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Sherman A1

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Gender: Male
Current location: U.S.
Member since: Sat May 13, 2006, 06:37 AM
Number of posts: 36,538

Journal Archives

In Philly, union members protest immigration policy

About 2,000 union members staged a rally at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia Wednesday to protest the Trump administration’s immigration policies, particularly the separation of children from their parents.

While the event drew support from unions that traditionally back progressive causes — particularly public employee unions — this one also had backing from some construction unions.

The building trades unions have more a conservative membership base than many unions, and some regard undocumented workers as competition for their jobs.

But this protest was organized largely by national leaders of UNITE HERE, which represents hospitality workers, and by the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, whose national president, Ken Rigmaiden, spoke at the rally.


Union Says Reduce Caseloads To Improve Maine's Child Protection System

The labor union that represents Maine’s child protective caseworkers has released 10 recommendations to improve the state’s child protection system.

At the top of the list, says union-retiree Board Director and former caseworker Peggy Rice, is to reduce caseloads to no more than 12 per worker. Rice says that means more caseworkers need to be hired.

"So that you can actually do your job the way that you're supposed to do it and feel safe about doing it, both for you and for the vulnerable people who are relying on you,” she says.

Rice also says a top need is to hire more administrative support staff so caseworkers can focus on children and families.


NJ AG Grewal Files Brief to Protect Workers, State's Ability to Enforce Misclassification Laws

Trenton, NJ (WorkersCompensation.com) - Acting to protect New Jersey workers and preserve the State's ability to enforce its labor laws, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal yesterday filed a brief urging a federal appeals court to rule that New Jersey's test for classifying workers as employees or independent contractors is not preempted by federal law.

Attorney General Grewal's amicus brief before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit was filed on behalf of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development in a case involving delivery drivers who claim their employer, American Eagle Express (AEX), misclassified them as “independent contractors” and used that misclassification to avoid compliance with New Jersey wage and hour laws.

While Plaintiffs assert that they meet the criteria for “employees” under New Jersey's established test, AEX has argued that the 1994 Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAAA) – a law governing the federally-regulated motor carrier industry – preempts that test. Attorney General Grewal's amicus brief rejects that argument and asks the court to deny AEX's attempt to use the FAAAA as a “preemptive sword” that could inflict economic and social harms never intended by Congress.

“Workers are the backbone of New Jersey, and I am proud to defend not only them, but also our state's labor laws and our economic interests in court,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Misclassification of our workers means those workers lose wages and benefits they rightfully deserve, is unfair to the employers that play by the rules, and ultimately harms the state itself. Our state labor laws were intended to protect workers from these harms, and nothing in federal law prevents us from going after the companies that violate them.”


Metro must pay $82 million in wage increases to thousands of workers, arbitration panel says

An arbitration board has said Metro must provide $82 million in wage increases to thousands of workers by summer 2020 — an amount that is less than what leaders of the agency’s largest union had sought, but still a financial hit for the cash-strapped agency.

Members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 have been working without a contract since July 2016, when their previous collective bargaining agreement expired. The two sides were unable to reach an agreement after lengthy and rancorous negotiations, so the issue was sent to a three-member arbitration board.

The panel’s decision, announced Wednesday by Metro, requires that the transit agency provide an average annual wage increase of 1.6 percent for workers over a four-year period ending in July 2020. The award is effective retroactively to July 1, 2016.


South Dakota Unions Against White Supremacy

Late last year, Kooper Caraway ran for president of the Sioux Falls, South Dakota AFL-CIO as part of a reform slate that pledged to revive new organizing within unions and support struggles outside of them, especially among immigrants and refugees. In January, Caraway and his slate were elected. One of their first orders of business: banning members of fascist and white-supremacist groups from holding elected or staff positions in its affiliated unions.

Caraway is twenty-seven years old; he comes from a working-class family, with a mother who is Native American and father descended from German immigrants. In high school, he led student actions against local immigration raids. He’s held multiple positions in the public-employees union AFSCME, including serving as a community and union organizer in South Dakota.

He spoke to Jacobin contributor Joe Allen about the changes he and his slate brought to the labor body and why it is labor’s duty to fight the far right. You can read Caraway’s editorial on that fight, published on the eve of the anniversary of the murder of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Virginia, by a white supremacist, here.


Trane and workers agree on contract, strike ends

A three-day strike has ended at Trane Company in La Crosse.

The company and two of its unions -- International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Locals 66 and 1115 -- have worked out a deal on a new four-year contract.

Roughly 500 workers are back on the job after disagreements related to pay and mandatory overtime.


Brett Kavanaugh Sided With A Union-Busting Employer After It Violated Workers' Rights

When a New York manufacturer created a new, spinoff company to avoid bargaining with unionized workers, federal regulators and a panel of appellate judges said the manufacturer broke the law and violated its employees’ rights.

There was, however, one judge who dissented in the appeals decision and sided with the employer: Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s nominee to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court.

The decision fits a pattern of Kavanaugh’s in which the conservative judge has ruled in favor of corporations over workers, several times as the lone dissenter. If confirmed, the 53-year-old could potentially push the Supreme Court further to the right on labor and employment issues as unions and worker groups are already facing major judicial setbacks.

The ruling shows Kavanaugh will “find any interpretation of the law that helps corporations avoid their obligations to working people,” Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, said in an emailed statement to HuffPost. “Kavanaugh has consistently sided with corporate interests, including going out of his way to write a dissenting opinion arguing that corporations should be allowed to create sham, spin-off companies in order to skirt their responsibility to negotiate with workers and their unions for better wages, working conditions, and benefits.”


Safeway.com Grocery Delivery Drivers in WA Ratify 1st Teamster Contract

Grocery delivery drivers working for Safeway.com in Washington state have voted overwhelmingly to ratify their first-ever Teamster contract last night, following a year of negotiations that led to a strike authorization vote in June.

Made up of 60 Local 174 (based in Tukwila) members and 30 Local 313 (based in Tacoma) members, the drivers are anticipating many improvements to their working conditions and lives, including increased wages, with some of the lowest-paid drivers receiving double-digit percentage increases. Other benefits will include:

Affordable health care for both drivers and their families, which most of the drivers did not previously have access to, as they were held to part-time hours and the costs were prohibitive

Joining the Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Plan – an unusual benefit for a group ratifying its first contract – which will begin the process of building a secure retirement with a defined benefit pension plan


Giant Eagle Unionized Workers Ratify New 3-Year Contract


Pittsburgh-area Giant Eagle associates represented by United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1776 Keystone State (KS) “overwhelmingly” voted in favor of a new three-year contract that boosts wages and benefits for about 5,500 employees of the supermarket chain at 35 corporate-owned stores in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, according to the union.

Among the new contract’s features:

Increase to a $10-per-hour starting rate, rising to $11 in two years

Substantial wage increases for current and future associates in each year of the contract

Missouri 2nd Congressional District

Currently held by Ann Wagner (R) looks to be interesting for the upcoming November election. Sorry The Copy & Paste didn't line up as well as one would have hoped, but the total party turnout looks to be worth noting.

Democratic Primary

Cort VanOstran
45,248 41.7%
Mark Osmack
27,389 25.2
Bill Haas
21,151 19.5
Others 14,824 13.6
108,612 votes, 100% reporting (450 of 450 precincts)

Republican Primary

Ann Wagner*
72,173 89.9%
Noga Sachs
8,115 10.1
80,288 votes, 100% reporting (450 of 450 precincts)

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