Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News 06.05.15

Teamsters
Supervalu Teamsters Overwhelmingly Approve Contract  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters Local 120 warehouse members who work at Supervalu’s distribution facility in Hopkins, Minn., voted by an overwhelming 8 to 1 margin today to ratify a three-year contract. The 723 warehouse workers will see improved wages and working conditions, among other gains...
Teamsters, Carhaul Employer Group Exchange National Contract Proposals  Teamster.org  ...The Teamsters National Automobile Transporters Industry Negotiating Committee (TNATINC) exchanged contract proposals today in Detroit with the employer group, kicking off negotiations for a new national carhaul contract that covers almost 6,000 employees...
Massena Town Council, Teamsters agree to new five-year contract  Watertown Daily Times  ...The Town Council has come to an agreement on a new contract with one of its Teamsters units. The unit includes town hall employees, the Massena Public Library’s custodian and three employees at Massena International Airport. Wages will increase 60 cents an hour in 2015, retroactive to Jan. 1; 60 cents an hour in 2016; 50 cents an hour in 2017; 50 cents an hour in 2018; and 30 cents an hour in 2019...

Global Labor & Trade
How Progressives Are Bucking the White House and Working to Whip Democratic Opposition to Trade Deals  National Journal  ...As the House of Representatives prepares to vote on the White House's trade agenda, Democrats who are opposed to it are trying to convince colleagues in their party to join them. Last month, the Senate passed Trade Promotion Authority, also known as "fast track" authority, which would subject trade deals like the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership to a simple up-or-down vote without the ability to amend...
Both Sides Express Confidence in U.S. House Trade Vote Fight  Bloomberg  ...House Republicans and the White House are expressing confidence they’ll win final passage of President Barack Obama’s fast-track trade bill, though Representative Rosa DeLauro says she and other opponents shouldn’t be counted out. “I believe we have the votes,” said the Connecticut Democrat on Wednesday, referring to the number needed to defeat the measure in a House vote expected in a week or two...
Obama's trust-me approach falls flat with Democrats  The Hill  ...President Obama’s argument that Democrats should trust his vision on trade is falling flat on Capitol Hill. Democrats — even some of Obama’s closest allies — say it’s not enough for the president to pronounce his trade agenda the most progressive in history. The lawmakers want assurances that the agreements under negotiation, particularly a huge deal being finalized with Pacific Rim nations, will protect U.S. jobs...
House within 'striking distance' on fast track, Ryan says  USA Today  ...Top Republicans were optimistic Thursday the U.S. House would take up and pass trade promotion authority in June, although the votes are still not there to get it over the finish line. "We had a very good week. We're not quite there yet. We are picking up votes every day"...
Democrats Frustrated by Unions’ Cash Freeze Over ‘Fast Track’  Roll Call  ...One of Democrats’ best team players on the campaign finance front is playing hardball this cycle, withholding campaign cash over a package of trade bills being debated in Congress. The AFL-CIO, along with some public sector unions, announced a campaign finance freeze in March. Unions hoped the threat of withholding contributions would scare Democratic lawmakers out of supporting President Barack Obama’s Trade Promotion Authority...
John Boehner-aligned group plans $1M ad blitz for trade bill  Politico  ...An outside political advocacy organization closely aligned with Speaker John Boehner is spending close to $1 million to promote a bill that would give President Barack Obama fast-track trade authority, saying China will gain economic prominence if Congress fails to act...
Why China has the upper hand in the South China Sea  Reuters  ...Washington must now address the fundamental flaws in the international trade system that gave China such a big advantage. The White House claims the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership will help offset China’s increasing heft. Unfortunately, the pact, which includes 11 Pacific Rim allies but excludes Beijing, will do nothing to fix the problems...
Another Leaked Trade Agreement, Another Reason to Oppose Fast Track  (opinion) Huff Post  ...What the latest WikiLeaks release reminds us is that fast track won't just be used to pass the TPP. It will also be used to pass the TTIP, the TiSA, and future agreements not yet leaked -- perhaps not even yet imagined. If the House authorizes fast track next week, we should expect even more "government by trade agreement" over the coming years...
The Destruction of Jamaica’s Economy Through Austerity  Counterpunch  ...A small country immiserates itself under orders of international lenders; unemployment and poverty rise, the debt burden increases and investment is starved in favor of paying interest on loans. If this sounds familiar, it is, but the country here is Jamaica. So disastrous has austerity been for Jamaica that its per capita gross domestic product is lower than it was 20 years ago, the worst performance of any country in the Western Hemisphere...

State & Living Wage Battles
Democratic governor vetoes bill that would have made Missouri 26th right-to-work state  AP  ...Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed a measure Thursday that would have made Missouri the 26th right-to-work state, and it's unclear whether proponents will be able to muster enough support in the Republican-led Legislature to override the veto. The governor, a longtime opponent of the effort, traveled to the Kansas City area to announce the veto among about 200 local United Auto Workers union members near a Ford assembly plant...
Maine advocates for higher minimum wage start ballot drive  Portland Press Herald  ...Advocates for a higher minimum wage in Maine are starting a drive to collect signatures to get a wage increase on the 2016 ballot. Mainers for Fair Wages started their Portland-area signature collection on Thursday. The liberal Maine People’s Alliance and the Maine AFL-CIO submitted paperwork about the drive to the state in April...
Scott Walker: The First ALEC President?  Truthout  ...Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker will address the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in San Diego this July. Walker's speech at ALEC will be a reunion of sorts. Walker was an ALEC member as a state legislator in the 1990s, and the agenda that Walker has championed throughout his long political career has closely tracked the policies promoted by ALEC and its corporate funders...
'The Sky Remains Aloft': Dire Minimum Wage Predictions Proved Wrong  Common Dreams  ...One year after Seattle's mayor signed the nation's first citywide $15 minimum wage into law, dire predictions of economic collapse have not come to pass. In fact, according to Working Washington—the group that launched the fast food strikes that sparked the fight for $15 in Seattle and then helped lead the victorious campaign—many of the very same business owners and others who predicted such devastation "are now hiring and even expanding their business operations in the city"...
Hillary Clinton declares war on Voter ID  Washington Post  ...Clinton talked about the fact that African Americans consistently rank among the most deeply affected by the contours of Voter ID laws, must wait in the longest lines on Election Day and cast ballots at polling sites that very often house fewer machines and poll workers than other sites. a student ID can’t be used to vote in Texas, but a concealed carry permit can. The implication: the Democratic Party’s base of young and minority voters are far more likely to be rendered unable to vote...

U.S. Labor
Gawker Media Votes To Unionize  Gawker  ...Yesterday, more than 100 Gawker Media editorial employees voted on the question of whether to be represented by the Writers Guild of America, East for the purpose of collective bargaining—that is, whether we want to form a union. The results are in. Yesterday’s votes were cast electronically and tallied by VoteNet, an independent online voting system. Out of 118 eligible voters, 107 cast votes. The results are: Yes: 80 votes—75%
No: 27 votes—25%...
Virgin America pilots vote for unionization  Reuters  ...Virgin America Inc said a majority of its pilots voted to be represented by the world's largest pilot union, ending its run as the last major U.S. carrier without collective representation for pilots. As much as 75.3 percent of eligible pilots voted for representation by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), said the National Mediation Board...
Sacred Heart Hospital Staffers Vote to Join Union  Public News Service  ...About 1,100 hospital workers at Peacehealth's Sacred Heart Medical Centers in Eugene and Springfield have voted to join a union. They'll soon be negotiating their first contract as part of SEIU Local 49. Doctors and nurses at the facility are already unionized, and now they're joined by the remaining staff in more than 30 departments, from pharmacists and dietary aides to nursing assistants and janitorial staff...
1,200 Allegheny General service workers join SEIU  Pittsburgh Business Times  ...Service and technical workers at Allegheny General Hospital voted Wednesday for union representation, joining SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania. The 1,200 Allegheny General workers include respiratory therapists, radiology and lab technicians. SEIU also represents 1,200 registered nurses at Allegheny General, nurses and service workers at Canonsburg Hospital and Allegheny Valley Hospital...
The United Steel Workers Strike for Hunger  Upper Michigans Source  ...During the summer, food banks traditionally see a drop in their stock.To help battle the hunger in Delta County the United Steel Workers Local 221 are holding their second annual Strike for Hunger. They’ll be “picketing” for 48 hours straight outside of Elmer’s County Market starting Friday at 5 p.m. They’re collecting nonperishable foods or cash donations...
Walmart thinks it can make us disappear  Socialist Worker  ...Walmart laid off some 530 workers at Pico Rivera and 2,200 total from five stores. Walmart claims it is shutting down the stores because of "plumbing problems," but according a complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on behalf of workers, no permits have been sought with the Pico Rivera city administration for any repairs. The only "problem" Walmart wants fixed is the fact that workers are organizing...
US economy adds 280,000 jobs in May but unemployment rises to 5.5%  The Guardian  ...Economists expected US employment to have grown by 225,000 jobs last month, and for the unemployment rate to hold at a seven-year low of 5.4%. The number of Americans participating in the labor force in May increased by 397,000, causing the labor participation rate to increase from 62.8% in April to 62.9%...

Miscellaneous
School Segregation Is Much Bigger Than a Few Schools in The South  Think Progress  ...A recent desegregation order from the U.S. Department of Justice includes a lot of the checkmarks experts say are important for school districts to meet to reach meaningful school integration, but it is also only one school district in a nation of schools that have failed to integrate after Brown v. Board of Education...
Election Coffers Fill Up as Campaign Finance Laws Go Unchecked  Common Dreams  ...As 2016 U.S. presidential campaigns get underway, candidates are already raking in unprecedented amounts of donations—and being accused of violating campaign finance laws, according to new reports. But the Federal Election Commission (FEC), the agency in charge of regulating campaign finance, along with the U.S. Justice Department, are unlikely to do anything to stop it...

City With Second-Highest Veteran Population Effectively Ends Veteran Homelessness  Think Progress  ...his week, Houston, Texas announced that it had effectively ended homelessness for its veteran population. The city has created a system to house any homeless veteran. It’s close to its ultimate goal of being able to find housing for any veteran who falls into homelessness within an average of 30 days...