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Today's Teamster News 05.13.15

Teamsters
Hoffa: What America needs from its trade pacts   Detroit News  ...The U.S. Senate has decided, for now, not to put the Trans-Pacific Partnership on the fast track. That's a good thing. This issue deserves a full debate. Fast track trade authority is would allow bad trade pacts like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to sail through Capitol Hill with little debate and no chance to be amended...
Teamsters Applaud Senate Defeat of Cloture for Fast Track Bill  Teamster.org   ...Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa on today’s defeat of a vote for cloture on the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill: “With today’s defeat in the Senate of a vote for cloture on fast track, members of Congress have signaled they will not relinquish their constitutional authority over trade agreements"...
Teamsters protest in Mo. Capitol against right to work  Teamster Nation   ...Another battle is raging in the state of Missouri against a right-to-work-for-less legislative attack on unions. And Teamsters are on the front line with other union members fighting for American workers. On Monday, workers and union leaders stormed the Missouri Capitol as state lawmakers heard testimony on the proposed bill to make the "Show-Me-State" the 26th "right to work" state in the country...

Global Labor & Trade
Senate Democrats Foil Obama on Asia Trade Deal  New York Times  ...Senate Democrats on Tuesday blocked consideration of giving President Obama power to accelerate a broad trade accord with Asia, a rebuke that the president helped bring on himself. After more than six years battling Republicans on everything from his signature health care legislation to simply keeping the government open, Mr. Obama is at odds with his own party...
The March Trade Deficit and the Trans-Pacific Partnership  Huff Post  ...The jump in the March trade deficit, coupled with the weak job numbers for the last two months, should highlight the importance of including rules on currency in trade agreements. Such rules could ensure that the dollar does not remain over-valued and prevent the economy from reaching full employment...
Obama fails first test on trade  Politico  ...Tuesday was the first test vote on trade, and President Barack Obama failed. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declared the 52-45 vote “shocking,” labor and progressive groups declared victory, and the White House was left insisting that things really aren’t over yet for fast-track authority and the broader Trans-Pacific Partnership trade treaty that the administration is hoping would follow...
Why Doctors Without Borders Is Lobbying Against Obama’s Trade Deal  National Journal  ...The physicians group has quietly been opposing the emerging Trans-Pacific Partnership for a few years now, but its efforts are growing more public. It sent multiple letters to Obama in the past few months, as the congressional debate about giving the president fast-track authority has ramped up, warning about the implications for drug costs in other countries...
Jesse Jackson: Don't believe Obama on trade deal  Chicago Sun Times  ...The president argues the case for a level playing field, but his allies — the Republican majorities in Congress, the business lobby — keep the field slanted against working people. Our global policies aren’t the only reason for this, but they are one contributor to it. The cycle of drugs-in-jobs-out must end. We need to go another way. Fast track sends us the wrong way...
Labour begins indefinite strike in Bauchi  Daily Post  ...For the failure of the Bauchi State government to pay outstanding March and April salaries, the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Trade Union Congress, TUC and the Joint Public Service Negotiation Council, JPSNC, in the state, have called their members out for an indefinite strike with effect from today, May 13...
Obama’s trade deal: Why he’s in danger of losing  (opinion) Washinton Post   ...The secrecy makes it appear Obama is hiding something. “If the president is so confident it’s a good deal, he should declassify the text and let people see it before asking Congress to tie its hands on fixing it,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) told my colleague Greg Sargent. Instead of coming clean, Obama prefers to inform fellow Democrats that he’s the smartest guy in the room...

State & Living Wage Battles
Senate Passes ALEC 'Right to Work' Attacks - What's Next?  Progress Missouri  ...It’s been an ugly 24 hours in the Capitol. Tonight, despite strong bipartisan opposition in both the House and Senate, extremists in the Senate rammed through the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) so-called ‘right-to-work’ legislation. Despite all the arm-twisting, ALEC and the Koch Brothers still don’t have the votes to override a veto from Governor Jay Nixon...
Mo. Senate shuts down debate to pass "right-to-work"  St. Louis Post-Dispatch   ...Missouri Senate Republicans shut down debate Tuesday to pass a “right-to-work” measure after Democrats filibustered the bill for more than eight hours. In return, Senate Democrats plan to shut down everything else until the session ends at 6 p.m. Friday. The rare measure to shut down debate, known as the previous question, has been used in the Senate only 14 times since 1970...
Anti-union bill gains momentum in right-to-work Louisiana  Associated Press  ...An anti-union bill is stirring up what may be Louisiana's first real battle between business and labor unions in a generation. The measure is scheduled for a Tuesday debate before the full House. If approved, it would bar police, firefighters and teachers from having union dues automatically deducted from their pay...
Ohio Republicans push new voter ID bill  MSNBC  ...With 2016 approaching, Ohio Republicans are making a new push for a voter ID bill—setting the stage for another battle over voting in the nation’s most pivotal swing state. Legislation introduced last week by conservatives in the statehouse would require that voters show a driver’s license, passport or military ID...
Mich. Senate panel to debate repeal of prevailing wage laws  Lansing State Journal  ...The contentious issue of repealing Michigan’s prevailing wage laws will get a hearing Wednesday morning at the state Capitol. Gov. Rick Snyder said last week that he doesn’t support a repeal, but that isn’t stopping the Senate’s Michigan Competitiveness committee from taking up a package of three bills beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday...
N.J. unions protest cuts to pensions in big Statehouse rally  NJ.com  ...Workers clad in red, blue or green t-shirts carried signs imploring the governor to "fund the pension" and "obey the law." The pension law at the center of the fight requires the state to increase payments into the public employees pension fund, while also freezing cost-of-living adjustments, raising the retirement age and forcing workers to contribute more for their retirement...
A Game-Changing Moment for Fast-Food Workers  Huff Post  ...Two and half years ago, 200 fast-food workers went on strike in New York City demanding $15 an hour and union rights. Most people, including many in the labor movement, thought the cooks and cashiers from restaurants like McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's had no chance to win. But nine strikes later, and having sparked a global movement for higher pay, $15 doesn't seem so crazy anymore...
Chris Christie Wants To Expand Corporate Tax Breaks Without Any Proof That They Work  Think Progress  ...New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has approved $5.4 billion in corporate tax breaks since he took office in 2010. And on Monday, just before he called for cutting corporate tax rates across the country as part of a national economic policy plan, he vetoed a measure that would allow taxpayers to evaluate if the subsidies are actually working...

U.S. Labor
Union and Nonprofit Leaders: Labor Should Shift Its Focus to Organizing Black Workers  In These Times  ...Despite years of decline, the labor movement continues to provide economic stability in many black communities. Of all demographic groups, black workers have the highest union membership rates. These historic ties have led some to see black workers as a cornerstone to any effort to rebuild a movement in deep decline. And drawing from the national momentum of organizing around police reform, many black labor leaders today are leading the charge...
USW Accuses AP Green of Unfair Labor Practices, Unlawful Lockout at Ohio Refractory Plant  PR Newswire  ...The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that the union has filed unfair labor practices against AP Green Refractories, Inc. on behalf of more than 40 Local 2324-5 members who have been locked out of their jobs at the company's Oak Hill, Ohio production facility since April 15, 2015...
When Will We Stop Exploiting Home-Care Workers?  Dame Magazine  ...The work of the nation's 2 million home health-care aides and attendants has been in the public spotlight for a while now, first as those workers rose up and demanded that their labor be valued the same way as other work is, through access to the protections of labor law, and then as the victories they won have been dismantled in court bit by bit...

Miscellaneous
Amtrak Philadelphia train crash: mayor describes 'disastrous mess'  The Guardian  ...A crash investigation has begun into what caused an Amtrak train to derail in north Philadelphia, killing at least five people and leaving six others critically injured. A sixth person was declared dead by Herb Cushing, medical director of Temple University hospital in Philadelphia...
Amtrak Train Derails in Philadelphia, Killing at Least 6 and Injuring Dozens  New York Times   ... Emergency crews picked through the wreckage of a derailed Amtrak train Wednesday, looking for survivors and victims. The Northeast Corridor, which runs between Boston and Washington, is one of the railroad’s busiest and most profitable lines. But officials have long complained that the agency needs more subsidies from Congress to improve the railroad’s deteriorating infrastructure and replace aging equipment...
Wall Street greed refuses to die: How lobbyists & dark-money groups are exposing us to another disaster  Salon   ...After five years, the big banks are already hard at work trying to dismantle regulations that were put in place to prevent irresponsible banking and financial destruction. And “studies” like the one released by the  American Action Forum, who for all we know is being funded by the big banks themselves, will help them achieve this goal. Who knows, maybe it will take another, even more disastrous economic collapse to really change the system... 

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