Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 06.18.15

Teamsters
Drivers and Monitors with North River Collaborative Join Teamsters Local 653  Teamster.org  ...Drivers and monitors with Massachusetts’s North River Collaborative have joined Teamsters Local 653 in South Easton, Mass. The 74 workers transport students with special needs and are based in Abington and Rockland, Mass. The workers’ election at North River Collaborative was conducted through card-check...
Walmart still has a ways to go to help workers  Teamster Nation  ...The world's largest retailer still has a long way to go to bring its workforce practices up to an acceptable level. Walmart workers and those in its food supply chain are forced to put up with a number labor issues. Teamsters are familiar with several of these situations. For instance, the union has and continues to fight the practices of salad producer Taylor Farms and organic food supplier United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI)...

Global Labor & Trade
Trade pact proponents claim new momentum  Politico  ...the Democratic president and the two Republican leaders embarked on their most intense bipartisan negotiating spree in recent memory. The back channeling, combined with some complex procedural machinations, might allow the House and Senate to clear both Trade Promotion Authority and Trade Adjustment Assistance before the Fourth of July recess...
Obama, GOP set to jam House Dems on trade  CNN  ... President Barack Obama and top Republican congressional leaders joined together Wednesday to make an all-out push to convince pro-trade Democrats in the House and Senate to resurrect his trade agenda. Legislation to help pave the way for a major trade deal with roughly a dozen countries was left in limbo after a massive block of House Democrats ignored a personal appeal from the President and voted down the trade package last Friday...
Fast-track trade bill to get another vote in Congress on Thursday  LA Times  ...Trying to salvage President Obama's trade agenda, Republican leaders in Congress plan to vote again Thursday on legislation giving the president fast-track negotiating authority, sidestepping House Democrats’ opposition and leaving the future of a worker-assistance program uncertain...
House to vote for a second time on fast-track for Obama  The Hill  ...The House will vote Thursday on a stand-alone measure to grant President Obama fast-track trade authority. The decision follows a flurry of activity at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, as the White House and congressional Republicans rally around a strategy for moving forward with the trade package...
Karen Bass And Keith Ellison Just Threw A Wrench Into The Republican Trade Strategy  Huffington Post  ...Key Democratic lawmakers, led by Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), sent a letter on Wednesday to Senate leaders saying they do not support a new House Republican plan designed to ease the passage of President Barack Obama's trade agenda. Wednesday's letter, from Reps. Bass, G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), makes that goal harder to achieve...
TPP Versus NAFTA  (opinion) New York Times  ...Many people — myself included — thought that TPP would, in the end, follow the model of NAFTA: a Democratic president would push the agreement through Congress, but the bulk of the votes would be Republican. But it doesn’t seem to be going that way. Why?...
Greek government supporters rally in Athens against austerity  Reuters  ...A few thousand demonstrators rallied in front of the parliament in Athens on Wednesday to protest against austerity and back the leftist government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in its standoff with Greece's international creditors. The demonstration, which appeared to be made up mainly of supporters of the ruling Syriza party, came as pressure piled on Tsipras' government to accept creditors' demands...
An anti-austerity rebellion ramps up in the UK  Aljazeera America  ...On Saturday tens of thousands of people will march through London and Glasgow to demand an end to austerity and increases in spending and investment. The protest in London has been organized by the People’s Assembly, a left-wing campaign group that eschews formal political party ties...
Dominicans of Haitian Descent About to Be Deported  Solidarity Center  ...Hundreds of thousands of workers in the Dominican Republic without official identification papers have until today to register with the government or face deportation. The move—condemned widely as a violation of human rights—could leave as many as 120,000 Dominican-born and -raised women and men stateless, their future and their ability to earn a living jeopardized...

State & Living Wage Battles
Conservative lobbying group ALEC sets sights on local lawmakers  Aljazeera-America  ...State-level pre-emption laws like HB 40 that limit the authority of city and county governments in their dealings with private industry, while not new, have become more common in recent years. Seventeen states prohibit city and county governments from raising the minimum wage. Eleven states have barred local governments from mandating paid sick leave. Critics of these pre-emption laws say their rise can be traced to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)...
Young adults in Michigan would have a lower minimum wage under bill  MLive  ...Youth under 20 years old could make less than Michigan's minimum wage under a bill that's headed to the full Senate for consideration. Under current law, employers can pay people under 18 either 85 percent of Michigan's minimum wage, or the federal minimum wage, whichever is greater. The bill would change that to include all employees under 20...
Brown inks bill to protect immigrants  San Diego Union-Tribune  ...Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed legislation further cracking down on people offering fraudulent immigration services. The bill, AB 60, carried by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, won unanimous support in the Assembly and Senate. The new law closes an loophole in a 2013 law she authored, which created protections for immigrants who were seeking immigration reform-related services...
Gov. signs bill increasing minimum wage  WPRI  ..Gov. Gina Raimondo has signed legislation to raise Rhode Island’s minimum wage. The Democratic governor says she’s proud to raise the state’s minimum hourly rate from $9 to $9.60 on Jan. 1. She plans to mark the change in a signing ceremony soon. Both legislative chambers approved the raise...
New York State Legislators Have Just One More Day to Pass a Bill Protecting Nail Salon Workers  In These Times  ...New York State lawmakers have just one day left in this year's legislative session to answer that question as two bills introduced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo remain on the table. After the exploitation of nail salon workers in New York came to public attention with a New York Times investigation of 150 nail salons over 13 months, Gov. Cuomo announced on May 18 legislation, emergency regulations and a public outreach program to protect these workers...
“Right-to-work” goes down the drain in Maine  People's World  ...Following effective worker lobbying, meetings, phone calls and 10,000 post cards, so-called right-to-work legislation went down the drain in Maine, by a 90-52 margin in the state House. Other anti-worker bills also hit the legislative garbage can. But the fight isn't over yet...
What Fast-Food Workers Are Fighting For  The Nation  ...Not long ago, $15 an hour for a “burger-flipping” gig would have sounded impossible too. But now, pressed by a nationwide grassroots labor movement, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Wage Board is potentially poised to nearly double the base wage for a fast-food labor force of nearly 165,000 people statewide. Following a groundbreaking $15 minimum-wage law that just passed in Los Angeles, a pay raise couldn’t come soon enough for New York’s fast-food workers, who earn on average under $16,000 a year...
How Walmart Spun an 'Extensive and Secretive Web' of Overseas Tax Havens  Common Dreams  ...Walmart has built a vast, undisclosed network of overseas tax havens—accounting for more than $76 billion of assets—that allows the multinational corporation to shirk public disclosure laws as well as its fair share of both foreign and U.S. taxes, according to a groundbreaking report published Wednesday by Americans for Tax Fairness. All told, the retail behemoth has established at least 78 subsidiaries in 15 offshore tax havens...

U.S Labor
FedEx Ground to pay $228 million to settle driver classification claims in California  DC Velocity  ...The ground delivery unit of FedEx Corp. has tentatively agreed to pay $228 million to settle claims by about 2,300 drivers in California that the company improperly classified them as independent contractors and not company employees while they drove for the unit from 2000 to 2007. The settlement, disclosed Friday in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing, must still be approved by a federal district court in California...
In California, Uber driver is employee, not contractor  Reuters  ...A driver for Uber is an employee, not a contractor, according to a California ruling that eventually could push up costs for the smartphone-based ride hailing service and hurt the closely watched start-up's valuation. The California Labor Commission's decision could ripple through the burgeoning industry of providing services via smartphones...
Striking airport workers rally outside the State House  WWLP  ...orkers who move baggage, help passengers and clean planes at Logan Airport went on a 24-hour strike Wednesday, alleging that airport contractors don’t pay enough and trample on their rights. Over 100 workers at G2 Secure Staff and Ready Jet went on strike, according to Roxana Rivera, an organizer with SEIU 32BJ, which has been stymied in attempting to organize the companies where she said a couple hundred people work...
House Republicans look to block union election rules, slash NLRB budget  Reuters  ...Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday renewed attempts to block new rules governing union elections and proposed cutting the budgets of the U.S. Department of Labor and National Labor Relations Board. The House Appropriations Committee unveiled a budget bill for fiscal year 2016 that would also prohibit the NLRB from issuing a new standard on joint employment...
California Court Ruling Could Make It Nearly Impossible for Farmworkers to Win Union Contracts  In These Times  ...On May 18 in Fresno, California, the state's Court of Appeals for the 5th District ruled that a key provision of the state's unique labor law for field workers is unconstitutional. Should it be upheld by the state's supreme court, this decision will profoundly affect the ability of California farm workers to gain union contracts. At issue is the “mandatory mediation” provision of the state's Agricultural Labor Relations Act...
Tempers flare as D.C. nurse ratio bill returns — rebranded  Washington Business Journal  ...Councilman Vincent Orange finally appeared to pin D.C. Department of Health Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt down on what would might make an acceptable minimum number of nurses per patient for local hospitals. “She finally had to acknowledge there are numbers that make sense,” said Ken Zinn, the D.C.-based political director for nurses union National Nurses United...

Miscellaneous
Applications for US jobless aid fall to nearly 15-year low  News & Observer  ...he number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell last week, evidence that layoffs remain at unusually low levels and the job market is moving closer to full health. Weekly applications for jobless aid dropped 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 267,000, the Labor Department said Thursday...
Fed Holds Off on Interest Rate Hike, Downgrades Economic Forecast  TruthOut  ...Federal Reserve policymakers on Wednesday kept the central bank's benchmark short-term interest rate near zero, opting against the first increase since 2006 after determining the economy still isn't strong enough to handle it. Fed officials sharply downgraded their economic forecast for this year. They projected the economy would grow between 1.8% and 2% this year...
How big banks and racist policies helped shape segregation, police brutality  Salon  ...Housing equity is Americans’ most important source of wealth. Average black family income is now about 60 percent of white family income, but black household wealth is only about 5 percent of white household wealth. This disparity is almost entirely attributable to federal policy that prohibited black families from accumulating equity during the suburban boom and thus from bequeathing that wealth to children, as whites have done...

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