(WASHINGTON) – Today, the Teamsters Union launched the “Let’s Get America Working!” campaign to encourage both Democratic and Republican lawmakers to work together to focus on creating good jobs through investment in our infrastructure. Representatives from the Teamsters delivered packets to the offices of every member of Congress today that outlined the key areas the union believes lawmakers must focus on to help build, maintain and repair our infrastructure and help make America strong.
IBT Unveils ‘Let’s Get America Working’ Campaign; More Than 1K Take a Stand for Teamster Women; NLRB Sides With Local 350 in Fight Against Temp Workers; Calif. Lawmakers Back Bill Mandating Two-Person Train Crews; Organizing News; This Week in Teamster Music; New Platform Makes Unions Strong, America Stronger
It will take all of us working together to fight corporate greed, particularly when it comes to our nation’s prisons, where billion-dollar corporations have moved in to profit on human misery.
AFSCME represents 85,000 corrections officers across the country, as well as mental health workers, parole officers, nurses and others throughout the criminal justice system. We see what happens when correctional facilities are sold to the highest bidder. And we know firsthand that the goal for these companies is not to protect our communities but to make money.
Our criminal justice system should not be powered by companies with a profit incentive. Upholding the law is inherently a function of government. It was never meant to be profitable. The top priority in any prison should be community safety.
But these giant corporations have moved into many states, empowered by governors who are happy to let government services wither away. The losers in this deal are workers as well as inmates, and the broader communities they serve.
An inmate in a private prison is much less likely to have access to decent medical care, decent food, rehabilitation services and training, or safe and humane conditions. We've already seen what happens in Michigan and Ohio when officials outsource food services in prisons to private companies – the food is so bad that only the maggots are enjoying it!
When AFSCME members in Ohio offered the lowest bid to replace these private food services, state officials found ways to disqualify that bid. They awarded the new contract to the same private food vendor that was causing the problems.
The food is not the biggest worry, though. Private prison corporations also want to replace trained corrections officers with lower-paid, less-experienced workers at these private prisons. This is a dangerous trend that undermines community safety. Corrections officers already have dangerous jobs. They deserve to be well trained and supported to safely conduct their important work.
This is a problem that affects entire communities. Private prison companies want a steady stream of customers to guarantee higher profits. So they push stricter sentencing, lock-up quotas, and the dumping of mental patients in prisons. One company insisted on long-term contracts in which they would be paid for unused prison beds if the number of inmates dipped below 90 percent.
Greedy contractors are also pushing changes in immigration laws, including “immigrant detention quotas.” New immigrants are being deprived of their freedom just to fill arbitrary quotas set in the Homeland Security Department funding bills.
Sentencing and immigration law are big issues that have serious consequences for our communities. We ought to be crafting these policies carefully and deliberately, with input from the public. We can’t have these policies driven by CEOs who cut back-room deals in our statehouses and city halls.
Unfortunately, we face many right-wing state officials who are intent on outsourcing all our work – schools, roads, trash collection, mental health and prisons. They’re not looking out for working people or for the communities we serve.
We must draw the line and insist that no one should profit from incarceration. A unified labor movement, working with community allies, can ensure that criminal justice is the essential government function that our citizens deserve.
Laura Reyes is the Secretary-Treasurer of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, which represents 1.6 million workers. She was elected at the union’s 40th International Convention in June 2012.
Here are today's top news stories of interest to Teamsters for September 2, 2015.http://teamsternation.blogspot.com/2015/09/todays-teamster-news-090215.html
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) union is gearing up for an aggressive fall push to convince lawmakers to approve a long-term highway bill that has eluded transportation advocates for the better part of a decade.http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/252489-labor-readies-fall-highway-blitz
The Teamsters have unveiled a new campaign in advance of the 2016 election that will encourage both Democratic and Republican lawmakers to endorse a pro-worker agenda.http://thehill.com/opinion/op-ed/252468-new-platform-makes-unions-strong-america-stronger
The NetJets Dispatchers Negotiating Committee met this past week on Tuesday and Wednesday for preparation and electronic passes with the Company, then in person with the Company on Thursday.http://teamsterair.org/node/2369
Local 350 was front and center in the fight before the NLRB against waste company Browning-Ferris. Now millions of workers across the country will benefit.http://teamsternation.blogspot.com/2015/09/nlrb-win-for-teamsters-is-victory-for.html
INDIANAPOLIS – Clarence “Wade” Havvard, an AFSCME Local 725 member and employee of the Indianapolis/Marion County Department of Public Works (DPW), was killed Aug. 26 in a wave of violence that has struck the city in recent weeks.
A father of four, the 32-year-old Havvard began working at the city’s Parks Department as a seasonal worker before joining the DPW and AFSCME since Sept. 15 of last year. Havvard was apparently sitting outside with friends. When the friends left, gunshots came from in between two houses and struck him in the chest. He died at the hospital a short time later.
“He was a hardworking employee,” said fellow Local 725 member Shonna Quick-Crowell. “This is a tremendous loss to our local and the city of Indianapolis. He will truly be missed.”
“It takes a heartless, soulless person to do something like this,” said Donnica Bates, the victim’s cousin. “He was a beautiful human being. He was a family man. His children will never see him walk through the door again.”
Fraternal Order of Police President Rick Snyder said police will work nonstop to find Clarence Havvard’s killer. The investigation is ongoing.
MORE THAN 160 construction industry leaders representing owners, contractors and Boilermakers gathered at Niagara on the Lake in Ontario, August 18-20 to seek solutions to shared challenges. Among the participants were 19 owner representatives from Bruce Power, Irving Oil, New Brunswick Power, Nova Chemicals, Nova Scotia Power, Ontario Power Generation, Shell Canada Ltd., Syncrude Canada Ltd. and TransCanada. Representatives from various government agencies also participated.
UNION MEMBERS SHOWED their distaste for right-wing billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch and their political surrogates August 21 by taking part in a 3,000-person rally in downtown Columbus, Ohio, where an Americans for Prosperity summit was being held. The Kochs and five GOP presidential candidates attended the event. The candidates included former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
Here are today's top news stories of interest to Teamsters for September 1, 2015.http://teamsternation.blogspot.com/2015/09/todays-teamster-news-090115.html
The Teamsters National Automobile Transporters Industry Negotiating Committee reached a tentative agreement today for a new national carhaul contract. The Teamsters committee unanimously endorsed the tentative agreement.
The Teamsters National Automobile Transporters Industry Negotiating Committee reached a tentative agreement today for a new national carhaul contract. The Teamsters Committee unanimously endorsed the tentative agreement.