Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News 06.16.15

Teamsters
Michigan School Bus Workers Choose Teamsters Union  Teamster.org  ...School bus workers with First Student in Carleton, Mich., have voted overwhelmingly, 25-2, in favor of representation by Teamsters Local 283 in Wyandotte, Mich. The group of 35 drivers and monitors reached out to the Teamsters Union seeking a strong voice to address their workplace concerns...
Former De Blasio Staffer Wins Labor Backing in Queens Council Race  Observer  ...A former de Blasio administration staffer running for an open Queens City Council seat has won the first labor endorsement of the race. Rebecca Lynch, a member of Mr. de Blasio’s Community Affairs Unit until this month and a former Democratic district leader, won the backing of Teamsters Joint Council 16 today...
House needs to continue stand against fast track  Teamster Nation  ...The Teamsters would like to thank all lawmakers who stood with the people in that important vote. Pro-fast track lawmakers, however, are likely to pull out every procedural trick in the book to overturn it. That could mean taking another vote on Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) as early as tomorrow...

Global Labor & Trade
Obama, Boehner abandon plans for Tuesday trade vote  Washington Post  ...President Obama and his momentary Republican allies in Congress mulled several difficult choices Monday for rescuing trade legislation into which the president has invested a massive amount of political capital in the hope of completing a 12-nation trade deal across the Pacific Rim. Their first call was to abandon plans for a second vote Tuesday on a piece of legislation that must also pass for the entire package to advance to Obama’s desk...
Obama’s environmental allies not buying his trade pitch on climate  Washington Post  ...President Obama has made environmental safeguards one of the selling points of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But environmental groups aren’t buying. The influential environmental groups — a key part of the effort to rally the Democratic base against the fast-track bill for trade talks — believe that a new trade pact could set back important gains achieved over the past two decades...
US fast-track vote leaves Pacific trade pact talks in limbo  Associated Press  ...How slow can you go? The effort to get U.S. trade legislation through Congress, clearing the way for progress on an Asia-Pacific trade accord, is in limbo once again. The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday shot down a proposal to give President Barack Obama authority to negotiate global trade deals for congressional approval or rejection, without amendments...
U.S. trade deal’s setback causes mixed reaction in Asia  Washington Post  ...The failure of a package of trade-related measures Friday in the House was a blow to President Obama, but it was also a blow to his ally, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, half a world away. Abe has made reviving Japan’s stubbornly anemic economy one of his top priorities, and forging a wide-ranging trade pact with the United States, through the Trans- Pacific Partnership (TPP)...
Nancy Pelosi: Trade promotion authority on its last legs  (opinion) USA Today  ...In order to succeed in the global economy, it is necessary to move beyond stale arguments of protectionism vs. free trade. To do so, we must recognize that workers' rights, consumer and intellectual protections, and environmental safeguards must be just as enforceable as the protection of the economic interests of investors...
Honduran Workers Win Unions at 3 Plants, Get Pact at 4th  Solidarity Center  ...Apparel workers in Honduras formed unions at three factories in recent days with the Central General de Trabajadores Honduras (CGT) and its apparel federation FESITRATEMASH, in a huge victory for workers seeking to improve their basic livelihoods. Some 9,000 workers at the Canadian-owned Gildan apparel factories in Choloma, San Pedro Sula and Villanueva make T-shirts, sweatshirts and sweatpants...
In the Global Apparel Industry, Abusive and Deadly Working Conditions Are Still the Norm  In These Times  ...We know about extreme incidents such as the Rana Plaza collapse that capture the world’s attention, however briefly, or when workers get so fed up with the conditions that they strike long enough and loud enough to get the Western world’s attention. But the day-to-day disasters that maim or kill a single worker or the accumulation of lead in workers’ bodies—those go almost completely unreported...
Threats of Default and 'Grexit' Loom as Greece Refuses to Surrender  Common Dreams  ...As threats of a debt default, potential 'Greek exit,' and stock market crash loom, both sides appear to be digging in their heels after negotiations between Greece and European lenders collapsed on Sunday. Greece's leftist leader, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, slammed his creditors for their "insistence" on austerity, which he described as a "pillaging" of Greece's imperiled economy...

State & Living Wage Battles
After Cutting Taxes On The Rich, Kansas Will Raise Taxes On The Poor To Pay For It  Think Progress  ...Kansas lawmakers concluded the longest legislative session in state history Friday night by approving a slate of regressive tax hikes that will balance the state’s budget by targeting low-income workers and their families. More than half of the $384 million in new revenue expected from the tax hike will come from cigarette taxes and sales taxes, two policies described as “regressive” because they fall more heavily on lower-income taxpayers than on the wealthy...
Poll: Voters want to keep prevailing wage law  Detroit News  ...A group seeking to repeal Michigan's 50-year-old prevailing wage law might find its biggest support among Republican state lawmakers: A new poll suggests likely voters want to keep union-level wages for government construction projects. More than 59 percent of likely voters support maintaining Michigan's prevailing wage...
Senate support for Scott Walker's budget is razor thin  Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel  ...Gov. Scott Walker's budget hangs by a gossamer thread in the GOP-controlled state Senate, where "no" votes from just three lawmakers within his own party would be enough to derail his spending plan. Already, two conservative Republican senators have made clear they will be extremely difficult — perhaps impossible — for Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) to win over without knocking moderate senators from their party out of the yes column...
Scott Walker's Wisconsin: A Laboratory for Oligarchs  Truthout  ...Scott Walker's attacks on unions and family paying jobs in Wisconsin helped elevate his national profile and ingratiated him with deep-pocketed political donors like the Kochs. Can he take this agenda nationwide? This weekend's New York Times Magazine has a cover story by Wisconsin native Dan Kaufman called "Scott Walker and the Fate of the Union" that digs deep into Walker's anti-worker crusade...
What’s the Matter With Indiana?  Counterpunch  ...Amid all that’s clearly wrong with Indiana’s current direction under right wing Republican rule, Quigley finds cause for optimism. “Despite a state political climate that proved inhospitable to labor in the right-to-work debate, private sector workers are launching union organizing campaigns across the state’s capital,” and in smaller towns as well. If We Can Win Here includes detailed case studies of membership recruitment...
Board Hears Support for Raising Food Workers’ Minimum Wage  New York Times  ...The mayor who faced a multitude of excited New York City workers in Manhattan on Monday morning was not Bill de Blasio. Instead, it was the mayor of Buffalo, Byron Brown, who listened patiently as a contingent of fast-food restaurant employees pleaded for an increase in their minimum wage to $15 an hour, cheered on by an auditorium filled with their colleagues and sympathizers...

U.S. Labor
Amid dispute with SEIU union, county makes contract offer  Las Vegas Review-Journal  ...Clark County managers have made a contract offer to their largest employee union amid a dispute over interpretation of a new state law that revamps collective bargaining for government workers. The offer would end concerns over the county’s moves to end paid union leave for employees and stop all increases to wages and benefits...
Saint Louis University Hospital nurses vote against de-authorization of union  St. Louis Public Radio  ...Members of a nurse’s union at St. Louis University Hospital voted against de-authorizing their union late Monday, a measure that would have effectively created a “right-to-work” policy within the hospital. The National Nurses United affiliate has about 650 members at SLU Hospital; only 140 voted in favor of de-authorization...
Ford wants to lead UAW talks to address wage disparity  Detroit Free Press  ...Detroit Three-UAW bargaining will begin in earnest the week of July 13 and Ford wants to be first to ink an agreement that creates a more even playing field when it comes to wages in the auto industry. In the normally secretive world of UAW talks, key dates and details were released Monday about the next stages of bargaining...
Woman Alleges Waffle House Manager Asked, ‘You’re Pregnant Again?’ Then Fired Her For Pregnancy   Think Progress  ...Tabitha Handy says she assured her employer at Waffle House that she could continue doing her job after she found out she was pregnant in September, but then she was allegedly fired over concerns about whether she could keep doing it. Now, she’s suing them.
When she first told her direct manager, according to the lawsuit, he replied that he didn’t know of any other pregnant workers at Waffle House and told her to tell upper management about it...
Milwaukee County Transit union workers holding strike vote  Fox 6 Now  ..Milwaukee County Transit  union workers will vote Tuesday, June 16th on whether to go on strike. They’ve been working without a contract for more than two months. The local union is in the midst of contract negotiations with Milwaukee County. But if they don’t come to a deal, they could strike. The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 998 has more than one thousand members...
Surviving the Drought in California: Farm Workers Struggle to Put Food on the Table  Truthout  ...Undocumented farm workers are the backbone of America’s farm industry. Already living on the margins, the California drought is hitting them the hardest. People Power Media went to the heart of California’s Central Valley, in towns like Mendota, to find how the drought is impacting workers and their families...

Miscellaneous
Border Agent Allegedly Claimed That 3-Year-Old Child Crossed Border To ‘Look For Work’  Think Progress  ...Since last summer, the Obama administration has adopted an aggressive deterrence strategy to lock up women and their children in detention under a “no release” policy as a way to deter future migrants from making the trek. Some people were released, but many were denied bond. Though many women and children currently in detention have favorable “credible fear” findings, many are still locked up in the three family detention centers...
U.S. industrial output hurt by weakness in manufacturing, mining  Reuters  ...U.S. industrial production unexpectedly fell in May as manufacturing and mining activity remained weak, a sign that a strong dollar and spending cuts in the energy sector continued to constrain economic growth. The softness in the production side of the economy contrasts starkly with recent upbeat data on retail sales, employment, consumer and small business confidence...