Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 07.24.15

Teamsters
Teamsters Canada: Stand Firm on Supply Management  Teamster.org  ...In advance of the final stages of Trans Pacific Partnership Negotiations (TPP), Teamsters Canada President Francois Laporte sent a letter today to International Trade Minister Ed Fast urging him to defend Canada’s Dairy Industry and to “make clear, as Canadian governments have done for many years in many trade talks, that our dairy supply management is ‘off the table’”...
Contractor/Employee Debate Heating up at Ports  Truckinginfo   ...Are drivers who handle the drayage of intermodal containers into and out of the nation's ports employees or independent contractors? The controversy was visible this week at ports on both coasts. The Teamsters union has been active in trying to get independent contractors at the ports declared employees...
Teamsters' bi-coastal drayage 'misclassification" protests heat up  JOC.com  ...The Teamsters are deploying a bi-coastal strategy to challenge what the union charges is misclassification of drayage truck drivers as independent contractors, an indication of how the issue has expanded far beyond the San Pedro Bay area. In Los Angeles-Long Beach, the Teamsters launched their sixth strike against Pac 9 Transportation, while in Savannah the union was supporting drivers who attended a public hearing by the Georgia Senate on employee misclassification...

Global Labor & Trade
U.S. diplomat pushes Canada for dairy, poultry access as TPP talks intensify  Globe & Mail  ...The top U.S. diplomat in Canada is wading into the debate over whether Ottawa is negotiating in good faith at major Pacific Rim trade talks, saying this country must come to the table as soon as possible with concrete proposals to offer foreign farmers more access to its heavily protected dairy and poultry sector...
IMF: Unionization, Higher Wages Reduce Income Inequality  Solidarity Center  ...he notion that unionization and higher wages decrease income inequality is a fundamental premise of the Solidarity Center and our allies. But now a surprising source has reached the same conclusion: the International Monetary Fund (IMF). “The decline in unionization is related to the rise of top income shares and less redistribution, while the erosion of minimum wages is correlated with considerable increases in overall inequality”...
Obama Administration Hype About a TPP Vote in 2015 Does Not Comport with Fast Track Timelines Public Citizen  ...TPP proponents are eager for Congress to vote on a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal in late 2015. But to do so, given Fast Track’s statutorily-required timeframe of notice periods and pre-vote reports, TPP negotiations – and the TPP text itself – must be completed by the end of July. If notice to Congress of intent to sign the TPP were sent by August 1, a final TPP vote could be held the last week Congress is in session in December...
'Shrewd' Canada playing long game as TPP trade talks begin in Maui   CBC News  ...As Canada's lead negotiator Kirsten Hillman and the rest of her Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiating team sit down with their counterparts in Maui, Hawaii this weekend, they may sense pounding from more than just the nearby surf. The game has changed since trade negotiators from 12 Pacific Rim countries met in Guam last April. The Americans, who'd been busily deal-fixing without a mandate to back it up, are now armed with fast-track negotiating authority...
Anonymous hacks US Census Bureau over TTIP agreement, leaking employee details online  International Business Timess   ...The reason for the cyber-attack is the recent Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), both of which are top priorities for the Obama administration and promise a radical reform of the global politico-economic system, with integration and convergence of major Atlantic and Pacific nations...
Putting Business First: How TTIP Changes the Rules of the Game  (opinion) TeleSUR  ...TTIP would cut tariffs and lower regulatory barriers to make trade easier between the two countries. According to The Telegraph, it would be the biggest trade agreement of its kind, affecting one quarter of global trade. And yet despite this, no one is totally sure of what TTIP will actually do for the EU, because it is such an unusual trade agreement. Not only are the two parties involved exceptionally large, but the nature of the agreement is – according to the CEPS, “more like a wide-ranging regulatory agreement, with some elements of classical trade agreements as well”...
Administration Desperate to Announce Deal on Trans-Pacific Partnership: There May Be an Announcement, But a Real Deal? One Congress Would Approve?  (opinion) Public Citizen  ...Unless the Obama administration can not only announce a final Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal by the start of August, but also by then complete a TPP text and give notice to Congress of intent to sign it, a U.S. congressional vote on TPP almost certainly will be pushed into the politically perilous 2016 presidential election year...
Do not undermine efforts to combat human trafficking  (opinion) The Hill  ...both the Obama administration and the U.S. Congress could be poised to take a terrible step backwards in the struggle against the global scourge of human trafficking by weakening a key amendment to the Fast Track trade authority bill.  Even more shocking are reports that the State Department is set to compromise its own Trafficking in Persons report to “upgrade” Malaysia without merit for narrow economic interests...
Many Greeks blame their economic plight on austerity-minded Germans  USA Today  ...As this economically distressed nation faces even more austerity measures, many citizens are taking their frustration out on hard-nosed Germany. The hashtag #BoycottGermany has been trending in the country since Germany took the lead in demanding tough bailout terms that have hiked taxes and slashed pensions. Tourist agencies report vacation cancellations that include many Germans...
Myanmar Officially Recognizes Trade Union Confederation  Solidarity Center  ...The government has officially recognized the Confederation of Trade Unions of Myanmar (CTUM), and registered the federation as representing “all Myanmar.” In a ceremony today, CTUM President Maung Maung and other union leaders received the registration papers, with Maung Maung thanking “everyone who made this vision of ours come true”...
Strikes, Labor Slowdowns Add up to Summer of Woe in Italy  ABC News  ...Italy's summer of woe is getting worse — as tourists face record-high temperatures, labor slowdowns, one strike at the Pompeii archaeological site and another at Alitalia that forced the cancellation of dozens of flights. Alitalia cancelled 15 percent of its flights Friday because of a walkout by pilots and flight attendants. Further south, hundreds of tourists lined up for hours in the sun Friday outside the gates of Pompeii, near Naples, after unions called a wildcat strike...

State & Living Wage Battles
The rapid success of Fight for $15: 'This is a trend that cannot be stopped'  The Guardian  ...When 200 New York restaurant workers walked out in the nation’s first-ever fast-food strike in late 2012, they were widely mocked for demanding minimum pay of $15 an hour, with some critics saying their demand was absurdly out of reach, akin to visiting Mars. But this week a New York state panel appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo recommended establishing a $15 minimum wage for the state’s 180,000 fast-food workers...
Regional petition drive kicks off to repeal prevailing wage law  Midland Daily News  ...The debate over Michigan’s prevailing wage law has been somewhat contentious and that spilled over at the Associated Builders and Contractors Greater Michigan Chapter office on Thursday. Kicking off a regional petition drive to repeal Michigan’s prevailing wage law, Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Midland, Jimmy Greene, president/CEO ABC Greater Michigan Chapter and ABC-Michigan CEO Chris Fisher held a press conference promoting the regional petition drive to repeal the prevailing wage law...
Facing Lawsuits, North Carolina Relaxes Voter ID Rules  Care2.com  ...North Carolina passed one of the most comprehensive and toughest voter suppression laws in the country. The law targeted every demographic that had made the state one of the most progressive in the nation. At the time of passage, Republicans held all branches of government for the first time since reconstruction and were determined to reverse any progress made since then. The aggressive assault on voters led to several lawsuits against the state...
Virginia Odds and Ends  Public Policy Polling  ...There is even more overwhelming support from Virginians on another pair of pieces of progressive legislation. 64% in the state think all workers should get a minimum number of paid sick days, with only 19% opposed to that concept. And an equal 64% think borrowers should be able to deduct their student loan payments on their state income taxes, to just 20% against that...
Hillary Clinton to Back $15 Fast-Food Minimum Wage in New York  New York Times  ...Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday will use a speech focused on growing the economy to endorse a $15-an-hour minimum wage proposal for fast-food workers recommended by a New York panel, a person briefed on her plans said. The remarks from Mrs. Clinton will come in the city where the fast-food workers’ labor effort first started several years ago. A panel created by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday recommended the change...
Meet ALEC’s Little Brother, ACCE  The Nation   ...So how has the American Legislative Exchange Council, a powerful lobby serving right-wing interests at the state level, responded to this resurgence of local democracy? With a systematic effort to destroy it. ALEC task force director Cara Sullivan recently explained to a room full of local officials that when it comes to citizen movements supporting job creation and higher wages, “perhaps the biggest threat comes from the local level”...
'Dark Cloud' of ALEC Converges at Annual Corporate-Political Lovefest  Common Dreams  ...Fighting to protect dark money. Attacking federal efforts to rein in carbon pollution. Undermining local democracy. These are just some of the "hot topics" on the agenda this week as conservative lawmakers, corporate lobbyists, and top GOP candidates from around the country gather in San Diego for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)'s annual meeting...

U.S. Labor
Ford, UAW start optimistic contract talks  Michigan Radio  ...The United Auto Workers and Ford Motor Company are officially in talks for their next four-year contract. This time, the kickoff ceremony was held off Ford and UAW premises. The event at Ford follows last week's contract kickoff at General Motors and Fiat Chrysler. Analysts believe the talks with Fiat Chrysler could be the most problematic. The automaker has the highest number of workers being paid the "tier two" wage...
Verizon, CWA union lock horns over pension benefits  Fierce Telecom  ...Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union continue to be at odds over how to structure pension benefits for a new labor contract. The current contract expires on Aug. 1. In a new update post on the union negotiations, the CWA said that Verizon's pension proposals are not acceptable. "After listening to 5 minutes worth of their retrogressive and insulting pension presentation/proposal, the Union made it clear to the Company that we are looking for improvements to the Pension Plans"...
AFSCME: Governor trying to force work stoppage  Rock River Times  ...The state’s largest employees’ union says Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to try and force a strike or lockout while the union works to enact legislation to block a work stoppage and bring in a third party arbitrator. That’s according to an AFSCME Council 31 bargaining update posted to the Capitol Fax blog as a contract extension nears an end with no agreement in sight...
NLRB considering union's latest complaint against ACMH Hospital in East Franklin  TribLive  ...A discrimination charge filed against ACMH Hospital in East Franklin last month could be joining an earlier union complaint at a trial in front of a federal judge in Pittsburgh in September. An August trial on the earlier charge alleging hospital officials acted illegally by taking self-scheduling duties away from workers has been moved to Sept. 2. The complaints were filed by technicians and licensed practical nurses who formed a union at the hospital about a year ago...
In Indiana, Employers Can Fire Workers for Being Gay or Trans—and They Do, All the Time  The Nation  ...Decades worth of national and local surveys have found that gay and lesbian workers report widespread job bias. In a 2013 Pew Research Center survey of more than 1,000 LGBT adults, 21 percent believed they’d been treated unfairly by an employer because of their identity, and 23 percent said they’d received poor service at a restaurant, hotel, or place of business. Transgender people seem to have it the worst: In a landmark 2011 nationwide survey of 6,450 transgender and gender-nonconforming folks, 90 percent said they had been mistreated at work; 47 percent said they’d been fired, not hired or not promoted...
Applications for unemployment aid plunge to 42-year low  USA Today  ...The number of Americans filing initial applications for unemployment benefits fell to a 42-year low last week in the latest sign the labor market is poised for further gains. Even so, there are some signs of ongoing weakness in the job market. The unemployment rate fell in June mostly because many of the unemployed stopped looking for work, rather than found jobs. The proportion of Americans working or looking for work fell to a 38-year low...
Company To Pay Record-Breaking Damages For Telling Pregnant Woman She Couldn’t Do Her Job Anymore  Think Progress  ...This week, the auto parts retailer AutoZone dropped its challenge to a verdict ordering it to pay a record-breaking $185 million in damages to a former employee who claimed she was demoted and fired for being pregnant. Rosario Juarez was hired by AutoZone in 2000 and was eventually promoted to store manager in 2004. But when she became pregnant in September of 2005, she says her manager told her, “Congratulations…I guess,” adding, “I feel sorry for you”...

Social Justice & Other News
U.S. House bars funding for 'sanctuary' cities for immigrants  Reuters  ...The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Thursday to deny funding to cities that do not report undocumented immigrants to federal authorities, setting off outcry from the White House and immigration advocates. The bill, approved by a vote of 241 to 179 largely along party lines, was largely a Republican response to the recent killing of a San Francisco woman, allegedly at the hands of an immigrant man...
Robert Reich: It Would Be a Mistake For Progressives to Split Along 'Black Lives Matter' & 'Economic Justice' Lines  Alternet  ...Racial inequalities are baked into our political and economic system. Police brutality against black men and women, mass incarceration disproportionately of blacks and Latinos, housing discrimination that has resulted in racial apartheid across the nation, and voter suppression all reveal deep structures of discrimination that undermine economic inequality. Our only hope for genuine change is if poor, working class, middle class, black, Latino, and white come together in a powerful movement to take back our economy and democracy...
How Did ‘Driving While Black’ Turn Deadly for Sandra Bland?  The Nation  ...If the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson was, as The New York Times put it, “simply the spark that ignited years of pent-up tension and animosity in the area,” then Bland’s response upon being stopped came from a similar place of pent-up tension. She didn’t bow and scrape and defer to the increasingly aggressive officer, as some are suggesting she should have. Sometimes a person or a people have just had enough...
Holder's Legacy: Mass Incarceration and Protection of Killer Cops, Part II  (opinion) Truthout  ...Eric Holder has been praised as a "civil rights"-oriented attorney general, but the only rights he has championed are those of the bankers, white vigilantes and killer cops. Holder refused to press charges against millionaire banking executives who, he assured Wall Street, 'were too big to jail.' Blacks have to make do with their Miranda warning rights - if they are lucky enough to survive an encounter with the police...

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