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Today Teamster News 06.26.15

Teamsters
SEIRPC board OKs Teamsters contract   The Hawk Eye  ...The Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commissions approved a three-year contract with the Chauffeurs, Teamsters and Helpers Local Union No. 238, affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, at Wednesday's executive board meeting in West Burlington. The contract will need final approval by the full board at its July meeting. The contract includes a 3 percent increase in wages for each of the next three years for SEIBUS drivers and a maintenance manager...
GOP measure would permit longer tandem trucks  Associated Press  ...Over the objections of safety advocates, the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved a trucking industry bid to allow longer tandem trucks on the nation's highways. Pushing the measure were large trucking operations that stand to profit from lower costs. In opposition were unions such as the Teamsters, many states and local governments, and safety advocates. Many smaller trucking companies were against it as well...
Teamster Officers Training Being Held in Missouri  Teamster.org  ...A Teamsters officers’ training is being held today and Friday, June 26, at the Teamsters Complex in Kansas City, Mo. More than 50 Teamster officers are gathered to take part in the program that is hosted by Teamsters Joint Council 56 and Joint Council 56 President Jim Kabell and coordinated by the IBT Training and Development Department...

Global Labor & Trade
House completes Obama’s trade items as Pacific pact looms  Washington Post  ...The Republican-led Congress rounded out President Barack Obama’s trade package Thursday, overwhelmingly passing a worker training program just weeks after it was stymied. The House voted 286 to 138 to renew the program for workers displaced by international trade. Obama had said he wanted to sign that bill alongside the “fast track” negotiating authority that Congress approved a day earlier...
Congress approves assistance for workers who lose jobs to trade  LA Times  ...Congress gave final approval Thursday to a program that provides funds for retraining workers who lose their jobs to overseas trade, a key component of President Obama's trade agenda. The Trade Adjustment Assistance bill, which is now on its way to the White House, became tangled in a political debate over giving the administration fast-track authority to negotiate trade deals...
Obama Bolsters His Leverage With Trade Victory, but at a Cost  New York Times ...President Obama’s success in rescuing his high-priority trade legislation from a rebellion by fellow Democrats strengthens his hand internationally and paves the way for completion of the most expansive economic agreement in generations. While the turbulent process was embarrassing for the president and deeply confusing for foreign negotiating partners, Mr. Obama now has the leverage he sought to force the final concessions needed to wrap up a free-trade pact...
Democrats Mend Fences After Bloody Trade Fight  National Journal  ...After weeks of all-out fighting over President Obama's trade agenda—and a bitter defeat for its Democratic opponents—the combatants in the House Democratic Caucus are ready to bury the hatchet. That doesn't mean Democrats are done fighting over trade. TPA prevents Congress from amending the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership, but members will still get an up-or-down vote when the 12-nation trade deal is completed...
Sen. Stabenow Calls for Voluntary Country-of-Origin Labels on Meat  Wall Street Journal  ...U.S. lawmakers are weighing the fate of country-of-origin labels, known as COOL, after the World Trade Organization said in May that the existing requirement discriminates against animals from Canada and Mexico. Following their win at the WTO, both Canada and Mexico are now threatening retaliatory measures totaling more than a combined $3 billion. Canada has threatened trade restrictions on a range of U.S. products...
The Fight for Fair Trade: How Far We've Come, How Much Further We Will Go  (opinion) Huffington Post  ...After a long, arduous fight, Congress passed legislation that will put harmful trade pacts on the fast track. Now our job is to put aside this momentary loss, build on the incredible momentum we have created in the fight for fair and responsible trade, and shift focus to the even bigger fights ahead. We must now focus on defeating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)...
In China, Walmart Is Unionized, But Workers Have No Power on the Job  In These Times  ...Walmart has succeeded in meeting the Chinese government’s demands that the company allow unions to be formally established, but this has not translated into any effective collective bargaining power for some 107,000 workers at the company’s 411 Chinese stores, says Han Dongfang, Executive Director of the Hong Kong-based China Labour Bulletin...

State & Living Wage Battles
New Mexico Will Make It Even Harder To Get Food Stamps  Think Progress  ...With an unemployment rate well above the national average and more than one in four of its children on the brink of hunger, New Mexico is poised to make it harder to get food stamps. Like most other states, New Mexico has waived federal work requirements tied to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) since about 2009. The work rules are designed to lapse when the unemployment is severe, since requiring people to find work or starve makes little sense when there’s no work to be had...
Connecticut Just Passed a Law Requiring Bosses Who Steal Workers’ Wages to Pay Them Back Double  In These Times  ...For many employers, wage theft makes good business sense. The probability of getting caught refusing to pay a worker overtime, shaving hours off their check or paying less than the minimum wage is low. This Wednesday, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy signed into law Senate Bill 914, a measure that will allow victims of wage theft to collect double the amount due them...
W.Va. governor: No prevailing wage July 1 due to lawmakers  Herald-Dispatch  ...Blaming inaction by state lawmakers, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's administration says the state's prevailing wage will disappear July 1 for a short-term lapse that is creating uncertainty for the construction industry. On Thursday, the Democratic governor's spokesman, Chris Stadelman, said WorkForce West Virginia couldn't calculate the rate for public construction projects by July 1...
Lawsuit aims to declare Nevada minimum wage unconstitutional  Las Vegas Review-Journal  ...Several Nevada businesses are asking a federal judge to declare the state’s minimum wage law unconstitutional. According to a recent fact sheet prepared by a Legislative Counsel Bureau researcher, an amendment to the Nevada Constitution to raise the minimum wage paid to employees was approved by voters in 2004 and was reaffirmed in 2006. The 2006 voter-approved amendment requires the minimum wage to be recalculated each year...
Maine House members launching push to impeach LePage  Bangor Daily News  ...Six lawmakers said Thursday they will attempt to launch impeachment proceedings against Republican Gov. Paul LePage for his alleged role in pushing Democratic House Speaker Mark Eves out of a new job at Good Will-Hinckley School. The House of Representatives has “sole power of impeachment” according to Article 4 of the Maine Constitution...

U.S. Labor
Truckers end protest over terminal wait time at Port of New Orleans  NOLA.com  The independent truck drivers who protested outside the Port of New Orleans this week returned to work Thursday morning (June 25) after reaching an agreement with terminal operators and local trucking companies that satisfied part of their demands. As part of the deal, drivers said the local trucking companies that hire them have agreed to pay them $40 to transport each damaged shipping container to a repair facility...
More Than 9,000 Santa Clara County SEIU Union Workers Vote to Strike Over "Unfair Labor" Practices  NBC  ...More than 9,000 Santa Clara County union workers voted on Wednesday to authorize a strike next week over what they say are unfair labor practices – the first time in more than four decades. SEIU 521 spokeswoman Khanh Weinberg said that 97 percent of the union members comprising of 911 dispatchers, janitors, librarians and nurses, voted to authorize the strike on Tuesday. Workers voted to hold an "open-ended" strike with no end date...
Ford, UAW talking in advance of contract talks  NWI Times  ...Ford and the United Auto Workers union have been talking before upcoming contract negotiations, which should officially start next month. The UAW represents about 5,000 workers locally at the Chicago Assembly Plant in Hegewisch and the Chicago Stamping Plant in Chicago Heights. The union hopes to boost pay and eliminate a two-tier system where newer workers make less to do the same job as more senior employees...
State, AFSCME OK ongoing talks without lockout or strike  News & Observer  ...Negotiations on a contract with Illinois' largest public employee union will continue without the possibility of a strike or lockout for one month after the contract expires next week. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's office and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 31, released a statement Thursday about the agreement. The idea is to let both sides negotiate in July without the threat of disruption of public services. The statement says "all legal and contractual" rights will be preserved...

Showing Solidarity with Ink Master Workers  AFL-CIO  ...Workers at "Ink Master" voted overwhelmingly for a union last year. Since then, Original Media, the master behind "Ink Master," has refused to bargain in good faith with the Writers Guild of America, East, AFL-CIO. Original Media is being investigated currently by the National Labor Relations Board for failing to bargain in good faith...
Inside the Growing Movement to Unionize Charter Schools  The American Prospect  ...The labor struggle happening in Los Angeles mirrors a growing number of efforts taking place at charter schools around the country, where most teachers work with no job security on year-to-year contracts. For teachers, unions, and charter school advocates, the moment is fraught with challenges. Traditional unions are grappling with how they can both organize charter teachers and still work politically to curb charter expansion...
Diversifying labor ‘one way or the other’  St. Louis American  ...Attendees gave a nod to union members at the Communications Workers of America (CWA), who passed a “Black Lives Matter” resolution at their national convention on June 10 to address the issues of “systematic racism” in the United States. “Part of our goal in passing the resolution is to start active members of CWA talking about these issues,” said Bradley Harmon, president of the CWA Local 6355. “That has already started. I think it deepened our commitment towards working for racial justice”...

Miscellaneous
Senate Recommends $1.7 Billion In Education Cuts  Think Progress  ...The Senate Appropriations Committee advanced a labor, health and education bill for the next fiscal year out of committee Thursday. The U.S. Department of Education would lose $1.7 billion in the Senate spending bill compared to its current funding levels. Those cuts were significantly less than the House Appropriations Committee, which cut the department by $2.8 billion...
In Surprise Decision, SCOTUS Rules Against Discriminatory Housing Practices  Common Dreams  ...In a decision applauded by housing and civil rights groups on Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Fair Housing Act (FHA) allows people to pursue lawsuits when a housing practice has a discriminatory effect, even if that practice wasn't intended to discriminate—an effect known as "disparate impact"...
Gay marriage declared legal across the US in historic supreme court ruling  The Guardian  ...Same-sex marriages are now legal across the entirety of the United States after a historic supreme court ruling that declared attempts by conservative states to ban them unconstitutional. In what may prove the most important civil rights case in a generation, five of the nine court justices determined that the right to marriage equality was enshrined under the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment...
"Slavery Deeply Embedded" in South Carolina: Emanuel AME Church on Street Named for Racist Lawmaker  Democracy Now  ...When Rev. Clementa Pinckney lay in state at the Capitol this week, his body had to be brought past the Confederate flag that still flies there and is the symbol embraced by his killer, Dylann Roof. The Emanuel AME Church in Charleston is located on Calhoun Street, named for one of the most prominent pro-slavery figures in history, the late Senator and Vice President John C. Calhoun, who argued slavery was a "positive good" rather than a "necessary evil"...
Separate Attacks Leave One Dead in France and Dozens Killed in Tunisia  Common Dreams  ...Violence was making global news headlines in two countries on Friday as an earlier attack on a U.S.-owned gas plant in France was later overshadowed by an attack on a hotel in Sousse, Tunisia, where nearly thirty people are reported dead. The Associated Press reports on the attacks in Tunisia: "Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has confirmed that one of the two beachside hotels where tourists were shot in Tunisia, killing at least 27 people, is owned by a Spanish company"...

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