Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News 10.02.15

TEAMSTERS
Teamsters And Coalition Of Unions Ratify Agreement At American Red Cross  Teamster.org  ...After several months of serious negotiations and a month-long balloting process, the Teamsters, as part of a union coalition, have ratified a new contract for members working at American Red Cross. The agreement will impact more than 1,300 Teamsters at 18 different local unions across the United States. The Teamsters are part of a coalition of unions that negotiated the contract...
National Mediation Board Determines Single Carrier Status for Flight Options, Flexjet  Teamster.org  ...The National Mediation Board (NMB) has determined single carrier status for Flight Options, LLC, and Flexjet, LLC, after the Teamsters Union asserted that the two fractional carriers constitute a single transportation system. In its Sept. 30 decision, the NMB determined that Flight Options and Flexjet, wholly owned subsidiaries of OneSky Flight, LLC, are operating as a single transportation system for representation purposes under the Railway Labor Act...
United Airlines Fails to Reach Agreement with Teamster Aviation Maintenance Technicians  Teamster.org  ...United Airlines’ labor woes continue as talks with International Brotherhood of Teamsters-represented aviation maintenance technicians and related workers stalled today. “Delta and American are setting the pace and United is dragging its feet,” said Clacy Griswold, lead negotiator for the Teamsters...
Threshold and Teamsters in Negotiations  Press Banner  ...According to Steven Lua, Member Specialist of Local 912, Threshold Enterprises, Ltd., headquartered in ScottsValley, has approximately 800 employees; 600 of whom are union members in their ScottsValley and Santa Cruz manufacturing, warehouse, packaging, and distribution centers. The union has been representing the employees, seventy percent of whom are women, for the last three years. This will be their second contract...
Still no contract agreement between EVSC, Teamsters  Courier & Press  ...As soon as a contract agreement with the Evansville Vanderburgh School Board seems to be in sight, Teamsters Local 215 President Chuck Whobrey said something happens to stop progress. Throughout the process, which started in April and has consisted of sporadic meetings to negotiate new contracts for five EVSC employee groups represented by the union, Whobrey said there has been a mixture of positive open dialogue and setbacks...

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE
Negotiators signal that they’re close to final accord on Asia Pacific trade deal  Washington Post  ...U.S. negotiators on Thursday closed in on a final agreement on an expansive ­Asia-Pacific trade deal, but congressional leaders cautioned that the accord should not be rushed to completion over fears that a subpar deal could lose support among lawmakers. The Obama administration is hoping to cap a week of negotiations between the United States and 11 other nations with an announcement Friday...
Trade leaders demand White House ramp up talks on TPP  The Hill  ...Congressional trade leaders are demanding that the Obama administration immediately ramp up talks with lawmakers as negotiations on a massive Asia-Pacific agreement reach a critical stage. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), panel ranking member Sandy Levin (D-Mich.), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and the panel's top Democrat, Ron Wyden (Ore.), said "we expect you to intensify these consultations"...
As Secret Trade Talks Reveal Cracks, Demonstrators Aim Death Blows at TPP  Common  Dreams  ...As trade ministers from around the world continued meeting in Atlanta on Thursday for final-stretch negotiations on the corporate-friendly Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), civil society groups demonstrated on the streets in a final salvo against a deal they describe as "a wholesale auction of our rights, our freedoms, and our democracy to multinational corporations who put profits over people"...
House lawmakers express concern about TPP autos provision  The Hill  ...A bipartisan group of House lawmakers are worried that proposed rule of origin standards on autos in a Pacific trade deal will hurt the U.S. industry. Reps. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) and Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) on Thursday led a bipartisan group 20 Democrats and one Republican — all who opposed fast-track authority for President Obama — calling on top U.S. trade officials to ensure that the United States doesn’t lower tariffs...
What’s still wrong with the TPP  (opinion) Politico  ...In theory, TPP could be a powerful lever to change this. The agreement includes enforceable worker rights and environmental standards that were first negotiated in an agreement on May 10th, 2007, by House Democrats. But the simple inclusion of this language, known as the May 10th Agreement, isn’t enough—the example of Mexico shows that countries must bring their laws and practices into compliance before Congress votes on TPP...
Latest TPP Biologics Proposal Is a Step in the Wrong Direction  (opinion) AARP  ...As negotiators meet on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Atlanta, AARP is again urging them to be mindful of the consumers who depend on prescription drugs to manage their health conditions. We continue to have serious concerns with the direction of the TPP negotiations on key issues that will have long-lasting effects on access to affordable prescriptions in the U.S. and around the world...
TTIP: France threatens to walk away from negotiations  The Independent  ...A French minister has said that France is considering walking away from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations. Matthias Fekl, France’s junior trade minister, told France’s Sud-Ouest paper on Monday that he was considering withdrawing France from the negotiations altogether because they are conducted in favour of American interests...
Swazi Trade Union Federation Sounds Alarm over Job Losses  Solidarity Center  ...Representatives of Swaziland’s trade union federation, TUCOSWA—who are in Washington, D.C., to receive a human rights award from the AFL-CIO in recognition of the courage and persistence of Swaziland’s workers in demanding their rights—say an alarming number of people are losing their jobs because of the country’s unwillingness to improve its poor human rights record...
Guatemalan Union Activist Murdered in Front of His Home  Solidarity Center  ...Mynor Rolando Ramos Castillo, a municipal worker in Jalapa, a city in southeast Guatemala, was shot and killed in front of his home over the weekend. His family detained the killer and turned him into the police. The killer confessed to accepting the hit for 1,500 quetzales (roughly $195). Ramos Castillo was a union activist with the Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Municipalidad de Jalapa (SITRAMJ)...

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES
Alabama Makes Photo IDs Mandatory for Voting, Then Shutters DMV Offices in Black Counties  Common Dreams  ...Some observers say that Alabama's move to close dozens of drivers license offices is a discriminatory move that could trigger a civil rights probe. Here's why: in 2011 lawmakers approved a voter ID law requiring a government-issued ID to vote, and the 31 offices the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency set for closing will take a disproportionate hit on counties that are majority African-American...
Voter ID case put on hold until after March elections  Daily Tar Heel  ...N.C. Superior Judge Michael Morgan placed a hold on the case against the North Carolina voter ID law last week until after the March primary elections. The case before Morgan dealt with whether a June amendment allowing for exceptions to the 2013 law made existing complaints moot; he issued a hold because the amendment was not enough to dismiss the case. The General Assembly passed the voter ID law in August 2013...
Armstead says prevailing wage repeal “very likely” in next year’s session  MetroNews  ...House of Delegates Speaker Tim Armstead said Thursday it’s “very likely” prevailing wage will be repealed during next year’s legislative session. Armstead (R-Kanawha), speaking on MetroNews “Talkline”, said the new wage that came out from WorkForce West Virginia Wednesday was flawed. The Republican-controlled House and Senate passed a bill earlier this year spelling out a new way to determine the prevailing wage...
Montana’s minimum wage to stay at $8.05  Great Fall Tribune  ...Montanans earning minimum wage will see the rate remain at $8.05. An estimated 5,500 workers, or approximately 1.2 percent of the workforce, receive minimum wage.   In 2014, the industry with the largest number of workers earning minimum wage was the accommodations and food industry, followed by the retail trade industry...
UC system minimum wage increases to $13 per hour  Contra Costa Times  ...The University of California's plan to raise the minimum wage for all workers systemwide took effect Thursday, the first of three incremental raises expected to bring wages to at least $15 an hour by 2017. The minimum wage rose to $13 an hour for all university employees hired to work 20 hours or more a week. It will be increased to $14 an hour on Oct. 1, 2016, and to $15 an hour on the same day in 2017...

The Political Power of Takin’ it to the States  The Nation  ... Progressives historically have not paid enough attention to the state-level governmentin’, and, as usual, Republicans control the majority of state assembly chambers—that’s more power at the state level, in fact, than they’ve enjoyed since the 1920s. Republicans hold both the governorship and a legislative majority in 23 states...

U.S. LABOR
UAW rejects Fiat Chrysler contract; strikes loom  Reuters  ...Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV's (FCAU.N) (FCHA.MI) U.S. workers soundly rejected a four-year contract the automaker had agreed with the UAW, the union said on Thursday, setting the stage for at least localized strikes against the automaker. The tentative agreement was voted down by 65 percent of the 40,000 unionized workers who work at the 37 plants of Fiat Chrysler, the smallest of the three major Detroit automakers...
No decision as UAW grapples with next steps  Detroit Free Press  ...No decisions were made on the next steps in UAW negotiations with Detroit automakers after a marathon session of the union leadership that stretched into the night Thursday. Union leadership representing 40,000 Fiat Chrysler Automobiles employees across the country spent about six hours painstakingly dissecting why a tentative agreement was rejected...
T-Mobile Workers Say the Company Has Repeatedly Engaged in Union-busting  In These Times  ...Last month, 20 Democratic lawmakers wrote a letter to T-Mobile’s parent company in Germany expressing their concern over the treatment of T-Mobile workers in the United States. At the forefront of the struggle is the Communications Workers of America (CWA), which has been fighting to organize employees since Deutsche Telekom bought the company in 2001...
USW contract with Cliffs extended through October  Duluth News Tribune  ...The United Steelworkers of America have agreed to keep working under their old contract with Cliffs Natural Resources, at least for another month. The USW bargaining committee said it negotiated a 30-day extension of its current agreement with Cliffs beginning Oct. 1, along with a rolling 168-hour extension if they go past those 30 days...
Job growth falls short of expectations in September; jobless rate unchanged  Washington Post  ...The U.S. job market slowed sharply in September, according to government data released Friday morning, raising new questions about the sturdiness of the country's economic expansion amid weaker growth across the globe. The Labor Department reported that the nation added just 142,000 jobs in September, well below analysts' expectations...
Do We Value Low-Skilled Work?  (opinion) New York Times  ...The labels “low-skilled” or “unskilled” workers — the largest demographic being adult women and minorities — often inaccurately describe an individual’s abilities, but play a powerful role in determining their opportunity. The consequences are not only severe, but incredibly disempowering: poverty-level wages, erratic schedules, the absence of retirement planning, health benefits, paid sick or family leave and the constant threat of being replaced...

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS
The Immigration Act That Inadvertently Changed America  The Atlantic  ...The 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, whose 50th anniversary comes on October 3, officially committed the United States, for the first time, to accepting immigrants of all nationalities on a roughly equal basis. The law eliminated the use of national-origin quotas, under which the overwhelming majority of immigrant visas were set aside for people coming from northern and western Europe...
Oregon college shootings: witnesses recall horror as Obama calls for action  The Guardian  ...Harrowing details have begun to emerge after at least nine people were killed at an Oregon community college by a gunman who witnesses said had demanded to know students’ religion before shooting them. A visibly frustrated Barack Obama reacted to the 45th school shooting to take place in the US this year by telling Americans that “somehow this has become routine”...
Paul Krugman: Never forget what the GOP’s really about it — “top-down class warfare”  Salon  ...New York Times’ columnist Paul Krugman wrote on Friday that the current field of Republican candidates are presenting the nation with tax plans that present a wealth of alternatives, from “huge cuts on the wealthy while blowing up the deficit” to “huge cuts on the wealthy while blowing up the deficit.” He acknowledges that Donald Trump’s plan would blow “an even bigger hole in the budget than Jeb’s,” but the reality is that they are all offering variations on the same voodooistic theme — an economically indefensible desire to cut taxing on the rich...
Vatican Says Pope's Meeting With Kim Davis Was Not an Endorsement  Slate  ...The Vatican says that Pope Francis' Washington, D.C. meeting with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis should not be considered a specific endorsement of her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  Francis' apparent support for Davis' behavior was a disappointment for those who appreciated the generally non-confrontational tone he has taken toward divisive culture-war issues...