Thursday, September 27, 2007

Change to Win federation sets plans for politics, organizing

The Change to Win federation set future plans for strategic organizing campaigns and approved a 10-cent-per-capita assessment for politics for the 2007-2008 election cycle, CTW Chair Anna Burger said.

In a press conference Tuesday after the federation's day-and-a-half convention in Chicago closed, Burger also said CTW's Strategic Organizing Center would step up its services to the member unions, training organizers, coordinating campaigns and marshaling financial resources, among other things.

But the political assessment was a new move, given CTW's prior emphasis on organizing, rather than politics--the point which led seven unions to split from the AFL-CIO in 2005. The seven – Carpenters, Laborers, Service Employees Teamsters, United Farm Workers, United Food & Commercial Workers and UNITE HERE -- felt the older labor federation put too much emphasis, relatively, on politics.

The new emphasis means in some states, CTW is setting up its own statewide political/organizing operations, while in others its unions' locals signed "Solidarity Charters" with AFL-CIO state federations and central labor councils for joint operations.

"In some of these states, the AFL-CIO operation"--the state fed or CLC--"is our operation," Burger stated. She singled out New York, Nevada and California. As for the Solidarity Charters in general, she added: "Wherever locals want to work together they can, and where they don't want to, they won't. Full story here......

D.Post not interested in YRC Worldwide

Deutsche Post has no interest in North American trucking company YRC Worldwide, a financial source said on Wednesday.

"There is absolutely nothing to it," the source told Reuters.

Earlier, Deutsche Post had responded to a report that it was was interested in the company.

In a statement Deutsche Post had said: "Deutsche Post World Net has neither in word nor in writing made any statements or comments as regards to this company."

Deutsche Post shares were 0.4 percent lower at 20.17 euros ($28.40) at 0914 GMT.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

YRC shrs rise, options surge on takeover talk

YRC Worldwide Inc's shares rose as much as 8.7 percent and its options volumes surged on Tuesday on talk the U.S. trucking company was a takeover target.

YRC shares are up on speculation that German mail and logistics group Deutsche Post AG has made a $41 bid for North America's largest trucking company, said Paul Foster, options strategist at Web information site in Chicago.

A YRC spokeswoman said the Overland Park, Kansas-based company does not comment on rumor and speculation.

Talk of Deutsche Post's interest in Christian Salvesen Plc also was helping boost the shares of the British logistics group, which said Tuesday it had received bid approaches from two parties.

Deutsche Post was not immediately available to comment, but earlier had declined to address the reports on the British firm. The company said in April it might make further acquisitions.

YRC has been the subject of takeover speculation earlier this year.

"The strength in YRC Worldwide shares is being attributed to renewed takeover chatter," said William Lefkowitz, options strategist at brokerage firm vFinance Investments in New York.

"In the past, there has been talk that more consolidation will occur in this industry," he added.

The U.S. trucking sector has been languishing for the last 12 months, as retailers scaled back inventory and the U.S. economy slowed. The term "freight recession" is one that has been used frequently in the industry this year.

This year, continued economic softness -- and anemic consumer sales -- pose a direct threat to freight volumes. Trucking companies also invested heavily in new trucks in 2006 to avoid tough new emission standards this year, leading to over-capacity and lower prices.

The speculation also spurred an increase in upside call activity as 24,358 calls compared to 3,834 puts traded in YRC early in the session, according to market research firm Track Data, indicating some investors expected further strength in the stock.

The October call options giving the right to buy YRC shares at $30 and $35 apiece were the busiest series with volume of 7,245 and 9,185 contracts respectively.

The premiums for those calls were elevated. The October $30 calls last traded at $1.40 a contract and the October $35 calls fetched 45 cents a contract.

Foster noted YRC's October option implied volatility, a measure of the expected magnitude of share price movements, shot up to 45 percent, above its 26-week average of 34, according to Track Data. That suggests greater risk of price swings, he said.

YRC's stock rose as high as $30.20 and was still up $2.06, or 6.7 percent, at $29.66 in midday trading on the Nasdaq.

Teamsters won't cross UAW lines, says Hoffa

The Teamsters are in the UAW's corner in its national strike against General Motors.

Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa, in a news release Monday, said his members will not cross or work behind picket lines. That includes some of the 10,000 Teamsters who deliver cars and trucks for the auto industry, including hundreds who haul trucks from the Flint Truck Assembly Plant.

"Workers should not solely bear the brunt of decades of bad business decisions by GM management. By outsourcing good jobs and creating a growing environment of economic and job insecurity, GM has failed its workers and its customers," Hoffa said in the release.

"This struggle highlights the ever-growing crisis in our nation's health care system and corporate America's continued pursuit of unfair trade deals. This approach has failed the American worker and is destroying the middle class."

Rod Eaton, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 332, said the move impacts about 500-600 members in the Flint area.

That includes vehicle haulers working in and out of GM's Flint Truck Assembly Plant and switchers working at GM's Flint Service and Parts Operations plant in Swartz Creek.

"It's going to knock out all of our car hauling at (Flint Truck)," Eaton said. "Our guys came out as soon as they were notified of the strike."

Eaton, an experienced negotiator, said some companies simply don't believe a union will strike.

He said it appears that is the situation at GM. Sometimes it takes the shock of a strike to show a company the union is serious, he noted.

Eaton said there is one positive sign in the strike so far: Both sides still are talking.

Change to Win reflects, 2 years after split

Boosting membership remains job No. 1

Two years after its controversial birth, Change to Win labor federation is making good on its pledge to reinvigorate the labor movement with more expansive and comprehensive organizing targeting tens of thousands of workers, its leaders contend.

But as the group prepares to kick off its second convention here Tuesday, those efforts haven't yet produced a payoff in increased union membership or deeper penetration in existing business sectors.

But as the group prepares to kick off its second convention here Tuesday, those efforts haven't yet produced a payoff in increased union membership or deeper penetration in existing business sectors. Continued....