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Today's Teamster News 05.12.15

Teamsters
Teamsters, Employees, Allies Protest SLS Hotel's Violations Against Workers   Teamster.org  ...Today, Teamsters, employees and community allies protested SLS Casino and Hotel management’s ongoing violations of its workers’ right to form a union. Hundreds took part to support the valet parking attendants’ ongoing struggle for fairness. Management has committed several Unfair Labor Practices, including interrogation of workers that support the union. Management has fired three workers...
One Hundred Teamster Construction Drivers In Three Days: Fast Organizing Through PLA  Teamster.org  ...Organizing is tough, and it's not getting easier. But many Teamster locals are finding creative ways to bring in new members and strengthen the union. The use of Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) help level the playing field for construction workers through the protection of a union contract. International Vice President Rome Aloise has spent nearly a decade envisioning a day when the Teamsters organize thousands of new construction workers under the promise of PLAs nationwide. In Aloise's home state of California, it appears that day has already arrived...
Teamsters Local 215 Scholarship fund awards $195,000  Courier & Press   ...Officials with the Teamsters Local 215 Scholarship Fund recently announced the 109 sons and daughters of union members who are receiving between $500 and $3,200 in merit-based scholarships. The fund is giving a total of $195,000 in scholarships this year...
Valet union protests SLS Las Vegas casino-hotel on Strip  Associated Press  ...The union representing Las Vegas valet workers are protesting what they say is unfair treatment at the SLS Las Vegas hotel and casino on the Strip. Teamsters Local 986 said the group and supporters protested outside SLS Monday. The union wants to organize the casino-hotel's 50 valet employees...
Unions make strides among Silicon Valley workforce  Aljazeera America  ...Facebook shuttle drivers gained final approval for their union contract with Loop Transportation, the shuttle company that carries employees to and from Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters. The Loop drivers are now members of Teamsters Local 853 — which just the previous month had also successfully organized drivers for Apple, Yahoo, eBay, and Evernote, among others...

Global Labor & Trade
Obama's trade pact faces cliffhanger vote  Politico   ...The centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s economic agenda faces a cliffhanger vote in the Senate on Tuesday, as Democratic leaders move to block his trade bill — leaving one powerful Oregon Democrat who may hold the key to the outcome squeezed between his party leaders and the White House...
Fight Over China Currency Policies Threatens Vote on Trade Bill  New York Times  ...A heated dispute over how to challenge China on currency policy has imperiled a trade bill that has become President Obama’s top legislative priority, uniting even the president’s top Democratic supporters against taking up the bill in the Senate...
Senate Democrats Are Revolting Against Obama's Trade Plan  National Journal   ... The majority of Democrats will not vote for any fast-track bill, also known as Trade Promotion Authority or TPA, no matter what. They discount the administration's claim that the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a major potential trade agreement affecting 40 percent of the world's economy, would be the "most progressive trade agreement in history" because of labor and environmental concerns...
AIPAC-backed amendments add to trade bill turmoil  Politico  ...The trade legislation being debated on Capitol Hill is already highly contentious. Amendments added about Israel are raising the rancor even more. The trade bill amendments aim to discourage foreign governments — in particular European ones — from boycotting, divesting from or putting sanctions on commercial activity linked to Israel and “Israeli-controlled territories”...
Nike-backed group pushes Trans-Pacific Partnership in Oregon  Sunlight Foundation  ...While Obama tries to convince Congress and working Americans of the merits of a new free trade agreement, Nike, along with other Oregon exporters, is focusing some of its substantial financial firepower on touting the TPP in its home state...
Network Rail workers vote to strike over pay   BBC  ...Network Rail workers have voted in favour of a UK-wide strike in a row over pay, the Rail, Maritime and Transport union has said.
Its members voted 4-1 for action after rejecting pay offers from Network Rail, which owns and maintains most of Britain's railway infrastructure...
Tories to bring in tough anti-strike laws  The Telegraph   ...The Conservatives will push ahead with plans to ban strikes unless 40 per cent of people vote in favour of industrial action in government's first Queen's Speech, the new business secretary has said. Sajid Javid said that the Tories will not "hide away from the changes we want to make" as the party prepares to introduce a raft of new anti-strike laws...
Who is writing the TPP?  (opinion) Boston Globe  ...The president argues that the TPP is about who will “write the rules” for 40 percent of the world’s economy — the United States or China. But who is writing the TPP? The text has been classified and the public isn’t permitted to see it...
TPP Is Not Yet 'The Most Progressive Trade Agreement in History'  (opinion) Huff Post   ...I have deep concern -- and some dismay -- when the president says that "we are just wrong," or we are "satisfied with the status quo," or worse, we are "making this stuff up" when we express concerns about the status of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations...

State & Living Wage Battles
Hundreds of union workers come to Missouri Capitol for ‘Right to Work’ debate  Missourinet  ...Hundreds of union workers showed up at the capitol Monday to oppose a so-called “Right to Work” bill that is expected to move quickly in this final week of the legislative session. Testimony was emotional for some, including for Terry Nelson with the Carpenters District Council in the St. Louis region. He said government is trying to turn their contractors into adversaries...
Right to Work in Missouri Moves to Senate Floor  CBS St. Louis  ...A Senate committee approved legislation moving Missouri closer to becoming a Right to Work state. In a hearing of the Senate Small Business Committee, senators heard heavy opposition to make Missouri a Right to Work state.
Sen. Mike Parson (R-Bolivar) is the chairman of the committee. Many of his calls for testimony in support of the bill went answered...
States Where Minimum Wages Are Supposed To Be Living Wages  Think Progress  ...Last week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced that he is taking advantage of a state law to raise minimum wages without the involvement of the legislature. He’s not the only governor with that power; others could also follow suit...
Senators answer court question on voter ID law  Houston Chronicle  ...The Texas Senate, with scant attention during an early morning vote, gave its unanimous answer to a lingering question the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals posed about the state’s embattled voter ID law. The bill won approval, 31-0. ore than 600,000 Texans lack the proper identification to vote under the state’s relatively new voting laws, among the most stringent in the nation...
How The Conservative Obsession With Policing Poor People’s Shopping Carts Got Started  Think Progress  ...In 2015, the poor are still smart shoppers. The USDA published research in early May comparing the food consumption patterns of SNAP recipients to both wealthier people and low-income families not receiving SNAP. The findings undermine the common conservative notion that the poor splurge on luxuries and empty calories...

U.S. Labor
New York City Nurses May Vote to Strike This Month   In These Times   ...Thousands of nurses at 12 hospitals poured into the streets of New York City April 16 to protest staffing shortages they say put patients at risk. The informational pickets were the latest salvo in negotiations with the city’s largest private hospitals. Next the New York State Nurses Association entered a month of intense federal mediation with three hospital systems. Voting for strike authorization could begin as soon as mid-May...
BP Whiting Refinery workers vote to end strike   NWI Times  ...United Steelworkers Local 7-1 members voted overwhelmingly to approve a new contract they say will make the BP Whiting Refinery a safer place to work and preserve bargaining rights the union has had for nearly 80 years. An estimated 92 percent of refinery workers and 100 percent of plant guards voted to ratify a new four-year agreement...
How Can You Get an Ethical Manicure? Support Worker Organizing  The Nation  ... Sarah Maslin Nir’s recent New York Times investigation reveals epidemic wage theft and abuse of workers across the roughly 2,000 under-regulated manicure shops dotting the city, where cheap mani-pedis are provided by Asian and Latina women workers who scrub and pamper fingers and toes amid noxious fumes. Following the Times’s extensive report, both state and city authorities are now weighing policies to tighten oversight...
Ricky Maclin, Leader of Historic 2008 Republic Windows and Doors Factory Occupation, Dies at 61  In These Times  ...Melvin “Ricky” Maurice Maclin, Vice President of United Electrical Workers Local 1110, leader of the historic six-day factory occupation of Republic Windows and Doors in December 2008 and founding member of New Era Windows Cooperative, died on May 5. “This is a huge loss for me and for our movement,” said his good friend, Local 1110 President Armando Robles, who was also a leader in the Republic occupation...

Miscellaneous
The delicate flowers of Wall Street: Financial titans warn Hillary to be mindful of their feelings   Salon  ...The titans of the financial industry have faced zero criminal liability for nearly destroying the economy in 2008, they still enjoy unrivaled influence over the policy platforms of both major political parties, and no one except Bernie Sanders even considers making a run for the president without hitting up the hedge fund managers for donations...

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