Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News 08.25.15

Teamsters
Airgas Workers Join Teamsters  Teamster.org   ...Drivers, plant operators and fillers at the Airgas facility in Islandia, N.Y., have voted to join Teamsters Local 282. The successful effort was the culmination of hard work by the organizing committee and business agent Mike Bourgal. “Nationwide, this company has recently changed their attitude toward their hardworking, loyal workforce and this vote is an example of what happens when employers disrespect their employees,” said Keith Gleason, Director of the Teamsters Tankhaul Division...
1,200 Teamsters show SBCo. BOS they mean business  Examiner   ...San Bernardino County leaders scoffed at the idea that the county’s general employees have had enough of pay and benefit cuts so much so that they would take a few hours out of a weekend morning to attend a union rally. They were expecting a low turnout. They were wrong. More than 1,200 Teamsters showed for the event...
Google delivery workers vote to join Teamsters union  Silicon Valley Business Journal  ...The push to unionize Silicon Valley workers went one step further on Friday when 151 Google Express warehouse and shipping workers voted in favor of joining a union. The employees work for Adecco, a temp agency subcontracted by Google. The employees aim to join Teamsters Local 853, the same organization which unionized shuttle drivers for Apple, Yahoo and eBay last month...
10 years after Katrina: Teamsters recall unprecedented disaster, undaunted response  Teamster Nation  ...Responding to emergencies of all kinds over the last century has created a strong, unique sense of pride and solidarity among all Teamster members. On the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s landfall, the Teamsters Union is looking back on how the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast recovered and rebuilt their homes, businesses and lives...

Global Labor & Trade
Handful of issues remaining in TPP: Froman  New Straits Times  ...There are only a handful of issues to be resolved in the ongoing Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations, said US Trade Representative Michael Froman. "The Hawaii ministerial meeting was productive and we closed a dozen difficult issues, and at the end of the day there are now a handful of issues which needed further work"...
Asian countries shift focus to regional trade after TPP delay  AFR.com  ...Asian countries have agreed to speed-up the conclusion of a more localised trade agreement after the delays finishing a competing US-led pact, in a bid to maintain regional economic integration just as a growth slowdown is hitting financial markets. Economic ministers, including trade minister Andrew Robb, agreed that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) should be substantively finished...
No Trans-Pacific trade deal if auto parts sector threatened: trade minister  The Record  ...Canada will not sign a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal that would allow Japanese vehicles into North America with fewer parts manufactured here, says Ed Fast, the federal minister of international trade. "We have made it very clear as a Canadian government that we will only sign a TPP agreement if it is in Canada's national interest"...
How TiSA strolls off with our services  TNI.org   ...While TTIP is currently the center of attention, more trade agreements are looming over our heads. In July, our world leaders hauled up in their backrooms to discuss TiSA, an extensive service agreement meant to put (public) services, like the water supply, in the hands of the international market...
Floored: The True Cost of Unenforced Trade Deals  Huffington Post  ...Using rules in the U.S.-Peru free trade pact, EIA and the Center for International Environmental Law petitioned the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to take action under the trade pact and verify the legal origin of shipments from two companies, including Maderera Bozovich SAC, because of their history of exporting significant volumes of timber to the U.S. from logging concessions with illegal activity. But USTR never did so...
Peru Construction Workers Win New Pact, Rights  Solidarity Center  ...Construction workers in Peru are celebrating a new contract that significantly improves wages and benefits, and are hailing a new legislative order, which in part addresses ongoing violence against union members in the building and construction trades. The new one-year contract gives workers up to a 5 percent wage increase and includes education benefits for workers’ children up to age 22...
Greek lawmakers approve third bailout after all-night debate  Dispatch Times  ...Tsipras told lawmakers that the bailout package is a “necessary choice” for the nation, despite unwelcome tax hikes and spending cuts. However, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is facing rebellion within his left-wing Syriza party, with more than 40 Syriza MPs voting against the bailout in parliament on Friday...
McDonald’s Workers Take Fight for $15 to Brazil, Accuse Company of “Cannibal Capitalism”  In These Times  ...In addition to the U.S. and Brazilian delegations, politicians and labor union officials from Europe, including France and Germany, and Korea presented wide-ranging critiques of McDonald’s practices.  “The verdict of today’s hearing is clear: no company is more responsible than McDonald’s for driving a global race to the bottom,” said Scott Courtney, assistant to the president of the Service Employees International Union...

State & Living Wage Battles
Dems push right-to-work repeal  Lansing State Journal  ...Michigan House Democrats are pushing what is likely a doomed effort to repeal the state’s controversial right-to-work laws. Legislative language introduced last week by state Rep. John Chirkun, D-Roseville, would “reaffirm the continuing public policy of this state” that union payments are necessary for “the stability and effectiveness of labor relations in the public sector”...
Thousands protest Koch Brothers convention in Ohio  People's World  ...In a powerful rebuff to extremist efforts to push "Right-To-Work" and other anti-working class programs, some 4000 union members and supporters poured into Columbus Friday, Aug. 21 to protest the "Summit on the American Dream" held by Americans for Prosperity" (AFP), a political action group funded by the right-wing billionaire brothers, Charles and David Koch...
Future of voter ID lawsuit heard in N.C. state court  Journal Now  ...A lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s voter identification requirement should be allowed to continue even after the legislature added exceptions this summer easing the mandate that goes into effect next year, lawyers fighting the law told a state judge Monday. But a state attorney said the changes made to the 2013 law have addressed the accusations made in the litigation, giving registered voters who lack a qualifying photo ID a way to cast ballots in person anyway...
Labor Secretary Tom Perez is 'proud to stand with the Fight for 15'  Daily Kos  ...Labor Secretary Tom Perez is heading to Detroit this week to meet with fast food workers. Ahead of that trip, he's making clear his support for the workers' organizing efforts. The movement has been instrumental in raising the minimum wage in cities like Seattle and Los Angeles; a wage board in New York has recommended a $15 wage for the fast food industry, which is expected to be approved soon...
Home Healthcare Workers Haven’t Qualified for Minimum Wage for 80 Years. Now They Do.  The Nation  ...t took about 40 years after the passage of federal wage standards for the government to decide that domestic workers deserved a minimum wage. And it’s taking nearly another 40 years for home healthcare workers—the subset of the industry specializing in elder and disability care—to gain the same protections. The Obama administration has amended federal wage and hour regulations to close a longstanding exemption...
St. Louis aldermen will debate minimum wage hike today  STL Today  ...The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will again take up the contentious issue of a citywide minimum wage hike Tuesday. Various proposals to institute a citywide minimum wage have been kicked around. Last month, the aldermen left for vacation without taking action on a bill that would institute an increased minimum wage by 2020...

U.S. Labor
The Stock Market Drop Exposes The Dangers Of Privatizing Social Security  Think Progress  ...The stock market continued a period of volatility on Monday. Media reports sounded the alarm as the DOW opened 1,000 points down and other indexes took huge hits, only to climb back up a bit later in the day. While that performance, which had some people calling it black Monday, may have knocked a good deal of money out of people’s 401(k) retirement accounts, Social Security benefits remain by and large untouched by such fluctuations...
UAW wants local and national contracts at Fiat Chrysler  Detroit Free Press   ...The UAW isn't just trying to reach a new national agreement with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to replace the one set to retire Sept. 14 -- the union is simultaneously working to hammer out local contracts covering each plant across the nation. The approach is a change in strategy from 2011 and aims to prevent a scenario where the ratification of local contracts can languish for years...
Union lawsuit claims bus system violated constitutional rights amid contract talks  MLive  ...The union that represents The Rapid workers is suing the Grand Rapids transit authority in federal court in the middle of ongoing contract negotiations. The lawsuit filed Monday, Aug. 24, in U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids alleges The Interurban Transit Partnership, or The Rapid, violated the First and Fourteenth Amendment rights of members of the Amalgamated Transit Union...
Deere, UAW to kick off contract talks amid roiling economy  Crain's  ...Deere and its unionized workforce are kicking off contract talks as the slowing global economy weakens the equipment manufacturer. Moline-based Deere and the United Auto Workers are set to start bargaining today, according to a spokeswoman for the Detroit-based union. The contract covering approximately 11,000 UAW members expires Oct. 1...

Social Justice & Other News
Thirty Miles From Selma, a Different Kind of Civil Rights Struggle  Truthout  ...In the last decade, little has roused this town in the heart of Alabama's "black belt," 30 miles west of Selma, like the Arrowhead Landfill, a sprawling dump. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, while touting the importance of tackling environmental racism, has done little to address the residents' concerns - until now. Spurred by a citizens' complaint alleging the Arrowhead Landfill violates the civil rights of surrounding black property owners...
Ferguson Judge Orders Major Reforms in Victory for Protesters  Slate  ...In the year-plus since Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, protesters, reporters, and the Department of Justice have all been critical of the city’s hyperaggressive municipal court system. On Monday, the city’s new municipal judge announced a major overhaul of the system; per judge Donald McClellin’s statement, all warrants issued before 2015 will be recalled...
400+ Miles Into Journey for Justice, Marchers Call for Police Reform  Common Dreams  ...Social justice and human rights activists are rallying Monday on the steps of the South Carolina State Capitol Building, calling for full-scale criminal justice reform including national, uniform standards for use of force among all local, state, and federal law enforcement agents. The demonstration is part of the NAACP's Journey for Justice March...