Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 10.27.15

TEAMSTERS
Teamsters Local 1205 Members at Baumann Buses Overwhelmingly Approve Contract  Teamster.org  ...In a secret ballot vote that was completed this afternoon, by a margin of 84 percent to 16 percent, Teamsters Local 1205 members working for Baumann/Acme Buses approved a new three-year union contract. This new contract, with its complex details, was recommended by the elected rank-and-file negotiating committee...
Baltimore Sun Drivers, Mailers, Pressmen Ratify New Teamster Contract  Teamster.org  ...After two years of difficult negotiations, tentative agreements for three departments at the Baltimore Sun represented by Local 355 and Local 888 were ratified at a jointly-held membership meeting Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015. The company had sought to shift the full burden of healthcare premium costs to workers, among other regressive demands, but bargaining committee members representing drivers and printers (Local 355) and mailers (Local 888) endorsed agreements that preserve current healthcare contributions and enhances job security...
Trucker strike begins at ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles  Press-Telegram  ...A group of truck drivers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach went on strike Monday, but port officials said the labor action had minimal impact on cargo operations. The “unfair labor practice” strike includes drivers “misclassified as independent contractors” rather than employees by Pacific 9 Transportation and XPO Logistic, said Barb Maynard of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters...

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE
President says Indonesia intends to join TPP trade deal  Reuters  ...Indonesian President Joko Widodo, speaking after a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday, said his Southeast Asian country intends to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal the United States has forged with 11 other nations. "We are the largest economy in Southeast Asia," Widodo said through a translator. "And Indonesia intends to join the TPP"...    
Chamber holds off on endorsing trade deal  Washington Examiner  ...Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue held off on endorsing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-nation trade deal the White House recently concluded negotiations on, stating that even he was not certain what was in the fine print of the deal. The Chamber is one of the leading advocates for free-trade policies, and its support will be crucial to getting the deal approved by Congress...
The TPP: An Attack on the Internet  Counterpunch  ...Wikileaks, the on-line bible of revealed secrets, published several leaked sections of what its editors believe is the final edition and the collective groan morphed into an outcry. It was, as the Electronic Frontier Foundation puts it, “all that we feared.” The TPP internationalizes some of the worst inequities and abuses specific signing governments are currently committing and nowhere is that more true than with surveillance and communications repression...
Years after the Rana Plaza tragedy, too many of Bangladesh’s factories are still “death traps”  Quartz  ...The 2013 garment factory collapse at Bangladesh’s Rana Plaza, which killed at least 1,133 people, was seen around the world as a wake-up call. There had already been several deadly tragedies in the country’s massive and growing garment industry, such as the 2012 Tazreen Fashions fire, but the deaths at Rana Plaza were on a new scale. Nobody could ignore the dire conditions that workers toiled in any longer...
17,000 workers strike at Egypt’s largest public textile factory  Al Bawaba  ...A strike by 17,000 workers at Egypt’s largest public sector textile company entered its sixth day Monday, making it the largest and longest-lasting Mahallah workers action since ex-army general Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took office over a year ago. Labor Minister Gamal Sorour said after meetings on Monday with officials in Gharbiya province, home to the beleaguered Misr Spinning and Weaving Company, that workers must resume production immediately...
Portugal's Democracy Cracks Under Weight Of Austerity  Huffington Post  ...Elections in Portugal this week offered the latest sign that when an individual European nation’s voters challenge eurozone austerity policies, the monetary union -- and the international creditors it represents -- takes precedence. Portugal’s president, Anibal Cavaco Silva, fueled an ongoing debate about the future of European democracy on Thursday when he reappointed an outgoing center-right prime minister despite election results...

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES
Group challenges $1M drive to repeal prevailing wage  Detroit Free Press  ...The ballot committee Protect Michigan Jobs filed a challenge Monday to a $1-million business-backed petition drive to repeal Michigan's prevailing wage law, saying more than 40% of the signatures submitted are duplicates or otherwise invalid. The group pushing to repeal the law, Protecting Michigan Taxpayers, disputes the finding, and now it will be up to the state Board of Canvassers -- and possibly the courts -- to decide the issue...
Voter ID lawsuit hearing tentatively set for January Daily  Tarheel  ...A federal judge refused to dismiss challenges to North Carolina’s Voter ID law during a court hearing on Friday, and set a new tentative hearing for Jan. 16. The N.C. General Assembly passed the law two years ago, requiring voters to have photo ID when voting in-person. It would go into effect in 2016, possibly influencing the upcoming presidential primaries...
Why Are So Many Food Charities Shutting Down In Ohio?  Think Progress  ...As the Thanksgiving season starts, Ohio’s food charities are in rocky shape. About 40 food pantries in the state have been forced to close down or merge with another outfit in the past 16 months. Despite the closures, Ohioans can still turn to more than 1,700 individual food pantries around the state. But the contraction in food charities’ presence is a reminder of how precarious the nation’s volunteer-driven anti-hunger efforts are these days...
Supporters of higher minimum wage in capital seek compromise as vote looms  Sacramento Bee  ...Proponents of an embattled plan to raise Sacramento’s minimum wage are rushing to craft a new compromise in advance of Tuesday’s scheduled City Council vote, but it is far from certain that a deal can be reached. The plan would gradually hike the minimum wage in the city to $12.50 an hour by 2020...

U.S. LABOR
A Significant Deal for Automakers and Unions  The Atlantic  ...For nearly a decade, new workers hired at unionized auto plants across the country have started their jobs knowing a troubling fact: They made less than their colleagues, sometimes half as much. And no matter how hard they worked, they could never earn the wages of the people standing next to them on the assembly line. But, in a deal reached Sunday night, the UAW and GM announced that they had hammered out an agreement that would get rid of the two-tier wage system...
UAW members anxiously await details of GM contract  Detroit Free Press  ...One down, another close to the finish line and one more to go. That's pretty much where things stand in the UAW's contract talks with the Detroit Three. The UAW reached a new tentative agreement with General Motors shortly before midnight on Sunday but that agreement still has a long way to go before it becomes official...
UFCW 8-Golden State Members Ratify Agreements with Rite Aid  Business Wire  ...Concluding two years of collective bargaining, members of UFCW 8-Golden State have voted overwhelmingly to ratify new agreements with the Rite Aid drug store in the northern and southern regions of the state. UFCW 8-Golden State President Jacques Loveall praised the agreements, which cover approximately 2,500 Rite Aid Clerks and Pharmacists between the Oregon border and Kern County...
Union elections are rigged against workers  The Hill  ...Over the past couple of years, low-wage McDonalds, Wal-Mart and federal contract workers have been striking to win a minimum wage of at least $15 an hour and the right to form a union. Some people ask us, “Why don’t you stop striking and just hold a union election?” The truth is America’s low-wage workers are striking because union election rules are rigged against us...
The Hellish Conditions Facing Workers At Chicken Processing Plants  Think Progress  ...In a report released on Tuesday, Oxfam America is launching a new campaign to address what it says are rampant health and safety issues, as well as low pay and few benefits, that face the people who process chicken in the country’s plants. Consumer demand has been growing. That demand has come with increased pressure on processing line speeds, which are twice as fast today as they were in 1979...
Latest GOP Buzzword for Turning Social Security Into A Welfare Program: Means-Testing  Salon  ...Means-testing Social Security is a popular position among Republican presidential candidates this election cycle—if not among prospective voters. That means, essentially, turning the nation’s retirement system into a welfare program, targeted at those with real hardships. If they get their way, not only will Social Security benefits be slashed for millions, but something fundamental will have changed: our national retirement system will be transformed from a social insurance program to a welfare program...
Top-Secret Pentagon Program Exploited Aid Workers as Covert Spies  Common Dreams  ... A new investigation published Monday reveals that the U.S. Pentagon for years funneled millions to a charity organization employing it to serve as the front group for global espionage—very real revelations that experts warn could have dangerous implications for aid workers worldwide...

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS
In Student Victory, U. of Mississippi Removes State Flag with Confederate Emblem  Democracy Now ...Early Monday morning, three campus police officers at the University of Mississippi removed the state flag with its Confederate emblem from the grounds of the school’s campus in Oxford. The move comes after the student government voted to remove the flag. Mississippi’s flag is the latest Confederate symbol to be targeted for removal from a public space since a white supremacist killed nine African-American worshipers in Charleston, South Carolina, four months ago...
Disturbing Video Shows School Cop Body Slam and Drag a Black Female Student  Mother Jones  ...Authorities in Richland County, South Carolina, are investigating a video that surfaced Monday showing a uniformed officer aggressively confronting a high school student. The video, which appears to have been recorded on a cellphone by a classmate, shows a white male officer standing over a black female student...

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