Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 09.16.15

Teamsters
Labor Department Awards Teamsters $4.6 Million Training Grant  Teamster.org  ...The Teamsters Safety and Health Department has been awarded a $4.6 million grant by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to establish apprenticeship programs for workers in the trucking industry. The grant will be awarded over a five-year funding cycle. The DOL published a Notice of Funding Opportunity in the fall of 2014 in an effort to develop a trained workforce in industries that are deemed critical to the U.S. economy...
Bus operator to dissolve ‘sham’ union, in agreement with Teamsters  SF Examiner  ...Bauer’s Intelligent Transportation will dissolve its “sham” company union and allow local Teamsters to proceed with organizing employees of the bus company. That’s according to an agreement revealed by a formal settlement stipulation issued Monday by the National Labor Relations Board’s Local Region 20...
Tucson Teamster bus strikers standing strong  FightBack News  ...Nearly 500 members of the Teamsters Local 104 entered day 40 of their strike against Sun Tran Management. Bus drivers, mechanics and service island operators cite unaddressed safety concerns and undelivered pay increases as the reasons for the strike. Sun Tran Management is operated by Transdev, a corporation with a track record of union busting and using scab labor. Transdev is also a subsidiary of Veolia, one of the world’s largest water privatizers...
LA port truckers strike grows, drivers demanding employee classification status  CCJ  ...Truckers picketing Pacific 9 Transportation have been joined by drivers from two other Southern California drayage companies as Pac 9 enters its 10th week of strike. Carrying “We Are All Employees” signs, the recently unionized Shippers Transport Express and Eco Flo Transportation joined the protest at Pac 9’s Carson headquarters...

Global Labor & Trade
What's Going On With the TPP?  Truthout  ...At this late stage of negotiations, the US Trade Representative (USTR) has pretty much abandoned all remaining pretense of transparency in its consideration of these remaining policy issues. Since the failure to conclude the deal at the meeting in Hawaii over the summer, the USTR has held several closed-door meetings between high-level officials to finalize the agreement and it is under intensifying pressure to finish it off as soon as possible...
Senators: Address China Currency Manipulation in TPP  Roll Call  ...With Chinese President Xi Jinping due at the White House next week, seven senators are making a new push against currency manipulation. The lawmakers, led by Republican Rob Portman and Democrat Sherrod Brown of Ohio, want to see currency devaluation addressed as part of the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks, citing recent moves by both Vietnam and South Korea in response to China’s adjusting the value of its currency, the yuan...
Conservatives rush to resolve TPP auto-parts impasse before election  Globe and Mail  ...Stephen Harper finds himself in the toughest spot so far in negotiations to clinch a Pacific Rim trade deal, with Japan seemingly unwilling to bend on provisions that could sideswipe Canadian auto-sector jobs and with time running out for a deal before the Oct. 19 election. Efforts to create a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade bloc stretching from Chile to Japan hit a wall in Hawaii this summer after Canada and Mexico balked at import rules for vehicle imports...
EU proposes special dispute court for US trade deal  Yahoo  ...The European Union on Wednesday proposed a special court to resolve any disputes arising from a planned huge trade deal with the United States, instead of the widely criticized private tribunals that Washington wants. EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said there was huge public skepticism about the previous dispute resolution plans, the most controversial element of the massive TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) deal with the United States...
New U.K. Opposition Leader Vows to Fight Austerity, Antiunion Legislation  Wall Street Journal  ...Jeremy Corbyn, the new far-left leader of the U.K.’s main opposition Labour Party, pledged to fight public-spending cuts and government efforts to curb trade-union powers as he sought to rally his deeply divided party. In his first policy speech as leader, Mr. Corbyn labeled the governing center-right Conservatives as “poverty deniers” and said a more equal Britain wasn’t a far-fetched dream...
Petrobras Oil Output May Face Interruptions If Workers Strike  Bloomberg  ...Oil production in Brazil may be interrupted if Petroleo Brasileiro SA workers decide to strike for an extended period, said Deyvid Bacelar, the company’s board member representing workers. Workers may decide whether to go on strike as soon as Friday, Bacelar, who is also an oil union coordinator in the state of Bahia, said in an interview Tuesday...
A Migration Juggernaut Is Headed for Europe  New York Times  ...European leaders probably don’t want to hear this now, as they frantically try to close their borders to stop hundreds of thousands of desperate migrants and asylum seekers escaping hunger and violence in Africa and the Middle East. But they are dealing with the unstoppable force of demography...

State & Living Wage Battles
Missouri right to work issue continues Wednesday  KMBZ  ...The Missouri General Assembly starts it's veto session Wednesday. The main issue is Right to Work. Legislators passed a bill to eliminate workplace contracts with mandatory union fees. Governor Jay Nixon vetoed it, and has been campaigning to keep the veto "off the critical list.There is more talk about Missouri's need for skilled workers, than about Right to Work, said Nixon...
Sponsor may drop 'right to work' union measure in Oregon after adverse legal ruling  Oregon Live  ...The sponsor of a proposed ballot measure aimed at making union dues voluntary for public employees may well drop the initiative after receiving a politically unpalatable ballot title. Portland attorney Jill Gibson said she is leaning toward abandoning the proposal after the Oregon Supreme Court upheld a ballot description that will make the measure harder to sell to voters...
Group seeking repeal of prevailing wage law submits signatures  Michigan Radio  ...A group called Protecting Michigan Taxpayers wants to repeal Michigan's 50-year-old prevailing wage law. It recently turned in to the Secretary of State about 391,000 signatures collected in a petition drive to repeal Michigan's law which requires workers on state-financed construction projects to be paid prevailing union-scale wages...
Wage Theft Penalties Would Be Increased Under New Bill  Wisconsin Public Radio  ...The Senate's labor committee is considering a bill that would increase penalties for employers who illegally withhold wages from their workers and make it easier for workers to win wage claims filed with the state. The bill makes changes to current law that protects employees from what is commonly called "wage theft," comprising everything from forcing people to work off the clock to paying workers less than minimum wage...
Dozens gather in Mountain Brook to protest bill blocking Birmingham minimum wage hike  AL.com  ...Supporters of a higher minimum wage gathered in Mountain Brook Village Tuesday to protest a bill by one state lawmaker to block Birmingham's wage hike. Dozens chanted and marched in suburban Mountain Brook because it's the home of Republican state Rep. David Faulkner, who proposed a bill to prevent cities from setting a minimum wage for private employers...
Taxpayer tab for changes to voting laws tops $8 million  Express News  ...Republicans used their majority in 2011 to muscle through the Legislature a controversial voter ID law and new redistricting maps — and Texas taxpayers haven’t stopped picking up the bill for the state to defend those measures in courts ever since. Texas’ total legal tab to date: more than $8 million, data obtained under the state’s Public Information Act show...

U.S. Labor
Striking Seattle Teachers to Return to Classroom  ABC  ...Seattle teachers ended a weeklong strike and headed to their classrooms Wednesday after winning a 9.5 percent pay raise over three years, mandatory 30-minute recesses for elementary students, a longer school day and more say over standardized tests. The union's board of directors and representative assembly voted Tuesday evening to suspend the strike and urged the 5,000 members to approve the three-year deal...
UAW, Fiat Chrysler strike tentative labor pact  Market Watch  ...The United Auto Workers union has struck a tentative deal with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV that will eventually remove a controversial two-tier wage system that saw newer hires paid less than their mo re-experienced co-workers, according to people familiar with the agreement. Under the current arrangement, newer employees earn about $9 an hour less than more senior factory employees...
Elizabeth Warren Wants To Stop Companies From Checking Your Credit Before They Hire You  Think Progress  ...They’re riddled with errors. They’re difficult to correct. And they may be keeping you from getting a job. But a spotty credit report could cease being a reason for employers to reject applicants, if legislation introduced Tuesday by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) becomes law...
Scott Walker Is Down in the Polls. His Strategy To Climb Back Up: More Union-Busting.  In These Times  ...Having plummeted in the presidential primary polls, Walker needs to figure out a way to stand out in the pack, and he has apparently decided that running hard against labor unions and their “bosses” can endear him to many blue-collar voters as well as such billionaire backers as the Koch brothers...
CA farm workers allege wage theft, bad working conditions  WDAM  ...Wage theft and dangerous working conditions are abuses that often happen to farm workers in Santa Barbara County, according to a survey from an advocacy group. It released a report filled with analysis from a survey it conducted over the past couple of months. The group CAUSE, or Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy, said all of the data comes from farm workers in Santa Barbara County...
50 years ago, Cesar Chavez led a crusade to unite and empower farmworkers  LA Times  ...On  a Thursday night 50 years ago, at the height of the table grape harvest in California's Central Valley, hundreds of Mexican American farmworkers crowded expectantly into a Delano church hall. They were tired of being treated like disposable farm tools. Tired of being cheated out of even their meager wages. Tired of watching their mothers and sisters humiliated and harassed. Tired of being stripped of dignity. Tired of being invisible...

Social Justice & Other News
Mass Incarceration Has Become the New Welfare  The Atlantic  ...Mass incarceration is not just (or even mainly) a response to crime, but rather a perverse form of social spending that uses state power to address a host of social problems at the back end, from poverty to drug addiction to misbehavior in school. These are problems that voters, taxpayers, and politicians—especially white voters, taxpayers, and politicians—seem unwilling to address in any other way...
A Man Who’s Probably Innocent Will Die Today, And Lawyers Can’t Save Him  Think Progress  ...Eighteen years after the murder of motel owner Barry Van Treese, there is no concrete evidence to suggest Oklahoma death row inmate Richard Glossip was involved in the crime. According to witnesses, the actual killer, Justin Sneed, has repeatedly bragged about setting his former boss up by pinning him as the mastermind behind Treese’s murder. Still, after a long battle to prove his innocence and have his sentence overturned, Glossip will be executed by lethal injection Wednesday afternoon...
The Ugly Message of Trump-Mania  Slate  ...Trump is a sideshow, and in the presence of his personality, it’s easy to overlook the ugliness behind his campaign. But it’s there, a debased successor to the nationalist white resentment of Pat Buchanan and George Wallace. And although spectators may miss it, it’s more than clear for the targets of his xenophobia, and the people who hate them...

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