PSLabor News

PSLabor News

The strike at the No. 1 U.S. carmaker began on Sept. 16, with its 48,000 members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union seeking higher pay, greater job security, a bigger share of the automaker's profit and protection of healthcare benefits. Read Story
The fallout from the United Auto Workers' strike against General Motors continues to grow as the work stoppage carries into its third week. Read Story
Official site of The Week Magazine, offering commentary and analysis of the day's breaking news and current events as well as arts, entertainment, people and gossip, and political cartoons. Read Story
Is Employee Appreciation Good, Bad or Both. I challenge you and say it can be both. Watch and find out why. I am curious to know how you feel about this Read Story
Contract talks aimed at ending a 22-day strike by the United Auto Workers against General Motors continued Monday after United Auto Workers union bargainers rejected a company offer on Sunday.... Read Story
Union says pilots have missed out on some $100 million in income due to canceled flights; Southwest was biggest user of Max jets when they were grounded... Read Story
Much of the pain from the strike, now in its fourth week, is concentrated in the northern Midwest, which was already contending with a manufacturing slowdown. Read Story
Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren's anti-lobbying tax appears to leave union lobbyists and other Democratic interests untouched. Read Story
For several decades, corporations have sought to undermine labor rights by turning more employees into “independent” workers, and foregoing any responsibility for paying Social Security, unemployment compensation, workers compensation or other benefits like vacation and sick time. These costs are shifted to workers and eventually taxpayers as well. A new California law, Assembly Bill 5 (A.B. 5) reverses this trend, which will have a profound impact on the so-called “gig” economy best exemplified by the ride share companies Uber and Lyft. A.B. 5, signed into law on September 18 by California Governor Gavin Newsom, codified an earlier decision of the California State Supreme Court that established a simple and clear test for determining whether a worker is an “independent contractor” or an “employee.” The Supreme Court “Dynamex” case established a simple “A, B, C” test: A. The worker is a contractor if he/she is “free from control and direction of the hiring entity;” B. The worker is a contractor if he/she “performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business;” C. The worker must be in an “independently established trade, occupation, or business.” Under the Dynamex test, drivers for Uber and Lyft are clearly employees and not independent contractors. This decision was welcome news for workers and unions in many other sectors of the economy as well. For example, the Teamsters union has sought to organize the thousands of truck owner-operators who transport ocean containers to and from major U.S. ports. There are over 15,000 drivers in Southern California who service the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach where 40 percent of Pacific Rim traffic comes into the United States.  The union and its allies have sought largely unsuccessfully to reclassify these workers as employees. Now the Dynamex decision — and the passage of A.B. 5 — hold out hope that this strategically powerful workforce can be united in unions and finally win for collective bargaining rights. But nowhere was the impending passage of A.B. 5 met with such controversy as in the ride share economy dominated by the two publically traded behemoths, Uber and Lyft. These worldwide multi-billion dollar companies see Dynamex and the new law as threats to their business model and their very existence. The ride share giants argue that drivers love the flexibility of choosing to work or not work by simply turning on or off their smart phone “apps.” What they don’t publicize is that many drivers are working 70 hours a week just to make ends meet, and after paying their expenses for car maintenance, fuel and leasing, their earnings often fall below the minimum wage. “Reformers and trade unionists argued that the solution was not to perpetuate child labor, but to organize powerful unions in the coalmines and elsewhere.” Too many business and labor commentators have been resigned to the independent contractor model as an inevitable feature of technological progress. But while the Uber apps may be wonderful, the “uber” exploitation of workers is unacceptable! The argument for the preservation of flexibility and the benefits to workers and their families harken back to the opposition to child labor law restrictions in the early part of the twentieth century. It was said that some parents in their desperation to bring in more income aided their children in falsifying documents so that the little ones could work in the coalmines. The earnings from child labor often enabled impoverished families to survive – but at a frightening social cost. Reformers and trade unionists argued that the solution was not to perpetuate child labor, but to organize powerful unions in the coalmines and elsewhere. Uber and Lyft fought hard to be exempted from the provisions of A.B. 5, arguing that the well being of their drivers depended on it. Labor leaders from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the Northern California Teamsters opportunistically have sought an agreement with the companies to exempt them from the provisions of A.B. 5.[1] Because of a heroic grass roots organizing network, that back door deal is for now dead. Rideshare Drivers United (RDU) which represents over 5,000 drivers, fought against the exemptions as a betrayal of the drivers. RDU has led several strikes and job actions in Southern California and has been the most high-profile force in the country organizing at Uber and Lyft. They are aided by some cutting-edge apps of their own that enable drivers to communicate, organize and figure their hourly earnings after expenses. Fortunately, the legislator who authored A.B. 5 is herself an ex-labor leader who headed the San Diego Central Labor Council. Lorena Gonzalez said of RDU, “Any union that wants to be the voice of ride-share drivers has to be inclusive of that group (RDU) and others.”[2] Assemblywoman Gonzalez understands a fundamental principle of trade unionism: no deals should be made without workers being directly involved in any decision about their work life. Unfortunately, Governor Newsom appears to be interested in getting a “deal” between the high-tech sector and some unions that will exempt ride share drivers from the newly passed law. He has stacked a newly appointed Commission on the Future of Work with Silicon Valley executives and representatives of the same labor unions that tried to cut a deal with Uber and Lyft prior to the passage of A.B. 5. The fight over A.B. 5 has revealed significant splits in organized labor. Supporters of a sweet deal with Uber and Lyft are also champions of “sectoral bargaining” — meaning all the corporations in a particular industry would be obligated to negotiate with labor and government representative to determine pay and working conditions in that sector. The attempt by these unions to reach a deal with Uber and Lyft was wrapped in this vision of sectoral bargaining in the ride share industry. The Italian and other European countries experience with a sectoral approach is often positively cited – without any understanding of how the particular features of sectoral bargaining in these countries arose out of workers movements and their struggle for power. The U.S. had sectoral bargaining in the auto industry, but only after dramatic confrontations by thousands of organized autoworkers with General Motors and the other auto manufacturers in the 1930s. The campaign to reclassify so-called independent contractors as workers is far from over in California. However, an important victory has been won in what will be a long war for dignity and justice for ride share drivers and many other gig economy workers. [1] “Reform of the Gig Economy A Wonderful Thing: The California legislature’s passage of rights for gig workers is biggest blow against poverty in years,” By Jay Youngdahl, East Bay Express, September 17, 2019 www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/reform-of-the-gig-economy-a-wonderful-thing/Content?oid=27574578 [2] “Uber and Lyft Drivers Gain Labor Clout, With Help From an App,” by Noam Scheiber and Kate Conger, New York Times, September 20, 2019 www.nytimes.com/2019/09/20/business/uber-lyft-drivers.html Read Story
The United Auto Workers strike at General Motors plants is now three weeks old, and workers are being offered food and deals. Read Story
Union workers at Phillips 66's 285,000-barrel-per-day Bayway refinery in Li... Read Story
The United States is experiencing the biggest across nation strike that has been seen in a long time. Forty-nine thousand workers at General Motors have... Read Story
Close to 27,000 French police officers staged a “march of anger” on the streets of Paris this week to protest against a range of issues, including poor working conditions, low morale, surging suicide rates, and a lack of resources. Read Story
EDINBURGH: Tens of thousands of Scottish independence supporters marched in Edinburgh on Saturday, as calls grow for a fresh vote on Scotland breaking away from the United Kingdom with Brexit scheduled for within weeks. Read Story
United Auto Workers (UAW), a union linked to Democrats, has had to place a top official on leave because of federal allegations of corruption. Read Story
Contract negotiations are ongoing between the provincial government and the union representing Ontario's education workers as a midnight strike deadline edges closer. Read Story
The KCR government on Sunday announced dismissal of 48,000-odd employees and workers of TSRTC from service, after they launched an indefinite strike demanding solution to their long-pending problems. Read Story
Negotiations to resolve a three-week-old strike at General Motors for better pay, benefits and job security have taken "a turn for the worse," a top negotiator with the United Autoworkers Union said Sunday. Read Story
SEOUL, Oct.6 (Korea Bizwire) — Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., South Korea’s top shipbuilder, is likely to have a lengthy …... Read Story
Get breaking national and world news, broadcast video coverage, and exclusive interviews. Find the top news online at ABC news. Read Story
Meanwhile, NYC hears third-party delivery complaints from restaurateurs... Read Story
"Trillium Lakelands District School Board has carefully assessed the potential impact on school operations and determined that student safety cannot be ensured," a statement read. Read Story
Linamar Corp., Canada’s second largest autoparts manufacturer, expects to lose up to $1 million every day of the General Motors Co. strike in the United States, the company said in a news release Wednesday. That means the Guelph, Ont. company’s bottom line has already taken a hit of up to $18 million as the labour action nears the end of its third week. About 49,000 United Auto Workers have been on strike since Sept. 16, resulting in manufacturing stoppages across North America’s deeply integrated supply chain. “The resulting decline in GM orders are currently estimated to impact Linamar earnings at a rate of up to $1 million CAD/day of strike,” Linamar stated in an investor update on market conditions that have changed since it last released financial results in August. Linamar’s stock fell 12.5 per cent to $35.85 on the Toronto Stock Exchange by mid-morning Thursday. Workers are fighting for better health care and wages at a transitional time for GM, which is cutting back some vehicle production, including one plant in Canada and four in the U.S., to invest instead in automation and electrification. Nearly 5,000 Canadian workers have been temporarily laid off during the disruption, including the majority of workers at GM’s plants in Oshawa and St. Catharines and an additional 1,700 workers at autoparts suppliers, according to national union Unifor. Linamar did not detail exactly how the strike is affecting its production and employees, but noted that global light vehicle production is expected to be lower than previously forecast in June. “On the plus side, we are seeing more in the way of conquest or takeover business due to failing suppliers that will positively impact future sales, a key advantage for Linamar thanks to our rapid response capabilities and flexible equipment philosophy.” • Email: ejackson@nationalpost.com | Twitter: theemilyjackson Read Story
Industry body says tariffs put jobs at risk but shares in European drinks makers rise... Read Story
Sutter Health, the big hospital group, is accused of abusing its market power to charge higher prices. Read Story
Kroger is laying off hundreds of employees across the family of grocery stores it owns, according to a person familiar with the situation. The grocer, which also owns Harris Teeter, Ralphs, and Fred Meyer, has 443,000 full-time and part-time employees. Read Story
The United Auto Workers union said on Thursday it has made "significant pro... Read Story
Hundreds of Santa Clara County health care workers walked off the job Thursday morning to join other county workers who are striking for a second day.... Read Story
Workers at the white-glove art logistics company have announced their intention to form a union with Teamsters Local 814 for better healthcare and benefits. Read Story
Already popular in union circles for her trade policy ideas, Elizabeth Warren has now followed Bernie Sanders in releasing a labor platform, even more detailed than his, just before SEIU holds a forum in a year when labor support could be critical. Read Story
In September, Sen. Richard Blumenthal along with Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown penned a letter to Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos in response to reports that uncovered the company’s use of contractors to deliver its packages, and the poor treatment and conditions of workers that took place as a... Read Story
CTU could be joined on the picket lines by SEIU members who work as school support staff and for the city's park district—which would mean 35,000 striking workers all at once. Read Story
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) will join striking McDonald's workers in South Carolina on Saturday in support of higher wages and the right to unionize. Read Story
Workers launched a nine week campaign after the shipyard was placed into administration over the summer. It saw them occupy the historic site where Titanic was built round-the-clock. Read Story
UAW leaders help feds investigate president Gary Jones The Detroit News Published 8:12 PM EDT Oct 2, 2019 Detroit — A top deputy to United Auto Workers President Gary Jones and one of the union's most powerful officers are helping federal prosecutors build a criminal case against the labor leader for embezzling union funds, The Detroit News has learned. Former deputy Danny Trull and retired UAW Secretary/Treasurer Gary Casteel have met with investigators and provided an insider's view of an alleged conspiracy and cover-up involving more than $1 million spent on personal luxuries, according to federal court records and six sources familiar with the investigation. Gary Jones, United Auto Workers president, speaks during the opening of their contract talks with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on July 16, 2019. Paul Sancya, AP The government is building its case at the same time that 46,000 UAW members are striking General Motors Co. nationwide. The corruption investigation — marked by federal raids and criminal charges against 11 people linked to the UAW and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV — raises questions about whether Jones and the union's senior leadership can sell a new contract to the UAW-GM rank-and-file. Trull and Casteel join a team of former UAW officials who have cooperated with the investigation into labor law crimes, kickbacks, bribes, and embezzlement and helped prosecutors secure nine convictions. "Those guys have bargaining chips and can give the government something about Gary Jones," said Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross Business School. "But that testimony can be attacked." Danny Trull, left, and Gary Casteel Facebook/The Detroit News Federal authorities last month filed a criminal case against another Jones deputy, UAW Region 5 Director Vance Pearson, that outlined a scheme to embezzle membership dues spent on private villas, golf, meals and $400 bottles of Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne. The criminal case implicated four current and former UAW officials, including Jones and former UAW President Dennis Williams, who investigators refer to with pseudonyms because they have not been charged with a crime. The sources, who are not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation, identified Trull as "UAW Official C" and former Williams aide Amy Loasching as "UAW Official D." Casteel is referred to as "CW-5," a cooperating witness, the sources said.  Sources helped decipher pseudonyms used by the government to identify four current and former UAW officials implicated in an alleged embezzlement scheme. They are (clockwise): Gary Jones, aka "UAW Official A"; Dennis Williams, aka "UAW Official B"; Danny Trull, aka "UAW Official C", and Amy Loasching, aka "UAW Official D." The Detroit News/Facebook Trull served as Jones' deputy overseeing a 17-state regional office based in Missouri and retired in late 2015. He is accused in the criminal complaint of using member dues to pay for golf, meals and shopping in Palm Springs and trying to conceal the expenses. The 64-year-old from Waxahachie, Texas, told investigators he saw Jones spend member dues on golf clothes in Palm Springs and that union money paid for extravagant lodging, expensive cigars, high-end liquor and fancy meals. He also said Jones ordered him to hide the expenses, according to the sources and a federal court affidavit written by Labor Department Special Agent Andrew Donohue. Besides being a top deputy, Trull also served on the board of Jones' nonprofit, the 5 Game Changers Charity Fund. The News previously reported federal agents are investigating the charity. Casteel, meanwhile, who oversaw the union's finances and its $1.1 billion in assets, told investigators he did not know union money was being spent on personal luxuries in Palm Springs. He said the expenses, including 107 rounds of golf, more than $100,000 worth of golf equipment and $185 bottles of Crown Royal whiskey, were beyond what he would have approved, according to sources and the affidavit. "CW-5 confirmed that all UAW expenses had to be properly approved and for the benefit or the UAW's membership," Donohue wrote. Casteel, 61, of Ashland City, Tennessee, was viewed as a potential successor to Williams before abruptly announcing his retirement last year.  Casteel and Trull have not been charged with wrongdoing and did not respond to messages seeking comment. “If reports are true that Danny Trull and Gary Casteel are cooperating, Gary Jones has nothing to fear,” Jones’ defense lawyer Bruce Maffeo told The News. “The expenditures were reported in sufficient detail that if either Casteel, who was secretary/treasurer, or the UAW accounting department had any questions, they had every opportunity to ask them and they didn’t.” A UAW spokesman declined to comment on Trull and Casteel. The sources also identified Loasching as an unnamed UAW official accused in the Pearson case of spending months in private villas, golfing, eating, shopping and partying in the Palm Springs area.  Amy Loasching and Dennis Williams Facebook/The Detroit News The UAW spent more than $11,000 renting a private villa for Loasching near Palm Springs from 2015-16, and she spent approximately $1,000 during a shopping spree at a Palm Springs golf resort, according to the Labor Department investigator. Loasching, 56, was first linked to the investigation on Aug. 28 when federal agents raided her home in Janesville, Wisconsin. She has not been charged with wrongdoing. UAW President Gary Jones and Region 5 Director Vance Pearson The United Auto Workers “I’ve met with her a number of times and looked over a substantial amount of documents,” her defense lawyer Brian Legghio told The News. “I am completely satisfied and convinced she has not violated any labor management laws or any federal laws.” The Loasching raid coincided with searches in three other states, including at the homes of Jones, Williams and Pearson. Two weeks later, Pearson was charged with embezzlement, mail and wire fraud and money laundering in a case that implicated Jones. The UAW, for example, rented a three-bedroom villa with a private pool and hot tub for Jones near Palm Springs in late 2015 and early 2016, according to the Pearson criminal case. The UAW was holding a five-day conference, but the villa was rented for 63 days and cost the union more than $10,000. "These UAW officials have intentionally and fraudulently concealed these personal expenses within the cost of UAW leadership and training conferences in order to prevent their discovery by the government and the UAW membership," Donohue, the Labor Department agent, wrote. Danny Trull, left, and UAW President Gary Jones attended a union event in 2012 when Jones headed a UAW region based in Missouri. Trull served as Jones' top deputy. Facebook Trull, meanwhile, is portrayed by the government as a central figure in the alleged cover-up and a frequent shopper in Palm Springs. His apparent signature is on a $3,000 bill for men's and women's shirts, jackets, hats, visors and sunglasses at the Indian Canyons Golf Resort pro shop in December 2014, according to the Labor Department agent. "UAW Official C," who is Trull, also was sent an $1,800 bill from a cigar shop and submitted false paperwork to conceal Palm Springs expenses, the investigator wrote. Trull tried but failed to convince an employee of the Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel to hide condominium, villa, meal, golf, and cigar expenses in 2015 "by falsely inflating hotel room rentals," Donohue wrote. The employee refused until Jones intervened. The hotel employee "believed the purpose of the endeavor was to conceal the true nature of the union's expenditures from its members," Donohue wrote. UAW President Gary Jones, left, received an award in 2018 for raising money for the union's political action committee from former UAW President Dennis Williams, right. Both of their homes were raided by federal agents Aug. 28. The UAW Trull spoke with investigators after reaching an agreement preventing the government from using his statements or evidence against him if he "provided truthful and complete answers." Trull, identified as "UAW Official C," admitted submitting false vouchers to the UAW that concealed Palm Springs expenses, according to the government affidavit. The UAW and the regional office Jones oversaw until being elected president had made similar arrangements for years, Trull told investigators. He also portrayed Jones as an ambitious, free-spender. Trull "believes that (Jones) used the events to curry favor with (Williams) who also enjoyed the lavish lifestyle," Donohue wrote. The Trull cooperation could be attacked, Gordon said. "(Trull's) weakness is the defense will point out that he knew about (Palm Springs spending) and now to save his skin he's saying things to the government," he said.  Casteel also met with investigators after prosecutors agreed not to use his statements or evidence against him, according to sources and the Donohue affidavit. During his meeting, Casteel confirmed UAW expenses had to be properly approved and benefit union members. Casteel told investigators he did not know member dues were being spent on cigars, golf equipment, greens fees and private villas for UAW leaders, the Labor Department agent wrote. "If Jones is charged and goes to trial, the defense will attack (Casteel's) credibility," Gordon said. "If the secretary/treasurer of the UAW didn't know about all this, was he inept? Is he telling the truth or is he trying to save his skin?" rsnell@detroitnews.com Twitter: @robertsnellnews daniel.howes@detroitnews.com Published 8:12 PM EDT Oct 2, 2019 Read Story
General Motors Co's U.S. workforce productivity has declined since the auto... Read Story
A spokesman for the Jordanian Teachers Association (JTA), Noureddine Nadim, said yesterday that the union complied with the administrative court's decision and decided to suspend the strike starting n... Read Story
Despite this growing progressive fervor, Democrats have not put forth policies to show they stand with the workers enduring economic stagnation and a weakened social safety net... Read Story
RENO, Nev. -- Sen.Kamala Harris, D-California, told supporters in the early caucus state of Nevada Thursday she expects impeachment proceedings to move quickly in the House because of growing…... Read Story
A woman vying to lead the AFL-CIO says she sees hope in last year producing the greatest number of strikes in 30 years. Read Story
Workers at Chicago-based Mount Sinai Hospital have voted to empower their bargaining team to call a strike if they are unable to reach an agreement with hospital management, according to the union that represents them. Read Story
Unionized Santa Clara County workers in California have called for a strike beginning Oct. 2, according to The Mercury News. Read Story
U.S. factory activity hit its lowest level in more than a decade, as President Donald Trump’s trade wars take a toll on American and global manufacturing. Read Story
Get breaking national and world news, broadcast video coverage, and exclusive interviews. Find the top news online at ABC news. Read Story
United Auto Workers Vice President Terry Dittes, in a letter to union members on Tuesday, said the most recent proposal by GM "did not satisfy" the "contract demands or needs" of members.   From our friends over at the : Business News   You can see the Full Story: Click Here Read Story
Donald Trump’s tariffs continue to be an extremely mixed bag for the U.S. steel industry, but they’re definitely not good news for workers in Louisiana and Tennessee being laid off from a bankrupt steelmaker. Read Story
CHICAGO - A Chicago teachers strike could be less than a week away if there isn't a last-minute deal between the union and nation's third-largest school district. Read Story
VIRGIN Atlantic pilots are voting whether to strike at Christmas — risking chaos for thousands of travellers.Cockpit staff represented by the Professional Pilots Union are rowing with Sir Richard …... Read Story
The United Auto Workers union said on Tuesday it rejected a new comprehensive of... Read Story