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Today's Teamster News 04.24.15

Teamsters
Cedar Falls Schools, Teamsters open labor talks  WCF Courier  ...Teamsters Local 238 is in the middle of a two-year contract with Cedar Falls Schools, and officials are only bargaining on wages and insurance, said district spokeswoman Janelle Darst. A total of 46 people are covered by the agreement, including various custodial positions, groundskeepers, mail deliverers, laundry workers, warehouse workers, plumbers, painters, carpenters, technicians and electricians...

Global Labor & Trade
Obama 'Fast Track' Trade Agenda Advances In Senate  Huffington Post   ...The Senate Finance Committee endorsed Obama's request for "fast track" legislation, which would renew presidential authority to present trade deals that Congress can endorse or reject but not amend. If the House and Senate eventually comply, Obama is likely to ask them to approve the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, which involves Japan, Canada and Mexico, but not China. Other trade proposals could follow...
Obama admonishes his base on trade  Politico  ... President Barack Obama told his progressive base that their stance on trade is retro. While Republicans have backed fast-tracking a 12-nation Pacific trade agreement, it’s Democrats who have balked, with liberal voices like Elizabeth Warren warning that the deal would fuel outsourcing and lost wages...
Pelosi criticizes Obama-backed trade bill  The Hill   ...Weighing in for the first time since the trade promotion authority (TPA) legislation was introduced last week, Pelosi said the bill lacks safeguards protecting U.S. workers and fritters an historic opportunity to improve worker rights, food safety and the environment across the globe...
Democrats Balk At Obama Plan To Cut Funding For Workers Hurt By Trade Deals  Huffington Post  ...The rift between President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats over trade policy deepened Wednesday as the administration opposed an effort to fully restore aid for American workers who lose their jobs to international trade...
Obama is failing us all by ignoring the need for currency rules in TPP  (opinion) The Guardian  ...If we recognize the need to address the trade deficit, and the centrality of the value of the dollar, then it is mind-boggling that the Obama administration would not have sought to include rules on currency in the TPP. After all, the Obama administration has been in office more than six years and allowed large trade deficits to persist...
Newly Leaked TTIP Draft Reveals Far-Reaching Assault On US/EU Democracy  Common Dreams   ...A freshly-leaked chapter from the highly secretive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement, currently under negotiation between the United States and European Union, reveals that the so-called "free trade" deal poses an even greater threat to environmental and human rights protections—and democracy itself—than previously known, civil society organizations warn...
Hey Mr. President: Transparency Applies to the TPP, Too   (opinion) Truthout.org   ...when it comes to transparency you can't play pick and choose. You can't be transparent about a counterterrorism operation that went horribly wrong, but then be incredibly secretive about something like... the TPP...

State & Living Wage Battles
Illinois Lawmakers To Consider Right-To-Work  WTHI   ...An Illinois legislator expects Right to Work to be debated in the state legislature.  Right to Work bills prohibit workers from being forced to join labor unions.  Indiana and Wisconsin passed Right to Work laws amidst a huge controversy...
Democrats Are Rallying Around $12 Minimum Wage  New York Times   ...Democrats in Congress are uniting around a proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $12 an hour. Within the next several days, Senator Patty Murray, the top Democrat on the Senate committee that deals with labor issues, plans to introduce a bill to increase the minimum wage, in steps, from its current level of $7.25 to $12 by 2020...
Religious Groups To Scott Walker: Don’t Drug Test The Poor  Think Progress   ...Wisconsin faith leaders from across the religious spectrum are calling on their state legislature to reject a proposal from Gov. Scott Walker (R) that would impose drug tests for some recipients of government-funded aid, arguing such screenings don’t work and unfairly stigmatize the poor...
NLRB Files Brief Supporting Unions' Lawsuit, Calling County Right-to-Work Laws Preempted  Bloomberg News   ...The National Labor Relations Board April 17 urged a federal district court in Kentucky to invalidate a county ordinance that prohibits the use of union-security provisions in collective bargaining agreements and regulates other practices that are either permitted or prohibited by federal law...
66% of San Jose’s Confirmed Wage Theft Money Goes Unawarded; Ordinance Proposed   We Party Patriots   ...San Jose is considering a wage theft ordinance which would help the labor commission recoup lost wages and deny permits and licenses to companies with pending wage theft violations.  The proposal is similar to one passed in Santa Clara County last year.  San Jose’s version is being supported by city council members Don Rocha, Margie Matthews, Ash Kalra, and Magdalena Carrasco.  The ordinance has been sent to the Rules and Open Government Committee...
The homeless man who works in the Senate   (opinion) Washington Post   ...In the basement of the Dirksen Senate Office Building, 63-year-old Charles Gladden works alongside some of the nation’s most powerful people. But unbeknown to any of these bigwigs, or even to his employer, Gladden is homeless. Alongside hundreds of other federal contract workers, he protested the fact that our government doesn’t require the companies it does business with to pay what he considers a living wage....

U.S. Labor
Have We Seen the End of the Eight-Hour Day?  The Nation   ...Along with wages and conditions, hours used to be a basic concern in worker organizing. But since the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 enshrined the 40-hour week, hours have tended to be taken for granted. This is changing only because, in recent years, employers have entered a devastating new race to the bottom: Involuntary part-time is becoming the new norm for low-wage workers, together with schedules so unpredictable and varying that one can’t easily get another job, or go to school, or be a reliable parent...
Unions converge in Jersey City to protest legislation that they say will cut American jobs  NJ.com ...More than 100 strong, labor leaders and union workers demonstrated at the plaza in Journal Square this afternoon, urging lawmakers to vote down a federal bill they say would take jobs away from Americans. Led by Ray Greaves, a former Bayonne City Council member and chairman of the Amalgamated Transit Union, the group -- which included the Hudson County Central Labor Council, Food & Water Watch, ATU, NJ Industrial Union Council, Anakbayan and Communications Workers of America  -- spread the word to anyone in Journal Square who stopped to listen....

Miscellaneous
House Republicans vote against American consumer, again   Daily Kos  ...Proving once again how much disdain Republicans really have for the American public, the House passed a bill Wednesday, 250-173, to weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Because they really, really don't want us to have any recourse against predatory businesses trying to fleece us...
Fed’s Rate Decisions Hang On Dollar, Growth Concerns  Wall Street Journal   ...The strong U.S. dollar and an unsteady global economy are emerging as primary concerns for Federal Reserve officials as they prepare for a policy meeting next week to consider the timing of the first interest-rate increase since before the financial crisis...
Airmail Via Drones Is Vexing For Prisons  New York Times   ...Drones flying over prison walls may not be the chief concern of corrections officials. But they say that some would-be smugglers are experimenting with the technique as an alternative to established methods like paying off officers, hiding contraband in incoming laundry and throwing packages disguised as rocks over fences into recreational yards...
It's Not The 1% Controlling Politics. It's The 0.01 Percent.  Mother Jones   ...In other words, about 1,200 Americans control more than 40 percent of election contributions. Notably, between 2010 and 2012, the total share of giving by these donors jumped more than 10 percentage points. That shift is likely the direct result of the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United ruling, which struck down decades of fundraising limits and kicked off the super-PAC era. And this data only includes publicly disclosed donations, not dark money, which almost certainly means that the megadonors' actual share of total political spending is even higher...
Inequality’s Big Enabler? The Tax Code. (opinion)  Washington Post   ...Of the 10 largest tax expenditures, only two — the $70 billion-per-year earned-income tax credit and the $57 billion child tax credit — favor the poor. The others disproportionately benefit the top 20 percent of earners, according to a Congressional Budget Office report...

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