Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News 10.29.15

TEAMSTERS
Port truck drivers and warehouse workers strike together for better wages and 'employee' status  KPCC  ...Truck drivers who haul cargo at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are on strike again this week - this time with some new comrades on their picket lines: warehouse workers. Workers from California Cartage, a warehouse at the Port of L.A., have joined striking truckers who drive for Pacific 9 Transportation and XPO Logistics, creating the potential for disruption at two key links in the cargo supply chain...
CA Port Driver Strike Lingers  Go By Trucks  ...Drayage drivers for two trucking companies at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have entered their 15th week of striking. The drivers, who are classified as independent contractors for XPO Logistics and Pacific 9 Transportation, are seeking employee status. Teamsters and the organization Justice for Port Truckers are backing the strike...
Teamsters at Sysco Ratify New 3-Year Contract  Local 117  ...In the end, solidarity won the day. On Saturday, October 24, Teamster drivers and warehouse workers, employed at Sysco, voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new three-year contract. In contract negotiations, Sysco was proposing a two-tier system which would have divided the group and rolled back industry standards with respect to wages, health and welfare and seniority. But Teamsters at Sysco would not be pushed around...
Union Begins Coca-Cola Negotiations, Trades Initial Contract Proposals  Local 727  ...The Teamsters Local 727 Coca-Cola Bargaining Committee met with Coca-Cola representatives on October 28 to kick off new contract negotiations. Both the union and management traded initial, non-economic contract proposals. Economic proposals for wages, pensions and health and welfare will be forthcoming. After several hours of deliberations following the exchange, both sides agreed to reconvene on Thursday...

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE
Trans-Pacific Partnership Provision On Trade Disputes Draws Criticism  NPR  ...The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement the Obama administration is trying to sell to Congress includes a seemingly obscure and controversial provision. It's called the Investor-State Dispute Settlement, or ISDS among wonks. Under the system, cases are arbitrated by one of two bodies - the World Bank or a division of the United Nations. To date, the U.S. has been sued 17 times and won all its cases...
Froman tells UK: No to EU means no to trade deal  Politico  ...Michael Froman, U.S. trade representative, said the U.S. is “not particularly in the market for free trade agreements with individual countries.” The Obama administration has focused on wrapping up multilateral trade deals like TTIP (with the EU) and TPP (with Pacific partners). The Americans hope to finalize the deal with Europe before President Obama leaves office, an official said last week...
House uses rare procedure to revive Export-Import bank  USA Today  ...The House launched a rare effort Monday to circumvent Republican leadership in hopes of reviving the Export-Import Bank, which conservatives managed to choke off earlier this year. Business groups have pushed hard to renew the bank's charter. The bank provides loans and loan guarantees to allow foreign customers to buy U.S. goods and services...
Ontario mayors urge Trudeau to protect auto sector from TPP deal  Globe and Mail  ...Fresh discontent is surfacing over the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal that Canada signed in the dying days of Stephen Harper’s government. Mayors representing 20 Ontario cities, from Oshawa to Windsor, with a significant number of auto-sector jobs on Wednesday called on Mr. Trudeau, the prime-minister-designate, to protect their industry from being sideswiped by the TPP...
Greece’s Bailout Deal with Europe Is Starting to Show Cracks  Foreign Policy  ...The European Union’s agreement to provide Greece with the 86 billion euros, or $95 billion, bailout that Athens needs to stay solvent is beginning to show signs of strain, with creditors threatening to delay an October payment as Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras struggles to implement promised austerity reforms...
Austerity cuts are causing mental distress and are linked to rise in suicides, health professionals warn  Independent  ...In the UK, suicide rates rose in 2011 and 2012. Men especially seem to be at risk: the male suicide rate is the highest it's been since 2001 and, for men between the ages of 45 and 59, the highest since 1981. After five years of austerity, families, charities, mental health professionals, campaigners and researchers have been highlighting what they regard as the profound effects on mental health...

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES
McCrory signs controversial immigration bill  Winston-Salem Journal  ...North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed legislation Wednesday that targets “sanctuary cities” and immigrant identification, turning back pleas from advocates to veto a bill that they say harms immigrants and businesses that rely on immigrant labor. While protesters have been a constant presence at the Executive Mansion in Raleigh to urge McCrory to veto the measure, there were no protesters seen around the sheriff’s office...
Campaign to ditch workers' comp  Fort Stockton Pioneer  ...A series of new laws has cut workers’ compensation benefits, given employers and insurers more control over medical care, and made it more difficult for workers to qualify for coverage. But other than Texas and Oklahoma, no state has allowed companies to simply opt out. One Texas lawyer is helping companies opt out of workers’ compensation and write their own rules. What does it mean for injured workers?...
Can Fast-Food Work Ever Be A Decent Job? These Swedish McDonald's Workers Say Yes  Fast Coexist  ...What can a union do for low-wage workers? Comparing the lives of McDonald's workers in Chicago and Sweden shows the difference organizing can make. "Life is pretty hard right now," says KeJioun Johnson, a 20-year-old, part-time McDonald's cashier who lives with his single mom (a part-time bus driver) in government-subsidized housing...
Jersey City council expands paid sick leave law  NJ.com  ...Almost everyone working in Jersey City will be able to accrue paid sick leave, thanks to a measure adopted by the City Council tonight. The council in 2013 made the city the first in the state to mandate that most private employers provide their workers with paid sick leave. The council voted 7-1-1 to approve the measure (Ord. 15.145)...

U.S. LABOR
Michigan Transit Workers Fight To Prevent City Bus System From Eliminating Their Pensions  In These Times  ...For the drivers behind the wheel of this top-of-the-line fleet, not all is well: Grand Rapids bus drivers are without a signed union contract, because city officials want to cut their pension funds. One Rapid board member has called the current pension system a “terrible plan” and claims the board wants to “do better” for drivers, the board claims the pension fund is $2.6 million in the red. The drivers disagree...
UAW-GM workers set to vote on agreement with 'significant gains'  MLive  ...In a proposed agreement with General Motors, the UAW touts "significant gains" for workers, though only voting will tell if the rank-and-file agrees with this sentiment. In the proposed deal, workers would have traditional wages within eight years. It's similar to an agreement reached with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles...
In Historic Ruling, NLRB Says Tucson Taxi Drivers are Employees  Market Watch  ...In a groundbreaking ruling, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Tucson, Arizona, has determined that more than 200 taxi drivers employed by AAA Transportation/Yellow Cab are employees and are therefore eligible for union representation. The ruling is the first of its kind for taxi drivers...
When Bank Workers Occupy the Banks  The Nation  ....After about eight years of seeing Main Street households get owned by Big Finance, front-line bank workers are now trying to reclaim Wall Street, branch by branch. In Los Angeles, where communities are still reeling from the financial crisis, front-line bank employees, and activists last week occupied the lobbies of Wells Fargo and Bank of America and demanded fair terms for the customers and the workforce...
Workers Pay The Price For Amazon’s New One-Hour Delivery  Think Progress  ...Amazon’s one-hour delivery option launched in the Bay Area this week, but the workers behind the scenes of the “Prime Now” service say they’re paying a steep price to make the super-fast turnaround a reality.
Prime Now drivers are suing Amazon over pay that amounts to less than the California minimum wage. Drivers in the Los Angeles market make $11 an hour, but buy their own gas, insurance, and auto maintenance service...  
 
SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS
Amid Flood of Dark Money, Groups Make Simple Request of FEC: 'Do Your Job'  Common Dreams  ...Decrying the unprecedented flow of so-called "dark money" into the U.S. political process, a coalition of civic and religious organizations, environmentalists, and academics on Tuesday submitted comments to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), calling on the agency to—put simply—do its job...
Criminalizing the Classroom: Inside the School-to-Prison Pipeline  Democracy Now  ...New York City has more than 5,000 police officers patrolling the city’s schools—that’s more than the combined number of school guidance counselors and social workers. Nationwide, more than 17,000 officers work in the school. What happens when students are arrested in the classroom?...
A GOP Debate Without a Winner—Or Much of a Point  The Nation  ...Donald Trump lost interest mid-way through the third Republican presidential debate. It’s a bad night for Trump when his most memorable line is a closing-statement claim of credit for negotiating a shorter debate: “I got it down to two hours so we can get the hell out of here.”  The billionaire contender’s disdain for the whole affair was appropriate after an empty night of whining about the media...
The Budget Deal Clears the House of Representatives  The Atlantic  ...The final major vote of John Boehner’s drama-filled tenure as House speaker turned out to have very little drama at all. A bipartisan majority in the House on Wednesday afternoon easily approved the two-year budget agreement that Boehner negotiated with fellow congressional leaders and the Obama administration. The vote was 266-167...
Immigrant Women Launch Indefinite Hunger Strike, Asking To Be Freed From Detention Center  Think Progress  ...Detained women seeking asylum or other forms of humanitarian relief began an indefinite hunger strike at an immigration detention center in Texas on Wednesday night, sending hand-written letters to the federal government calling for their release. At least 27 immigrant women refused dinner on Wednesday at the T. Don Hutto detention center...

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