Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 09.23.15

Teamsters
Hoffa: Vocational Training Makes for Better Paid, Better Prepared Workers  Huffington Post  ...America needs a 21st century workforce to better compete in the global economy. And the Teamsters are doing their part to make sure workers have the training they require so they can join the workforce of the future. Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor awarded the union a five-year, $4.6 million grant to establish apprenticeship programs in the trucking industry...
Leaders of Carhaul Local Unions Endorse Tentative Agreement  Teamster.org  ...Today, leaders from local unions that represent carhaul members endorsed the tentative national carhaul agreement, paving the way for members to vote on the proposal later this month. “Today’s vote shows that local union leaders throughout the United States agree with the Negotiating Committee that this tentative agreement addresses our members’ top concerns and protects their benefits while providing real job security,” said Kevin Moore, Director of the Teamsters Carhaul Division...
Teamsters, Coalition Tell Whole Foods: Black Lives Matter  Teamster.org  ...This past weekend, protesters from the Teamsters and the Sierra Club group Sierra Rise educated attendees of the annual Natural Products Expo East convention about Whole Food’s exploitation of prison labor for profit. “Although Whole Foods caters to the ‘socially conscious’ consumer, it relies on exploited prison labor to make a profit,” said Steve Vairma, Director of the Teamsters Warehouse Division...
EVSC Board, Teamsters still working toward five collective bargaining agreements  Courier & Press  ...While there is still no collective bargaining agreement between the Evansville Vanderburgh School Board and Teamsters Local 215, contract proposals have been exchanged and both groups said dialogue is ongoing. Since April, the EVSC and Local 215 negotiating teams have met sporadically to negotiate new contracts...

Global Labor & Trade
Steel producers urge TPP negotiators to maintain regional content rules for autos  Canadian Manufacturing  ...The trade associations representing steel producers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico are urging Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiators to put the brakes on any deal that weakens “rules of origin,” also known as regional content rules, for the auto sector. The organizations sent a joint letter to their respective government trade agencies expressing concern that changes to current rules would “adversely impact the steel industry”...
U.S. dairy exporter pushes for TPP deal acceptable to Congress  Japan Times  ...Japan and other nations need to open their dairy markets further to hammer out a Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal that is acceptable to Congress, Tom Suber, president of the U.S. Dairy Export Council, suggested. Noting that “there are not so many (unresolved issues),” Suber expressed his belief that it is possible for the 12 nations involved in the talks to reach a broad agreement...
U.S. trade chief mum over next TPP talks  Japan Today  ...U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman kept the public guessing on Tuesday about the date of the next meeting on a broad Pacific free trade pact with his counterparts from 11 other countries. There have been reports that ministers negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership initiative will resume talks possibly on Sept. 30 in Atlanta, but Froman declined to comment on the time frame...
Rallies for a fair TPP  UNIFOR  ...Simultaneous rallies will be held Wednesday evening outside the campaign and constituency offices of several Conservative candidates in the federal election, calling on the Harper Government to stand up for Canadian jobs in the Trans Pacific Partnership trade talks. "The Harper government has shown that it is willing to sacrifice good auto jobs to get a trade deal," Unifor National President Jerry Dias said...
Do U.S. Workers Really Have to Rely on Canadian and Mexican Negotiators to Look Out for Our Jobs?  AFL-CIO  ...When the TPP’s backers say “this time it’s different,” it is hard to prove them wrong—given the secrecy of the negotiations. But it seems like every trade agreement the U.S. trade representative negotiates gets sold to unsuspecting Americans as the “best ever,” and the TPP is no different. This time, negotiators from Canada and Mexico have called foul while there is still time to act—and we’re lucky they did...
MEPs react to new TTIP court proposals  BBC  ...MEPs have given a mixed reaction to new proposals to solve trade disputes between companies and governments in the TTIP EU-US trade deal. Many MEPs on the International Trade Committee said they welcomed plans announced last week by the European Commission for a new investment court system to resolve disputes...
Hyundai Motor Workers Strike at All Three Domestic Plants  Wall Street Journal  ...More than three-quarters of the workforce of Hyundai Motor Co. walked off the job on Wednesday, disrupting output at South Korea’s largest auto maker for a fourth straight year. Workers at all of the auto maker’s three domestic plants began an eight-hour strike early Wednesday morning after weeks of talks with management on wages and benefits broke down...
Greece's Cruel October: Clock Ticks To Implement New Austerity Reforms  Huffington Post  ...The financial team of the new Greek government will have to race against the clock this month to prepare a timetable for implementing the austerity reforms agreed to by the previous government. Greek leaders committed to a series of austerity measures in a controversial bailout deal with international creditors this summer...

State & Living Wage Battles
California Clamps Down on Secretive Political Donations  Mother Jones  ...California regulators took another step last week to crack down on secretive money in state elections. And for that, we have the Koch brothers to thank. On Thursday, state regulators added another layer of security, closing a loophole that might have allowed out-of-state groups and donors to secretly buy influence in California elections...
Cuomo builds on minimum wage campaign  NCPR  ...The push to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour is getting some help from union-financed advertising, but it still has its opponents. Governor Cuomo has been pushing the proposal to phase-in the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2018 in the New York City region and 2021 upstate. The governor already took executive action to increase the higher minimum wage for fast food workers...
Federal Service Workers Strike to Send a Message to Pope Francis  The Nation   .... As Pope Francis arrived in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, one thousand federal service workers—including many at the US Capitol, where the pope will speak later in the week—went on strike to protest poverty wages, poor working conditions, and the lack of a union. The federal government is the largest low-wage employer in the country...
Campaign for a "Worker Bill of Rights" Puts ALEC in Spokane's Crosshairs  Truthout  ...On November 5, 2015, voters in Spokane, Washington, will decide whether or not they are willing to act on their collective frustration by enacting what community activists have termed a "Worker Bill of Rights" via a ballot initiative called Proposition 1. The initiative seeks to secure the "right to a family wage when employed by a large employer"...
Backers of $15 minimum wage ballot measure start gathering signatures  Oregon Live  ...The backers of a measure to raise Oregon's minimum wage to $15 are starting to gather signatures for the 2016 ballot. Oregonians for 15 plan to hold kickoff events in more than 20 cities Saturday to recruit and train volunteer signature gatherers...
The fight over prevailing wage isn't a classic 'right vs. left' battle  Michigan Radio  ...Governor Rick Snyder is dead set against repealing the prevailing wage requirement, and has indicated that he’ll veto any bill that does so, if he gets the chance. Many other Republicans more conservative also support prevailing wage, including Rick Santorum and Paul Ryan, the last Republican vice-presidential nominee. You might think major contractors like Barton Malow would want to get rid of prevailing wage, but you’d be wrong...

U.S. Labor
Top unions put brakes on Clinton endorsement  Politico  ...Two major unions have decided to delay endorsements in the presidential race -- a move labor insiders attribute in part to the uncertainty Vice President Joe Biden’s potential run has inserted into the Democratic primary. The decisions are a setback for Hillary Clinton, who has been courting the labor giants in the hopes of an early lock down of two powerhouse unions that can organize millions of members and resources on the ground...
Pottstown Memorial Medical Center workers authorize 1-day strike  WFMZ  ...Nearly 300 unionized health care workers at Pottstown Memorial Medical Center are planning to walk off the job for one day next month. Members of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania have voted to hold a one-day strike in mid-October, union officials said Tuesday. The exact date has not yet been announced...
UFCW 8-Golden State Reaches Tentative Contract Agreements with Safeway  Business Wire  ...UFCW 8-Golden State announced today they have reached tentative contract agreements with the Safeway supermarket chain in Northern and Central California. The four-year agreement with Safeway protects and enhances the wages, benefits and workplace standards enjoyed by approximately 9,000 workers at 130 Safeway stores, as well as retirees...
Mopar workers to get different pay in UAW-FCA deal  Detroit Free Press  ...Entry level Mopar workers and axle operators would be under a different wage in new UAW contract than other entry level workers, the Free Press has learned. The tentative agreement between the UAW and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles creates two new wage ranges for entry-level employees that don't work on assembly lines...
Scott Walker’s Campaign Failed Because Voters Actually Don’t Want a Union Buster-in-Chief  In These Times  ...In deep red, right-to-work Texas, support for union busting was so low that Republican legislators failed to muster sufficient votes to ban payroll deductions for public sector union dues—something Walker had crowed about accomplishing in Wisconsin. The Economic Policy Institute found that 58% of workers would like to be union members instead of the meager 11% we have now as a result of decades of union busting...

Social Justice & Other News
You've heard the GOP rhetoric on immigration. Here are the facts.  LA Times  ...O all the issues that have bubbled up on the campaign trail so far, nothing has inspired absurdity quite like immigration. Donald Trump isn't the only Republican candidate to have made outlandish comments: Chris Christie has called for FedEx-like tracking of foreigners , and Carly Fiorina has endorsed a crackdown on Chinese birth tourism...
After Getting Shamed For 5000% Hike, ‘Most Hated Man In America’ Will Lower Drug Price  Think Progress  ...Martin Shkreli, the controversial pharmaceutical CEO and former hedge fund manager, announced that he would reduce the price of the drug Daraprim to “a point that is more affordable.” Shkreli has been the subject of unrelenting criticism since he implemented a 5000% increase in the price of the drug — from $13.50 per pill to $750 — which is used to treat severe infections in AIDS patients and infants...
Pope Francis calls for urgent action on climate change in White House speech  The Guardian  ...Pope Francis enlisted the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr to help bolster his call for urgent action on climate change on Wednesday in a welcoming ceremony at the White House that Barack Obama said would “shake our conscience from slumber”. In a surprise move, the pope made what amounted to a direct reference to Obama’s new emission regulations, which are deeply controversial among Republicans...
How Automatic Voter Registration Can Transform American Politics  The Nation  ... The US doesn’t have a voter turnout problem; we have a voter registration problem. Our turnout is abysmal because so many eligible voters are not even registered to vote.  Automatic voter registration would change that. In March 2015, Oregon became the first state to automatically register anyone who requests a driver’s license or state ID from the DMV unless they opt out...
The Growing Fight Against The Resurgence Of Debtors’ Prisons  Think Progress  ...Earlier this month, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) filed a federal lawsuit against Alexander City for operating what it calls “modern-day debtors prisons.” According to the lawsuit, anyone who goes to court and can’t pay the fines is brought to a back room, asked by police if they can pay or have someone immediately bring the money, and are arrested and jailed if they can’t pay, even if they have partial payment...
Nearly 4,000 People Fighting California's Fires Are Paid Just $1 an Hour  Truthout  ...Some 4,000 of the people working on fire crews in California are prison laborers. These incarcerated people are earning just $1.45 - $3.90 per day while training and $1 per hour while laboring on the fire's front lines beside their more well-compensated civilian counterparts...

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