Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 09.11.15

Teamsters
Hoffa Joins Congressional Leaders, Retirees at Rally to Stop Pension Cuts  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa joined Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), retiree advocates and hundreds of retirees on Capitol Hill today to call on Congress to protect the earned retirement benefits of millions of American retirees and workers. The “Keep Our Pension Promises Act” (KOPPA), sponsored by Sen. Sanders and Rep. Kaptur, would protect workers and retirees from cuts to their earned retirement benefits...
BMWED/Teamsters Organizes Maintenance of Way Workers On Indiana Railroad  Teamster.org  ...Twenty-four maintenance of way employees with The Indiana Railroad Company are the newest members of the BMWED, a division of the Teamsters Rail Conference, voting in a super-majority Sept. 2 to join our Union. The results of the vote were certified by the National Mediation Board Sept. 3. The new members are now a part of the BMWED's Allied Federation...
First Contract For Teamsters At Engineered Wire Products  Teamster.org  ...After voting to be represented by Teamsters Local 377 in Youngstown, Ohio, in March, more than 25 workers at Engineered Wire Products recently ratified their first collective bargaining agreement. The company produces rebar used in cement construction projects as well as specialty wire products for other uses in the industry...
Fresh from car-hauler talks, Teamsters back UAW  JOC  ...The Teamsters union is lending its horsepower to United Auto Workers Union efforts to secure a contract for more than 140,000 workers employed by the largest U.S. automakers. International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa promised on Labor Day that unionized car-haulers will support the UAW if the union calls a strike against any of Detroit's Big Three car makers...
Building Trades’ Bill to End Wage Disparities for CA Cement Drivers Clears Senate  We Party Patriots  ...By a 24-13 tally the California State Senate voted in favor of Assembly Bill 219, which closes loopholes that previously exempted some drivers of ready-mixed concrete from receiving the prevailing wage on public works projects.  The bill was introduced by Assemblymember Tom Daly (D-Anaheim) and was sponsored by the State Building Trades, the Teamsters, and the California Labor Federation...
Union Pushes for Fair Efficiency Standards at Coca-Cola Warehouses in Chicago, Alsip  Local 727  ...Teamsters Local 727 will continue to fight any discipline Reyes management issues for not complying with efficiency standards until the union’s engineers complete independent testing at the Great Lakes Coca-Cola Division Chicago and Alsip warehouses. Local 727 submitted a request to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters asking for engineers to perform efficiency standards tests at the two locations, and now the union is waiting for the testing dates...

Global Labor & Trade
Senators urge hard line on auto trade talks  The Detroit News  ...Three senators urged the Obama administration to win more concessions for automakers as 12-nation trade talks may be getting closer to a deal. U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, wrote U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman urging the administration to take a hard line on auto issues in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The three urge him to negotiate an agreement that keeps U.S. tariffs on Japanese cars and trucks...
Trans-Pacific Partnership slammed by Unifor  CBC  ...The Trans-Pacific Partnership would kill Canadian auto jobs says Unifor, the union that represents thousands of autoworkers in this country. The TPP is a proposed agreement between not only the 12 Pacific Rim countries at the table, but others who could join later - countries like China, India or the Philippines. In June, the prime minister called the deal "essential" for Canada...
NAFTA risks becoming collateral damage in Obama’s geopolitical plans  Globe and Mail  ...U.S. negotiators recently left their Canadian and Mexican counterparts gobsmacked by a proposal that would allow auto parts with as little as 30-per-cent content from Trans-Pacific Partnership countries to enter North America tariff-free, a development that would reverse two decades of supply-chain integration on this continent and undermine the billions of dollars suppliers have invested in plants in Canada and Mexico...
The TPP Will Finish What Chile’s Dictatorship Started  The Nation  ...The global rentier class that enriches itself off the neoliberal property-rights regime had, a decade ago, hoped to lock-down Latin America under the hemisphere-wide Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA). But that scheme fell apart with the return of Latin America’s post-Washington Consensus left. So Washington came back with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-country treaty—including Chile, Peru, and Mexico—vigorously promoted by the Obama administration...
Uruguay’s Vazquez Casts Doubt on Services Trade Pact  Herald Tribune  ...President Tabare Vazquez, who pulled Uruguay out of negotiations on the proposed international Trade in Services Agreement, known as TISA, said Thursday the accord may never become a reality. “Let’s try to describe things as they are,” Vazquez said to reporters. “TISA does not exist"...
Anti-Union Violence in Honduras: Sixth Time this Year  Solidarity Center  ...A second Honduran union leader and participant in the Network Against Anti-Union Violence in Honduras has been threatened with death if he does not stop his union-related work, according to the human rights group Aci Participa. Tomás Membreño Pérez, president of the agricultural workers union, Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Agroindustria (STAS), received death threats by phone and on Facebook in recent days...
Ford workers strike at Brazil factory to protest job cuts  Automotive News  ...Workers at a Ford Motor Co. plant in Brazil began an open-ended strike on Thursday to protest job cuts, adding to labor tensions that have rattled the country's auto industry in the midst of its worst crisis in nearly two decades. The local metalworkers union said about 4,300 employees at Ford's Sao Bernardo do Campo plant, which makes trucks and compact passenger cars, went on strike...

State & Living Wage Battles
New York OKs $15 minimum wage for fast-food workers  USA Today  ...New York state will gradually raise the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $15 an hour — the first time any state has set the minimum that high. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration formally approved the increase Thursday, a move the Democratic governor announced at a labor rally with Vice President Joe Biden. Cuomo said he would work to pass legislation setting a $15 minimum for all industries...
Nixon announces drop in workers compensation rates  St. Louis Public Radio  ...Missouri businesses can expect to pay less for workers compensation insurance. During a visit to Nelson Mulligan Carpenters Training Center in Affton on Thursday, Gov. Jay Nixon announced that a variety of Missouri businesses would see a drop in their workers comp rates. Companies pay for this insurance to avoid paying big costs when a worker gets hurt. he highest decrease will come in the contracting industry, which Nixon attributed to investments in worker safety...
Dozens of workers to strike at Sea-Tac Airport Friday over minimum wage  Seattle Times  ...Dozens of baggage handlers, cabin cleaners and others who work for Menzies Aviation at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport are expected to walk off their jobs Friday, protesting what they call unfair labor practices and demanding to be paid a $15 minimum wage. Menzies is a contractor for Alaska Airlines, providing ramp agents, baggage handlers, and other such service workers...
Could a Backroom Political Deal Stop Prevailing Wage Repeal?  CapCon  ...Unions are trying to cut a deal with business groups to prevent a repeal of the state’s prevailing wage law, according to a news account out of Lansing. The idea is that business groups would use their influence on Republican lawmakers to halt a repeal measure that is likely to succeed in exchange for the unions dropping a proposed ballot initiative to nearly double the state’s main business tax...
Puerto Rican government unveils anti-worker austerity plan  WSWS.org  ...On Wednesday September 9, Governor Alejandro Padilla announced his government’s plan to deal with Puerto Rico’s historic debt crisis. The plan is a frontal attack on education, health care, jobs and living standards. The five-year plan, elaborated by Padilla and the Popular Party government, contains an extensive series of budget cuts to deal with the Island’s $72 billion public debt...
Scott Walker's Day One Plan to "Wreak Havoc" Lifted from ALEC  PR Watch  ...If Scott Walker is elected president, he will enact American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) policies on the first day of his presidency. Walker was an ALEC member as a state legislator, and according to outlets like The Guardian, Walker could be "The First ALEC President." In a speech today at Eureka College, Walker pledged to "wreak some havoc on Washington," and promised his first day in office would be "one of the busiest the White House has seen in years"...
John Kasich Was Against Poor People Before He Was for Them  Mother Jones  ...The tax policies Kasich has championed and implemented since he was elected governor in 2010 left Ohio's low-income folks worse off than they were decades ago. His economic policies have led to growing inequality in a state that should be in recovery. Median household incomes began falling in 2007 and continued to drop during Kasich's governorship...

U.S. Labor
Haggen employees' union prepared to fight to keep contract  Bellingham Herald  ...The union representing Haggen’s employees says it will fight to keep its contract as the company reorganizes after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In a letter sent to Haggen employees Wednesday night, Sept. 9, UFCW 21 President Todd Crosby said the union is coordinating effors for all the local chapters up and down the West Coast in order to have a focused response and keeping a united front...
'Won't Back Down': Seattle Teacher Strike Continues for Third Day  Common Dreams  ...'The teachers remain on strike. The picket lines are united. And support among parents is strong.' That is the latest message from Seattle Education Association on Friday as classes were cancelled for the third day with the continuation of the strike which is demanding an unfreezing of wages, the end of unreasonable standardized testing for students, a more fair evaluation system for teachers, and new policies to increase equity of opportunity for the student body...
AFSCME, Rauner reach another deal to keep talking  Illinois News Network  ...Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration and the state’s biggest public-employee union have reached their third pact to continue contract talks without threat of strike or lockout. This time, the extension or tolling agreement does not include an end date. Instead, both the administration and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 agree to stay at the table until they reach impasse...
UAW contract negotiations are getting down to the wire  Business Journal  ...The current collective bargaining agreement between the United Automobile Workers and Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Chrysler is set to expire Sept. 14, and the parties appear calm and confident even though there still hasn’t been a lead company named for the negotiations. The UAW typically chooses one of the three automakers to serve as the lead for negotiations...
SEIU jubilant over proposed labor contract with Oregon public universities  Register-Guard  ...Some 1,600 University of Oregon classified employees will receive 2.25 percent pay increases this year and next, and many will also receive annual so-called “step” increases of up to 4.9 percent, under a tentative deal announced Thursday. The deal covers 4,400 classified employees in more than 270 types of jobs at the state’s seven public universities, including the UO...
Union president voices concerns over potential RFTA negotiator  Aspen Daily News  ...The president of a local transit union went before the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority Board on Thursday morning to voice the group’s displeasure with the potential hiring of controversial chief negotiator in upcoming collective bargaining talks. The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1774 is seeking quicker wage progression for its members...

Social Justice & Other News
Most Americans differ with Trump on immigration, poll shows  NJ.com  ...Does illegal immigration lead to more violent crime? Should the U.S. build a wall to keep unauthorized immigrants out? While GOP front-runner Donald Trump has argued both questions get a resounding "yes," a new poll by Monmouth University finds most Americans see it differently than the real estate tycoon...
Dems filibuster Iran vote  The Hill  ...Senate Democrats held ranks Thursday and blocked a resolution disapproving the Iran nuclear deal, handing President Obama a major political victory. Only a few months earlier, some Senate opponents of the deal predicted they would be able to muster 67 votes to override a presidential veto...
As Refugee Aid Falters, European Leaders Pursue Military Action at Sea  Common Dreams  ...As their humanitarian response to the ongoing refugee crisis falters, European leaders are pressing the United Nations Security Council to authorized an escalated military force to pursue so-called "human smugglers" in the Mediterranean Sea's international waters. The effort to advance the draft resolution is, according to Foreign Policy, being led by Britain, whose government has come under fire for "turning its back" on people seeking refuge...
California Police Ransacked Public Apartments Without Warrants Under ‘Neighborhood Blitz’ Program  Think Progress  ...In an invasive, war-like operation known as the Neighborhood Blitz, police officers in Stockton, California illegally searched the apartments of poor minorities and physically disabled people, according to a class action lawsuit filed Wednesday. Under the guise of standard housing inspections, armed officers routinely burst into homes with little to no warning, ransacked the premises without warrants...
Robert Reich: Americans Obsess Over the Sex Lives of Strangers While CEOs Rob the Country Blind  Alternet  ...At a time many Republican presidential candidates and state legislators are furiously focusing on private morality – what people do in their bedrooms, contraception, abortion, gay marriage – America is experiencing a far more significant crisis in public morality. CEOs of large corporations now earn 300 times the wages of average workers. Insider trading is endemic on Wall Street, where hedge-fund and private-equity moguls are taking home hundreds of millions...
The Government Might Finally Get Tough on Wall Street Fraud   The Atlantic  ...On Wednesday, the Justice Department issued a new policy regarding the prosecution of white-collar criminals. Amid post-recession complaints from the public that the Wall Street executives responsible for the crash escaped criminal charges and jail time—and that in these seven years Wall Street hasn’t cleaned up its act—the new policy prioritizes the prosecution of executives involved in fraud...

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