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Europe: Private messages at work can be read by employers, says court

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 01/12/2016 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: BBC
Categories: Labor News

Asia: Trans-Pacific Partnership: Serious Labor and Human Rights Concerns

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 01/12/2016 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Human Rights Watch
Categories: Labor News

Australia: 'Guerilla raid' Security guards force Australian crew off Alcoa ship MV Portland

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 01/12/2016 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Fairfax Media
Categories: Labor News

China: Letter to People’s Daily on China Labour Bulletin’s work with labour activists

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 01/12/2016 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: China Labour Bulletin
Categories: Labor News

Pill Cost Pennies-Drugs Cost Lives! Protest Of Gilead & JP Morgan Profiteering Meeting

Current News - Tue, 01/12/2016 - 10:31

Pill Cost Pennies-Drugs Cost Lives! Protest Of Gilead & JP Morgan Profiteering Meeting
Drug maker Gilead and JP Morgan run by Jaime Diamond which also owns Chase bank had an investment conference in San Francisco on Monday January 11th, 2016 to further monetize the profits from the drug industry.
Community and labor protesters demanded that the price for the pill for Hepatitis-C which drug maker Gilead produces be dropped so the 3 million people who have the disease are able to afford it. The company charges $100 a pill while in some countries like Egypt they pay only $10 a pill. As a result of the charges for the pills cost for a treatment runs over $100,000.
Mumia Abu-Jamal an honorary member of CWA-NABET and a world journalist who is imprisoned in Pennsylvania may die from the disease since the prison refuses to provide the drug to him and other prisoners with similar diseases. Demonstrators also demanded that the healthcare industry be made public so all people can afford drugs and treatment.
For further information
Protest sponsored by
Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
Production of Labor Video Project

Tags: DrugsilwuLabor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
Categories: Labor News

Striking Phoenix ATU Local 1433 Phoenix bus drivers lose health-care coverage

Current News - Mon, 01/11/2016 - 23:15

Striking Phoenix ATU Local 1433 bus drivers lose health-care coverage
<1402346264000-gardiner-dustin.png> Dustin Gardiner, The Republic | azcentral.com 9:38 p.m. MST January 11, 2016

Striking Phoenix bus drivers lose health-care coverage

(Photo: Patrick Breen/The Republic)
Tensions between striking Phoenix bus drivers and Transdev, the contractor that operates many of the city's bus routes, escalated Monday as drivers blasted the company for suspending their medical insurance as they picket while waiting for a new contract.

With the strike entering its fourth day, union members held an emotional rally outside the city's bus yard in south Phoenix. Union President Bob Bean said drivers and their family members had been denied medication and treatment since Transdev stopped their benefits Friday. That included one driver who was set to undergo surgery, he said.

“This company has stooped to a low that I have never seen in … 37 years in transportation and union work," Bean said. "That is as low as it comes."

Hundreds of drivers with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1433 have been on strike since Friday, after they rejected Transdev's latest "best and final" contract offer. The strike has left nearly 80,000-weekday transit riders with reduced or canceled service on 34 bus routes that Transdev operates for the city.

Phoenix bus strike: What are the issues between union and Transdev?

Troy Corder, a spokesman for Transdev, said striking employees do not receive pay or benefits because they are not working. However, he said, they can elect to continue health coverage under COBRA, a federal law that allows employees to continue to receive employer-provided coverage, often at their own expense.

Corder said Transdev employees and the union were notified about the health-care suspension and the option to enroll in COBRA before they made the decision to strike. The union said its members rejected the transit company's contract offer by 91 percent last week.

Kenneth Westbrook, chairman of the transit division for Transdev, spoke Friday morning about running an efficient bus system and ending the strike. Michael Cornelius, lead negotiator for Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1433 spoke at the gathering as

"They had a very good offer on the table, including retroactive pay increases to last July, but the ATU Local #1433 chose to strike instead," Corder said in an email. "We hope the strike ends soon and our drivers can get back to receiving the good pay and benefits they are entitled to receive if working.”

No accord in Phoenix bus strike

Gilbert Balderas, a bus driver diagnosed with a form of blood cancer in 2011, said he realized the company had cut off his health insurance on Saturday, when he went to the pharmacy to pick-up his chemotherapy maintenance drugs. He said he paid out of pocket and got a discount card to help pay for some of his drugs. If a deal isn't reached by Friday, Balderas said, he will have to cancel a scheduled treatment.

"I'm just going to have to put it off," he said, standing near the picket line. "There's nothing I can do."

But an end to the strike didn't appear in sight Monday evening as negotiators from the union and Transdev finished another day of talks — even as fans flocking to the College Football Playoff National Championship in Glendale faced reduced bus service.

“It’s been another day of nothing, and it’s very frustrating," said the Rev. Jarrett Maupin, a civil-rights activist working with the union. Both sides were expected to return to the negotiating table on Tuesday morning.

A handful of Transdev's busiest Phoenix routes were operating at lower, Saturday-service levels on Monday, but 27 routes remained canceled. Transdev could soon face fines from Phoenix if overall service is not increased, according to the city.

Union leaders contend Transdev's contract offer doesn't address a range of concerns, including bathroom access, a two-tiered system for pay and benefits, communication policies, language nuances and arbitration, among others. The levels of pay and medical benefits are not an issue. Transdev has said its offer is generous and includes the union's proposed health-insurance plan and a 3 percent annual wage increase.

A primary sticking point has been the union's demand to move all employees to the same tiered system for pay and benefits. Employees hired before March 15, 2012, reach the top hourly rate on a five-year scale. Employees hired after 2012 take six years to reach that point. The union rejects that system and wants all drivers on the same pay ladder.

Reduced service will continue Tuesday. The city urged riders to check the Valley Metro website to see which routes will be active and which will not. Transdev's 34 routes are some of the city's most heavily used, according to the transit agency.

Valley Metro suggested riders whose routes may be affected use taxi services, the light rail and carpools.

Transdev runs the following routes:

0-Central Avenue; 1-Washington/Jefferson; 7-Seventh Street; 8-Seventh Avenue; 10-Roosevelt/32nd Street; 12-12th Street; 15-15th Avenue; 16-16th Street; 19-19th Avenue; 27-27th Avenue; 28-Lower Buckeye; 35-35th Avenue; 39-40th Street north Phoenix; 44-44th Street/Tatum; 50-Camelback; 52-Roeser; 60-Bethany Home; 70-Glendale/24th Street; 80-Northern/Shea; 90-Dunlap/Cave Creek; 106-Peoria; 122-Cactus; 138-Thunderbird; 154-Greenway; 170-Bell; 186-Union Hills/Mayo; the SMART (Sunnyslope) and DASH (downtown) circulators; and all RAPID commuter routes: Central South Mountain East, Central South Mountain West, Interstate 10 East, I-10 West, I-17 and State Route 51.

Tags: ATU Local 1433strike Phoenix
Categories: Labor News

PSR Fleet Memo for January 9 2016

IBU - Mon, 01/11/2016 - 10:10
Categories: Unions

Derailed: Once again, California lawmakers have killed a proposal to ban BART workers from striking.

Current News - Sat, 01/09/2016 - 22:47

Derailed: Once again, California lawmakers have killed a proposal to ban BART workers from striking.

The latest bill, by Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, R-San Ramon, failed to get out of the Assembly Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security Committee on a 5-1 party-line vote.

“It pretty much went as expected,” Baker said after last week’s vote, noting that the Democratic leadership had sent the measure to a committee loaded with labor-friendly lawmakers.

Baker ran in 2014 on a platform of putting BART workers in the same no-strike category as Muni drivers and many other public-transit employees. Voters in her East Bay district, still fuming over two BART strikes in 2013, installed her as the only Bay Area Republican in the Legislature.

Her constituents’ angst, however, has not reached the Capitol — even with the current BART contract expiring in 2017.

“It’s a reminder that we are only 18 months away from another possible strike,” Baker said.

State Sen. Steve Glazer, an Orinda Democrat who was also elected on a no-strike platform, said the fight is not over.

Glazer has a card up his sleeve — a threat to campaign against a big rebuild bond that BART wants to put on the November ballot unless there’s significant progress toward a new contract.

“Show us some fiscal responsibility,” Glazer said. “Then we can talk about new money.”

Tags: BARTright to strike
Categories: Labor News

China: Strikes and protests by China’s workers soar to record heights in 2015

Labourstart.org News - Fri, 01/08/2016 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: China Labour Bulletin
Categories: Labor News

IBU CRR regional meetings

IBU - Fri, 01/08/2016 - 10:50
Categories: Unions

Teamsters lose unionization vote, allege tech shuttle company Bauer ‘bullied’ drivers-Set Up Company Union To Thwart Workers

Current News - Thu, 01/07/2016 - 10:14

Teamsters lose unionization vote, allege tech shuttle company Bauer ‘bullied’ drivers-Set Up Company Union To Thwart Workers
Teamsters and drivers for Bauer’s Intelligent Transportation protest the shuttle company on Aug. 11, 2015, at the corner of Valencia and 24th streets. (Michael Ares/Special to S.F. Examiner)
By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez on January 7, 2016 1:00 am

Local Teamsters lost a recent vote to unionize Bauer’s Intelligent Transportation, a private bus company.

Now the Teamsters have filed a complaint alleging Bauer’s bullied its workers into voting down forming a union.

The National Labor Relations Board found merit to the accusations, and will now address them in a hearing set for Feb. 1.

Bauer’s did not respond to requests for comment.

Bauer’s is one major provider of so-called “tech shuttles” that ferry tech industry workers in their San Francisco-to-Silicon Valley commute. Bauer’s serves a number of local tech companies, including Cisco Systems and game maker Electronic Arts.

Teamsters successfully unionized two other providers of tech shuttles — Compass Transportation and Loop Transportation — last year.

According to documents filled to the labor board, 79 of Bauer’s shuttle drivers participated in the Sept. 30 vote to join the Teamsters Local 665 — 25 drivers were for unionization and 41 against.

The Teamsters allege Bauer’s repeatedly engaged in illegal activity to dissuade its members from voting to form a union.

In the complaint filed to the NLRB, the union alleges a “vocal anti-union [Bauer’s] employee and company supporter” assaulted another Bauer’s employee, Guillermo Vargas.

Teamsters also allege Bauer’s terminated employee Roy Flugence, a “vocal supporter” of the union, in September.

“Word of the suspension and termination of Flugence, recognized as a vocal union supporter, spread quickly among the bargaining unit employees,” the complaint reads.

On Dec. 31, Joseph Frankl, who heads the NLRB’s Region 20 offices, ordered both the Teamsters and Bauer’s to hash out their differences in a hearing set for Feb. 1.

In September 2015, the Teamsters alleged Bauer’s formed a “sham” union to shake off the Teamsters, an allegation the NLRB took seriously.

The labor board filed an injunction against Bauer’s, forcing Bauer’s to dissolve its company-started union.

“Such restraint is necessary now to prevent the irreparable harm likely to result from Respondent’s unlawful foisting upon its employees of a textbook, sham ‘company union,’” wrote local NLRB attorney Carmen Leon, in court filings at the time.

Tags: IBTTech bus driversBauer
Categories: Labor News

Thailand: IndustriALL condemns arrests of Thai union leaders

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 01/06/2016 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: IndustriALL
Categories: Labor News

Somalia: IndustriALL solidarity for Somali union leader after assassination attempt

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 01/06/2016 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: IndustriALL
Categories: Labor News

USA: Meet 'Sledgehammer Shannon' the union activist who is Uber's worst nightmare

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 01/06/2016 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Mother Jones
Categories: Labor News

SFMTA denies TWU 250 A Muni operators’ request for wage negotiations

Current News - Wed, 01/06/2016 - 01:23

SFMTA denies TWU 250 A Muni operators’ request for wage negotiations

By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez on January 6, 2016 1:00 am

Muni’s operator union asked Tuesday for another chance to negotiate wages for its newest workers at a regular meeting of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors.

Eric Williams, president of the Transport Workers Union Local 250­A, spoke at a podium in City Hall, asking the board and SFMTA head Ed Reiskin for another chance to negotiate.

“I’m pretty sure you’ve all seen the newspaper about particular issues surrounding wage correction,” he said. “Hopefully we can talk more about that.”

Williams continued, “Hopefully we can talk about individuals you employ, who are barely making it in this region.”

He said it’s not about “whose fault it is, let’s get by that,” but that operators need help.

At the meeting, neither the SFMTA’s board, nor management, responded to Williams’ request to talk about wages.

In a statement to the San Francisco Examiner, SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose said re­opening the contract was unlikely.

“No, we are halfway through a three-­year contract we negotiated in good faith,” Rose said, “which provides fair compensation for the great work our operators do every day.”

Last week, the Examiner reported new Muni operators are struggling to make ends meet because of a quirk in the newest contract.

Although Muni operators generally make $60­,000-$70,000 annually and enjoy generous benefits, newer operators make 63 percent of those wages when they begin driving a bus.

Previously, the “step” increases in their wages took place over 18 months. Under the contract Williams and the SFMTA negotiated in 2014 — and which operators voted to approve — operators hired after July 2014 take five
years to reach full pay.

Many operators, with families in particular, told the Examiner they live near poverty during the years it takes to reach full pay. The federal poverty line is $24,250 for a family of four.

Some said they worked second or third jobs, which they said may cause them to drive dangerously due to being tired.

Tags: TWU 250A
Categories: Labor News

UK Labour calls for renationalisation after 'staggering' rail fare rises

Current News - Tue, 01/05/2016 - 18:08

UK Labour calls for renationalisation after 'staggering' rail fare rises
Prices set to rise by average of 1.1%, meaning cost of some commuters’ tickets have increased by £2,000 since Tories took office

A Virgin Trains season ticket between Birmingham and London Euston will cost more than £10,000 for the first time. Photograph: Matt Dunham/AP
Press Association
Friday 1 January 2016 01.05 ESTLast modified on Friday 1 January 2016 04.56 EST

Commuters will be paying an average of 25% more for rail season tickets since David Cameron took office, Labour has calculated.

Fares are set to rise by an average of 1.1% on Saturday and the shadow transport secretary, Lilian Greenwood, said that would mean passengers being hit by a “truly staggering” rise of up to £2,000 in cash terms since 2010.

The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, used the latest annual increase to repeat his call for the nationalisation of train services, claiming it was a scandal that commuters’ money was being used to boost the profits of private firms and foreign state-owned operators.

The analysis compared costs on more than 200 routes between 2010, when the coalition came to power, and when the new prices come into effect on Saturday.

The highest increase found was on a Virgin Trains season ticket between Birmingham and London Euston which has risen by £1,984 and now costs more than £10,000 for the first time.

The biggest percentage increase identified was between Thame Bridge Parkway near Walsall and Nuneaton, where the cost of an annual season ticket has risen by 38% since 2010.

The cost of a season ticket from Kingham, in the prime minister’s Witney constituency, to London Paddington will have increased by 25% to £5,412.

The Birmingham to Euston route with Virgin will cost £10,012 from Saturday, with the next biggest rise in cash terms being the £1,752 increase since 2010 in the ticket from Coventry to Euston.

Corbyn said: “Labour is now committed to a publicly owned railway as the best way to secure a fair deal for rail passengers and taxpayers, and long term investment for a modern railway system.

“It’s a scandal that fares are being increased every year to subsidise the profits of private companies and other countries’ railway systems.”

Greenwood said in some cases passengers were faced with increases far beyond the average of 25% for regulated fares, which include season tickets.

“Fares have risen more than three times faster than wages and passengers on some routes have also been hit by ‘stealth fare rises’ of up to 162%,” she said.

“Out of touch ministers talk about delivering ‘fair fares for comfortable commuting’ but this is a world away from the overcrowded carriages and unreliable services that are increasingly characterising our network. Passengers were always told that higher fares were necessary to fund investment, but vital projects have been delayed by years and essential maintenance works have been put on hold.”

Rail minister Claire Perry insisted that the government understood concerns about the cost of travel and had taken action to halt above-inflation rises.
She said: “We are helping hard-working people with the cost of transport. We’ve put a stop to inflation busting increases in regulated fares until 2020.

“This will save the average season ticket holder £425 in this parliament and means earnings are outstripping rail fare increases for first time in a decade.”

Regulated fares have increased by an average of 7% in real terms – taking inflation into account – between 1995 and 2015, compared with a 33% rise in unregulated standard class tickets.

Tags: UKprivatizationRail
Categories: Labor News

Somalia: ITUC Condemns the Assassination Attempt on FESTU General Secretary’s Life

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 01/05/2016 - 16:00
LabourStart headline - Source: ITUC
Categories: Labor News


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