Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News 10.22.15

TEAMSTERS
Teamsters: Highway Safety Should Come Before Higher Trucking Industry Profits  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa today joined a bipartisan collection of lawmakers and truck safety advocates at a Capitol Hill press conference to denounce efforts to extend the length of tractor trailers nationwide, saying the move jeopardizes highway safety. Allowing trucks to pull 33-foot trailers would add an additional 10 feet to the length of existing double trailers...
Teamsters join chorus of opposition to proposition to allow 33-foot doubles  CCJ  ...The Teamsters Union voiced its opposition Wednesday, Oct. 21,  to increasing the allowed length of tractor-trailers, saying simply that bigger trucks would make U.S. highways less safe. Specifically, the Teamsters announced their opposition to upping the maximum twin-trailer length to 33-feet from the current 28-foot maximum...
Longer Tractor-Trailers Are A Safety Hazard, Teamsters Say  Law360  ...The International Brotherhood of Teamsters opposes a proposal that would raise the nationwide cap on the length of double tractor-trailers, saying Wednesday that the proposal endangers truck drivers and other highway motorists. Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa appeared at a news conference on Capitol Hill Wednesday with a bipartisan group of lawmakers, seeking to derail legislation that would mandate that states allow 33-foot double trailers...
Teamsters Ratify New Contract at Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons  Teamster.org  ...The Teamsters Union announced today that a majority of its members working as drivers, warehouse workers and in dairy and manufacturing at grocery companies Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons in Southern California have ratified a new five-year agreement.  The new agreement raises work standards and compensation for the more than 2,000 employees represented by the Teamsters...
Proposed SFMTA restrictions to enhance commuter program  SF Examiner  ...An 18-month commuter shuttle pilot program in San Francisco is set to expire on Jan. 31 but an ongoing program has been proposed by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. Rome Aloise, president of Teamsters Joint Council 7, which represents some Bay Area shuttle bus drivers and is seeking to represent others, said he is “pleased to see the SFMTA designing a program that recognizes the efforts of these shuttle bus drivers to organize for better wages and working conditions with our union”...
Teamsters Vow To Stand With UPS Pilots On Picket Lines If The Independent Pilots Association Strikes United Parcel Service  PR Newswire  ...In an unqualified show of support, James Hoffa, General President and Ken Hall, General Secretary-Treasurer of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, pledged to the Independent Pilots Association that "if a strike is necessary, we will not cross your lines, but will stand with you on them." This commitment from Hoffa and Hall came in a letter to IPA President, Captain Robert Travis...
Labor, pension managers square off over benefits  The Hill  ...The Department of the Treasury is facing mounting pressure over a proposal to cut retirement benefits for hundreds of thousands of union workers. Hurtling toward insolvency, the Central States Pension Fund is looking to slash benefits by an average of one-third in order to prevent the program from running out of money in the coming years. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, whose members make up the largest chunk of Central States’ more than 400,000 participants, is fighting the benefit reductions...

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE
Transatlantic trade talks underway in Miami  Miami Herald  ...U.S. and European Union officials are in Miami this week for the 11th round of negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a proposed U.S.-EU agreement that would govern about one-third of the goods and services traded in the world. This round of TTIP negotiations, which are being held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Miami, began Monday and concludes Friday...
Obama woos TPA Dems on TPP  Politico  ...President Barack Obama turned on the charm Wednesday night to build support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, telling about 35 House and Senate Democrats who stood with him on trade promotion authority they're going to like what's in the pact when it comes to issues like labor, tobacco, the environment and investor-state dispute settlement...
Obama Does Damage Control After Hillary Defects on TPP  US News  ...President Barack Obama was scheduled to meet with congressional Democrats at the White House on Wednesday evening in an effort to convince them to rescue his landmark Pacific Rim trade pact as it faces increasingly long odds. Obama is expected to send formal notification to Congress as soon as this week that he intends to sign the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, a deal eight years in the making that would establish trade rules among countries that comprise 40 percent of the global economy...
TTIP Trade Talks Continue Under Veil of Secrecy in Miami - Official  Sputnik News  ...Chief negotiators of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement persisted to show contempt for transparency in Miami this week by failing to provide any meaningful details to the deal’s most critical stakeholders, a trade official from America’s largest labor union told Sputnik. On Monday, the week-long eleventh round of TTIP talks got underway in Miami...
Labor Voices: Trade deal will hurt auto industry, jobs  (opinion) The Detroit News  ...The last thing Michigan needs is another bad trade deal. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what the recently-announced Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) represents. This new trade agreement will be up for debate in Congress soon, and it’s a perfect example of what not to do when it comes to crafting trade policies that are good for Michigan families, and our auto industry...
Debt inspectors review Greek bailout progress  Business Insider  ...Greece's left-wing government said Wednesday it was in a "tough battle" with its bailout creditors over their demand to reduce protections for distressed mortgage holders. Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and several other Cabinet members met with representatives of the European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund, European Commission and European Stability Mechanism. They discussed the spending cuts, tax hikes and economic reforms that Greece has passed...
Greek ports face two days of stoppages from towage union strike  JOC  ...Two days of strike action by towage workers will bring ship movements in Greek ports to a standstill Thursday and Friday, Inchcape Shipping Services has warned. The maritime and cargo services company said in an advisory to customers that work stoppages announced by the Crew Union of Towage Companies in Greece would affect vessel movements at all Greek ports and terminals...
Canada and the Anti-Austerity Movement  The New Yorker  ...From a global economic perspective, much of the interest in Trudeau’s success lies in his rejection of Harper’s balanced-budgets pitch, and his promotion of an economic plan that would have the federal government borrow money at low interest rates and invest it in infrastructure. While the absolute numbers in Trudeau’s proposal appear to be small they would virtually double infrastructure spending over the next decade...
South African students, police clash as protests against fee hikes grow  CNN  ...Throngs of students stormed the South African parliament in Cape Town and trapped lawmakers inside to protest fee increases set to take effect next year. University of Cape Town youth groups rallied students for Wednesday's protest, which started on campus and snaked toward parliament, about a mile away. Police at the scene "started throwing grenades and firing tear gas"...

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES
Welcome to the Wholly Owned Koch Subsidiary Formerly Known as Wisconsin  Huffington Post  ...Starting today, three bills are being rammed through the Wisconsin legislature that will put the final nails in the coffin of our state's long history of clean elections and accountable governance. The same group of GOP leaders who attempted to gut the state's open records law over the 4th of July weekend are now calling for secrecy in campaign spending and for dismantling the two major avenues for investigating political corruption...
Supporters Predict Right-To-Work Swell If Court Rules In Hardin County’s Favor  WFPL  ...A ruling is imminent in a federal lawsuit that will determine whether Kentucky counties are allowed to pass local right-to-work laws. Right-to-work supporters say scores of counties in Kentucky and across the country are poised to pass local right-to-work laws if Hardin County’s law is upheld. Jim Waters, president of the conservative think tank Bluegrass Institute, said 50 counties have requested a copy of a model right-to-work law...
Alabama Addresses Voter Suppression Accusations By Keeping Rural DMVs Open One Day A Month  Think Progress  ...After national outcry from civil groups and politicians, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley announced he is somewhat reversing his decision to shut down 31 DMV offices in rural, majority-black counties across his state. Under the new plan, the offices will remain open just one day a month, beginning this November. Critics of the closures, including Selma, Alabama native Rep. Terri Sewell (D), say it’s not enough...
Minimum Wage Fight Just Got a Powerful New Ally  Alternet  ...The nationwide effort for a $15 minimum wage has made significant gains in the past year, with victories in major cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, and, partially, New York state. But, for much of the country, the idea of a $15 minimum wage remains elusive. One large California-based service union aims to change this by launching a fund to campaign for higher minimum wage ballot measures in several states...
Garcetti is reluctant to back bid for a statewide $15 an hour minimum wage  LA Times  ...After Los Angeles passed legislation this summer that will raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour, Mayor Eric Garcetti positioned himself as a leading advocate for higher pay for the working poor, in Southern California and beyond. But in the latest and most active front in the fight to raise pay for low-wage workers, those watching for Garcetti to get involved may have to be patient...

U.S. LABOR
Done deal: UAW confirms ratification of FCA contract  Detroit Free Press  ...The UAW said today its members overwhelmingly ratified a new four-year agreement with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, giving the union its first new contract with the Detroit Three since formal negotiations began in July. The overwhelming support -- 77% voted yes -- comes almost six weeks after the old contract was set to expire...
NLRB Returns to Grad Student Unions  Inside Higher Ed  ...The National Labor Relations Board -- voting 3 to 1 -- agreed Wednesday to reconsider whether graduate teaching assistants at private universities are entitled to collective bargaining. The board accepted a case involving a bid by the United Auto Workers at the New School to unionize...
EPA chief, farmworkers praise new pesticide rules  ModBee  ...The chief of the Environmental Protection Agency visited a Stockton-area farm Tuesday to celebrate new federal rules for protecting workers from pesticides. Administrator Gina McCarthy, joined by United Farm Workers President Arturo Rodriguez, said the changes could reduce the 3,000-plus cases of pesticide exposure each year. The rules, enacted last month, are similar to what California already required...
81% in favor: Transit union members approve three-year contract  Fox6  ...Leaders of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 998 say members on Wednesday, October 21st voted to approve a three-year contract agreement with Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS). According to union leaders, transit workers voted 81% in favor of the contract agreement...
Bank's Severance Deal Requires IT Workers to Be on Call for Two Years — Without Pay  Alternet  ...A severance deal that SunTrust Banks has reportedly provided to as many as 100 laid off technology workers would require the employees to continue providing assistance to the company for a period of two years without additional compensation. Computerworld reported this week that a number of employees who had received layoff notices from the Atlanta-based company provided a copy of the severance deal, “which gives the bank a way to tap their expertise long after their departure”...
Paul Ryan Wants To Preserve His Work/Family Balance While Making It Harder For Poor Parents  Think Progress  ...After Republicans in the House have spent weeks scrambling to find a new speaker to unite behind, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is finally saying he might run, but under a number of conditions. One of those conditions is that the time he currently spends with his wife and children be preserved even if he assumes a more demanding job. But while Ryan seeks to preserve his own balance between his work and his family, he’s pushed policies that would make doing so more difficult for others, particularly poor parents...
Survey: Half Of Food Workers Go To Work Sick Because They Have To  NPR  ...Flu season is here. And when the flu strikes, the luckier victims may call in sick without getting punished or losing pay. But many American workers, including those who handle our food, aren't so fortunate. 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...

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS
How Immigration Detention Centers Retraumatize Women And Children Fleeing From Violence  Think Progress  ...Yanira, a 41-year-old Guatemalan national, left her home country with her three children because their lives were in danger from gang violence. She and her family arrived in Texas in February — but they were soon put in an immigration detention center. Yanira’s experience mirrors what many Central American mothers and children go through as they attempt to make the journey to this country, according to a new report...
'New Era of American Prosperity': Sanders Calls for Free Higher Ed for All  Common Dreams  ..."It is time to build on the progressive movement of the past and make public colleges and universities tuition-free in the United States," presidential candidate Bernie Sanders wrote in an op-ed on Thursday. In his call to make higher education free for all, Sen. Sanders (I-Vt.), noted that public colleges and universities are tuition-free in countries including Finland, Denmark, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Mexico...
Who's Burning Black Churches in St. Louis?  The Atlantic  ...For the second time in six months, black churches are burning. There have been six fires since October 8, all within a few miles of each other around St. Louis. Five have been at predominantly black churches, while the sixth was at a mixed church. The situation is not unlike the arsons that followed the massacre at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston this summer. As The Atlantic pointed out at the time, there’s a long history of terrorism against black churches in America...
Republicans Want to Hold the Debt Ceiling Hostage Without Looking Completely Insane. Good Luck With That.  Slate  ...The U.S. government is set to hit its borrowing limit in about two weeks, and hard-line conservatives in Congress have yet again decided that they would like to threaten a catastrophic national default by refusing to raise the debt ceiling. The first time the GOP tried this kamikaze tactic in 2011, it worked fairly well, as the White House eventually agreed to major spending cuts to avoid a crisis. But when the party tried in 2013, the effort ended in acrimonious failure...