Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 06.19.15

Teamsters
Teamsters Endorse Bill to Protect Pensions, Strengthen Multi-Employer Plans  Teamster.org  ...he International Brotherhood of Teamsters issued its support today for new legislation that will protect earned pension benefits for retirees and boost multi-employer pension plans for workers and participating employers. The “Keep our Pension Promises Act,” sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), will roll back provisions slipped into the fiscal 2015 spending bill...
Teamsters Denounce Hijacking of Firefighter Retirement Bill to Pass Fast Track in House  Teamster.org  ...The International Brotherhood of Teamsters denounced the political gamesmanship used by House representatives to pass Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) by attaching it to HR 2146, the Defending Public Safety Employees’ Retirement Act, a widely-supported bill that enables federal firefighters to access their retirement savings once they reach retirement age...
Teamsters Local 264 Members at Costanzo’s Bakery Ratify Strong Agreement  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters Local 264 members who work for Costanzo’s Bakery in Cheektowaga, N.Y., have voted to ratify an agreement providing for improvements to wages, health care, benefits and more. The 10 route sales drivers sell and deliver baked goods across western New York. “It started out contentious, but in the end we got a very good contract that is a fair deal for everybody involved,” said Tony Vaccaro, a business agent with Local 264 in Cheektowaga...
Teamsters, machinists, aerospace unions support bill to repeal multiemployer reforms  Pensions & Investments  ...International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Washington, endorsed legislation introduced Thursday that would repeal the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014. The Teamsters union represents 1.4 million members. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers also endorsed the bill Thursday...

Global Labor & Trade
House Sends Trade Bill Back to Senate in Bid to Outflank Foes  New York Times  ...The House on Thursday approved a bill to give President Obama accelerated negotiating authority to pursue a sweeping, legacy-building trade agreement with 11 Pacific Rim nations, Part 1 of a complex legislative strategy devised by Republicans to get a trade package to Mr. Obama’s desk after Democrats derailed the measure in the House last week. But many of the 14 Senate Democrats who have already voted for a trade package are withholding their support...
Obama's Pacific trade pact revived in U.S. House, heads to Senate  Reuters  ...The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday reversed course, approving "fast-track" legislation central to President Barack Obama's trade deal with Pacific Rim nations and sending it back to the Senate. The close vote in the House, which last week rejected a related bill, kept alive Obama's goal of bolstering U.S. ties with Asia through a 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)...
House Passes Fast-Track Trade Bill, but Senate Outcome Uncertain  Wall Street Journal  ...The House passed legislation Thursday to ease trade pacts through Congress. But the bill’s fate is intertwined with a related measure to help workers hurt by international trade. Many pro-trade Senate Democrats say they won’t vote for the fast-track bill without evidence that the worker-aid program...
Obama’s trade agenda, back from the dead  Washington Post  ...Today the House of Representatives passed a bill giving President Obama Fast Track authority to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. That means Obama’s trade agenda could still survive, which caused a stampeded of commentators who had declared it dead and buried (in a “stinging” and “humiliating” defeat for Obama) to admit they might have rendered judgment too quickly...
Trade turnaround: House backs new power for Obama  Politico  ...President Barack Obama’s trade agenda was jolted back to life Thursday, as the House voted narrowly to grant him fast-track authority to finalize a sweeping accord with 11 other Pacific Rim nations. Now, in order to score a major victory on a centerpiece of his economic agenda, he has to convince a handful of key Senate Democrats to take a leap of faith ahead of a crucial procedural vote Tuesday. So far, several are holding back...
Ban Ki-moon: Uzbekistan Must Do More to End Forced Labor  Solidarity Center  ...Labor and human rights groups are applauding a statement by United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who said during a recent visit to Uzbekistan that more must be done now to address “the mobilization of teachers, doctors and others in cotton harvesting, and prevent the maltreatment of prisoners.” On June 5, dozens of labor and human rights organizations, including the Solidarity Center, sent a letter to Ban Ki-moon urging him to raise the issue of forced labor...
As Debt Crisis Spirals, Greeks Declare: 'Our Lives Don't Belong to the Lenders'  Common Dreams  ...With strained negotiations between Greece and its European lenders at a seeming impasse—and the prospect of a Greek exit from the euro zone, or "Grexit," looming large—thousands rallied in central Athens on Wednesday night, in a show of support for the leftist Syriza party and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who has so far resisted the creditors' push for deeper cuts and further austerity...
London faces biggest tube strike in more than 10 years over night shift pay  The Guardian  ...London could face the most widespread tube disruption for more than a decade next month after drivers voted overwhelmingly to strike over Transport for London plans to force through night shifts for no extra pay. London Underground drivers will stage a 24-hour strike from 9.30pm on 8 July, Aslef announced...
Hunger Strike At Uniqlo Clothing Supplier In China Highlights Industry's Search For Lower Labor Costs  International Business Times  ...Hundreds of Chinese factory workers are on strike at a facility that makes casual wear for Uniqlo, the popular clothing chain owned by Japan’s Fast Retailing Co. Workers are upset over their employer’s surprise decision in May to relocate the factory, which is based in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen...

State & Living Wage Battles
Scott Walker Expands All-Out War Against Teachers' Unions To University of Wisconsin  Alternet  ...Gov. Scott Walker and his allies are advancing one of the most radical assaults on public education in recent history, by bombarding Wisconsin’s highly regarded schools, from kindergarten through the state university system, with draconian spending cuts, anti-union and corporate-style governance and ending faculty tenure...
Wisconsin's unemployment rate rose to 4.6% in May  Journal Sentinel  ...Wisconsin's unemployment rate rose last month as more people were estimated to be unemployed and fewer said they were looking for work, according to a monthly jobs report released Thursday from the state Department of Workforce Development. Thursday's data also showed that an estimated 4,900 people had taken themselves out of the civilian labor force — which means they stopped looking for work...
Maine Senate passes minimum wage increase  Portland Press Herald  ...The Republican-controlled Senate narrowly passed a bill Thursday that would raise Maine’s minimum wage to $9 an hour. But the Senate proposal contains a more modest wage increase than a version passed by the Democratic-controlled House this month and the two have several key policy differences...
North Carolina Makes Last-Minute Change To Voter ID Law Facing Challenge In Court  Huffingtoin Post  ...The North Carolina General Assembly passed a bill on Thursday allowing voters who do not have government-issued photo identification to still vote in next year's elections by signing an affidavit and presenting alternate forms of ID. The photo ID requirement was set to go in effect for 2016 under a larger elections bill...
NM Court Sides with Building Trades, Says Martinez Admin Has Been Illegally Setting Wage Rates  We Party Patriots  ...must change the way they set the prevailing wage and fringe benefits for publicly funded projects.  In her 15-page opinion, Justice Petra Jimenez Maes argued that the Martinez administration has a duty to set rates based on collective bargaining agreements rather than wage surveys.  The failure to do so has forced workers to earn between 5 and 30 percent less than they would have had the law been followed...
Nixon defends veto of 'right to work' bill, dismisses Republican attacks over large union donation  St.Louis Public Radio  ...Amid GOP calls that he give back the money, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says any controversy over $50,000 that he recently received from the national AFL-CIO misses the point of why he vetoed an anti-union bill known as “right to work.” “This is not partisan to me,’’ Nixon said in an interview Thursday after an unrelated news conference to herald a new business coming to the city’s Grand Center area...
Texas workers’ comp ruling is two-edged sword for employers  Dallas News  ...Workers at thousands of Texas businesses who are seriously injured on the job may find it harder to sue their employers for damages after an accident. The Supreme Court of Texas, in a potentially precedent-setting decision issued last week, slammed the courthouse door on damages for many employees hurt while working in hazardous situations...

U.S. Labor
Chicago Charter School Students Say UNO Teacher Was Fired for Union Activism  In These Times  ...Heise, an educator and activist who was active in the recently successful campaign to unionize his school was fired earlier this month for reasons the administration has declined to comment on. Daniel Izguerra, who was in Heise's mentorship program before graduating last year, says he knows the real reason why Heise was fired. "They fired him for being an outspoken union activist"...
SEIU To Shift 70K Workers Out of United Healthcare Workers West  California Healthline  ...The largest health care workers union in California is planning to move nearly half of the members of United Healthcare Workers West to a separate local chapter focused on nursing homes and home care. UHW President Dave Regan said the Service Employees International Union in May announced it would cut about 70,000 home care workers from UHW, moving them to a separate local chapter...
Disney Reverses 35 Layoffs, but No Fairytale Ending for Thousands of Others Displaced by H-1B Visa Program  EPI  ...Disney had reversed a decision to replace 35 American information technology (IT) workers with cheaper H-1B guestworkers at its ABC broadcasting offices in New York City and Burbank, CA. However, this decision by Disney executives does nothing for the 250 workers who have already lost their jobs to workers they were forced to train and who will earn roughly $40,000 less for doing the same job...
UAW aims to cut wage gap, have one health plan in talks  The Blade ...A month away from the start of labor contract talks between the United Auto Workers and the Detroit automakers, the union’s president is taking aim at the industry’s two-tier wage system and working on a proposal that would bring workers at all three companies under the same insurance plan...
USW Strike May Finally Actually End for Marathon Refinery Workers  Houston Press  ...The striking oil refinery workers at Marathon's Galveston Bay Refinery have been "on the verge of a deal" with Marathon for months now, but now it's looking entirely possible that one of the last holdouts from the largest oil refinery strike in the past 35 years will finally get a new local contract, bringing the strike to a close...

Miscellaneous
Charleston’s ‘Mother Emanuel Church’ Has Stared Down Racist Violence for 200 Years  The Nation  ...The more you read about Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, otherwise known as “Mother Emanuel,” the more awe you feel for its historic resilience amidst white-supremacist terror. This church is now known as the scene of a massacre, which is being investigated as a “hate crime.” Nine are dead, but this institution will not fall...
Daily Show's Jon Stewart on Charleston shooting: 'This was a terrorist attack'  The Guardian  ...The media response had been too slow to acknowledge the culture that made such violence possible, Stewart said: “I heard someone on the news say, a tragedy has visited this church. This wasn’t a tornado. This was racist. This was a guy with a Rhodesia badge on his sweater … This one is black and white. There’s no nuance here"...
Failing to Meet Global Police Standards, US Forsakes 'the Right to Life'  Common Dreams  ...Each of the 50 United States has failed to comply with international standards on police use of lethal force, a reality that threatens lives, poses grave human rights concerns, perpetuates institutional racism, and requires immediate reform, a new report by Amnesty International published Thursday has found...
Pope Francis: "Bold Cultural Revolution" Needed to Save Planet from Climate Change & Consumerism  Democracy Now  ...In his long-awaited encyclical on the environment and climate change, Pope Francis has called for swift action to save the planet from environmental ruin, urging world leaders to hear "the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor." He called for a change of lifestyle in rich countries steeped in a "throwaway" consumer culture...

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