. market. In many ways, it was the culmination of a Democratic project that began nearly 40 years before.

Michael Arria is an associate editor at AlterNet and the author of Medium Blue: The Politics of MSNBC. Follow @MichaelArria on Twitter.

Tags: airline deregulationJimmy Carter
Categories: Labor News

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