Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 04.14.15

Teamsters
Hoffa: Sharon Block Appointment A 'Victory For The Middle Class'  Teamster.org   ...James P. Hoffa, General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters on the announcement of Sharon Block’s appointment: "With the announcement of Sharon Block’s installation as Senior Advisor for Labor and Working Families in the White House Office of Public Engagement, the administration has made a real commitment to focusing on the issues that concern middle class Americans"...

Global Labor & Trade
Japan, U.S. aim for Pacific trade pact progress before summit  Reuters   ...Japanese and U.S. officials will meet from Wednesday in a bid to strike a two-way deal giving momentum to a pan-Pacific free-trade pact, the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership. Success, however, depends on whether the U.S. Congress, which returns from recess this week, approves measures to ease passage of trade deals, or trade promotion authority (TPA)...
Obama’s trade pitch falling flat with Dems  The Hill   ...An aggressive effort by the administration to win support for President Obama’s trade agenda appears to be stuck. As few as 15 House Democrats might vote to give the president fast-track authority, according to dozens of Democratic lawmakers, business group representatives and activists on both sides of the trade fight interviewed by The Hill...
How We Can Hold American Companies that Use Sweatshop Labor Accountable  In These Times   ...Without granting workers of the world legal power in American or international courts, union jobs will continue leaving the United States and they will leave Guatemala or Vietnam if workers unionize there. That legal framework isn’t happening tomorrow and it isn’t happening in the next election cycle. But this is the long-term change to labor law we need if we are to give workers around the world a chance to live dignified lives...
U.S. Government Starts Investigation Of Alleged Subsidies To Gulf Airlines  Dallas Morning News   ...Three federal departments said they’ll review charges by the three biggest U.S. airlines, including American Airlines Group, that three Persian Gulf carriers receive $42 billion in unfair subsidies from their governments...
Fast Track a Bad Deal for Farmers and Our Food System, 110+ groups say  IATP   ...Over 110 farm, food and consumer groups urged members of Congress in a letter today to oppose trade promotion authority or “fast track” legislation that would pave the way for trade agreements detrimental to farmers, ranchers and food systems, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)...
Fast Track To Lost Jobs And Lower Wages  (opinion)  Huffington Post   ...Claims that trade and investment deals would support domestic job creation have proven to be empty promises. Expanding exports alone is not enough to ensure that trade adds jobs to the economy. Increases in U.S. exports tend to create jobs in the United States, but increases in imports lead to job loss--by destroying existing jobs and preventing new job creation...
The Public Deserves to Know Exactly What’s in the Trans-Pacific Partnership  (opinion) Slate  ...In the next few weeks, Congress may give special status to a massive “free trade” treaty that you are not allowed to read. Based on leaks of portions of the deal, however, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) appears to be at least partly a grab bag of special favors for corporate interests—among them the entertainment and pharmaceutical industries—and an end-run around domestic law...

State & Living Wage Battles
Unions, angry Republican voters rally in support of Indiana's wage law  News and Tribune   ...Frank Marshall calls himself a lifelong Republican, but on Monday he stood on the steps of the Statehouse and denounced GOP leaders for their efforts to kill Indiana’s 80-year-old common construction wage. He told about 8,000 protesters that he regretted donations to Republicans who want end the system that sets wages for workers on public projects...
Charleston OKs Support Of Right-To-Work Zones  Journal Gazette and Times-Courier   ...Charleston joined a list of several cities including Clinton and Makanda on Tuesday when it endorsed some governmental reforms proposed by Gov. Bruce Rauner, including right-to-work zones...
Oregon minimum wage hike debated  The State-Register   ...Proponents of a big increase in Oregon’s minimum wage — potentially raising it to as much as $15 an hour — got the chance to make their case to state lawmakers on Monday. During a packed evening hearing that followed a brief rally inside the Capitol’s rotunda, low-income workers from throughout the state shared stories of struggling to make ends meet...
Legislator Takes Aim At Automated Union Dues  Houston Chronicle   ...A Senate panel on Monday is expected to vote on a bill that would keep most state employees from paying union and other association dues through payroll deductions...
Rally Backs Fines For Employers Paying Less Than $15 An Hour  Hartford Courant   ...Mayors and legislators on Thursday rallied support for a bill that would fine large employers who pay their employees less than $15 an hour to reimburse the cost to the state for social services those employees are using...
Report: US Taxpayers Bear 'Hidden Cost' of Poverty Wages  Common Dreams   ...Stagnant wages and declining employer-provided benefits mean that low-wage workers in the United States are increasingly reliant on federal and state-run public assistance programs...
McMugging The Middle Class: How Corporate Welfare Conquered The American Economy  Salon.com   ...A telling fact: Of the more than 47 million Americans currently receiving food stamps, tens of millions work full time. This is because their jobs at fast food chains such as McDonalds, Dominos and Taco Bell — or at major retailers like Walmart, Target and Rite-Aid — simply don’t pay them enough to support themselves...

U.S. Labor
State AG Probing ‘On-Call’ Shifts’ Impact On Workers  Buffalo News   ...The state Attorney General’s Office is looking into retailers’ use of “on-call shifts,” in which employees are required to check in the night before or even just a few hours ahead of a shift to see if they are needed – and receive no pay if they are told not to show up...
Where The Presidential Candidates Stand On Equal Pay  Think Progress  ...Tuesday is Equal Pay Day, the symbolic day by which women’s earnings catch up to what men earned in a single year last year, given that the gender wage gap means that women who work full-time, year-round made 78 percent of what men make. It also comes as presidential hopefuls are announcing campaigns for 2016, so where do they all stand on this particular issue?...
Can Labor Bring Wall Street Back to Main Street?  The Nation  ...Seven years since Wall Street imploded, it seems the banking sector has rebounded far faster than the communities it has devastated, according to a report published by Center for Popular Democracy (CPD), which builds on a global campaign to advocate for fair labor and corporate accountability in Big Banks...
Bonanza for the Super-Rich: The Fund Managers' Tax Break  (opinion) Truthout.org   ...The reason most of us have seen little gain from economic growth over the last three decades is that the rich have rigged the rules to ensure that money flows upward. Through their control of trade policy, Federal Reserve Board policy, and other key levers of government, they have structured the market to weaken the bargaining power of ordinary workers and benefit the CEOs and Wall Street crew...
1199 Postpones Nursing Home Strike  Hartford Courant  ...One of the state's largest unions has postponed a nursing home strike at the request of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. District 1199 of the Service Employees International Union had voted for a strike against 27 nursing homes, but they have called off the walkout after discussions with Malloy's office...

Local UAW-GM Tiff May Herald Fractious Contract Talks  Wards Auto  ...General Motors and the United Auto Workers resolve a shop-floor dispute at the automaker’s Wentzville, MO, assembly plant, but the underlying tensions that erupted are symptomatic of a rising tide of discontent among workers at GM, Ford and FCA US that will play out during contract negotiations this year...
Kroger Ratifies Agreement with UFCW 227  MarketWatch   ...The Kroger Co. associates working at Kroger in the Louisville division have ratified a new labor agreement with UFCW Local 227. The contract covers nearly 14,000 associates working in 89 stores in the Louisville and Southern Indiana areas...

Miscellaneous
The New Segregation (opinion)  Huffington Post   ...50 years ago, President Lyndon Johnson passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as part of his War on Poverty. The law recognized the power of an education to lift any student, regardless of background, out of poverty. But what I and the authors of the ESEA also recognized was that not every student is the same. Low-income, immigrant, or disabled students often require additional supports...
The NSA Wants Tech Companies To Give It 'Front Door' Access To Encrypted Data  The Verge   ...The National Security Agency is embroiled in a battle with tech companies over access to encrypted data that would allow it to spy (more easily) on millions of Americans and international citizens. Last month, companies like Google, Microsoft, and Apple urged the Obama administration to put an end to the NSA's bulk collection of metadata...

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