Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 06.30.14

Trade
Talks on Pacific Trade Zone Set for Canada in Early July  Wall Street Journal   ...Chief negotiators from the dozen countries aiming to create a free-trade zone spanning the Pacific Ocean will gather in Ottawa early next month in a bid to advance the talks toward a deal...
Japan, US kick off TPP talks on deadlock issues  Ecns.cn   ...The three-day working level meeting will cover issues over tariffs on key farm products such as beef and pork and trade barriers on the auto sector, according to local media...
Australia to question Brunei over stoning laws before trade talks  Sydney Morning Herald   ...The Australian government will question Brunei over its new criminal law regime – whose punishments include limb amputation for theft and stoning to death for adultery or homosexuality – before deciding whether to proceed with trade negotiations with the tiny, but oil-rich, Sultanate...
State Battles
Federal prosecutors say Ben Suarez tried to buy influence from Josh Mandel, Jim Renacci  Cleveland Plain Dealer   ...In 2011, Suarez's company, Suarez Corporation, was facing ongoing litigation from a group of district attorneys in California over false advertising of one of its products. Lutzko said Suarez thought he could solve his problems with money, knowing it was illegal for his company to donate to political campaigns...
Local Taxes Up 34% Under Kasich  Innovation Ohio   ...$670 million in new school operating levies have been passed by Ohio taxpayers between May, 2011 and May, 2014.  The local tax hikes represent a 34% increase over the corresponding 3 year period prior to Kasich’s governorship...
War on Workers
Unions Fear This SCOTUS Case Could Bring Their 'Final Destruction'  Talking Points Memo   ...The Supreme Court is expected to rule on Monday, the last day of its term, in a landmark case that unions fear could deal a fatal blow to their movement. The case, Harris v. Quinn, is about the constitutionality of "agency fees" charged by public sector unions to all workers in a unionized setting, even non-union members…
Workplace secrecy agreements appear to violate federal whistleblower laws  Washington Post   ...Lawyers who represent whistleblowers like Busche say they are seeing a rise in the use of overly restrictive nondisclosure agreements, which prevent employees from reporting fraud, even to government investigators. The agreements incorporate language that goes beyond those that had traditionally protected proprietary information, the attorneys said. In recent months, agreements criticized as overly restrictive have surfaced at Kellogg, Brown and Root, one of the nation’s largest defense contractors, and International Relief and Development, a nonprofit organization in Arlington County, Va...
Moaning Moguls  New Yorker   ...Although the Obama years have been boom times for America’s super-rich—recent work by the economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty showed that ninety-five per cent of income gains in the first three years of the recovery went to the top one per cent—a lot of them believe that they’re a persecuted minority...
With Teacher Tenure Threatened, Trouble in Every Direction for Public Education  truthout   ...The magic sauce for this reform recipe has three ingredients: replace the public schools with some sort of privately controlled administration, sort the winners relentlessly from the losers - test, test, TEST! (then punish), and destroy teachers' ability to speak with any sustained or unified voice...
David Cameron to allow ALL public land to be privatised – another devastating blow to democracy  4bitnews   ...The Infrastructure Bill has somehow managed to slip through to its Second Reading in the House of Lords from 1830 Wednesday 18th June 2014, with almost zero news coverage...
Miscellaneous
Demographics: Prime and Near-Prime Population and Labor Force  Calculated Risk   ...The good news is the prime working age group will start growing again by 2020, and this should boost economic activity...

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