Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 05.26.15

Teamsters
Teamsters Local 986, Valet Workers Temporarily End Strike at SLS Hotel  Teamster.org  ...Today, valet parking attendants at SLS Hotel and Casino, along with Teamsters Local 986, are temporarily ending the unfair labor practice strike launched Wednesday at SLS Hotel and Casino. The strike could resume at any moment should SLS management continue to disregard the National Labor Relations Act and refuse to allow its 50 valet parking attendants to exercise their federally protected rights...
Teamster Taxi Drivers File Lawsuit Against D.C. Over Legislation Favoring Ride Services  Teamster.org  ...Today, D.C. taxi drivers and their Washington, D.C. Metro Area Taxi Operators Association filed a class action lawsuit against the District of Columbia over an unfair, two-tiered system that gives a competitive advantage to ride services like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar over taxi operators...
Hoffa Statement on Senate Fast Track Vote  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa in response to the Senate’s approval of a fast track bill today that will make it easier for bad trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to move through Congress: “The Teamsters are taking a stand against fast track because it’s right for U.S. workers and right for this country. That doesn’t change because of this disappointing outcome in the Senate"...
Teamsters: Any Delay in Infrastructure Funding Costs Jobs, Economic Opportunities  Teamster.org  ...Today, the Senate followed the House, and approved a two-month extension of the Highway Trust Fund, yet again choosing to delay finding a long-term solution on how to fund the repair and maintenance of our aging infrastructure. This marks the thirty-third short-term funding measure passed by Congress in six years and the third in the last year alone...
A Memorial Day Message From Jim Hoffa  Teamster.org  ...For more than a century, the Teamsters have seen some of our union brothers and sisters go off to war and not come home. We also know that many of our members have lost family and friends in such conflicts as well. The Teamsters are humbled by the sacrifice made by all these soldiers, and we wish those affected by their loss comfort and peace...
Teamsters, Basic Crafts Unions Reach Deal With Producers  Variety  ...Hollywood Teamsters and four other Basic Crafts Unions have reached a tentative agreement with producers on a three-year successor deal to the master contract. The new deal — which covers about 5,000 below-the-line employees — was concluded Thursday after four days weeks of negotiations between the unions and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers...

Global Labor & Trade
U.S. Fast-Track Vote Bolsters Talks on Pacific Trade Pact  Wall Street Journal  ...The U.S. Senate’s passage of fast-track legislation has injected fresh momentum into talks on a landmark Pacific trade deal, with negotiators saying they are in the final stages of discussions after more than five years of wrangling. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said he feels good about progress on the deal...
‘Fast track’ trade fight advances  Politico  ...The US Senate on Friday approved a “fast track” trade promotion authority bill that will help President Barack Obama conclude a massive agreement with the Asia-Pacific and with European Union. The 62-37 vote followed two weeks of debate on the measure, which would allow the White House to submit trade agreements to Congress for straight up-or-down votes without any amendments...
No Pacific trade deal meeting until U.S. fast-track passes - Chile  Reuters  ...States hoping to set up a free trade zone across the Pacific can not hold a key meeting until both houses of the U.S. Congress pass legislation speeding the passage of the deal, a Chilean minister said, underscoring another major hurdle for the pact. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which would cover about 40 percent of the world's economies from Japan to Chile, is nearing completion after more than five years of often heated negotiations...
Trans-Pacific Partnership Talks in ‘Last Stage’  Wall Street Journal  ...Chile says negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal are at the final stage, and the passage of a major legislation in the U.S. Friday moves negotiators a step closer to holding concluding meetings. “We are in the last stage of TPP negotiations,” Chile’s Deputy Trade Minister Andres Rebolledo, who is representing Chile in negotiations for the trade pact, told The Wall Street Journal...
The TPP Is Corporate America's 'Precious,' but the House Is Mount Doom  Huff Post  ...For all the unexpected drama of the U.S. Senate, though, the real threat to fast track and the TPP has always been in the very heart of Republican political power: the House. Although corporate Republicans like House Speaker John Boehner are eager to pass fast track, tea party insurgents are suspicious of handing President Obama the power to negotiate trade agreements in secret...
Unions plan nationwide trade protests  Politico  ...Unions are keeping their fight against a trade bill alive. The AFL-CIO and its allies are organizing dozens of events over the Memorial Day recess to keep the pressure on House Democrats and Republicans as the chamber nears consideration of “fast-track” trade legislation...
Farmers Fight Real Estate Developers for Kenya's Most Prized Asset: Land  Truthout  ...In the early 20th century, this region was the site of territorial clashes between the British imperial army and native Kikuyu warriors. Today, the colonial threat has been replaced by a different challenge: real estate developers. Ramadhan Njoroge told IPS that his community’s worst fears came to life this past January, when several smallholder families “awoke to find markers demarcating land that we had neither sold nor had intentions to sell”...

State & Living Wage Battles
Backers of bid to repeal prevailing wage law seek initial OK  WLNS  ...The group announced last week the submission of a citizens’ initiative to repeal Michigan’s law requiring workers on state-financed construction projects to be paid prevailing union-scale wages. If roughly 252,000 valid voter signatures are collected, the bill would go to the Legislature...
Voter photo ID initiative petition filed by Missouri Secretary of State candidate  Missourinet  ...A Republican candidate for Missouri Secretary of State has filed an initiative petition aimed at requiring voters in Missouri to show photo ID at the polls. Jay Ashcroft’s petition, if successful, would ask voters to change Missouri’s Constitution to allow photo ID to be required when voting...
How States Are Trying To Make Life Harder For The Poor  Think Progress  ...At the beginning of July, a new restriction will go into effect for recipients of welfare in Kansas that will only allow them to withdraw $25 in benefits a day. But it’s not the only state that has been looking for ways to make life harder on the poorest. Others have imposed drug tests and harsh limits without evidence that the policy changes would do much good...
Not Lovin' It: Thousands Storm McDonald's Head Quarters to Protest Low Wages  Truthout  ...In the largest protest of its kind, thousands of McDonald’s employees stormed the company’s headquarters on May 20 to demand that it stop spending millions manipulating stock prices, and start paying workers a living wage. McDonald’s cashiers and cooks came to the company’s shareholders meeting, at its corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois. More than 100 were arrested for refusing to leave the property...
LA’s Minimum Wage Workers Just Won $15 an Hour—How Many Will Actually Be Paid That?  The Nation  ...Nearly half of Los Angeles just gave itself a raise. Following a wave of state and local minimum-wage bills and initiatives, Los Angeles became one of the largest cities to dramatically raise its hourly base pay. Still, with sky-high housing costs, Los Angeles will remain unaffordable for a large swath of low-income families, even on a steady job at $15 an hour...

U.S. Labor
If You Get Memorial Day Off, You’re Lucky  Think Progress  ...There is no law guaranteeing that workers get paid holidays in the United States. That makes it stand out from 13 developed peer countries that do require companies to offer at least some paid holidays, ranging from one day in France to 13 in Austria and Portugal. But in all other developed peers, workers can at least be assured that they will get paid vacation days that they could use to take a holiday if they wanted...
Tunkhannock teachers strike, promise unfair labor practice complaint  Times Leader  ...Tunkhannock Area School District teachers abruptly hit the picket lines Friday and their lead negotiator promised an unfair labor practice complaint will be filed following the school board’s rejection of a new contract Thursday. Walking the picket line outside the district administration building this morning, lead negotiator John Holland put the blame for the strike on the shoulders of School Board Member Kimberly Teeters...
Union representatives urge UC to support bill guaranteeing contractors, UC employees receive similar pay  Daily Californian  ...Union representatives called on the UC Board of Regents to support a bill that would ensure that workers employed by private university contractors are compensated comparably with university employees doing similar work. Advocates of Senate Bill 376 — including union AFSCME 3299 President Kathryn Lybarger and California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski — publicly asked UC President Janet Napolitano to support the measure...
Why don't poor people just get jobs? Because they already did.  Daily Kos  ...The contrast between hardworking Americans and shiftless, lazy, poor people is a favorite of Republicans as they try to cut safety net programs like food stamps or housing assistance. But—even if you believe that people who don't work should starve—it's a contrast based on a lie. In reality, a majority of people living in poverty who can work, do work...

Miscellaneous
America’s Housing Developers Are Almost Exclusively Building Luxury Units  Think Progress  ...America’s housing developers have been hard at work in the past three years. But their labor has only exacerbated the affordable housing crisis that afflicts most of the country’s population centers. Out of every five multifamily rentals built in the country’s biggest cities from 2012 to 2014, four were luxury apartments “that command rents in the top 20 percent of the market”... 
Bernie Sanders Takes It to Wall Street With Financial Transactions Tax  Truthout  ...Last week Bernie Sanders, the Senator from Vermont and only announced challenger to Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, took a strong stand for everyday people. He proposed a financial transactions tax (FTT), effectively a Wall Street sales tax, and to use the revenue to make public colleges tuition free. While making college affordable to low and middle income families is important, the proposal for an FTT is a real game changer...
America will die old and broke: The systematic right-wing plot to ransack the middle-class nest egg  Salon  ...Private pensions have indeed been systematically destroyed in recent decades, and replaced by “defined contribution” 401k plans. The conventional wisdom is that pensions are “too expensive,” but this is the heart of the lie. A great many private pensions were once over-funded, but a change in law allowed companies to “invest” the “excess” funding in other parts of their business...
Farmers Cut Back as Beleaguered California Hit by Water Loss  Common Dreams  ...A day before California accepted voluntary water cutbacks by farmers, vandals targeting an inflatable dam in Fremont sent 50 million gallons of water meant for the city's residents flowing into the San Francisco Bay. "This is a very significant loss of water under any circumstances, and more so in the drought conditions we are experiencing," Robert Shaver, the Alameda County water district general manager... 

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