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Today's Teamster News 05.20.15

Teamsters
L.A. Board of Supervisors Taking Closer Look at Port Drivers' Plight  Eagle Rock Patch  ...The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted May 20 to take a closer look at allegations of “wage theft” by truck drivers serving the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. A representative for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters said drivers were frequently issued “negative paychecks” because companies illegally charge for fuel, truck leases, repairs and insurance, calling the drayage companies “sweatshops on wheels”...
De Blasio Cuts Contract Deal With NYCHA Teamsters Union for Raises, Cost Cuts  New York Observer  ...Mr. de Blasio and Gregory Floyd, president of Teamsters Local 237, announced a preliminary deal—pending a union vote—that would grant 5,500 workers their first new contract since 2008 and 10 percent in retroactive and prospective raise over the next seven and a half years...

Global Labor & Trade
Rising skepticism among Democrats about Obama’s big trade deal  Washington Post  ...After meeting with Froman, Levin says he is not reassured. While Members of Congress have had access to much of the TPP, Levin says they have not yet been shown the portions fortifying labor standards. Levin’s primary concern is whether they will meaningfully hew to International Labor Standards on freedom of association, collective bargaining, protections against child labor, and other safeguards for workers, particularly when it comes to Vietnam and Mexico, a concern that is now being raised by Elizabeth Warren...
U.S. lawmakers compromise on 'poison-pill' Pacific trade rules  Reuters  ...U.S. lawmakers reached a compromise on Tuesday on rules that threatened to derail a proposed Pacific trade partnership by agreeing to soften tough provisions against human trafficking. An amendment to legislation allowing trade deals a rapid run through Congress had been dubbed a "poison pill" for the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership...
McConnell moves to end debate on trade bill  The Hill  ...Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) moved to end debate on "fast-track" trade legislation, after Democrats objected to allowing additional amendment votes. McConnell said he hopes Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) will continue to try to find a way forward on amendments to the legislation, after talks appeared to hit a hurdle Tuesday...
Clinton finds problems with Obama TPP trade proposal  CNN  ...Hillary Clinton took aim Tuesday at two core components of a massive free trade pact that President Barack Obama is negotiating — signaling some agreement with the deal's liberal critics. The Democratic front-runner in the 2016 presidential race said she wants to see rules included in the Trans-Pacific Partnership that would penalize countries for driving down the value of their currencies...
Broad Coalition Rallies to Defeat Obama on Trade Deal  Bloomberg  ...Unions remain a backbone of the opposition to the TPP. The United Steelworkers and United Auto Workers unions are among those who've organized plant demonstrations, and the UAW is mobilizing retired auto workers. The AFL-CIO has been leafletting, including in the states and districts of lawmakers like those of Senator Ron Wyden, the chief Democratic negotiator on trade...
Barack Obama’s shocking TPP paradox: Why the gargantuan trade deal undermines everything he says he cares about  (opinion) Salon  ...After four decades of intense globalization, the results are in: America used to make things, often in unionized and well-paid sectors, but cheap labor abroad — accessed by corporations when free trade agreements hammer down tariff barriers — have steered the U.S. toward a low-wage, non-unionized service economy. And yet the president, so readily vocal about the phenomenon, has made advocacy for a trade deal that challenges American jobs with dirt-cheap labor in Vietnam, Indonesia, and elsewhere his job lately...
Why Fast Track Is a Dangerous Gift to Corporate Lobbies  (opinion) Huff Post  ...including Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) in the two draft treaties. ISDS is a dangerous policy that undermines the case for TPP and TTIP. The ISDS framework is an unjustified grant of exceptional power to multinational companies above and beyond the legal system in which the companies operate...
ILO: Precarious Work Rises, Incomes Fall around the World  Solidarity Center  ...More than 60 percent of workers worldwide, predominantly women, are in temporary, part-time or short-term jobs in which wages are falling, a growing trend that is fueling global income inequality and poverty, according to an International Labor Organization (ILO) report released today. Although the incomes of permanent workers are relatively stable, the percentage of such workers is declining globally...
Ford halts production in Turkey due to Renault, Fiat labor strikes  BGN News  ...Laborers have been on strike in Fiat and Renault factories in Bursa province since last week over employment conditions. Protests began on late Thursday at Turkey's largest car factory, run by Oyak Renault, a joint venture between the French automaker and the Turkish army pension fund Oyak, in the northwest city of Bursa...

France teachers strike over government reforms  BBC   ...Teachers across France are going on strike against government reforms to the education system. Trade unions representing 80% of teachers at French middle schools are leading the action against the plans...

State & Living Wage Battles
Will Mo. Lawmakers Attempt Right to Work Override?  Ozarks First  ...Gov. Jay Nixon has vowed to veto Right to Work legislation, telling KOLR 10 he thinks it's an "attack" on working people, while backers in the legislature are finding out whether enough support exists to override the governor's impending decision. About 25 other states have Right to Work laws. The issue has been talked about in Missouri for decades, but this legislative session was the first to put it on the governor's desk...
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has 'serious problems' with prevailing wage repeal bills  MLive ...Republican Gov. Rick Snyder said Tuesday he has "serious problems" with prevailing wage repeal bills approved last week by the GOP-led Michigan Senate. Michigan law currently requires contractors to provide union wages and benefits on government-funded construction projects...
Thousands of Fast Food Workers to Protest McDonald’s Shareholder Meeting Today  In These Times  ...When McDonald’s stockholders meet on the leafy corporate campus in suburban Chicago today and tomorrow, thousands of protestors will be ready to greet them, according to organizers of the fast-growing Fight for $15 movement. Last year, in the first such confrontation, a few hundred people marched on and then blocked roads leading on to the company property before police arrested them...
Los Angeles Becomes The Largest City With a $15 Minimum Wage  Think Progress  ...On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council voted to draft legislation that would set the city’s minimum wage at $15 per hour by 2020 for businesses with more than 25 employees and by 2021 for smaller ones.
The council voted in favor of the move 14 to 1. The legislation will set the wage to $10.50 an hour for large businesses next year before gradually rising to $15...
McDonald's employees are swarming headquarters to protest low wages during the company's annual meeting   Business Insider  ...Thousands of McDonald's workers seeking a minimum wage of $15 per hour and the right to unionize are expected to swarm the fast-food giant's headquarters for two days of protests that will coincide with the fast-food chain's annual meeting on Thursday. Protests by low-wage fast-food and retail workers have helped fuel a national debate about pay levels...

U.S. Labor
Marathon Galveston Bay refinery workers vote to continue strike  Reuters  ...Hourly workers at Marathon Petroleum Corp's Galveston Bay, Texas, refinery voted on Monday to continue a strike, rejecting a contract proposal developed by a federal mediator aimed at ending a stoppage that has lasted three-and-a-half months. Officials of United Steelworkers union Local 13-1, which represents the strikers, said nearly 900 striking workers had voted and the proposal was overwhelmingly rejected...
Bid to unionize Detroit charter school system in limbo  Detroit News   ...An effort to unionize a local charter school system remained unresolved Friday with no official results from an election held a day earlier. "While there were 19 more no votes from those who did not want the union, Detroit 90/90 challenged the voting rights of Teachers for America teachers and long-term substitutes, claiming the teachers they hired to stand in front of students are not actually professionals," said Nate Walker, K-12 organizer and policy analyst with AFT Michigan...
NLRB blocks union election at Stetson Charter School  Philly.com   ...The National Labor Relations Board yesterday blocked a union vote set for later this week at John B. Stetson Charter School after the union behind the organizing efforts filed an unfair-labor-practice charge. The Alliance of Charter School Employees union claims that Stetson, which is managed by charter operator ASPIRA Inc. of Pennsylvania, has violated federal law...
County OKs AFSCME Contract; Salary Hikes Average 2.3%  Cape May County Herald  ...Cape May County government’s 686 members of local 3596 American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) have a new contract that will remain through Dec. 31, 2018. The former contract expired July 1, 2013. Negotiations had been ongoing since that time. The contract was unanimously approved by freeholders May 12 without comment...
Farm-labor case appears headed to Supreme Court  Ag Alert  ...A sweeping state appellate court decision, ruling part of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act unconstitutional, sets the stage for an eventual state Supreme Court decision on the act's mandatory mediation and conciliation provisions. the court ruled in favor of the plaintiff in the case, Gerawan Farming of Fresno, that it should have been given an opportunity to prove that the United Farm Workers union had "abandoned" Gerawan employees...

Miscellaneous
Why We Should Spend Billions More On Trains  Think Progress  ...In the same way that the U.S. subsidized cars, other countries are subsidizing trains. China is currently undertaking a huge public investment in rail. And while the system has experienced problems, ridership was nearly 900 million in 2014, compared to a paltry 30 million in the U.S. And the United Kingdom, with a far smaller area and population than the U.S., spends billions more than in public money to maintain its world-class system that regularly sees 1.2 billion passengers a year...
Progressive Groups Rally Behind Sanders' Plan to Tax 1% and Fund Higher Ed  Common Dreams  ...A broad coalition of nurses, students, religious and civil rights groups, environmentalists, labor and housing advocates on Tuesday praised Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I-Vt.) plan to use a so-called Robin Hood tax on stock transactions to fund tuition at four-year public colleges and universities...

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