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Alaska Secretary-Treasurer training

ILWU - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 16:04

Hard work for an important purpose: Participants at the Secretary-Treasurer’s Training in Alaska hit the books hard to learn skills for safeguarding members’ dues money. (L-R) Jesse Groom from Local 60 in Seward, Jeff Hancock from Unit 223 in Dutch Harbor, Sonya Travis from Unit 60 in Seward, and Mitch Miller from Unit 223 in Dutch Harbor.

When International President Bob McEllrath attended the All-Alaska Longshore Division Caucus meeting last January in Anchorage, he offered to assist the Division in educating their unit officers to help streamline reporting responsibilities and other fiduciary duties throughout the units.

McEllrath volunteered International Secretary-Treasurer Willie Adams, along with veteran ILWU staffers, Russ Bargmann and Robin Walker and ILWU attorney Rob Remar to work with Division officers to plan a Secretary-Treasurers workshop, held April 19-20 in Anchorage.

The workshop focused on providing training and resources to union officers who are responsible for overseeing the financial health of local unions and complying with state and federal labor reporting and disclosure laws.

“A Secretary-Treasurer’s job is two-fold, and both parts are very important,” said Adams. “First we have to make sure that the books are honest, accurate and up to date. We serve as the financial watchdogs for the membership and follow all sorts of procedures to protect the membership dues dollars that we are responsible for safeguarding.” The second part of the job involves complying with state and federal laws – especially regular reports that must be made to the U.S. Department of Labor. “These regulations must \ be followed and deadlines have to be met,” he said. International Secretary-Treasurer Willie Adams was first elected to his current post in 2003, and says he’s still grateful to those who taught him the ropes and helped him along the way. Helping the brothers and sisters in Alaska and beyond has been rewarding, he says.

A group of close to 20 participants took the 2-day training seriously, studying the law, listening to speakers, and completing a mock local audit procedure.

“When President McEllrath heard that our Division could use some help with a training about union financial responsibilities and record keeping, he quickly suggested we consider having the International assist our effort; it was an offer we could not refuse,” said Alaska Longshore Division Secretary-Treasurer Darryl Tesu. “We can’t thank brother Willie Adams, and the ILWU International staff enough for taking time out of their busy schedules to spend time working with us here. Every oneof our participating Port Secretary-Treasurers and Officers left Anchoragewith a wealth of information and knowledge packed into 4-inch binders that we all took home.

“Understanding the responsibilities of keeping our financial house in order is imperative to our future as an organization and an integral part of our internal organizing efforts,” said Tesu.

Categories: Unions

Longshore Caucus delegates meet; proposed contract  extension goes to membership

ILWU - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 11:48

ILWU International President Robert McEllrath addresses the Longshore caucus. At the dais with President McEllrath (left to right) are Coast Committeemen Cameron Williams, Frank Ponce De Leon and ILWU International Vice President (Mainland) Ray Familathe.

Eighty-eight delegates elected by rank-and-file Longshore Division members at 29 West Coast ports met April 24-28 at the Coast Longshore Caucus in San Francisco to review a range of issues, including an employer-initiated proposal to extend the 20142019 collective bargaining agreement between the ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA).

A majority of Longshore Caucus delegates voted on April 28 to refer the employer’s proposed extension to a ratification vote by the membership. The current contract expires on July 1, 2019.

“One of the ILWU’s Guiding Principles is that the rank-and-file members will make the best decision when they have the facts and an opportunity to decide for themselves, and that’s how this will be decided,” said ILWU International President Robert McEllrath.  The vote will occur on a schedule according to the union’s internal rules, which provide time for local members to discuss, debate and ask questions about any proposed agreement before voting.  McEllrath added, “More information will be sent to rank-and-file Longhore members in the coming weeks so everyone has the facts they need to make an informed decision.”

 At a previous Longshore Division Caucus held in August of 2016, delegates voted to explore the concept of a contract extension that was first proposed last spring by employers. Several meetings were then held between the Longshore Negotiating Committee and PMA employer representatives. “The rank-and-file membership always has the final say on any contract – including this non-precedent-setting proposed extension,” McEllrath said.

Categories: Unions

The SF Marine Fireman’s Union Hall is being sold. Contains Important Labor Murals

Current News - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 09:39

The SF Marine Fireman’s Union Hall is being sold. Contains Important Labor Murals
https://dinnshenchas.wordpress.com/2017/05/15/the-marine-firemans-union-...
by Elizabeth C. Creely

The Marine Fireman’s Union building sits on the western side of Second Street, an appropriate direction given the union’s relationship with the Pacific Ocean. Second Street itself tips ever so slightly up as it intersects with Folsom. This angle is probably all that’s left of the vertiginous sand dunes clumped around the foot of Market Street in the 19th century. After the dunes were dismantled, boarding houses sprung up in their place, housing men who worked on the docks and in the ships berthed at the Embarcadero, back when it was a working waterfront.

The union, formed in 1883, is formally known as the Pacific Coast Marine Firemen, Oilers, Watertenders and Wipers Association. MFOWW (pronounced em-fau) moved to their current location sixty years ago. Today, the building sits on a large lot next to LinkedIn, a hiring hall of another kind, minus the collective action for higher wages and better working conditions. The union is preparing for another move.

“We’re selling the building,” Ivy “Cajun” Callais told me. Callais, who lives in Alameda, told me that once the building was sold, the union would move operations to Seattle. “All the jobs are in the Port of Oakland now, anyway,” he said.

Asked if the building will be torn down, he nodded his head. “The air above it is worth more than the building, honey.” Callais, who still has a southern drawl—“I’ve been here since 1964 and haven’t lost it”—is happy the building isn’t under the confines of historic protection. “We have to sell it before that happens. We couldn’t afford it. All that work we’d need to do. It’d bankrupt us.” The building was described by the Chronicle in 1957 as a “shiny, new … marble-faced construction” and cost $800,000 to build. It’s anyone’s guess how much the parcel will sell for. Millions of dollars is a safe bet: the building, which sits on 21,396 square feet, was last assessed at $1,057,237. Callais was proud of the building and its construction even as he predicted its demise. “This building was built with the best materials. You see that wood?”

Interior shot of the Marine Fireman’s Union hall, 240 Second Street, San Francisco, CA
The building is home to two other unions: The National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians–Communications Workers of America and The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. Both unions possess the same sort of mouth-busting moniker only made manageable by the phonetic pronunciation of their acronyms, NABET and IATSE (pronounced eye-at-see). The building also houses two prized works of art. A bas-relief sculpture is mounted above the entrance. Made by Olof Carl Malmquist, the noted sculptor whose work was scattered throughout the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island, the sculpture shows marine firemen inside the boiler room of a ship.

Olaf Carl Malmquist’s unnamed bas-relief sculpture above the entrance to the Marine Fireman’s Union hiring hall, at 240 Second Street, San Francisco, CA
Inside the hiring hall hangs a mural created by the famed sculptor and muralist Lucienne Bloch. It depicts shipping products and their places of origin throughout the Pacific region. The marine themed mural is charming and whimsical, complete with a mermaid and a jellyfish. Noticeably absent from it are images of men toiling over boilers in the guts of the huge ships that carried them from port to port. Bloch, who created five murals in San Francisco between the years 1956- 1963, is famous for photographing Diego Rivera’s mural “Man At The Crossroads” just moments before it was destroyed on orders given by the thin-skinned capitalist Nelson Rockefeller.

Lucienne Blochs’ mural, inside the Marine Fireman’s Union hiring hall, at 240 Second Street, San Francisco, CA.

The building has other historic features too, namely lead and asbestos, elements nobody wants to preserve. According to Callais, the building is full of both. “Look at your feet. See that tile?” he asked rhetorically. “That’s what you’re standin’ on. Asbestos. It’s up there, too,” he said, pointing skyward. These are problems the union doesn’t have the money to solve. “You see the media talkin’ about corrupt union officials, embezzlin’ and gettin’ paid too much. Well, let me tell you about this job, darlin’,” Callais explained in his languorous drawl. “If I didn’t draw social security, I couldn’t afford to work here.” He mused on the stability that union wages used to bring to San Francisco. “I could get you a job being a wiper—you know what that is? It’s simple.” He mimed wiping a surface. “I could get you a job doing that, and you’d make a better living than me.”

He remembered a time, after the Vietnam war, when members of the union and “casuals” or non-members, would line up outside the door. “There were jobs in those days,” he said “Some of the casuals, they’d go to Shelley’s bar up there at the corner, and wait. And if at the end of the day, there were still jobs to be filled, jobs the members didn’t want, the dispatcher’d go to bar, walk up to a guy and ask him if he wanted the job. And if that man hesitated, why the dispatcher’d walk to another man and ask him. If you wanted a job, you had to say so. Couldn’t hesitate. There was always a man wanting to work.”

These days, the big hall is often empty, although it is still open. “People still get jobs here,” he said. According to the union’s secretary treasurer, the union’s combined assets totaled $2.6 million. MFFOW had 430 active members and dispatched a total of 1,909 jobs in 2016. He thanked me for stopping in—“take all the pictures you want!”—and handed me some newsletters to read. The April 13 issue of “The Marine Fireman” touted the “hundreds” of new jobs coming to the Port of Oakland and announced the newest advance in the shipping trade: automation. The headline read “Danish researchers excited about prospect of unmanned ships.” Before leaving, I’d asked Callais what he thought of the economy. He paused. “The minute the US loses its shipping trade, well,” he said, “that’s the day the US is finished.”

The view from the dispatcher’s desk inside the Marine Fireman’s Union hiring hall at 240 Second Street, San Francisco, CA
“Immigrants and native-born workers wash against each other all the time in the California economy, like the tides moving in and out of the bay beneath the Golden Gate, coming together, only to be pushed apart by powerful forces.
The difference between metaphor and reality is that water and tides are not sentient. Workers are conscious and capable of changing direction together if the current in which they find themselves is not to their benefit or liking.”
From Mission to Microchip: A History of the California Labor Movement
Fred B. Glass, University of California Press

Tags: Marine Fireman's UnionUnion Hall
Categories: Labor News

PSR Fleet Memo for May 13 2017

IBU - Mon, 05/15/2017 - 08:54
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Categories: Unions

Wall Street wrong on raises, American flight attendants’ union says

Current News - Sat, 05/13/2017 - 18:07

Wall Street wrong on raises, American flight attendants’ union says
http://www.star-telegram.com/news/business/aviation/sky-talk-blog/articl...

BY ANDREA AHLES
aahles@star-telegram.com

The flight attendants’ union at American Airlines is blasting Wall Street analysts for criticizing pay raises announced by the carrier last month.

In an online campaign, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants said it is frustrated that Wall Street analysts opposed the raises given to American’s flight attendants and pilots and feels investors are being short-sighted. The ads are running in Texas newspapers, including the Star-Telegram, and in aviation journals.

“It seems Wall Street is putting pressure on the airline industry to squeeze out more revenue, but they could care less about passengers or front-line workers,” APFA President Bob Ross said. “Analysts are claiming that a long overdue adjustment in our pay scale will reward workers ahead of shareholders. We’re going to set the record straight.”

The union said shareholders have received $9 billion in stock buyouts and $600 million in stock dividends over the past three years, which is close to 10 times what pilots and flight attendants will receive in compensation during the next three years.

Pilots received an average pay raise of 8 percent while flight attendants received an average raise of 5 percent, effective this month.

During its quarterly earnings call, Wall Street analysts repeatedly questioned American CEO Doug Parker on his rationale for giving raises to workers outside of contract negotiations.

Citigroup analyst Kevin Crissey said it was frustrating. “Labor is being paid first again. Shareholders get leftovers,” he was quoted as saying.

Shares of American [ticker: AAL] initially fell 9 percent when the pay raises were first announced. The shares have since recovered, closing at $45.83 on Friday.

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk

Tags: AA Flight Attendantswagesraises
Categories: Labor News

Ukraine: Mass strikes and occupations by miners

Labourstart.org News - Sat, 05/13/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Ukraine Solidarity Campaign
Categories: Labor News

Iran: Hunger-Striking Imprisoned Prominent Union Rights Activist in Poor Health

Labourstart.org News - Sat, 05/13/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: ICHRI
Categories: Labor News

Swedish APM Terminals Plans Partial Lockout of Swedish Dockworkers Union (SDU) At Port of Gothenbergy

Current News - Thu, 05/11/2017 - 17:29

Swedish APM Terminals Plans Partial Lockout of Swedish Dockworkers Union (SDU) At Port of Gothenbergy

https://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/219838/apm-terminals-plans-partia...

Terminal operator APM Terminals Gothenburg has decided to implement a partial lockout at the container terminal in response to the planned industrial action by members of the Swedish Dockworkers Union (SDU).

As disclosed, the lockout will commence on May 19 and continue until June 30. During this period, the lockout will occur on weekdays between 16:00 and 7:00.

The measure is intended to protect operations at the terminal from the most recent threats of industrial action against the company by the SDU, the terminal operator said.

Consequently, port employees working the evening shift will be excluded from the workplace from 16:00 and not receive any salaries for their work, the union informed.

“We have done everything in the last year to solve the conflict with the Swedish Dockworkers’ Union…The steady deterioration in the situation cannot go on, and in order to protect the business APM Terminals Gothenburg is taking protective action against the latest series of planned industrial action,” Henrik Kristensen, CEO of APM Terminals Gothenburg, commented.

During the past six months, APM Terminals Gothenburg has allegedly seen productivity decline by approximately 20 percent of normal weekly capacity. This is equivalent to around 2,000 containers every week.

“We see no alternative solution to this dispute other than a withdraw of current industrial actions and entering a long-term agreement including a period of time without any industrial actions. We also need an amendment to the legislation in such way that an employer who has a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) cannot be subjected to blockades or other industrial action by a trade union, who does not hold a CBA,” Kristensen added.

As explained by the APM Terminals, last week SDU cancelled their planned strikes and overtime blockade to sit down in a meeting with APM Terminals together with Jordi Aragunde president of IDC.

However, the meeting did not result in any kind of agreement as SDU and IDC came to the meeting demanding that a new agreement be signed on the spot, while the terminal company saw the meeting as “a first step towards a negotiation together with the National Swedish Mediation Institute.”

“We need to be able to focus on recovering our business and developing our services instead of cutting staff, which is the unfortunate consequence of the disturbances in our service that the conflict results in,” the company management said in a customer advisory.

“The way forward is via dialogue, where the outcome of the discussions must follow the Swedish model and arbitrary law, and ensuring that such negotiations are made via the National Swedish Mediation Institute. Only then can we ensure that the agreement will not be discarded by Labor Arbitration Court and resulting in fines and that the agreement is annulled. An agreement outside the Swedish arbitrary law would only be a short-term solution and lead to further conflicts in the future,”the advisory further reads.

Separately, the SDU said it understands that APM Terminals has the legal right to lock out their employees “but expects management to take responsibility for their own actions”.

Furthermore, the SDU said it is open to all kinds of collective solutions at the terminal and rejects APM Terminals’ claim that the union refuses to sign the CBA.

The conflict, caused by a change in APM Terminals’ personnel policies, has been ongoing since spring 2016.

Last month, the terminal operator started with layoffs and the implementation of new work patterns. The measures have been reportedly implemented without discussion with the SDU.

World Maritime News Staff

Tags: Swedish Dockworkers Union (SDU)LockoutAPM Terminals
Categories: Labor News

Swedish APM Terminals Plans Partial Lockout of Swedish Dockworkers Union (SDU) At Port of Gothenbergy

Current News - Thu, 05/11/2017 - 17:29

Swedish APM Terminals Plans Partial Lockout of Swedish Dockworkers Union (SDU) At Port of Gothenbergy

https://worldmaritimenews.com/archives/219838/apm-terminals-plans-partia...

Terminal operator APM Terminals Gothenburg has decided to implement a partial lockout at the container terminal in response to the planned industrial action by members of the Swedish Dockworkers Union (SDU).

As disclosed, the lockout will commence on May 19 and continue until June 30. During this period, the lockout will occur on weekdays between 16:00 and 7:00.

The measure is intended to protect operations at the terminal from the most recent threats of industrial action against the company by the SDU, the terminal operator said.

Consequently, port employees working the evening shift will be excluded from the workplace from 16:00 and not receive any salaries for their work, the union informed.

“We have done everything in the last year to solve the conflict with the Swedish Dockworkers’ Union…The steady deterioration in the situation cannot go on, and in order to protect the business APM Terminals Gothenburg is taking protective action against the latest series of planned industrial action,” Henrik Kristensen, CEO of APM Terminals Gothenburg, commented.

During the past six months, APM Terminals Gothenburg has allegedly seen productivity decline by approximately 20 percent of normal weekly capacity. This is equivalent to around 2,000 containers every week.

“We see no alternative solution to this dispute other than a withdraw of current industrial actions and entering a long-term agreement including a period of time without any industrial actions. We also need an amendment to the legislation in such way that an employer who has a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) cannot be subjected to blockades or other industrial action by a trade union, who does not hold a CBA,” Kristensen added.

As explained by the APM Terminals, last week SDU cancelled their planned strikes and overtime blockade to sit down in a meeting with APM Terminals together with Jordi Aragunde president of IDC.

However, the meeting did not result in any kind of agreement as SDU and IDC came to the meeting demanding that a new agreement be signed on the spot, while the terminal company saw the meeting as “a first step towards a negotiation together with the National Swedish Mediation Institute.”

“We need to be able to focus on recovering our business and developing our services instead of cutting staff, which is the unfortunate consequence of the disturbances in our service that the conflict results in,” the company management said in a customer advisory.

“The way forward is via dialogue, where the outcome of the discussions must follow the Swedish model and arbitrary law, and ensuring that such negotiations are made via the National Swedish Mediation Institute. Only then can we ensure that the agreement will not be discarded by Labor Arbitration Court and resulting in fines and that the agreement is annulled. An agreement outside the Swedish arbitrary law would only be a short-term solution and lead to further conflicts in the future,”the advisory further reads.

Separately, the SDU said it understands that APM Terminals has the legal right to lock out their employees “but expects management to take responsibility for their own actions”.

Furthermore, the SDU said it is open to all kinds of collective solutions at the terminal and rejects APM Terminals’ claim that the union refuses to sign the CBA.

The conflict, caused by a change in APM Terminals’ personnel policies, has been ongoing since spring 2016.

Last month, the terminal operator started with layoffs and the implementation of new work patterns. The measures have been reportedly implemented without discussion with the SDU.

World Maritime News Staff

Tags: Swedish Dockworkers Union (SDU)LockoutAPM Terminals
Categories: Labor News

EGT Grain terminal, ILWU Local 21 have smooth labor talks

Current News - Thu, 05/11/2017 - 13:23

EGT Grain terminal, ILWU Local 21 have smooth labor talks

Marissa Luck mluck@tdn.com

http://tdn.com/news/local/grain-terminal-ilwu-have-smooth-labor-talks/ar...

The local longshoremen’s union has quietly reached an agreement with the operators of the Longview Export Grain Terminal, avoiding the strife that plagued the negotiations five years ago.

Negotiations only lasted about a month, according to the union, and EGT and International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 21 came to an agreement smoothly, according to both sides.

Members unanimously voted to approve the new contract in April, and the five-year contract went into effect last week. Local 21 represents 283 members, but only about 65 people typically work at EGT.

“I think they were looking for stability. … We were able to come to an agreement for the benefit of both sides,” Billy Roberts, Local 21 president, said Wednesday. “It wasn’t hostile.”

The new contract retains the union’s job jurisdiction spelled out in the old contract, so EGT will continue to hire workers out of the Local 21. In 2011, the company’s initial refusal to hire ILWU workers sparked a contentious labor dispute that resulted in protests, blocked rail lines and a storming of terminal property. There were hundreds of arrests and thousands of dollars in fines.

The two sides appear to have mended their relationship over the last five or six years. “We wanted to build our relationship and move on. No one wins with these confrontations,” Roberts said.

“Basically both sides wanted to just go to work,” added Jake Ford, Local 21 vice president.

For the past year, EGT’s business has been thriving. In 2016, the terminal moved 6.6 million tons of grain , its best year since the terminal opened in 2012, according to the Port of Longview. Matthew Kerrigan, EGT manager, said the terminal expecting another strong year for exports in 2017.

The new contract will maintain the same wage structure as the previous contract, and any salary increases will be based on changes in the market, Roberts said. Local 21 also represents workers at the Temco grain terminal in Kalama, and its goal is to have all of its grain terminal workers make the same wages.

Tags: egtGrain Terminal ContractILWU Local 21
Categories: Labor News

EGT Grain terminal, ILWU Local 21 have smooth labor talks

Current News - Thu, 05/11/2017 - 13:23

EGT Grain terminal, ILWU Local 21 have smooth labor talks

Marissa Luck mluck@tdn.com

http://tdn.com/news/local/grain-terminal-ilwu-have-smooth-labor-talks/ar...

The local longshoremen’s union has quietly reached an agreement with the operators of the Longview Export Grain Terminal, avoiding the strife that plagued the negotiations five years ago.

Negotiations only lasted about a month, according to the union, and EGT and International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 21 came to an agreement smoothly, according to both sides.

Members unanimously voted to approve the new contract in April, and the five-year contract went into effect last week. Local 21 represents 283 members, but only about 65 people typically work at EGT.

“I think they were looking for stability. … We were able to come to an agreement for the benefit of both sides,” Billy Roberts, Local 21 president, said Wednesday. “It wasn’t hostile.”

The new contract retains the union’s job jurisdiction spelled out in the old contract, so EGT will continue to hire workers out of the Local 21. In 2011, the company’s initial refusal to hire ILWU workers sparked a contentious labor dispute that resulted in protests, blocked rail lines and a storming of terminal property. There were hundreds of arrests and thousands of dollars in fines.

The two sides appear to have mended their relationship over the last five or six years. “We wanted to build our relationship and move on. No one wins with these confrontations,” Roberts said.

“Basically both sides wanted to just go to work,” added Jake Ford, Local 21 vice president.

For the past year, EGT’s business has been thriving. In 2016, the terminal moved 6.6 million tons of grain , its best year since the terminal opened in 2012, according to the Port of Longview. Matthew Kerrigan, EGT manager, said the terminal expecting another strong year for exports in 2017.

The new contract will maintain the same wage structure as the previous contract, and any salary increases will be based on changes in the market, Roberts said. Local 21 also represents workers at the Temco grain terminal in Kalama, and its goal is to have all of its grain terminal workers make the same wages.

Tags: egtGrain Terminal ContractILWU Local 21
Categories: Labor News

Finland: Record low number of labour disputes in 2016

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 05/10/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Trade Union News from Finland
Categories: Labor News

Another FedEx Worker Misclassification Case Settled for $227 million

Current News - Wed, 05/10/2017 - 12:07

Another FedEx Worker Misclassification Case Settled for $227 million

http://www.talentwave.com/fedex-worker-misclassification-case-settled-fo...

MAY 9TH, 2017 | KIMBALL NORUP

Last week FedEx announced that it had reached a $227 million joint settlement of independent contractor misclassification class action lawsuits across 19 states. The District Court for the Northern District of Indiana granted final approval of the settlements, with payments to the 12,627 driver-plaintiffs residing in Indiana and 18 other states ranging from $250 to more than $116,000. This settlement follows a $226 million dollar settlement in June 2015, for a California class action. Both settlements resolve claims that FedEx misclassified its Ground and Home Delivery drivers as independent contractors, with the drivers alleging they were undercompensated and should have been classified as employees under applicable laws.

Background on the FedEx Case

The legal trouble for FedEx began in 2005, when a group of FedEx drivers filed the first of many misclassification lawsuits against the company. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco handed down a blockbuster decision on August 27, 2014, concluding that FedEx had misclassified its Home Delivery and Ground Division drivers as independent contractors. That decision was quickly followed by a similar decision from the Supreme Court of Kansas, and the Kansas decision was then adopted in July 2015 by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. All three of those decisions reached the same conclusion: FedEx had in fact established an employment relationship with its delivery drivers, despite classifying and treating the workers as independent contractors.

The courts largely based their decisions on the FedEx independent contractor agreement, which FedEx had drafted itself and used across all its Ground Division drivers. The Kansas Supreme Court wrote a harsh critique of the contract, stating that FedEx’s independent contractor agreement was a “‘brilliantly drafted contract creating the constraints of an employment relationship with [the drivers] in the guise of an independent contractor model—because FedEx not only has the right to control, but has close to absolute actual control over [the drivers] based upon interpretation and obfuscation.’”

Following those three decisions, FedEx changed legal course and decided to stop fighting and settle, resulting in these settlements totaling $453 million.

Is It Too Risky to Engage Independent Contractors?

With the combined $453 million that FedEx has paid in settlements of worker misclassification lawsuits, companies that use independent contractors may be wondering if it is too risky to engage independent contractors.

Should companies stop engaging independent contractors entirely?

The short answer is an emphatic “no”.

If you improperly vet, document, structure, and manage your working relationship with ICs you are exposing the organization to risk of fines, penalties, lawsuits, and reclassification. These negative outcomes could easily be avoided by implementing an IC compliance and engagement program.

Classifying workers as independent contractors is a perfectly legal and acceptable form of worker classification, so long as you do it correctly. An Independent Contractor Compliance and Engagement expert, like TalentWave, can build a comprehensive IC engagement program which enables your organization to gain business flexibility in uncertain times, and attract and retain talent (including independent contractors), all while mitigating the risks and streamlining the process.

Lessons for Businesses That Engage Independent Contractors

These monumental FedEx Ground settlements offer two clear lessons to businesses that use independent contractors:

First and foremost, it demonstrates the legal principle that contract law does not supersede employment law. Just because the contracts stated an IC relationship, and both FedEx and the drivers signed it, did not make it so. The best protection for companies using independent contractors is to structure, document, and manage the independent contractor relationship in a manner that is consistent with the laws in the states in which the business operates.
Second, while the laws surrounding independent contractor classification vary significantly across states, most have a common element: direction and control. Specifically, the less direction and control over the workers in question, the better protection the organization has against a misclassified independent contractor.
There is good news for businesses that want to engage independent contractors and mitigate the risks of doing it incorrectly. TalentWave’s IC Compliance and Engagement solutions offer enterprise clients a turn-key solution that dramatically reduces the risk of a misclassified independent contractor, while offering an efficient and cost-effective engagement solution.

Extra – State-by-state Details on the Settlements

In case you were wondering what drivers actually will receive from these settlements, following are the settlement distributions by state:

— Indiana: 791 drivers will divide a settlement of $33.95 million. Average recovery per class member will be $29,520. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $116,028.

— Alabama: 375 drivers will share a settlement of $3.2 million. Average recovery per class member will be $5,620. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $20,100.

— Arizona: 380 drivers will share a settlement of $4.95 million. Average recovery per class member will be $8,699. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $28,149.

— Georgia: 867 drivers will share a settlement of $4.94 million. Average recovery per class member will be $3,785. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $13,711.

— Louisiana: 315 drivers will share a settlement of $5.25 million. Average recovery per class member will be $11,061. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $39,743.

— Maryland: 533 drivers will share a settlement of $9.4 million. Average recovery per class member will be $12,047. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $29,455.

— Minnesota: 455 drivers will share a settlement of $8.3 million. The average recovery per class member will be $12,312. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $44,701.

— New Jersey: 901 drivers will share a settlement of $25.5 million. Average recovery per class member will be $19,301. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $71,194.

— New York: 1,602 drivers will share a settlement of $42.9 million. Average recovery per class member will be $18,421. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $68,880.

— North Carolina: 707 drivers will share a settlement of $20 million. Average recovery per class member will be $19,250. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $53,440.

— Ohio: 878 drivers will share a settlement of $8.35 million. Average recovery per class member will be $6,363. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $20,611.

— Pennsylvania: 1,265 drivers will share a settlement of $23 million. Average recovery per class member will be $12,442. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $45,647.

— Rhode Island: 125 drivers will share a settlement of $1.6 million. Average recovery per class member will be $7,352. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $20,332.

— South Carolina: 274 drivers will share a settlement of $3.1 million. Average recovery per class member will be $7,405. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $19,682.

— Tennessee: 762 drivers will share a settlement of $12.25 million. Average recovery per class member will be $10,863. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $39,838.

— Texas: 1,515 drivers will share a settlement of $8.9 million. Average recovery per class member will be $3,938. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $13,880.

— Utah: 171 drivers will share a settlement of $2.4 million. Average recovery per class member will be $9,130. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $28,886.

— West Virginia: 107 drivers will share a settlement of $3.75 million. Average recovery per class member will be $22,306. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $76,456.

— Wisconsin: 604 drivers will share a settlement of $5.5 million. Average recovery per class member will be $6,126. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $21,842.

The settlements were based on rates of payment for each week a driver worked in excess of 35 hours, plus a separate, lower payment rate for each week a driver worked fewer hours. These amounts vary according to compromises reached through mediation based on the laws of each state. Additionally, the court awarded plaintiffs’ legal fees and costs, at least in part, in each of the suits. Fees awarded in some cases reached 30 percent of the total settlement.

Tags: FedExworker misclassificationindependent contractor
Categories: Labor News

Another FedEx Worker Misclassification Case Settled for $227 million

Current News - Wed, 05/10/2017 - 12:07

Another FedEx Worker Misclassification Case Settled for $227 million

http://www.talentwave.com/fedex-worker-misclassification-case-settled-fo...

MAY 9TH, 2017 | KIMBALL NORUP

Last week FedEx announced that it had reached a $227 million joint settlement of independent contractor misclassification class action lawsuits across 19 states. The District Court for the Northern District of Indiana granted final approval of the settlements, with payments to the 12,627 driver-plaintiffs residing in Indiana and 18 other states ranging from $250 to more than $116,000. This settlement follows a $226 million dollar settlement in June 2015, for a California class action. Both settlements resolve claims that FedEx misclassified its Ground and Home Delivery drivers as independent contractors, with the drivers alleging they were undercompensated and should have been classified as employees under applicable laws.

Background on the FedEx Case

The legal trouble for FedEx began in 2005, when a group of FedEx drivers filed the first of many misclassification lawsuits against the company. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco handed down a blockbuster decision on August 27, 2014, concluding that FedEx had misclassified its Home Delivery and Ground Division drivers as independent contractors. That decision was quickly followed by a similar decision from the Supreme Court of Kansas, and the Kansas decision was then adopted in July 2015 by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. All three of those decisions reached the same conclusion: FedEx had in fact established an employment relationship with its delivery drivers, despite classifying and treating the workers as independent contractors.

The courts largely based their decisions on the FedEx independent contractor agreement, which FedEx had drafted itself and used across all its Ground Division drivers. The Kansas Supreme Court wrote a harsh critique of the contract, stating that FedEx’s independent contractor agreement was a “‘brilliantly drafted contract creating the constraints of an employment relationship with [the drivers] in the guise of an independent contractor model—because FedEx not only has the right to control, but has close to absolute actual control over [the drivers] based upon interpretation and obfuscation.’”

Following those three decisions, FedEx changed legal course and decided to stop fighting and settle, resulting in these settlements totaling $453 million.

Is It Too Risky to Engage Independent Contractors?

With the combined $453 million that FedEx has paid in settlements of worker misclassification lawsuits, companies that use independent contractors may be wondering if it is too risky to engage independent contractors.

Should companies stop engaging independent contractors entirely?

The short answer is an emphatic “no”.

If you improperly vet, document, structure, and manage your working relationship with ICs you are exposing the organization to risk of fines, penalties, lawsuits, and reclassification. These negative outcomes could easily be avoided by implementing an IC compliance and engagement program.

Classifying workers as independent contractors is a perfectly legal and acceptable form of worker classification, so long as you do it correctly. An Independent Contractor Compliance and Engagement expert, like TalentWave, can build a comprehensive IC engagement program which enables your organization to gain business flexibility in uncertain times, and attract and retain talent (including independent contractors), all while mitigating the risks and streamlining the process.

Lessons for Businesses That Engage Independent Contractors

These monumental FedEx Ground settlements offer two clear lessons to businesses that use independent contractors:

First and foremost, it demonstrates the legal principle that contract law does not supersede employment law. Just because the contracts stated an IC relationship, and both FedEx and the drivers signed it, did not make it so. The best protection for companies using independent contractors is to structure, document, and manage the independent contractor relationship in a manner that is consistent with the laws in the states in which the business operates.
Second, while the laws surrounding independent contractor classification vary significantly across states, most have a common element: direction and control. Specifically, the less direction and control over the workers in question, the better protection the organization has against a misclassified independent contractor.
There is good news for businesses that want to engage independent contractors and mitigate the risks of doing it incorrectly. TalentWave’s IC Compliance and Engagement solutions offer enterprise clients a turn-key solution that dramatically reduces the risk of a misclassified independent contractor, while offering an efficient and cost-effective engagement solution.

Extra – State-by-state Details on the Settlements

In case you were wondering what drivers actually will receive from these settlements, following are the settlement distributions by state:

— Indiana: 791 drivers will divide a settlement of $33.95 million. Average recovery per class member will be $29,520. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $116,028.

— Alabama: 375 drivers will share a settlement of $3.2 million. Average recovery per class member will be $5,620. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $20,100.

— Arizona: 380 drivers will share a settlement of $4.95 million. Average recovery per class member will be $8,699. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $28,149.

— Georgia: 867 drivers will share a settlement of $4.94 million. Average recovery per class member will be $3,785. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $13,711.

— Louisiana: 315 drivers will share a settlement of $5.25 million. Average recovery per class member will be $11,061. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $39,743.

— Maryland: 533 drivers will share a settlement of $9.4 million. Average recovery per class member will be $12,047. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $29,455.

— Minnesota: 455 drivers will share a settlement of $8.3 million. The average recovery per class member will be $12,312. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $44,701.

— New Jersey: 901 drivers will share a settlement of $25.5 million. Average recovery per class member will be $19,301. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $71,194.

— New York: 1,602 drivers will share a settlement of $42.9 million. Average recovery per class member will be $18,421. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $68,880.

— North Carolina: 707 drivers will share a settlement of $20 million. Average recovery per class member will be $19,250. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $53,440.

— Ohio: 878 drivers will share a settlement of $8.35 million. Average recovery per class member will be $6,363. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $20,611.

— Pennsylvania: 1,265 drivers will share a settlement of $23 million. Average recovery per class member will be $12,442. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $45,647.

— Rhode Island: 125 drivers will share a settlement of $1.6 million. Average recovery per class member will be $7,352. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $20,332.

— South Carolina: 274 drivers will share a settlement of $3.1 million. Average recovery per class member will be $7,405. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $19,682.

— Tennessee: 762 drivers will share a settlement of $12.25 million. Average recovery per class member will be $10,863. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $39,838.

— Texas: 1,515 drivers will share a settlement of $8.9 million. Average recovery per class member will be $3,938. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $13,880.

— Utah: 171 drivers will share a settlement of $2.4 million. Average recovery per class member will be $9,130. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $28,886.

— West Virginia: 107 drivers will share a settlement of $3.75 million. Average recovery per class member will be $22,306. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $76,456.

— Wisconsin: 604 drivers will share a settlement of $5.5 million. Average recovery per class member will be $6,126. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $21,842.

The settlements were based on rates of payment for each week a driver worked in excess of 35 hours, plus a separate, lower payment rate for each week a driver worked fewer hours. These amounts vary according to compromises reached through mediation based on the laws of each state. Additionally, the court awarded plaintiffs’ legal fees and costs, at least in part, in each of the suits. Fees awarded in some cases reached 30 percent of the total settlement.

Tags: FedExworker misclassificationindependent contractor
Categories: Labor News

Algeria: Algerian trade union leader appeals prison sentence

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 05/09/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: IndustriALL
Categories: Labor News

Canada: Unions applaud Canada’s commitment to ratify ILO Convention 98

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 05/09/2017 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: CLC
Categories: Labor News

5/12 SF Protest-Free The Jailed Korean Trade Unionists NOW! Democratic Rights For All Working People In Korea Stop Privatization, Deregulation & Union Busting Free All Political Prisoners of Former Corrupt President Park Geun-hye

Current News - Mon, 05/08/2017 - 17:08

5/12 SF Protest-Free The Jailed Korean Trade Unionists NOW! Democratic Rights For All Working People In Korea Stop Privatization, Deregulation & Union Busting Free All Political Prisoners of Former Corrupt President Park Geun-hye

Free The Jailed Korean Trade Unionists NOW!
Democratic Rights For All Working People In Korea
Stop Privatization, Deregulation and Union Busting
Free All Political Prisoners of Former Corrupt President Park Geun-hye

Stop Militarization, Thaad and War Moves

Rally and Speak Out
Friday May 12, 2017 12:00 Noon

San Francisco Korean Consulate
3500 Clay St./Laurel
San Francisco

The former President Park Geun-hye and her government have been impeached for corruption and violating the democratic, human and labor rights of the Korean people. She and her cronies were paid off by union busting corporations like Samsung, Hanjin and others to allow company unions, to deregulate health and safety and to harass and intimidate democratic trade unionists. She also used mass repression to stop the Korean Rail Strike against privatization and has put many union leaders and rank and file trade unionists in jail.
Korean Confederation of Trade Unions KCTU president Han Sang-gyun was sentenced by her corrupt judges to five years in July 2016 for supporting political organizing against the government. In December, Park Won-h, president of the KPTU-Truck Sol of the Korean public Service Division. KCTU organising secretary Bae Tae-sun received an 18-month sentence with a 100,000 won fine. Railway trade unionists like Lee Jin Young have also been jailed to silence and intimidate workers.

Public Workers and teachers have also been jailed for trying to form unions and the government is supporting the privatization of all public services while pushing militarization.
While President Park Geun-hye and others in her government are in jail, the illegal jailing of workers and opponents of her government are still in jail as well. It is time to free all political prisoners and stop the continuing repression. The Park Geun-hye government also stepped up war moves with the construction of the Jeju military base and the installation of the US Thaad military weaponry despite mass opposition of the public and the KCTU. These war moves are a threat to democratic rights as well.

Time To Stand Up For Democratic Labor Rights!
End Repressive Labor Laws, Deregulation and Privatization
Stop Militarization, THAAD and War Moves

Initiated by
United Public Workers For Action www.upwa.info

www.upwa.info

Endorsed by

Transport Workers Solidarity Committee
www.transportworkers.org

For more information and to endorse:
(415)282-1908

Jailed Korean Trade Unionists
1. Kim Gyeongdo : The Metal Union Korea GM car brench
2. Han Sanggyun ; KCTU The President
3. Choi Yeongcheol : Construction Union
4: Kim Gihong : Construction Union
5. Park Junseon : KCTU The director of organization
6. Lee Jaesik : The Cargo union
7. Nam Jeongsu : KCTU The director of education and publicity
8. Choi Jaegeun : The Metal Union Korea GM car branch
9. Lee Geumju : The Metal Union Ssangyoung car branch
10. Joe Seongdeok : KPTU The vice president (Public & Transport)
11. Bae Taeseon : KCTU The Director of Organization
12. Jeong Yeonghyeon : Construction Union
13. Lee Hyeondae : KCTU The director of organization
14. Lee Jin Young, KRWU

https://www.youtube.com/edit?video_id=VZltuJaBlQA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=525SAeBiFYk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAEvgdFKkLc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9sS5vYoRiw
Additional information
https://www.facebook.com/kctueng
http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/729162.html
http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/723488.html
http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/722989.html
http://sflaborcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/04-13-15ResReWMDTPP...
http://sflaborcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/01-12-15ResSptKorea...
http://sflaborcouncil.org/sites/labor/uploads/01-24-11ResOpposingKORUS.pdf

South Korea: Release Jailed Trade Unionists, Respect Workers’ Rights
http://www.tradeunionfreedom.co.uk/south-korea-release-jailed-trade-unio...
Posted on October 11, 2016 by admin

<3190.jpg>
The assault on workers’ rights in South Korea is intensifying, with more than 20 trade union leaders and members now imprisoned including seven KCTU leaders and officials namely KCTU President Han Sang-gyun, KPTU vice president Cho, Sung-deok and KPCWU president Lee, Jong-hwa. President Park Guen-hye’s government has been throwing people into prison simply for standing up for workers’ rights.

Currently, the strike of public sector workers against the regressive labour reform and performance based pay system was declared ‘illegal’ and nine leaders of Korean Railway Workers Union are accused for the notorious ‘obstruction of business’.

In order to end the strike, the government is seeking ’emergency arbitration’, a practice denounced by the ILO as infringement of freedom of association. The self-employed truck drivers also face criminal and civil charges for a strike they planned.

While the focus of international protest has been mostly on the government itself, the role of Korean business, and especially the shadowy Chaebol conglomerates which dominate the national economy, is coming under the spotlight.

A new ITUC/IndustriALL report on Samsung details the lengths to which some Korean employers will go to bust unions and repress workers’ rights inside Korea and in international supply chains.
President Park will have to step down at the end of her term in December 2017, and it is crucial to keep up the pressure to break the stranglehold that a few corporations have over the state.

A new President should mean a new start for Korea, one where fundamental rights, economic security and safe work for ordinary people are the order of the day. In the coming weeks and months, every bit of pressure on the current regime of President Park will make it that much harder for corporate greed to maintain its grip on one of the world’s most significant economies.

The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) and Public Services International (PSI) are calling for unions to picket outside South Korean embassies on 12 October to urgently protest against government repression of trade unions in South Korea.

They are in jail because of supporting 'the people rising up rally at 13th Nov' last year.
Korean Strikes Hamper Surface Transport at Korean Ports "The rail strike, now entering its third week, has taken out about half of the nation's freight train capacity."
http://www.maritime-executive.com/…/strikes-hamper-surface-…

Truckers' labor action at Busan (courtesy KPTU)
By MarEx 2016-10-12 17:43:44

Truckers and rail workers in South Korea have launched simultaneous strikes, raising difficulties for ports already challenged by container overcrowding from the Hanjin Shipping crisis.

The Cargo Truckers Solidarity (CTS, or TruckSol) union launched a general strike Monday against a government proposal to deregulate the number of small trucks used for home deliveries, and are demanding the introduction of “standard rates” for trucking services. Korea Bizwire reports that the strike has removed a third of the container trucking capacity available at Busan, South Korea's largest port.

The two Hanjin terminals at Busan are nearing maximum capacity, Bizwire says, at about 80 percent – the point where excess numbers begin to impede operations. Other terminals may face the same difficulties soon, especially since the strike has taken out part of Busan's inter-terminal transfer service for transshipments.

While Busan has been affected, Korea Herald reported that the trucker strike was not having a widespread impact across the nation due to a low participation rate. In addition, the deployment of police, military transport vehicles and non-union trucks has blunted the labor action’s impact.

“The government will sternly deal with this strike in accordance with the law and its principle,” said Transport Minister Kang Ho-in in a statement Monday.

The international Transport Worker’s Union accused the Korean government of a heavy-handed response to the strike. “It is unacceptable that the South Korean government is responding to the legitimate demands of workers with intimidation, violence and arrests,” said Tony Sheldon, the International Transport Workers’ Federation’s road transport chair. The union said that the arrests and injuries occurred after thousands of police surrounded a union rally in front of the Busan New Port; further, it said that the government has threatened strikers with reprisals, including license suspensions and criminal charges.

Strikers and police at Busan

The rail strike, now entering its third week, has taken out about half of the nation's freight train capacity. The Korea Herald estimated that over 7,000 members of the rail union are participating, about 40 percent, including workers on Seoul’s subway system.

Korea Railroad Corporation is reported to be using emergency staff to operate container freight services in an attempt to alleviate the port congestion.

The labor dispute comes amidst other bad news for Korean port activity. South Korea's export volume shrank at six percent year on year in September, due mainly to another ongoing strike at automaker Hyundai Motor and a multi-billion-dollar recall on Samsung's new Galaxy Note 7 smartphone – in addition to the logistics problems stemming from the collapse of Hanjin.

Korean Education Ministry mandates disciplinary action for teachers’ full-time union activity
http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/790241.html
Posted on : Apr.11,2017 16:43 KSTModified on : Apr.11,2017 16:43 KST
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<149189534148_20170412.JPG>
Members of the Korean Teachers’ and Education Workers’ Union have their heads shaved outside of the Central Government Complex in Seoul, calling on the government to withdraw plans to revoke the union‘s legal status, Mar. 2016. (by Lee Jeong-yong, staff photographer)
Teachers union plans to lodge a complaint with Prosecutors, alleging abuse of power by Minister of Education
The Ministry of Education demanded that metropolitan and provincial offices of education revoking permissions for full-time union activities by schoolteacher members of the Korean Teachers’ and Education Workers’ Union (KTU), and take disciplinary action against them by Apr. 28.

The ministry also plans to consider criminal complaints against education superintendents who continue refusing to comply, including charges of dereliction of duty.

The KTU said it would “hold the ministry accountable for its abuse of power in infringing on the authority assigned to metropolitan and provincial education superintendents and trampling on labor union rights with its ex officio revocation of full-time unionist [permissions].”

The ministry announced on Apr. 10 that it had “sent a notice to the various metropolitan and provincial offices of education demanding that they carry out disciplinary action by Apr. 28 against KTU teachers who have not been going to work at schools because of their union activities, and submit their results.”

The ministry stressed that it could not permit full-time union activities because the KTU does not constitute a labor union as specified in Article 5 of the Act on the Establishment and Operation of Teachers’ Unions. It also said it “plans to consider making criminal complaints against superintendents of offices of education that continue refusing to carry out disciplinary action in connection with the KTU’s violations of its service obligations.”

“These offices of education must stop infringing on the right to learn and causing chaos in educational settings with their arbitrary enforcement of the law,” it said. The ministry previously demanded that the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education (SMOE) and other metropolitan and provincial offices of education revoke permissions for full-time union activities by KTU teachers, but some refused.

The offices of education remained on the fence about the measure.

“Now that the procedures for revoking authority have begun, there’s about a two-week period left for related administrative procedures. We plan to conclude submission of opinions from the parties involved and other procedures before deciding our position,” the SMOE said.

The South Gyeongsang Province Office of Education said its decision would “take into account equity with other metropolitan and provincial offices of education.”

The KTU plans to lodge a complaint with the Seoul Central District Prosecutors‘ Office on Apr. 11 charging four ministry officials with abuse of power, including Minister of Education Lee Joon-sik. Currently, a total of 16 KTU-affiliated schoolteachers are not reporting to work at schools for reasons of full-time union activity.

By Jung Eun-joo and Kim Mee-hyang, staff reporters

Korean Gov Park Prosecutors seek two-year prison sentence for organizer of Sewol ferry march of silence over government cover-up
http://english.hani.co.kr/…/english_…/e_national/770031.html
Nov.13,2016 11:59 KSTModified on : Nov.13,2016 11:59 KST

25-year-old Yong Hye-in speaks at a citizens’ filibuster in front of the National Assembly in Seoul’s Yeouido neighborhood on Feb. 25, opposing anti-terror legislation. (by Kim Myoung-jin, staff photographer)
Organizer says her life was changed by the Sewol sinking, and she hopes her case will show the country “that it’s not a crime to fight injustice”
On Nov. 2 South Korean prosecutors asked a court to give a two-year prison sentence to Yong Hye-in, who organized a much-discussed march of silence called “Stay Where You Are” after the sinking of the Sewol ferry.
Yong is charged with having allowed protests that she had organized to exceed the scope approved by the authorities (obstruction of traffic) and with having organized a march without first receiving permission from the authorities (violating the Assembly and Demonstration Act). Yong was behind the march of silence for the Sewol, protest demonstrations during a hunger strike by the Sewol victims’ families and several other commemorative demonstrations in 2014.
Yong shared the news about the sentence the prosecutors are seeking on her Facebook page on Nov. 2 along with the final testimony she made at Seoul Central District Court. “During the 1,000 days that have passed since the Sewol Ferry sank in the waters off the coast of Jindo [in South Jeolla Province], many things have happened, and my life has changed a great deal,” Yong said at the beginning of her testimony. Then she asked the judge, the prosecutors and the lawyers in the courtroom whether they remembered the moment that they learned about the Sewol accident on Apr. 16, 2014.

Yong Hye-in participates in a silent demonstration that she initiated with other young people after the Sewol tragedy in April. The signs read, “Stay where you are”.
On the day of the Sewol tragedy, Yong got to school early and was talking with some of her friends. One friend sent her news about the Sewol on her mobile phone. Yong had lived in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province and she had wanted to get into Danwon High School (which many of the students who died in the sinking attended). While she was absorbed in thought about Danwon High School on her way to class, she heard to her relief that all the passengers had been rescued. But to Yong’s dismay, that good news turned out to be completely incorrect.
“I was shocked to learn about the false report, but I stopped worrying when I heard that a massive rescue effort was underway, involving hundreds of divers, hundreds of boats, several helicopters and hundreds of flares. It’s embarrassing to admit it, but even then I assumed that at least a few of the passengers would be rescued and that there would be a moving scene of a tearful reunion with their families in front of media cameras,” Yong said.
“The entire country was plunged into sorrow” by the Sewol tragedy, said Yong, as she continued her testimony. “The media was talking about the Werther Effect and expressing concern about how the tragedy might affect the public. This was also when some people started talking about the blow to consumer sentiment,” Yong said.
“After the tragedy, there were many people who said they were sorry. I thought that this was because they felt responsibility as members of society for having created a society in which 304 people’s lives could be taken from them like that, a society in which people have to suddenly learn that their family members have died,” Yong said.
It was around this time, Yong explained, that she planned the “Stay Where You Are” march of silence out of a desire to create an opportunity to talk to and comfort those who were grieving. Several dozen people came together at Yong’s suggestion and walked together through central Seoul, carrying chrysanthemums tied with yellow ribbons and small pickets that read, “Stay Where You Are.”
During the testimony, Yong also expressed her feelings about the trial, which had lasted for two years: “I’ve had a hard time during the two years of this trial. I was arrested for the first time in my life after the Sewol sinking; I spent two nights in a police station; I was shuttled around by the police and the prosecutors; and I saw my first search warrant.” At the same time, Yong was confident that if someone asked her if she regretted it all, she would say she didn’t. “I want to live as a member of society, as the kind of person who fulfills their responsibilities as a human being,” she said.
“Many South Koreans are infuriated about the recent scandal involving Park Geun-hye and [her confidante and unofficial advisor] Choi Sun-sil. I think they’ve learned over the past two years that resisting injustice and corruption in society is never a crime. I hope that my trial will set a good precedent that it’s not a crime to fight injustice,” Yong told the Hankyoreh in a telephone interview on Nov. 3. Yong’s verdict will be read on Dec. 7.
By Park Soo-jin, staff reporter

Tags: Jailed Korean Trade UnionistsKCTU
Categories: Labor News

5/12 SF Protest-Free The Jailed Korean Trade Unionists NOW! Democratic Rights For All Working People In Korea Stop Privatization, Deregulation & Union Busting Free All Political Prisoners of Former Corrupt President Park Geun-hye

Current News - Mon, 05/08/2017 - 17:08

5/12 SF Protest-Free The Jailed Korean Trade Unionists NOW! Democratic Rights For All Working People In Korea Stop Privatization, Deregulation & Union Busting Free All Political Prisoners of Former Corrupt President Park Geun-hye

Free The Jailed Korean Trade Unionists NOW!
Democratic Rights For All Working People In Korea
Stop Privatization, Deregulation and Union Busting
Free All Political Prisoners of Former Corrupt President Park Geun-hye

Stop Militarization, Thaad and War Moves

Rally and Speak Out
Friday May 12, 2017 12:00 Noon

San Francisco Korean Consulate
3500 Clay St./Laurel
San Francisco

The former President Park Geun-hye and her government have been impeached for corruption and violating the democratic, human and labor rights of the Korean people. She and her cronies were paid off by union busting corporations like Samsung, Hanjin and others to allow company unions, to deregulate health and safety and to harass and intimidate democratic trade unionists. She also used mass repression to stop the Korean Rail Strike against privatization and has put many union leaders and rank and file trade unionists in jail.
Korean Confederation of Trade Unions KCTU president Han Sang-gyun was sentenced by her corrupt judges to five years in July 2016 for supporting political organizing against the government. In December, Park Won-h, president of the KPTU-Truck Sol of the Korean public Service Division. KCTU organising secretary Bae Tae-sun received an 18-month sentence with a 100,000 won fine. Railway trade unionists like Lee Jin Young have also been jailed to silence and intimidate workers.

Public Workers and teachers have also been jailed for trying to form unions and the government is supporting the privatization of all public services while pushing militarization.
While President Park Geun-hye and others in her government are in jail, the illegal jailing of workers and opponents of her government are still in jail as well. It is time to free all political prisoners and stop the continuing repression. The Park Geun-hye government also stepped up war moves with the construction of the Jeju military base and the installation of the US Thaad military weaponry despite mass opposition of the public and the KCTU. These war moves are a threat to democratic rights as well.

Time To Stand Up For Democratic Labor Rights!
End Repressive Labor Laws, Deregulation and Privatization
Stop Militarization, THAAD and War Moves

Initiated by
United Public Workers For Action www.upwa.info

www.upwa.info

Endorsed by

Transport Workers Solidarity Committee
www.transportworkers.org

For more information and to endorse:
(415)282-1908

Jailed Korean Trade Unionists
1. Kim Gyeongdo : The Metal Union Korea GM car brench
2. Han Sanggyun ; KCTU The President
3. Choi Yeongcheol : Construction Union
4: Kim Gihong : Construction Union
5. Park Junseon : KCTU The director of organization
6. Lee Jaesik : The Cargo union
7. Nam Jeongsu : KCTU The director of education and publicity
8. Choi Jaegeun : The Metal Union Korea GM car branch
9. Lee Geumju : The Metal Union Ssangyoung car branch
10. Joe Seongdeok : KPTU The vice president (Public & Transport)
11. Bae Taeseon : KCTU The Director of Organization
12. Jeong Yeonghyeon : Construction Union
13. Lee Hyeondae : KCTU The director of organization
14. Lee Jin Young, KRWU

https://www.youtube.com/edit?video_id=VZltuJaBlQA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=525SAeBiFYk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAEvgdFKkLc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9sS5vYoRiw
Additional information
https://www.facebook.com/kctueng
http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/729162.html
http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/723488.html
http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/722989.html
http://sflaborcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/04-13-15ResReWMDTPP...
http://sflaborcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/01-12-15ResSptKorea...
http://sflaborcouncil.org/sites/labor/uploads/01-24-11ResOpposingKORUS.pdf

South Korea: Release Jailed Trade Unionists, Respect Workers’ Rights
http://www.tradeunionfreedom.co.uk/south-korea-release-jailed-trade-unio...
Posted on October 11, 2016 by admin

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The assault on workers’ rights in South Korea is intensifying, with more than 20 trade union leaders and members now imprisoned including seven KCTU leaders and officials namely KCTU President Han Sang-gyun, KPTU vice president Cho, Sung-deok and KPCWU president Lee, Jong-hwa. President Park Guen-hye’s government has been throwing people into prison simply for standing up for workers’ rights.

Currently, the strike of public sector workers against the regressive labour reform and performance based pay system was declared ‘illegal’ and nine leaders of Korean Railway Workers Union are accused for the notorious ‘obstruction of business’.

In order to end the strike, the government is seeking ’emergency arbitration’, a practice denounced by the ILO as infringement of freedom of association. The self-employed truck drivers also face criminal and civil charges for a strike they planned.

While the focus of international protest has been mostly on the government itself, the role of Korean business, and especially the shadowy Chaebol conglomerates which dominate the national economy, is coming under the spotlight.

A new ITUC/IndustriALL report on Samsung details the lengths to which some Korean employers will go to bust unions and repress workers’ rights inside Korea and in international supply chains.
President Park will have to step down at the end of her term in December 2017, and it is crucial to keep up the pressure to break the stranglehold that a few corporations have over the state.

A new President should mean a new start for Korea, one where fundamental rights, economic security and safe work for ordinary people are the order of the day. In the coming weeks and months, every bit of pressure on the current regime of President Park will make it that much harder for corporate greed to maintain its grip on one of the world’s most significant economies.

The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) and Public Services International (PSI) are calling for unions to picket outside South Korean embassies on 12 October to urgently protest against government repression of trade unions in South Korea.

They are in jail because of supporting 'the people rising up rally at 13th Nov' last year.
Korean Strikes Hamper Surface Transport at Korean Ports "The rail strike, now entering its third week, has taken out about half of the nation's freight train capacity."
http://www.maritime-executive.com/…/strikes-hamper-surface-…

Truckers' labor action at Busan (courtesy KPTU)
By MarEx 2016-10-12 17:43:44

Truckers and rail workers in South Korea have launched simultaneous strikes, raising difficulties for ports already challenged by container overcrowding from the Hanjin Shipping crisis.

The Cargo Truckers Solidarity (CTS, or TruckSol) union launched a general strike Monday against a government proposal to deregulate the number of small trucks used for home deliveries, and are demanding the introduction of “standard rates” for trucking services. Korea Bizwire reports that the strike has removed a third of the container trucking capacity available at Busan, South Korea's largest port.

The two Hanjin terminals at Busan are nearing maximum capacity, Bizwire says, at about 80 percent – the point where excess numbers begin to impede operations. Other terminals may face the same difficulties soon, especially since the strike has taken out part of Busan's inter-terminal transfer service for transshipments.

While Busan has been affected, Korea Herald reported that the trucker strike was not having a widespread impact across the nation due to a low participation rate. In addition, the deployment of police, military transport vehicles and non-union trucks has blunted the labor action’s impact.

“The government will sternly deal with this strike in accordance with the law and its principle,” said Transport Minister Kang Ho-in in a statement Monday.

The international Transport Worker’s Union accused the Korean government of a heavy-handed response to the strike. “It is unacceptable that the South Korean government is responding to the legitimate demands of workers with intimidation, violence and arrests,” said Tony Sheldon, the International Transport Workers’ Federation’s road transport chair. The union said that the arrests and injuries occurred after thousands of police surrounded a union rally in front of the Busan New Port; further, it said that the government has threatened strikers with reprisals, including license suspensions and criminal charges.

Strikers and police at Busan

The rail strike, now entering its third week, has taken out about half of the nation's freight train capacity. The Korea Herald estimated that over 7,000 members of the rail union are participating, about 40 percent, including workers on Seoul’s subway system.

Korea Railroad Corporation is reported to be using emergency staff to operate container freight services in an attempt to alleviate the port congestion.

The labor dispute comes amidst other bad news for Korean port activity. South Korea's export volume shrank at six percent year on year in September, due mainly to another ongoing strike at automaker Hyundai Motor and a multi-billion-dollar recall on Samsung's new Galaxy Note 7 smartphone – in addition to the logistics problems stemming from the collapse of Hanjin.

Korean Education Ministry mandates disciplinary action for teachers’ full-time union activity
http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/790241.html
Posted on : Apr.11,2017 16:43 KSTModified on : Apr.11,2017 16:43 KST
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Members of the Korean Teachers’ and Education Workers’ Union have their heads shaved outside of the Central Government Complex in Seoul, calling on the government to withdraw plans to revoke the union‘s legal status, Mar. 2016. (by Lee Jeong-yong, staff photographer)
Teachers union plans to lodge a complaint with Prosecutors, alleging abuse of power by Minister of Education
The Ministry of Education demanded that metropolitan and provincial offices of education revoking permissions for full-time union activities by schoolteacher members of the Korean Teachers’ and Education Workers’ Union (KTU), and take disciplinary action against them by Apr. 28.

The ministry also plans to consider criminal complaints against education superintendents who continue refusing to comply, including charges of dereliction of duty.

The KTU said it would “hold the ministry accountable for its abuse of power in infringing on the authority assigned to metropolitan and provincial education superintendents and trampling on labor union rights with its ex officio revocation of full-time unionist [permissions].”

The ministry announced on Apr. 10 that it had “sent a notice to the various metropolitan and provincial offices of education demanding that they carry out disciplinary action by Apr. 28 against KTU teachers who have not been going to work at schools because of their union activities, and submit their results.”

The ministry stressed that it could not permit full-time union activities because the KTU does not constitute a labor union as specified in Article 5 of the Act on the Establishment and Operation of Teachers’ Unions. It also said it “plans to consider making criminal complaints against superintendents of offices of education that continue refusing to carry out disciplinary action in connection with the KTU’s violations of its service obligations.”

“These offices of education must stop infringing on the right to learn and causing chaos in educational settings with their arbitrary enforcement of the law,” it said. The ministry previously demanded that the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education (SMOE) and other metropolitan and provincial offices of education revoke permissions for full-time union activities by KTU teachers, but some refused.

The offices of education remained on the fence about the measure.

“Now that the procedures for revoking authority have begun, there’s about a two-week period left for related administrative procedures. We plan to conclude submission of opinions from the parties involved and other procedures before deciding our position,” the SMOE said.

The South Gyeongsang Province Office of Education said its decision would “take into account equity with other metropolitan and provincial offices of education.”

The KTU plans to lodge a complaint with the Seoul Central District Prosecutors‘ Office on Apr. 11 charging four ministry officials with abuse of power, including Minister of Education Lee Joon-sik. Currently, a total of 16 KTU-affiliated schoolteachers are not reporting to work at schools for reasons of full-time union activity.

By Jung Eun-joo and Kim Mee-hyang, staff reporters

Korean Gov Park Prosecutors seek two-year prison sentence for organizer of Sewol ferry march of silence over government cover-up
http://english.hani.co.kr/…/english_…/e_national/770031.html
Nov.13,2016 11:59 KSTModified on : Nov.13,2016 11:59 KST

25-year-old Yong Hye-in speaks at a citizens’ filibuster in front of the National Assembly in Seoul’s Yeouido neighborhood on Feb. 25, opposing anti-terror legislation. (by Kim Myoung-jin, staff photographer)
Organizer says her life was changed by the Sewol sinking, and she hopes her case will show the country “that it’s not a crime to fight injustice”
On Nov. 2 South Korean prosecutors asked a court to give a two-year prison sentence to Yong Hye-in, who organized a much-discussed march of silence called “Stay Where You Are” after the sinking of the Sewol ferry.
Yong is charged with having allowed protests that she had organized to exceed the scope approved by the authorities (obstruction of traffic) and with having organized a march without first receiving permission from the authorities (violating the Assembly and Demonstration Act). Yong was behind the march of silence for the Sewol, protest demonstrations during a hunger strike by the Sewol victims’ families and several other commemorative demonstrations in 2014.
Yong shared the news about the sentence the prosecutors are seeking on her Facebook page on Nov. 2 along with the final testimony she made at Seoul Central District Court. “During the 1,000 days that have passed since the Sewol Ferry sank in the waters off the coast of Jindo [in South Jeolla Province], many things have happened, and my life has changed a great deal,” Yong said at the beginning of her testimony. Then she asked the judge, the prosecutors and the lawyers in the courtroom whether they remembered the moment that they learned about the Sewol accident on Apr. 16, 2014.

Yong Hye-in participates in a silent demonstration that she initiated with other young people after the Sewol tragedy in April. The signs read, “Stay where you are”.
On the day of the Sewol tragedy, Yong got to school early and was talking with some of her friends. One friend sent her news about the Sewol on her mobile phone. Yong had lived in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province and she had wanted to get into Danwon High School (which many of the students who died in the sinking attended). While she was absorbed in thought about Danwon High School on her way to class, she heard to her relief that all the passengers had been rescued. But to Yong’s dismay, that good news turned out to be completely incorrect.
“I was shocked to learn about the false report, but I stopped worrying when I heard that a massive rescue effort was underway, involving hundreds of divers, hundreds of boats, several helicopters and hundreds of flares. It’s embarrassing to admit it, but even then I assumed that at least a few of the passengers would be rescued and that there would be a moving scene of a tearful reunion with their families in front of media cameras,” Yong said.
“The entire country was plunged into sorrow” by the Sewol tragedy, said Yong, as she continued her testimony. “The media was talking about the Werther Effect and expressing concern about how the tragedy might affect the public. This was also when some people started talking about the blow to consumer sentiment,” Yong said.
“After the tragedy, there were many people who said they were sorry. I thought that this was because they felt responsibility as members of society for having created a society in which 304 people’s lives could be taken from them like that, a society in which people have to suddenly learn that their family members have died,” Yong said.
It was around this time, Yong explained, that she planned the “Stay Where You Are” march of silence out of a desire to create an opportunity to talk to and comfort those who were grieving. Several dozen people came together at Yong’s suggestion and walked together through central Seoul, carrying chrysanthemums tied with yellow ribbons and small pickets that read, “Stay Where You Are.”
During the testimony, Yong also expressed her feelings about the trial, which had lasted for two years: “I’ve had a hard time during the two years of this trial. I was arrested for the first time in my life after the Sewol sinking; I spent two nights in a police station; I was shuttled around by the police and the prosecutors; and I saw my first search warrant.” At the same time, Yong was confident that if someone asked her if she regretted it all, she would say she didn’t. “I want to live as a member of society, as the kind of person who fulfills their responsibilities as a human being,” she said.
“Many South Koreans are infuriated about the recent scandal involving Park Geun-hye and [her confidante and unofficial advisor] Choi Sun-sil. I think they’ve learned over the past two years that resisting injustice and corruption in society is never a crime. I hope that my trial will set a good precedent that it’s not a crime to fight injustice,” Yong told the Hankyoreh in a telephone interview on Nov. 3. Yong’s verdict will be read on Dec. 7.
By Park Soo-jin, staff reporter

Tags: Jailed Korean Trade UnionistsKCTU
Categories: Labor News

Fleet Memo for May 6 2017

IBU - Mon, 05/08/2017 - 09:06
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Categories: Unions

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