Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 07.17.15

Teamsters 
Chicago Parking Valet Engaged in Unfair Labor Practices, NLRB Rules  Local 727  ...Chicago Parking Valet has engaged in unfair labor practices, according to the National Labor Relations Board. Last year, an arbitrator ordered Chicago Parking Valet to pay employees, Teamsters Local 727 and the union Benefit Funds years’ worth back pay, dues and benefit contributions. However, the company then refused to furnish the union with requested information that was essential to carrying out the arbitration decision...
Teamsters, without a contract for last year-and-a-half, go on strike Thursday  Belleville News-Democrat  ...Some local construction sites may not be receiving concrete Thursday after about 80 metro-east laborers went on strike Thursday morning. The Teamsters Union Local 50 in Swansea announced the work stoppage after members had been delivering ready-mix concrete while working without a contract for the past year and a half. Union president Scott Alexander said the laborers were no closer to a settlement over their wages, pension and health care...
Teamsters Rail Ratify Five-Year Agreement with Ontario Northland  Corridor Capital  ...Northland Transportation Commission (Ontario Northland) and Teamsters Rail Conference Maintenance of Way Employees Division (TCRC MWED) announced today the ratification of a new five-year collective agreement. 94% of the vote was in favour of the agreement. “I am happy that the membership strongly supported the agreement,” said Louis Wilson, representative of TCRC MWED...
Still No Deal Between EVSC and Teamsters  Tristate Homepage  ...Still no deal between the EVSC and Teamsters Local 215, the jobs of nearly 700 employees are on the line as both sides are still working to secure a contract. Their contract expired June 30. We're told while the Teamsters and the EVSC have been communicating negotiations have yet to resume...
Teamsters Local Union 340 holding annual food drive to benefit Caribou Catholic Charities  News Channel Network  ...Everyone loves being part of the Potato Blossom Festival…tomorrow the Teamsters Local Union 340 food truck will head up to the County to do just that. They’re holding their 6th annual statewide food drive to benefit Catholic Charities in Caribou. They’ll be bringing up what they’ve collected so far...

Global Labor & Trade
Tension builds between Canada, U.S. over TPP deal  Globe and Mail  ...The U.S. government is frustrated with Canada over Pacific Rim trade talks because it believes Ottawa promised greater foreign access to its dairy and poultry markets as a condition of joining – and yet has offered nothing as discussions enter the final stretch, sources say. This friction between Canada and the U.S. is exposing a fundamental disagreement...
Lawmakers say Canada risks ouster from TPP unless it opens access to dairy market  AgriPulse  ...A bipartisan group of 21 House members is warning Canada that it may not be included in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) if it continues to resist increasing access to its dairy market. The warning was contained in a letter to Gary Doer, Canada's ambassador to the U.S., and signed by House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas...
Public-Private 'Revolving Door' Boosts TTIP Lobby, Report Says  TeleSur   ...As a massive lobby fight swirls around TTIP negotiations, the extent of the fast-spinning revolving door between the public sector and the prospective private beneficiaries of the deal threatens to create major conflicts of interest and tighten the corporate stranglehold on TTIP trade talks, says a new report released Wednesday...
Pushed by unions, Labor threatens China trade deal in Senate  Financial Review  ...Pressure is building on the Abbott government to tighten the China Australia Free Trade Agreement with the federal Opposition saying the deal does not adequately protect Australian jobs. As the trade union movement prepares for an assault on the signed agreement at next week's Labor National Conference, shadow trade minister Penny Wong said it "lacks critical safeguards"...
Greek debt crisis eases as banks prepare to reopen Monday  Washington Post  ...The acute economic crisis that has gripped Greece for weeks eased markedly Thursday as European officials dismantled key obstacles to desperately needed loans and the country’s banks prepared to reopen Monday, three weeks after locking their doors. The positive signals came hours after Greece’s Parliament reluctantly approved austerity measures required as a condition of a $96 billion bailout...
Advancing Bailout, Greece Approves 'Terms of Surrender' to Austerity  Common Dreams  ...After a lengthy and tense debate that stretched into the early hours of Thursday morning, the 300-member Greek Parliament voted by a majority of 229-64 to pass what former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis—one of those to vote "No"—is calling the "Terms of Greece's Surrender" to European creditors. The €86 billion bailout comes at a high political and social cost, forcing the imposition of harsh austerity measures and economic reforms tougher than those rejected by more than 60 percent of Greek voters...

State & Living Wage Battles
Chris Christie Is Turning Tap Water Into a Private Commodity  The Nation  ...In 2010, the citizens of Trenton, New Jersey, were asked to sell part of their water system for $80 million to New Jersey American Water, the largest private water utility company in the state. They rejected the privatization attempt by nearly four-to-one at the ballot box. However, lawmakers in New Jersey have passed legislation that attempts to silence the voices of communities like Trenton.
5 Ways Scott Walker's Allies On Wisconsin's High Court Just Legalized Political Corruption  Alternet  ...The Wisconsin Supreme Court has single-handedly rewritten the state’s limits on money in politics, rendering the state’s disclosure laws and contribution limits meaningless, and opening the door to unlimited funds directly from corporations and foreign firms. In a 4-2 decision that broke along ideological lines, the Court's conservative majority ended the John Doe probe into whether Governor Scott Walker illegally coordinated with supposedly "independent" dark money groups during the recall elections...
Do the math: Rauner’s call for repeal of prevailing wage law doesn’t add up  (opinion) Chicago Reporter  ...Illinois residents are starting to feel the pain from the state’s budget stalemate, as Governor Rauner continues to insist that his anti-union “turnaround agenda” be part of any budget solution. As part of that agenda, Rauner has called for repeal of the state’s prevailing wage law. In his state of the state address, he argued that the prevailing wage law increases the cost of construction by 20 percent. That’s not mathematically possible...
Voter ID Laws, Legacy of Segregation Still Affect Alabama  US News & World Report   ...Earlier this month, when the Center for American Progress Action Fund think tank released a state-by-state assessment of democracy, which looked at citizens' access to the polls, legislative representation and political influence, most observers weren't surprised that the Deep South ended up on the bottom rung. The grade, however, is an indication of a deeper, more complex problem found in Alabama and other Southern red states like Louisiana and Texas. The region's bitter legacy of racial segregation has created an environment where access to the polls is still questionable...
Tomblin weighs in on prevailing wage debate  Daily Mail  ...When discussing the ongoing spectacle surrounding the expiration of West Virginia’s prevailing wage law, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on Thursday said misunderstanding has fueled the dispute between legislators and WorkForce West Virginia, the agency tasked with developing a new wage. While Tomblin acknowledged WorkForce West Virginia’s failure to disclose requested documents that Republicans are saying show how labor organizations attempted to influence the wage recalculation, he said he doesn’t believe the agency tried to hide anything...
Martin O’Malley Backs $15 National Minimum Wage  Huffington Post  ...Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley on Thursday declared his support for raising the national minimum wage to $15 an hour, contrasting himself with frontrunner Hillary Clinton. “I strongly support the national movement to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, because it will lift millions of families out of poverty and create better customers for American businesses,” O’Malley said in a statement...

U.S. Labor
EEOC Rules Workplace Sexual Orientation Discrimination Already Illegal Under Federal Law  Slate  ...On Thursday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission unanimously ruled that sexual orientation discrimination is already illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As BuzzFeed's Chris Geidner reports, the EEOC's groundbreaking decision effectively declares that employment discrimination against gay, lesbian, and bisexual workers is unlawful in all 50 states...
Democrats push to limit abusive work scheduling practices like split shifts  Daily Kos  ...Low hourly wages aren't the only thing that keep workers in the fast food and retail industries struggling. Scheduling matters, too. These days it's common for workers to not know their schedules more than a week ahead. Democrats, led by Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Patty Murray, and Chris Murphy and Reps. Rosa DeLauro and Bobby Scott, have a bill to fix that, or at least start to fix it: the Schedules That Work Act...
Wage Disparities High on List as Fiat Chrysler, UAW Begin Talks  Wall Street Journal  ...Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV Chief Sergio Marchionne is open to killing the controversial two-tier wage system that union members dislike but is unwilling to raise overall labor costs, a position that could complicate the path to reaching a new labor deal in mid-September. “We need to make money in order to pay people, as crass as that may sound,” Mr. Marchionne said during Tuesday’s ceremonial handshake to mark the start of contract negotiations...
KapStone workers OK unfair labor practice strike  TDN  ...KapStone's union mill workers overwhelmingly authorized an unfair labor practice strike this week, the union reported. About 99 percent of voting union members approve of the strike authorization, officials of the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers said Wednesday night. The vote is an attempt to show that any strike would be over an unfair labor practice rather than purely economic concerns...
Papa John’s Franchisee Faces Jail Time Over Stealing Workers’ Wages  Think Progress  ...On Wednesday, the owner of nine Papa John’s franchises in New York City pled guilty to the first criminal case brought by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman against a fast food franchisee over wage theft. According to court documents, including company records obtained by the attorney general’s office, Abdul Jamil Khokhar, the franchisee, and BMY Foods Inc. paid its 300 current and former workers the same base rate for any hours they worked after putting in 40 a week...
Unemployment Rates in New York City and State Fall to Seven-Year Lows  New York Times  ...The unemployment rates in New York City and New York State fell to their lowest levels in nearly seven years as the long, steady improvement of New York’s economy continued in June, according to State Labor Department figures released on Thursday. The department reported that New York City’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.1 percent, from 6.4 percent in May...
Wisconsin unemployment rate holds steady at 4.6%  Journal-Sentinel  ...Wisconsin's unemployment rate stood unchanged in June at 4.6% from May, although the index is below the 5.4% in the same month a year ago and well below a peak of 9.2% at the worst point after the recession. Statistics show that Wisconsin has been a slow-growth jobs state for more than a decade...
Serfing the Web: On-Demand Workers Deserve a Place at the Table  The Nation  ...The Federal Trade Commission workshop “The ‘Sharing’ Economy” purported to focus on “issues facing platforms, participants, and regulators.” But calling an Uber driver a mere “participant” unfairly predetermines the most fundamental labor issue of the digital economy: whether those who work for massive digital platforms deserve the protection of employment, or can be treated as mere “independent contractors” bereft of traditional labor protections...

Miscellaneous
Federal Government Deepens Commitment To Separate Justice Systems For Wall Street, Main Street  Think Progress  ...People who apply for jobs with federal contractors still have to check a box if they have been to prison, but a government agency is finally trying to “ban the box” — at least, for billionaire bankers. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is quietly seeking to negate the consequences of felony guilty pleas that some of Wall Street’s biggest names entered earlier this year, according to a letter from Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)...
Immigration Reform: Undocumented Immigrant Protest In Los Angeles Against County Jails Leads To 3 Arrests  International Business Times  ...Three people were arrested Wednesday evening at a Los Angeles demonstration protesting county jails taking part in a new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) initiative that asks law enforcement officers to notify the agency if they believed an inmate was an undocumented immigrant before he or she was released. The controversial Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) was debated at a public forum hosted by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department before protesters took to the streets...
Mass Graves of Immigrants Found in Texas, But State Says No Laws Were Broken  Democracy Now  ...Texas says there is "no evidence" of wrongdoing after mass graves filled with bodies of immigrants were found miles inland from the U.S.-Mexico border. The bodies were gathered from the desert surrounding a checkpoint in Falfurrias, Texas, in Brooks County...
A Black Woman Named Sandra Bland Got Pulled Over in Texas and Died in Jail Three Days Later. Why?  Slate  ... troubling story posted Wednesday night by an ABC affiliate in Chicago is picking up momentum online Thursday: the case of Sandra Bland, a black woman from Naperville, Illinois, who was stopped by police in Waller County, Texas, for making an improper lane change last Friday and ended up dead in jail on Monday morning. Police say Bland—who was in the area for a job interview at her alma mater, Texas Prairie View A&M—was arrested for “assault on a public servant” and appears to have committed suicide...
After EPA Ignored Environmental Racism for Decades, Communities Fight Back  Common Dreams  ...The Environmental Protection Agency has been ignoring complaints about environmental racism across the United States for up to 20 years, repeatedly failing to investigate evidence that incinerators, power plants, and hazardous waste dumps are disproportionally harming the health of low-income communities of color, a new lawsuit charges...

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