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Today’s Teamster News For June 15, 2016

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TEAMSTERS

Hoffa to US AG Lynch: No Beer Merger Without Remedy to Antitrust Concerns Arising from Eden Brewery  Teamster.org  … In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch last week, Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa urged the Justice Department to reject any remedy to the pending mega-merger in the beer industry that does not address the competitive effects arising from MillerCoors’ decision to close its highly efficient brewery in Eden, North Carolina…

Teamsters urge DOJ to reject $100B beer merger  The Hill  …A merger between Anheuser Busch-InBev and SABMiller, the world’s two largest brewers, is coming under criticism from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Teamsters President Jim Hoffa urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) to reject the beermakers’ $100 billion merger as it is currently proposed in a letter obtained Tuesday…

Osco Presents Contract Offer for Member Vote; Local 727 Bargaining Committee Recommends Rejection  Local 727  …Osco management continued its history of out-of-touch proposals Tuesday, presenting the Teamsters Local 727 Bargaining Committee with a new contract offer for members to vote that contains no movement on the major issues pharmacists want to see addressed, such as health care and finding coverage. The Osco stewards and pharmacists on the Local 727 Bargaining Committee unanimously agreed not to recommend the contract for ratification…

Proposals on Wages at UC Put Forward Teamsters  Local 2010  …The Teamsters Local 2010 CX Bargaining Team met for a fifth round of bargaining with UC at Local 2010’s Oakland office, and put forward the union’s opening wage proposal. The Teamster proposal is fair and justified after two decades in which UC drove down workers’ real income by 24 percent, so that 93 percent are paid too little to meet a basic family budget. But UC has not yet agreed to fair raises…

 

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE

Greece’s civil aviation workers to strike over airport concessions  ekathimerini.com   …Greek civil aviation workers plan a five-day strike next week in protest at the long-term lease of 14 regional airports, complicating government efforts to implement a privatization program linked to the country’s bailout. Authorities agreed to lease the airports to German operator Fraport last year and are now considering offering concessions for 23 others… 

Chaos Erupts in Paris as Riot Police Unleash on 50,000-Strong Labor Protest  Common Dreams  …French police unleashed tear gas and water cannons on demonstrators Tuesday as tens of thousands packed the streets of Paris in an outpouring of opposition to the government’s anti-labor agenda. The CGT labor union, which helped organized the march, hoped Tuesday’s mobilization would be the largest since protests launched over new labor standards, which allow employers to more easily fire workers…

Canada: Via Rail reaches tentative agreement, avoids possible strike  The Star  …Via Rail has reached a tentative contract agreement with Unifor, avoiding a work stoppage that could have begun as early as Monday morning. The union issued a statement saying the four-year accord was reached during negotiations in Gatineau, Que. about an hour before the midnight Sunday strike deadline…

Bangladesh Laundry Workers Strike, Win Wage Boost  Solidarity Center  …Laundry workers affiliated with the Bangladesh Independent Garment Workers Union Federation (BIGUF) at the Jeans Express Ltd. Washing Division factory in Chittagong, Bangladesh, successfully negotiated a collective bargaining agreement following a two-day strike in May. As a result of the strike, the 70 laundry workers won a 6 percent wage increase, improvements in leave, access to purified water…

Capita workers in UK to strike over pay  Belfast Telegraph  …Members of Unite will walk out on Thursday, which the union said would cause disruption to the outsourcing company’s blue chip clients. National officer Dominic Hook said: “Our members are fed up to the back teeth by enduring poverty pay, while Capita accrues large profits on the back of their hard work. The strike will hit the services to a number of blue chip companies”…

US Official: Cambodia Could Join TPP Trade Pact  VOA  …U.S. Under Secretary of State Catherine Novelli met senior Cambodian leaders in Phnom Penh last Friday during a three-day visit to the country, discussing a range of issues including deforestation, the investment climate, energy and technology. Novelli also raised the possibility that Cambodia could join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a controversial U.S.-led trade agreement between Pacific Rim states…

Obama’s ‘down with TPP.’ But these rockers are touring against his international trade deal.   Washington Post  …The political fight over President Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is entering the cultural mainstream. A week after Obama declared that he’s “down with TPP” on the “Tonight Show,” a group of rock musicians and Hollywood actors is launching a “Rock Against the TPP” road tour to rally the public against the 12-nation trade accord…

TTIP talks bogged down in food standards debate  EurActiv  …Since 2013, the United States and the EU have been working to construct what would be the biggest trade deal in the world. But negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) have got bogged down on a number of issues. According to Brian Kilgallen, part of the European Commission’s negotiating team, one of the major hurdles that remains to be overcome in the TTIP negotiations is the chapter dedicated to phytosanitary mesures (plant and animal health)…

 

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES 

Pa. House gives first nod to state pension reform plan; ‘stacked hybrid’ passes 150-41  Penn Live  …A compromise pension reform bill that seeks to give everybody a win, but falls short of landmark change to some critics, easily passed its first test on the Pennsylvania House floor Monday, passing 150-41. That vote inserted a plan negotiated by House leaders into Senate Bill 1071 with significant bipartisan support… 

Minimum Wage Momentum Continues to Surge  The American Prospect  …Momentum behind local minimum wage hikes continues to mount at a staggering speed, as wage policy becomes a hot topic in cities, counties, and states across the United States. Last week, the Washington, D.C., City Council unanimously voted to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 by 2020. Labor leaders largely heralded the move as yet another win for low-wage workers in the U.S.’s big cities…

The War on Workers’ Comp  In These Times  …Since just 2003, more than 30 states have passed laws that have “reduced benefits for injured workers, created hurdles for medical care or made it more difficult for workers to qualify,” according to a recent investigative series by ProPublica and NPR. Some of the harshest cuts came in California, Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Kansas, Indiana and Tennessee…

Secret Money Escalates in Southern Politics, Fueled by Koch Brothers  Truthout  …North Carolina saw the creation of 52 new social welfare groups after Citizens United, far fewer than in Virginia (155), Texas (153) or Florida (86), but they raised the most money — $85.7 million. Other states where post-Citizens United social welfare nonprofits reported the highest revenues are Virginia ($70.7 million), Georgia ($34.5 million) and Texas ($32.9 million)…

Koch Candidates? Where Is the Koch Machine Spending in 2016 So Far  PR Watch  …The Center for Media and Democracy has uncovered additional “Koch Candidates” in the 2016 election through an examination of additional filings by KochPAC. A close examination of campaign finance disclosures and other data reveals that Team Koch has identified candidates for 2016 and in many cases has been spending big on behalf of candidates in races for the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, state Governorships and state Attorney General races…

San Diegans Working For Minimum Wage Will Get Raise In July  KPBS  …San Diego’s minimum wage workers will see their pay rise from $10 to $10.50 an hour as soon as Tuesday’s votes are certified, which will happen in July. Almost 63 percent of voters said yes to Proposition I to raise the minimum wage and guarantee five sick days for workers…

 

U.S. LABOR

Weakened grocery companies, workers square off over contract  LA Times  …More than a decade after launching the longest major supermarket strike in the nation’s history, union representatives for Southern California grocery store workers are back at the bargaining table. California’s schedule of steady increases to the wage floor, which will boost that wage to $15 an hour by 2022, is doing some of the work for the seven unions as they seek their fourth contract with the Ralphs and Albertsons chain… 

Brigham & Women’s nurses set June 27 strike date  Boston Herald  …After voting 95 percent in favor of a strike yesterday, nurses at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have set an official date for June 27. Nurses issued a mandatory 10-day strike notice to the hospital this morning. Brigham nurses will strike for 24 hours starting 7 a.m. on June 27, unless an agreement is reached beforehand, according to the Massachusetts Nurses Association…

Sakuma Brothers Farms Raises Wages After Farmworkers Walk Off the Job  The Stranger  …At the height of strawberry season, several dozen farmworkers at Sakuma Brothers Farms in Burlington, an hour north of Seattle, walked off the job last week to demand higher wages. Familias Unidas has been urging consumers to boycott Sakuma Brothers Farms since 2013, when workers began striking over what they said were unfair wages, substandard housing, and intimidation by supervisors…

Labor Department Seeks to Protect Regulation From Red State Onslaught  Truthout  …The Obama administration is asking a federal judge to throw out a challenge brought by ten states against a new labor regulation that will force union busters out of the shadows. Finalized in April by the Department of Labor, the “Persuader Rule” is under assault in federal court, where several Republican-led states, are seeking an injunction against it…

28 Major Companies Sign On To The White House’s Equal Pay Pledge  Think Progress  …The White House is holding an event focusing on women’s issues on Tuesday, and as part of the day-long summit it announced actions it is taking to try and reduce the gap in pay between men and women. One brand new step is calling on private sector companies to make a promise that they will look at their own internal gender wage gaps. Any company that signs up for this “White House Equal Pay Pledge” agrees to conduct an analysis of pay by gender across its entire workforce…

Walmart Workers Take a Stand at Company’s Shareholders’ Meeting  UFCW  …During the week leading up to Walmart’s shareholders’ meeting, Making Change at Walmart (MCAW) hosted a press conference with Walmart workers, who shared stories about being unable to afford rent, getting seriously injured on the job, and getting fired for unfair reasons. MCAW, along with allies and elected officials, also held rallies in St. Louis, Mo.; Grand Prairie, Texas; Washington, D.C.; and Sacramento and Oakland, Calif…

Local SEIU picket for better compensation from the state  KRCRTV  …Local union members picketed in front of the Caltrans office in Eureka Monday for better compensation from the state of California. Members of the Service Employees International Union Local 1000 (SEIU) chanted slogans to call for an increase in pay and other benefits. Jerome Washington, district labor council president for SEIU Local 1000, said the union has been in negotiations with the state since April…

Liberal Return Policies for Consumers Can Reduce Retail Workers’ Pay  NY Times  …Some of the country’s leading department stores allow returns for up to one year, like Nordstrom, or set no time limit at all, like Macy’s. The commissions paid to sales representatives at Macy’s can be affected by returns made within six months, while returns at Nordstrom affect workers for up to a year. These windows, union leaders say, are too long and fuel a culture of returns that has added instability to the paychecks of retail workers…

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS

Activist: Latinx LGBTQ Community & Its Stories of Survival Should Be at Center of Orlando Response  Democracy Now  …On Monday night, thousands gathered in downtown Orlando for a candlelight vigil to remember the victims of the massacre at the Pulse nightclub. A nearby church bell tolled 49 times—once for each victim. Most of the victims were young and Latino or Latina…

Biggest US coal company funded dozens of groups questioning climate change  The Guardian  …Peabody Energy, America’s biggest coalmining company, has funded at least two dozen groups that cast doubt on manmade climate change and oppose environment regulations, analysis by the Guardian reveals. The funding spanned trade associations, corporate lobby groups, and industry front groups as well as conservative thinktanks and was exposed in court filings last month…

‘Decisive and Tremendous Win’ for Net Neutrality as DC Court Upholds Rules  Common Dreams  …In a huge win for internet freedom, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday ruled that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was within its jurisdiction to enact sweeping net neutrality regulations last year. That means the internet will remain a public service upholding the FCC’s power to ensure that all carriers treat all internet traffic equally…

The Hurdles Immigrants In Detention Centers Face When Calling Their Lawyers  Think Progress  …Making a phone call from inside an detention center is a critical lifeline for immigrants trying to contact lawyers to fight their deportation cases. But it’s also often an insurmountable barrier. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency will remove some of those obstacles at four detention facilities in California that have long made it difficult for detainees to place calls to attorneys…

Documents: How a Major Company Bombards Employees With Right-Wing Propaganda  Gawker  …Tens of thousands of workers at America’s third-largest hardware chain are trained in more than customer service. They are trained in the conservative trickle-down economic zealotry that animates their billionaire boss. Menards is the largest privately owned home improvement chain in America. Menard, Jr. holds strong right-wing political beliefs… 

Trump Declared War on American Muslims on Monday  Slate  …On Monday, Donald Trump declared war on American Muslims. In a brief address at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire—laden with falsehoods—the real estate mogul, who now stands as the Republican Party’s nominee for president of the United States, issued a warning to the millions of Americans who claim Islam as their faith. For Trump, there is no distinction between ordinary Muslims and Islamist terrorists…

How Trump Could Rake In Profit From The White House  Think Progress  …If the presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump wins the presidency this November, it will be a historic result for many reasons. In addition to being the first self-proclaimed billionaire and the oldest first-term president elected, he could also be the first president of the modern era to use the office to make money for his companies and himself…