Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 10.01.15

Teamsters
American Airlines Passenger Service Agents Reach Tentative Agreement  Teamster.org  ...The International Brotherhood of Teamsters/Communications Workers of America Association has reached a tentative first agreement with American Airlines covering 15,000 passenger service agents. The Association is the joint bargaining group (IBT and CWA) that represents agents at American Airlines. Details of the tentative agreement are being provided to members and a ratification vote will be scheduled...
Southern California Teamsters seek “employee” recognition for harbor truckers  AJOT  ...A watershed battle between the Teamsters Union and Pacific 9 Transportation in Southern California may be the tipping point in the union’s efforts to force harbor-trucking companies to reclassify drivers from independent contractors to employees. If that happens, there will be major changes in the compensation for drivers picking up and delivering containerized truckloads at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach...
Teamsters tell Whole Foods: Black Lives Matter  USI Live  ...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 labour for profit. The protestors distributed leaflets that read “Whole Prison Labor.” The leaflets were also sponsored by the Organic Consumers Association and the Food Chain Workers Alliance...

Global Labor & Trade
Rift Over Drug Protections Complicates Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Talks  Wall Street Journal  ...A fight over how long to protect certain high-end drugs from lower-cost imitators has emerged as the leading obstacle to negotiations aimed at completing a 12-nation trade agreement spanning the Pacific. While officials from the U.S. and other counties cite some progress on two other thorny issues, the drug debate continues to divide Australia and other countries from America in the high-level talks that began Wednesday...
Lawmakers push for 'meaningful' sugar market access in TPP  Reuters  ...Forty-five U.S. lawmakers are pressing trade representative Michael Froman to boost U.S. sugar imports as talks over a Pacific trade agreement resume this week, ratcheting up pressure on a sticking point in prior rounds. Led by Republican Representative Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania and Democrat Earl Blumenauer from Oregon, the legislators are urging Froman to seek a Trans-Pacific Partnership pact with "commercially meaningful liberalization" of sugar trade...
Pacific trade talks step closer to clearing auto parts hurdle  Reuters  ...Negotiators trying to clinch a Pacific Rim free trade deal made headway on Wednesday over how to remove a stumbling block and give automakers a freer hand to sell cars in the United States with more parts purchased in Asia. People briefed on the closed-door talks said Canada and Mexico signalled a willingness to open the North American auto market to more parts made in Asia...
Pacific Trade Deal Talks Resume, Under Fire From U.S. Presidential Hopefuls  New York Times  ...Trade ministers for the United States and 11 other Pacific nations gathered in Atlanta on Wednesday to try to reach agreement on the largest regional free-trade pact ever. But knotty differences persist, and antitrade blasts from American presidential candidates have not eased prospects for any deal. The talks in a downtown Atlanta hotel are picking up where ministers left off two months ago after deadlocking at a Maui resort...
Push grows to target tobacco, health in Pacific trade rules  Reuters  ...Pressure is mounting on Pacific trading partners over potential steps to block foreign investors from suing governments over anti-smoking measures, under a free trade pact that is nearing completion. Trade ministers from 12 countries are discussing possible exemptions from rules letting foreign companies sue governments over damage to investments as they try to wrap up talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)...
Protesting Big Pharma 'Death Sentence,' Cancer Patient Arrested Outside TPP Talks  Common Dreams  ...A cancer patient was arrested in Atlanta, Georgia on Wednesday after allegedly "disrupting" the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in a protest aimed at maintaining access to affordable cancer medicines in the dozen countries, including the U.S. and Canada, that would be impacted by the colossal trade deal...
Portugal goes to the polls with voters resigned to austerity  Yahoo News  ...Portugal exited the bailout scheme in May 2014 but only after the government imposed harsh austerity and the biggest tax hikes in living memory. The jobless rate has fallen to 12 percent from a peak of 17.5 percent at the beginning of 2013. But the recovery has yet to be felt on the streets. One in five Portuguese continue to live below the poverty line with an income of less than 5,000 euros per year...

State & Living Wage Battles
Alabama to stop issuing driver’s licenses in counties with 75% black registered voters  Raw Story  ...The state of Alabama, which requires a photo ID to vote, announced this week that it would stop issuing driver’s licenses in counties where 75 percent of registered voters are black. Due to budget cuts, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said that 31 satellite DMV offices would no longer have access to driver’s licenses examiners, meaning that residents will need to travel to other counties to apply for licenses. The move comes just one year after the state’s voter photo ID law went into effect...
Proposed Fla. bill to require 6 weeks paid family care leave  NBC  ...Florida Senator Dwight Bullard proposed a bill that, if passed, will require employers to allow six weeks of paid leave for workers after children are born or adopted. "I totally agree with it," said Shellie Desmaret. "I think the bill is long and coming in the state of Florida," said Paul McRae, who supports the bill...
WV has new prevailing wage; critics remain  MetroNews  ...West Virginia once again has a prevailing wage but there remain critics of how the numbers were calculated. WorkForce West Virginia filed the information with the Secretary of State’s Office Wednesday. The prevailing wage is the wage required for different jobs on construction projects that are totally funded by the state...
Washington state behind the curve on minimum wage  KGMI  ...Since the 1990s, Washington state has led the nation in raising minimum wage.  But will the state’s minimum wage increase again next year? In short, no. And state officials say the reason is because inflation, as measured by the National Consumer Price Index, didn’t increase over the past year either. That index decreased by 0.3 percent...
Details emerge on Sacramento minimum-wage hike plan  SacBee  ...acramento would require larger businesses to pay a higher minimum wage before small businesses with fewer than 40 employees, according to a draft of the ordinance obtained by The Sacramento Bee. A task force convened by Mayor Kevin Johnson recommended last month that the city gradually increase its minimum wage to $12.50 an hour on Jan. 1, 2020...

U.S. Labor
Political Appeal of Bashing American Unions May Have Peaked  Bloomberg  ...Unions might never recover the strength they had decades ago, but recent signs suggest renewed support for labor, or at least an end to its run as a Republican bogeyman. After building a campaign around his battle with government workers, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker abruptly ended his presidential campaign Sept. 21. His decision came a month after a Gallup Poll found that support for unions jumped 5 percentage points...
United Auto Workers reject contract deal with Fiat Chrysler  CBS  ...United Auto Workers union members have rejected a proposed contract with Fiat Chrysler in a rebuke of union leaders who had praised the deal. Official totals weren't released, but workers at many large factories voted against the pact by large margins, making victory impossible...
The Fight For 15 Just Landed at America’s Busiest Airport  In These Times  ...Encouraged by an energetic rally of more than 100 janitors and other members of Service Employees (SEIU) Local 1, a group of low-wage security, cleaning and passenger service workers at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport on Tuesday launched a campaign to organize 5,000 airport workers to win higher wages and the right to form a union without intimidation. The O’Hare organizing drive hopes, first, to bring the non-union workers at the airport into the Fight for $15 movement, initiated three years ago among fast food workers...
Janitors march for their jobs, benefits  Philly.com  ...Thousands of union janitors marched through Center City Wednesday, hoping to preserve their benefits and earn what they call fair wages. The rally on Chestnut Street included brief speeches by mayoral candidate Jim Kenney, City Councilman Curtis Jones Jr., and City Council President Darrell L. Clarke. Members of SEIU 32BJ gathered outside a high-rise apartment building at 2116 Chestnut...
IBEW Local 125 Pickets Pacific power headquarters  NW Labor Press  ...Nearly 200 outside  linemen and wiremen from several electrical utilities in Oregon, Washington, and Utah picketed Sept. 23 outside the corporate headquarters of PacifiCorp in the Lloyd District. The union workers at Pacific Power, a subsidiary of PacifiCorp, which is owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Energy, have been bargaining for a new contract for more than a year. They have rejected two proposals. The most recent was on Sept. 1, at which time they also voted to authorize a strike if needed...
Are Deere, UAW headed for a strike?  Des Moines Register  ...A dramatic tail-off from record profits a couple of years ago for Deere & Co., Iowa's iconic equipment manufacturer, could set the stage for prolonged, and potentially contentious, labor negotiations once the current 6-year contract expires Thursday, economists and analysts say...
Don Blankenship faces more prison time for lying to Wall Street than 29 deaths at Upper Big Branch  Daily Kos  ...With Don Blankenship, the notorious former Massey Energy CEO, about to go on trial for multiple charges stemming from the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion that killed 29 miners in 2010, Mother Jones' Tim Murphy takes an in-depth look at Blankenship's brutal business practices and consolidation of political power in West Virginia...

Social Justice & Other News
Senators to Unveil Bipartisan Plan to Ease Sentencing Laws  New York Times   ...A long-awaited bipartisan proposal to cut mandatory prison sentences for nonviolent offenders and promote more early release from federal prisons is scheduled to be disclosed Thursday by an influential group of senators who hope to build on backing from conservatives, progressives and the White House...
Hedge Funds Keep Winning Government Auctions To Buy Family Homes. Elizabeth Warren Is Crying Foul.  Think Progress  ...At a rally with dozens of local government officials from around the nation in Washington, D.C., Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) will call on the Obama administration to stop inviting Wall Street speculators into the landlord business and start doing more to keep struggling borrowers in their homes and neighborhoods...
'Exxons of Agriculture' Wielding Power to Block Real Climate Solutions: Report  Common Dreams  ...The publication by GRAIN describes how the fertilizer industry, whose products the group says are responsible for up to 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, has joined forces with major corporations like Walmart in order to cast itself as a purveyor of "climate smart" policies while protecting its interests...
Dead Man Walking: Richard Glossip vs. The Death Penalty  Democracy Now  ...Just moments before death row inmate Richard Glossip was scheduled to be killed on Wednesday, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin issued a stay of execution citing questions over the execution protocol and the chemicals used for lethal injection. Richard Glossip’s case has attracted international attention. On Wednesday, Pope Francis urged Governor Fallin to commute the death sentence over questions of Glossip’s guilt...

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