Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 04.17.15

Teamsters
Hoffa: Fast Track Is The Wrong Track  Teamster.org   ...Official statement of Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa in response to the introduction today in Congress of legislation that would allow Congress to give a quick up-or-down vote to trade agreements: "Leaders in the House and Senate, buoyed by their friends in big business, are moving forward with pushing fast-track trade promotion legislation that would allow secret trade pacts to sail through Congress"...
Congress Is Facing Its Last Call to Stand Up for Fair Trade (Hoffa column) Huffington Post   ...The moment has arrived. Worries about Congress allowing secret trade deals to be enacted with little oversight are no longer theoretical. Legislation that would allow agreements like the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to slide unscathed through Capitol Hill has been introduced and will soon be considered by the Senate Finance Committee. And the consequences are dangerous for all Americans...
Uber Drivers, Teamsters Protest On National Day Of Action For Higher Wages  KUOW.org  ...One of the half-dozen protests in the Seattle area focused on the way drivers for Uber and other taxi-like services are paid. The company sets the fares that drivers can charge. Drivers use their own cars and pay their own expenses. Organizers with the Teamsters Local 117 said the drivers often wind up making less than minimum wage. The Teamsters helped drivers form the App-Based Drivers Association last year...
Guam Foremost Workers Back To Work  Marianas Variety   ...For about two dozen Foremost Foods Inc./Coca Cola Guam employees, it’s back to business and negotiations for fair salaries and benefits are back on the table. On Tuesday, Foremost Foods Inc. management said the 25 strikers who demonstrated along Route 16 on April 2 returned to work. The employees who went on strike were part of the Teamsters 986 union...
Seven Union Leaders Urge Congress To Support Opening Consultations With Qatar And The UAE To Address Unfair Subsidies  Teamster.org   ....The presidents of the Air Line Pilots Association International, the Allied Pilots Association, the Association of Flight Attendants, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, Communications Workers of America, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO sent a letter to Congress urging members to call on the U.S. government to open consultations with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates...

Global Labor & Trade
Fast Track to Hell: Trade Bill Officially Introduced in Congress  Common Dreams   ...The fight over Fast Track just got real. U.S. House and Senate leaders announced Thursday afternoon that they have reached a deal on legislation aimed at jamming the Trans Pacific Partnership through Congress...
Trade-off: Deal splits Democrats between business, labor  Washington Post  ...The hardest sell for President Barack Obama will be persuading members of his own party to back a bipartisan agreement on global U.S. trade policy. Longtime divisions in the Democratic ranks broke open Thursday when top congressional lawmakers finally reached a long-sought deal that would pave the way for the broadest trade policy pact in years...
U.S. lawmakers' bill holds key to Pacific trade deal  Reuters  ...Senior U.S. lawmakers reached agreement on Thursday on a bill to give the White House "fast track" authority to negotiate a trade pact with 11 other Pacific nations that is central to President Barack Obama's strategic shift toward Asia. The agreement, over six months in the making, sets the stage for a tough legislative battle over the rules for Obama's proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)...
Democrats’ civil war over free trade  Politico   ...The most important trade bill in a decade has pitted Harry Reid against President Barack Obama. Liberal Democrat Rosa DeLauro against moderate Democrat Ron Kind. Labor unions against pro-business Democrats. And Elizabeth Warren against virtually everyone who supports a landmark piece of legislation that would allow the president to close what could be the biggest free-trade deal in history...
Fast Track Introduced: Hatch Bill Would Revive Controversial 2002 Mechanism That Faces Broad Congressional, Public Opposition  Public Citizen   ...The Fast Track bill introduced today would revive the old unacceptable Fast Track process. It would delegate away Congress’ constitutional trade authority and give blank-check powers to whomever may be president during the next three to six years for any agreements he or she may pursue. Instead of establishing a new “exit ramp,” the bill includes the same impossible conditions from past Fast Track bills...
Obama’s Free Trade Deal Lets Corporations Impose Their Will  Think Progress  ...Progressives who usually make up President Obama’s base supporters are mounting loud protests against his newest proposal on international trade, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), as a key Democrat in the Senate reportedly prepares to strike a deal that would send the TPP hurtling toward passage.
“Fast track” bad for America’s manufacturers  (opinion) The Hill  ...For decades, we’ve heard that so-called “free trade” agreements will lead to higher wages, new jobs and more economic development. Free trade was supposed to be the panacea that will cure our nation’s economic ills. But small business owners like me know better...
French public radio strike winds down after four weeks  Reuters   ...A strike at France's public radio operation ran out of steam on Wednesday, journalists at the company said, ending four weeks of daily reminders to listeners that the unpopular Socialist government had been unable to stop it...
After Decades of Struggle, Salvadoran Communities Declare Territory Free of Mining  Truthout.org  ...The Vancouver-based Pacific Rim mining corporation also filed an ICSID lawsuit against El Salvador in 2009, after the permit for operations at its El Dorado gold mining project didn't come through. Both Pacific Rim and Commerce Group Corp cited provisions in the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and Salvadoran investment protection legislation as the legal basis for their cases...

State & Living Wage Battles
‘Right-to-work’ laws hold down wages but don’t create jobs  Richmond Register  ...The effort to promote “right to work” laws with local governments in Kentucky is founded on claims about job and economic growth that are unsupported by the research, according to a new report by the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy. The report looks at the most careful previous studies on RTW that show the law is not associated with an increase in jobs, but with lower wages and benefits for all workers...
Nannies, Aides For Elderly Push For Labor Law Protections  Hartford Courant  ...Nannies, maids, gardeners, personal chefs, chauffeurs and caregivers for the elderly are asking Connecticut to change labor laws to require that they be paid at least the minimum wage. Currently, domestic workers and farm workers are excluded from federal laws that established the right to a minimum wage and to overtime...
Nebraska Becomes the Thirteenth State to Protect Pregnant Workers' Job Security  National Women's Law Center  ...Earlier this week, Governor Ricketts signed the Nebraska Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (LB 267) into law that grants pregnant workers the right to reasonable accommodations, so that no woman will have to choose between the health and safety of her pregnancy and her paycheck...
Stop Corporate Welfare Kings And Tax Escapees From Strip-Mining America (opinion)  Huffington Post   ...In many states, it is a literal race to the bottom for elected officials to offer corporations sweeter tax deals to keep jobs in their locality -- see the 2013 Boeing controversy in the state of Washington, in which the aerospace industry, much of which is made up of Boeing, was awarded $8.7 billion in tax breaks over 16 years to produce the 777X jetliner in-state...
During Fight for 15 Protests, Nearly 50 Chicago Armored Guards Go on Strike  In These Times   ...The Fight for 15 campaign says that yesterday’s protests in over 200 cities around the country were the biggest yet since the movement began almost three years ago. But they have also expanded in ways that no one, including the campaign’s staffers, thought possible—like when nearly 50 drivers and security guards employed by Brink’s, the global security and logistics company known for its armored bulletproof trucks, suddenly decided to walk off the job early Wednesday morning...
Senate Approves Common Wage Repeal  WRTV   ...After almost two hours of debate, the Indiana Senate voted Wednesday to repeal the state's common construction wage...
What It Will Take To Revive The Middle Class  Washington Post   ...This week, the National Employment Law Project reported that fully 42 percent of U.S. workers make less than $15 an hour — a sea of workers that extends beyond such usual suspects as janitors and food servers; even once decently paid employees such as auto assembly-line workers now work for a median hourly wage that has descended to $15.30...
A New Day For The Minimum Wage?  (opinion)  New York Times   ...Real leadership will also require going beyond calling for a robust minimum wage. It also means supporting the protesters’ parallel demand for the right to organize without retaliation, which would lay the groundwork for collective bargaining in service industries...

U.S. Labor
Airline food workers strike at LAX  LA Times ...More than 100 workers who prepare food for airlines flying out of Los Angeles International Airport went on strike Tuesday, saying they are overworked and lack the proper equipment to do their jobs, union organizers said...
The Laws That Could Protect Workers From Chaotic Schedules That No One Knows About  Think Progress  ...New York has a law on the books that requires employers in most industries to pay workers four hours’ worth of pay if they show up to work, even if they’re then sent home due to a lack of demand. Schneiderman is looking into whether these large companies, which include Gap, Target, Abercrombie & Fitch, the owner of T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s, J. Crew, and Sears, are violating the law with on-call shifts...
Unions Still Matter  (opinion) Al-Jazeera   ...The importance of these studies is clear: Unions are the most important institution in the fight against inequality. But for too long, many liberals seemed happy to watch unions disappear. Part of the problem is that they misunderstood unions as primarily economic institutions, interested in parochially negotiating wages and benefits for their members. In reality, unions are far more important as political actors promoting policies that benefit the working class and middle class as a whole...
Why We've Decided to Organize  Gawker  ...Some of us on the Gawker Media editorial staff have decided to try to unionize. There is already a great deal of interest in this idea among editorial employees in New York (and they are all more than capable of speaking for themselves, and I'm sure that they will). The final shape that the union might take, and who exactly will be in it, and what specific goals it will pursue all remain to be seen...
The Dystopian Way Employers Are Ruining Their Workers’ Job Prospects  Salon.com   ...When Emily Brunner and Caitlin Turowski were hired by Jimmy John’s sandwich shop, prominent among their many employee orientation forms were noncompete agreements (NCAs) that they were required to sign. According to court documents, these agreements outlined when, where, how, and by extension, if they could work for "competing food establishments"...

Miscellaneous
U.S. Industrial Production Falters As Oil Sector Weighs  Wall Street Journal   ...U.S. industrial output fell in March and posted the first quarterly decline since the recession ended, signs that a retrenching domestic oil industry and stronger dollar are limiting production. Industrial production, which measures the output of manufacturers, utilities and mines, decreased a seasonally adjusted 0.6% from the prior month, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday...
America’s Over-Criminalization Epidemic: How The Prosecution Of Atlanta Teachers Exposes A Broken System  Salon.com   ...Whether it’s drug laws, mandatory minimums, the disenfranchisement of former felons, the widespread scourge of overcrowding, the death penalty or the continuing use of the abhorrent form of torture called solitary confinement, the number of serious problems can be overwhelming. As we saw this week when a group of former Atlanta public school educators were sentenced to seven years for standardized test cheating, it’s necessary to throw over-criminalization into the mix...
Seventy Years On, Let Us Renew FDR’s Struggle For An Economic Bill Of Rights  The Nation   ...Seventy years after this country lost Franklin Roosevelt and the promise of a final term spent advocating for a realization of the “new goals of human happiness and well-being,” those goals have yet to be realized. The historian Havey Kaye has argued that President Obama should recognize Roosevelt’s vision and present it anew...

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