Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 08.18.15

Teamsters
Hoffa: China's Currency Manipulation Should Serve As A Warning About TPP  Huffington Post   ...Currency manipulation has long been a drag on the U.S. economy and our jobs. But China's decision last week to devalue the Yuan shows the kind of damage such tinkering can bring to America. And it's why Congress cannot approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) until something is done about it...
Sun Tran Bus Strike Enters 12th Day, No End In Sight  KTTU   ...The Sun Tran union worker strike is now in its twelfth day, and any hopes of returning to the bargaining table are fading fast. Each side is claiming it wants to negotiate, but that the other will not. A federal mediator is involved, but as of Monday, there were no talks scheduled...

Global Labor & Trade
Greece Needs Further Debt Relief After Third Bailout Deal In Five Years, Says IMF Chief  The Guardian   ...Greece needs more significant debt relief from its creditors, the head of the International Monetary Fund said, after the bankrupt country accepted tough conditions to secure its third bailout deal in five years...
Déjà Vu: Germany Tightens Its Economic Power Over Europe  Truthout   ...Germany pushed hardest for the harshest Greek austerity. That too was a maneuver for domestic political advantage. Merkel loudly depicted herself as protecting Germans from higher taxes (to pay Germany's share of any future institutions' bailouts of European countries like Greece that did not repay their debts). Merkel and her finance chief rigidly refused to relieve Greece of its debts (even though the IMF and countless experts said openly that Greece's debts were simply "unsustainable" and could never be paid). Merkel's refusal meant that Greeks' tax payments would go not for roads, schools and hospitals, nor to rebuild a crisis-shattered economy, nor to pay and pension Greek public workers. Greeks' taxes must instead be used to service Greece's debts to the institutions for limitless years into the future...
China Turned To Risky Devaluation As Export Machine Stalled  New York Times   ...When Prime Minister Li Keqiang convened the Chinese cabinet last month, the troubled economy was the main topic on the agenda. The stock market had stumbled after a yearlong boom. Money was flooding out of the country. Most ominously, China’s export machine had stalled, prompting labor strikes...

State & Living Wage Battles
Poll: Americans' View Of Labor Unions Improving  Politico   ...Approval of unions jumped to 58 percent this year, an increase of five percentage points from 2014, though still well below the 75 percent organized labor enjoyed in the early 1950s but greater than the 48 percent who approved in 2009 in the grips of the recession...
The Problem With House Prices  New York Times   ...One solution for many troubled borrowers would be to modify their loan terms. But as Gretchen Morgenson of The Times reported recently, banks are still unwilling to modify loans, despite rules imposed by regulators and legal settlements after the bust that were supposed to make it easier and fairer for borrowers to obtain relief...
Northwestern Football Players Won't Be Getting Their Union For Now  Huffington Post   ...The National Labor Relations Board announced Monday that it would not wade into the case of Northwestern football players who were seeking to unionize, meaning college football will remain union-free, at least for the time being...
City Council To Consider Establishing $10.10 Minimum Wage In Birmingham  AL.com   ...The Birmingham City Council is set to consider the establishment of a $10.10 minimum wage in the city. The council could vote on an ordinance as soon as Tuesday...
Gov. Brown Signs Job Protections For Grocery Workers  Los Angeles Times   ...Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed 14 bills, including a measure that requires that large grocery stores keep their workers for at least 90 days after a change in store ownership...
Why Amazon May Take a Page From Walmart’s Labor Playbook  New York Times   ...As Walmart, based in Bentonville, Ark., has expanded, it has faced growing legal fire and public scrutiny over the treatment of its 1.3 million workers. Since 2000, the company, the nation’s largest private employer, has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in fines over employees forced to work off the clock or denied breaks...
Competing Referendums Put Brakes On KC Minimum Wage Increase  Kansas City Business Journal   ...It seems that the minimum wage will not be changed in Kansas City until November, at the earliest. Even then, its unclear whether the city can compel businesses to actually pay a higher wage...

U.S. Labor
Build A New Hudson River Tunnel  New York Times   ...The only long-term solution is the construction of a new tunnel complex, as proposed by Amtrak in its Gateway Program. Without a new tunnel and new rail tracks, a massive storm or some other disaster could sever a critical link in the Northeast rail corridor that serves more than 750,000 people a day on 2,000 intercity and commuter trains. For commuters and rail passengers crossing the Hudson River who are already complaining about delays, it can only get worse...
The Amazon Economy  Huffington Post   ...Unions, protection against arbitrary firing and abusive workplaces, and social protections like guaranteed health care and higher education were all ways of institutionalizing the goal of security and dealing ever more people into it. Amazon's attitude is exactly the opposite: security is the enemy. Equated with slacking, it is hunted down mercilessly wherever it appears. This agenda is a revealing caricature of the unquestioned common sense of today's economics profession and managerial elite. They, too, tend to see security as the problem, not the goal...
Old Models Don't Fit The New Economy  New York Times   ...When presidential candidates in the United States talk about the economy, they speak in terms that have the reassuring familiarity of an old shoe. Candidates on the left decry corrupt banks and waning unions and a government safety net with too many holes. Candidates on the right rail against excessive regulations and taxation. Many arguments could have just as easily been uttered, unadapted, in 1975...

Social Justice & Other News
Racial Wealth Gap Persists Despite Degree, Study Says  New York Times   ...Even with tuition shooting up, the payoff from a college degree remains strong, lifting lifelong earnings and protecting many graduates like a Teflon coating against the worst effects of economic downturns. But a new study has found that for black and Hispanic college graduates, that shield is severely cracked, failing to protect them from both short-term crises and longstanding challenges...
Citizens Bank Shortchanged Depositors  New York Times   ...When depositing checks at the bank, there is always a chance for error. The bank’s scanner might misread the checks or the deposit slip. Or the total on a deposit slip might not match the actual deposit. But you usually rest assured that the bank will correct the mistake and notify you of the difference. Not at Citizens Bank. For years, it turns out, Citizens often kept the difference, up to $50. Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other federal bank regulators ordered Citizens, which operates in New York and 10 other states, to refund at least $14 million to customers and pay $20.5 million in penalties for unfair and deceptive banking...
The Plight Of Refugees, The Shame Of The World  New York Times   ...The world is facing the biggest refugee crisis since World War II, a staggering 60 million people displaced from their homes, four million from Syria alone. World leaders have abdicated their responsibility for this unlucky population, around half of whom are children...
Puerto Rico Crisis: It's Not About The Debt, It's About the Politics  Huffington Post   ...It is notable, then, that throughout the public discussion and debate over the past several months about the insolvency of Puerto Rico, there has been little or no discussion of the ultimate responsibility of Congress for events that have transpired. Congress has never been shy about exercising its oversight powers in areas that offer political opportunity -- Benghazi and the IRS are recent examples -- and is often swift to demand full accountability and point the finger of blame at others for any manner of controversy or scandal that might come up, but with respect to the territories, where the responsibility of Congress is clear, we have heard a deafening silence...
First-Ever Women To Graduate From Ranger School  Politico   ...Making military history, two female soldiers will become the first women to ever graduate from the Army’s notoriously tough 61-day Ranger School training program on Friday, Army officials have announced...
CFPB Probes Education Department Loan Contractors Over Potentially Faulty Practices  Huffington Post   ...The federal consumer bureau on Monday launched an industry-wide investigation to determine why borrowers with federal student loans are being kicked out of generous programs that keep their payments affordable...