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ILWU Local 10 President Edwin Ferris speaks out against corporate greed and the Vallejo ORCEM/VMT project & ILWU Local 10 Sec Treasurer Derrick Muhammad On “Blood Money"

Current News - Thu, 06/08/2017 - 21:19

ILWU Local 10 President Edwin Ferris speaks out against corporate greed and the Vallejo ORCEM/VMT project And ILWU Local 10 Sec Treasurer Derrick Muhammad On “Blood Money"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIVqsWSb23w
APublished on Jun 1, 2017
This is the powerful 2-minute statement from Edwin Ferris, President, Int’l Longshore & Warehouse Union, Local 10, at the May 30, 2017, City Council of Vallejo meeting. He spoke on the long history of ILWU in the Bay Area on- and off-loading ships, barges and rail cars. He told the City Council neither VMT or Orcem had ever contacted them. But stated that this detail was secondary to health of the vulnerable.
The people of Vallejo thank the ILWU-10 for their work on our behalf. And the volunteers of Fresh Air Vallejo would like to thank all of the organizations who have endorsed our research and eduction efforts for the past 20 months. Other great speakers on May 30th included the Sierra Club, Audubon Society, Migrante Napa-Solano and Voices of Vallejo as well as almost 100 individuals. To view the entire proceeding, please click on the City link and scroll down to the meeting date. Public comment start at 7pm and lasted until 11:30pm.
ILWU 10 Union voices opposition to Vallego VMT/Orcem project
http://www.timesheraldonline.com/…/…/20170510/NEWS/170519987
Edwin Ferris, president of the San Francisco-based International Longshore and Warehouse Union 10, speaks during a Wednesday morning news conference. Ferris announced the union is opposed to the Vallejo Marine Terminal and Orcem Americas project proposed for development in south Vallejo. Residents opposed to the project stand behind Ferris. John Glidden — Times-Herald
By John Glidden, Vallejo Times-Herald
POSTED: 05/10/17, 6:08 PM PDT | UPDATED: 3 WEEKS, 6 DAYS AGO0 COMMENTS
A citizen group opposed to a proposed project in south Vallejo picked up support Wednesday from the San Francisco-based International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) 10.
About 45 people met outside the locked gates of the old General Mills flour mill on Derr Street to hear the union’s official position regarding the Vallejo Marine Terminal and Orcem Americas project.
“We’re against this proposed project because it endangers the local community,” said Edwin Ferris, president of ILWU Local 10, during a morning news conference. “It will absolutely not bring good paying union jobs.”
Ferris said it was “irresponsible” to open a modern deep-water terminal and an industrial facility producing cement on the 32-acre site.
“The planning commission got it right, 6-1,” he added, causing several in attendance to start clapping and shout ‘yes’ in response.
The commission in early March denied the proposal, citing “quality of life” concerns.
Also in attendance was Solano County Supervisor Monica Brown.
Brown, who represents the area, expressed concern, especially since Grace Patterson Elementary is within a quarter mile of the project.
“This is a gem area, let’s do something positive with it,” she said.
Brown said she’d like to see dorm rooms built for the California State University Maritime Academy or a stadium for the Vallejo Admirals, the city’s professional baseball team.
Peter Brooks, president of Fresh Air Vallejo, the group opposed to the project, said the proposal, most notably the cement facility, will harm nearby residents.
“This community is primarily a minority neighborhood, a low-income neighborhood, already suffering from twice the state average of asthma,” Brooks said.
He said the facility will release a significant amount of dust and other particulate matter which will harm people with asthma.
“Vallejo is open for good, clean business — that employs lots of people,” he added. “That makes Vallejo proud, that doesn’t make Vallejo sick.”
Meanwhile, Jon Riley, executive director of the Napa/Solano Central Labor Council said he wants to see the city offer a fair process to the VMT/Orcem applicants.
Both applicants and supporters of the project have continually asked City Hall to certify a Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR).
He also responded to the idea of putting another use at the site.
“No matter what they do with this facility, there is going to be vehicles and truck traffic,” Riley said.
Reached by phone later in the day, Steve Bryan, president of Orcem Americas, expressed surprise at Ferris’ comments. Bryan said those employed with the businesses will receive a “good wage.”
Late last year, Bryan and Danny Bernardini, business manager of the Napa Solano Building & Construction Trades Council, announced the two sides had reached a project labor agreement.
The PLA stipulates a prevailing wage, allows the council to handle any grievances, and determines how local members will be dispatched during the construction of the facility, Bernardini said last December.
Orcem also agreed to card check neutrality with its employees. Such an agreement stipulates an employer will recognize a union as the official bargaining agent for employees.
Bryan said he would like to see a certified FEIR, as well.
“A lot of people out there are confused,” he said. “A certified impact report will help people understand the project better.”
After the planning commission decision, VMT/Orcem filed an appeal.
The Vallejo City Council will meet on Tuesday, May 30 and Thursday, June 1 to hear the appeal. Both meetings are scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m., with a tentative ending time of about 11 p.m., city officials confirmed recently.
Contact John Glidden at (707) 553-6832.

ILWU Local 10 Secretary Treasurer On “Blood Money”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkKkWChRQ6A

Published on May 31, 2017
This is the 3-minute statement from Derrick Muhammad, Int’l Longshore & Warehouse Union, Local 10 Secretary and Treasurer, at the May 30, 2017, City Council of Vallejo meeting. A beautifully written speech that not only targets what we need to do now to stop the proposed VMT/Orcem private port and cement project—but also the problems we need to solve next for South Vallejo: Air, Food, Schools, Housing.

The people of Vallejo thank the ILWU-10 for their work on our behalf. And the volunteers of Fresh Air Vallejo would like to thank all of the organizations who have endorsed our research and eduction efforts for the past 20 months. Other great speakers on May 30th included the Sierra Club, Audubon Society, Migrante Napa-Sola

ILWU Local 10 President Edwin Ferris speaks out against corporate greed and the ORCEM/VMT project
This is the powerful 2-minute statement from Edwin Ferris, President, Int’l Longshore & Warehouse…
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Tags: ilwucorporate greedVallejoORCEM/VMT Project
Categories: Labor News

Brazil: Gov't Gets Ready to Roll Back Labour Rights

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 06/07/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: The Real News Network
Categories: Labor News

Palestine: 50 years of Occupation : A stain on human history

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

Spanish Dockworker Strike Disrupts Ports and Trade Routes

Current News - Tue, 06/06/2017 - 17:09

Spanish Dockworker Strike Disrupts Ports and Trade Routes
http://gcaptain.com/spanish-dockworker-strike-disrupts-ports-and-trade-r...
June 5, 2017 by Reuters

port of Algeciras maersk
Maersk containership seen off the port of Algeciras, Spain. File Photo: Port of Algeciras/Juan G. Mata
MADRID, June 5 (Reuters) – Some of Spain’s biggest port terminals came to a standstill on Monday as shipping companies redirected cargos to avoid a dockers’ strike.

After months of talks between unions, companies and the Spanish government over a reform of port hiring practices, dockers held the first of several planned strikes to protest against possible job losses.

Some container shipping firms such as Maersk re-routed boats destined for the southern port of Algeciras to get around the strike, during which dockers will stop working every other hour on Monday, Wednesday and Friday this week.

Alternative destinations used by firms included Portugal, Morocco and Malta.

Five further days of industrial action have also been called for next week, raising the prospect that the shift to rival ports could have lasting consequences, especially for those handling merchandise not ultimately destined for Spain.

“Let me tell you, eight days of strikes will completely shatter the port of Algeciras,” Manuel Moron, who heads up the port authority there, wrote in a colum, in EuropaSur local newspaper on Monday.

Algeciras is a trans-shipment hub used by firms to unload cargo and redistribute it onto other boats heading elsewhere in Europe or the Middle East.

An Algericas terminal operated by APM, which belongs to the Maersk Group, had ground to a halt on Monday as there were no ships, a port spokeswoman said. A second smaller terminal was operating during the hours between the strike.

Valencia, on the eastern Mediterranean coast and the biggest export and import port in Spain, was functioning during the appointed hours, a spokesman said.

Spanish companies adjusted their production strategies, staggering exports or speeding them up before the strike, to limit the knock-on effects on their business. About two thirds of Spain’s imports and exports, a key element of the recovering economy, are moved through the country’s docks.

Seat, part of German carmaker Volkswagen and which has a big plant near Barcelona’s port, had already shipped out vehicles as soon as they were ready to avoid a build-up in cars waiting to be exported, a source at the company said.

The government said minimum services were being upheld at ports to ensure perishable goods such as fruit and vegetables were getting through and passenger services were not disrupted.

The ports reform, which aims to crack down on closed-shop hiring in a heavily unionised sector as demanded by the European Union, was passed through parliament in mid-May after a series of setbacks and clashes between political parties.

Workers broke off subsequent talks with port representatives over how to implement the new law in a disagreement over safeguarding more than 6,000 docker jobs. (Reporting by Sarah White, Angus Berwick and Madrid TV; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

Tags: Spanish Dockworkers Strikederegulation
Categories: Labor News

Indonesia: Freeport fires 2,000 workers as Grasberg strike enters second month

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 06/06/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: IndustriALL
Categories: Labor News

China: Regime won't release labour activists detained in probe of Ivanka supplier

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 06/06/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: CNN
Categories: Labor News

Canada: Climate change: Despite Trump, the world needs to move ahead

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 06/06/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: CUPE
Categories: Labor News

‘Blue Collar Green Water’: The Art of Working on S.F. Bay Ferries A Photography Exhibit At Pier 1

Current News - Tue, 06/06/2017 - 10:14

‘Blue Collar Green Water’: The Art of Working on S.F. Bay Ferries A Photography Exhibit At Pier 1
https://vimeo.com/183445426
https://ww2.kqed.org/news/2017/05/04/blue-collar-green-water-ferry-worke...

"Forever," by Blue & Gold Fleet deckhand Vince Atos. (Courtesy of Blue Collar Green Water)

https://ww2.kqed.org/news/2017/05/04/blue-collar-green-water-ferry-worke...

‘Blue Collar Green Water’: The Art of Working on S.F. Bay Ferries
By Dan Brekke
MAY 4, 2017

Commuting on Bay Area ferries might not be quite the perfect experience it used to be. Mostly because, like other ways of getting to and from work in this booming region, you’re going to find bigger crowds than ever.

But if you look up from your iPhone or laptop once the boat’s left the dock, you’ll find yourself in direct contact with the always unfolding drama of San Francisco Bay — the changing light, surging water and expansive vistas of bridges, skylines, shipping and, yes, even nature.

The people who experience this drama more often and more intimately than anyone else are those who work on the boats. To give the rest of us a glimpse of their world and how they see it, one group of workers is putting on a photo exhibition opening Friday at San Francisco’s Pier 1.

The “Blue Collar Green Water” show features juried work from deckhands, guest service reps, bartenders, captains and others who work for the Blue & Gold Fleet. That’s the company that operates the San Francisco Bay Ferry service under contract with the Water Emergency Transportation Authority. It’s also known for its tourist cruises from San Francisco’s Pier 41.

Rebecca Johnson, an Oakland native who’s been a deckhand on the bay for 20 years, is the moving spirit behind “Blue Collar Green Water.” The idea was inspired by the pictures she saw other ferry workers taking every day on the job.

“Working on the bay, you see it so many different ways,” she says. “You see it cold and foggy, you see it sunny and bright. And so I thought, why not find a way to share these photos with each other and with the people who don’t know what our jobs are.”

When she suggested a group photo project to her fellow workers a couple of years ago, she found lots of excitement. Out of that, a collective was formed to invite submissions from Blue & Gold crew members, design a website and produce a promotional video. A panel that included local professional photographers was created to judge the submissions for the exhibit.

Someone else really liked the “Blue Collar Green Water” idea, too: company management. Johnson brought her plan for a photo exhibition to Carolyn Horgan, then Blue & Gold’s president.

The project allowed workers from the fleet’s different units and unions to work together on something. The proposed show also fits in with a company goal.

“The thing that really appealed to me about it is that Blue & Gold was working hard on employee engagement,” Horgan says. “And this would be the ultimate of employee engagement.”

But there was more to it than that. Horgan, who is now retired, says the pictures in the show highlight the skill and grace involved in operating a fleet that carries millions of passengers each year.

“It’s just people doing something — tasks that I saw a lot, but other people maybe are not as familiar with, even tying up a boat,” Horgan says. There’s a beauty in something as simple as a deckhand “taking a line and putting it around a cleat.”

“Pastel,” by Joe Lovett. (Courtesy of "Blue Collar Green Water")
Johnson says the show has another point, too. At a time when unions and recognition of the importance of blue-collar work have become topics of national conversation, the exhibit showcases the humanity and pride of those who labor on the bay.

“I would love for people to just know that the workers on these ferries — they’re union workers, and they’re getting wages that allow them to live in the Bay Area,” Johnson says. “And why not? It should be this way.”

“Blue Collar Green Water” will be on display at Pier 1 on San Francisco’s Embarcadero, next to the Ferry Building, through May 31.

Dan Brekke is a blogger, reporter and editor for KQED News, responsible for online breaking news coverage of topics ranging from California water issues to the Bay Area's transportation challenges. In a newsroom career that began in Chicago in 1972, Dan has worked as a city and foreign/national editor for The San Francisco Examiner, editor at Wired News, deputy editor at Wired magazine, managing editor at TechTV as well as for several Web startups.

Since joining KQED in 2007, Dan has reported, edited and produced both radio and online features and breaking news pieces. He has shared in two Society of Professional Journalists Norcal Excellence in Journalism awards — for his 2012 reporting on a KQED Science series on water and power in California, and in 2014, for KQED's comprehensive reporting on the south Napa earthquake.

In addition to his 44 years of on-the-job education, Dan is a lifelong student of history and is still pursuing an undergraduate degree.

Email Dan at: dbrekke@kqed.org

Twitter: twitter.com/danbrekke
Facebook: www.facebook.com/danbrekke
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/danbrekke

Tags: IBUFerry Boat WorkersBlue And Goldphotographers
Categories: Labor News

In Uber era, Chicago’s taxicab industry disappearing, study finds

Current News - Tue, 06/06/2017 - 08:44

In Uber era, Chicago’s taxicab industry disappearing, study finds
http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/chicagos-taxicab-industry-disappearing-...

CHICAGO NEWS 06/02/2017, 08:45am
Fran Spielman
@fspielman | email
Chicago cabdrivers struggling to survive in the Uber era are fighting a losing battle, with 40 percent of all medallions “inactive” and hundreds more either in foreclosure or headed there, a new study shows.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2500 represents hundreds of cabdrivers and is continuing to organize the others.

To bolster its case, the union asked statistician James Bradach of Nonprofit Data and Applications to analyze countless pieces of information disjointedly made available in on the city’s data portal.

His report, “Run Off the Road: Chicago’s Taxi Medallion Foreclosure Crisis,” shows a surge in medallion foreclosures and a precipitous drop in both taxicab trips and driver income in the three years since City Hall created an unlevel regulatory playing field between taxis and ride-hailing.

The study’s findings include:

227,033 ride-hailing vehicles registered with the city as of April competing with 6,999 taxi medallions.
The number of “monthly taxi trips” on the streets of Chicago has dropped by 52 percent over the last three years — from 2.3 million to 1.1 million.
774 medallions have been “surrendered to the city at some point,” with 579 more receiving foreclosure notices and 107 lawsuits filed since October.
2,940 taxis or 42 percent of the city’s 6,999 taxi medallions were classified as “inactive” in March after having failed to pick up a single passenger in the previous month. That means those licenses face “imminent foreclosure in the coming months,” the study says. In March, 2014, 16 percent of medallions were inactive.
Average monthly gross income for every one of the city’s active taxicab medallions has fallen over the last three years — from $5,276 to $3,206.
Cabdrivers who were eking out a $19,000 annual living after expenses in 2013 are now operating $4,000 in the red. That’s because their $44,000 in annual expenses have remained the same while business has plummeted.
39 percent of the city’s taxicab medallions are owned by small business with four or fewer licenses.
To keep a shrinking taxicab industry from disappearing altogether, AFSCME Local 2500 is demanding what it calls “comprehensive reform.”

Specifically, the union wants the City Council to: Eliminate the vehicle age limit so long as the cab can pass inspection; waive the ground transportation tax for struggling drivers; and eliminate the medallion license renewal fee.

The union is further demanding that City Hall: “Enact protections for lease drivers in the event of a fleet bankruptcy; reinstate the lottery for city-owned medallions to reduce operating costs for lease drivers; strengthen foreclosure protections in the city medallion owner rules; and eliminate “regulatory barriers” standing in the way of a “driver-to-passenger taxi ehail app” that competes with Uber and Lyft.

Ald. Anthony Beale (9th), chairman of the City Council’s Transportation Committee, said the AFSCME study underscores his biggest fears.

“I’ve said all along that the system was stacked against the cab industry and that allowing Uber and Lyft to come in unregulated put the entire cab industry at a disadvantage,” Beale said.

“In five to seven years, you’re gonna have autonomous vehicles and no people working. All you’re gonna have left is driverless vehicles,” he said. “We need to fight for jobs and keep people employed. If we allow technology to put people out of work while the fat cats at the top make millions, the whole economy as we know it is gonna collapse. The road we’re going down is going to eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs that people are out here trying to make a living. You see it happening.”

John Aikins is one of those people.

He and his wife own two medallions, one of them purchased for $330,000 just five years ago, when cab licenses were still a “hot commodity.”

When the bubble burst, they couldn’t find a dependable driver for the second medallion and fell behind on their loans. After failing in their attempts to seek a loan modification, the lender filed suit to foreclose against them. With three children, the couple had no choice but to file for bankruptcy.

“Things are really bad. If you don’t go to the airport and wait three hours to get a fare, it’s very difficult to find fares in the city because there are so many ride-share cars. I’ve driven all the way from Belmont to Chestnut downtown and nobody flags me down,” Aikins said Thursday.

“I have three college-age children. One is thinking of moving from the dorm next semester,” he said. “Once the bankruptcy goes through, it’s going to be very hard to get any student loans for him. Fortunately, his school is not too far from where he live. So he can commute until things stabilize.”

He added, “I don’t blame Uber or Lyft for coming in. But the city has been so unfair, it’s beyond belief. Ride-sharing companies come in and the city didn’t do anything [while] we are following the same stringent rules and regulations and taxes.”

Veteran cabdriver Gilbert Uranta purchased his medallion in 2006 and still owes more than $260,000. But he hasn’t been able to make a payment on the loan for six months.

While waiting for the ax to fall in the form of a foreclosure lawsuit, the father of three has finally scheduled the knee replacement surgery he has been putting off because it will sideline him for three months.

“I’m not saying they shouldn’t have Uber. But there are too many of Uber. When you have more than 200,000 Ubers competing with 7,000 cabs, it’s difficult to make money. I start work at 4 a.m. By 7 p.m, I’m still on the street. I can’t can’t make enough money if I work 10 hours,” Uranta said.

“Things are not like what they used to be. I can’t take my kids on vacation like I used to,” he said. “I just have to make sure we survive by working extra hours. My own self with my wife — there are so many things we cannot do. We have to put the kids first.”

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court dealt the struggling taxicab industry what appeared to be a final blow.

By refusing to hear the taxi industry’s appeal, the nation’s highest court let stand a federal appeals court ruling last fall that snuffed out an attempt by the cab companies to level what they called an uneven playing field that favors Uber, whose investors include Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s brother.

The appeals court ruling essentially said that the business models between taxis and ride-hailing services are different and, therefore, they can continue to operate under different sets of rules in Chicago.

Tags: Uberderegulationindependent contractors
Categories: Labor News

Colombia: Millions to march across Colombia in general strike Tuesday

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 06/05/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: The City Paper
Categories: Labor News

Spanish dockworker unions Coordinadora Estatal de Trabajadores del Mar (Coordinadora) have launched today a nation-wide strike impacting operations across the country’s ports.

Current News - Mon, 06/05/2017 - 14:09

Spanish dockworker unions Coordinadora Estatal de Trabajadores del Mar (Coordinadora) have launched today a nation-wide strike impacting operations across the country’s ports.

https://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/221930/spanish-ports-hit-by-natio...
According to the representatives of the Coordinadora Estatal de Trabajadores del Mar (Coordinadora), a Spanish dockworkers union, almost 100 percent of workers supported the strike.

The workers are demanding that companies keep their employees and maintain the same working-conditions after the implementation of the port-reform.

Until now, the workers were hired through local stevedoring societies known as Sociedad Anonima de Gestion de Estibadores Portuarios (SAGEP). However, the new law would enable ports to hire non-unionized dockworkers instead of the unionized ones, potentially resulting in massive layoffs.

During today’s press conference, the union representatives said that, in their opinion, the main culprit for the ongoing situation is the government that put the companies in a privileged position.

At the moment, all dockworkers have an indefinite contract with their companies. Nevertheless, under the new regime, the companies would be given a choice to decide whether to keep them as employees or not.

During the recent talks between the union and Anesco, port employers’ association, the latter could not guarantee the security of 100 percent of those jobs, which prompted the stevedores to go ahead with their strike plans for this week.

The country’s ports could suffer considerable drop in traffic as shipping companies divert their cargo elsewhere due to strikes. Port statistics show that the port of Algeciras, the busiest in Spain, experienced a drop of 5.98 per cent in traffic so far in 2017.

Last week, Danish shipping major Maersk Line said that its latest fleet addition, the 20,568 TEU Madrid Maersk, would be omitting the port of Algeciras. Instead, the cargo would be discharged in Port Tangier for further connection to Algeciras.

The company’s ST Illinois will omit Algeciras APMT on June 6 and cargo will be discharged in Barcelona, while MSC Illona, employed on M2 TA5 service will omit Algeciras APMT and cargo on board will be discharge in Sines. Export cargo will be rolled to the next vessel voyage, Maersk Line added.

Reacting to the announcement, the International Dockworkers Council (IDC) asked “that all IDC members be aware of ships that may be diverted from Spain, and to not work accept these ships in their ports.”

“IDC will heed the strike advisory and will remain alert- with their full attention- in order to follow new developments of the Spanish situation. We will alert our IDC members to any future developments.

IDC will continue to support dockworkers everywhere in their struggle, and iterates their steadfast commitment to Coordinadora, who has demonstrated- yet again- strength in unity,” IDC said.

“This dispute is representative of the worldwide attack on dockers and of union busting efforts dressed up as ‘progressive reform’. Port liberalisation of this kind is short sighted and damaging and we won’t accept it. We encourage all of our affiliates to take every action within the legal framework of their country to support Spanish dockers whenever requested by our Spanish brothers and sisters,” ITF president and dockers’ section chair Paddy Crumlin said.

The latest round of strikes is planned to be held on 5th, 7th and 9th of June for 12 hours. Further rounds of strikes are likely to follow should the stakeholders fail to reach a deal on the continuation of negotiations on the matter.

As informed by Maersk, as a result of strikes, gates opening will be subjected to yard’s congestion, and under this scenario regular opening timetable is not guaranteed.

World Maritime News Staff

Tags: Spanish DockworkersstrikeCoordinadora Estatal de Trabajadores del Mar (Coordinadora)
Categories: Labor News

Tump Privatization of FAA-White House formally backs plan to send 30,000 federal workers to private corporation

Current News - Mon, 06/05/2017 - 09:53

Tump Privatization of FAA-White House formally backs plan to send 30,000 federal workers to private corporation

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/white-house-for...

The scene in the air traffic control tower at Dulles International Airport during a tour by the Federal Aviation Administration along with UPS and United Airlines as they gave a firsthand demonstration of the NextGen technology called Data Communications on Sept. 27, 2016. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

By Ashley Halsey III and John Wagner June 5 at 12:20 PM
The White House on Monday formally endorsed a plan to spin off more than 30,000 federal workers into a private nonprofit corporation, separating the nation’s air traffic controllers and those who work on a $36 billion modernization program from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Trump administration proposal essentially is an endorsement of a plan that failed to gain sufficient traction in Congress last year. The plan is in keeping with the stated desire of the administration and congressional Republicans to streamline government and transfer some functions into private hands.

President Trump condemned the Obama Administration and the FAA for wasting billions on modernization without results.

“The current system cannot keep up, has not been able to keep up for many years,” Trump said at White House ceremony. “We’re still stuck with an ancient, broken, antiquated, horrible system that doesn’t work.”

He said that during the Obama administration the FAA “didn’t know what the hell they were doing” in spending $7 billion to modernize the aviation system.

Monday’s announcement launched a week in which the administration will focus on infrastructure, with Trump traveling to Cincinnati on Wednesday to discuss the movement of freight on inland waterways, and on Thursday he has invited mayors and governors to the White House to discuss their infrastructure needs.

[Trump advisers call for privatizing some public assets to build new infrastructure]

Trump will wrap up the week with a trip to the Department of Transportation to discuss ways to change rules and regulations to expedite project construction, with the goal of compacting the process from an average of eight years to two years or less.

The administration hopes to win congressional approval to spend an additional $200 billion tax dollars on infrastructure in the coming years, administration officials said.

“We absolutely do feel that the infrastructure package can be accomplished this year. We are working every day to that end,” said one administration official.

While the separating air traffic control from the FAA has been discussed for decades and was proposed under the Clinton administration, in its current iteration it has fractured the airline industry, divided the unions that represent the federal workers, raised the ire of private plane operators, been opposed by ranking House Democrats and raised eyebrows in the Senate.

White House officials in briefing reporters said they had given reassurance to the Department of Defense, rural airports and operators of non-commercial planes that their interests would be protected under the proposal.

The Trump administration endorsement, first signaled in a preliminary budget released in March, could provide the momentum needed to get the proposal through both houses and to the president’s desk for his signature.

Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Transportation Committee, embraced the dormant concept last year and fought to win the approval of his committee. But the bill it passed got no attention on the House floor, and there was muttering on the Senate side that suggested it had no future there.

“I first spoke to President Trump back in 2014 about the need for reform, and I’m glad to be working on it with him in 2017,” Shuster said. “President Reagan once said ‘government is not the solution to the problem; government is the problem.’ Government bureaucracy has held back innovation in American aviation. It’s time to bring our aviation system into the 21st century.”

The issue on Capitol Hill has not been the functioning of the 14,000 air traffic controllers, who are universally subject to praise for their devotion to safety when mentioned in the House or Senate committees that oversee them.

Instead, Congress has expressed enormous frustration over the pace of the FAA’s modernization program, called NextGen.

While commonly referred to as a GPS-based system for directing the flow of aircraft, that simplistic explanation is akin to saying it’s the carburetor that makes a car’s wheels go around.

The reality is that NextGen is a complicated group of systems intended to smooth the flow of airplanes, speed air travel, save fuel and accommodate a 20 percent increase in passengers in the next two decades.

The current system is radar-based and requires planes to fly from one waypoint to the next rather than in a straight line to their destination. (Complaints about low-flying airliners have been legion across the country as the first of several NextGen projects has come on line.)

Selling Congress and the airlines, who would bear some of the cost, on a multibillion-dollar modernization program seemed like a dicey proposition, so about a dozen years ago the FAA came up with a catchy name for all its projects: NextGen.

That gave the FAA a single name to use when it sought money from Congress. But it also gave Congress a single program to hold accountable when elements of NextGen moved slowly, or not at all.

Congress’s perception that NextGen wasn’t moving fast enough was amply bolstered by critical reports from the inspector general’s office and from the Government Accountability Office.

The FAA, however, has been able to point to success in recent years with some elements of NextGen.

When Shuster revived the concept of moving the controllers and the NextGen program to a private nonprofit corporation run by a board of directors, one of the big four airlines — Delta — opposed the move and parted company with the lobbying group Airlines for America, which endorsed it. Operators of small planes and corporate jets — known as “general aviation” to distinguish them from the airlines — pushed back out of fear the airlines would dominate the corporation’s board.

That National Air Traffic Controllers Association backed Shuster’s plan, saying the new corporation would ensure more stable funding than Congress could provide, while the 11,000-member Professional Aviation Safety Specialists union strongly opposed it.

“It is unfathomable, even dangerous, to consider gambling with the future and safety of our air traffic control system through privatization,” PASS President Mike Perrone said in a statement last month.

Paul Rinaldi, president of the National Air Traffic Control Association, whose union supported Shuster’s bill last year, said of the new plan, “We look forward to reviewing the specifics of the air traffic control reform legislation so we can evaluate whether it satisfies our Union’s principles, including protecting the rights and benefits of the ATC workforce.”

Mirroring much of Shuster’s 2016 proposal, a four-page White House proposal underscores that “no group should have the appearance of influence over the board of directors,” countering the argument that the airlines would dominate the board.

The White House plan tinkers with Shuster’s original plan in an attempt to ensure that airlines don’t dominate the board. Rather than assigning seats on the board to entities like airlines, unions, general aviation and the public, the initial selections would be similarly selected.

“We have totally unended that,” said a senior White House official. “Going forward it should operate like any other board and perpetuate itself and not be divided out by special interest groups.”

The new corporation would pay for itself through user fees for airlines and “reasonable” fees passed on to passengers, the administration said. It also would have the authority to adjust air routes after seeking public comment, recognizing that NextGen routing will cause noise over houses that haven’t previously experienced low-flying planes.

The wording of the White House paper may cause concern for union members who would go off the federal payroll. It specifies twice that current employees will retain their pay and benefits and be able to participate in federal retirement and health-care plans. It does not say that the corporation’s new hires should expect the same pay or benefits.

Categories: Labor News

Tump Privatization of FAA-White House formally backs plan to send 30,000 federal workers to private corporation

Current News - Mon, 06/05/2017 - 09:51

White House formally backs plan to send 30,000 federal workers to private corporation
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/white-house-for...

The scene in the air traffic control tower at Dulles International Airport during a tour by the Federal Aviation Administration along with UPS and United Airlines as they gave a firsthand demonstration of the NextGen technology called Data Communications on Sept. 27, 2016. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

By Ashley Halsey III and John Wagner June 5 at 12:20 PM
The White House on Monday formally endorsed a plan to spin off more than 30,000 federal workers into a private nonprofit corporation, separating the nation’s air traffic controllers and those who work on a $36 billion modernization program from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Trump administration proposal essentially is an endorsement of a plan that failed to gain sufficient traction in Congress last year. The plan is in keeping with the stated desire of the administration and congressional Republicans to streamline government and transfer some functions into private hands.

President Trump condemned the Obama Administration and the FAA for wasting billions on modernization without results.

“The current system cannot keep up, has not been able to keep up for many years,” Trump said at White House ceremony. “We’re still stuck with an ancient, broken, antiquated, horrible system that doesn’t work.”

He said that during the Obama administration the FAA “didn’t know what the hell they were doing” in spending $7 billion to modernize the aviation system.

Monday’s announcement launched a week in which the administration will focus on infrastructure, with Trump traveling to Cincinnati on Wednesday to discuss the movement of freight on inland waterways, and on Thursday he has invited mayors and governors to the White House to discuss their infrastructure needs.

[Trump advisers call for privatizing some public assets to build new infrastructure]

Trump will wrap up the week with a trip to the Department of Transportation to discuss ways to change rules and regulations to expedite project construction, with the goal of compacting the process from an average of eight years to two years or less.

The administration hopes to win congressional approval to spend an additional $200 billion tax dollars on infrastructure in the coming years, administration officials said.

“We absolutely do feel that the infrastructure package can be accomplished this year. We are working every day to that end,” said one administration official.

While the separating air traffic control from the FAA has been discussed for decades and was proposed under the Clinton administration, in its current iteration it has fractured the airline industry, divided the unions that represent the federal workers, raised the ire of private plane operators, been opposed by ranking House Democrats and raised eyebrows in the Senate.

White House officials in briefing reporters said they had given reassurance to the Department of Defense, rural airports and operators of non-commercial planes that their interests would be protected under the proposal.

The Trump administration endorsement, first signaled in a preliminary budget released in March, could provide the momentum needed to get the proposal through both houses and to the president’s desk for his signature.

Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Transportation Committee, embraced the dormant concept last year and fought to win the approval of his committee. But the bill it passed got no attention on the House floor, and there was muttering on the Senate side that suggested it had no future there.

“I first spoke to President Trump back in 2014 about the need for reform, and I’m glad to be working on it with him in 2017,” Shuster said. “President Reagan once said ‘government is not the solution to the problem; government is the problem.’ Government bureaucracy has held back innovation in American aviation. It’s time to bring our aviation system into the 21st century.”

The issue on Capitol Hill has not been the functioning of the 14,000 air traffic controllers, who are universally subject to praise for their devotion to safety when mentioned in the House or Senate committees that oversee them.

Instead, Congress has expressed enormous frustration over the pace of the FAA’s modernization program, called NextGen.

While commonly referred to as a GPS-based system for directing the flow of aircraft, that simplistic explanation is akin to saying it’s the carburetor that makes a car’s wheels go around.

The reality is that NextGen is a complicated group of systems intended to smooth the flow of airplanes, speed air travel, save fuel and accommodate a 20 percent increase in passengers in the next two decades.

The current system is radar-based and requires planes to fly from one waypoint to the next rather than in a straight line to their destination. (Complaints about low-flying airliners have been legion across the country as the first of several NextGen projects has come on line.)

Selling Congress and the airlines, who would bear some of the cost, on a multibillion-dollar modernization program seemed like a dicey proposition, so about a dozen years ago the FAA came up with a catchy name for all its projects: NextGen.

That gave the FAA a single name to use when it sought money from Congress. But it also gave Congress a single program to hold accountable when elements of NextGen moved slowly, or not at all.

Congress’s perception that NextGen wasn’t moving fast enough was amply bolstered by critical reports from the inspector general’s office and from the Government Accountability Office.

The FAA, however, has been able to point to success in recent years with some elements of NextGen.

When Shuster revived the concept of moving the controllers and the NextGen program to a private nonprofit corporation run by a board of directors, one of the big four airlines — Delta — opposed the move and parted company with the lobbying group Airlines for America, which endorsed it. Operators of small planes and corporate jets — known as “general aviation” to distinguish them from the airlines — pushed back out of fear the airlines would dominate the corporation’s board.

That National Air Traffic Controllers Association backed Shuster’s plan, saying the new corporation would ensure more stable funding than Congress could provide, while the 11,000-member Professional Aviation Safety Specialists union strongly opposed it.

“It is unfathomable, even dangerous, to consider gambling with the future and safety of our air traffic control system through privatization,” PASS President Mike Perrone said in a statement last month.

Paul Rinaldi, president of the National Air Traffic Control Association, whose union supported Shuster’s bill last year, said of the new plan, “We look forward to reviewing the specifics of the air traffic control reform legislation so we can evaluate whether it satisfies our Union’s principles, including protecting the rights and benefits of the ATC workforce.”

Mirroring much of Shuster’s 2016 proposal, a four-page White House proposal underscores that “no group should have the appearance of influence over the board of directors,” countering the argument that the airlines would dominate the board.

The White House plan tinkers with Shuster’s original plan in an attempt to ensure that airlines don’t dominate the board. Rather than assigning seats on the board to entities like airlines, unions, general aviation and the public, the initial selections would be similarly selected.

“We have totally unended that,” said a senior White House official. “Going forward it should operate like any other board and perpetuate itself and not be divided out by special interest groups.”

The new corporation would pay for itself through user fees for airlines and “reasonable” fees passed on to passengers, the administration said. It also would have the authority to adjust air routes after seeking public comment, recognizing that NextGen routing will cause noise over houses that haven’t previously experienced low-flying planes.

The wording of the White House paper may cause concern for union members who would go off the federal payroll. It specifies twice that current employees will retain their pay and benefits and be able to participate in federal retirement and health-care plans. It does not say that the corporation’s new hires should expect the same pay or benefits.

Tags: privatizationair travelunion busting
Categories: Labor News

Tump Privatization of FAA-White House formally backs plan to send 30,000 federal workers to private corporation

Current News - Mon, 06/05/2017 - 09:51

White House formally backs plan to send 30,000 federal workers to private corporation
https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/white-house-for...

The scene in the air traffic control tower at Dulles International Airport during a tour by the Federal Aviation Administration along with UPS and United Airlines as they gave a firsthand demonstration of the NextGen technology called Data Communications on Sept. 27, 2016. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

By Ashley Halsey III and John Wagner June 5 at 12:20 PM
The White House on Monday formally endorsed a plan to spin off more than 30,000 federal workers into a private nonprofit corporation, separating the nation’s air traffic controllers and those who work on a $36 billion modernization program from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Trump administration proposal essentially is an endorsement of a plan that failed to gain sufficient traction in Congress last year. The plan is in keeping with the stated desire of the administration and congressional Republicans to streamline government and transfer some functions into private hands.

President Trump condemned the Obama Administration and the FAA for wasting billions on modernization without results.

“The current system cannot keep up, has not been able to keep up for many years,” Trump said at White House ceremony. “We’re still stuck with an ancient, broken, antiquated, horrible system that doesn’t work.”

He said that during the Obama administration the FAA “didn’t know what the hell they were doing” in spending $7 billion to modernize the aviation system.

Monday’s announcement launched a week in which the administration will focus on infrastructure, with Trump traveling to Cincinnati on Wednesday to discuss the movement of freight on inland waterways, and on Thursday he has invited mayors and governors to the White House to discuss their infrastructure needs.

[Trump advisers call for privatizing some public assets to build new infrastructure]

Trump will wrap up the week with a trip to the Department of Transportation to discuss ways to change rules and regulations to expedite project construction, with the goal of compacting the process from an average of eight years to two years or less.

The administration hopes to win congressional approval to spend an additional $200 billion tax dollars on infrastructure in the coming years, administration officials said.

“We absolutely do feel that the infrastructure package can be accomplished this year. We are working every day to that end,” said one administration official.

While the separating air traffic control from the FAA has been discussed for decades and was proposed under the Clinton administration, in its current iteration it has fractured the airline industry, divided the unions that represent the federal workers, raised the ire of private plane operators, been opposed by ranking House Democrats and raised eyebrows in the Senate.

White House officials in briefing reporters said they had given reassurance to the Department of Defense, rural airports and operators of non-commercial planes that their interests would be protected under the proposal.

The Trump administration endorsement, first signaled in a preliminary budget released in March, could provide the momentum needed to get the proposal through both houses and to the president’s desk for his signature.

Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Transportation Committee, embraced the dormant concept last year and fought to win the approval of his committee. But the bill it passed got no attention on the House floor, and there was muttering on the Senate side that suggested it had no future there.

“I first spoke to President Trump back in 2014 about the need for reform, and I’m glad to be working on it with him in 2017,” Shuster said. “President Reagan once said ‘government is not the solution to the problem; government is the problem.’ Government bureaucracy has held back innovation in American aviation. It’s time to bring our aviation system into the 21st century.”

The issue on Capitol Hill has not been the functioning of the 14,000 air traffic controllers, who are universally subject to praise for their devotion to safety when mentioned in the House or Senate committees that oversee them.

Instead, Congress has expressed enormous frustration over the pace of the FAA’s modernization program, called NextGen.

While commonly referred to as a GPS-based system for directing the flow of aircraft, that simplistic explanation is akin to saying it’s the carburetor that makes a car’s wheels go around.

The reality is that NextGen is a complicated group of systems intended to smooth the flow of airplanes, speed air travel, save fuel and accommodate a 20 percent increase in passengers in the next two decades.

The current system is radar-based and requires planes to fly from one waypoint to the next rather than in a straight line to their destination. (Complaints about low-flying airliners have been legion across the country as the first of several NextGen projects has come on line.)

Selling Congress and the airlines, who would bear some of the cost, on a multibillion-dollar modernization program seemed like a dicey proposition, so about a dozen years ago the FAA came up with a catchy name for all its projects: NextGen.

That gave the FAA a single name to use when it sought money from Congress. But it also gave Congress a single program to hold accountable when elements of NextGen moved slowly, or not at all.

Congress’s perception that NextGen wasn’t moving fast enough was amply bolstered by critical reports from the inspector general’s office and from the Government Accountability Office.

The FAA, however, has been able to point to success in recent years with some elements of NextGen.

When Shuster revived the concept of moving the controllers and the NextGen program to a private nonprofit corporation run by a board of directors, one of the big four airlines — Delta — opposed the move and parted company with the lobbying group Airlines for America, which endorsed it. Operators of small planes and corporate jets — known as “general aviation” to distinguish them from the airlines — pushed back out of fear the airlines would dominate the corporation’s board.

That National Air Traffic Controllers Association backed Shuster’s plan, saying the new corporation would ensure more stable funding than Congress could provide, while the 11,000-member Professional Aviation Safety Specialists union strongly opposed it.

“It is unfathomable, even dangerous, to consider gambling with the future and safety of our air traffic control system through privatization,” PASS President Mike Perrone said in a statement last month.

Paul Rinaldi, president of the National Air Traffic Control Association, whose union supported Shuster’s bill last year, said of the new plan, “We look forward to reviewing the specifics of the air traffic control reform legislation so we can evaluate whether it satisfies our Union’s principles, including protecting the rights and benefits of the ATC workforce.”

Mirroring much of Shuster’s 2016 proposal, a four-page White House proposal underscores that “no group should have the appearance of influence over the board of directors,” countering the argument that the airlines would dominate the board.

The White House plan tinkers with Shuster’s original plan in an attempt to ensure that airlines don’t dominate the board. Rather than assigning seats on the board to entities like airlines, unions, general aviation and the public, the initial selections would be similarly selected.

“We have totally unended that,” said a senior White House official. “Going forward it should operate like any other board and perpetuate itself and not be divided out by special interest groups.”

The new corporation would pay for itself through user fees for airlines and “reasonable” fees passed on to passengers, the administration said. It also would have the authority to adjust air routes after seeking public comment, recognizing that NextGen routing will cause noise over houses that haven’t previously experienced low-flying planes.

The wording of the White House paper may cause concern for union members who would go off the federal payroll. It specifies twice that current employees will retain their pay and benefits and be able to participate in federal retirement and health-care plans. It does not say that the corporation’s new hires should expect the same pay or benefits.

Tags: privatizationair travelunion busting
Categories: Labor News

Fleet Memo for June 3 2017

IBU - Mon, 06/05/2017 - 08:59
.
Categories: Unions

Unions react to the MAX killings "Best was a well-liked member of the COPPEA chapter of Professional & Technical Employees (PTE) Local 17 at the City of Portland. An army veteran and a father of four, he had been a technician at the city’s Bureau of Devel

Current News - Sun, 06/04/2017 - 18:45

Unions react to the MAX killings "Best was a well-liked member of the COPPEA chapter of Professional & Technical Employees (PTE) Local 17 at the City of Portland. An army veteran and a father of four, he had been a technician at the city’s Bureau of Development Services since 2015.”
https://nwlaborpress.org/2017/06/unions-react-to-the-max-killings/
Jun 2, 2017 Building Community

At the Hollywood Transit Center, an impromptu memorial to the victims of the May 26 attack on the MAX light rail.

By Don McIntosh

PORTLAND — The May 26 attacks on the MAX light rail train hit close to home for many local union members.

Jeremy Christian, an ex-con and self-described political nihilist, got on a westbound train at Lloyd Center at about 4:30 Friday and immediately targeted two African-American girls, one of them wearing a hijab, with a loud and frightening racist rant. Three men stepped forward to defend the girls and were stabbed in the neck by Christian. Micah David-Cole Fletcher survived. Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche and Rick Best died of their wounds.

Best was a well-liked member of the COPPEA chapter of Professional & Technical Employees (PTE) Local 17 at the City of Portland. An army veteran and a father of four, he had been a technician at the city’s Bureau of Development Services since 2015.

Local 17 posted a tribute to Rick on its website, and asked members to contribute to a GoFundMe pageto fund scholarships for Best’s children: Erik, Isaac, David, and Tramanh. The union also wrote a check to cover COBRA payments for June so Best’s family can maintain health insurance it was getting through the City. Portland City Council is working on ordinance to pay the COBRA payments for three years after that. The PTE 17 board will also consider other ways to honor Rick’s sacrifice and bravery at its June 15 meeting in Seattle, including the possibility of contributing to the Rick Best Memorial Scholarship Fund, since that is where his family would like donations to go.

Other union members dealt with the aftermath of the attacks in the course of doing their jobs, including members of the Portland Police Association, Teamster-represented paramedics who staff American Medical Response, and TriMet police officers and the TriMet light rail operator who halted the train after the attacks occurred. TriMet employees are represented by Amalgamated Transit Union Local 757, which has been raising concerns about security on board buses and light rail trains for several years.

A thank you to the Good Samaritans, signed by TriMet operators
But in a May 31 statement about the attacks, ATU Local 757 president Shirley Block expressed opposition to a proposal to increase the presence of armed police officers aboard buses and trains. “Armed police officers aboard transit vehicles intimidate the public, reduce ridership, and provide little more than expensive security theatre,” Block wrote. Instead, Block said, the union is calling for a return to well-trained fare inspectors “who can de-escalate and/or assess the proper response to dangerous situations,” as well as a reinstatement of TriMet’s “Rider Advocate” program, which “recruited and paid individuals from low-income communities and communities of color to ride our buses and trains as liaisons between operators, fare inspectors, riders, and even police.” See the full statement here.

Oregon AFL-CIO president Tom Chamberlain also issued a statement May 31 in response to the attacks: “The unions of the Oregon AFL-CIO offer our sincere condolences to the families and friends of Taliesin Namkai-Meche and Ricky John Best, and we hope Micah David-Cole Fletcher has a complete recovery,” Chamberlain said. “The actions these three took demonstrates a unique combination of bravery and compassion. We hope the two young women who endured a hate-fueled verbal assault can process and ultimately heal from what I can only imagine to be a deeply devastating experience.”

“Incidents of hate and hate crimes have been on the rise in our country, and Friday’s violence remind Oregonians that we all must stand together in opposition to those who seek to divide us through fear and violence. Oregonians are sickened and disturbed by Friday’s events, and I encourage all of us to stand together and continue to take positive actions to protect the rights of us all. It’s through unity and solidarity that we will heal from this tragic incident. It’s through standing together against hatred that we can stop events like this from happening again.”

Tags: PFTE Local 17Portland Racist MurdersMax Light Train
Categories: Labor News

UK: ITUC condemns terrorist attack in London

Labourstart.org News - Sun, 06/04/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: ITUC
Categories: Labor News

Somalia: IFJ condemns 'farcical' threatened prosecution of journalists’ leader

Labourstart.org News - Sun, 06/04/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: IFJ
Categories: Labor News

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