Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News 09.21.15

Teamsters
Teamsters to FedEx: ‘Stop Paying Executives' Personal Taxes'  Teamster.org  ...Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), the nation’s leading proxy voting advisor, recommends FedEx shareholders vote for a Teamster-sponsored shareholder proposal aimed at reforming the company’s executive compensation. The proposal urges the company to stop paying the personal taxes on behalf of the senior executive officers...
Local 727 Tackles Unjust Treatment of Beverage Industry Members  Local 727  ...Since Teamsters Local 727 began representing more than 1,500 beverage industry members earlier this year, the union has won dozens of grievances relating to discipline and terminations, holiday pay, attendance, overtime, seniority and other issues. In total, Local 727 representatives have filed nearly 150 grievances for members at Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper Snapple, Hinckley Springs and Home Juice over the past five months...
Sun Tran, Teamsters release agreement details  Tucson News Now  ...Both sides originally did not want to talk about it, but now Tucson News Now has learned new details about the agreement between Sun Tran and the Teamsters Local 104 Union. City of Tucson officials said they used savings from the 42-day strike to come up with $1.5 million to settle it, so taxpayers are not out any extra money. Under the terms of the new agreement, each Teamsters striker will get a one-time lump sum payment of $3,303.37...
Will aggrieved workers get their day in court?  OC Register  ...In response to the successful complaints, trucking companies that employ hundreds of drivers are now insisting the drivers sign arbitration contracts waiving their right to file complaints, according to Julie Gutman Dickinson, a Teamsters union attorney who has been representing them. “Many drivers are monolingual Spanish speakers,” she said. “They are not given copies of the arbitration agreements they are forced to sign in any language other than English"...

Global Labor & Trade
Japan, U.S., Canada, Mexico to restart auto TPP talks Monday  Japan News  ...Japan, the United States, Canada and Mexico will hold working-level talks on Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations in San Francisco on Monday and Tuesday, focusing on automobile trade, according to the Japanese government. The upcoming talks are aimed at narrowing their gap over rules of origin, prior to a ministerial meeting that 12 countries joining TPP negotiations plan to hold in Atlanta in late September...
Stephen Harper Says Concessions Likely for Auto Industry in Pacific Trade Pact  Wall Street Journal  ...Canadian leader Stephen Harper signaled in an election debate late Thursday that he will make a concession on protections for the auto industry to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, a suggestion that is triggering protest from the Canadian units of the big Detroit-based auto makers...
Harper’s TPP remarks draw ire of Ontario, union leader  Globe and Mail  ...Stephen Harper is being accused of sacrificing Canada’s 80,000-job auto-parts industry in his eagerness to sign on to a massive Pacific Rim trade deal – one his government is negotiating in the middle of the federal election campaign. The Conservative Leader made waves Thursday when he signaled that he’s determined to be part of a Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement even over the objections of the auto sector, whose members fear it will lead to a flood of foreign parts, produced by cheaper labour, killing their industry...
International agreement could hurt Saskatchewan dairy producers  Global News  ...Many Saskatchewan dairy producers are concerned their domestic market may shrink due to a possible trade agreement, according to their provincial advocacy group. SaskMilk’s policy manager Joy Smith says producers will have their eyes on upcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement talks planned in Atlanta. The trade pact includes 12 North American and Asian countries, including Canada, the U.S. and Japan...
No deal at next TPP talks to extend negotiations for years: minister  Mainichi  ...The Japanese minister in charge of negotiations for a Pacific Rim free trade initiative said Friday that talks on the free trade deal will not be concluded anytime soon if the 12 member countries fail to strike an accord at an upcoming meeting starting late September. "There is a risk that an agreement will be put off for years" if no deal is reached at the next session, Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Akira Amari said at a press conference...
More Austerity Awaits Greeks in Election Aftermath  Greek Reporter  ...Greeks are bracing to face a series of austerity measures and harsh reforms in the aftermath of the election that brought to power the previous coalition of SYRIZA and ANEL. About fifty measures and reforms have to be implemented by December as required by the bailout program Athens signed in July. Also a series of pension cuts will be implemented depending on how high each pension is...
Sierra Leone workers strike at Shandong's iron ore mine  Reuters  ...Hundreds of Sierra Leonean workers at Shandong Steel's iron ore mine declared an unlimited strike on Saturday, alleging unfair treatment, a union leader said. The Chinese firm, formerly a minority partner of African Minerals in the African Minerals-run project, acquired full ownership earlier this year and resumed operations in May...
Workers Strike at Chinese Shipyard, Demand Three Months' Back-Pay  RFA  ...More than 1,000 workers at a shipbuilding yard in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu are on strike over unpaid wages, workers told RFA on Friday, as the industrial action entered its third day. Around one-fifth of the 5,000-strong workforce at the Sinopacific-owned shipyard in Jiangsu's Dayang city walked out on Wednesday...

State & Living Wages Battles
Scott Walker's Partisans Poised to Raze Nonpartisan Government Accountability Board  Huffington Post  ...Stung by the campaign finance probe into potentially illegal coordination between Governor Scott Walker and independent campaign finance groups, the Wisconsin GOP is on the warpath. Governor Walker called for "dismantling" of the Government Accountability Board (GAB), the nonpartisan, independent agency that oversees Wisconsin elections, campaign finance and ethics laws that gave the go-ahead to the investigation...
Scott Walker Was Coward During 2011 Wisconsin Protests  Alternet  ...According to a stunning, detailed new statement by a former top Republican legislative aide, it turns out that Walker isolated himself and hid in tightly controlled, heavily-guarded environments during the conflict covering six intense weeks in early 2011—which directly contradicts his tall tale of courageously facing his adversaries...
NJ minimum wage to remain at $8.38 an hour in 2016  North Jersey  ...New Jersey's minimum wage will remain $8.38 an hour in 2016, the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development said Monday. The wage has been tied to the inflation rate since January 2014. In November 2013, New Jersey voters approved a constitutional amendment that increased the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.25 an hour...
Osceola mulls $11.66-an-hour living wage proposal  Orlando Sentinel  ...Osceola County's newly Democratic-controlled commission has wasted little time taking on controversial issues since January, passing anti-discrimination protections for gay and transgender residents while raising the local gas tax to pay for roads and other infrastructure projects. Now the board is preparing to vote on an ordinance Monday that would set one of the highest minimum wages for county contracts in the state, at $11.66 an hour for the first year...

U.S. Labor
United Farm Workers claims victory in labor battle  Californian  ...Organized labor claimed a victory in a decades-long fight with one of the nation's largest fruit growers when a judge ruled that the company interfered with its employees' vote on whether to reject union representation. A decision issued Thursday sets aside an election held nearly two years ago by workers at Gerawan Farming Inc., which hires thousands of people annually to harvest nectarines, peaches and grapes in the Central Valley...
Shifting work to Mexico now up for UAW vote  Detroit Free Press  ...Building more cars in Mexico. It's a flash point for about 40,000 UAW workers preparing to vote on a tentative agreement with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, knowing the new four-year pact includes pay increases, profit sharing and bonuses but also shifts car production to plants south of the border...
Tile, marble union workers preparing to strike statewide  Khon  ...Members of the Hawaii Masons Union, specifically ceramic tile and marble setters are planning a statewide strike Monday. “Nobody wants a strike, nobody wins but this is like a last resort,” said Todd Saito, a business representative for Local #1 of Hawaii. He says contract negotiations with the Tile Contractors Association of Hawaii have been going on for over a year. “We just want a package that represents industry standards,” said Saito...
HCA, nurses reach collective bargaining agreement in 5 states  Tennessean  ...HCA reached tentative collective bargaining agreements with National Nurses United that would cover almost 8,000 nurses in five states if ratified. Nurses at the 17 hospitals will vote Monday whether to accept the agreements that cover a range of work conditions, including staffing, scheduling and workplace safety...
IBEW Local 125 authorizes strike at Pacific Power  NW Labor Press  ...Workers across Northern Oregon and Southeastern Washington voted overwhelmingly Sept. 1 to reject a contract offer and authorize the union bargaining committee to call a strike at Pacific Power. BEW Local 125 represents 320 linemen, meter readers, substation wiremen and other workers at the electric utility, in a service area that extends from Astoria to Bend to Walla Walla...
Judge’s Ruling Awards $600,000 to Exploited Workers  New York Times  ...More than six years after their rescue from virtual servitude, in which they worked for little pay in a turkey processing plant while living in a decrepit Iowa schoolhouse, more than two dozen men with intellectual disabilities will share nearly $600,000 owed to them, after a federal court order issued Thursday in Dallas...
American Slavery, Reinvented  The Atlantic  ...Given the scope and scale of prison labor in the modern era, one could reasonably expect some degree of compliance with modern labor standards. However, despite the hard-won protections secured by the labor movement over the past 100 years, incarcerated workers do not enjoy most of these protections...

Social Justice & Other News
New Report Shows How Women of Color Bear the Costs of Mass Incarceration  Truthout  ...As the report emphasizes, it is overwhelming women - particularly low-income women of color, given the race and class bias of our criminal justice system - who shoulder these burdens. A recent study found that 44 percent of Black women and 12 percent of white women have a family member imprisoned...
Are Student Debt Forgiveness Scams The Next Mortgage Meltdown?  Think Progress  ...With student loan defaults on the rise, regulatory agencies are increasingly concerned about borrowers being preyed upon by student debt relief scammers. These scammers, which promise students they can cut their student loan payments by 50 percent or more, take advantage of students’ lack of knowledge about repayment options...
Pope Francis in Cuba: "The World Needs Reconciliation in This Atmosphere of a Third World War" Democracy Now  ...Ahead of his first U.S. visit, Pope Francis celebrated mass in Cuba Sunday before hundreds of thousands of worshipers in Havana’s Revolution Square. Born in Argentina, Francis is the first Latin American pope. The pope’s homily in Havana included no direct political message besides urging the successful conclusion of Colombia peace talks that have been taking place in Cuba for nearly three years...
The Media Can No Longer Pretend That Trump’s Racist Birtherism Is Old News  The Nation  ... Until last night, Trump has successfully built a great big wall to keep his ugly birther narrative from crossing into his current presidential run. His candidacy now turns on his racist immigrant-bashing. It’s not that the press has completely forgotten the birther storm, which peaked in 2011...
Hedge Fund Manager Buys Rights To Critical Drug, Hikes Price By 5000%  Alternet  ...The drug, called Daraprim, was acquired in August by Turing Pharmaceuticals, a start-up run by a former hedge fund manager. Turing immediately raised the price to $750 a tablet from $13.50, bringing the annual cost of treatment for some patients to hundreds of thousands of dollars...