Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News 10.20.15

TEAMSTERS
Hoffa: Congress Should Rebuild Roads, Not Lengthen Trailers  Huffington Post  ...America's highways can be a dangerous place for motorists. That's why it makes no sense that some in Congress want to cave to trucking industry interests and approve the use of even longer double trailers on over-congested highways. Such a move further hampers highway safety and could potentially cause an uptick of deaths on the nation's thoroughfares...
Coca-Cola Workers Vote Teamsters Yes In Pennsylvania  Teamster.org  ...By a majority vote, production workers at the Coca Cola manufacturing facility in Allentown, PA have voted to join Teamsters Local 773 in Allentown. There are 90 employees in the union bargaining unit, all of which work in the syrup production facility, the key ingredient in Coca-Cola beverages...
Teamsters Local 745 Wins Two Organizing Campaigns  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters Local 745 in Dallas recently won two organizing campaigns, with more than 20 workers on their way to more secure futures. In the first victory, on October 7, 2015 workers at Exel, a distribution center in Socorro, Texas, near El Paso, voted 8 to 4 to join Local 745. There are 12 warehouse workers in the bargaining unit. On October 9, workers at Darling International in Dallas, a grease recycling company, voted 6 to 2 to join Local 745...
Teamsters Say Union Buster C&S Wholesale Grocers Aims To Kill Jobs at Safeway  In These Times  ...Teamster members and their supporters are mobilizing to block a union busting effort at two huge warehouses controlled by the Safeway supermarket chain, one of several food retailers recently combined into national grocery store colossus by Wall Street private equity firm Cerberus Capital. The two warehouses are located in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C., and currently employ about 700 workers, most of them represented by the Teamsters...
EVSC, Teamsters Optimistic of Reaching Deal  TriState Homepage  ...The Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation and a local union remain at odds and without a contract, but leaders from both sides still have hope. At Monday night's EVSC School Board meeting, Teamsters Local 215 President Chuck Whobrey expressed optimism about reaching a deal. The school board matched the sentiment. However, nothing beyond that was discussed...
3 senators set news conference to state opposition to 33-foot trailers  The Trucker  ...Three senators - two Democrats and one Republican - say they will hold a news conference in front of the Capitol Wednesday to discuss their bipartisan opposition to a federal mandate that would allow large trucks to pull double 33-foot trailers on the nation’s highways. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., say they will be joined by representatives from the trucking industry, Teamsters, law enforcement and a safety advocacy group...
Teamsters: Canadians Choose Change  Teamsters Canada  ...Canadians made their choice. They sent a clear message by electing a Liberal majority. Canadians are eager for change and expressed it eloquently. The challenges ahead are great, but this new generation of politicians was brought to power with a strong mandate. The drawn-out election campaign allowed Justin Trudeau to speak out on several issues that are important not only for the workers we represent, but for all citizens of this country...

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE
Opposition's Trudeau wins, raising doubts on TPP  Nikkei  ...Canada's opposition Liberal Party, led by Justin Trudeau, defeated Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative Party in Monday's snap election, ending nine years of Conservative rule. The shift in power to the center-left party casts uncertainty on whether Canada will ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Trudeau, 43, has been critical of the TPP...
Public Services Under Attack through TTIP and CETA Atlantic Trade Deals  Global Research  ...Public services in the European Union (EU) are under threat from international trade negotiations that endanger governments’ ability to regulate and citizens’ rights to access basic services. The EU’s CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) agreement with Canada, the ratification of which could begin in 2016, and the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) treaty under negotiation with the United States are the latest culmination in such efforts...
TTIP Already 'Rewriting the Rule Book' for EU Food Standards, New Report Finds  Common Dreams  ...The pending Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will likely spark a "race to the bottom" for national policies that regulate everything from the air we breath to the food we eat and, according to a new report, the controversial pact is already pushing European governments to loosen key food safety standards. Put forth by the UK-based social justice organization Global Justice now, the report, published Sunday, highlights a component of the pact known as "regulatory cooperation" or "regulatory coherence"...
The TPP: Priority #1 of US Multinational Corporations  TeleSUR  ...Although the full TPP document is still being kept secret — to all but the representatives of multinational corporations who chaired the 30 committees and told the government trade representatives what to negotiate, some details of the super-secret deal have been leaking out. And if the leaks are any indication of what’s to come when full details are released, consumers, workers, and everyone concerned about the growing global “corporatization” of democracy, are in for a big shock...
Obama takes to op-ed pages to push Trans-Pacific Partnership  CNN  ...President Barack Obama is taking to the op-ed pages of several local newspapers to make his case for passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. On Saturday, the Concord Monitor of New Hampshire published an op-ed under Obama's byline advocating for the deal and why it stands to benefit New Hampshire. The day before, the Tampa Bay Times published virtually the same op-ed by Obama...
Canadians hit at politics of austerity  Financial Times  ...The politics of austerity took a beating in the Canadian federal election on Monday, as the Liberal party of Justin Trudeau swept to victory on a platform of increasing the budget deficit to fund infrastructure projects and thereby stimulate the economy. Under Mr Trudeau, the Liberals tacked to the left this year, arguing that Canada should take advantage of the current low level of interest rates to increase borrowing and bolster an economy left reeling by lower prices for oil and other commodities...
Greece eyes new reforms as workers call strike, farmers mobilize  Reuters  ...Greece's international lenders will start assessing its economic reforms this week as the debt-riddled nation braced for more economic pain and its largest union called for a nationwide strike on Nov. 12. The Greek parliament last week approved a first raft of reforms to the pension and tax systems, sought by lenders as a condition for up to 86 billion euros in aid. The retirement age will incrementally rise to 67...
MBIE workers to go on strike  3News  ...Staff at the controversy-plagued Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment are going on strike. More than 1000 workers have voted to take industrial action on November 5 and November 23. Their union, the Public Service Association, says MBIE is refusing to offer any pay increases and management continue to contribute to poor workplace culture. "These people help keep to set the standard for all New Zealand workers"...

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES
The Kochs Want to End WI's Era of Clean Government  PR Watch  ...Following the bipartisan "John Doe" investigation into campaign finance violations by Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin Republicans are out for revenge. And the Kochs have their back. This week, the Wisconsin state legislature will take up a trifecta of bills that will undermine the state's long traditions of clean and transparent government. One bill will gut the state's campaign finance laws...
Judge Refuses To Expand Wisconsin Voter ID Law To Help Students And Veterans Vote  Think Progress  ...On Monday, a federal district court in Wisconsin rejected demands from local students, veterans, and low-income residents to allow them to use alternative forms of voter ID or have the ability to sign a sworn affadavit at the ballot box. A lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union argued that the strict voter ID law Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed in 2011 placed “an unjustified burden” on their ability to vote...
Judge to rule on Kentucky county's right-to-work law  Reuters  ...A federal judge is poised to rule on a union challenge to a Kentucky county's right-to-work ordinance, in a closely watched case testing the legality of local bans on union security agreements. Twenty-five states have right-to-work laws prohibiting provisions in collective bargaining agreements calling on workers to pay money to labor unions as a condition of employment. But Kentucky, which has no statewide right-to-work law, became a testing ground for local laws...
Veterans Don't Want Lawmakers to Repeal Prevailing Wage  WILX  ...Some veterans who work in the construction industry are trying to convince state lawmakers not to repeal Michigan's prevailing wage law. Around 9% of construction workers are veterans, compared to 6% of the rest of the workforce. The prevailing wage law requires contractors to pay union-scale salaries for all taxpayer-funded projects...
Right to Work lawmakers impose their own 'union dues'  MLive  ...When Republican legislators pushed through a contentious Right To Work law two years ago, they said they were freeing unionized workers from a system that "confiscated" a portion of employee paychecks through union dues. Yet those GOP lawmakers hypocritically engage in their own rigid employment system. The leadership of both parties essentially charges legislative aides dues by instructing them to contribute hundreds of dollars for their respective party's campaign activities...
Robert Reich: Working Full Time and Living in Abject Poverty - That's What Today's Minimum Wage Will Get You  Alternet  ...Have you noticed how often conservatives who disagree with a policy proposal call it a “job killer?” They’re especially incensed about proposals to raise the federal minimum wage. They claim it will force employers to lay off workers. But as Princeton University economist Alan Krueger pointed outrecently in the New York Times, “research suggests that a minimum wage set as high as $12 an hour will do more good than harm for low-wage workers”...
Can Drought-Ridden California Keep Growing?  The Atlantic  ...As the population of the San Joaquin Valley swells despite city-planning and water-system crises, it’s the poor, rural communities that tend to be worst off. Emissions from transportation, mostly from trucks, are what primarily make the region’s air quality among the worst in the nation. The zip codes with the highest rate of respiratory risk have poor and predominantly Hispanic populations. And lately, the drought has made air even more unbreathable...

U.S. LABOR
Grocery workers ratify new contract with Safeway  Business Journal  ...Grocery-store workers at Safeway and Vons stores in Northern and Central California have ratified a new contract, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union announced Friday afternoon. The four-year contract between Local UFCW 8-Golden State ­covers about 9,000 workers at 130 Safeway stores, including about 15 in the Sacramento region...
UAW members to begin voting on new FCA contract  The Detroit News  ...As 40,000 United Auto Workers members begin voting Tuesday on the latest tentative agreement between the union and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, hostility that fueled an overwhelmingly majority of workers to reject the first four-year deal appears to have been dialed down to a simmer. Since the new deal was reached just prior to a strike deadline on Oct. 7, there have been no large protests planned, social media chatter has cooled and talk on many factory floors is that the deal is far improved...
Steelmakers still ask for layoffs, concessions  NWI Times  ...The United Steelworkers union is fighting U.S. Steel on layoffs, and taking a break from negotiations with ArcelorMittal. The USW won't resume talks with ArcelorMittal until Oct. 25. The union told its members little progress has been made in talks over the past week with the Luxembourg-based steelmaker...
AT&T, Communications Workers of America Reach Tentative Agreements In AT&T Southeast Wireline Contract Negotiations  MarketWatch  ...AT&T today announced that AT&T southeast wireline operations have reached a tentative agreement with the Communications Workers of America in southeast wireline contract negotiations. Additionally, the Company reached tentative agreements with the CWA on two southeast regional contracts. They cover about 24,000 employees in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee...
Union workers picket to get better deal with AT&T  Robesonian  ...Thirteen members of Local 3609 of the Communications Workers of America joined fellow-union members in nine states Friday on informational picket lines to build public support in their effort to get a better contract with AT&T. “We want to reach a fair contract. We want to provide the quality service our customers deserve,” said Local President Nathan Mason...
Why We Need to Take Care of the Workers Behind Home Healthcare  The Nation  ... Since home-based healthcare services is one of the fastest growing sectors, home care jobs are being redefined largely by market trends. But a program developed through the SEIU home care union in Washington sees the sector’s expansion as a platform to systematically transform one of the lowest-paid jobs into a career of the future...
No Haitians need apply: Horribly racist help wanted ad sparks outrage, investigation  Salon  ...An outrageous help-wanted ad in a New York newspaper has sparked a torrent of outrage. The ad in the New City (N.Y.) Pennysaver, filled with spelling errors, seeks a “Laid back nurse, no haitians, must have strong respiratory mngt” for in-home nursing positions in West Haverstraw, Rockland County. After the ad sparked a torrent of public outrage on social media, New York State Sen. David Carlucci posted on Twitter that he would call an investigation...

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS
What happened to the president's immigration programs?  LA Times  ...Demonstrators are fasting this week in front of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans, protesting a suit brought by 26 states that seeks an end to the temporary protection from deportation granted to immigrants by executive action. A panel of three appeals court judges heard arguments July 10 but has delayed ruling nearly a month beyond its self-imposed 60-day deadline...
Ferguson Traffic Fines Reform Is Having A Surprising Side Effect  Think Progress  ...A tiny Missouri town disbanded its police department last week, acknowledging that its old way of operating was untenable under a new state law restricting towns in St. Louis County from using cops, courts, and speed traps as a money mill. The law was prompted by federal investigations in the wake of Ferguson, MO police officer Darren Wilson’s killing of unarmed teenager. Those inquiries revealed systematic exploitation of the traffic court system to ensnare drivers – predominantly people of color and low means...