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Today's Teamster News 09.17.15

Teamsters
Bipartisan Coalition Upholds Gov. Nixon Veto of Right-to-Work in Victory for Working Families  Teamster.org  ...Today, a bipartisan group of state legislators in the Missouri House and Senate came together to protect working families by voting to sustain Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of so-called right-to-work legislation. “I would like to thank the state legislators who put aside their partisan differences and came together to uphold Gov. Nixon’s veto,” said Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa...
Teamsters Support Murray-Scott Legislation to Strengthen Worker Protections Under NLRA  Teamster.org  ...The Teamsters applaud today’s introduction of the Workplace Action for a Growing Economy (WAGE) Act by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA). The WAGE Act is a positive step forward, addressing the shortcomings of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) in the areas of workers protections and penalties for employers that violate workers’ rights...
Tucson bus strike ends after union vote  Arizona Daily Star  ...The 42-day Tucson bus strike ended Wednesday when drivers, mechanics and other members of Teamsters Local 104 voted to accept a new contract. The vote was 351-41, an 89 percent approval, said Teamsters Local 104 President Andy Marshall. Everyone gets a raise under the new contract, he said, but he wouldn’t release contract details, saying he didn’t want to inflame opinions...
Bus Strike Ends! The Teamsters Approve Sun Tran's Two-Year Deal  Tucson Weekly  ...With a vote of 351 to 41, the bus drivers and mechanics who have been picketing for six weeks approved a deal between the Teamsters Local Union 104 and Professional Transit Management—the company contracted by the city of Tucson to oversee Sun Tran. The two had reached a tentative agreement early Wednesday morning...

Global Labor & Trade
Obama upbeat on prospects for Pacific trade deal  Reuters  ...U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday he was confident Pacific Rim nations could nail down an agreement on a free-trade pact this year although approval by the U.S. Congress was not guaranteed. Speaking to a group of corporate executives, Obama said trade ministers should soon have an opportunity to close a deal on the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership...
Ministers to reconvene TPP talks in late September  Japan Times  ...Ministers from 12 Pacific Rim countries will meet in late September in Atlanta as they look to conclude years of negotiations on creating one of the world’s biggest free-trade zones, negotiation sources said Thursday. A meeting of chief negotiators from the United States, Japan, Canada and nine other member countries involved in the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership talks will begin from Sept. 26...
Final push for Pacific Rim pact set for end of September  Globe and Mail  ...An effort to land a massive Pacific Rim free trade agreement within weeks is under way, raising the prospect the wide-ranging Trans-Pacific Partnership could dominate the final stretch of the Canadian election campaign. Chief negotiators for the 12 countries involved, including Canada, will begin meeting in Atlanta on Sept. 26...
Chilean Airport Workers Strike, Leave Thousands Stranded  Aviation Pros  ...On the heels of strikes in throughout Europe last month and Seattle just last week, Chilean airport workers have begun a 24-hour strike that has left an estimated 70,000 travelers stranded in the South American country, according to a report from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The airport strike is led by air traffic controllers and ground support staff demanding better retirement benefits...
Worker Rights under Siege at Oil Refinery in Kyrgyzstan  Solidarity Center  ...The recent firing of a union leader at a Chinese-owned oil refinery in Kyrgyzstan is the company’s latest attempt in the past two years to prevent workers from forming a union, according to the global union IndustriALL and workers. Zhanaydar Ahmetov, leader of the trade union committee at China Petrol Company Zhongda was fired and locked out of the plant on August 29, the second union leader dismissed in two years, factory workers say...
Border Force workers strike over wages  Daily Mail  ...Strikes by Department of Immigration and Border Protection employees are expected to cause a week of disruptions at international and domestic airports across the country. The employees, including those from Border Force, began the protected industrial action in Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia on Wednesday and plan more until Wednesday next week. The action comes as Community and Public Sector Union members vote on a proposed enterprise agreement...

State & Living Wage Battles
'Right to work' measure dies in Missouri House  St. Louis Post-Dispatch  ...Applause erupted in the the House chamber Wednesday as Republican leaders' goal to make Missouri the 26th "right to work" state died when members failed to vote to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto. The measure, which prohibits companies from requiring union membership or dues as conditions of employment, was pushed through the legislative session in May as Republicans used aggressive tactics...
Union members relieved after right-to-work legislation fails  Columbia Missourian  ...The Missouri House of Representatives voted 96-63 to uphold the governor's veto, falling 13 votes short of an override. House Bill 116 would have made it illegal for employers to require employees to join a union as a condition of employment. The victory for organized labor was watched closely nationwide. The bill would have made Missouri the 26th right-to-work state in the country, and its failure was cheered by dozens of union members in the House galleries...
Oregon's minimum wage will stay $9.25 in 2016  KATU  ...Oregon's minimum wage will stay the same in 2016. The wage is re-calculated each year because of a state law passed by voters in 2002 that ties it to inflation. The wage will remain stuck at $9.25 this January because it is pegged to the Consumer Price Index, which showed little inflation, Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian said Wednesday. The Legislature considered several bills earlier this year that would have raised the minimum wage — each lacked sufficient support...
Missouri legislators block cities from raising minimum wage  Business Journal  ...Missouri legislators voted Wednesday to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a measure to stop municipalities from raising minimum wages above the ceiling set by the state. The Missouri House voted 114-46, and later in the day the Senate voted 23-9 to override the veto. That exceeded the two-thirds majority needed to override the Democratic governor's July veto of House Bill 722...
California Workers Could See More Protection Against Wage Theft  RH Reality Check  ...While California has some of the strongest wage theft laws in the country, regulators have little authority to enforce those laws. That may change after a bill passed last week by the Democratic-led state legislature. SB 588, sponsored by Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), would give the California labor commissioner such authority...
Bill seeks to raise minimum wage to $15 per hour in Florida  Click Orlando  ...As the debate over minimum wage continues across the country, two local bills could soon change the minimum wage in Florida. Two Florida state senators on Thursday will call on legislators to sign bills that would raise the minimum wage in the state to $15 per hour. Both bills would nearly double the state's current minimum wage, which is $8.05...

U.S. Labor
Seattle teachers back in the classroom after tentative deal ends strike  Daily Kos   ...Seattle teachers went back to work Wednesday to prepare for schools to open on Thursday after the Seattle Education Association and school district management reached a tentative deal to end the teachers strike that delayed the scheduled start of the school year. The teachers were pushing for improved pay after six years without a cost of living increase, as well as for mandatory recess, equity teams in all schools, and limits on the influence of standardized testing...
FCA-UAW contract sets new wage range for 2nd tier  Detroit Free Press  ...Both new and longtime autoworkers at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles represented by the UAW will receive wage increases under a new four-year contract if they vote to ratify it in the coming weeks, the Free Press has learned. A new tentative agreement between the UAW and Fiat Chrysler would set a new wage range for entry-level workers of more than $17 an hour to more than $25 per hour over a period of several years...
Healthcare Workers at Chapman Global Medical Center Vote to Join SEIU-UHW  OC Weekly  ...In a surprisingly quick campaign, hundreds of healthcare workers at Chapman Global Medical Center in Orange decided to unionize. The vote to join the Service Employee International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) passed Tuesday by a dominating three-to-one margin. Two-hundred and twenty nurses, cooks, medical records clerks, janitors and others will now experience the benefits of being in a union...
Labor law has been frozen for 60 years. Democrats are trying to crack it open.  Washington Post  ...A new attempt by Democrats to boost worker bargaining power has a lot of failure behind it. The American workplace has changed a whole lot over the past half century. But the major law that governs how workers and employees interact — the National Labor Relations Act — has been essentially frozen since 1947, when the law was reformed to constrain worker power. Liberal legislators are trying to make the law a tool for collective action again...
How Unions Boost Democratic Participation  American Prospect  ...As part of ongoing research, James Feigenbaum, an economics PhD candidate at Harvard, ran a regression using American National Election Studies data suggesting that union members are about 4 percentage points more likely to vote and 3 points more likely to register (after controlling for demographic factors) and individuals living in a union household are 2.5 points more likely to vote and register...
America’s Poverty Problem Hasn’t Changed  The Atlantic  ...On Wednesday, the Census Bureau released its latest data on income and poverty for the country, and despite a falling unemployment rate and a rising GDP—two promising macroeconomic signs—things haven’t improved all that much for American families in the past year. America’s poverty problem is basically the same. So the biggest news in the data dump was the shifting methodology behind it all...

Social Justice & Other News 
'Perilously' Outdated Voting Machines Threaten 2016 Election, Report Finds  Common Dreams  ...Electronic voting machines in 43 states are at least a decade old, "perilously close to the end of most systems' expected lifespan," and could pose a risk to the 2016 election, a new study from the the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law finds. After a 10 month probe that included interviews with over 100 election officials and experts in every state, the investigators concluded that the threat also extends to "significant percentages of machines" in swing states...
#NoHateDebate: GOP candidates met with protest over their anti-immigrant rants  RT  ...Hours before Republican presidential candidates are to clash in a televised debate, dozens of protesters rallied in Los Angeles to express their anger over GOP rhetoric on immigration. The rally occupied streets near the Ronald Reagan Library, where the debate is to start at 8 p.m. EST. Some of the protesters got their anger out on a giant effigy of the leading candidate Donald Trump, slapping and punching it...
Many Jails Are Illegal Debtors' Prisons  Truthout  ...Congress outlawed debtors' prisons nearly 200 years ago. Since then, federal courts have made it clear that indigent people can not be jailed for being unable to pay legal debts. Still, legal advocates estimate that thousands of low-income people in the South and across the United States are illegally jailed every year because they are unable to pay off legal debts to municipal courts, even when they are trying hard to do so. Debtors' prison practices have an especially heavy impact on communities of color...
Arrest of Muslim Teen for Bringing Clock to School 'Inevitable Byproduct of Culture of Fear'  Common Dreams  ...A Muslim teen with dreams of becoming an engineer brought a clock he made to his Texas high school on Monday. Then this happened: the teen, 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed, sporting a NASA t-shirt, was arrested, handcuffed, and suspended for three days. The ACLU says the arrest has sparked questions about racial profiling...
Huckabee Says Kim Davis Should Be Able To Discriminate Because Muslim Inmates Can Grow Beards  Think Progress  ...Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has been the most vocal supporter of Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk jailed for refusing to issue same-sex marriages licenses. He has said he would go to jail on her behalf and has used her situation to argue for strengthening “religious liberty.” But during Wednesday night’s GOP debate, he proved he doesn’t actually understand the meaning of religious freedom...

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