Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 06.08.15

Teamsters
Port truckers for Chinese company demand Teamsters recognition  Daily Breeze  ...Contract drivers for a Chinese-owned trucking company will deliver a letter today to their employer demanding that their right to be represented by the Teamsters be recognized. The drivers for Intermodal Bridge Transport, or IBT, are part of a pair of class action lawsuits and one 16-person lawsuit contending that they are misclassified as independent contractors, and actually do the work of full-time employees...
Disney World's confidentiality warning riles actors' union  Associated Press  ...Teamsters Local 385 said in the complaint that Disney was committing an unfair labor practice. A grievance was filed last week with the company. The two-week-old written policy prevents actors from publicly revealing in social media or traditional media which characters they play, according to the union...

Global Labor & Trade
Confidential USTR Emails Show Close Industry Involvement In TPP Negotiations  IP Watch  ...While a full range of stakeholders would be affected by the outcome of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement under secret negotiation by the United States and a dozen trading partners, corporate representatives have had a special seat at the negotiating table, as shown by hundreds of pages of confidential emails from the US Trade Representative’s office obtained by Intellectual Property Watch...
Trade Pacts Face Growing Pushback  Wall Street Journal  ...The decades-old argument that major trade agreements boost both exports and jobs at home is losing its political punch, even in some of the country’s most export-heavy congressional districts. In the 10 districts with the biggest export growth since 2006, only three of the representatives say they back legislation to help President Barack Obama wrap up a major Pacific trade deal...
Trade supporters bullish as vote nears  The Hill  ...House GOP leaders are expressing a bold new confidence heading into the final stretch of the divisive fight over granting President Obama broad trade powers. The vote, expected as soon as this week, is likely to be a nail-biter — scores of lawmakers in both parties remain publicly undecided, making the count on both sides difficult to pin down...
Big Pharma seeks special trade deal  Politico  ...A revolutionary class of drugs with the potential to treat intractable diseases like cancer and other killers — as well as to explode health spending globally — is at the center of the toughest negotiations of the biggest trade deal in history. The pharmaceutical industry has been pressing the Obama administration to insist that the Trans-Pacific Partnership include 12 years of monopoly pricing power for the makers of these complex and costly drugs...
Black Caucus Is Wooed for Trade Pact Votes  New York Times  ...Until the vote is called, a lot of black Democrats will find themselves in a painful, public squeeze between the president they admire and do not want to see fail and the unions that have sustained them for years. “I’m hoping he doesn’t call,” fretted one veteran black House Democrat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he counts Mr. Obama as a friend who has stood by him on political matters...
Obama and his GOP allies launch big effort to win trade fight in the House  Washington Post  ...President Obama opened an intense final round of lobbying to win support for his sweeping Pacific Rim trade accord ahead of a crucial vote in the House as soon as next week, expressing confidence that he will overcome deepening skepticism among fellow Democrats. The push from the president included direct calls to lawmakers, interviews with television stations in key states and plans to bring several Democrats aboard Air Force One with him to a summit in Germany...
Fast-track vote still up in the air  Politico  ...Supporters of a controversial trade bill are increasingly confident they can secure the votes needed to pass so-called fast-track legislation when it hits the House floor, which could come as early as this week. Only about a dozen members remain undecided, most of them Democrats, and President Barack Obama is expected to make another lobbying push this week to try and win over wavering members of his party...
20,000+ Police March In Force Against G7 Protests in Germany  Common Dreams  ...Though outnumbered by police by approximately two-to-one, thousands of people took to the streets of the Alpine resort town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Germany on Saturday to express their opposition to the hegemonic and neoliberal policies of the G7 nations. Speaking out against the destructive policies of the world's leading industrialized nations organized groups and individuals who participated in the protest carried signs and banners decrying inaction on climate change, the pending TransAtlantic Trade in Partnership (TTIP) agreement...
Ukraine Labor Dares Operation Vulture  Truthout  ...Many workers are simply not getting paid, and what they actually are being paid is often illegally low. Employers are taking whatever money is in their business accounts and squirreling it away – preferably abroad, or at least in foreign currency. For labor leaders, the problem is not only to collect back wages, but to survive with a future living wage. If they refrain from protesting, they simply won’t get paid...
Brinkmanship on Display as Greece Rejects 'Irrational' IMF Proposals  Common Dreams  ...Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Friday rejected the financial aid proposal of introduced by foreign creditors overseeing the country's bailout, saying the Syriza government cannot accept "irrational" proposals that call for additional austerity measures while offering nothing in the way of debt relief. In a rarely used move, Tsipras announced Greece would defer a series of payments to the end of the month as negotiations with the troika—the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank, and the European Commission—continued...

State & Living Wage Battles
Sen. Richard, governor disagree on impact of right-to-work  The Joplin Globe  ...In vetoing the bill Thursday, Nixon said the measure is designed to undermine labor organizations that produce highly skilled workers for Missouri employers. He called the measure an "attack on working Missourians" which he said would stunt economic growth by reducing work force training opportunities and driving down wages...
Prevailing wage fight blooms on Kane County Board  Daily Herald  ...Now, having grudgingly supported a watered-down Kane County resolution calling for reform in Springfield in May, Frasz is urging his colleagues to cast at least a symbolic vote rejecting the entire state prevailing wage law. On Friday, he gained at least three supporters during a meeting of the Kane County Forest Preserve Commission's executive committee...
$15 minimum wage proposal faces business backlash  STL Today  ...The minimum-wage bill would apply to any businesses with more than 15 employees and $500,000 in annual sales. It would raise the wage floor to $10 an hour this summer and $15 on Jan. 1, 2020. Seattle and San Francisco have already passed $15 minimum-wage ordinances, and Los Angeles is considering one. St. Louis, however, isn’t like those West Coast places. It has a lower cost of living and a slow-growing economy, and the city is small relative to its suburbs...
Public comment hearing on proposed voter ID rules set for Tuesday  Winston-Salem Journal  ...People have an opportunity locally this week to voice their thoughts on the State Board of Elections’ proposed rules for implementing the state’s voter ID law. Winston-Salem was one of nine locations selected by the State Board of Elections to host public comment hearings on the proposed rules, which outline procedures such as how precinct officials are supposed to determine whether the person pictured in the ID matches the individual checking in to vote...
Here Are All the Reasons Walmart’s Business Is Not Sustainable  The Nation  ...Walmart’s “savings” from cheap labor gets passed through its US supply chain, too: The federal government recently cracked down on a Walmart egg supplier for “discriminatory practices” in intrusive screening of immigrant workers. One major lettuce supplier, Taylor Farms, has been hit by a wage-theft class-action lawsuit along with scandals over alleged union-busting and abuse of migrant workers in California...

U.S. Labor 
Pittsburgh Labor Board finds in favor of Duquesne Adjuncts  Pittsburgh Courier  ...The Pittsburgh regional office of the National Labor Relations Board issued a decision June 5 ordering that Duquesne University recognize the Adjunct Faculty Association of the United Steelworkers as the collective bargaining representative of part-time faculty at Duquesne’s McAnulty College of Liberal Arts. Part-time faculty at the College voted overwhelmingly to organize with the AFA-USW in 2012...
May Saw The Highest Number Of Jobs Created All Year  Think Progress  ...The economy added 280,000 jobs in May while the unemployment rate was little changed at 5.5 percent, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Analysts had expected 225,000 jobs to be added. May was the best month for jobs added since December...
Greenbrier, IBEW finish contract  NP Telegraph  ...Employees of Greenbrier Rail Services at Hershey joined with their new union brothers Friday afternoon to celebrate the ratification of Greenbrier’s contract with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1920. The contract was ratified on May 27...
Pot Legalization Could Bring A Million Jobs to California  Alternet  ...An estimated 100,000 people are currently employed in California's marijuana industry, but that number could grow 10-fold within a few years, according to the California Cannabis Industry Association. There is one big "if," though. That's if California actually gets around to legalizing it next year...

Miscellaneous
The link between police tactics and economic conditions cannot be ignored  The Guardian  ...The failed war on drugs tripled the number of people in prison, even as crime rates in the US fell to the lowest levels in a generation. Nearly 1.5m African American men are in prison and missing from society due, in large part, to a criminal justice system that locks them up and limits their options upon release. Cities, starved of funding by austerity-obsessed leaders, write tickets and charge fees for residents already struggling to avoid hunger and eviction...
Traumatized by 3 Years at Rikers Without Charge, Ex-Teen Prisoner Kalief Browder Commits Suicide  Democracy Now  ...A young man imprisoned for three years at Rikers Island jail in New York without charge has committed suicide. Kalief Browder was a 16-year-old high school sophomore when he was detained on suspicion of stealing a backpack. Browder never pleaded guilty and was never convicted. After enduring nearly 800 days in solitary confinement and abuses from guards, Browder was only released when the case was dismissed...

Retiree Health Insurance

This program consists of several different benefits for Teamster retirees. These Teamster benefits can help you and your family cut the rising cost of health care.