Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 06.30.15

Teamsters
Teamsters to US Foods, Sysco: Restore Labor Relations, Customer Confidence  Teamster.org ...Following today’s announcement that Sysco terminated its merger agreement with US Foods, the Teamsters Union cited the decision as a critical step toward restoring labor relations and renewing customer confidence at the two companies. “As Sysco and US Foods move forward, we remain committed to a meaningful dialogue about the future health and prosperity of these companies,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa...
EVSC, Teamsters exchange contract proposals, negotiations to occur again Tuesday  Courier & Press  ...Contracts expire at the end of June 30 and an agreement has not yet been reached, but discussions are occurring between the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. and Teamsters Local 215 negotiating teams. EVSC and Teamsters officials met on Monday afternoon. Local 215 President Chuck Whobrey said the union offered a proposal, the EVSC negotiating team countered, and the union offered another proposal...

Global Labor & Trade
In bipartisan ceremony, Obama signs trade legislation, calls for infrastructure bill Washington Post ...President Obama hailed a "true bipartisan effort" on Monday as he signed a package of trade bills into law, and he called on Washington to summon a similar spirit of compromise to address the nation's crumbling infrastructure. Obama was joined by seven members of Congress, including two Republicans, during a signing ceremony for the two bills, which will give his administration "fast-track" authority to complete trade accords and provide retraining for workers displaced by trade pacts...
TPP ministerial meeting set for last week of July: source  Reuters ...A ministerial meeting aimed at finalizing the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, trade deal is set for the last week of July, a source close to the negotiations said on Monday on condition of anonymity. The meeting of trade ministers from the dozen countries involved would likely mark the final stage in the TPP negotiations, a massive trade pact covering 40 percent of the world's economy...
New trade battle looms on the horizon  The Hill  ...President Obama’s prized fast-track authority is a done deal in Congress, but Washington is already steeling for the next major trade battle — this one over lawmakers’ approval of a sweeping Pacific Rim agreement. Completion of talks in support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could come as early as August, setting up a fall fight over ratification that is all but certain to spill into the 2016 presidential race...
Trade vote puts Froman on faster track  Politico ...Following Congress’ hard-fought approval of “fast-track” trade authority last week, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman vowed not only to complete the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership but an even bigger pact with the European Union and three other major trade deals — all in the 18 months remaining in President Barack Obama’s term. It could add up to the biggest trade blitz in history, transforming the rules under which the world does business...
Thousands Of Greeks March For A No Vote On Austerity Measures  Buzzfeed  ...Thousands of Greeks gathered outside the country’s parliament on Monday night to campaign for a No vote in Sunday’s referendum on whether to accept austerity measures demanded by international organizations. Following months of negotiations between the left-wing Syriza-led government and international institutions, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has called an all-or-nothing referendum...
13,700 Moroccan Call Center Workers Win Union  Solidarity Center  ...Some 13,700 workers won collective bargaining rights at 11 call centers across Morocco, a major victory for the country’s union movement that culminates a three-year effort to help call center workers form a union. Elections took place between June 1 and June 10, and the results were announced late last week. The Union Marocaine du Travail (Moroccan Labor Union, UMT) also won the right to represent all the country’s workers at the national level...

State & Living Wage Battles 
Pennsylvania’s Contentious Charter School Fight  Think Progress  ...On Sunday, the Pennsylvania Senate passed a bill allowing a state-run district, the Achievement School District, to take control of low-performing public schools. The bill would require that the lowest performing schools would make huge changes in three years by converting to charter schools or contracting out work. The bill has been controversial among some education advocates, who argue that these bills are an effort to privatize education or deprioritize spending on public schools...
Study: Repealing prevailing wage will hurt Michigan  Michigan Radio  ...One new study suggests repealing Michigan’s prevailing wage law is a bad idea. Smart Cities Prevail and the Midwest Economic Policy Institute — two groups that support union-level pay and benefits for workers on publicly-funded construction projects — say their research shows overturning the prevailing wage would have “quite profound impacts” on Michigan’s economy...
Prevailing wage remains sticking point in budget stalemate  Wisn.com   ...Nearly 60 percent of public projects in Wisconsin would not be subject to the prevailing wage law under a proposal introduced Monday by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos as the state budget stalemate enters its fifth week. What to do with the prevailing wage -- a law that sets minimum salaries for construction workers on a variety of public projects -- is one of several large issues that Republicans who control both the Senate and Assembly have not been able to agree on...
House speaker: Minimum wage hike 'unlikely' to pass this session  Oregon Live  ...House Speaker Tina Kotek said Monday it's "unlikely" that her proposal to raise Oregon's minimum wage to $13 an hour has enough support to pass before the end of session, all but confirming the Legislature won't vote on the issue until at least next year...
Puerto Rico Unemployment at 12.6%, Poverty at 41%  24/7  ...At the depth of the recession, unemployment reached 10.1% in the United States. Today, its sits at 5.5%, and job additions have surged at an average rate of over 250,000 a month. Puerto Rico has an unemployment rate of 12.6%, another sign of how poorly off the territory’s economy is. Puerto Rico’s civilian labor force is small, only 1.42 million, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, about the same as Nevada’s...
Meet One Of The First Home Care Workers In The Country To Win A $15 Minimum Wage  Think Progress  ...Kindalay Cummings-Akers has been working as a personal care attendant, caring for the elderly and disabled in their homes, for nearly a decade. But she will soon be making $15 an hour for the first time ever after she and her union, 1199SEIU, reached an agreement with Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) at the end of last week. Home care workers have long been poorly paid, thanks in part to the fact that they are excluded from federal minimum wage and overtime requirements.
Victory for Democracy as Court Sides with Voters over 'Self-Dealing Legislators'  Common Dreams  ...In a decision hailed as a "major victory for voters," the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday upheld an Arizona ballot initiative, adopted by voters in 2000, which took redistricting power away from elected politicians and gave it to a nonpartisan commission. The 5-4 decision, which saw Justice Anthony Kennedy serving as the swing vote, allows redistricting commissions to remain in place across the country and in turn works to curb the practice known as gerrymandering...
Citizenship proof for federal voter registration form rejected  Tucson.com  ...Arizona cannot require people to produce proof of citizenship before they register to vote, at least not for federal elections, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday. The justices upheld a ruling by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals that said neither Arizona nor Kansas can demand the federal Election Assistance Commission add a proof-of-citizenship requirement to the federal registration form the panel designed...
Fast-Food Restaurants Should Raise Minimum Wage, New York Panel Says  New York Times  ...The minimum wage for fast-food workers in New York should be raised substantially, maybe even to $15 an hour, a state panel appointed to study the issue said on Monday. The three-man panel, known as a wage board, agreed that fast-food restaurants that are parts of national chains should be required to pay more than the state’s minimum wage of $8.75 an hour. But the panel said it was not ready to make a full recommendation...

U.S. Labor
President Obama overtime rule could raise wages for 5 million   Politico  ...President Barack Obama will this week release a long-awaited overtime rule aimed at raising wages for 5 million people as soon as 2016, according to sources familiar with the plans. The proposed rule will more than double the salary level under which virtually all workers qualify for overtime pay whenever they work more than 40 hours in any given week. That threshold, now $23,660, will rise to $50,440...
Thousands of Santa Clara County Union Workers Set to Strike  NBC  ...Santa Clara County's largest union is on the verge of a strike. The union includes 911 dispatchers, public health nurses and many others. The union voted to strike if they can't reach a contract agreement with the county by Tuesday. The union has complained of unfair labor practices and worker shortages. The county says it's taking those concerns seriously and is close to making a deal...
Boston Airport Workers Strike, Join Growing Campaign to Unionize Subcontracted Airport Employees  In These Times  ...On the morning of June 17, a large group of non-union airport employees went on strike at Boston’s Logan Airport, with about 100 of them picketing outside the facility. The contracted workers belong to G2 Secure Staff and ReadyJet Flight Support; workers accuse both companies of engaging in unsafe labor practices and say they are seeking a fairer work environment and a union...
FairPoint workers seek more time to consider severance deal before layoffs  Portland Herald Press  ...FairPoint Communications workers in Maine have until Tuesday night to accept a voluntary severance deal before up to 80 employees are laid off in order of reverse seniority. But union leader Peter McLaughlin said that many employees had not received their severance offers as of Monday afternoon. McLaughlin, president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ Local 2327 in Augusta, said the union is asking North Carolina-based FairPoint to push back its 11:59 p.m. Tuesday deadline...
Largest federal workers union sues OPM over breach  The Hill  ...The country’s largest federal workers union has filed a class action lawsuit against the government agency at the center of the recent hack that exposed millions of people’s sensitive information. The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) on Monday became the first to sue the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in the wake of the massive data breach that has shaken the government...
Justices Take up Dispute Over Union Fees  ABC News  ...The Supreme Court will consider limiting the power of government employee unions to collect fees from non-members in a case that labor officials say could threaten membership and further weaken union clout. The justices said Tuesday they will hear an appeal from a group of California teachers who say it violates their First Amendment rights to have to pay any fees if they disagree with a union's positions and don't want to join it...

Miscellaneous
Americans Are Ready to Fight Powerful Interests  New York Times  ...Not long ago same-sex marriage was abhorrent to a majority of Americans, but now, according to polls, most approve of it. Meanwhile, the Confederate flag is being removed from public buildings and grounds. And even conservatives now agree fewer people should be imprisoned. But economic inclusiveness is proving more elusive. Yet Americans may be signaling they're ready for such a fight. Witness the current battle over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the elections of Elizabeth Warren and Bill de Blasio...
President Obama’s immigration actions face skeptical judges  Politico  ...Two judges who dealt a significant blow to President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration last month will again play key roles in deciding whether the controversial programs are legally sound. Fifth Circuit Court Judges Jennifer Walker Elrod and Jerry Smith, both Republican appointees, in May ruled against the Obama administration’s request to proceed with the executive actions — which would protect more than 4 million immigrants here illegally from being deported...
Renting: Awful for Just About Everyone Right Now  The Atlantic  ...A recent report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) at Harvard, puts some numbers on just how bad this problem is: About half of all renters in the U.S. are using more than 30 percent of their income to cover housing costs, and about 25 percent have rent that exceeds 50 percent of their monthly pay. It’s not just the poorest city-dwellers who are feeling the rent pressure...
Robert Reich: Economic Apartheid in America  Alternet  ...In a 5-4 ruling, the Court found that the Fair Housing Act of 1968 requires plaintiffs to show only that the effect of a policy is discriminatory, not that defendants intended to discriminate. The decision is important in the fight against economic apartheid in America – racial segregation on a much larger geographic scale than ever before...
Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi are on the wrong side of history and they want us to know it  Daily Kos  ...As if determined that the South should retain its poor reputation on civil rights for another generation or two, the attorneys general of three states are saying "not so fast, Supreme Court" when it comes to marriage equality. In Texas, Attorney General Ken Paxton has told county clerks that they can refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and judges and justices of the peace that they can refuse to marry them...
"This Flag Comes Down Today": Bree Newsome Scales SC Capitol Flagpole, Removing Confederate Flag  Democracy Now  ...On Saturday, Bree Newsome, a 30-year-old African-American woman, was arrested at the state Capitol after scaling the 30-foot flagpole and unhooking the Confederate flag. As police officers shouted at her to come down, Bree Newsome shimmied to the top, took the flag in her hand and said, "You come against me with hatred and oppression and violence. I come against you in the name of God. This flag comes down today!"...

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