Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 09.03.15

Teamsters
Teamsters Launch: 'Let's Get America Working!'  Teamster.org  ...Today, the Teamsters Union launched the “Let’s Get America Working!” campaign to encourage both Democratic and Republican lawmakers to work together to focus on creating good jobs through investment in our infrastructure. Representatives from the Teamsters delivered packets to the offices of every member of Congress today that outlined the key areas the union believes lawmakers must focus on to help build, maintain and repair our infrastructure...
Teamster Skyway Toll Collectors Stand Together to Secure New Contract  Teamster.org  ...Chicago Skyway toll collectors stood together to secure a new three-year contract that gives them a living wage and critical new job protections. The workers ratified the agreement on Sept. 2. “Because our members stood together and made their voices heard, the union and our bargaining committee were able to stay strong throughout these difficult contract negotiations,” said John Coli Jr., President of Teamsters Local 727...
NLRB Determines Funeral Industry Giant SCI Violated Labor Laws  Local 727  ...Region 13 of the National Labor Relations determined that funeral industry giant Service Corporation International (SCI) and SCI d/b/a Alderwoods violated labor laws by failing to provide relevant information on myriad issues to Teamsters Local 727. The NLRB ordered the company to post a notice at locations managed by SCI or SCI d/b/a Alderwoods locations...
Local 727 Fights Management’s Mistreatment of Coca-Cola Workers  Local 727  ...Teamsters Local 727 is fighting Reyes management’s attempts to renege on its agreement to give “clean slates” to hundreds of workers after assuming operations at the Great Lakes Coca-Cola Chicago and Alsip locations. “The union vehemently opposes the company’s bad faith actions, and we are fighting this tooth-and-nail,” said John Coli Jr., President of Local 727...
More Than 80 Groups Call on UPS to Leave American Legislative Exchange Council  Teamster.org  ...A broad-based coalition of 84 organizations has written a letter urging the United Parcel Service (UPS) to cease its membership to the controversial American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The religious, environmental, labor, investor, public interest, public health, and civil rights groups encouraged UPS join a mass exodus of companies that left ALEC over concerns about the organization’s extreme agenda and secretive practices...
Teamsters upset about Craigslist ads for Sun Tran drivers  Tucson News  ...Ads recently posted on Craigslist for temporary drivers during the Sun Tran strike are causing controversy. The Teamsters Local 104 Union held a press conference on Wednesday to express their concern that ads were posted in several cities across the country looking for bus drivers to fill their positions during the bus strike...

Global Labor & Trade
Canada scuttles Australia’s TPP bid  Macro Business  ...When final negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement failed in Hawaii in late-July, proponents of the deal were hopeful that negotiators could come together and strike-up a deal by the end of August. With that date now passed, it looks as if the TPP could finally be ‘dead and buried’ – a view confirmed today via The Australian Dairy Farmer, which claims that Canada’s refusal to give ground on dairy protection has helped scuttle the deal...
How Washington Put Economics Ahead of Human Rights  Foreign Affairs  ...Credible reports from Reuters citing whistleblowers from within the State Department suggest that, for Malaysia, the upgrade to the Tier 2 Watch List had everything to do with the Trans-Pacific Partnership. When the bill authorizing Trade Promotion Authority passed, it contained a section authored by New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez that ruled that any trade agreement that included a country on Tier 3 of the TIP Report would not be eligible for Fast-Track status...
Big business-funded committee must not influence TTIP talks, says campaigner  RT.com  ...Secretive EU-US trade negotiations that could enable corporations to sue governments were infiltrated by a British committee that peddles the interests of the City of London while bypassing parliament, it has emerged. Academic and campaigner Linda Kaucher, who has long criticized the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) treaty, said the negotiations are heavily influenced by Big Tobacco and British financiers...
Local councils are starting to tear strips off TTIP  OpenDemocracy  ...An exciting new front is emerging in the battle against TTIP, harnessing the energy of grassroots groups to push opposition to the corporate power grab up the political food chain via the power of local councils. In the UK and across Europe, TTIP Free Zones are popping up like people power mushrooms...
Millions of Indian workers strike against ‘anti-labor policies’  Aljazeera  ...Millions of Indian workers launched a 24-hour strike on Wednesday against what they said were Prime Minister Narendra Modi's “anti-labor policies,” prompting billions of dollars in economic losses. The unions — which represent a wide range of industries, from banking to coal mining — are demanding the government dump plans to sell off stakes in state-run companies...
Bangladesh Garment Workers Win Factory Improvements   Solidarity Center  ...Garment workers at Sin Sin Poly factory in Bangladesh’s export processing zone (EPZ) won increased pay and leave benefits in August after forming a workers’ welfare association and successfully negotiating with management. Mehedi Hasan, 35, was among workers helping form the association. When Mehedi began work at the factory, where he was hired to make plastic and polyethlene bags,  he says instead he was asked to perform janitorial duties...

State & Living Wage Battles
Future of Missouri 'right to work' bill uncertain  St. Louis Post-Dispatch  ...With less than two weeks until the September veto session, House Republican leaders still are not sure if they will try to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of the controversial “right to work” bill. The measure, which prohibits union membership as a condition of employment, caused quite a ruckus at the end of the Legislative session in May...
Nearly 1.5 Million IL Workers Could Benefit From A $12 Federal Minimum Wage  Progress Illinois  ...Of the nearly 1.5 million workers in Illinois who could be impacted directly or indirectly by the Raise the Wage Act, more than half are women and over two-thirds are at least 25 years old. More than one-third of African-American and Hispanic Illinois workers would see a raise, as would 38 percent of single moms in the state...
Texas Two-Steps All Over Voting Rights  Slate  ...Now Texas has upped the ante, arguing that if Section 2 indeed makes its voter ID law illegal, then Section 2 violates the Constitution. That means the other great statutory protection of minority voting rights would suffer the same fate as the preclearance provision and leave minority voters with few protections from unwarranted new voting hurdles...
Nikki Haley defends voter ID laws as “not racist,” ignoring overwhelming evidence  AmericaBlog  ...At the National Press Club earlier today, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley reportedly asserted that voter ID laws are “not racist.” Because apparently she hasn’t ever Googled “disparate impact test.” South Carolina’s voter ID law, in particular, was racist enough to get it blocked by the Department of Justice. According to the agency, minority voters in the state were 20 percent less likely than white voters to have the types of ID required under the law...

U.S. Labor
Wages Have Been Stagnant For 40 Years But It’s Not The Fault Of American Workers   Think Progress  ...Americans keep working harder and producing more economic growth. But they’re not getting rewarded with any extra pay for it, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). As the report’s authors write, “For decades following the end of World War II, inflation-adjusted hourly compensation for the vast majority of American workers rose in line with increases in economy-wide productivity.” But that link was severed starting in 1973...
The Rebellion Against Standardized Tests Is Exploding  The Nation  ...Progressive educators and teachers unions have rallied around opt-out in their increasingly militant resistance to corporate-style education reforms: anti-testing civil disobedience is a symbolic challenge to the ideology of “accountability”-based school policies, from rigid curriculum mandates to expansion of charter schools...
UAW Pitches Health-Care Co-op to Car Makers  Wall Street Journal  ...The United Auto Workers union is pushing Detroit car makers to put all their employees under one health-care umbrella, creating a powerful purchasing group that could upend traditional health care markets. The union’s idea would create a joint purchasing group for the three largest U.S. auto makers that would cover factory and white-collar workers and union-affiliated retirees...
Al Jazeera America Digital Journalists Unionize  Huffingtoin Post  ...Digital journalists at Al Jazeera America have voted to unionize, joining a growing number of digital newsrooms that have organized in recent months. ince June, Gawker, Salon, Guardian US and writers at Vice Media have all organized. Al Jazeera America, like Guardian US, is represented by NewsGuild-CWA...
A Whole Lot Of California Farmworkers Are Landing In The Hospital. Why?  Think Progress  ...As the west coast grapples with a mixture of drought and heat waves, heat-related illnesses among farm workers has continued to persist. Particularly in Caifornia where 70 percent of the state is classified in a state of “exceptional” or “extreme” drought, heat waves are becoming more severe due to higher humidity and warmer nighttime temperatures...
Your Cheap Uber Rides May Be Going Away. And That's a Good Thing.  Mother Jones  ...On Tuesday, a federal judge in San Francisco awarded class-action status to a lawsuit in which three Uber drivers contend they are employees, not independent contractors. If they win the lawsuit, the drivers must be reimbursed by the company for gas, workers compensation, and other benefits. Uber has said losing the suit, which could involve 15,000 of its former drivers, might force it to fundamentally rethink its business model...

Social Justice & Other News
After Mass Hunger Strikes & Lawsuits, Prisoners Force California to Scale Back Solitary Confinement  Democracy Now  ...In a major victory for prisoners’ rights, California has agreed to greatly reduce the use of solitary confinement as a part of a legal settlement that may have major implications in prisons nationwide. The decision on Tuesday came following years of litigation by a group of prisoners held in isolation for a decade or more at Pelican Bay State Prison, as well as prisoner hunger strikes...
Chicago Hunger Strikers Bring The Fight To Keep Their School Open To Washington D.C.  Think Progress  ...Last month, 12 parents and community members decided to go on a hunger strike to protest the closure of Dyett High School in Chicago. Dyett High School is slated to shut its doors by the 2015-16 school year but the hunger strikers advocate converting the high school into the Global Leadership and Green Technology High School instead. Now, in their 17th day of going without solid foods, they’re bringing the protest to Washington D.C...
The Freddie Gray Pre-Trial Begins  The Atlantic  ...Baltimore has found itself the focus of media attention once again as the first hearing for six officers charged with the death of Freddie Gray—who was killed in police custody in April—began Wednesday morning. Baltimore City Court Judge Barry Glenn Williams denied two significant motions for the pre-trial hearings...