Have a Great Memorial Day Weekend!
Brothers and sisters,
This Memorial Day Weekend I want to send greetings and best wishes to all Local 320 families. If provided the opportunity, I encourage you to take some time to enjoy the holiday. Always remember that Memorial Day is not just about long weekends, picnics, or welcoming the summer months—it’s about honor and sacrifice.
Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces—those who fought and died for our freedoms and our way of life. The men and women who served our Nation’s military and continue to serve warrant immense admiration from every single citizen of this great country.
Teamsters Local 320 will never forget the sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform. We stand in solidarity with those who fight for our freedoms and we shall do so forever!
Top U.S. CEOs now make 373 times the average rank-and-file worker!
The average U.S. worker has seen wages climb slowly over the past year. The average big-company chief executive has seen compensation jump far more substantially.
CEOs at the nation’s largest publicly traded companies received 373 times the compensation of the average production and nonsupervisory worker last year,according to a new report Wednesday by the AFL-CIO. Figures compiled by the union federation show that the gap widened from a 331-to-1 ratio in 2013 as overall CEO compensation rose nearly 16% last year. The average worker’s wages rose just 2.4%.
The average worker earned $36,134 in 2014, while the compensation for CEOs at S&P 500 companies averaged about $13.5 million, according to AFL-CIO calculations.
Brother Doug continued:
This was a tremendous collective effort on the part of many of our Joint Council 7 and 42 Local unions. We really saw what happens when our Locals get involved in politics on the local level — making endorsements and DRIVE contributions — and how that helped us influence legislators. We reached out to legislators in their districts, making a big difference.
Furthermore, in our effort to connect organizing and legislation, we put Taylor Farms and their temporary agencies front and center in this fight, with workers and Teamsters hitting the capitol on three separate lobby days, mobilizing over 100 people. The bravery of Taylor Farms workers and the horror stories they told led some opponents of the bill to distance themselves from Taylor Farms as a “bad actor” in this industry.
Next we move on to the Senate. A great effort so far with more work to come!
Looking forward to another Teamster victory!
The broad movement to raise wages for American workers will surge ahead next week as Walmart moms plan to strike in more than 20 cities starting as early as tomorrow.
They are walking off the job to protest illegal firings of their co-workers who asked for more hours and better pay.
Workers, unionized and non-unionized, have stood shoulder-to-shoulder during the wave of one-day strikes that are becoming a regular occurrence. Food processing workers, Teamsters, fast food workers, longshoremen, UFCW members, warehouse workers and port truck drivers have all walked the picket line together in the past year.
According to the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart), Walmart workers will also demand change at Walmart’s annual meeting. The strikes are beginning to work, according to OUR Walmart:
Recently, Walmart improved its pregnancy policy after OUR Walmart members, who are also shareholders, submitted a resolution to the company about its pregnancy policy. And, responding to OUR Walmart members’ growing calls on the retailer to improve access to hours, Walmart rolled out a new system nationwide that allows workers to sign up for open shifts in their stores online…
The majority of Walmart workers are paid less than $25,000 a year – forcing many to rely on food stamps and other taxpayer-supported programs to survive. Working women—increasingly the breadwinners and decision makers in households—make up the majority of Walmart’s workforce and are often hit hardest by the employer’s poverty wages.
As the peerless Hamilton Nolan reported at Gawker, Walmart scrimps on its workers but not on its executives:
The problems afflicting crap mecca Walmart extend beyond its persecuted work force, all the way into the corporate executive suite. A new report from an outside overseer says the famously cheap company doesn’t mind burning tons of money to benefit top executives.
Institutional Shareholder Services is a firm that examines the corporate practices of companies and then advises big investors on how to vote on various company issues. ISS is far from a radical group. Its focus is simply on making sure companies are well-run. Its recommendations are closely followed by investors representing bazillions of dollars. The Wall Street Journal reports that ISS is now advising its clients that the chairman of Walmart’s board needs to tossed out for being too cozy with company executives, and that the company’s executive pay needs to be reined in, because it is too easy for Walmart executives to get big paydays regardless of the company’s declining performance over the past year-plus…
North Carolina’s anti-worker Legislature is trying to severely limit protest outside the Statehouse, after hundreds were arrested last year for demonstrating against laws that raised taxes on the poor, lowered them on the rich, slashed education and suppressed voting.
The protests became known as the Moral Monday movement, and they undoubtedly embarrassed North Carolina lawmakers.
The new rules, which were changes to existing rules, were passed Thursday by the Legislative Services Commission. The committee had not met since 1999, and the rules had not been altered since 1987…
Rep. Larry Hall, A Democrat and the House minority leader, said, “This is not regarding safety. This is limiting people’s ability to have their voices heard.”
The new rules do not allow groups to “disturb, or create an imminent disturbance,” at the General Assembly.
They state that visitors may be asked to leave the Legislative Building if they are found to be disturbing “the General Assembly, one of its houses, or its committees, members, or staff in the performance of their duties.”
The Rev. William Barber, who led the Moral Monday protests, said the protests will start next week even if the new rules are passed:
Barber said the protests will replicate last year’s and arrests will be up to the Legislature’s police.
In a statement Thursday afternoon, Barber said,”Speaker Thom Tillis and the extremists he leads are attempting to undermine, stifle and stop the voice of the people.”
Barber said that courts would uphold the North Carolina Constitution, which states, “The people have a right to assemble together to consult for their common good, to instruct their representatives, and to apply to the General Assembly for redress of grievances.”
Barber said the new rules violate the First Amendment rights to free speech and are “highly offensive and prejudicial to African Americans, minorities, women, the poor, LGBT people and faith communities who have been historically criticized for being abnormal to the so-called mainstream of our country whenever they have chosen to protest.”
The fight to save an industry and middle class jobs from imports Cleveland Plain Dealer …The United States is losing middle class jobs; but those in the fight to limit steel imports are hoping they will be able to offer an example on how to save them. At its core, the effort to limit steel imports is part of a much bigger effort to save American jobs. Not just any job, but “decent-paying” and “family supporting” jobs, to draw upon the chants of organized labor…
City council votes to repeal collective bargaining for some workers WANE.com …In a 7-2 vote Tuesday night, Fort Wayne City Council approved an ordinance that will remove collective bargaining for some city workers. Council members had three ordinances to vote on Tuesday that would affect collective bargaining rights for most of the city’s union workers…
Scientists: Florida’s congressional map is ‘partisan gerrymander’ Orlando Sentinel …The coalition of groups trying to prove Florida’s congressional map was intentionally gerrymandered to help Republicans turned to experts Tuesday who testified it was “virtually impossible” to have drawn the maps without political bias…
War On Workers
Supreme Court case could impact public unions Philadelphia Inquirer …A largely overlooked Supreme Court case has the potential to fundamentally alter the right of public employees to unionize — and a ruling could be handed down as early as this week…
American jails have become the new mental asylums – and you’re paying the bill (opinion) Guardian …As sheriff, I run the Cook County Jail, the largest jail on a single site in the country with approximately 10,000 inmates on any given day – and approximately 30% of them suffering from a serious mental illness…
How Tech Companies Tricked A Generation Into Working For Free Forbes …Valve’s Steam service is building an ecosystem of unwaged user productivity, selling games through its “Early Access” program, essentially allowing game developers to charge players to beta test their games in exchange for the flattering thrill of seeing something before it’s ready…
The Worst Places On The Planet To Be A Worker Huffington Post …The U.S., embarrassingly, scored a 4, indicating “systematic violations” and “serious efforts to crush the collective voice of workers.”s…
Walmart’s Penny Pinching Doesn’t Extend To Executives, Says Report Gawker …The problems afflicting crap mecca Walmart extend beyond its persecuted workforce, all the way into the corporate executive suite. A new report from an outside overseer says the famously cheap company doesn’t mind burning tons of money to benefit top executives…
Walmart Workers Launch Effort To Unseat Rob Walton As Chair Forbes Magazine …Walmart has a new CEO in Doug McMillon, a one-time warehouse worker who took over the top job this year. Is it time for a new chairman too? A coalition of Walmart workers believe so, and they’re mobilizing fellow shareholders in an effort to boot billionaire Rob Walton off the board at the big box giant’s annual meeting on Friday, June 6…
VA investigators: Delayed care is everywhere USA Today …”Our reviews at a growing number of VA medical facilities have thus far provided insight into the current extent of these inappropriate scheduling issues throughout the VA health care system and have confirmed that inappropriate scheduling practices” are widespread, the report said…
R.I.P., Maya Angelou, Proud Gun Owner and User National Review …Angelou also emerged very late in life as an off-hand supporter of the right to bear arms. In a 2013 interview with Time magazine’s Belinda Luscombe, the ancient poetess talked Star Trek and death (“I’ll probably be writing when the Lord says, ‘Maya, Maya Angelou, it’s time’”), but she also recounted how she used a gun for home defense…