May 29, 2014: Other than endorsing mom or apple pie, rarely does a proposed law pass both legislative houses and get signed by the governor in less than one hour. But that happened two days ago in Michigan: the law raised the minimum wage in four steps to $9.25 by January 1, 2018.
But that isn’t the news here. The news is, the governor and the bill’s sponsors are totally against raising the minimum wage! One legislator who voted for it told the press he is opposed to any minimum wage at all, because we need our wages competitive with China’s.
How did it happen?
The very day this passed, an organization called Raise Michigan was about to submit 300,000 signatures to put a raise to $10.10 on the November ballot. Polls show it passing handily, despite the opposition of the governor, corporations, and big money.
So the Republican legislative leaders and governor came up with a trick: they repealed the minimum wage law which the ballot initiative would amend, thus aiming to block the people’s right to vote on the initiative. Then they quickly passed their watered down version in this election year.
The lesson: these minimum wage initiatives are so powerful, even corporate-bought politicians may have to get half-way on board, when faced with a grassroots campaign. We need more such campaigns, all across the country, backed by unions and community groups. And we need to aim higher than $10.10.
Schneider Logistics will pay $21 million to settle a class-action civil lawsuit brought by about 1,800 Southern California dockworkers who claimed they were not paid properly.
A “notice of proposed settlement” was filed May 13 in the U.S. District Court of Judge Christina Snyder in Los Angeles, and was signed by lawyers for Schneider, Wal-Mart Stores and the plaintiffs. Terms of the settlement were worked out after two days of nonbinding mediation between the parties in San Francisco.
A final arrangement still must be certified by Snyder and probably will take effect at the end of this year or in early 2015, said Theresa Traber, lead attorney for Everado Carrillo and other members of the litigation class.
Schneider Logistics, a division of trucking and logistics company Schneider of Green Bay, Wisconsin, has run Wal-Mart’s Mira Loma distribution center in Riverside County since 2006. Schneider also hired two smaller logistics companies, who in turn hired the dockworkers, or lumpers, who eventually started the legal action.
The case was filed in 2011 based on actions dating to 2001.
Schneider ranks No. 10 on the Transport Topics Top 50 list of logistics companies in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The first real test of how the Convention Center will operate under its new work rules will come Thursday afternoon, when the 2014 BIO World Congress of Industrial Biotechnology wraps up its three-day conference.
That's when, instead of having the usual full array of six Convention Center unions to dismantle the show, the work will be done by members of the four unions that met a May 5 deadline to sign a new Customer Satisfaction Agreement.
Click here to read more at Philly.com
AB InBev is a giant transnational food company which claims to support human rights in the workplace. In fact, it's a member of the United Nations Global Compact which calls on companies to guarantee freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining.
But in Mexico, those rights are being violated at Industria Vidriera del Potosí, a subsidiary of Grupo Modelo-AB InBev where in 2008 220 workers were dismissed for forming an independent trade union. Since 2008, the company has unfairly dismissed a further 600 workers for supporting their independent union and consistently pressured workers to join an alternative organization. In addition, the dismissed workers and their families have been blacklisted because of efforts to defend their employment and human rights.
Two global union federations -- the IUF and IndustriALL -- are calling on AB InBev to reinstate the sacked workers, respect their union rights, recognize their union and end harassment of union members. Please take a minute to support their campaign:
Click here to read more and sign a petition in support of this campaign.
: New video shows how Local 804 members teamed up with community allies, customers, elected officials, and other public supporters to stand up to UPS.
May 2, 2014: Seattle’s Mayor has announced the City will phase in a new minimum wage of $15 an hour, the highest in the nation. As the battle over the minimum wage heats up, will the Teamsters Union mobilize and help lead the fight?
Seattle announced today that it will phase in a new minimum wage of $15 an hour. Businesses with more than 500 workers must meet that level within three years. That includes the UPS hub.
Businesses with fewer than 500 workers must raise pay to that amount over the next seven years.
After that, increases will be linked to the cost of living.
The labor movement, including the Teamsters, has backed the movement to raise the minimum wage in cities, states, and at the federal level. But in our union’s biggest contract at our most profitable employer, UPS, starting pay is frozen at just $10 an hour until July 31, 2018.
By then, the minimum wage in a number of states will be higher than starting pay under our biggest Teamster contract. Hawaii and Maryland have voted to phase in hikes to the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, along with a number of cities and counties elsewhere.
In the next couple of years, thousands of UPS part-timers, especially at urban hubs, will probably make significantly more than our contract rate, simply by getting the minimum wage.
Nationally, the President and the majority of the U.S. Senate are backing a hike in the minimum wage to $10.10 too. That bill is currently being blocked by a minority block of opponents in the Senate. But similar efforts are being taken up in other cities and States, with many aiming higher than $10.10.
The new contract was a missed opportunity for our Union to take on part-time poverty at UPS. But it’s not too late for our Union to put Teamster power behind the fight to win wage increases for millions of low-income workers.
The Hoffa administration needs to move from saying the right thing about the minimum wage, to mobilizing Teamster members to win.
The fight to raise the minimum wage and win living wages is every Teamster’s fight.
I have worked as a tipped server for 15 years and, not counting tips, I still make only $2.65 an hour.
I’m a divorced mother with three kids. I need to put food on the table. I need to put clothes on their backs. I need to make sure they have what they need for school. I want to make sure they can have a successful future.
Click here to read more at The Detroit Free Press.