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Today in Labor History
Apr. 17, 2013: An explosion at a West Texas fertilizer plant kills 15 people and injures nearly 300 when 30 tons of highly explosive ammonium nitrate—stored in sheds without sprinkler systems—caught fire. Of those killed, ten were emergency responders.

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Labor Headlines

US labour news headlines from LabourStart

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Updated: Apr. 19 (04:43)

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Local and National Union News

Breaking news: Fast Track legislation introduced in Congress today
Apr. 16, 2015 | The fast track bill hit Congress today and we need your help to stop it. This bill will put good Teamster jobs in jeopardy. The TPP, the "NAFTA of the Pacific," will mean even more jobs sent overseas, lower wages for the jobs that remain, unsafe food and possibly a ban on our "Buy American" procurement laws and regulations. If Fast Track becomes law, however, Congress won't be able to change a single provision of the agreement. Please email your Representative and Senators right now and ask that they oppose Fast Track if it's brought up for a vote. The Teamsters Union has stopped Fast Track before. With your help, we will stop it again.

Teamsters take stand against fast track
Apr. 16, 2015 | The Teamsters joined some 1,200 fellow union members and far trade advocates at a Capitol Hill rally yesterday to call on Congress to stop pushing for fast track trade promotion authority that would allow a quick up-or-down vote on bad trade deals like the TPP… Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers, called on workers to head to the halls of Congress and let their members know their thoughts on fast track: "You make sure you tell them you put them there and you can take them of of there!" Full story...

Failed fast track is nearly upon us – again
Apr. 13, 2015 | Despite the Teamsters and our allies making clear that U.S. residents will be hurt if fast track can be used to quickly push secret trade deals like the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) through Congress, some lawmakers had decided to side with big business instead. But unfortunately, the fight doesn't end there. [The TPP Fast Track bill will be introduced in the Senate Tuesday.] This union and others who care about hard-working Americans are gearing up for a fight, and will need everyone who can to join in. Read on… [The TPP will outsource jobs, undercut workers' rights, dismantle labor, environmental, health, food safety, and financial laws, and allow corporations to challenge our laws in international tribunals rather than our own court system.]

Horseshoe Baltimore Casino workers bet on union
Apr. 8, 2015 | The Horseshoe Baltimore Casino is now officially union. The cards were counted last week and a strong majority of Horseshoe workers voted in favor of representation by the National Gaming Workers Coalition, comprised of Unite Here Local 7, Teamsters Local 355, Operating Engineers Local 37 and the UAW. The Horseshoe has recognized the union and dates will soon be set for negotiations on wages, benefits and working conditions. Note: Local 311 construction members were among the work crews that built the casino.

Merger with Teamsters Local 570 overwhelmingly approved
March, 2015 | At a special membership meeting on Sunday, March 29, 2015, Teamsters Local 311 members approved an executive board proposal to merge with Teamsters Local 570, also located in Baltimore. The decision to seek a merger partner was not driven by financial need, but rather from a long-held commitment to building our Teamster numbers to ensure our strength and power. “We are being proactive,” Principle Officer Neil Dixon told members. "This is all about building our strength by building our numbers. We’ll increase our charter, increase Local 570s’ charter, and this merger will give us wider opportunities to organize and grow our union which will help build our power.” Full story...

Local 311 Principle Officer Neil Dixon, left, was joined by Local 570 Principle Officer Sean Cedenio at the podium during the Sunday, March 29, 2015 meeting to discuss the proposed merger of Local 311 into Local 570 and answer members' questions prior to the secret ballot vote.

Older news stories can be found at Local News Items

Elsewhere in the News
In Case You Missed It

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  • Here's what passed in the Maryland General Assembly.
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  • We know why this photo is taking off on social media.
  • A campaign to begin for a $15 minimum wage in D.C.
  • New Teamster benefit available: Identity theft protection.
  • Fight for $15 largest protest by low-wage workers in US history.
  • A Q & A with a veteran labor reporter on the state of the unions.
  • The test for unions and politicians, a nationwide protest on pay.

Unions Still Matter
Apr. 16, 2015 | OPINION | …Unions not only give their members a voice at work but also can have much broader political effects. By mobilizing voters and contributing to campaigns, organized labor is in effect the only lobbying group operating in the interest of ordinary Americans…"strong labor unions are able to influence public policy, so as to create programs…that benefit everyone in society, not merely organized workers." Full story...
The Nation Rallies Today for $15 and A Union
Apr. 15, 2015 | WAGES, UNIONS | Strikes, marches, and rallies are happening coast to coast today in hundreds of towns and cities. What amounts to a new type of labor movement – one that unites union and non-union workers with a broad range of allies in the communities across the nation – is turning out strikers and demonstrators in city after city, demanding a new minimum wage of $15 an hour… The national Fight for $15 effort to raise the country's minimum wage began two-and-a-half years ago in New York City when 200 cooks and cashiers walked off their jobs. The movement they started has never stopped growing. Full story… (PHOTO/ Additional photos at #Fightfor15
Organized Labor is Banking on a New Civil Rights Movement
Apr. 15, 2015 | WORKERS' RIGHTS |  As food-food workers and organized labor plan mass protests [today] for a $15 minimum wage and a union, they are also relaying the message that workers' rights are civil rights. As racial minorities continue to make up more and more of the lower-wage employment sectors, organized labor is betting that working to advance racial equality will be central to its survival. Full story...
Inequity Is Still an Issue on Equal Pay Day
Apr. 14, 2015 | PAY DISPARITY | Women lawmakers took center stage today on Capitol Hill to demand fair pay for female workers in honor of Equal Pay Day. And the Teamsters are standing with them. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), a repeated sponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, led the charge in urging Congress to take up and pass the legislation. The measure would close the wage gap between working women and men working in equivalent jobs. The pay disparity costs women and their families $434,000 over the length of their careers… It may be the 21st century, but for too many women it might as well be the Dark Ages. It is time for all of Congress to take a stand against this blatant inequity. Full story...
How Corporate Welfare Conquered the American Economy
Apr. 13, 2015 | ECONOMY | Despite the news that McDonald’s plans to raise wages for 90,000 employees in the 1,500 U.S. eateries it owns and operates, the scheduled April 15 fast food workers’ strike, which also will include home health care aides, airport workers, child care workers and Wal-Mart employees, may be the biggest such low-wage worker protest yet.  McDonald’s employee raise, it seems, was about as satisfying to workers as its food is to customers – as in not very… These workers literally can’t afford to stop fighting for fairer wages, because given the status quo, they can’t afford the bare necessities of living. For most, there are no viable alternatives because there simply aren’t enough well-paying low-skill jobs left in the country. So it’s either Wendy’s or welfare. Or, increasingly, it’s both. Full story...
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  • TPP is SO bad, even members of Congress are shocked.
  • Teamster casting director is reshaping American comedy.
  • Obama and Labor's relationship status: It's complicated.
  • Teamsters want corporations to disclose their political contributions.
  • Kris Bryant, the Baseball Players' Union and a lesson for Labor.
  • Strikes grow in China as grassroots labor movement takes shape.

How the Economy Favored the 1 Percent Over 100 Years Ago
Apr. 10, 2015 | LABOR HISTORY | …When half a million workers struck on May 1, 1886 – the original "May Day," still celebrated most places in the world except in the United States where it began – the strikers called it Emancipation Day. How archaic that sounds. Such [encouraging] rhetoric has gone out of fashion. The eight-hour-day movement of 1886 and the mass strikes that preceded, accompanied, and followed it were a freedom movement in the land of the free directed against a form of slavery no one would recognize or credit today. Full story…

Current Campaigns
  • This web page provides information on our fight against fast-track legislation. The measure requires Congress to take only a quick up-or-down vote on secret trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and does not allow such agreements to be amended. It limits Congress’ constitutionally mandated oversight of such trade deals and lets others decide what’s best for America. The result is fewer good-paying U.S. jobs and unsafe food and products for Americans. Read more to find out why fast track is the wrong track for Teamsters and America.

  • First Student employees’ collective bargaining agreement with the company, which covers more than 21,000 workers, expires on March 31, 2015. Employees at First Student made history when they voted overwhelmingly to ratify a national master agreement on June 1, 2011, and it is time to renegotiate that agreement. Turn to this page to get the latest contract news and updates. The first round of negotiations is scheduled for January 27-28, 2015. The national contract expires March 31, 2015.

  • Teamsters are standing together to protect good jobs as Sysco, the country’s largest foodservice provider, attempts to purchase its only national competitor, US Foods. Join our campaign to demand that Sysco and US Foods honor their agreements with 11,500 Teamsters and protect the livelihoods of the men and women who make these companies leaders in the industry. LIKE our Facebook page, here.

  • Taylor Farms workers in Tracy, California are standing up against poverty wages, disrespect and severe violations of their most basic rights. These 900 food processing workers in the Central Valley cut, wash and package salads and other products for the largest supplier of fresh-cut produce in the country. They feed the customers of major grocers, retailers and restaurant chains, including Walmart and McDonald’s.

    With a revenue of $1.8 billion in 2012, Taylor Farms can afford to treat its workers in Tracy with dignity and pay fair wages, just like their Teamster coworkers have at Taylor Farms’ facilities in Salinas, California. But when workers came together to organize with Teamsters Local 601, the company responded mercilessly. It fired, harassed, and punished workers for supporting the union. The company threatened immigrant workers with deportation, hiring an army of union-busters to run a non-stop fear campaign. During an NLRB election for union representation, Taylor Farms deployed a goon squad of supervisors to intimidate workers. The company’s violations were so egregious that the Labor Board impounded ballots while it investigates hundreds of Unfair Labor Practice charges.

    Workers in Tracy, following in the footsteps of labor leader and civil rights icon Cesar Chavez, are taking their fight to the public. The workers’ struggle for a better life for their families is supported by Teamsters in California and nationwide. We are building a movement for respect for the workers who feed America.

    ¡Si Se Puede!

  • Taxi drivers in Washington, D.C. are fed up!

    After years of unfair regulations and lack of respect, we are fighting back by forming the Washington, D.C. Taxi Operators Association. Our association will be backed by Teamsters Local 922 and the 1.4 million-member International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

  • The Teamsters have stood in solidarity with worker struggles in other countries since our founding. With economic globalization, our ability to organize increasingly depends on our ability to build alliances with workers on a global scale.
    More than ever, Teamsters are organizing and bargaining with multi-national companies. A key objective of our Global Strategies Campaign is to build strong alliances with unions around the globe who organize and bargain with common employers. Our focus is on workers in the emerging global supply chains – the infrastructure of globalization.
    Globalization creates new opportunities for international worker solidarity. We seek common cause with workers around the world to build social justice for all workers and the communities in which they live.

  • Teamsters at Republic Services/Allied Waste have stood together in recent years to fight for strong contracts, including going on strike and supporting their fellow striking workers. Workers continue to fight for strong contracts that include retirement security at the second largest solid waste company. This campaign page is dedicated to those ongoing efforts.

  • Welcome to Teamster Organizing!

    You've heard it said that the best defense is a good offense. In the war on workers, Teamster Organizing is on the offensive! We're winning power for workers across industries and across North America. Join us!

  • Join the movement to stop the war on workers. Corporate CEOs and billionaires are attacking you, your family and your job. The battlefield is in statehouses throughout the country.  Our jobs, our health, our kids, our retirement and our standard of living are all at risk. Check this page frequently for updates. 

Teamsters Local 311
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