Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 05.22.15

Teamsters
Hoffa Statement on Senate Fast Track Cloture Vote  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa in response to the Senate’s decision to invoke cloture and cut off debate on the fast track trade bill currently being considered by the chamber: “For years, the Teamsters and our fair trade allies have stood up for workers and all Americans by fighting to stop fast track. Unfortunately, too many lawmakers in the Senate today decided to side with the big business agenda instead"...
Teamsters organize strike at SLS Hotel and Casino  8 News Now  ...Teamsters Local 986 say they have launched a strike against SLS Hotel and Casino Wednesday. The labor union group said they launched the strike because SLS management is preventing its valet parking attendants from exercising their right to form a union. The group also said management fired three workers for supporting the union organizing campaign...
From delivery to discovery UPS driver reconnects child with family  Valley News Live  ...While making his daily rounds a UPS driver found a 5-year-old girl sitting alone outside her daycare. We spoke to this delivery man who stopped everything he was doing to get this girl to safety. Skala told us the young girl's father dropped her off at daycare earlier in the day, unaware the daycare was closed for the day...

Global Labor & Trade
This Time, Senate Votes to Advance Trade Pact  New York Times  ...A flurry of last-minute deal-making on the Senate floor Thursday rescued President Obama’s ambitious trade agenda from defeat, advancing legislation that would empower the president to complete a sweeping, 12-nation Pacific trade accord. The bill, the first to grant a president trade promotion authority since 2002, still must weather a bunch of amendment votes on Friday...
Trans-Pacific Partnership won't improve workers' rights in Asia, critics warn  The Guardian   ...Congressional Democrats and labor unions have in recent days vigorously attacked one of President Obama’s main arguments for the proposed Pacific trade deal – that it will increase worker protections in Vietnam and several other Asian countries. These critics question Obama’s assertion that the pact will get Vietnam to grant real freedom of association to labor unions, despite a pattern of repression by the country’s communist government...
Obama thanks Senate for advancing trade bill  The Hill  ...The vote was close, and the result was only apparent after Sen. Maria Cantwell (Wash.) was assured that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would allow a vote next month on renewing the charter of the Export-Import Bank. The White House has made an aggressive lobbying effort to convince Democrats in Congress to back his trade agenda...
Obama’s trade bill narrowly clears a key Senate hurdle  Washington Post  ...In a triumph for President Barack Obama, sweeping legislation to strengthen the administration’s hand in global trade talks advanced toward Senate passage Thursday after a showdown vote that remained in doubt until the final moment. The 62-38 vote, two more than the 60 needed, came from a solid phalanx of Republicans and more than a dozen Democrats...
Farm Groups Are Failing in the Free-Trade Fight  National Journal  ...The Senate vote last week on proceeding with debate on Trade Promotion Authority demonstrated the limited power that agriculture groups now have with Democrats in Congress. The National Farmers Union is the only major farm group in opposition. The Democratic-leaning NFU acknowledges that trade is good for the family farmers it represents but says it will lead to an increase in the trade deficit and not deal with currency manipulation...
Growing Global Inequality Gap 'Has Reached a Tipping Point'  Common Dreams  ...With the gap between the rich and poor growing worldwide, a new study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published Thursday suggests that the only way to reverse such rampant inequality is by implementing government measures aimed at balancing the playing field. Chief among those measures: Tax the rich and push for gender equality...

Two Years After Rana Plaza, Are Bangladesh’s Workers Still at Risk?  The Nation   ...Two years ago, on April 24, 2013, the collapse of the eight-story Rana Plaza in Dhaka killed 1,100 workers in the world’s worst garment-factory disaster. Now the difficult phase of fixing the problems is under way. Who will ensure that garment factories are safe after international pacts expire and media scrutiny and consumer outrage fades? To make safety truly sustainable, the workers themselves must have a voice...

State & Living Wage Battles
Petition drive for prevailing wage repeal legislation could bypass Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder  MLive  ...A group fighting to repeal Michigan's prevailing wage law is looking to launch a petition drive for citizen-initiated legislation, a move that could allow it to bypass Republican Gov. Rick Snyder. Protecting Michigan Taxpayers, a ballot committee last active in the 2012 election cycle, announced Thursday it has filed proposed language with the Michigan Secretary of State...
Missouri secretary of state candidate files voter ID measure  Associated Press  ...A Republican candidate for Missouri secretary of state on Thursday filed an initiative petition that would allow the Legislature to require voters to present photo identification at the polls. St. Louis attorney Jay Ashcroft filed the proposed constitutional amendment with the secretary of state's office to permit a photo ID requirement...
Fast Food Workers Take Their Fight to McDonald’s Shareholders Meeting  In These Times  ...The men and women who, in the words of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc, “grind out” the burgers and fries that have made the company with the familiar golden arches the second largest private employer in the world dramatically displayed their discontent on Wednesday, returning again early Thursday as shareholders arrived in suburban Chicago for the company’s annual meeting. Over the last two years, the focus of their “Fight for $15 and a union” movement has stayed constant...
'We Will Win': McDonald's Worker Protests Stretch Into Second Day  Common Dreams  ...Less than 24 hours after 5,000 workers marched on McDonald's corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, the fast food giant's cooks and cashiers returned on Thursday morning to bring their call for $15 an hour and union rights directly to the company's shareholders at their annual meeting. Chanting "We believe that we will win" and "We want change and we don't mean pennies," an estimated 3,000 workers gathered for the second day of protests...
A Fascinating Minimum-Wage Experiment Is About to Unfold  The New Yorker  ...This week’s decision by the Los Angeles City Council to raise the local minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour by 2020 is part of an intriguing development in urban politics and social policy. Reacting to grassroots campaigns carried out by labor unions and other progressive groups, some of the biggest cities in America are now defying several decades of economic orthodoxy, as well as challenging a set of social norms that regarded low-wage jobs as unavoidable and acceptable...

U.S. Labor
UAW gearing up for 24th Ride for Freedom  Southwest Times  ...Hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts, veterans and citizens will gather Saturday at the United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 2069 Union to take part in the Veterans Ride for Freedom Memorial Ceremony and Run to the Wall. This is the 24th year the UAW has sponsored the event, designed to honor veterans, prisoners of war and those still missing in action...
USW Stands for Order in Chaos Created by Century Aluminum  PR Newswire  ...The United Steelworkers (USW) today disputed allegations of picket line misconduct made by Century Aluminum, which locked out the 565 members of Local 9423 from their jobs at the company's Hawesville, Ky. smelter on May 12, 2015. The union further repeated its call for Century to end the lockout and reinstate the USW workforce to their rightful jobs while negotiations for a new labor agreement proceed...
AFSCME 3299 & CLF Call on UC to Support Equal Pay for its Subcontractors  IndyBay  ...As State and Federal lawmakers struggle to address the growing problems of poverty and income inequality, AFSCME 3299 President Kathryn Lybarger, California Labor Federation Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski and others today publicly called upon UC President Janet Napolitano to support SB 376 (Lara)—a measure that would guarantee that the employees of private firms providing contract services to the University are paid commensurate wages as career UC employees performing the same jobs...
NLRB Reiterates Its Position That Undocumented Workers Are Entitled to “Conditional Reinstatement” in Unfair Labor Practice Cases  National Law Review   ...The National Labor Relations Board continues to focus on issues concerning the rights of undocumented workers whose rights under the National Labor Relations Act are interfered with for engaging in union activity and other forms of protected, concerted activity covered by the Act...

Miscellaneous
Megabanks Fined $2 Billion For Criminal Activity, Will Be Able To Continue Business As Usual  Think Progress  ...Despite a slate of criminal fines with eye-popping dollar figures announced on Wednesday, five banks that conspired to rig foreign currency exchange rates in recent years face only minor real-world consequences that are more a cost of doing business than a significant punishment for breaking the law...
In Guatemala, Indigenous Woman Sues Multinational Company for Husband's Murder  Truthout ...Choc's husband of 30 years, Adolfo Ich Chamán, was a respected community leader, schoolteacher and outspoken critic of the violation of human rights by mining activities in Guatemala. But on September 27, 2009, Chamán was shot and hacked to death by private security forces of Guatemalan Nickel Company (CGN), the Guatemalan subsidiary of the Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals...

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