Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 08.03.15

Teamsters
Silicon Valley Drivers Vote Unanimously in Favor of Contract Proposal  Teamster.org  ...Shuttle drivers for seven big Silicon Valley companies voted overwhelmingly today to approve a union proposal for a first contract that includes industry-leading wages and benefits. The drivers employed by contractor Compass Transportation/Transdev voted 75-0 in favor. The drivers are members of Teamsters Local 853 in San Leandro, Calif. The proposal is the result of nearly five months of negotiations with the company...
Fort Riley Veterans Graduate From Military Job Training Program  Teamster.org  ...Today, Teamster representatives were joined by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in a ceremony recognizing the graduates of a program that helps active military personnel transition to a career in transportation. The ceremony was held at the Army’s installation in Fort Riley, Kan. The innovative six-week program is the result of a partnership between the Teamsters Military Assistance Program, the U.S. Army, Fort Sill, ABF Freight, Soldier For Life, the Department of Defense and the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command...
Strike threat looms in anticipation of Sun Tran, Labor Union contract renewal  Tucson News Now  ...The threat of a bus strike looms again in Tucson, as talks continue between Sun Tran bus drivers and management over a new contract. The dangers bus drivers face, the risk on the road and their paycheck are all items that are up for negotiation. Sun Tran officials have provided the Teamsters Local Union with a final offer, and union members will vote on it during three meetings scheduled to take place on Saturday, Aug 1...
Apple, Yahoo shuttle drivers unanimously approve union wage package  USA Today  ...Shuttle drivers for Apple, Yahoo, eBay and several other Silicon Valley companies voted Saturday to approve a union wage and benefits package. The drivers who transport workers to and from those tech firms, as well as to Zynga, Amtrak, Evernote and Genentech, are employed by Compass Transportation. Back in February, the 160 drivers voted for representation by Teamsters Local 853 in San Leandro, Calif...
ABF Freight, Teamsters Graduate New Class Of Military Drivers  Times Record  ...A truck driver training program class jointly operated by ABF Freight, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the U.S. Army will graduate this week. ABF Freight is a subsidiary of Fort Smith-based ArcBest Corp. Known as the Teamsters Military Assistance Program, the program was created to help soldiers transition to civilian careers...

Global Labor & Trade
Talks for Pacific trade deal stall at a critical step  New York Times  ...Trade negotiators from the United States and 11 other Pacific nations were headed toward failure Friday, with difficult talks on the largest regional trade agreement ever breaking down over protections for pharmaceutical companies and access to agriculture markets on both sides of the Pacific. Negotiators will return to their home countries to obtain high-level sign-offs for a small number of final sticking points on the agreement...
Ministers fail to cinch major trade pact  Politico  ...Top trade officials from the United States, Canada and 10 other Pacific rim nations fell short of concluding the biggest trade pact in history on Friday because of differences over agricultural, autos and pharmaceuticals, but said significant progress had been made. “We’re confident that TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership] is within reach,” U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said Friday...
U.S. Bends on Patent Data as Dairy Vexes Pacific Trade Talks  Bloomberg   ...The U.S. on Thursday abandoned its longstanding position on the confidentiality of some patent data as officials immersed themselves in the minutiae of Asia-Pacific dairy markets in a bid to clinch a landmark trade deal. A day marked by widespread frustration with the slow pace at which Canada took up talks on opening its dairy sector gave way to grinding, all-night talks on the quotas and tariffs that would be applied to products such as whey protein, cheese and milk powder...
Trans-Pacific Partnership delegates fail to reach final deal; pharmaceuticals, cars, dairy key sticking points  ABC  ...Delegates negotiating a Pacific free trade agreement have failed to reach a final deal after several days of intense talks in Hawaii. The talks were halted after a dispute flared between Japan and North America over autos, New Zealand dug in over dairy trade and no agreement was reached on monopoly periods for next-generation drugs...
McConnell warns Obama against tobacco carve-out in trade deal  The Hill  ...Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is warning U.S. officials negotiating a massive trans-Pacific trade agreement for President Obama not to target tobacco growers in a final deal. McConnell said singling out the tobacco industry would set a dangerous precedent for future trade deals, in a letter to Obama’s top trade representative...

Obama Administration Ignores Malaysia’s Trafficking Record   (opinion) New York Times  ...After one year on the State Department’s list of countries that are failing to combat modern-day slavery, Malaysia has been upgraded to a higher category. That judgment, part of an annual evaluation of how 188 countries deal with human trafficking, strains credulity, given how little Malaysia has done to address the problem. The decision has raised suspicions that Malaysia’s status was changed to advance the Trans-Pacific Partnership...
Getting the TPP right: What needs to happen in Hawaii  (opinion) The Hill  ...When done right, on a level playing field, trade can be a powerful tool for global growth and rising living standards. But too often, past trade deals have not lived up to this standard. Instead, they’ve created a massively tilted playing field that has incentivized a global race to the bottom on labor practices, environmental protections and human rights...
Stocks Plunge in Greece as Athens Exchange Reopens  New York Times  ...Investors issued a vote of no confidence in Greece’s economy on Monday, dumping Greek stocks as trading on the Athens stock exchange resumed for the first time in five weeks. Shares on the exchange initially dropped by 22.8 percent as trading began, with bank stocks falling 30 percent. Banks have been among the hardest-hit sectors of the Greek economy, and they are dependent on emergency cash from the European Central Bank to stay afloat...
Black Unionists Try to Save South Africa From Becoming a Failed State  Truthout  ...Irvin Jim, the general secretary of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), the largest union in South Africa, and Zwelinzima Vavi, the former general secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) visited Washington, DC, this month to discuss the crisis within South African trade unions. They spoke of the betrayal by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in failing to implement the 1955 Freedom Charter and the deleterious impact of neoliberal economic policies...
Plane passengers face delays as Melbourne Airport workers strike  Herald Sun  ...The Community and Public Sector Union has warned of significant disruptions and delays at all Australian international air and shipping ports ahead of its latest round of industrial action. The union has detailed four-hour rolling stoppages in protest of the Federal Government’s approach to working rights, conditions and pay. Union members from the Depart of Immigration and Border Protection, Department of Agriculture, including quarantine, and Australian Border Force Marine Union will observe stoppages...
Oaxaca, Mexico, Faces Police Militarization as Governor Acts to Preempt Education Protests  Truthout  ...Thousands of federal and state police troops were dispatched in mid-July to the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico to guard strategic buildings, patrol the skies and ensure that protesters cannot take over local radio stations. The aim of this heightened police militarization? To prevent protesting teachers from exerting pressure on the administration of Gabino Cué Monteagudo, the current governor of Oaxaca, in their efforts to resist nationally imposed education reforms...

State & Living Wage Battles
A $15 Minimum Wage Would Increase The Price Of A Big Mac By Less Than 20 Cents  Think Progress  ...If the minimum wage were increased to $15 an hour, prices at fast food restaurants would rise by an estimated 4.3 percent, according to a new study. That would mean a McDonald’s Big Mac, which currently goes for $3.99, would cost about 17 cents more, or $4.16. The price increases would be a good deal larger if the minimum wage were raised to $22 an hour, or average private sector pay: the authors found they would increase by 25 percent, raising the price of a Big Mac by about a dollar...
Scott Walker Stresses Importance Of Education Days After Cutting Education Funding By $250 Million  Think Progress  ...Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) went on Fox & Friends Thursday to discuss his entry into the 2016 presidential race. But the governor who recently earned negative headlines for cutting hundreds of millions from the state’s top-tier university system made a curious claim: that the key to boosting wages wasn’t the minimum wage, but education...
How Childcare Actually Causes Poverty in America  The Nation  ....Activists are pushing for a $15 hourly base wage for preschool teachers and childcare workers. Many are currently college grads earning poverty wages, which have basically stagnated for nearly twenty years. The raise would be a major step toward providing livable wages for the service working families can’t live without. As the Fight for 15 movement gains momentum for fast food and retail workers, advocates are asking, if the people who prepare your lunch deserve a living wage, surely so do the people preparing our toddlers for school?...
Chris Christie’s violent fantasies: National teachers union deserves a “punch in the face”  Salon  ...Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie said during a television interview Sunday that the national teachers union deserves a “punch in the face.” While campaigning for re-election in 2013, the New Jersey Governor scolded a local teacher after she challenged him on his claims that the state’s schools were failing. “I am tired of you people,” Christie yelled at the teacher, “What do you want?”...
Report: About 40% of workers in Ariz., U.S. have no paid sick leave  Yuma Sun  ...Close to half of Arizona’s private-sector workers, more than 934,000 people, do not have access to paid sick leave, according to a report Wednesday by a group pushing for such laws. But the National Partnership for Women and Families said Arizona is not alone: More than 43 million people, accounting for about 39 percent of private-sector workers in the country, currently don’t have the ability to earn paid sick leave, it said...
Without prevailing wage, pay will plummet, leader says  The Times  ...Without the state's prevailing wage law, construction workers would see their wages drop dramatically, a local labor leader says. "You'll see minimum wage within a couple of years," said Kevin Dale, business manager for Laborers International Union Local 393 in Marseilles. "You'll be making the same amount as the person flipping hamburgers at McDonald's when there's no prevailing wage." Earlier this year, Gov. Bruce Rauner proposed repealing the prevailing wage law...
Hedge Funds Helped Wreck Puerto Rico’s Economy, And The Poor Are Paying The Price  Think Progress  ...Depending who you ask in Puerto Rico, the debt crisis was caused by neo-colonial and imperialist policies from the U.S., the Puerto Rican government’s wasteful overspending and corruption, or the cadre of hedge funds that are currently profiting from the island’s woes. Add to that toxic mix a series of free-trade agreements that triggered mass outsourcing, and a population in rapid decline due to out-migration...

U.S. Labor
Verizon Workers to Stay on Job Without New Contract  New York Times  ...Verizon and unions representing workers in nine states said employees will work without a contract as more negotiations are scheduled. The wireless carrier and leaders of the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers announced the decision early Sunday, shortly after a contract covering 39,000 workers expired...
Bankruptcy Judge Gives Go-Ahead for Mass Firings of Unionized A&P Grocery Workers  In These Times  ...The mass firings of workers at the A&P supermarket chain is set to begin in mid-September, following action this week by a federal bankruptcy court approving a plan to quickly shed some 2,500 jobs at the ailing grocery retailer. The job cuts are a first step in a broader plan to dismember the entire 300-store chain, with expected job losses of 15,000 or more...
Negotiations begin for AT&T, Communications Workers of America  Local 10  ...AT&T has begun negotiations on contracts with 27,000 of its employees in the Southeast territory. Southeast region employees, who are represented by the Communications Workers of America, include employees in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The CWA issued a news release Sunday saying that representatives from both sides met Saturday. However, AT&T regional spokeswoman Kelly Starling said negotiations have been ongoing since June...
Why Unions Aren't Uniting Behind Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders  Bloomberg  ...In the failed fight to stop fast track, organized labor spoke—largely—with one voice. The main U.S. union federation, the AFL-CIO, announced a temporary freeze on PAC contributions, and its affiliate unions mostly complied. Unions across the industry spectrum warned Democrats against siding with Obama on trade. Some big unions were quieter than others, but none defected to shield the president. The same can’t be said for labor’s presidential endorsement process...

Social Justice & Other News
Border Jails Facing Bond Defaults as Immigration Boom Goes Bust  Bloomberg  ...ails built to profit from an illegal immigration boom are weighing down the finances of rural counties in the U.S. Sunbelt as border apprehensions slow and the federal government orders the release of more migrants. In Texas, the heart of a jail-building boom over the past decade, nine of 21 counties that created agencies to issue about $1.3 billion in municipal bonds to build privately run correctional facilities largely for migrants have defaulted on their debt...
In St. Louis, Black Youths Bear Brunt of Dysfunctional Justice System  Common Dreams  ...Black kids in St. Louis, Missouri are being disproportionately impacted by unconstitutional and discriminatory miscarriages of justice within the Family Court system, according to a two-year investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice. "In short, Black children are subjected to harsher treatment because of their race," the findings report reads...

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