Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 10.21.15

TEAMSTERS
Teamsters Ratify National Agreement With First Student  Teamster.org  ...After several months of negotiations and a month-long balloting process, the Teamsters have ratified the second national agreement with the largest private provider of school bus transportation in North America, First Student, Inc. The agreement, ratified by 89 percent of the votes cast, improves working conditions and on-the-job protections for more than 20,000 Teamsters who work at First Student nationwide...
BLET members ratify new contract with CP Rail-U.S. (Soo Line)  BLET  ...Members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with the Canadian Pacific-U.S. Railway (Soo Line) on October 9, 2015. The 5-year deal governs rates of pay, work rules and health and welfare benefits for nearly 400 locomotive engineers...
Teamsters OK to proceed with action to force arbitration with Rush Medical Center for newly unionized patient care techs  Cook County Record  ...On Oct. 19, U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Kendall denied Rush’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Local 743 International Brotherhood of Teamsters in its dispute with the hospital over whether wages, hours and other employment conditions for Rush’s patient care technicians (PCTs) should be decided in arbitration under a longstanding collective bargaining agreement between the hospital and its other unionized workers...
20 salad workers hospitalized in chemical spill  The Californian  ...A toxic stew of chemicals spilled at a Taylor Farms processing plant last week, sending 20 workers to the hospital with symptoms ranging from nosebleeds to vomiting and fainting. Doug Bloch of Teamsters Council 7 says all of the workers returned to work the following day, except for one pregnant woman, who took unpaid leave. “It’s déjà vu,” said Bloch of the latest incident...
Still No Contract for EVSC, Teamsters  TriState Homepage  ...EVSC and Teamsters haven't met to negotiate a new contract in more than a month. Both sides say they're willing to resolve their issues, but can't say when it will happen. EVSC superintendent Dr. David Smith says the board is prepared to sign contracts. Officials with Teamsters Local 215 say they want the same, but they're not going away until they get a fair deal...
Coca-Cola Forklift Operator Receives $5,000 in Back Pay  Local 727  ...A Teamsters Local 727-represented member at Coca-Cola Niles received more than $5,000 in back pay after he was wrongfully denied workers’ compensation. Arel Cervantes, a third-shift forklift operator, requested light duty following an injury, but the company unjustly refused his request and he was forced to continue doing his normal duties. The union filed a grievance and worked swiftly to resolve the issue...

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE
Workers Covered By Union Contracts Dropped Worldwide After Financial Crisis: International Labor Organization  IBTimes  ...The share of workers covered by union contracts has fallen worldwide since the Great Recession. Across a sample of 48 nations -- including the United States and countries in Europe, South America and Asia -- collective bargaining coverage dropped 4.6 percent from 2008 to 2013, according to research from the International Labor Organization (ILO), a United Nations agency that sets and monitors global labor standards...
Pharma flap imperils president’s trade deal  The Hill  ...The most important trade deal of Barack Obama’s presidency could hinge on a single provision that’s reigniting a years-old debate on monopoly rights for drugmakers. The exact details of the pharmaceutical provision, which involves a class of drugs called biologics, won’t be made public until later this month. Still, it’s already threatening to drag out — and possibly derail — the approval process for a deal reached by a dozen nations...
Commerce Secretary Pritzker touts Trans-Pacific Partnership for Oregon  OregonLive  ...The Obama administration brought its argument for the Trans-Pacific Partnership to Oregon on Tuesday, and not for the first time. In May, it was President Obama's visit to Nike to deliver a forceful argument for TPP, which was approved last month by the United States and 11 other countries. On Tuesday, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker participated in a conference call with reporters to stump for the pact...
EU to offer new TTIP proposals in Miami  Politico  ...In a sign that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership talks will make progress in Miami this week, the European Union will propose a labor and environment chapter and product-specific rules of origin for most industrial sectors, EU trade officials said ahead of the round. But don’t expect the focus of the negotiations to shift very far from discussions over goods market access...
EU Trade Deals with US and Canada Blasted as 'Attacking Public Services'  Common Dreams  ...As EU and U.S. negotiators start the 11th round of TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks in Miami on Monday, a European watchdog group is sounding the alarm over the negative impacts such "trade" deals could have on citizens' rights to basic services like water, energy, education, and healthcare...
Spain eases spending constraints as 'reward' following years of austerity  The Local  ...Spain's lower house has approved a 2016 budget designed to ease some spending restrictions after years of austerity, ahead of legislative elections due on December 20th. The budget passed on Tuesday provides for increases of 9.3 percent for education, 3.6 percent for health and 7.6 percent for culture, as well as a rise of 0.25 percent in state pensions and a one-percent boost in pay for civil servants...
Madrid metro workers call strikes during rush hours on Thursday  The Local  ...Madrid’s metro could grind to a halt on Thursday as workers have called several hours of strikes during the busiest hours of the day. Three workers unions called the strikes in protest at the "lack of personnel" and the "pitiful" service offered by the capital’s transport service with complaints including long waiting times and overcrowded carriages...
‘I Was a Garment Worker and I Know Exploitation’  Solidarity Center  ...The “Made in Jordan” label is familiar to U.S. consumers shopping for shirts, jeans and other clothes. Mervat Jumhawi, a Jordanian union organizer, is actively ensuring the largely migrant workforce that cuts and sews these garments does so in safe conditions, receives fair wages and is treated with respect on the job. “I was a garment worker and I know what exploitation is, I knows what that means,” says Jumhawi...
Mexican Farmers Accuse Mining Companies of Shady Tactics in Chiapas  Truthout  ...Mexico's government gave the green light for titanium mining to occur below 500 of the 530 hectares that make up the Los Cacaos community. Villatoro and his neighbors in Los Cacaos express acute fears about the potential environmental effects. He believes that local leaders "were tricked into signing off on the exploration process" by the mining company...

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES
Scott Walker Is Ready To Turn Back The Clock On Ethics And Campaign Finance In Wisconsin  Think Progress  ...“This is the week from hell.” “It’s a complete nightmare.” “It’s ugly. It’s not a pretty picture.” That’s how government watchdogs described to ThinkProgress the series of votes the Wisconsin state legislature has lined up this week on bills designed to deregulate state campaign finance law, dissolve the state ethics and elections board, and take away a key tool prosecutors use to investigate political crimes...
Pa. Bill Would Limit Prevailing Wage Rule For Some Roadwork  Law360  ...A Pennsylvania state lawmaker introduced a bill on Monday that would exempt workers on road maintenance projects from prevailing wage requirements. While certain maintenance projects are already exempt from the state’s prevailing wage requirements, the measure introduced by Rep. Cris Dush, R-Indiana, would expand the exemptions to include work performed on dirt, gravel, and low-volume road maintenance projects...
Half of food workers go to work sick because they have to, survey finds  KPCC  ...Fifty-one percent of food workers — who do everything from grow and process food to cook and serve it — said they "always" or "frequently" go to work when they're sick, according to the results of a survey released Monday. An additional 38 percent said they go to work sick "sometimes." Four states — California, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Oregon — have passed legislation to provide paid sick leave, in addition to a number of cities across the country...
Congratulations Tennessee: You’ve Got the Most Regressive Tax System in America  The Atlantic  ...According to a study by economists at the Federal Reserve, Tennessee, Mississippi, and West Virginia have structured their tax codes so that middle and lower-income families pay a bigger share of their incomes than wealthy families do. Many economists, including Thomas Piketty, believe that such systems can make inequality worse. Tennessee has taken this strategy the furthest: The state has the most regressive tax system in the country, according to the study...
Will Colorado Become the First State to Implement Single-Payer Health Care?  Truthout  ...The fight for a statewide single-payer health-care system has shifted from the Green Mountains to the Rocky Mountains: Colorado citizens are about to put single-payer up for a statewide ballot referendum in the 2016 election. If voters approve, the state constitution will be amended to create a statewide, publicly financed, universal system for the first time in US history...
Minneapolis leaders rally support for Seattle's minimum wage champion  Star Tribune  ...Two Minneapolis City Council members and a long list of local labor organizers are throwing their support behind a candidate running for city office -- in Seattle. Council Members Alondra Cano and Cam Gordon are among the co-hosts of a fundraiser supporting Kshama Sawant, a current member of the Seattle City Council who led the successful effort to raise that city's minimum wage...

U.S. LABOR
Signs of support for UAW-FCA contract voting  Detroit Free Press  ...Substantial dissatisfactoin among UAW remains to the proposed agreement with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles but workers and other sources say the intensity of opposition is subsiding. The yes votes by the two workers are in line with what others have been telling the Free Press in recent days — while there are still vocal opponents, many who rejected the first contract are prepared to accept this one...
CSU faculty to vote on major strike over contract  KCRA  ...Faculty members at the California State University's 23 campuses started voting Monday on whether to permit their labor union to call a strike over stalled salary negotiations. The strike authorization vote being held online and in person is at least the fourth that the California Faculty Association has held in eight years. Balloting is scheduled to run through Oct. 28...
NLRB delivers response to FedEx challenge of 'micro union' test  Reuters  ...The National Labor Relations Board on Tuesday defended its standard for approving the formation of so-called micro unions made up of distinct groups of employees from a challenge by FedEx Freight Inc, which says the board violated federal law in unilaterally creating new policy. In a brief submitted to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the NLRB said its 2011 decision in Specialty Healthcare, merely clarified existing law...
Verizon Makes Over $1 Billion In Profits Per Month And Demands Concessions From Workers  NH Labor News  ...In response to today’s Verizon earnings report, the Communications Workers of America, which along with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, represents 39,000 Verizon workers, issued the following statement: "Yet again, Verizon’s quarterly report shows the strength of the company’s bottom line. But despite another almost $1.5 billion dollars a month in profits, the company turns its back on its workers"...
Is Nevada’s Labor Movement Ready to Forgive Democrats?  National Journal  ...Last year, as the Republican wave crested across the coun­try, labor organizers seek­ing to rally union members in Nevada foresaw a rout. The evidence was in their door-to-door efforts to excite the faithful: Some workers slammed their doors. Others tore up campaign literature and threw it in the organizers’ faces. Still others simply asked, “Why?” It was a stark display of a dispirited move­ment that has been the backbone of the Democratic Party in this swing state for decades...

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS
San Francisco Votes to Keep Shielding Immigrants From Deportation Officials  New York Times  ...The Board of Supervisors upheld San Francisco’s status as a sanctuary for immigrants on Tuesday, unanimously passing a resolution that called on local law enforcement not to notify the federal authorities when unauthorized immigrants are released from custody. The city had been under pressure from critics of its policies on immigrants...
Google Tests Drone Delivery As Feds Move For More Regulation  Think Progress  ...Google was spotted conducting more delivery drone tests Monday in an effort to beat competitor Amazon. But regulators are close behind, moving to require drone operators to register unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) with the Department of Transportation much like drivers do with their cars. The Federal Aviation Administration has been working on guidelines for commercial use...
Rural Alabama Judge Gives Penniless Defendants the Option to Give Blood or Go to Jail  Slate  ...A rural Alabama judge is facing criticism, and an ethics complaint, for telling a courtroom full of defendants, many indigent, that if they could not pay their fines or court fees, they could donate blood. Otherwise they would be sent to jail. The Southern Poverty Law Center released a recording of Perry County Circuit Judge Marvin Wiggins spelling out his policy to his courtroom last month...

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