Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 07.29.15

Teamsters
Shuttle Drivers for Apple, eBay, Yahoo, Zynga, Genentech, Amtrak and Evernote Set to Vote on Proposal for First Contract  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters Local Union 853 announced today that shuttle drivers employed by Compass Transportation/Transdev will vote on a union proposal for a first contract that includes industry-leading wages and benefits on Aug. 1. The drivers transport employees from Apple, eBay, Yahoo, Zynga, Genentech, Amtrak and Evernote from home to work and back each day...
Port truckers’ cause receives support from Long Beach Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal  Press-Telegram  ...Long Beach Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal asserted during a public meeting that port truckers are working in conditions of “modern day indentured servitude.” The majority of truckers work on an independent basis. The Teamsters union and other labor groups are advocating for drivers to be classified as employees, and thus able to join unions...
Teamsters strike concrete industry after contract talks stall  Labor Tribune  ...Close to 80 members of Teamsters Local 50 in St. Clair County went on strike on July 17 against seven concrete companies after joint contract talks dragged on for a year and a half. The dispute affects the seven concrete providers in the Metro-East that negotiate as a group. Teamsters members deliver the concrete to construction sites, which may be shut down as a result of the strike...
EVSC and Teamsters: Can the Two Strike a Deal?  (video) Tristate Homepage  ...The EVSC and Teamsters local 215 negotiators are going back to the table to try an reach a contract agreement. Close 700 EVSC employees represented by the Teamsters have been without a contract since the end of June. Teamster local 215 President Chuck Whobrey is on Eyewitness News First to talk about what's next and if both sides can come to terms. Whobrey talks grievance protocol, union dues, the bitter talks in the past and if the two sides can strike a deal before the school bell rings...

Global Labor & Trade
Canada ramps up TPP talks with U.S. on allowing more dairy imports   Globe and Mail  ...Canada has begun discussions with the United States on allowing more foreign dairy products into the Canadian market – among the thorniest issues for Ottawa at the Pacific Rim trade talks, which have entered their final stretch this week in Hawaii. Sources familiar with the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks say Canada has yet to specify exactly what volume of dairy shipments it would allow into its heavily protected market, but the talks are ongoing...
Secret TPP Talks Continue at a Luxury Hotel in Hawaii as the Deal Grows More Controversial  EFF  ...Trade ministers are meeting behind closed-doors at the Westin Resort and Spa in Maui this week to finalize the terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This is the first formal round of talks since the U.S. passed the controversial Fast Track trade legislation in June, which has given U.S. negotiators a renewed sense of determination as they continue to push the TPP's corporate-driven mandate. The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) seeks to wrap up talks by the end of the week...
European Mining Dispute Illustrates Risks of Corporate-Friendly Trade Deals  Common Dreams  ...Offering a stark warning of how corporate-friendly trade pacts like the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) put both democracy and the environment at risk, a Canadian company is seeking damages from Romania after being blocked from creating an open-pit gold mine over citizen concerns. Gabriel Resources Ltd. announced last week that it had filed a request for arbitration with the World Bank's International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, a body not unlike the secret tribunals that critics like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have warned against...

Lives at stake if Trans Pacific Partnership means meds price rise  AJP.com  ...As trade ministers meet in Hawaii on 28-31 July in an effort to finalise the Trans Pacific Partnership, the Public Health Association of Australia and other stakeholders say that lives are at stake. “Future access to medicines for almost 800 million people hangs in the balance this week,” says Michael Moore, CEO of the PHAA. Médecins sans Frontières last week said that the TPP could be the most harmful trade deal ever for access to medicines...
Australian minister says dairy key to TPP success  Politico  ...Australian Trade Minister Andrew Robb said Monday that it was up to the United States, Japan, Canada and Mexico to bolster the chances of reaching a high-quality Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement by striking a deal on sensitive dairy market access issues. “We’re on the cusp [of a TPP deal], but if the leadership is not shown by the big countries, it will lead to serious slippage where people are taking things off the table and we get a very second-best outcome,” Robb told POLITICO...
Tsipras Says Greece Won ‘Crucial’ Commitment for Debt Relief  Bloomberg  ...Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras expressed confidence that Greece’s creditors will grant debt relief and blamed their intractability for worsening the country’s economic plight. “The Greek people were prisoners, who after they escaped prison were immediately arrested and returned to an even smaller cell,” Tsipras, who turned 41 on Tuesday, told an Athens radio station. “What’s crucial is that we got a commitment for debt relief, which will take place after the first review of the program, in November”...
CAFTA’s Decade of Empty Promises Haunts the TPP  (opinion) Eyes on Trade  ...Ten years ago, after a flurry of backroom deal-making, Congress passed the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).  In the dead of night.  By a single vote. Exactly one decade later, today trade ministers are gathering in Hawaii to try to conclude deadline-missing negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – a sweeping deal that would expand the CAFTA model of trade across the Pacific...
Ambassador Froman, Don’t Let the Trans-Pacific Partnership Restrict Access to Affordable Medicine  (opinion) AARP   ...AARP continues to voice its serious concerns about the current draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive trade agreement that will affect millions of people here in the U.S. and abroad and could set an unfortunate precedent for future trade agreements. The draft agreement contains provisions that add to the profits of the brand-name pharmaceutical industry at the expense of patients and older Americans...
American Unionists Join Chinese Uniqlo Workers’ Campaign for End to Alleged Abuse  In These Times  ...As protesters handed out flyers to pedestrians walking outside of a Manhattan Uniqlo store on July 15, the chant of “From China to the USA / Worker solidarity!” rang out on 34th Street. The action, organized by Workers United (WU), an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), was taken in solidarity with the workers at China’s Shenzhen Artigas Clothing and Leatherware factory, a major contract supplier for Uniqlo, the popular clothing retailer owned by Japan’s Fast Retailing Co...
Trafficking Report Boosts Uzbekistan Ranking  Solidarity Center  ...The U.S. State Department boosted the ranking of Uzbekistan in its Trafficking in Persons report, while keeping Turkmenistan at a higher ranking than human rights activists believe is warranted. Earlier this year, the Solidarity Center was among 30 global unions, business associations and nonprofit networks urging the U.S. State Department to ensure its Trafficking in Persons report accurately reflect the serious, ongoing and government-sponsored forced labor in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan...

State & Living Wage Battles
New York leaders call for Puerto Rico debt relief  Aljazeera   ...With a $73 billion debt burden that Gov. Alejandro García Padilla recently called incontrovertible, Puerto Rico is now being giving advice by hedge funds: improve tax collection and cut education spending to reduce mounting debt. A new report released Monday, which The Guardian says was commissioned by 34 hedge funds, says that Puerto Rico has room to increase revenues by improving tax compliance rates. Puerto Rico's current sales tax compliance is 56 percent, compared with an 83 percent average on the U.S. mainland...
Missouri Rejects Lawmakers’ Attempt To Block Immigrants From Receiving Scholarships  Think Progress  ...Some good news came to undocumented immigrants in Missouri this week, when officials ruled that language in a state appropriations bill could not prevent students from receiving state scholarship funds for college. The Missouri Department of Higher Education defended undocumented students’ access to Missouri’s A+ Scholarships even though state legislators made a small word change in a general assembly appropriations bill to stop funds from going to “unlawfully present” to “unlawful immigration status”...
Rally in Orlando celebrates New York's $15 minimum wage victory  Orlando Weekly  ...Workers and activists rallied on the front steps of Orlando's City Hall Thursday, July 23, joining organizers across Florida who showed support for the $15 minimum wage increase in New York. On Wednesday, a wage panel appointed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recommended the minimum wage be raised for employees of fast-food chain restaurants to $15 an hour. Raises will happen in yearly increments, and by the end of 2018, all workers in New York City should be paid $15, according to the New York Times...
Prevailing wage repeal would hurt the Michigan economy  (opinion) Detroit News  ...A comparison of prevailing wage and non-prevailing wage states shows that any savings from lower wages are immediately offset by lower worksite productivity and far more spending on fuels, materials, equipment and other services, a direct result of the fact that prevailing wage states rely more on home grown talent and higher skilled professionals to get the job done right the first time...

U.S. Labor
Verizon workers in Del. prepare for possible strike  Delaware Online  ...About 600 Verizon workers in Delaware are bracing for a likely strike when their current labor contract with the telecommunications giant expires Saturday. "With four days to go, we still haven't developed much traction," said Jim Ryan, president of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 13101 in Newark. "At this point, considerable movement will be needed if we're going to get a deal done by the end of the contract"...
Republicans fire new salvo at labor unions  The Hill  ...Republicans on Monday renewed their push for legislation that they say would help prevent workers from being forced into union membership. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) on Monday introduced the Employee Rights Act, a bill that would create new requirements for workers to organize a union and make it easier for them to disband it. The bill would also restrict political donations made by unions...
Tracy tomato grower, UFW renew contract  Recordnet  ...Tracy-based Pacific Triple E, a tomato growing and shipping company, and the United Farm Workers signed Tuesday a new three-year contract giving the company’s 450 field workers improved wages and benefits. “They‘re being paid the best rate in the state and the U.S.,” said Armando Elenes, UFW national vice president. Elenes said tomato pickers, who are paid on a piece rate so their actual pay varies by performance, should average $19.84 an hour under the new pact, compared to the $18.15 average under the previous three-year contract...
Ford's huge quarter a boost to UAW  Detroit Free Press  ...Huge profits reported by Ford on Tuesday likely will amplify the UAW’s chorus of “it’s our time” as Detroit’s automakers start talks with the union. Ford’s $2.6 billion best-ever pretax quarterly profit in North America between April and July came on the heels of General Motors’ $2.8 billion. Fiat Chrysler will weigh in Thursday with what are expected to be significant profits from its North American business. Four years ago as talks began with the union, Chrysler, then reporting as a stand-alone company, lost $370 million in the second quarter...
Politico’s Mike Elk presses Bernie Sanders on Politico unionization  Washington Post  ...Presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) took questions from reporters during an appearance today at an event of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers at the Washington Hilton. “Workers have the constitutional right to associate in unions. That right is being abused day and night; that has got to change,” he said in response to a question...
Tryin’ to Make a Dollar Out of 64 Cents  Ebony  ...Today is Black Women’s Pay Equity Day, an important milestone for the 16.6 million Black working women in America. It marks how far into the year African-American women must work to earn what a White man earned last year. That’s right—it has taken Black women 209 days into 2015 to make what White men made by the end of 2014. An African-American woman earns just 64 cents on the dollar earned by a White man...
The Koch Brothers are About to Destroy Veterans' Health Care and No One Knows About It  Daily Kos  ...The war on workers' rights has shifted to a new and unlikely battleground this week: the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. And for the more than 350,000 employees and the veterans they serve, the stakes could not be higher. Along comes Representative Jeff Miller and Senator Marco Rubio who saw an opportunity in the waitlist scandal; not an opportunity to improve access to care for veterans, but an opportunity to chip away at the basic rights to due process that protect all VA employees from discrimination and wrongful firing...
Key Senate Dem pushes case for paid sick leave  The Hill  ...A key Senate Democrat said supporters of a paid sick leave bill are increasing the pressure on Republicans to take up the measure. Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), the No. 4 Democrat in the Senate, said that roughly two in five private sector workers –some 43 million in all – don't have paid sick leave. That means, Murray said, that too many workers are currently forced to decide between going to work while sick or with a sick child at home, or missing a much-needed paycheck...
Pittsburgh region sees fewer new jobs than normal in adjusted rate  Post-Gazette  ...The latest job news for the Pittsburgh area looked better before it was seasonally adjusted. In raw numbers, employers in the region added 6,700 jobs between May and June. But when those numbers were adjusted to take into account the usual fluctuations of seasonal employment, fewer jobs were added than normal — 1,200 fewer...

Social Justice & Other News
Senate Will Take Up House 3-Month Highway Funding Bill  Huffington Post  ...Senate leaders said Tuesday they would take up legislation the House plans to move this week that would extend funding for the nation's highways, bridges and roads for another three months. The stop-gap bill comes days before the Highway Trust Fund runs out of money, and after weeks of Senate and House Republicans talking past each other on how to best deal with the encroaching deadline...
Clinton Calls Out SEC for Dodging Rule on CEO Pay  Mother Jones  ...With Bernie Sanders nipping at her heels in the presidential primary, Hillary Clinton is doing all she can to let liberal financial wonks know she's on their side. The Democratic front-runner laid out her vision Friday for getting Wall Street to focus on long-term growth rather than just what she termed "quarterly capitalism"—business deals aimed at quick stock gains. Slipped in among the big-picture reforms was a shout-out to an obscure, seemingly minor provision of Wall Street reform...
America's infrastructure crisis: One step forward, two steps back  Yahoo  ...The Empire State stepped up and stepped forward with Gov. Andrew Cuomo announcing plans for a $4 billion project to redesign LaGuardia Airport. Gov. Cuomo was joined at the event by Vice President Joe Biden, who once famously said: "If I took you and blindfolded you and took you to LaGuardia Airport in New York, you'd think, 'I must be in some third-world country.'" "Third World" might be a stretch, but America's infrastructure certainly isn't first class. The American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave the U.S. a D+ in its 2013 report on the state of U.S. infrastructure...
One In Eight Americans Burdened By Student Loan Debt, Including 700,000 Seniors  Alternet  ...It will not be news to 41 million Americans that this nation is in the middle of a student debt crisis. That's the number of people burdened by student loan payments. But many people, including many student debt holders, may be surprised to learn that people can be pursued for student debt even into their elder years. In fact, the government is withholding Social Security payments for some retirees, because their student loans have not been fully repaid...
Aging Pipes Are Poisoning America's Tap Water  The Atlantic  ...While Flint’s government and its financial struggles certainly have a role to play in the city’s water woes, the city may actually be a canary in the coal mine, signaling more problems to come across the country. “Flint is an extreme case, but nationally, there’s been a lack of investment in water infrastructure,” said Eric Scorsone, an economist at Michigan State University who has followed the case of Flint. “This is a common problem nationally— infrastructure maintenance has not kept up”...
At Least 5 Black Women Found Dead In Jail Since Mid-July  Think Progress  ...The mayor has since explained that Turner’s medical history included hypertension and bariatric surgery. No official cause of death has been determined. But her death follows at least four other deaths of black women in police custody since July 13, shining an even brighter spotlight on the plight of black women in the criminal justice system and fueling the Black Lives Matter movement. On that date, Sandra Bland was found hanging in her cell, three days after she was violently stopped for failing to signal a lane change...
Here's What Sandra Bland's Death Says About Our Broken Bail System  Mother Jones  ...This system, in which people either stay locked up or pay money to a private company to get out, is almost entirely unique to the United States. There is nothing to suggest that Sandra Bland was a danger to the community, so why was she kept in jail? Proponents of our current bail system would say that by requiring a cash bond, the court gave her a financial incentive to appear for court. But a handful of states have outlawed commercial bail, and they are doing just fine...

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