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Today's Teamster News 04.16.15

Teamsters
Big San Bernardino County union now Teamsters Local 1932   San Bernardino Sun   ...The San Bernardino Public Employees Association, which for more than 75 years has independently represented county, city and state employees across the Inland Empire, is now a chapter affiliate of Teamsters Local 1932. Results of the vote were announced Tuesday by SBPEA General Manager Deidre Rodriguez, with 3,143 members voting for Teamsters affiliation...
UPS driver saves choking woman  Fox Atlanta   ...Bryant got out of his delivery truck and performed the Heimlich maneuver while the woman's daughter called 911. Luckily, the 83-year-old victim was able to dislodge that piece of food. Paramedics then took her to a local hospital...
Teamsters take stand against fast track  Teamster Nation  ...The Teamsters joined some 1,200 fellow union members and fair trade advocates at a Capitol Hill rally today to call on Congress to stop pushing for fast track trade promotion authority that would allow a quick up-or-down vote on bad trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)...

Global Labor & Trade
The populists capture the Democratic Party  Washington Post   ...A quartet of senators and a dozen members of the House took the stage in a park across from the Capitol midday Wednesday to join hundreds of steelworkers, union faithful and environmentalists in denouncing President Obama’s bid for fast-track approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal...
‘Fast track’ trade authority is a mistake for most businesses  The Hill  ...When it comes to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the devil is in the details. As we understand it, the TPP will be terrible for the majority of U.S. businesses, and could prove devastating for American innovation...
Why President Obama's trade agenda just turned into a food fight Vox  ...UFCW hasn’t opposed all trade deals in the past. As the group’s chief, Marc Perrone, points out in the op-ed, the union supported the US-Korea free-trade agreement — at a time when major labor groups were divided on it. So UFCW’s defection signals an erosion of Obama’s trade coalition...
Progressives Take Stand as Fast Track Fight Kicks into High Gear on Capitol Hill  Common Dreams ...With legislation to speed up congressional approval of the Trans Pacific Partnership and other corporate-friendly trade deals on the verge of being introduced in Congress, a coalition of elected officials, labor unions, and environmental groups gathered outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday to voice their vehement opposition to such a bill...
AFL-CIO seeks to turn Dems against Obama on trade  CNN  ...Labor unions are launching a new advertising campaign prodding Democratic lawmakers to break with President Barack Obama on free trade. The AFL-CIO will meet the introduction of a bill to fast-track Pacific Rim and European pacts with a six-figure online and radio advertising campaign targeting 16 Democrats in the Senate and 36 in the House, the group told CNN...
Special courts for foreign investors  The Hill  ...On the precipice of the biggest congressional trade debate in decades, a once-arcane investment provision has become a lightning rod of controversy in the intensifying battle over whether Congress should revive Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), also known as “fast track,” for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) calls this provision a system of “rigged, pseudo-courts”...
MEPs Want Health Excluded From TTIP Talks  EurActiv   ...Members of the Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) on Tuesday (14 April) voted in favour of an opinion which calls for five health-related areas to be excluded from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment partnership (TTIP) negotiations between the EU and the United States...

State & Living Wage Battles
Largest-Ever Strike Hits Fast Food Industry In 230 Cities  Think Progress   ...On Wednesday, fast food workers walked off the job in 230 cities, staging the largest-ever strike in their movement aimed at a $15 minimum wage and the right to form a union. The movement began with a single strike in New York City at the end of 2012 but has grown increasingly larger as the Fight for 15 movement has staged nine other days of coordinated strikes since then...
Hotel Industry Spins Wage Hikes as Extreme While CEOs Rake in Millions  Truthout.org  ...Omni Hotel CEO Robert Rowling is one of the richest people in the world, says Forbes, with a net worth of some $5.8 billion. Rowling has given huge contributions to Karl Rove’s American Crossroads and the Koch Brother’s Freedom Partners, which contribute to politicians across the nation working to block higher wages, paid sick days and union representation...
Fight for $15: Tens of Thousands Rally as Labor, Civil Rights & Social Justice Movements Join Forces  Democracy Now   ...Low-wage workers in the United States have staged their largest action to date to demand a $15-an-hour minimum wage, with some 60,000 workers walking off the job in more than 200 cities. The "Fight for $15" campaign brought together fast-food workers, home-care aides, child-care providers, Wal-Mart clerks, adjunct professors, airport workers and other low-wage workers...

Emanuel calls for City Council hearings on Rauner's 'right-to-work' zones  Chicago Sun Times   ...The public rift between Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his pal, Gov. Bruce Rauner, got wider Wednesday over Rauner’s provocative proposal to create local “right-to-work” zones. At a City Council meeting, Emanuel introduced a resolution declaring opposition to the governor’s plan...
Taxation Without Representation  Huffington Post   ...For the vast majority of Americans, "taxation without representation" isn't just a relic of high school social studies -- it's a perfect description of their relationship with a political system that's been thoroughly corrupted by money. A 2014 Princeton University study comparing 1,779 policy outcomes to more than 20 years of public opinion data found that "the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy"...
FEMA Is Preparing For The “Very Real Possibility” Of Urban Oil Train Disasters  Salon.com   ...The Federal Emergency Management Agency has begun to take on the task of sketching out scenarios for oil train derailments in densely populated urban areas, the Wall Street Journal reports. Last month, this took the form of an exercise involving New Jersey firefighters and emergency workers...
Repeal Of Estate Tax Rewards Billionaires, Punishes Working Americans  Huffington Post   ...Who deserves a break more these days: a struggling working family, or the heir to a billion-dollar fortune? According to the Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, it's the billion-dollar baby. Recently, the House voted for a budget that would end tax credits for many working families that put $1,000 a year in their pockets, on average...
Wage Gains Won’t Last, Unless Fight for 15 Builds Worker Power (opinion) Counterpunch   ...Fight for 15 has been remarkably successful on wages, but unless it is trying to increase worker’s power on the job, any wage and benefit improvements won through public pressure, negative publicity, and community-based protest activity will be hard to sustain in the absence of ongoing workplace organization or networks of some sort...

U.S. Labor
Alabama Whistleblower Fired and Sued After Protesting Conditions NBC News   ...Selma, Alabama, factory worker who was fired, sued and slapped with a restraining order after leading a protest march is in court Wednesday to demand she be allowed to continue her fight for safer working conditions at the auto parts plant...
USW Rejects LyondellBasell's 'Last, Best and Final' Offer  Houston Press  ...After two days of voting, the final count came in late Tuesday night. Despite the fact that USW 227 members have been on strike since February 1, walking away from their jobs, paychecks and health insurance, the union members voted to continue the local strike...
Today’s Personality Tests Raise The Bar For Job Seekers  Wall Street Journal   ...In 2001, 26% of large U.S. employers used pre-hire assessments. By 2013, the number had climbed to 57%, reflecting a sea change in hiring practices that some economists suspect is making it tougher for people, especially young adults and the long-term unemployed, to get on the payroll...
The Insidious Way Corporate Thieves Are Stealing Workman's Comp Alternet   ...The infamous anti-labor bully, Wal-Mart, is among the leaders, but so are such prestigious chains as Macy's and Nordstrom, along with Lowe's, Kohl's and Safeway. Their goal is to gut our nation's workers compensation program, freeing corporate giants to injure or even kill employees in the workplace without having to cover all (or, in many cases, any) of the lost wages, medical care or burial expenses of those harmed...

Miscellaneous
Warren Blasts Government for Ignoring 'Blatantly Criminal Activity' on Wall Street   Common Dreams  ...In remarks on Wednesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren criticized the failure of both federal regulators and Justice Department officials to prosecute or otherwise hold to account Wall Street banks and financial institutions despite their long and steady pattern of "blatantly criminal activity"...
U.S. Consumers Open Their Wallets, Cautiously  Wall Street Journal ...Sales at retailers and restaurants increased 0.9% last month to a seasonally adjusted $441.4 billion, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. That was the biggest monthly gain in a year, but it was still down from November, when retail sales reached their highest level since the end of the recession...
Don’t Be So Happy About That Tax Refund  FiveThirtyEight   ...Most Americans don’t seem to have much problem with lending their money to the Treasury interest-free. The Bankrate survey found that 57 percent of respondents wanted to receive a refund, versus 27 percent who hoped to neither owe money nor get any back. That isn’t too surprising. Getting a government check in the mail (or direct-deposited into your bank account) feels like a windfall...