Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 09.28.15

Teamsters
Waste Workers at Five Locations Join Teamsters Across the Country  Teamsters.org  ...More than 200 waste workers at five locations, in California, Washington state, Oregon and Ohio, recently took action to become Teamsters. The workers are employed at the two largest waste companies, Waste Management and Republic Services, and at Recology. “Waste workers across the country are seeking protections on the job and the workers at Waste Management, Republic Services and at Recology have taken the bold step by forming their union," said Ron Herrera, Director of the Teamsters Solid Waste, Recycling and Related Industries Division...
Tri-City Goodwill votes to join Teamsters  Tri-City Herald  ...The two dozen employees at seven Goodwill Industries of the Columbia stores in the Tri-Cities, Walla Walla and Wenatchee are joining Teamsters Local 839 after a vote last week. In a news release, the union said employees spoke out against low wages, substandard benefits and unsafe working conditions. Workers approached the Teamsters about representing them, said Russell Shjerven, secretary-treasurer for the union...
'Firm' school bus strike deadline to be set this week, union says  Newsday  ...A labor dispute between a private school bus firm and its workers over pay, working conditions and benefits remains unresolved, leaving open the possibility of a strike for about 35 districts in Nassau and Suffolk. The conflict is between Ronkonkoma-based Baumann and Sons Buses Inc. and Teamsters Local 1205. If the union strikes, it could affect 15,000 students. The contract expired June 30...
Bus drivers transporting eBay workers will get pay raise  SF Gate  ...Bus drivers who transport eBay employees are getting a huge wage increase as part of the company’s deal with vendor Compass Transportation. EBay said drivers of large shuttles will now make $26.40 per hour and drivers of smaller vans will make $23.10 per hour. The drivers’ previous wage was between $17 and $20 per hour. Compass continues to negotiate a contract with the drivers, organized by the Teamsters...
Hoffa Backs Bipartisan House Push To Address Currency Manipulation  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa in response to a letter signed today by 158 House members, both Republican and Democrat, calling on the White House to include enforceable provisions against currency manipulation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): "At a time when partisan gridlock has largely shut down Capitol Hill, it is telling to see all these lawmakers come together to raise serious questions about how currency manipulation negatively affects U.S. trade"...

Global Labor & Trade
U.S., Pacific Partners Seek to Conclude Trade Pact in Atlanta  Wall Street Journal  ...Senior officials from the U.S., Japan, and 10 other countries around the Pacific will meet [this] week in Atlanta in another attempt to finish a wide-ranging trade agreement designed to lower border barriers and boost economic growth. The previous high-level negotiations, two months ago on Hawaii’s island of Maui, ended without a deal, with the talks souring over the dairy trade, automotive manufacturing and intellectual-property protection for drugs...
Presidential politics complicate trade talks  Politico  ...If negotiators had completed the pact two months ago in Maui as hoped, President Barack Obama could have submitted the legacy-burnishing deal to Congress as early as December, setting the stage for approval before Iowa and New Hampshire hold their presidential nomination contests in early February. Instead, the largest trade deal in history is facing the potential for increasing pushback from the left, with Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton coming under intense pressure from progressives to reject the deal...
Pacific trade deal close, but doubts linger: Chile trade head  Reuters  ...The conditions are now present to finalize a Pacific trade deal, although talks would likely still go down to the wire, Chile's head of international trade told Reuters on Thursday. The United States has called negotiators from the 12 nations discussing the Trans-Pacific Partnership to a meeting in Atlanta [this] week in a bid to finish the pact that will cover 40 percent of the world economy...
Trans-Pacific Partnership could include big dairy concession  CBC  ...Canada is preparing to open the border to more American milk, without getting reciprocal access for Canadian dairy farmers in the United States, CBC News has learned. Trade Minister Ed Fast will leave the campaign trail to join his counterparts in Atlanta on Wednesday, intent on concluding the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks. Chief negotiators from the 12 Pacific Rim member countries meet starting Saturday...
Canada's auto sector 'nervous' about TPP talks  CTV News  ...As negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership continue, the Conservative government is being accused of sending mixed messages on what the deal will mean for the auto sector. But speaking to CTV’s Question Period, Trade Minister Ed Fast assured a worried auto sector that the government is keeping its interests in mind at the TPP negotiating table.  In the past, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper has said the auto sector may not "necessarily like everything" in the TPP deal...
Nearly 160 House lawmakers warn Obama on currency provision  The Hill  ... Bipartisan group of lawmakers is leading the call in the House for the Obama administration to include enforceable provisions against currency manipulation in a sweeping Asia-Pacific agreement. As talks continue heading into this weekend on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Morgan Griffith (R-Va.), Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Dave Brat (R-Va.) warned in a call with reporters on Friday that the 12-nation pact faces failure in the House without provisions to crack down on currency manipulation...
Obama reaches out to Mexico, but not Canada, in push to wrap up TPP deal   Globe and Mail  ...U.S. President Barack Obama is reaching out to his Mexican counterpart, Enrique Pena Nieto, as Washington launches a charm offensive to close a massive Pacific Rim trade deal [this] week. There’s rising concern, meanwhile, in Canada’s 80,000-job auto-parts manufacturing sector that the Trans-Pacific Partnership could seriously harm the industry...
Bunnings workers continue to strike at stores across New Zealand  Stuff.co.nz  ...Bunnings workers continued striking at locations across New Zealand on Saturday with protests planned for 17 stores across the country. Organisers said their main gripe was the introduction of a new roster that would mean workers' shifts could be chopped and changed with just two weeks notice. First Union organiser Dave Cooney, on-site at the Manukau protest, said there had been great support from the public...
2 More Honduran Union Leaders Threatened, Harassed  Solidarity Center  ...Another union leader in Honduras has received death threats and a second union leader was arrested in the department of Colon during a peaceful rally protesting government corruption, according to the Honduras-based nonprofit ACI-Participa. Earlier this year, one Honduran union leader was murdered and another disappeared and is presumed dead. The latest incidents bring to nine the number of attacks on union leaders in 2015...

State & Living Wage Battles
Minimum wage will top list as Oregon lawmakers gather at Capitol this week  Oregon Live  ...Legislators will gather in Salem this week for the first time since the 2015 session ended, offering a preview of issues they may tackle in 2016. Topics at the top of the list? The state economy and the minimum wage.  Oregon Employment Department economists will brief lawmakers Monday on job growth and the minimum wage...
Florida lawmakers living on $17 a day this week to demonstrate minimum wage  Sun Sentinel  ...At  least 18 Florida lawmakers plan to live on a minimum wage this week to draw attention to efforts to increase the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour. Starting Monday, the lawmakers will live for five days on $17 per day. That figure represents what a minimum wage worker has after the costs of taxes, childcare and housing are deducted from an $8.05-an-hour paycheck...
Legal challenge to N.C.'s voter ID law to go forward next year  INDY  ...This week, a Superior Court judge denied North Carolina's motion to dismiss a pending voter ID lawsuit. State lawyers attempted to argue that the case—brought by plaintiffs that include the League of Women Voters of N.C. and the A. Philip Randolph Institute—should be dismissed after lawmakers approved an amendment to their mammoth voter law in May...
Construction workers fight to keep Prevailing Wage Law  WLNS  ...It’s a discussion that has been ongoing for months, deals with the state’s 50-year-old Prevailing Wage Law. On Monday Construction Association members will be holding an event to discuss why repealing the Prevailing Wage Law would be bad for the state. The current law requires workers on state financed construction projects to be paid prevailing union-scale wages...
Two halves of California have wide gap in health costs  SacBee  ...When it comes to health care costs, it’s clear: Where you live matters. And in California, the gap is especially sharp between the north and south. Take, for instance, common procedures like a cesarean section or a total knee replacement. The total average price tag for a typical C-section in the four-county Sacramento area is $28,828; in east Los Angeles County, it’s $17,567, according to a health care comparison tool unveiled last week...

U.S. Labor
Detroit workers deal another blow to FCA-UAW contract  Detroit Free Press  ...Workers at Fiat Chrysler's Jefferson North Assembly Plant have resoundingly rejected a four-year tentative agreement between the UAW and the automaker, further jeopardizing chances of approval nationwide. At UAW Local 7, whose workers make the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango at the Detroit assembly plant, 66% of the production workers who cast ballots voted against the contract and 77% of skilled trades workers voted against the deal...
Even the Wall Street Journal Smells a Rat in A&P Supermarkets Bankruptcy  In These Times  ...Workers at the bankrupt A&P grocery chain have been complaining for weeks that corporate executives have been looting the failing company, but nobody seemed to be paying much attention until Wall Street’s favorite newspaper came out with a story backing up the workers’ charges. Wall Street Journal reporter Peg Brickley uncovered part of the truth September 18, with a dispatch that revealed A&P “paid out $9.4 million in bonuses and other extra payments to insiders"...
Uber Is Using Fine Print To Control Its Drivers. But They Might Not Get Away With It.  Think Progress  ....Disgruntled Uber drivers are taking their beef with the taxi-killing startup to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in hopes of restoring hundreds of thousands of drivers’ ability to participate in suits against the company. The legal team who won class status for a lawsuit against Uber earlier this month are hoping that the NLRB will invalidate mandatory binding arbitration clauses in the company’s contracts...
ThinkProgress Staffers Unionize With Writers Guild  Huffington Post  ...The editorial staff of the progressive news site ThinkProgress has joined the Writers Guild of America, East, making it the latest in a string of Web-based publications to unionize. The union said in a statement late Wednesday that management at the site had chosen to voluntarily recognize the employees' decision, allowing them to forgo a secret-ballot election...
SEIU prepares for potential strike after Mercy Health Muskegon RN unit rejects contract with hospital  MLive  ...The state's largest healthcare union is preparing for a potential strike over a contract dispute affecting workers at a Mercy Health Muskegon nursing unit. SEIU Healthcare Michigan, which represents nurses, hospital staff, nursing home employees and homecare workers, said Friday that it plans to notify hospital system administrators of a pending strike vote. Marge Robinson, the organization's president, said the alert comes after RN workers at the Mercy Campus on Thursday overwhelmingly rejected a contract...
The Long, Strange Tale of a California Farm’s Attempts To Break Its Workers’ Union  In These Times  ...The strategy by one of the nation's largest growers to shed its obligation to sign a contract with the United Farm Workers was dealt a key setback last week. An administrative law judge not only threw out what union organizers say was one of the dirtiest decertification elections in recent labor history, but did so because California growers had given tens of thousands of dollars to set the union-busting scheme in motion...
Hundreds mark anniversary of farmworkers' labor movement  SCPR  ...Hundreds of people flocked to Delano over the weekend to mark the 50th anniversary of the Delano grape strike, when grape pickers on Sept. 8, 1965 walked out to protest years of substandard pay and poor working conditions. That walkout, led by Cesar Chavez, sparked an international boycott and eventually led to the creation of the United Farm Workers...

Social Justice & Other News
When America Was 'Great,' Taxes Were High, Unions Were Strong, and Government Was Big  The Atlantic  ...Trump’s supporters might not appreciate what an economic return to the ’50s—even a ’50s lacking overt discrimination against women and political, racial, and sexual minorities—would entail. The ’50 were, as Stiglitz puts it, “a time of war-induced solidarity when the government kept the playing field level.” In other words, they were a time of Big Government. And Big Labor: As Alternet reports, “By 1953, more than one out of three American workers were members of private sector unions. That means there was a union member in nearly every family”...
Asians to surpass Hispanics as largest group of US immigrants by 2065: study  The Guardian  ...In a major shift in immigration patterns, Asians will surge past Hispanics to become the largest group of immigrants heading to the US by 2065, according to estimates in a new study. An increase in Asian and Hispanic immigration also will drive US population growth, with foreign-born residents expected to make up 18% of the country’s projected 441 million people in 50 years, the Pew Research Center said...
Elizabeth Warren Delivers Stirring Defense Of ‘Black Lives Matter’  Think Progress  ...Senator Elizabeth Warren offered a full-throated endorsement of the Black Lives Matter movement at a speech today at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute. Warren called the activists protesting police brutality around the country the “new generation of civil rights leaders.” She painted them as a direct extension of civil rights heros like Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis. She dismissed critics who claim Black Lives Matter activists are responsible for instigating violence...
Shell Just Scrapped Its Arctic Drilling Plans for "the Forseeable Future"  Mother Jones  ...After years of botched attempts, mountains of red tape, billions of dollars, and countless face-offs with protestors, Royal Dutch Shell announced today that it is pulling the plug on all oil and gas exploration in the Arctic ocean "for the forseeable future." From the press release: "Shell has found indications of oil and gas in the Burger J well, but these are not sufficient to warrant further exploration"...

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