Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 07.31.15

Teamsters
Apple, Yahoo shuttle drivers set to vote on union  USA Today  ...Unions continue to make inroads into  Silicon Valley. Shuttle drivers for Apple, eBay, Yahoo, Zynga and several other Silicon Valley firms are set to vote Saturday on a package for improved wages and benefits. The 160 drivers, most of them employed by Compass Transportation of San Jose, shuttle employees to and from those tech firms, as well as Amtrak, Evernote and Genentech. The drivers sought representation from Teamsters Local 853...
Garda Canada Security Corporation and Teamsters Local 362 reach a new collective agreement  Government of Canada  ...Today, the Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, congratulated Garda Canada Security Corporation and Teamsters Local 362 on the renewal of their collective agreement. The agreement was reached with assistance from the Labour Program’s Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). The FMCS provides dispute resolution and dispute prevention assistance to trade unions and employers under the jurisdiction of the Canada Labour Code...
Port Truckers Testify Before Tidelands and Harbor Committee Over Misclassification, Wage Theft  Long Beach Post  ...Stakeholders from the Port of Long Beach (POLB), trucking companies and drivers testified before the Tidelands and Harbor Committee last night to address the misclassification. The idea that the businesses can flourish while paying their drivers as employees was illustrated by Kevin Baddeley, president of Shippers Transport Express (STE) based out of Carson. He said that since converting to an employee model in January and negotiating a union contract with the Teamsters Union shortly after, STE has been stable and its customers happy...
Time running out for Sun Tran negotiations with union  KVOA  ...Sun Tran and the employees’ union, Teamsters Local 104, are still negotiating to avoid a bus strike in Tucson. Their contract expires Friday at midnight. Union members, who are mostly bus drivers, are expected to vote on a new deal Saturday. If the union rejects the contract, a strike may follow. Signs at bus stations warn riders about the negotiations...

Global Labor & Trade
Pacific trade negotiators chase elusive final deal in tough talks  Reuters  ...Pacific Rim trade ministers neared the final spurt of negotiations on an ambitious free trade pact on Thursday, but differences over farm exports and monopoly periods for next-generation drugs kept them short of an elusive final deal. Ministers from the 12 countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which would cut trade barriers and set common standards for 40 percent of the world economy, are meeting in Hawaii to try to hammer out a deal...
Canada Under Pressure as Pacific Trade Talks Slow Over Dairy  Bloomberg   ...Negotiations on a landmark free-trade pact among 12 Pacific nations stumbled as pressure mounted on Canada to soften its stance on limiting dairy imports. After months of demands from nations including the U.S., Australia and New Zealand to open its dairy markets as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Canada outlined a proposal during talks in Hawaii that other nations rejected as inadequate, according to two people briefed on the negotiations...
Trade deal threatens affordable healthcare for millions, experts say  Aljazeera  ...Public health groups on Thursday warned that “absurd” patent and data protection clauses pushed by U.S. lawmakers during the final negotiations of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Maui, Hawaii could hike prices for life-saving drugs and stifle innovation. Doctors Without Border (MSF) and the Generic Pharmaceutical Association are most concerned with measures such as the extension of intellectual property rights on drug patents and increased damages for the infringement of patents...
Trade Negotiators Reach Environmental Accord  New York Times  ...Trade negotiators from the United States and 11 other Pacific nations reached agreement late Thursday on broad environmental protections for some of the most sensitive, diverse and threatened ecosystems on earth, closing one of the most contentious chapters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. As negotiators struggled to complete the largest regional trade agreement, they pointed to the environmental accord as a clear achievement. It will be controversial. Some environmental groups, like the Sierra Club, insist that it lacks the binding enforcement measures...
Patent Protection for Drugs Puts Pressure on U.S. in Trade Talks  New York Times  ...With 12 nations pressing to conclude the largest regional trade accord ever, United States officials find themselves squeezed between activists pressing to secure access to low-cost pharmaceuticals and Republicans who say Congress will reject a deal without strong patent protections for the drug industry. Negotiators gathered this week in Maui hoping the long-sought accord might be finished by Friday. But dozens of issues remain unresolved on the Trans-Pacific Partnership...
Group Seeks to Expose Cozy Ties Between US Trade Rep and Wall Street  Common Dreams  ...Citing his cozy ties to Wall Street banks, a group dedicated to exposing corruption and corporate influence in Washington, D.C. has submitted an official Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for all correspondence between U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and the 10 largest U.S. financial institutions. Rootstrikers, the grassroots organization behind the FOIA request, has said that because corporate giveaways like the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) pose a threat to robust financial regulation in general, "Americans deserve to know"...
Pacific Rim free trade deal comes with high price  Aljazeera  ...On the tropical shores of the island of Maui in Hawaii, 12 Pacific Rim countries are negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement behind closed doors. The current meeting in Hawaii between the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Peru, and Vietnam is the latest and possibly final round of negotiations that have been grinding along and evolving for seven years. the deal has drawn critics from various spheres. Among the loudest are analysts concerned by how the deal will affect the availability and price of medicine...
WikiLeaks says US spied on Japanese government, companies  Associated Press  ...WikiLeaks says US spied on Japanese government, companies. The documents include what appear to be five U.S. National Security Agency reports, four of which are marked top-secret, that provide intelligence on Japanese positions on international trade and climate change. Three of the apparent NSA reports deal with climate change, and the other two with agricultural trade issues, including U.S. cherry exports to Japan...
Youth unemployment in Italy exceeds 44 percent, 38yr high  RT  ...Youth unemployment has increased to 44.2 percent in June, according to the Italian national statistics office. It’s the highest level since 1977 and about twice the eurozone average. The overall unemployment also increased in June, according to the data published Friday. The upsetting numbers come as the Italian Prime Minister is pursuing economic reforms that the government hopes will make the eurozone's third largest economy dominant in Europe and the world within 20-30 years...
Greek bailout talks shift into higher gear  CBS  ...Greece's talks with its international creditors on a third bailout worth 85 billion euros ($93 billion) shifted into a higher gear on Friday, with lead negotiators from the European Union and International Monetary Fund meeting key ministers in Athens. The talks with Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and Economy Minister Giorgos Stathakis follow preparatory meetings in the Greek capital this week between lower-level officials on reforming the tax system and labor market regulations...
London’s National Gallery Labor Strike Escalates  Artforum  ...The entire group of union workers currently employed at the National Gallery in London are set to renew their strike this August, according to Sarah Cascone at Artnet. This comes after several other recent periods of labor dispute at the venerable British institution, all over the management’s plans to privatize visitor services at the museum. The Public and Commercial Services Union, which represents the workers who will be participating, has told the museum of its intentions to strike...

State & Living Wage Battles
Pennsylvania Employers Steal Tens Of Millions Of Dollars From Their Workers In Any Given Week  Think Progress  ...Pennsylvania’s low-wage workers lose between $19 million and $32 million to wage theft in any given week, potentially costing the state’s economy as much as a billion dollars in lost potential consumer spending each year, according to a new analysis by law students from Temple University. The economic analysis is premised on a 2009 study of Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles workers’ experiences of wage theft in various industries...
Michigan Supreme Court Upholds Right-to-Work Law, Takes Workers Back to the Gilded Age  Truthout  ...Republican lawmakers passed the measure in December 2012, making it illegal to require workers to pay union dues or service fees as a condition of employment. Shortly thereafter, public sector employees filed a lawsuit saying they were exempt from the law because their workplaces came under the jurisdiction of the Michigan Civil Service Commission, not private sector employment law. On Wednesday, July 29, the high court, in a 4-3 ruling, rejected the workers' plea. With that, the court completed the transformation of this longtime labor stronghold into an anti-labor regime, reminiscent of the Gilded Age US...
Kansas City Minimum Wage Hike? $15 Hourly Pay Proposed By Missouri Activists  International Business Times  ...Kansas City, Missouri, may see an initiative to increase the city's minimum wage on its November ballot. A group of civil rights organizations has demanded that their petition go to a vote to raise base hourly pay in the city to $15. In turn, business organizations have condemned the move as "job killing" and want to see wages stay at the state-mandated $7.65 per hour...
N.C. attorneys rest their case in federal voting rights trial   Journal Now  ...Attorneys representing North Carolina and Gov. Pat McCrory rested their case this morning after calling six witnesses in a federal trial over the state’s controversial election law. Several groups, including the N.C. NAACP and the U.S. Department of Justice, are suing the state and McCrory over House Bill 589, which became law in 2013. House Bill 589 eliminated same-day voter registration, reduced the days of early voting from 17 to 10, got rid of out-of-precinct provisional voting and abolished preregistration of 16- and 17-year-olds...
California's Drought and the Politics of Inequality  (opinion) Truthout  ...California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in April, mandating urban centers to reduce water usage by 25 percent. Walking around working-class neighborhoods, one can't help but notice brown lawns and dying plants, which shows how seriously people are taking the task of water conservation. What's striking is who's willing to conserve - and who isn't. Forty-eight percent of wealthier homeowners with incomes above $100,000 a year say it would be "difficult" to conserve water...
Pittsburgh's paid sick leave bill headed to council for vote Monday  Post-Gazette  ...Pittsburgh City Councilman Corey O’Connor, with broad support from his colleagues, is looking to push through legislation Monday that would require businesses to provide paid sick leave to their employees before the council breaks for its August recess. If it clears that final vote, the bill, put forward July 6, will have gone from introduction to passage in less than a month...

U.S. Labor
Court backs labor board on election rule  The Hill  ...A federal court has upheld federal regulations designed to speed up union elections, dealing a blow to business groups who oppose the rule. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) should be allowed to expedite the process by which employees unionize, Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled for the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C...
NLRB to Rule on Northwestern Football Players’ Bid to Unionize  Wall Street Journal  ...The National Labor Relations Board is expected to decide in coming weeks whether to give labor unions a foothold in college sports, a decision that could have a widespread impact on college athletics. The five-member board of the federal labor agency is weighing whether Northwestern University’s scholarship football players are school employees, as an agency regional director ruled last year, and can therefore unionize...
Verizon strike on pension, health care possible  APP.com  ...Time is ticking down as negotiations between Verizon and its employees’ unions continue. The contract between Verizon and its union workforce, members of the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, expires at midnight Saturday. Both sides are “very apart on the issues,” said Candice Johnson, a CWA spokeswoman...
UAW, Ford kick off contract talks as auto business booms  NWI.com  ...The United Auto Workers union has kicked off contract talks with Ford, which is one of the Calumet Region's largest employers, with about 5,000 local workers. The UAW, which made deep concessions during the darkest days of the Great Recession, hopes to end a two-tier pay system in which younger workers are paid less than more veteran employees doing the same job...
Hundreds of United Steelworkers members rally downtown  WPXI  ...Hundred of United Steelworkers members and their allies rallied Thursday at the headquarters of Allegheny Technologies Inc. in downtown Pittsburgh. According to a release from the USW, the union is trying to reach agreement on a new contract for more than 2,200 members who work for ATI, a specialty metals and components supplier for the aerospace and defense, medical and industrial industries. Their old contract expired June 30...
Frontier Communications and Communications Workers of America Reach Agreement in Texas and Missouri  MarketWatch  ...Frontier Communications Corporation FTR, and the Communications Workers of America District 6 (CWA) are pleased to announce the signing of an agreement that will benefit CWA-represented employees in Texas and Missouri and Frontier’s future customers in Texas. The agreement is an important step forward in the process to complete Frontier’s planned acquisition of Verizon’s wireline business and assets in Texas, California and Florida...
Companies have found something to give their workers instead of raises  Washington Post  ...Once a staple of the American workplace, the annual raise is turning into a relic of the pre-crisis economy as companies turn to creative — and cheaper — ways to compensate their employees. More businesses are upping their spending on benefits such as one-time bonuses, health care and paid time off, according to recent survey data. Many are rolling out perks such as free gym membership, commuting subsidies, even pet health insurance...
‘She’s Not A Felon, She’s A Human Being': Obama Under Pressure To Ban The Box Before Leaving Office  (opinion) Think Progress  ...If you’ve ever applied for a job, you’ve probably seen the box. Hiring forms commonly require applicants to indicate if they’ve ever been convicted of a crime. That little check-box produces some grand societal failures: An estimated 60 to 75 percent of Americans released from prison cannot find work throughout their first year back home...
Bernie Sanders Lobbies for A.F.L.-C.I.O. Endorsement  New York Times  ...Citing his long legislative record and improving performance in opinion polls, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont told leaders of the A.F.L.-C.I.O. gathered here on Wednesday that he was best equipped to advance the rights and benefits of organized labor. Although he did not mention his rivals by name, Mr. Sanders, who was one of several candidates to address the organization’s executive council, said he told the group that no one had as clear a regard for the labor movement as he did...
Courting Unions, Hillary Clinton Says She Didn't Work on Trans-Pacific Partnership   Bloomberg  ...Hillary Clinton appeared to take another step away from the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Thursday, telling reporters that she didn’t work on the controversial trade deal while serving as President Barack Obama’s secretary of state. The Democratic presidential front-runner, who advocated for a multi-lateral Asia trade agreement as a member of Obama's administration but has pointedly refused to endorse the results as a candidate to succeed her old boss, walked a careful semantic line following a private meeting with the AFL-CIO executive council...
U.S. employment costs post smallest gain on record in second-quarter  Reuters  ...U.S. labor costs in the second quarter recorded their smallest increase in 33 years amid tepid gains in the private sector, but it likely was a temporary setback against the backdrop of diminishing labor market slack. The unexpectedly smaller rise reported by the Labor Department on Friday will probably not dampen speculation that the Federal Reserve is set to raise interest rates later this year...

To get a fair share, sharing-economy workers must unionize  (opinion) Aljazeera   ...Uber’s disruption of the cab industry has been welcomed by nearly everyone except those who rely on the cab industry for their livelihoods. It’s arguably made on-demand car rides easier, cleaner, safer, more accessible and, in some cases, even cheaper. The high prices of regulated taxi medallions have kept a small number of bosses in control, while drivers pay high gate fees in order to access their cars and wages. Uber is right that the traditional system is not well suited to drivers’ or customers’ needs. But the new boss is not so different from the old boss...

Social Justice & Other News
U.S. austerity was even worse than we thought, data suggest  Washington Post  ...The economy of the years between 2011 and 2014 was even more mediocre than previously recognized, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. State and local governments spent less than the bureau realized throughout the interval, as did the federal government last year. When government spends less, its public employees, contractors and suppliers are all stretched. They have less to live on, and less money to spend in the rest of the economy...
Court Rules Police Need a Warrant to Access Location Data From Your Cellphone  Slate  ...In an order released Thursday by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Judge Lucy Koh found that Fourth Amendment protections extend to location data generated by cellphones. Ruling against the federal government, Koh affirmed that law enforcement agencies must seek a warrant before acquiring historical location data produced by a cellphone...
Will Prosecutors Charge Officers Who Lied to Protect Ray Tensing After He Fatally Shot Sam Dubose?  Democracy Now  ...Former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing has been released on a $1 million bail after pleading not guilty to the murder of Sam Dubose. Tensing, who is white, fatally shot the 43-year-old African-American man on July 19 after stopping him for not having a front license plate. Two additional officers, Phillip Kidd and David Lindenschmidt, have been placed on administrative leave...
Protesters Forcibly Removed by Police As Arctic Drilling Ship Escapes Blockade  Common Dreams  ...Ending a nearly two-day standoff, Greenpeace activists who had successfully blocked passage of a Shell Oil drilling vessel were dramatically removed from their positions on the St. Johns Bridge in Portland, Oregon on Thurdsay evening as a special team of law enforcement officers cut them away to allow passage of the ship...
House takes off for August vacation before looking at highway, transit bill  NY Daily News  ...Congress is hitting the road without fixing our highways. House members took off for their extended August vacation before taking a look at the Senate’s newly passed long-term transportation bill, adding one more touchy issue for lawmakers to grapple with in a busy fall session. The long-overdue bill passed the Senate on Thursday with heavy bipartisan support, getting 65 votes for the $350 billion package, which would make changes to highway, transit, railroad and auto safety programs for six years...
Trump's immigration plan would cost hundreds of billions of dollars  CNN  ...According to a 2009 Government Accountability Office report, the average cost of fencing per mile is around $2.8 million to $3.9 million for the easiest-to-install and least expensive urban fencing. "You don't necessarily get a lot of bang for your buck," said Tom Wong, an assistant professor of Political Science at University of California, San Diego. Rosenblum and Wong explained that a wall would primarily just slow the process of crossing the border, especially in more rural areas...
UN Report Card Gives US 'Failing Grade' on Human Rights  Common Dreams  ...A United Nations committee of independent monitors this week released a damning assessment of human rights in the United States, showing an overall dismal performance on issues from Guantanamo Bay detentions to mass surveillance to accountability for past atrocities—earning what the U.S. Human Rights Network called a "failing grade." The findings prompted immediate condemnation from human rights and social justice organizations based in the U.S., including the Dream Defenders, who joined a civil society delegation to Geneva last year to urge the repeal of "Stand Your Ground" laws...

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