Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News 07.27.15

Teamsters
Allentown Healthcare Workers Vote For Teamster Representation  Teamster.org   ...A majority of janitorial workers working for Crothall Healthcare at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Penn., have recently voted to be represented by Teamsters Local 773. There are 233 total employees in the group which consists of staff members assigned in the cleaning crews, room preparation and as floor technicians...
Chicago Teamsters at Translogix Ratify New Three-Year Contract  Joint Council 25  ...Approximately 180 members of Teamsters Local 710 ratified a new three-year contract with Translogix by a two-to-one margin on June 10. Teamsters who work out of two Chicago facilities will receive either a pay raise or yearly bonus — respective to their location — as part of the new contract. In addition, language regarding pushback scheduling has been improved...

Global Labor & Trade
Despite criticism from Congress, Malaysia, Cuba taken off US human trafficking blacklist  US News & World Report  ...The State Department has taken Malaysia and Cuba off its blacklist of countries failing to combat modern-day slavery. That could leave the U.S. open to criticism that politics is swaying the often-contentious rankings in its annual human trafficking report. Critics contend that Malaysia's upgrade is related to its participation in a U.S.-backed trade agreement among Pacific Rim countries...
Rice, milk and cars among the stumbling blocks in historic trade pact  Politico  ...The Obama administration is closer than ever on a breakthrough on the biggest trade deal in world history. But years of delicate negotiating could be undone by Canadian milk. Or Japanese rice. Or U.S. pharmaceutical patents. Top trade officials from 12 countries scattered around the Asia-Pacific region descended on the island of Maui on Friday for a week of meetings...
The Trans-Pacific Partnership issues in-depth  Politico  ...There are hundreds if not thousands of issues to resolve within the nearly 30 chapters of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership pact, which would cover more than 40 percent of world economic output. A complicated four-way dance is going on in the dairy negotiations, and right now everyone is waiting for Canada to make its move. U.S. dairy producers were opposed to the agreement when it only included New Zealand...
Corporate lobbying expense jumps as U.S. trade debate rages  Reuters  ...Washington lobbying by companies and groups involved in global trade boomed in the past nine months, records show, as Congress debated a landmark trade pact proposed by President Barack Obama, the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Lobbying expenditures by members of a pro-TPP coalition increased to $135 million in the second quarter of 2015, up from $126 million in the first quarter and $118 million in the fourth quarter of 2014...
TPP enters final negotiations  NZ Herald  ...A controversial trade deal between New Zealand and other Pacific Rim countries including the United States enters final negotiations this week. Prime Minister John Key said there would be "give and take" in the final negotiations of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), but he remained confident in the deal...
Wyden: Canada must open door to dairy for trade deal  KTVZ  ...Canada must agree to significantly expand market access for dairy products from the United States in any Trans Pacific Partnership deal, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, wrote to Canadian Ambassador Gary Doer on Friday. Wyden and Hatch said their support for a final TPP agreement that includes Canada is contingent on Canada’s ability to meet TPP’s high standards...
TPP meeting 'will reveal changes to dairy markets'  Radio NZ  ...New Zealand's special agricultural trade envoy is expecting a crucial meeting on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) this week will reveal how far key countries will go to open up their protected dairy markets. Mike Petersen is on his way to Hawaii for ministerial talks on the Pacific-wide trade pact. Trade Minister Tim Groser is still waiting for a further offer on opening up the dairy markets of Japan, Canada and the United States...
Peru: Construction Union Leaders Murdered  Solidarity Center  ...One construction union leader was killed and another injured as the men left a union organizing meeting in Casma, Peru, this week. Miguel Cotelo Villanueva, a member of the Federación de Trabajadores en Construcción Civil de Perú (Federation of Civil Construction Workers of Peru, FTCCP)­­, Peru’s largest construction union, is the most recent of 14 construction union leaders murdered in the past five years. Victor Rodas, another FTCCP union leader, was murdered on July 10 in similar circumstances...
Greek Austerity and Its Resemblance to African Debt Peonage  Global Research   ...The current situation in Greece resembles the debt peonage that many African countries have been subjected to for decades. They suffered the consequences of the so-called structural adjustment under the supervision of the international finance institutions and the result was economic and social devastation. In the post-Independence Zimbabwe, for example, the Mugabe government abandoned its ‘growth with equity’ strategy and went for the economic model designed by the World Bank and the IMF...

State & Living Wage Battles
Push for $15 minimum wage gathers steam  Dallas Morning News  ...The federal minimum wage has stood at $7.25 an hour since 2009, but labor unions and anti-poverty advocates are pushing a rate more than twice that amount as the new standard needed to afford hourly earners a decent living. The movement to make $15-per-hour the mandatory minimum over the next several years has seen success in a number of cities and is starting to spill over to statehouses and public universities...
Prevailing wage debate continues among WV officials  State Journal  ...Republican lawmakers said their intention with the 2015 legislation was not to eliminate the wage, but to come up with a better way of determining it. As a result of Senate Bill 361, WorkForce West Virginia, a division of the state Department of Commerce tasked with making sure West Virginians can be put to work, was asked by the West Virginia Legislature to come up with what the prevailing hourly wage for public improvement projects should be...
Dunkin' Donuts CEO Who Earns $10 Million Claims to Be Outraged by $15 Minimum Wage  Alternet  ...This week, the New York Wage Board recommended that the state's fast food workers should make $15 per hour, which has been the rallying cry for the labor movement across the country. Dunkin Donuts CEO Nigel Travis – who previously held senior positions at Papa John's and Burger King, other low-wage employers – appeared on CNN and decried the $15 minimum wage as “absolutely outrageous.” He went on to claim that the move will prevent his company from hiring more people...
Is There A Subliminal Message In Walmart’s Minimum Wage TV Ad?  Buzzfeed  ...It has been a good week for the Fight for 15, the national movement to raise pay for low wage workers to $15 an hour. From New York to California and D.C., cities and public institutions have moved closer to pay hikes that center around the number, more than twice the current federal minimum. Today, a union-backed campaign is calling for a Federal Trade Commission investigation into a Walmart commercial it claims is “unfairly implying that workers are paid enough to support themselves and their families”...
Uber Wins a Battle With New York, Now It’s War  The Nation  ...When New York Mayor Bill De Blasio talked of a Tale of Two Cities on the campaign trail, promising to address an epidemic of social inequality, he probably wasn’t expecting a viral app to drive a multibillion-dollar wedge through Gotham’s fault-lines of race and class. But now De Blasio and city lawmakers have been blindsided by Uber’s corporate surge, forced to stall an attempt to cap the company’s expansion...

U.S. Labor
Verizon Communications (VZ) Workers Vote To Strike Amid Tense Contract Talks  International Business Times   ...Many of the almost 40,000 workers at Verizon Communications Inc.'s wireline unit voted to strike amid negotiations over a new labor agreement. The Communications Workers of America (CWA) union announced the results of the vote -- 86 percent of the workers who cast ballots approved the strike -- during a rally in New York Saturday. The move does not necessarily mean workers will go on strike...
Mitsubishi, UAW partnering to ID buyer for plant  Pantagraph  ...Workers returned to the Mitsubishi auto plant on Monday with both the company and the United Auto Workers pledging to "work collaboratively to identify a suitable buyer to assume operations of the facility." In a statement, the company repeated that production at the Normal plant will stop at the end of November...
USW takes aim at new contract proposals  Chicago Tribune  ...United Steelworkers said Friday it has received more proposals from ArcelorMittal seeking additional concessions from its workers as the two sides continued to meet to hammer out a new three-year contract. The union said the new proposals came as its committee was still working on a response to the steel giant's initial proposal made earlier this week...
The New American Slavery: Invited to the U.S., Foreign Workers Find A Nightmare  Buzzfeed   ...The H-2 visa program invites foreign workers to do some of the most menial labor in America. Then it leaves them at the mercy of their employers. Thousands of these workers have been abused — deprived of their fair pay, imprisoned, starved, beaten, raped, and threatened with deportation if they dare complain. And the government says it can do little to help...
Did ICE Violate Its Own Deportation Guidelines in Arresting Chicago-Area Unionized Meatpackers?  In These Times  ...On Friday, June 26, workers from the Ruprecht Company’s meatpacking factory in Mundelein, Illinois, walked off the job in a spontaneous strike against a pending immigration audit. Several weeks later, eight Ruprecht workers, three of whom are members of UNITE HERE Local 1, have been apprehended by immigration authorities. In a statement, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said the eight workers were picked up after the department discovered the workers had records that fall within its priorities for arrest during a routine immigration audit...
D.C. Circuit Backs NLRB on Hospital Discipline Cases  Bloomberg  ...The National Labor Relations Board properly held that a Virginia hospital violated federal labor law when it discharged, disciplined or failed to promote three nurses because they engaged in protected concerted activity, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held July 24. The court also approved the board's decision that a second nurse was given a final written warning for protesting INOVA's treatment of Miller and a third nurse was denied a promotion, both in violation of the National Labor Relations Act...
Why Women Shouldn’t Have to Act Like Dudes at Work  The Atlantic  ...When it comes to gender equality in the workplace, the research on its economic benefits is clear: Equality can boost profits and enhance reputation. But the progress of women in the workplace is so far inadequate: Women are woefully underrepresented in executive positions, the pay gap persists, and the motherhood penalty is very real...

Social Justice & Other News
Body Cams Are The Next Step In The Over-Policing Of Schools  Think Progress  ...Burlington Community School District in Burlington, Iowa may be the first school district in the nation to ensure that all of its 13 administrators, principals and associate principals, wear body cameras. Administrators have compared the need for body cameras in schools to the need for body cameras on police officers. But as with police officers, the argument against body cameras for administrators is that the administrators still hold the power since they hold the camera...
Vowing to #SayHerName and More, Hundreds Gather to Honor Life and Death of Sandra Bland  Common Dreams  ...Hundreds of people attended the funeral of Sandra Bland on Saturday at the DuPage African Methodist Episcopal Church in Lisle, Illinois outside of Chicago to commemorate the woman whose untimely death in Texas jail cell on July 13 has further galvanized a national call demanding something be done about the extreme levels of police violence and the pervasive mistreatment of black women, men, and other minorities across the country...
Paul Krugman: The GOP has never “abandoned its dream” of destroying the social safety net  Salon  ...In his Monday column at the New York Times, economist Paul Krugman went after GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush for claiming that Medicare ought to be “phased out,” claiming that such talk is emblematic an ideologically motivated desire on the part of the Republican Party to destroy the social safety net — especially if there’s evidence that it’s working...
“Collective Healing” at Nat’l Black Lives Matter Convergence Ends with Police Pepper-Spraying Teen  Democracy Now  ...More than a thousand Black Lives Matter supporters converged in Cleveland, Ohio, this weekend for a historic conference to raise national attention about police brutality and other pressing issues, including immigration rights, economic justice and LGBTQ rights. During the opening ceremony, family members of more than 20 African Americans killed by police took to the stage to speak about why they continue to fight for justice...
Taking a road trip this summer? Enjoy America's crumbling infrastructure  The Guardian  ...The US’s once gleaming interstate highway system is in crisis. The federal program that funds maintenance and improvements – the Highway Trust Fund – is set to expire on 31 July. Congress passed a five-week funding “patch” to extend the deadline, one of 34 it has passed in the last nine years. But if lawmakers don’t settle upon a more permanent solution, the US Department of Transportation says the fund will become insolvent before year’s end...
The disingenuous ways Uber hides behind its algorithm  Slate  ...In June, the California Labor Commission ruled in favor of classifying Uber driver Barbara Ann Berwick as an employee and not as an independent contractor. But the battle over ride-hailing apps continues to rage as companies, governments, activists, and incumbent businesses all seek to shape how a new generation of companies will be regulated. A class-action suit with potentially even bigger implications continues to wind its way through the federal courts, with Uber resisting every step of the way...
Judge rules U.S. government should not hold immigrant children  Reuters  ...The U.S. government is violating a 1997 settlement by detaining unauthorized immigrant children, and an order may be forthcoming to require the release of the minors and parents detained with them, a judge in California has ruled. The ruling on Friday by U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee follows an influx across the U.S.-Mexico border of immigrants from Central America...
Aging Infrastructure Plagues Nation’s Busiest Rail Corridor  New York Times  ...In Maryland, a century-old rail tunnel needed emergency repairs this winter because of soil erosion from leaks, causing widespread train delays. In Connecticut, an aging swing bridge failed to close twice last summer, stopping train service and stranding passengers. And last week, New Jersey Transit riders had a truly torturous experience. There were major delays on four days because of problems with overhead electrical wires and a power substation, leaving thousands of commuters stalled for hours...