Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 10.19.15

TEAMSTERS

Teamsters, Elected Officials, Community Leaders Tell Safeway To Keep Jobs In Maryland  Teamster.org  ...Safeway employees, Teamsters, elected officials and community leaders in Maryland rallied today outside the Collingwood distribution center to protest Cerberus Capital Management’s (Safeway’s new owner) plan to shutter the facility in less than 60 days. Safeway’s warehouse operator C&S Wholesalers abruptly sent a WARN notice to union officials of Teamsters Local 639 and 730 announcing their plan to close the facility...
How the “Wal-Mart effect” squeezes workers in the vast infrastructure behind your groceries  Washington Post  ...In the early afternoon of Oct. 6, a couple of lawyers from a company called C&S Wholesale Grocers arrived at the union hall of Teamsters Local 639 in Northeast Washington. Phil Giles, the union’s vice president, was already worried. Ever since C&S's Collington Services unit took over warehouse operations for Safeway, the workers who moved goods in and out of two facilities in Landover and Upper Marlboro, Md., figured their jobs might be at risk...
Twenty Taylor Farms Workers Hospitalized After Company Tells Employees To Keep Working Amid Spill  Teamster.org  ...Workers at Taylor Farms in Tracy, Calif. were hospitalized yesterday after being told to return to work as a chemical spill took place inside the salad processing facility. When they complained about the overpowering fumes, a supervisor in charge instructed them to go back to work. “Taylor Farms’ routine mistreatment of its workers in Tracy knows no bounds, and yesterday it nearly amounted to a death sentence for its employees,” said Ashley Alvarado, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 601...
Coca-Cola syrup plant workers in Lehigh Valley vote to join union  Morning Call  ...About 80 workers at the Coca-Cola Lehigh Valley Syrup plant in Upper Macungie Township have voted to unionize for the first time. Brian Taylor, a trustee and organizer with Teamsters Local 773 in Allentown, said this week that workers voted 58-24 on Oct. 1 for union representation. He said the union next hopes to meet with management and negotiate a labor deal...
Teamster car-haulers reject contract proposal  JOC  ...Teamsters union negotiators are heading back to the table with carhauling employers after union members that haul automobiles rejected a new national contract last week. The tentative National Master Automobile Transporters Agreement, which covers about 6,000 Teamster carhaulers, was overwhelming rejected by rank-and-file union members. Out of the 2,865 Teamster carhaulers at 39 locals who voted Oct. 15, 2,493 or 87 percent rejected the contract...
School bus workers vow strike after rejecting final contract offer at Hauppauge meeting  Newsday  ...A narrow majority of voting workers for a Ronkonkoma-based school bus company that transports 15,000 Long Island children each school day voted Saturday to reject a final contract offer and vowed to strike. Teamsters Local 1205 officials instructed workers to go to work Monday, but to be prepared in the event a union representative is waiting, ready to lead them in a picket line...

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE
Obama shrugs off Hillary’s opposition to Pacific trade deal  Yahoo  ...the president faces new opposition to the trade deal from Hillary Clinton, who not only served as his secretary of state but played a large role in advancing the agreement. In 2012, while it was still being negotiated, the future 2016 presidential candidate famously called it “the gold standard.” But at this week’s Democratic debate, she repudiated it...
Orrin Hatch holds cards on trade deal  Politico  ...No one fought harder to give President Barack Obama trade promotion authority to complete a landmark 12-nation deal than Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch. Now, no lawmaker may be more disappointed with the result — or better positioned to torpedo the deal if he chooses to oppose it...
China lays out ‘countermeasures’ to offset exclusion from TPP  Financial Times  ...China has “countermeasures” that it can take to offset the negative economic impact of the country’s exclusion from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, its National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday. Sheng Laiyun, NBS spokesman, waded into a growing debate in Beijing about the costs of being left out of the TPP...
TTIP is already letting big business shape our laws  (opinion) Independent  ...The concern about TTIP isn’t that "US standards are bad" and "European standards are good", but that policy-making across the world is already too geared to promoting the interests of big business. The VW scandal is just the most recent example of how serious the consequences of such a model are to our future. But TTIP will deepen that exact system...
Brazil's president backs finance minister, austerity drive  Reuters  ...Brazil President Dilma Rousseff on Sunday expressed support for Finance Minister Joaquim Levy and said the government will continue efforts to push austerity measures through Brazil's Congress. "Finance Minister Levy stays," Rousseff told reporters during a visit to Sweden, following a flurry of speculation in Brazilian media in recent days that the finance chief was getting ready to step down...
Greece Approves First Austerity Bill  Wall Street Journal  ...Greece’s lawmakers approved Friday the first bill containing tough austerity measures and economic overhauls agreed under its new bailout program. After a week-long debate, the bill, which includes stricter pension rules, tax hikes and tougher fines for tax evasion, was passed by the majority of Greece’s 300 lawmakers...
Children among Six Dead in Uzbek Cotton Harvest So Far  Solidarity Center  ...Six people, including two boys, one age 2, another age 17, died this month in circumstances related to Uzbekistan’s fall harvest, according to the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights. Uzbekistan primarily uses forced labor for cotton harvesting in September and October, and last year, at least 17 people died during the harvest season...

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES
Prevailing Wage supporters will speak out for veterans  WLNS  ...Michigan war veterans who currently work in the construction industry will speak out in support of the state’s Prevailing Wage laws. The 50-year-old law requires workers on state-financed government construction projects to be paid local wage and benefit rates, which are based on union contracts...
Voters Could Change Ohio's Minimum Wage Daily Record  ...A group has submitted initial petition language to the attorney general's office as part of an effort to increase Ohio's minimum wage. Stand Up Ohio wants the latter to be increased to $10 per hour as of Jan. 1, 2017, then upped 50 cents annually through 2021, when it would reach $12. After that, the rate would be adjusted for inflation...
After Destroying Homeless Camps, Hawaii Declares State Of Emergency On Homelessness  Think Progress  ...On Friday, Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) signed an emergency proclamation on the state of its homeless population. The state has come under scrutiny, however, for often dealing with its burgeoning homeless population by simply cracking down on those who are on the streets...
Clinton slams Alabama’s ‘discriminatory’ voter law  The Hill  ...Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton on Saturday accused Alabama lawmakers of advancing “discriminatory” laws to roll back voting rights, as she looks to shore up support with black voters. In her first visit to Alabama as a presidential candidate, Clinton elevated her call for voting rights as she condemned the state’s decision last week to close 31 driver’s license offices...
The States Where $15 Isn’t A Living Wage  Think Progress  ...A new report from The Alliance For A Just Society argues that $15 may still fall short of a living wage. The report defines a living wage as “…one that allows families to meet their basic needs, without public assistance, and that provides them some ability to deal with emergencies and plan ahead. It is not a poverty or survival wage.” The cost of living calculation they use has some cushion to it...
We've seen what happens without a prevailing wage in Michigan  (opinion) Detroit Free Press  ...Somehow in Michigan, the value of our state’s long-standing and valuable prevailing wage law has been turned into a union versus business issue, and has been presented by some lawmakers as something that adds expenses to the ultimate cost of taxpayer-funded state and local construction projects. Nothing could be further from the truth. But that’s not stopping a misguided effort in the Legislature to try to repeal Michigan’s prevailing wage laws...

U.S. LABOR
UAW workers more positive about new Fiat Chrysler contract  USA Today  ...A better deal, greater efforts to explain it and negotiations fatigue might be enough to ratify the new tentative agreement between the United Auto Workers union and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Unionized Fiat Chrysler workers will vote Tuesday and Wednesday on whether to ratify a new contract that will govern their working lives for the next four years. The mood heading into the vote suggests ratification is possible, but far from assured...
NLRB rules United Steelworkers Union can continue to represent UniFirst employees  TribLive  ...While the United Steelworkers Union continues its stalemate with Allegheny Technologies, it can celebrate at least one recent victory. The National Labor Relations Board ruled Oct. 1 that the USW still rightfully represents the workers at UniFirst, in New Kensington. UniFirst is a national company that supplies uniforms and workplace products to businesses...
Leaked Documents Show How Harvard Administration Wants To Defeat Grad Student Union  In These Times  ...Harvard’s grad students have launched a union campaign, and Harvard’s administration has launched its response. Internal documents from the administration to the faculty, which were leaked to me, reveal some fascinating developments in these increasingly common anti-union drives of elite Ivy League universities. First, university administrations have grown highly sensitized to any perception that they or their faculty are using intimidation and coercion to bust unions of academic workers...
Workers Fight Back Against Racism, Wage Theft, Toxic Hazards, and Chronic Overwork at Brooklyn B&H Warehouse  The Nation  ... The workers accuse the famed photo-gadget emporium of discrimination against the largely Latino immigrant warehouse workforce. On a typical workday, according to a list of charges issued by workers and their legal counsel, workers labor several hours straight without eating or drinking, sometimes in sweltering heat...
Contract battle between NBC10 & IBEW Local 98 comes to an end  Business Journal   ...NBC10’s striking photographers and technicians voted Friday to ratify a new four-year contract after more than three weeks off the job, NBC10 and other sources confirmed Friday morning. A source told the Philadelphia Business Journal that the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98, who represents the striking workers, relented on one issue...

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS
Prisoners' Families Organize to Resist Incarceration and Its Costs  Truthout  ...Across the United States, family members have similar stories of the financial costs of their loved ones' incarceration. In September 2015, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Forward Together and Research Action Design released "Who Pays? The True Cost of Incarceration on Families." The report, which includes interviews, surveys and focus groups with formerly incarcerated people and family members in 14 states, examines the financial and emotional costs of incarceration...
Homan Square revealed: how Chicago police 'disappeared' 7,000 people  The Guardian  ...Police “disappeared” more than 7,000 people at an off-the-books interrogation warehouse in Chicago, nearly twice as many detentions as previously disclosed, the Guardian can now reveal. From August 2004 to June 2015, nearly 6,000 of those held at the facility were black, which represents more than twice the proportion of the city’s population. But only 68 of those held were allowed access to attorneys or a public notice of their whereabouts...
Rich Nations Failing to Meet Climate Obligations at Expense of Poor: Report  Common Dreams  ...The U.S. and other wealthy nations are not pulling their weight in the climate change fight and may be setting the world on an even more devastating climate track, a new report published Monday reveals. Globally, governments' pledges to limit greenhouse gas emissions are not adequate to stave off an average surface temperature warming of 2°C...