Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News 06.24.15

Teamsters
Hoffa Statement on Senate Fast Track Cloture Vote  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa in response to the Senate’s decision to invoke cloture and cut off debate on the fast track trade bill currently being considered by the chamber: “The process surrounding fast track has been convoluted and confusing. And today, too many senators decided to trust big business and the House instead of standing up for American workers"...
Teamsters Join Sen. Blumenthal, Highway Safety Advocates, Families of Victims in Fight Against Truck Safety Rollbacks  Teamster.org  ...The Teamsters Union stood with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), representatives for highway safety advocates and law enforcement and families of highway accident victims to denounce a series of dangerous provisions that would threaten the safety of the driving public. This week, the Senate will follow the House and mark up the FY 2016 transportation appropriations bill...
McDonald's Accused Of Hanging California Produce Workers Out To Dry  Huffington Post  ...After impounding the ballots for more than a year, federal officials last week tallied the votes in an acrimonious union election at Taylor Farms Pacific, a California vegetable producer that supplies garnishes to major fast-food companies. After launching the union campaign in the fall of 2013, the Teamsters accused Taylor Farms supervisors of intimidating workers and interfering with organizing efforts, as Capital & Main reported last year...
New Report: U.S. Recycling Workers Exposed to Safety Hazards and High Injury Rates  Teamster.org  ... A new study, released Tuesday, June 23 by environmental, occupational safety, and community benefits experts in collaboration with researchers at the University of Illinois School of Public Health, finds that recycling work is unnecessarily hazardous to workers’ health and safety. The report notes that unionized workers, with negotiated contracts in place enjoy more effective enforcement of legally mandated health and safety protections and also have the ability to bargain for additional safeguards to improve working conditions...

Global Labor & Trade
Trade Accord, Once Blocked, Nears Passage  New York Times  ... President Obama’s ambitious trade push is back on track, after several near-death moments, in large measure because top Republicans stood by him. The Senate on Tuesday narrowly voted to end debate on legislation granting Mr. Obama enhanced negotiating powers to complete a major Pacific trade accord, virtually assuring final passage Wednesday of Mr. Obama’s top legislative priority in his final years in office...
Senate pushes Obama's Pacific Rim trade pact forward  Reuters  ...President Barack Obama's call for "fast-track" trade negotiating authority to help him strike a Pacific Rim deal cleared a key hurdle in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, paving the way for a final vote on the legislation on Wednesday. On Wednesday, the Senate was likely to vote to grant Obama the power to speed trade deals through Congress, including his Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). If that happens, the fast-track measure would then go to the White House for Obama's signature...
Sanders and Warren stand tall on trade  The Hill  ...The U.S. Senate today passed the fast-track trade bill and sent it to President Obama for his signature. Those who believe in fighting for working men and women should give a standing ovation to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who waged what The Hill correctly called in a news story her "last stand on trade" — until the next fight begins tomorrow...
'A Great Day for Corporate America': US Senate Passes Fast Track  Common Dreams  ...In a win for multinational corporations and the global one percent, the U.S. Senate on Tuesday narrowly advanced Fast Track, or Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) —ensuring for all practical purposes the continued rubber-stamping of clandestine trade agreements like the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)...
Is the Trans-Pacific Partnership Unconstitutional?  The Atlantic  ...Despite the fairness of our court system, the U.S. government has consented in prior trade agreements, and in a leaked version of the still-secret TPP, to allow foreign investors to bypass our courts and instead move to “investor-state” arbitration. Thus, challenges based upon TPP to our duly enacted laws and other regulatory actions would be decided by three individuals who are not government officials and need not be American citizens...

Killing a Nation With Euphemisms: TPP-Eats-Medicare Edition  Truthout  ...If you lose your job to the TPP, you will get insufficient "assistance," followed by less-funded Medicare support. If you don't lose your job, you'll still be dealing with the smoking hole in Medicare funding made by the trade bill that caused your neighbor to lose her house after she lost her job...
Norway Oil-Rig Unions in Last-Chance Talks to Avoid Strike  Bloomberg  ...Norwegian oil-rig unions and employers started government-backed mediation on Wednesday in a final bid to avoid a strike that could shut down two North Sea oil fields. Talks started at 10 a.m. Oslo time, said Benedikte Naess, spokeswoman for the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association, which is representing employers. If the parties fail to reach a deal by midnight, 189 workers will go on strike...
Cabin crew give Lufthansa deadline to avoid strike  Reuters  ...German airline Lufthansa faces a June 30 deadline to make concessions to cabin crew over pay and pensions or suffer further strikes that would compound the effects of a costly dispute with its pilots. The UFO flight attendants' union said on Monday its members would strike on July 1 if an agreement was not reached with Lufthansa by then...
Embattled Alexis Tsipras faces domestic revolt over plans to implement 'harsh' austerity blitz  The Telegraph  ...Embattled Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras is facing a revolt within his radical Left party over austerity measures the country must approve to secure its future in the euro. Following a late-night emergency summit in Brussels on Monday, Athens laid out plans to carry out a series of economic reforms worth €8bn over the next two years...
The U.N. Investigated An Airline Accused Of Banning Employees From Getting Married. Here’s What They Found.  Think Progress  ...Qatar Airways has denied widespread accusations that it bans employees from getting married and that it doesn’t always summarily fire pregnant workers. But the International Labour Organisation (ILO) says otherwise. After a yearlong investigation into complaints made by the International Trade Union Confederation and the International Transport Workers’ Federation, it decided that parts of the airlines’ policies do in fact require workers to notify the company when they become pregnant and that doing so often ends up in those workers getting terminated...

State & Living Wage Battles
Congressional Democrats to Introduce Ambitious New Bill to Restore the Voting Rights Act
 The Nation  ...Two years ago, on June 25, 2013, in Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court invalidated the centerpiece of the Voting Rights Act. Tomorrow, congressional Democrats will introduce an ambitious new bill that would restore the important voting-rights protections. The Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2015 would compel states with a well-documented history of recent voting discrimination to clear future voting changes with the federal government, require federal approval for voter ID laws...
Chicago Activists Say City's $10 Minimum Wage Is Not Enough, Decry Rauner Cuts  Progress Illinois  ...While Chicago's minimum wage is set to increase to $10 per hour in two weeks, a group of community activists gathered Tuesday morning in the Loop to say the raise is not enough. Highlighting the plight of "chronically underpaid and undervalued" home and child care workers, Kelly-Rushton was one of roughly two-dozen people to call for a statewide $15 minimum wage--a yearly salary of about $31,000--during the demonstration at Daley Plaza downtown...
Bobby Jindal Is Running For President. Here Is How He Ran Louisiana. Think Progress  ...Since Gov. Jindal took office in 2008, Louisiana has earned some dubious honors. The state has the largest gender pay gap in the country, with women making 66 cents for every dollar a man earns. A study by the Violence Policy Center published in late January found the state also has the second-highest rate of gun deaths in the nation, and the state’s rate of incarceration currently leads the U.S. — and thus, the world...
Governor marks Rhode Island's minimum wage increase  ABC  ...Gov. Gina Raimondo has marked the passage of legislation to raise Rhode Island's minimum wage with a ceremonial bill signing. The governor was joined by state lawmakers Monday to mark the occasion. Raimondo says she's proud to raise the state's hourly rate from $9 to $9.60 starting Jan. 1...
Kate Brown signs bill making it easier for parents to opt students out of state tests -- but says they shouldn't  Oregon Live  ...Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday that on Monday she signed a bill making it easier for parents to opt their children out of taking state standardized tests. But she said educators and state officials should convince parents not to do so. House Bill 2655, which was strongly backed by the Oregon Education Association, prioritizes the rights of parents to exempt their children from that one aspect of public schooling...
Ikea Will Raise U.S. Minimum Wage to $11.87 to Retain Workforce  Bloomberg  ...Ikea Group, the world’s largest furniture retailer, will raise the hourly minimum wage it pays workers in the U.S. by 10 percent to $11.87, seeking to keep employees from moving to other merchants that have boosted pay recently. The increase, which takes effect Jan. 1, follows a 17 percent boost to $10.76 an hour this year...
Montgomery Co. Council approves paid sick leave  WUSA  ...Tuesday, Montgomery County council members voted unanimously (9-0) in favor of a bill that requires employers to give full-time employees seven paid sick days. The Earned Sick and Safe Leave Bill requires employers to provide a minimum of one-hour paid time off for every 30 hours worked. Employers with fewer than five workers would have to offer seven sick days. Of those, four days would be paid and three days would be unpaid...

U.S. Labor
Marathon Galveston Bay workers OK contract, end five-month strike  Business Insider  ...Striking workers from Marathon Petroleum Corp's Galveston Bay Refinery ratified a new contract on Tuesday, ending a five-month strike, said local union officials. About 90 percent of the more than 1,000 workers cast secret ballots at their local union hall in Texas City, Texas, within sight of the 451,000 barrel per day (bpd) refinery on Monday and Tuesday to end the work stoppage that began on Feb. 1...
‘Marriage Boot Camp’ Strike Over; IATSE And Producers Reach Deal  Deadline  ...Members of the postproduction crew on WE tv’s Marriage Boot Camp went on strike today to win an IATSE contract. After less than 12 hours, they have a deal, and everyone’s going back to work. IATSE reps and Marriage Boot Camp producers at Thinkfactory have agreed that their postproduction and production staff now will be unionized...
UAW, GM to open bargaining July 13, FCA the next day  Detroit Free Press  ...Negotiations between the UAW and the Detroit 3 automakers open July 13 amid the industry's most financially healthy period in more than a decade, especially in North America. The talks begin with ceremonial handshakes July 13 for General Motors; July 14, Fiat Chrysler; and July 23, Ford...
Boeing sued over 'toxic' plane cabin air  The Hill  ...A group of flight attendants are suing airplane manufacturer Boeing for allegedly exposing them to "toxic" air inside its planes, the Chicago Tribune reports. The flight attendants, who worked for Alaska Airlines, are alleging that Boeing knowingly exposed passengers and flight crews to toxic air that was sucked into its planes through the engine by the system that is used to maintain cabin pressure during flights, according to the report...
GE, unions reach labor agreement  Louisville Business First  ...Fairfield, Conn.-based General Electric Co., has reached tentative agreements on new labor contracts with national leaders of its two largest unions: the International Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine and Furniture Workers-Communications Workers of America and the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America. Workers at the company's GE Appliances division, which is based in Louisville, are represented by the IEU-CWA. The company has about 6,230 workers in Louisville...
Workers at Berkshires mental health, addiction center vote for strike  Mass Live  ...Workers at the Brien Center, a Berkshires-based mental health and addiction treatment agency, are set to strike unless a contract agreement is reached in the next two weeks. Clinicians and care staff represented by SEIU Local 509 voted to authorize the strike to protest what they describe as near-poverty wages and unproductive negotiations with the center, according to a union press release...

Miscellaneous
National Movement to Lower Flag of Racial Hatred, 150 Years Overdue  Common Dreams  ...One hundred and fifteen years after the end of the American Civil War and despite decades of calls for its retirement, the Confederate Flag—the emblem of the Old South and its racist legacy—may finally be coming down. In South Carolina on Tuesday, lawmakers voted to take up legislation to remove the flag from statehouse grounds, one day after Republican Governor Nikki Haley made similar remarks...
Public Spending on Infrastructure Construction Sinking to Great Recession Levels  We Party Patriots  ...New numbers from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis show the extent to which government has failed to adequately fund infrastructure construction and the effect this has had on the overall economy.  The new statistics show that total public construction spending is nearing Great Recession lows at a time when the American Society of Civil Engineers grades America’s infrastructure as a D+...
"Perpetrator Has Been Arrested, But Killer is Still at Large": Calls Rise to Remove Confederate Flag  Democracy Now  ...Calls are growing in South Carolina to remove the Confederate battle flag at the state Capitol after last week’s mass shooting of nine African-American worshipers at the historic Emanuel AME Church. The flag has been the source of controversy for decades in South Carolina, but a growing number of politicians, including South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, are calling for its removal...
After 13 Years of Hell, Human Held Without Charges Has One Question for US  Common Dreams  ...Moath al-Alwi, who has been a prisoner of the U.S. government and detained at the offshore prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba since 2002 without ever being charged with a crime or afforded a trial, has a simple yet urgent question for the American people and the U.S. government: Why am I still here?...

Teamster Privilege Auto and Home

As a member of IBT you now have access to valuable features and benefits, including special group discounts on auto and home insurance offered through MetLife Auto & Home – a leading provider of quality auto insurance coverage.