Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 08.31.15

Teamsters
Teamsters Women’s Conference Inspires  Teamster.org  ...The 2015 Teamsters Women’s Conference took place in Boston Friday, the second day of the annual event. Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall addressed more than one thousand Teamster women who have gathered for three days of education, inspiration and sisterhood. View photos from Day 2 of the event here. “Teamster women are dedicated members and leaders. You’re motivated and you know how to get things done. You play such an incredibly important role,” Hall said...
Vistar Drivers and Warehouse Workers Join Teamsters Local 630  Teamster.org  ...California warehouse workers and drivers at Vistar, a Performance Food Group (PFG) company, have voted 70 percent in favor of joining Teamsters Local 630 in Los Angeles, Calif. There are 71 workers in the bargaining unit and all but one participated in the Aug. 27 election. The workers at Vistar decided to organize to address the lack of respect, low wages and inadequate health benefits at the company...
Waste Workers in California Join Teamsters Local 137  Teamster.org  ...Today, drivers at Waste Management, Inc. in Redding, California voted by a 2-1 margin to join Teamsters Local 137. The workers approached the local union in mid-July about joining the union, and Local 137 filed for an election on August 3, 2015. The vote today was 16-8. There are 36 drivers in the bargaining unit...
Local 727 Wins Fight for Osco Pharmacist’s Reinstatement  Local 727  ...An arbitrator ruled that the company wrongfully terminated Teamsters Local 727 Osco pharmacist member Wanda Froehlich last year and that the company must reinstate her with over a year’s worth of full back pay and benefits. Froehlich, a 20-year Osco employee, was unjustly terminated June 6, 2014. Management fired her without notice of the charges...
Labor sees organizing boon from U.S. ruling  St. Louis Post-Dispatch  ...Rome Aloise, president of the Teamsters in Northern California, said the Browning-Ferris ruling means Google will now have to be part of the discussions about working conditions with the union and the contractor. It was a local branch of the Teamsters that originally brought the complaint about a union election at the Browning-Ferris recycling plant...

Global Labor & Trade
Big Sugar’s Fight to Keep U.S. Import Limits Delaying Trade Deal  Washington Post  ...A sweet deal for American sugar farmers is compounding delays in a proposed trade agreement affecting 40 percent of the world’s economy. The commodity has become a sticky subject in talks over the Trans-Pacific Partnership. TPP, as it’s known, would link a dozen countries and, its proponents say, make it easier for U.S. companies to sell goods around the world. But the trade deal may also weaken protections for the sugar industry...
Amari says TPP may be halted if no deal is reached before Canada election in October  Japan Times  ...Negotiations for a multilateral Pacific Rim free trade agreement may be halted if the 12 participating countries cannot strike a broad deal before a general election in Canada in October, Japanese Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Akira Amari said Friday. “After election campaigning starts in Canada, it will be difficult” to continue negotiations, Amari said in an interview...
Mixed Views on Finalizing the Trans Pacific Partnership  WNAX  ...U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman expressed optimism recently that negotiators are close to wrapping up a final Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. Iowa Farm Bureau President Craig Hill says he’s glad the trade leader is positive about progress, but thinks it may be tough to achieve yet this year. Hill says if the Trans Pacific Partnership runs into 2016, it could get muddled up in Presidential politics...
Disposable People: Obama, the TPP, and the Betrayal of Human Rights  (opinion) San Diego Free Press  ...By ignoring modern day slavery to advance the TPP, Obama has given the lie to the rhetoric of TPP advocates with all their bluster about how this trade deal was somehow about a more progressive world order with regard to labor and human rights. "The administration’s alleged willingness to turn a blind eye to trafficking abuses in Malaysia in order to get the TPP done also does not bode well for the hope of any enforcement of labor and environmental provisions were the TPP actually enacted"...
80,000 in Ireland Protest 'Austerity' Water Bills  TeleSUR  ...More than 80,000 Irish protested in Dublin Saturday against the planned introduction of municipal water charges. The massive crowd flooded the Irish capital, with some protesters carrying placards reading, “Scrap fraud water charges or collapse next election.” The march was the fifth major protest against water charges in the past 12 months, organized by the umbrella group of social movements and unions...
Unraveling Why So Many Firefighters Perished in the Tianjin Blast  Slate  ...That so many firefighters would die in the line of duty struck a painful chord in Tianjin and spurred a heart-wrenching search for answers. Government officials and the public are now pushing to find out exactly what happened that night and why. Within days of the blaze, the search for answers started shedding light on a murky business world tied to the trading, transporting, and storing of hazardous chemicals in China...

State & Living Wage Battles
Veto session may feature right to work  News-Press Now  ...Local lawmakers are preparing for a September veto session at the Missouri Capitol, where the contentious right-to-work issue may resurface on their desks. The Missouri General Assembly’s annual session, to consider bills vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon, is set to commence Sept. 16 in Jefferson City...
N.J. Senate prez pushing for paid sick leave law, taxing hospitals  NJ.com  ...State Senate President Stephen Sweeney says he remains committed to passing legislation that would require businesses to provide paid sick days and for nonprofit hospitals to pay property taxes. But he doesn't see either issue gaining momentum until after the Assembly elections in November...
Texas Asks Full Appeals Court to Hear Voter ID Case  Texas Tribune  ...Continuing to protect a voter identification law that courts say discriminates against Hispanics and African Americans, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has asked a full federal appeals court to hear his arguments about why the state’s requirements at the polls do not violate the Voting Rights Act. In a series of filings Friday, the Republican asked the full U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to hear the case...
Is It Game Over for One of America's Most Fanatic Tea Party Governors?  Alternet  ...Maine’s angriest white guy, Tea Party Republican Gov. Paul LePage, may have finally crossed a legal line when he told a charter school to withdraw a job offer to a top Democratic political opponent or else lose a $530,000 state subsidy. That led the legislature’s Government Oversight Committee this summer to unanimously call for an investigation into whether LePage illegally abused his office’s authority...
Emergency rule filed related to prevailing wage changes  Metro News  ...WorkForce West Virginia filed an emergency rule Friday related to changes made in the prevailing wage statute. The rule filed defines the regions of the state to be used in the calculation of prevailing wage, as well as a procedure for those wishing to object to the calculation formula...
Walmart Cuts Workers’ Hours After Raising Its Minimum Wage Earlier This Year  Think Progress  ...After raising the minimum wage for its lowest compensated workers, Walmart is now cutting some workers’ hours to try to trim costs. Store managers were recently told to cut back on hours to reduce costs, which has led to them eliminating hours from the schedule, telling workers to leave their shifts before they end, or having employees take longer lunches, Bloomberg News reports...

U.S. Labor
NLRB Decision Could Mean Excellent News for Fast Food and Other Low-Wage Workers  In These Times  ...In a decision that could greatly improve prospects for workers to form unions in a fast-growing and largely low-wage swath of the U.S. workforce, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) redefined yesterday the standards for determining when more than one firm will be considered “joint employers” of a group of workers. The new standard is largely a return to a broader, more inclusive definition used before the Reagan-era NLRB tightened the rules...
The Pacific Coast Farm-Worker Rebellion  The Nation  ....While the most dramatic protest this year has taken place in Baja California, the same anger is building among indigenous farm workers all along the Pacific Coast, from San Quintín in Mexico to Burlington, an hour south of the US border with Canada. Two years ago Triqui and Mixtec workers struck strawberry fields in Skagit County in Washington State. Two years before that, Triqui workers picking peas in the Salinas Valley rebelled against an inhuman work quota, and immigration raids...
Autoworkers Union Passes Strike Authorization Measure  24/7 Wall St  ...In a procedural vote completed last week, workers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. voted heavily in favor of going on strike against the company if the United Autoworkers Union (UAW) determines that Chrysler has not bargained in good faith. Chrysler and the UAW kicked off new contract negotiations in July, and the union has also started negotiations with Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co...
Pittsburgh Company Looks for Scabs to Work 84 Hours a Week During Steelworker Lockout  Alternet  ...In Pittsburgh, the firm Allegheny Technologies has been involved in a labor dispute with United Steelworkers that has let to 2,000 members being locked out over the course of this month. As Sean Kitchen discovered, the company Storm Engineering, which finds scab workers to break strikes, has placed an ad on Craigslist looking for workers to work 84-hour-week during the lockout...

Social Justice & Other News
Outrage Follows Death of Young Black Man, Jailed for Stealing $5 of Snacks  Common Dreams  ...Heartbreak swelled on Friday afternoon after the news broke that a mentally ill black man from Virginia died in a jail cell on August 19 after spending four months behind bars for allegedly stealing a bottle of Mountain Dew, a Snickers bar, and a Zebra Cake worth a total of $5 from a 7-Eleven. Response on social media reflected growing public awareness—and outrage—about the overlapping scourges of institutionalized racism, a dysfunctional criminal justice system, and a troubling gap in mental health care...
Chris Christie Proposes Tracking Immigrants the Way FedEx Tracks Packages  New York Times  ...Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey said on Saturday that if he were elected president he would combat illegal immigration by creating a system to track foreign visitors the way FedEx tracks packages. Mr. Christie, who is far back in the pack of candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, said at a campaign event in New Hampshire that he would ask the chief executive of FedEx, Frederick W. Smith, to devise the tracking system...