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New York Teamsters stand for sanctuary

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 23:40

New York Teamsters stand for sanctuary
https://socialistworker.org/2017/09/20/new-york-teamsters-stand-for-sanc...
Defending immigrant workers is a prerequisite for a fighting labor movement that backs up calls for solidarity with action, writes Teamsters Local 810 member Tim Goulet.

September 20, 2017

The family of Eber Garcia Vasquez protests his deportation in New York City (Teamsters Joint Council 16)

TEAMSTERS JOINT Council 16, representing 120,000 Teamsters in 27 locals across the five boroughs of New York City, as well as Long Island, the Hudson Valley and Puerto Rico, has declared itself a "sanctuary union."

The vote to do so was given added urgency by the early September deportation of Eber García Vasquez, a Teamster who worked for 26 years at a medical waste hauler on Long Island before he was deported to his native Guatemala.

As a sanctuary union, the Teamsters have vowed to not cooperate with federal immigration agents in attempting to detain or deport members. The joint council has also pledged to provide legal training and solidarity for members who face such threats and to demand contract provisions from employers that provide added protection for immigrant workers.

Teamsters Local 810 in Queens was the first to pass a sanctuary resolution. As that resolution states, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents "have been raiding and arresting immigrants on the flimsiest of pretexts, with no regard for how long they've lived in the U.S., how dependent their families are upon them, or the ties they harbor with their communities."

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THE DEPORTATION of García Vasquez tragically serves to prove this point.

A 26-year member of Teamsters Local 813, García Vasquez was expelled to his native Guatemala on September 6. For those 26 years, Eber worked at the medical waste hauler Stericycle in Farmingdale, Long Island.

His case is particularly cruel, as he was the sole breadwinner for his family. His wife is confined to a wheelchair following a car accident some months ago. Eber originally fled to the U.S. to escape violence in his home country that claimed the lives of several family members, including his mother.

García Vasquez was deported despite a public campaign to defend him, including union-led protests at Federal Plaza and New York City's ICE headquarters; a petition campaign; an organized member call-in to ICE; and expressions of local political support for his cause.

Eber was detained and his lawyer escorted from the building when he showed up for an annual check-in with immigration authorities. Afterward, he was spirited out of New York to Bergen County Jail in New Jersey, likely to avoid unwanted attention.

The process was remarkably quick. Less than two weeks after his detainment, he had been deported, making it all the more difficult to mount an effective defense. "In just 13 days, [Eber García Vasquez's family] was ripped apart," wrote George Miranda, president of Joint Council 16.

Eber's wife, Maria Chavez Marino, didn't find out he had been deported until Eber called her from Guatemala. "We don't know how he will survive, how he's going to live," she said.

Angela Fernandez, an attorney and the executive director of the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights, was surprised by the details of García Vasquez's case, despite her many years of experience with the injustices of the U.S. immigration system. "The fact that this happened so quickly--to go from your check-in to find yourself in your country of origin in 13 days--is astounding," she said.

Unfortunately, the Trump administration appears determined to continue its acceleration of the targeting of undocumented people, as the administration's recent assault on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program indicates.

Undocumented workers aren't only at risk of being targeted by the government, but by employers as well. Some employers may feel squeezed by Trump's anti-immigrant agenda, but the more aggressive among them may simply use the new regime as an excuse to escalate anti-immigrant actions in the workplace to discourage organizing, or simply pit workers against one another.

As Sonia Singh writes at Labor Notes, the assault includes: workplace raids by government agents; I-9 audits, during which ICE reviews employer records to make sure all employees have proper documentation; no-match letters, which means the Social Security Administration notifies employers that information on a worker's W-2 doesn't match government records; and E-Verify, an online system to check an employee's eligibility to work, which is required in some states and voluntary in others.

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THIS PLACES a responsibility on the labor movement to serve as a first line of defense for undocumented workers. Unions can take collective action to ensure that employers do not cooperate with government officials. Sanctuary resolutions are an important statement of solidarity and anti-racism that educate other workers and the labor movement as a whole, as well as inspire people to fight back.

But how and even whether a resolution's provisions are enforced depends on organization and action.

Since Trump's inauguration, many labor unions around the country have been stepping up to defend their members and fight for immigrant rights. But not all.

The building trades, for example, have generally bowed to Trump, hoping for favors in exchange for their support for his agenda. But as Dave Jamieson writes at HuffPost, other unions--such as those in the service sector--have been acting as "de facto immigrants rights groups advocating for their members."

Last spring, the AAUP-AFT played a pivotal role in keeping Carimer Andujar safe by leading a rally outside the Newark, New Jersey, offices of ICE while Andujar went inside for her annual check-in. "They were well aware of the support I had waiting for me outside," said Andujar, a Rutgers student and DACA recipient, upon her release.

Juan Vivares faced a situation similar to Eber García Vasquez when he reported to ICE offices in lower Manhattan after receiving a deportation order. But Vivares was released due to the mobilizing efforts of his wife's union, 32BJ SEIU, which rallied outside ICE offices, pressured politicians and led a mass call-in to the officer handling Vivares' case.

Several unions have made a concerted effort to provide legal assistance, organize support for immigrant members and their families, and push to negotiate contract language stipulating that employers refuse to cooperate with ICE.

Other unions have secured agreements with employers to notify a shop steward if ICE or the Department of Homeland Security inquires about a worker; to not allow ICE on site without a warrant; and to forego self-audits of their employees' immigration documents unless forced to by federal officials.

UNITE HERE, a union in the hotel and restaurant sector with a large immigrant base, is one of the unions making a push to incorporate immigration safeguards in new contracts, including a provision requiring employers to contribute to an assistance fund for undocumented workers who lose their jobs.

Other unions, such as SEIU Local 275 in Seattle, have conducted workshops in alliance with local immigrants rights groups to educate members about how to respond when confronted by immigration agents.

Teamsters Local 396 in Los Angeles, where immigrants are overrepresented in the sanitation sector, have been able to secure clauses in contracts that include a grace period for workers who need time to deal with immigration officials inquiring about their work papers--so that the workers don't lose their jobs or seniority.

AFSCME Local 3299, which represents 20,000 workers at the University of California, has established an immigration committee that actively fights for sanctuary and other protections for its immigrant membership.

The AFL-CIO recently issued a pamphlet to its member unions that addresses immigration issues in the context of collective bargaining.

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TAKEN TOGETHER, these examples indicate that labor has taken some significant steps forward in standing up for the rights of its immigrant members. But, of course, there is still much work to be done.

Defending every member regardless of documentation must become a principle that every rank-and-file worker feels in their bones. Fighting side by side and making every one of our unions a sanctuary for the most vulnerable and oppressed isn't an optional extra, but a prerequisite for rebuilding an effective labor movement.

Ultimately, the best weapon to protect our fellow workers is collective action by rank-and-file organization. We can't rely on lobbying politicians and cutting deals in back rooms with officials.

Whether or not any of these avenues are successful will ultimately be decided by the strength we can leverage through united action that draws together the efforts of as many people as possible who share our objectives. Workplace actions supplemented by citywide rapid response networks that can quickly move substantial resources into action are ideal.

Up until now, the pace and scope of the struggle have been largely determined by the shock waves set off by the Trump administration's actions. Now we must figure out how to move from being largely reactive to advancing our own agenda.

That means confronting arguments put forward by more moderate forces that attempt to win protections only for so-called "good" immigrants. As Rigo Gogol and Alan Maass wrote at SocialistWorker.org, "we want 'protection for all.'" Sanctuary means a place of safety and refuge for those in time of trouble; it either applies to everyone or no one.

As the great revolutionary socialist Eugene Debs once wrote: If socialism "does not stand staunchly, unflinchingly and uncompromisingly for the working class and for the exploited and oppressed masses of all lands, then it stands for none and its claim is a false pretense and its profession a delusion and a snare."

Tags: teamstersimmigrationEugene Debs
Categories: Labor News

SFO Latest Protest Target For TWU American Airlines Mechanics Fighting For A Fair Contract

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 14:30

SFO Latest Protest Target For TWU American Airlines Mechanics Fighting For A Fair Contract

HTTP://WORKERSINDEPENDENTNEWS.COM/2017/09/19/SFO-LATEST-PROTEST-TARGET-FOR-TWU-AMERICAN-AIRLINES-MECHANICS-FIGHTING-FOR-A-FAIR-CONTRACT/

BY JOANNE POWERSSEPTEMBER 19, 2017360

American Airlines aircraft maintenance and ground support workers rallied this week at San Francisco International Airport. The protest is the latest in a series of huge pickets at major American Airlines hubs since July calling for a fair contract that doesn’t outsource jobs overseas.

The protest was organized by Brian Parker of Transport Workers Union Local 513:

[Brian Parker]: “This campaign’s all about outsourcing American jobs. They’re outsourcing safety and security, simply put. They’re sending our jobs to China and Chile and Brazil, and we simply can’t allow that to happen. There’s nothing more un-American than outsourcing our work. They made a billion and a half dollars this last quarter and what’s really sad is the sacrifices these employees have made to keep these planes in the air and keep them safe. There’s no other reason for them to be outsourcing this work other than greed.”

Parker says overseas workers are not subject to the same level of oversight as US workers, threating safety and security for the American public. Members of several TWU locals were joined on the picket line by members of other unions, including the APFA, CWA-AFA, IAM and Teamsters.

The union’s 30,000 mechanics have been negotiating a contract with the airline for nearly two years and are still working under a bankruptcy contract from 2011 after taking numerous concessions from the company.

Jennifer Platt is President of TWU Local 505:

[Jennifer Platt]: “I’m proud that I work for American Airlines, but I’m not proud of the way they’re acting towards us now. They’re not bargaining fairly at the table. They’re just not playing ball. So, we’re out here to tell Doug Parker, tell the negotiators for American Airlines: we’re not gonna take it! We’re strong. We’re unified. We want a contract that we deserve.”

Thanks to the Labor Video Project, laborvideo.org, for this audio.

The full video is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2QmlAZagj0&feature=youtu.be

Tags: SFOTWU American Airlinescontract fightoutsourcing
Categories: Labor News

Taxi and Limo Drivers Have High Risk of Violent Death at Work

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 11:55

Taxi and Limo Drivers Have High Risk of Violent Death at Work

https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/research-rounds/resroundsv3n3.html

Taxi and limo drivers face a greater risk of violent death at work compared to other workers, and the risk is even higher among certain groups of drivers, according to new NIOSH researchpublished in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

In 2000, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration released recommendations for safe workplaces free of violence. Previous studies showed that these recommendations helped decrease the risk of violence in the retail industry, which has many of the same work-related risks as the taxi and limo industry. These risks include working with cash, working with the public, working alone, and driving during night and early morning hours. The taxi and limo industry, however, remains disproportionately dangerous. In 2014, 31 taxi and limousine drivers, or 10 per 100,000 workers, were killed due to violence while at work compared with < 1 per 100,000 workers overall, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Although motor-vehicle crashes are still the leading cause of work-related death for most transportation industries, 50% more workers died from workplace violence than from motor vehicle crashes in the taxi and limo industry in 2014.

To clarify the risk, NIOSH investigators analyzed information on violent deaths among taxi and limo drivers from 2003 through 2013, using the Bureau for Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. They found that 366 taxi drivers died a violent, work-related death, primarily homicide, for the 11-year period used for this study. This translates to a rate of 18 per 100,000 taxi and limo drivers. The risk was even greater among men, who were more than 6 times as likely to die a violent death at work than were women, and double among blacks and Hispanics compared to whites. Previous NIOSH research examining socio-demographic differences among work-related homicides across all industries found men and blacks had among the highest homicide rates after adjusting for other socio-demographic characteristics, including industry and occupation. It is important that city ordinances and company policies affecting worker safety are equally accessible and used by all drivers.

Beyond these disparities, the South had the highest rate of violent death, followed by the Midwest. These regional differences likely stem from the use of safety measures that generally come under the purview of city regulations in this industry. Two of the widely adopted safety measures are physical partitions between the driver and passenger and security cameras. In the Northeast and Midwest, partitions primarily were mandated by the city. In contrast, camera requirements primarily varied from city mandates in the West to company policy in the South. To decrease the risk of violence, it is critical that all taxi and limo drivers work in environments that not only promote but that use these and other proven safety measures, the investigators said. In addition to partitions and cameras, other important safety measures include silent alarms, vehicle-tracking devices, and improved lighting inside vehicles. Moreover, crucial safety training includes de-escalation of violence and practices such as limiting the amount of cash in the taxicabs and maintaining communication with dispatchers to prevent robberies. Finally, periodic safety inspections are important to ensure that safety measures are in place and working properly.

More information is available:

Work-Related Violent Deaths in the US Taxi and Limousine Industry 2003 to 2013
Effectiveness of Taxicab Security Equipment in Reducing Driver Homicide Rates
NIOSH Occupational Violence
NIOSH Division of Safety Research

Tags: Taxi death on the joblimo health and safety
Categories: Labor News

DC Metro and ATU 689 union bicker over who was responsible for Monday’s Orange Line mess

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 11:20

DC Metro and ATU 689 union bicker over who was responsible for Monday’s Orange Line mess
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2017/09/19/metro-and-...
By Faiz Siddiqui September 19 at 6:30 AM
As Metro and its largest union prepare to enter binding arbitration after reaching an impasse over contract talks, tensions continue to escalate. The latest case-in-point: a back-and-forth between the agency and union after weekend construction problems caused Orange Line slowdowns for thousands of commuters Monday morning.

After a mobile concrete mixer broke down during weekend repairs Sunday, according to the transit agency, Metro had to call in extra workers to mix concrete by hand. Without the mobile concrete plant, the construction — renewal of the grout pads that secure the running rails on an eastern segment of the Orange Line — spilled into the morning commute. And workers had to use shovels and wheelbarrows to complete the job, according to Metro.

[Contract talks collapse between Metro and its biggest union, triggering arbitration]

The construction delays caused headaches for commuters. Metro kept the inbound track out of service for the entire morning commute, as trains single-tracked from New Carrollton to Cheverly. Trains arrived only every 16 minutes over a five-stop segment. And some wondered why the agency hadn’t completed the work during SafeTrack, when the same stretch in question was closed for nearly a month while workers performed repairs that included nearly two miles of new grout pad.

In response to questions about the issue, the transit agency blamed its own machinery:

“The equipment that failed is [Metro] equipment,” Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said, referring to the mobile concrete mixer that broke down. It “is not overly complex: It’s a concrete mixer affixed to a flatbed, pulled by a prime mover — basically a mixing bowl that takes on water and powdered grout.”

Monday afternoon, however, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 weighed in with its own version of events. The allegations: The weekend track work was beset by planning failures, and the delays were caused by private contractors’ “shoddy” work, the union alleged. Further, the contractors ultimately walked away before finishing the job, the union said.

“The ‘construction problems’ that Metro says caused the Orange Line delay this morning were due to the poor planning of [Metro] management, as well as privately contracted workers who walked away from their assignment before it was completed,” the union said Monday. “There are many instances where contractors do shoddy work and Metro workers have to come back to correct their mistakes; today was one of those instances.”[Orange Line construction delays cause headaches for morning commuters]

Calling the private contractors “unfit” for the job, the union used the construction delays to argue against Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld’s proposal to allow competitive bidding for some Metro projects, such as jobs on the second phase of the Silver Line.

Metro flatly denied the union’s account.

“The union’s claim is false,” Stessel said. “As a general matter, and specifically in this case, contractors are used to supplement — not replace — [Metro] employees to maximize productivity during weekend track outages. This approach is in the best interest of customers, because it means more work gets done in the limited amount of time available.”

Did contractors walk away from the job site?

“No,” Metro said.

Did contractors’ inexperience factor into the construction delays?

“No,” Metro said.

As for the union’s claim that it was brought in to fix the job, the agency said “employees and contractors” were called in overnight to hand-mix the concrete.

Pressed to provide specific evidence of the union’s claims, union spokesman David Stephen said in an email that when “the Local 689 members came to the site the contractors were not there.” He said there was likely no outside documentation to support the claim that union workers were sent in for cleanup because sending workers to job sites is “standard procedure.”

Metro argued, however, that the union’s account couldn’t be true because both union and contract workers were in the area all weekend. (The track work was scheduled for Friday night through Sunday, although the delays stretched it through Monday morning.)

Even if the machinery did break down, the union said, that would have been an insufficient explanation for a construction delay.

“Equipment breaks regularly,” Stephen said. “Mechanics are on standby for this reason. That was not the issue that [led] to the delay.”

Rather, said Stephen, because of poor planning, Metro did not load the concrete mixers sufficiently to rehabilitate the 1,000 feet of track in question. The job was split into two sections, according to Stephen: 600 feet for Metro workers and 400 feet for contractors. And Metro did not supply enough concrete for the full project, he said.

Stessel’s response: “If that were true, then you’d correct the issue and continue running the machines. In other words, why wheelbarrows and shovels? I think we’re done here.”

An email to an outside contractor believed to have supplied workers for the project was not immediately returned.

Tags: ATU 689MTA
Categories: Labor News

Why NYC MTA conductors point out of their trains after stopping at subway stations-Learned From Japan Railway Workers

Sun, 09/17/2017 - 14:41

Why NYC MTA conductors point out of their trains after stopping at subway stations-Learned From Japan Railway Workers
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/mta-conductors-point-stopping-subway...
A subway conductor checks the train doors before pulling out of the Columbus Circle Station in NYC on Dec. 13, 2005.
A subway conductor checks the train doors before pulling out of the Columbus Circle Station in NYC on Dec. 13, 2005. (PETER FOLEY/REUTERS)
BY
DAN RIVOLI
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, September 17, 2017, 4:38 PM
Conductors have a curious habit of pointing out of their trains when it pulls into a station.

Stand at the middle of any subway platform and a rider can see, like clockwork, a conductor pull up, poke their head out of an open train cab window and point towards the ceiling.

The pointing can confuse subway newbies, who may wonder what they’re gesturing towards.

Follow their finger and you’ll see a black-and-white zebra-striped board hanging above them.

“You’re pointing to the safety of your passengers, to make sure that your train is completely and safely in the station,” said Shawna Robinson, a conductor who sits on the executive board of the Transport Workers Union Local 100. “You’re also pointing to let the (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) know that you’re doing what they trained us to do.”

Conductors are trained to point so that everyone watching knows they’re alert and that every train car is in the station, ready for the doors to open.

Before September 1996, when the MTA made pointing mandatory, conductors never had to acknowledge the boards, which were installed once technology allowed for a single conductor to ride the train, instead of one every two cars, according to the MTA’s history of the point.

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That year, top transit official Nathaniel Ford took a business trip to Japan, where he is credited with witnessing the pointing first-hand and bringing it back to New York’s subway, according to Atlas Obscura, a travel publication.

What Ford saw is known in Japanese as shisa kanko, which means “pointing and calling.”

It keeps Tokyo’s transit workers alert and its riders safe.

In New York, it became a curiosity to people observant enough to see the conductor routinely point to the platform.

It caught the eye of Calvin Huang, a native Brooklynite, when he would catch the train to school.

“Usually, when I stand in the middle of the platform, I was thinking, what is this guy doing?” Huang, a 21-year-old graphic design student, said. “I was noticing that they’re in position to open the train door.”

The procedure became the subject of a viral video in October 2013.

Called “The New York Subway Signs Experiment,” the video explains the pointing and has some fun with it. A group of young people hold signs with messages such as “Point here if you are dead sexy” and “Point here if you have seen a passenger naked.”

The video has been seen nearly 2.3 million times.

Marsha Fair, a conductor, 41, from Brooklyn, had no idea that conductors point to the board at every stop when she started training after she joined the agency in February 2016.

“At first I was like, this is so stupid. Pointing to the board?” she said.

But now, she sees why it’s necessary.

“For me, it’s all about safety,” she said. “It just keeps you alert. You know you have to find that board.”

It may seem silly, even among some conductors at the MTA, but it’s mandatory and enforced.

“If you don't point to that board you can get into a lot of trouble,” said Robinson.

Conductors are tested on this as part of the MTA Department of Subways’ Efficiency Testing Program.

The efficiency test makes sure conductors and operators are running trains safely.

For conductors, that means ensuring that doors open and close properly, observing the platform and, of course, pointing to the indication board.

Getting caught not pointing could get the conductor swapped out of the train on the spot and ordered to take a drug and alcohol test. The MTA could seek dismissal or a suspension up to 30 days, according to union officials.

Hundreds of train workers face field testing on subway operations and a handful have failed. Of the 378 conductors tested this year through June, 26 of them failed, according to figures obtained by the Daily News. Last year, 39 of 848 conductors tested failed.

The MTA did not respond to questions and a request for comment.

Crystal Young, a conductor and TWU rep, said the MTA should go easy on conductors, arguing that some workers are busted for not fully extending their arm out to point or that it was obscured by immense crowds on platforms.

“They may not see everything that’s going on and that’s unfortunate because it’s my word against your word,” Young said of the officials conducting the efficiency test. “They may say you didn’t do something that you actually did.”

Tags: MTATWU 100safety signshand sign for safety
Categories: Labor News

Ford Pushing Transit Privatization In San Francisco With Chariot

Thu, 09/14/2017 - 10:49

Ford Pushing Transit Privatization In San Francisco With Chariot

“This company is another one of these companies based on ‘We’re going to break the law, and go to city government to ask for forgiveness,’” said Sue Vaughan, who sits on the SFMTA’s citizen advisory council and has been a staunch critic of private transit services.

Vaughan has catalogued Chariot vehicles double parking to let out passengers, blocking Muni buses and engaging in other “scofflaw” behavior in dozens of photographs.

http://www.sfexaminer.com/new-sf-jitney-rules-ban-chariot-competing-dire...
New SF jitney rules ban Chariot from competing directly with Muni

Chariot, an app-enabled private bus service owned by Ford Motor Company, is the only company of its kind operating in The City. (Daniel Kim/Special to S.F. Examiner)
By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez on September 14, 2017 1:00 am

San Francisco jitney vans are set to see historically new regulations.Proposed rules to govern private transit vehicles — essentially buses run by companies — will go before the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors for a vote at their next meeting Tuesday.

The new rules, if approved, will be instated 30 days after the meeting and apply to any private transit service working explicitly within San Francisco. Only one such company exists right now — the app-enabled bus service, Chariot.

Among this new legal framework is a clause addressing a chief public concern: Private transit will be banned from replicating Muni routes.

“These regulations would require any new route does not duplicate Muni service,” said Alex Jonlin, an SFMTA transportation analyst, at a media briefing on the rules Wednesday.

Much of Chariot’s existing network replicates Muni Express and Rapid bus routes aimed at downtown workers. Those routes will be “grandfathered in,” Jonlin said.

New private transit routes that match Muni routes “75 percent” or more will not be allowed, Jonlin said, along with other requirements.

Exceptions would be made for routes that mimic Muni lines outside of its service hours, or connect to regional transit (except on Market Street), or serve substantially different stops.

The move to essentially cut off direct competition between private and public buses is one among many concerns the SFMTA will address with the new regulatory framework. Additionally, private transit companies will be required to share GPS data of its vehicles, ridership numbers, register for California Highway Patrol vehicle inspections, bolster safety training and provide equal access for people with disabilities.

The program will cost $250,000 annually to administer, according to the SFMTA, which will be recovered nearly entirely through administrative fees to Chariot. State law requires SFMTA only recoup the costs of such a program.

Chariot would not comment directly on the regulations, and said it would continue working with the SFMTA. Ford Motor Company bought Chariot, a startup, late last year. The sale price was not disclosed, but Business Insider cited sources who pinned the sale at “more than” $65 million.

Private jitney buses have operated on San Francisco streets for as long as automobiles have existed. Jitneys ferried San Franciscans to the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in 1915, and many Muni lines today run on former private bus lines.

However, private jitney service declined in the 1970s. At the time, jitneys were loosely regulated through a patchwork of laws at the San Francisco Police Department and elsewhere.

“Our big concern is public safety,” Kate Toran, head of SFMTA taxi services, said of creating new rules for jitneys in San Francisco.

The rules come after neighbors have complained of Chariot vehicles double parking, stopping in Muni bus stops and blocking driveways, according to the SFMTA.

The public made 62 complaints through email or 311 about Chariot and other private transit services, which are now defunct, since September 2015, according to the SFMTA. There have been 28 complaints in 2017 alone.

“This company is another one of these companies based on ‘We’re going to break the law, and go to city government to ask for forgiveness,’” said Sue Vaughan, who sits on the SFMTA’s citizen advisory council and has been a staunch critic of private transit services.

Vaughan has catalogued Chariot vehicles double parking to let out passengers, blocking Muni buses and engaging in other “scofflaw” behavior in dozens of photographs.

San Francisco State University geography professor Jason Henderson, who focuses on urban transportation, said even if Chariot is not allowed to compete with Muni, the regulations don’t go far enough.

“The City needs to be asking a soul searching question — is private transit really the right way to do things?” he said.

Though Henderson admits some San Franciscans simply don’t want to use Muni, either because they complain it’s too dirty, too crowded, or not as comfortable as hopping on a Chariot van, he said that’s beside the point.

Henderson added that two different modes of transit, a luxury option for those who can afford it, and a public option that faces possible disinvestment, doesn’t reflect San Francisco values.

“I think the solution is for those kinds of people to get over themselves,” he said.

Tags: transit privatizationderegulationFord Privatization
Categories: Labor News

Unlucky train of coincidences led to fire on the Japan Odakyu rail line

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 18:28

Unlucky train of coincidences led to fire on the Japan Odakyu rail line
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201709120052.html
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
September 12, 2017 at 17:40 JST

The scorched roof of the train car after the freak accident Sept. 10 (Shingo Kuzutani)

Standard precautions to ensure passenger safety in the event of an emergency on rail tracks backfired when a train was forced to halt close to a burning building, and then caught fire.

The freak accident that halted operations on Odakyu Electric Railway Co.'s Odawara Line in Tokyo's Shibuya Ward on Sept. 10 was triggered by a blaze that broke out in a building that doubles as a boxing gym and dormitory for boxers right next to the tracks.

According to the railway operator and the Metropolitan Police Department, the first report of the fire in the Yoyogi 5-chome district reached the fire department at 4:06 p.m.

Firefighters at the site asked a police officer to stop trains while they tried to contain the blaze. The police officer activated the emergency stop button at a nearby railroad crossing about five minutes after the initial report of the fire.

All oncoming trains came to an emergency stop. The eight-car train in question was bound for Shinjuku Station, and became stationary just 3 meters from the blazing building.

In the event of a fire along rail tracks, Odakyu Electric's guidelines stipulate that the driver or the conductor must make sure to stop the train at a safe location.

In this incident, the driver noticed white smoke billowing, but did not realize there was a fire.

The driver assumed the emergency stop button had been activated due to a problem at the crossing.

When the driver disembarked from the train to check, he realized for the first time that the building next to the tracks was on fire.

The driver returned to his cabin, and manually lifted the emergency mode, and contacted Odakyu Electric's command center to ask for permission to restart the train.

The train was on the move eight minutes after it came to a stop. But by that time, the roof of the second car had caught fire.

The train crawled forward for 120 meters or so, and ground to a halt again after firefighters alerted the driver about the fire on the roof so the 300 passengers could spill out safely onto the tracks.

There were no injuries.

The intense heat caused the urethane resin overcoat, which was painted to insulate stainless steel cars from electrical components, to ignite.

The resin is mixed with flame retardant agent, but was no match for the immense heat.

(This article was written by Odaka Chiba and Kensuke Abe.)

Tags: Odakyu Electric Railway Co.'s Odawara Linehealth and safetyfire
Categories: Labor News

Air Berlin cancels 100 flights after Vereinigung Cockpit pilots call in sick in wildcat strike

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 15:33

Air Berlin cancels 100 flights after Vereinigung Cockpit pilots call in sick in wildcat strike
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/12/bankrupt-air-berlin-cancel...

Bankrupt airline’s hubs at Düsseldorf and Tegel badly affected by apparent wildcat strike against possible redundancies
An Air Berlin plane at Düsseldorf airport
Air Berlin lost €782m last year and pilots fear they could be made redundant. Photograph: Roland Weihrauch/AFP/Getty Images
Philip Oltermannin Berlin
@philipoltermann
Tuesday 12 September 2017 08.01 EDTLast modified on Tuesday 12 September 2017 17.00 EDT

Air Berlin has been forced to cancel about 100 flights after an “unusually high number” of pilots called in sick, in what is believed to be a wildcat strike against possible redundancies at the bankrupt airline.

The carrier, which declared bankruptcy last month after years of losses, is negotiating the transfer of staff to a potential buyer. Bids for the airline must be submitted by Friday, with a decision on the sale expected as early as next week.

On its website, Air Berlin cited “operative reasons” for the cancellations on Tuesday, and asked passengers to call a helpline and refrain from travelling to the affected airports.

Because the carrier no longer offers compensation for cancelled flights, customer advice centres recommended that people affected by the strike book replacements at their own expense.

Berlin’s Tegel airport and Düsseldorf airport, Air Berlin’s hubs, were hit hard by the strike action, which also affects 42 planes run by Air Berlin on behalf of Eurowings and Austrian Airlines.

Spiegel Online said about 250 pilots called in sick on Tuesday morning. Air Berlin employs approximately 1,500 pilots.

Vereinigung Cockpit, a collective bargaining group for German pilots and flight engineers, has expressed concern that the airline is planning to offload its long-haul flights branch, which pays staff higher wages.

Air Berlin has already announced that it will cease to operate flights to the Caribbean and Boston from 25 September.

Air Berlin made a loss of €782m (£703m) in 2016. Last month, Etihad Airways, which owns almost 30% of Air Berlin, said the developments were “extremely disappointing”, but it could not keep injecting cash after investing an additional €250m in April.

Tags: Air Berlin StrikeSickout
Categories: Labor News

9/18 SFO AA TWU 505/591 Workers Picket For A contract

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 11:39

9/18 SFO AA TWU 505/591 Workers Picket For A contract
Brothers & Sisters,

Please join Transport Workers Union Local 505 and 591 for an informational picket on September 18th, 10am-noon & 3pm-5pm. American Airlines promised the the best contract in the industry but after two years there is still no contract. Today, approximately 40% of American Airlines maintenance is being outsourced to foreign facilities with very little FAA oversight.

Date: Monday, September 18, 2017
Time: 10:00 am - noon & 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Location:
Assembly Point - Courtyard 3, between T-2 & T-3, Downstairs
Picket Point - Terminal 2, Doorway 6, Upstairs

In Solidarity,
Susan Charles, Office Manager
San Mateo County Central Labor Council
1153 Chess Dr., Suite 200, Foster City CA 94404
Telephone: 650-572-8848
www.sanmateolaborcouncil.org

flyer

https://actionnetwork.org/user_files/user_files/000/017/726/original/TWU...

Tags: TWU 505TWU 591AA Contractunion bustingoutsourcingsolidarity
Categories: Labor News

LA ILWU Local 63 casuals protest outside union hall in Wilmington, demanding more work, benefits

Sat, 09/09/2017 - 06:01

LA ILWU Local 63 casuals protest outside union hall in Wilmington, demanding more work, benefits
http://www.presstelegram.com/social-affairs/20170908/ilwu-casuals-protes...

A casual worker grabs a sign as she walks the picket line as casual workers strike outside ILWU hall in Wilmington Friday, September 8, 2017. Several hundred casuals strike through out the day. (Photo by Thomas R. Cordova, Daily Breeze/SCNG)
By Rachel Uranga, Long Beach Press Telegram
POSTED: 09/08/17, 6:52 PM PDT | UPDATED: 7 HRS AGO0 COMMENTS

Casual workers walk the picket line as casual workers strike outside ILWU hall in Wilmington Friday, September 8, 2017. Several hundred casuals strike through out the day. (Photo by Thomas R. Cordova, Daily Breeze/SCNG)

Dozens of part-time dockworkers who have been waiting for years to land a full-time job protested outside their Wilmington union hall Friday, demanding they be given benefits and more work.

“They are frustrated,” said Paul Trani, president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 63, representing marine clerks. “They have been sacrificing their family. Many have two jobs.”

It was unclear how many casuals demonstrated. Unconfirmed reports put the number at 300 Friday morning, with another gathering slated for Friday afternoon.

Officials from three ILWU locals — Locals 63, 13 and 94 — issued a joint statement Friday saying that they did not condone the action.

“As always, Locals 13, 63 and 94 are committed to fill all labor needed for the movement of cargo in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach,” the brief statement said. More than 5,000 casuals pick up intermittent work along the docks at a dispatch center in Wilmington. The workers have been preselected in a random lottery, and once they build up enough seniority, they can qualify to pick up full-time work. But those rolls are rarely opened, and many part-timers have been waiting for more than a decade to land a gig.

One woman, who did not want to give her name, said she is a 35-year-old mother who has worked on the docks for 14 years and deserves to have job security and benefits.

Earlier this year, the Pacific Maritime Association, representing shippers and terminals at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, along with the ILWU, held a random lottery for more part-timers, effectively expanding the list and making the wait times longer for those at the very bottom.

ILWU Local 13 asked the PMA to hire 600 casuals on a full-time basis, and ILWU Local 63 asked that 100 positions be filled in its union.

“We don’t have enough clerks to fill these jobs. We want more clerks,” Trani said. “Every day there’s at least a couple hundred jobs that go unfilled by (full-time) marine clerks.”

The PMA declined to comment.

About 46 percent of those casuals trained and approved to work make themselves available during any given week last year, according to the PMA statistics. And those casuals worked on average 1.6 eight-hour shifts per week.

Tags: ILWU 63casualssolidarity
Categories: Labor News

Canada Winnipeg Airports Authority accuses striking Public Service Alliance of Canada workers of intimidation, obstructing traffic- Airports authority asks court for amendments to injunction that limits activities of striking employees

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 10:43

Canada Winnipeg Airports Authority accuses striking Public Service Alliance of Canada workers of intimidation, obstructing traffic-
Airports authority asks court for amendments to injunction that limits activities of striking employees

http://ht.ly/s5rB30eYDwj

By Dean Pritchard, CBC News Posted: Sep 06, 2017 6:01 PM CT Last Updated: Sep 06, 2017 6:01 PM CT

The Winnipeg Airports Authority was in court Wednesday seeking amendments to an injunction restricting the activities of striking employees. (CBC)

l
As a strike by 150 airport employees entered its seventh week, the Winnipeg Airports Authority returned to court Wednesday and accused striking employees of intimidating staff and patrons, obstructing traffic to the airport and wielding cameras "like weapons."

The airports authority is asking Justice Herbert Rempel to beef up and amend an interim court injunction issued Aug. 4 that limits the activities of striking employees.

Duty managers, administrative workers, various tradespeople, IT workers, airfield maintenance personnel and labourers at the airport went on strike July 24 and set up a picket line at the airport.

Winnipeg Airports Authority wins court injunction against striking workers
"All of this conduct is new, it's egregious, it's threatening," Winnipeg Airports Authority lawyer Rod Roy told Rempel.

Roy alleged striking employees have obstructed traffic at Wellington Avenue and Route 90, a major route to the airport, putting motorists at risk. Police have been unresponsive, which leaves only the courts to resolve the issue, Roy argued.

"God forbid that something should happen at the intersection" and someone gets hurt, Roy said.

No evidence police haven't acted on complaints: PSAC lawyer

Rempel questioned whether he has authority to restrict activities on a public roadway well off the airport authority's property.

"If something bad is happening, isn't that on the police?" Rempel said. "As I see it, these would be offences under the Highway Traffic Act. The police don't have discretion when and when not to enforce the law."

Roy said it doesn't matter whether the traffic obstruction occurs "10 feet, 100 feet or 1,000 metres away" from airport property — the goal is the same, and is "to inconvenience and create a nuisance for the WAA."

The court has been provided no evidence motorists complained to police about the road obstruction and nothing was done, said John Harvie, lawyer for the Public Service Alliance of Canada, the union representing the striking workers.

"Where is that evidence?" Harvie said. "It's not here."

Airports authority seeks injunction against employees accused of picketing at private homes
Strike begins for 150 Winnipeg airport workers
Roy alleged striking workers have actively harassed employees who have chosen to return to work.

"They are being pilloried, vilified and, indeed, threatened implicitly or explicitly by having their personal information and images put on social media, they are being accosted in grocery stores," Roy said. "Who is going to protect them if not the airport and the court?"

Roy also accused striking workers of aggressively filming employees and others as they entered the airport.

"They are filming as a weapon … right in their face, within a few feet, circling them," Roy said. "It has nothing to do with monitoring the picket line."

Harvie said there is no need to "parse" what kind of filming is and isn't allowed, arguing that question can be adequately addressed by the existing injunction.

Rempel will deliver his decision on the amendment motion Thursday afternoon.

Transport Canada is "monitoring the strike situation" and working with the WAA "to verify that airport operations continue to meet aviation safety and security regulations," a spokesperson said in an email to CBC.

"Transport Canada has not taken enforcement action at the Winnipeg International Airport during the strike period," the spokesperson said.

Tags: Public Service Alliance of CanadaWinnipeg Airport Workersstrike actionrepression
Categories: Labor News

Long Island Local 813 Teamster with no criminal record deported to Guatemala days after immigration check-in — with no notice to his family

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 20:34

Long Island IBT Local 813 Teamster with no criminal record deported to Guatemala days after immigration check-in — with no notice to his family
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/teamster-deported-notice-family-supp...
Eber Garcia Vasquez pictured with one of his grandchildren. Garcia built a life here with his wife, four children, and three grandchildren.
Eber Garcia Vasquez pictured with one of his grandchildren. Garcia built a life here with his wife, four children, and three grandchildren.(COURTESY OF EBER VASQUEZ)

GINGER ADAMS OTIS
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Thursday, September 7, 2017, 4:52 PM
Thirteen days after he showed up for his annual check-in with immigration officials, Eber Garcia Vasquez — a 26-year Teamster living on Long Island with a clean criminal record — was deported with no notice to his family.

Garcia, 54, called his wife Wednesday from Guatemala to let her know he'd been sent back to the country of his birth, which he'd left nearly three decades ago in the middle of a violent civil war to seek asylum in the U.S.

His abrupt removal from the country came just one day after Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents denied two appeals of his deportation order filed by Garcia's attorney.

An immigration Board of Appeal also denied a motion filed by Garcia's attorney to reconsider his deportation because the married father of three American-born children has a valid green card application pending.

Guatemalan mom seeks refuge from deportation at NYC church

He was detained by ICE officials Aug. 24 and sent to a federal holding facility in Bergen County, N.J.

When his appeals were denied Tuesday, an ICE official told Garcia's attorney his deportation was imminent.

By Wednesday, he was back in Guatemala and his family only learned of his removal when he called to tell them where he was, his union said.

An ICE official confirmed his deportation.

"Garcia Vasquez was removed to his native country yesterday without incident," the spokeswoman said.

Teamsters Local 813, which represents workers at the Long Island waste facility where Garcia worked since 1991, had mounted a determined effort to pressure ICE and Homeland Security officials into releasing him.

Backed by elected politicians, the Teamsters held a press conference in front of ICE offices in lower Manhattan — but their pleas to allow Garcia to remain in the U.S. while his green card was processed came to naught.

"I am saddened, and frankly shocked that Eber was deported so quickly. This is happening to thousands of immigrants across the country and the inhumanity is obvious in each story. Today a family was torn apart, and now is without a breadwinner," said George Miranda, head of Teamsters Joint Council 16.

Family devastated after L.I. father detained for deportation

Garcia at work for Teamsters Local 813, where he worked for 26 years.
Garcia at work for Teamsters Local 813, where he worked for 26 years. (COURTESY OF EBER VASQUEZ)
"Our union lost a valued member ... In the coming days we will be setting up a fund for the Garcia Vasquez family to help them cover their expenses. We will continue fighting for justice for all immigrants," Miranda said.

Garcia's wife Maria, who recently moved with their youngest daughter to Virginia to escape gang violence on Long Island, has been in a wheelchair for the past four months after a horrific car accident.

Without Garcia's earnings, the family could lose its Virginia home, their attorney said.

Garcia came to the U.S. in the 1980s and filed an asylum claim with the government. He was granted permission to work while his case wound its way through the courts.

Rally held in NYC to free Guatemalan set for deportation

Several of his family members in Guatemala, including his mother, have been killed.

Garcia built a life here with his wife, four children and three grandchildren.

His asylum case was finally resolved in 2013, and not in his favor. The courts denied Garcia asylum status but under President Obama's policies he was allowed to stay in the U.S. while his green card petition was sorted out.

Garcia, with his clean criminal background and solid work history, was given the okay to return to his life as long as he checked in annually with ICE.

Guatemalan immigrant denied motion for stay of deportation

When he went for his annual check-in Aug. 24, officials told his attorney his stay of deportation would not be renewed and he was marked for deportation.

His wife and his oldest son Melvin, 25, are U.S. citizens and both have filed green card applications for him — which could possibly get him back into the U.S. within one or two years, his attorney said.

But as the sole means of financial support for his family, the economic damage done to them by Garcia's absence will be hard to repair, the attorney noted.

Tags: IBT Teamster Deportedimmigrant deportedTeamsters Local 813
Categories: Labor News

Long Island Teamster with no criminal record deported to Guatemala days after immigration check-in — with no notice to his family

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 20:34

Long Island Teamster with no criminal record deported to Guatemala days after immigration check-in — with no notice to his family
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/teamster-deported-notice-family-supp...
Eber Garcia Vasquez pictured with one of his grandchildren. Garcia built a life here with his wife, four children, and three grandchildren.
Eber Garcia Vasquez pictured with one of his grandchildren. Garcia built a life here with his wife, four children, and three grandchildren.(COURTESY OF EBER VASQUEZ)

GINGER ADAMS OTIS
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Thursday, September 7, 2017, 4:52 PM
Thirteen days after he showed up for his annual check-in with immigration officials, Eber Garcia Vasquez — a 26-year Teamster living on Long Island with a clean criminal record — was deported with no notice to his family.

Garcia, 54, called his wife Wednesday from Guatemala to let her know he'd been sent back to the country of his birth, which he'd left nearly three decades ago in the middle of a violent civil war to seek asylum in the U.S.

His abrupt removal from the country came just one day after Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents denied two appeals of his deportation order filed by Garcia's attorney.

An immigration Board of Appeal also denied a motion filed by Garcia's attorney to reconsider his deportation because the married father of three American-born children has a valid green card application pending.

Guatemalan mom seeks refuge from deportation at NYC church

He was detained by ICE officials Aug. 24 and sent to a federal holding facility in Bergen County, N.J.

When his appeals were denied Tuesday, an ICE official told Garcia's attorney his deportation was imminent.

By Wednesday, he was back in Guatemala and his family only learned of his removal when he called to tell them where he was, his union said.

An ICE official confirmed his deportation.

"Garcia Vasquez was removed to his native country yesterday without incident," the spokeswoman said.

Teamsters Local 813, which represents workers at the Long Island waste facility where Garcia worked since 1991, had mounted a determined effort to pressure ICE and Homeland Security officials into releasing him.

Backed by elected politicians, the Teamsters held a press conference in front of ICE offices in lower Manhattan — but their pleas to allow Garcia to remain in the U.S. while his green card was processed came to naught.

"I am saddened, and frankly shocked that Eber was deported so quickly. This is happening to thousands of immigrants across the country and the inhumanity is obvious in each story. Today a family was torn apart, and now is without a breadwinner," said George Miranda, head of Teamsters Joint Council 16.

Family devastated after L.I. father detained for deportation

Garcia at work for Teamsters Local 813, where he worked for 26 years.
Garcia at work for Teamsters Local 813, where he worked for 26 years. (COURTESY OF EBER VASQUEZ)
"Our union lost a valued member ... In the coming days we will be setting up a fund for the Garcia Vasquez family to help them cover their expenses. We will continue fighting for justice for all immigrants," Miranda said.

Garcia's wife Maria, who recently moved with their youngest daughter to Virginia to escape gang violence on Long Island, has been in a wheelchair for the past four months after a horrific car accident.

Without Garcia's earnings, the family could lose its Virginia home, their attorney said.

Garcia came to the U.S. in the 1980s and filed an asylum claim with the government. He was granted permission to work while his case wound its way through the courts.

Rally held in NYC to free Guatemalan set for deportation

Several of his family members in Guatemala, including his mother, have been killed.

Garcia built a life here with his wife, four children and three grandchildren.

His asylum case was finally resolved in 2013, and not in his favor. The courts denied Garcia asylum status but under President Obama's policies he was allowed to stay in the U.S. while his green card petition was sorted out.

Garcia, with his clean criminal background and solid work history, was given the okay to return to his life as long as he checked in annually with ICE.

Guatemalan immigrant denied motion for stay of deportation

When he went for his annual check-in Aug. 24, officials told his attorney his stay of deportation would not be renewed and he was marked for deportation.

His wife and his oldest son Melvin, 25, are U.S. citizens and both have filed green card applications for him — which could possibly get him back into the U.S. within one or two years, his attorney said.

But as the sole means of financial support for his family, the economic damage done to them by Garcia's absence will be hard to repair, the attorney noted.

Tags: IBT Teamster Deportedimmigrant deportedTeamsters Local 813
Categories: Labor News

British Airways risks strike action by Unite and GMB over plans to curb pension benefits

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 20:06

British Airways risks strike action by Unite and GMB over plans to curb pension benefits
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/sep/07/british-airways-naps-pe...
Unite and GMB unions make veiled threat after airline proposes overhaul to limit payouts from defined benefits scheme
A BA plane
BA says it has put £3.5bn into the Naps scheme since 2003. Photograph: Tim Ockenden/PA
Rob Davies
@ByRobDavies
Thursday 7 September 2017 14.31 EDTFirst published on Thursday 7 September 2017 13.45 EDT
British Airways could face further industrial action, this time over plans to curb retirement benefits for 17,000 pension scheme members, a move unions say would have consequences for the carrier.

The airline is proposing an overhaul that would limit retirement payouts from its defined benefit scheme (Naps). It blamed low interest rates and rising life expectancy for an increase in the scheme’s deficit to £3.5bn from £2.8bn in 2015.

British Airways cabin crew extend strike for further two weeks
Read more
BA will close the scheme to future accruals, meaning that staff will not see their retirement payout increase in line with their salary and the length of their service. Instead the airline is understood to be considering opening a new scheme that will include the Naps members along with 20,000 members of its less-generous defined contribution scheme (Barp), under which payouts are tied to the performance of investments.

Despite claiming this would yield “improved terms for the majority of UK colleagues”, BA faced a veiled threat from the Unite and GMB trade unions of fresh strikes, adding to 85 days of industrial action so far this year.

“Unite and GMB within British Airways must express on behalf of our members and in the strongest possible terms, both our dismay and bitter disappointment,” the unions said a joint statement.

“Thousands of loyal and long-serving staff, who have helped build British Airways into a world-class flag carrier for this country and one of the most recognisable global brands, now face uncertainty in their retirement. Both unions jointly demand urgent talks to discuss both the impact of this announcement, if a solution can be found and, if not, the consequences the airline may face.”

Financial analysts employed by the unions are understood to have made proposals to whittle down the scheme’s deficit that would have seen members accept lower payouts in return for higher contributions from the airline.

Advertisement

But BA said it had put £3.5bn into Naps since 2003, the year it was closed to new members, but had been unable to plug an

Tags: BA StrikeUniteGMBPensions
Categories: Labor News

British Airways risks strike action by Unite and GMB over plans to curb pension benefits

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 20:06

British Airways risks strike action by Unite and GMB over plans to curb pension benefits
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/sep/07/british-airways-naps-pe...
Unite and GMB unions make veiled threat after airline proposes overhaul to limit payouts from defined benefits scheme
A BA plane
BA says it has put £3.5bn into the Naps scheme since 2003. Photograph: Tim Ockenden/PA
Rob Davies
@ByRobDavies
Thursday 7 September 2017 14.31 EDTFirst published on Thursday 7 September 2017 13.45 EDT
British Airways could face further industrial action, this time over plans to curb retirement benefits for 17,000 pension scheme members, a move unions say would have consequences for the carrier.

The airline is proposing an overhaul that would limit retirement payouts from its defined benefit scheme (Naps). It blamed low interest rates and rising life expectancy for an increase in the scheme’s deficit to £3.5bn from £2.8bn in 2015.

British Airways cabin crew extend strike for further two weeks
Read more
BA will close the scheme to future accruals, meaning that staff will not see their retirement payout increase in line with their salary and the length of their service. Instead the airline is understood to be considering opening a new scheme that will include the Naps members along with 20,000 members of its less-generous defined contribution scheme (Barp), under which payouts are tied to the performance of investments.

Despite claiming this would yield “improved terms for the majority of UK colleagues”, BA faced a veiled threat from the Unite and GMB trade unions of fresh strikes, adding to 85 days of industrial action so far this year.

“Unite and GMB within British Airways must express on behalf of our members and in the strongest possible terms, both our dismay and bitter disappointment,” the unions said a joint statement.

“Thousands of loyal and long-serving staff, who have helped build British Airways into a world-class flag carrier for this country and one of the most recognisable global brands, now face uncertainty in their retirement. Both unions jointly demand urgent talks to discuss both the impact of this announcement, if a solution can be found and, if not, the consequences the airline may face.”

Financial analysts employed by the unions are understood to have made proposals to whittle down the scheme’s deficit that would have seen members accept lower payouts in return for higher contributions from the airline.

Advertisement

But BA said it had put £3.5bn into Naps since 2003, the year it was closed to new members, but had been unable to plug an

Tags: BA StrikeUniteGMBPensions
Categories: Labor News

MI Grand Rapids ATU 836 Members and Supporters disrupt planned Labor Day walk by Union Busting Mayor

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 08:53

MI Grand Rapids ATU 836 Members and Supporters disrupt planned Labor Day walk by Union Busting Mayor
"Members of the ATU have been without a contract for over two years and Mayor Bliss is a Rapids Transit board member. The board voted in favor of a merit increase for Rapid CEO Peter Varga during the August 30, 2017 board meeting where DeShane was arrested."
http://www.therapidian.org/placematters-protesters-disrupt-planed-labor-...

John Rothwell
9/05/17 03:58pm - Place Matters
During the Grand Rapids Labor Day Bridge Walk, on Monday, September 4, 2017, protestors disrupted Mayor Bliss' planned remarks.

/John Rothwell
ATU supporters protest at the start of Grand Rapids Labor-day walk

Protesters block Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss from addressing walker at the start of the local Labor Day Bridge Walk /John Rothwell

Michelle Covington (Left) Mayor Bliss and Lupe Ramos-Montigny (Red white and blue top) Walking in the Labor day walk. /John Rothwell

After a one-year hiatus, the Grand Rapids Labor Day Bridge Walk was back in full stride on Monday, September 4, 2017. As hundreds of participants lined up to start the five-mile walk, Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss was disrupted from addressing the crowd when she was met by protesters supporting the local Amalgamated Transit Union. She stepped back and started the walk early as a result.

The ATU has been in a contract dispute with The Rapid for over two years. Social Alternative Grand Rapids members came out to work with, and support the ATU in shutting down Mayor Bliss from speaking to the walkers and to bring attention to the lack of contract.

“She is largely responsible for this union busting that is going on with The Rapid,” branch organizer of Social Alternative Grand Rapids Philip Snyder said. “Frankly, how dare she speak on Labor Day at Laborfest as a quote union supporter, when in actuality she is fighting unions every step of the way.”

As the protest was taking place, walking participants involved were booing and yelling at the protesters. Many could be overheard asking the protesters why they were disrupting a family event and what were they doing protesting on a holiday, with some going as far to call the protesters anti-American and Commies.

“It was certainly ironic, but somewhat expected, that people were booing. The protest and support being held in a conservative town such as Grand Rapids (is ironic),” Snyder said. “Labor Day has lost a lot of its meaning as a holiday for workers. It is now a long weekend to shop at sales, go to the beach, camp or a last time downtown. We are having a beer tent. People do not associate the day with labor anymore.”

Walking participant Michelle Covington felt that the Mayor needed some security or a body guard, reporting her concern to the Grand Rapids Police. Shortly after, Mayor Bliss was met by Grand Rapids Police where she exited the walk on her own behalf as participants continued on.

Lupe Ramos-Montigny walked next to the Mayor in support of Labor Day and general labor in the area.

“I believe in open protest, that we have the freedom of speech, but what I do not agree with is harassment," Ramos-Montigny said.

Protesters were glad to see the mayor leave.

"It's Labor Day, she's a union buster. She (Bliss) does not belong here, so we came here and started chanting, go home Bliss, union busting is disgusting,” Local ATU member Louis DeShane said. “At Scribner and Bridge we finally blocked her at the corner there, and she finally left. So we were like na-na-na-na, na-na-na-na, hey, hey, hey good-bye. Our goal was accomplished, we shut her down.”

Members of the ATU have been without a contract for over two years and Mayor Bliss is a Rapids Transit board member. The board voted in favor of a merit increase for Rapid CEO Peter Varga during the August 30, 2017 board meeting where DeShane was arrested.

The War On Grand Rapids ATU 836 Pensions & Union Rights With Local 836 Pres RiChard Jackson
https://youtu.be/MZdN76_uG8c
Union busters and politicians in Grand Rapids, Michigan have sought to break the ATU Local 836 transit workers union reported ATU 836 president RiChard Jackson. They have sought to ban the members from handing out flyers on off-work time and have ordered the police to visit students and workers who are supporting this fight to defend their defined pension benefits. This presentation and interview took place in Chicago on April 3, 2016 at the 2016 Labor Notes convention.
For more information media:
https://soundcloud.com/workweek-radio/ww3-22-16-atu-hanley-on-sanders-tr...
Facebook ATUGR
https://soundcloud.com/workweek-radio/ww2-15-16-chicago-fired-atu241-ex-...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5jaBcpHZGc
http://www.substancenews.net/articles.php?page=6121
Production of Labor Video Project
www.laborvideo.org

Tags: ATU 836union bustingGrand Rapids Mayor
Categories: Labor News

Boston area transit privatization plan goes forward amid allegations of corruption/mismanagement

Sun, 09/03/2017 - 14:40

Boston area transit privatization plan goes forward amid allegations of corruption/mismanagement
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/09/02/mbta-s02.html
By John Marion
2 September 2017
The privatization of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) serving greater Boston is moving forward, amidst allegations of mismanagement and corruption on the part of state officials. This has included the hiring of a General Executive to head the system with no previous transportation experience and conflicts of interest in the hiring of contractors.
After record snowfalls in February 2015 caused the near-collapse of Boston’s public transportation system, the administration of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker jumped at the opportunity to use the crisis as an excuse for the privatization of the system. The MBTA — including buses, subways, trolleys, and heavy commuter rail — had been a public agency for more than 50 years.
Baker created an unelected Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB), which has attacked workers’ benefits while privatizing cash handling, spare parts warehouses, customer service jobs, and now three of the system’s bus maintenance yards. In December 2016 the FMCB used the threat of privatization to force Boston Carmen’s Union Local 589, the largest MBTA union, into a deal which slashed raises in a contract that wasn’t set to expire for another two years.
A Human Resources Workforce & Strategy update, summarizing the first six months of this year and available on the FMCB’s web site, states that 746 workers have been “separated,” through being either fired or goaded into early retirement agreements. The average yearly salary of these workers is $76,000; the average salary of the 348 new hires during this period is $60,900. The report boasts that 65 workers were fired during the first six months of this year for attendance violations.
However, neither price nor quality is being considered in the hiring of executives, who are euphemistically referred to as “talent.” On August 15 the MBTA announced that Luis Manuel Ramírez, a former Siemens and General Electric executive with no public transportation experience, has been hired as the system’s General Manager.
The MBTA paid Lochlin Partners, a recruiting firm, $93,000 for the hire and will be paying Ramírez more than $300,000 per year plus bonuses.
After his GE career, Ramírez was President and CEO of Global Power Equipment Group from 2012 to 2015. Accounting and audit controls at the company were so bad that in March 2017 it submitted a filing to the SEC admitting that its financial statements from 2011-2015 could “‘not be relied on.’” Its stock value has dropped by nearly 75 percent since then, according to a report aired on radio station WBUR.
On May 6 2015, less than two months after Ramírez left the company, Global Power issued a press release admitting that it had understated the cost of sales in its 2014 financial statements, the effect of which was to inflate the profits shown on its income statement. One week later a class action lawsuit against Global Power was filed by stockholders stating that the company’s financial statements had been “materially false and misleading.” Ramírez had signed off on the 2014 financial statements.
Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack, who made the decision without public input, told WBUR that she “‘selected Luis Ramírez based on his long and successful career of transforming and turning around complex organizations.” In other words, she hired a financial con man to accelerate the privatization of the MBTA and clamp down on workers.
After the February 2015 winter crisis, the Massachusetts legislature — both houses of which were controlled by Democrats — passed a measure sought by Governor Baker to exempt the MBTA from an existing law that limited the privatization of government services. The 2015 measure also gave the Transportation Secretary authority to hire a General Manager without the public input that was previously part of the process.
Pollack appointed a five-member “advisory committee” for the selection process, and it included two members of the FMCB. One of them, Monica Tibbits-Nutt, was interviewed by WBUR after the scandal broke.
Claiming that “‘our job was to give the potential candidates a really thorough understanding of what the MBTA needs,’” Tibbits-Nutt told the interviewer that she had only two meetings with Ramírez and the second was “‘just a handshake.’” She defended the hire with the excuse that “‘a lot of litigation happens in the corporate world,’” and admitted that she had been told nothing about the lawsuit, the SEC investigation, or the financial restatements.
This combination of corporate plunder and irrationality is not limited to the hiring of a public transportation General Manager with no public transportation experience. On Tuesday the Boston Globe reported that a contract to CH2M Hill Companies to manage the construction of a 4.7-mile Green Line trolley extension has been canceled because an engineering company it would have managed on the project has bought CH2M Hill.
The MBTA plans to hire another contractor and is claiming that the project schedule will not change, but this development adds to 27 years of delays. The construction, which would extend trolley service from Lechmere station in Cambridge to Somerville and Medford, was first approved by the state legislature in 1990.
The project was almost cancelled at the end of 2015 because cost estimates had increased by more than $1 billion. An Interim Project Management Team was appointed and released its final report in May 2016, stating that not enough MBTA staff were working on the project to handle “the dozens of consultants,” and “too much autonomy and authority was ceded to consultants who took full advantage by charging too much.”
Money also would have been siphoned off by bond investors after then-Governor Deval Patrick, a Democrat, signed a law authorizing the issuance of $1.3 billion worth of capital bonds.
A cheaper construction plan was then devised which would eliminate escalators and toilets and reduce shelter at stops to open-air roofs over the platforms. The Medford Street and School Street bridges in Somerville, which would have been replaced to provide a better right-of-way, will instead have tunnels dug under their abutments.
The Democratic Party has enabled these schemes while working with the unions to contain workers’ anger. US Senator Edward Markey spoke at an August 11 picket at the Lynn bus maintenance facility, one of the three facing privatization.
However, all sides agree that the maintenance jobs must be “saved” at the expense of the workers. Indeed, the mechanics union has offered some $29 million in concessions in ongoing contract talks. The unions main concern is not workers jobs and benefits, but their right to continue the collection of dues payments.

Tags: Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)privatizationcorruptiontransit workers
Categories: Labor News

Japan Rail And Militant Unions Call For Rally On Nov 5 In Tokyo

Sun, 09/03/2017 - 14:15

Revive Militant Labor Unions! Victory for the Struggle of National Railways!
10 Thousand Workers’ Grand March against War, Privatization and Dismantling of Labor Laws

Call for endorsement to, and participation in,
November 5 National Workers’ All-Out Rally /
Stop Constitutional Revision! 10 Thousand Workers’ Grand March

Solidarity Union of Japan Construction and Transport Workers Kansai Area Branch (Kan-Nama)
Metal and Machinery Workers’ Union in Osaka (Minato-Godo)
National Railway Motive Power Union of Chiba (Doro-Chiba)
Nationwide Movement against the Division and Privatization of National Railways and for the Withdrawal of the Dismissal of 1047 National Railway Workers (Nationwide Movement of National Railway Struggle)

It was 1998 when we, the three unions—Kan-Nama, Minato-Godo and Doro-Chiba—started holding the November National Workers All-out Rally with a call for establishing a nationwide network of militant labor unions. Though we were well aware at that moment that our endeavor was too reckless as a small stream, we boldly dared to issue an appeal to workers all over the country. And now this autumn we are going to hold the 20th November rally. We would like to express our greatest thanks for the efforts of all the organizers, participants and supporters toward the realization of our ideals. And again we appeal to you. The time has come for us to rise up with firm determination. After 20 years of strenuous efforts to revive labor movement, the time is coming to closely associate our efforts with a furious voice of people now filled in our society.
The brake on war drive is going to be released. The crisis of war over Korean Peninsula and East Asia is imminent. Abe government forcibly enacted recently security-related laws1) (war laws) and conspiracy law2), and in line with that, declared to have a new Constitution enacted in 2020. A string of recent suspicious political issues—Moritomo Gakuen3) &Kake Gakuen4) Scandals and Defense Ministry’s disclosure of daily report issue5) have exposed evil and corruption prevail in Abe’s inner circle. Although being on the verge of a crisis, Abe does not change his policy to submit a draft of revised Constitution of Liberal Democratic Party to an extraordinary Diet session scheduled for this fall. “Stop war” has been a consistent and biggest agenda for Japan’s postwar labor movement. We shall never let war start again. It is high time to go back to the starting point and unite every angry voice of working class people.
1. Security related laws: the laws allow Japan to fight overseas in the name of “right to collective self-defense” for the first time after WWII under the war-renouncing Constitution.
2. Conspiracy Law: the law allows authorities to criminalize planning and preparations to commit crime.
3. Moritomo Gakuen Scandal: a private educational firm with a nationalist bent, secured a huge and suspicious discount on state-owned land at a seventh of its listed price for a new elementary school. Shinzo Abe, his wife Akie and prominent politicians support its conservative education ethos.
4. Kake Gakuen Scandal; Kake Gakuen won approval from the central government to open a new veterinary department of its Okayama University of Science in a special strategic zone. It is suspected that the government might have chosen Kake Gakuen for the deregulation project because of Abe’s close friendship with Kake.
5. Defense Ministry’s daily report issue: The allegations of a cover-up involving logs that recorded the daily activities of troops serving as UN peacekeepers in South Sudan and the then Defense Minister Tomomi Inada’s alleged involvement. The logs described particularly tense situations in the fledgling African country and their disclosure last year could have adversely affected the government's push to continue the troop deployment and assign new, and possibly riskier, security responsibilities during the UN mission.
Abe government is attempting to deliver a death blow to the postwar labor laws by establishing so-called “Work Style Reform.” The core intent of this reform is to abolish regulation on dismissal and create a society where there are no regular job workers (total casualization of workers). “Zero Overtime Pay Bill” will be submitted to an extraordinary Diet session this fall. The conversion of fixed-term employment to permanent employment begins from April next year. This really is a brutal attack on 4.5 million targeted workers that force them into a “regular employee in name only” who will be paid at about the same level as minimum wages. Employment system is now going to be destroyed fundamentally. The government is promoting to privatize all public services and works, dismantle social security system and abandon rural areas. A total breakdown of society is now beginning.
Some executives of Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) are showing their readiness to accept the Zero Overtime Pay Bill at the meeting with Prime Minister Abe. But a large number of labor unions and workers affiliated to Rengo opposed it and protested calling for the federation to withdraw the acceptance of the government’s request immediately. Although the Abe government attempted to create its power base within Rengo to publicly support its policy of Constitutional revision that can legally wage war and dismantling of the labor law, it has failed for the time being because it was too coercive. In the prewar period, the government abolished independent labor unions and organized all industrial workers into company-by-company political cells called Industrial Patriotic Associations (Sangyo Houkokukai) in 1940. In postwar period, in 1946, the Japanese Congress of Industrial Organizations (Sanbetu Kaigi) was formed but disbanded during the Korean War in 1950. Instead, the General Council of Japanese Trade Unions (Sohyo) was established. The division and Privatization of Japan National Railways (JNR) in 1987 resulted in breaking-up of the Sohyo and was replaced by the Rengo. The forth transformation of national federation of labor unions is now going to start in Japan. This shows that the time has come to discuss about how we transform and reorganize our labor movement.
The 30-year struggle against the division and privatization of JNR has been actually the biggest showdown over union busting in post-war Japan. At the same time, it has played a decisive role in stopping the revision of the Japanese Constitution. From the onset, the underlying intention of the division and privatization of JNR has been the “laying the foundations for enshrining a strong Constitution through the privatization and division of the JNR, that would bring about destruction of the National Railway Workers’ Union”. It was openly declared by the then Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone.
Now, under the banner of “Withdraw the dismissal of 1,047 National Railway Workers! Smash the outsourcing, personnel transfer and irregular employment!” we are determined to launch fierce counter-offensive.
The November Rally has been developed into international solidarity struggle against war and neoliberalism since 2003 by demanding an end to the Iraq war. Last year, we successfully started to organize this rally as part of the epoch-making “International Joint Action in November in Tokyo and Seoul” with a call for all over the world. This year, the November Rally will be held by welcoming Korean Confederation of Trade Unions and many foreign union representatives.
We have decided with a fresh determination for a significant leap forward, to carry out the 20th anniversary of the rally on November 5th with a new scheme in two steps:
From noon to 2pm: National Workers All-out Rally against war, privatization and dismantling of the labor law
From 2pm: People’s All-out Rally against constitutional revision and Ten Thousand People’s March in Ginza, downtown Tokyo
We would like to step into a new phase of revitalizing labor movement. Let’s stop the revision of the Japanese Constitution and war! Let’s crush neoliberalism! We sincerely ask your endorsement to and participation in November 5 National Workers All-out Rally and Ten Thousand People’s Grand March”.

Name of the event: November 5th National Workers All-out Rally for victory of national railway workers’ struggle and revival of militant labor unions.
Ten Thousand People’s Grand March (International Joint Action in Tokyo and Seoul) against war, privatization and dismantling of labor law
Date: Sunday, November 5, 2017
Time: 12:00 noon
Venue: Hibiya Open-air Music Hall, Tokyo
Contact: Doro-Chiba@doro-chiba.org

Tags: Doro-ChibaMetal and Machinery Workers’ Union in Osaka (Minato-Godo)Solidarity Union of Japan Construction and Transport Workers Kansai Area Branch (Kan-Nama)Warimperialism
Categories: Labor News

The US celebrates Labor Day because of a bloody railroad clash over 100 years ago that left 30 people dead and cost $80 million in damages

Sat, 09/02/2017 - 16:55

The US celebrates Labor Day because of a bloody railroad clash over 100 years ago that left 30 people dead and cost $80 million in damages
http://www.businessinsider.com/labor-day-history-2017-8?r=UK&IR=T

Áine Cain
12h 6,272

Fighting in Chicago spiraled out of control and cost 30 people their lives. Wikimedia Commons

• Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894, after the Pullman strike.

• The bloody strike led to 30 deaths and millions of dollars in damage.

• The strike prompted Congress and US President Grover Cleveland to establish the holiday.

Labor Day tends to be a pretty low-key US holiday.

Workers across the country typically receive a Monday off to enjoy the unofficial end of summer and shop the sales.

But the history behind the day is far more dramatic and charged than this modern day observance suggests. US President Grover Cleveland signed the holiday into law just days after federal troops brought down the bloody Pullman strike in 1894.

Indiana state professor and labor historian Richard Schneirov, who edited "The Pullman Strike and the Crisis of the 1890s," told Business Insider that this particular strike proved to be a sort of "culmination" of the fraught debate over labor, capital, and unions in the 19th century.

The setting for the strike was the company town of Pullman, Chicago. The Pullman Company hawked an aspirational product: luxury rail cars.

A contemporary drawing depicts strikers clashing with troops.Wikimedia Commons

Engineer and industrialist George Pullman's workers all lived in company-owned buildings. The town was highly stratified. Pullman himself lived in a mansion, managers resided in houses, skilled workers lived in small apartments, and laborers stayed in barracks-style dormitories. The housing conditions were cramped by modern standards, but the town was sanitary and safe, and even included paved streets and stores.

Then the disastrous economic depression of the 1890s struck. Pullman made a decision to cut costs — by lowering wages.

In a sense, workers throughout Chicago, and the country at large, were in the same boat as the Pullman employees. Wages dropped across the board, and prices fell. However, after cutting pay by nearly 30%, Pullman refused to lower the rent on the company-owned buildings and the prices in the company-owned stores accordingly.

Schneirov said it became more and more difficult for the Pullman workers to support their families.

Sympathy for the Pullman workers' plight spread throughout the city — even the Chicago police took up collections for those affected.

The workers ultimately launched a strike on May 11, 1894, receiving support from the American Railway Union.

Immediately, different groups stepped in to intervene, including The Chicago Civic Foundations and the US Conference of Mayors.

But Pullman was unmoved. He refused to even meet with the strikers.

"He just wouldn't talk," Schneirov said. "He refused. Until the age of Reagan, this is the last great situation where a leading capitalist could get away with that."

Pullman's stance earned him widespread rebuke. Fellow business mogul and Republican politician Mark Hanna called him a "damn fool" for refusing to "talk with his men." Chicago mayor John Hopkins loathed Pullman, having previously owned a business in the rail car magnate's Arcade Building. As a result, the local police did little to quell the growing unrest.

The tension then escalated when Eugene Debs, president of the nationwide American Railroad Union (ARU), declared that ARU members would no longer work on trains that included Pullman cars. The move would be widely criticized by other labor groups and the press, and the boycott would end up bringing the railroads west of Chicago to a standstill. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, 125,000 workers across 29 railroad companies quit their jobs rather than break the boycott.

Eugene Debs was widely criticized for disrupting train traffic.Wikimedia Commons

When the railroad companies hired strikebreakers as replacements, strikers also took action.

Schneirov said it was common for working class communities to come together to support striking workers.

"When they began running the trains, crowds of railroad workers would form to try to stop them from running," Schneirov said. "There was a lot of sympathy from people. They'd come out and try to help the railroad workers stop the trains. They might even be initiators of standing in front of the tracks and chucking pieces of coal and rocks and pieces of wood. Then there would be lots of kids, lots of teenagers, out of work or just hanging around and looking to join in for the fun."

Things escalated from there.

The General Managers Association, a group which represented 26 Chicago railroad companies, began to plan a counterattack. It asked attorney general Richard Olney, a former railroad attorney, to intervene. Indianapolis federal courts granted him an injunction against the strike, on the grounds that law and order had broken down in Chicago.

Pro-labor Illinois governor John Peter Altgeld refused to authorize President Cleveland to send in federal troops, asserting that allegations of societal breakdown had been grossly exaggerated. But the federal government ultimately sent in soldiers to enforce the injunction. Meanwhile, the General Managers Association was able to deputize federal marshals to help put down the strike.

"The whole thing is the most one-sided, biased action on the part of the federal government in a labor dispute that you could think of," Schneirov said.

Violence raged as Chicago swelled with soldiers and strikers clashed with troops on railroads across the west. Federal forces went city by city to break the strikes and get the trains running again. In the end, 30 people died in the chaos. The riots and sabotage caused by the strike ultimately cost $80 million in damages.

Schneirov said Cleveland's decision to declare Labor Day as a holiday for workers was likely a move meant to please his constituents after the controversial handling of the strike. The president was a Democrat, and most urban laborers at the time were Catholic Democrats.

"It's also part of the growing legitimacy of labor unions in the country," he said. "Unions were becoming very popular with working people. Even if they couldn't join a union, the idea of the union was popular."

Labor Day wasn't the only product of the strike. Debs was arrested and jailed for six months. The ARU, one of the biggest unions of its time, fell apart. Pullman died of a heart attack three years after the riots. Investigations were launched over the incident and found that Pullman was partly to blame for what happened. These reports helped to warm public opinion to the idea of unions.

However, Schneirov said the positive view of unions the Pullman strike ultimately brought about has faded in recent years.

"This idea that free competition and the self-regulating market are sufficient, and that working people shouldn't have the right to combine and form unions, this idea has become dominant again since the 1980s," Schneirov said. "But most people would still join a union if it wasn't so damn hard."

Tags: Pullman StrikeRailroad workers
Categories: Labor News

Tokyo Metro plans safety gates for all stations by FY25-BART and Other Transit Systems Have No Plans To Protect Passengers Who Fall Or Are Pushed Onto Tracks

Sat, 09/02/2017 - 12:37

Tokyo Metro plans safety gates for all stations by FY25-BART and Other Transit Systems Have No Plans To Protect Passengers Who Fall Or Are Pushed Onto Tracks
http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201709020003.html
Tokyo Metro plans safety gates for all stations by FY25
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
September 2, 2017 at 07:10 JST

A safety gate installed at Kanamecho Station on Tokyo Metro Co.'s Yurakucho Line (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Tokyo Metro Co. is spending 60.2 billion yen ($547 million) to have safety gates installed on the platforms of its 179 subway stations by fiscal 2025 to prevent people from falling on the tracks.

Platform screen doors were set up at 82, or 46 percent, of the stations by April this year, according to Tokyo Metro officials.

The subway operator plans to introduce the safety features at an additional 50 or more stations before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics to increase the ratio to 77 percent.

It also intends to install the platform doors at all stations used by 100,000 or more passengers daily by fiscal 2024.

The 60.2 billion yen includes investments already made since April 2016.

For the Chiyoda Line, the screen doors will be introduced by fiscal 2019, a year earlier than initially planned.

Installation will be complete for the Ginza Line by the first half of fiscal 2018, for the Hibiya Line by fiscal 2022, for the Tozai Line by fiscal 2025, and for the Hanzomon Line by fiscal 2023.

Platform doors have already been set up at all stations of the Marunouchi, Yurakucho, Nanboku and Fukutoshin lines.

Tags: Transit SafetySafety Gates In TokyoPlatform safety
Categories: Labor News

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