Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 10.30.15

TEAMSTERS
Florida Teamsters Endorse Patrick Murphy for Senate  Teamster.org   ...Teamsters are proudly endorsing Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.) in his election campaign for U.S. Senate in Florida.
Murphy has been a strong advocate for workers in the U.S. House of Representatives for Florida’s 18th congressional district since 2013...
Port Truck Strike Spreads to Warehouses  Capital & Main  ...While drivers with port trucking companies have been organizing and striking repeatedly over the last few years, they have recently begun coordinating with warehouse workers to increase pressure on the logistics industry. The Teamsters have entered into a partnership with the Warehouse Worker Resource Center, a nonprofit advocacy group for warehouse workers, and have prioritized organizing the thousands of workers in the warehouse and distribution industry...
Misclassified Port Truck Drivers Strike Gold Point Transportation  Teamster.org  ...Misclassified “independent contractor” port drivers employed by Gold Point Transportation, which is owned by 3Plus Logistics Co., which also owns Harbor Express, Inc., which has been the subject of wage theft claims by its drivers, went on strike yesterday to protest unfair labor practices including misclassification and wage theft. They are picketing at the company yard as well as at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach...
Union Works Swiftly to Secure First Contract at Standard Coffee  Local 727  ...After only three negotiation meetings with management, Teamsters Local 727 representatives have secured an agreement on a strong first contract for Standard Coffee members. The majority of the contract matches or exceeds the provisions in the contracts for Hinckley Springs inside and outside workers, which Teamsters Local 727 also represents. Standard Coffee is a division of Hinckley Springs...

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE
Several green groups outline demands for Pacific trade pact  The Hill  ...More than a dozen environmental and conservation groups on Thursday laid out eight pages of demands that they say lawmakers must use to judge the strength of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. The groups, led by the Sierra Club, are sending a letter to members of Congress well in advance of an expected vote on the sweeping Asia-Pacific deal that was completed nearly a month ago with 11 other nations...
Anti-trade Democrats say Obama’s Pacific Rim trade pact is for the dogs  Washington Post  ...No one on Capitol Hill has been more dogged in opposing President Obama's Pacific Rim trade pact than Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and her small band of fiercely anti-trade House Democrats. On Thursday, they trotted out a new partner in their fight: Roxy, a 2-year-old bloodhound that they put on the trail to sniff out the elusive text of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)...
USTR releases TPA-mandated transparency plan  Politico  ...The Obama administration outlined for Congress this week its plan to tackle the thorny issue of transparency in future trade negotiations. The trade consultation and engagement guidelines transmitted by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative are a requirement of the fast track trade promotion authority law, required to be released 120 days after the legislation was enacted...
U.S. wary of EU proposal for investment court in trade pact  Reuters  ...The United States is wary of a European Union proposal for a new court system to settle investment disputes as part of the world's biggest free-trade agreement, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said. The proposals come after concerns that U.S. multinationals could use private arbitration rules in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) to challenge European food and environmental laws...
Trans-Pacific Partnership divides auto parts industry  CBC  ...As the auto parts sector awaits the appointment of a new trade minister, the industry is split over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the trade deal that Canada signed and will soon have to ratify. New revelations from the still secret deal show that Canada agreed to phase out its 6.1 per cent tariff on imports of Japanese vehicles over a five-year period...
Brazil's Lula Urges Workers' Party to Back Austerity  Voice of America  ...Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva urged the ruling Workers' Party on Thursday to back fiscal austerity measures in Congress, endorsing the efforts of Finance Minister Joaquim Levy to plug a gaping deficit. Members of Lula's leftist party have opposed moves by Lula's protégée, President Dilma Rousseff, to cut public spending...
Home of Uzbek Labor Rights Activist Burned  Solidarity Center  ...Uzbek labor rights activist Dimitry Tikhonov says his home office has been burned and all the equipment and documentation he collected on Uzbekistan’s use of forced labor in the country’s cotton harvests has been destroyed. No other room in his home was touched by the fire, he says. In late September, Tikhonov was arrested and beaten by police as he took photos of some 20 busloads of teachers and school employees forced into the cotton fields...

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES
Voter ID Laws and the Ghosts of Jim Crow  Huffington Post  ...The basic contours of the public discourse on voter ID laws are fairly clear. In-person voting fraud is rare. As Judge Richard Posner has concluded, restrictive voter ID laws are mainly the product of Republican legislatures targeting Democratic-leaning constituencies. Chief among those Democratic constituencies are African Americans and Latinos...
Massachusetts Immigration Reform 2015: Statewide 'Sanctuary City' Policy Pushed By Lawmakers, Has Bipartisan Opposition  IBTimes  ...Massachusetts, which advocates for “sanctuary cities,” the controversial policy instructing local police officers not to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement agents, may soon push for a statewide shielding of undocumented immigrants. Emboldened by a handful of existing sanctuary cities, at least two dozen state lawmakers have backed a proposal that would make the commonwealth a safe haven...
Study: 42 percent of Minneapolis workers don't have paid sick time  Star Tribune  ...About 123,000 Minneapolis workers don't have access to paid sick leave, according to a new analysis from the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Women's Policy Research. The report, released Thursday, says that number amounts to about 42 percent of Minneapolis residents ages 18 and older...
Portland 'clearly needs' a higher minimum wage, City Club says  Oregon Live  ...Portland needs a higher minimum wage, and state lawmakers should overturn a law that prevents cities from setting higher minimums, according to a City Club of Portland report released Thursday. Nine members of the civic group began studying the contentious issue in April...

U.S. LABOR
Janitorial workers reach 11th hour deal with managment association to avert strike  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette  ...A Pittsburgh union representing 1,000 commercial office cleaners reached an agreement Thursday with its management association, averting a strike just two days before the current contract was set to expire. Members of the 32BJ local, a part of the Service Employees International Union, voted to strike if the sides failed to reach a deal...
UAW-GM deal would improve newer workers' health plan  Detroit Free Press  ...UAW negotiators bargained significantly better health care coverage for about 11,000 General Motors workers hired since October 2007 and the automaker will pay for most of it. But if a majority of 52,700 workers ratify the tentative agreement reached last weekend...
House Panel Advances Bill to Clarify Joint Employer Standard   Littler  ...Following a series of congressional hearings on the National Labor Relations Board's Browning-Ferris decision, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce voted on Wednesday to advance a bill that would effectively reverse the Board's action in that case. The Committee voted 21-15 along party lines to send the Protecting Local Business Opportunity Act (H.R. 3459) to the House floor...
Macy’s Will Make Employees Work On Thanksgiving Day  Think Progress  ...Macy’s announced on Thursday that its doors will be open this holiday season, starting at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving evening. Sales will continue through Black Friday and the weekend in over 700 of its retail stores nationwide.
Macy’s, along with 12 other major retailers like Target, Best Buy, and JCPenny, made employees come in to work on Thanksgiving Day in last year...

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS
Why 4 Boys In South Carolina Have Been Shackled In Solitary Confinement For 6 Weeks  Think Progress  ...A thirty minute drive from Spring Valley High School, where Officer Ben Fields slammed and dragged a teenage girl out of her desk, several young boys have been shackled and locked in solitary confinement for close to six weeks with little to no human contact.
On September 19, corrections officers at the Broad River Road Complex, a detention center for kids aged 12 to 18 in Columbia, South Carolina, confronted a group of boys who were roughhousing...
Seething With Anger, Probe Demanded into Exxon's Unparalleled Climate Crime  Common Dreams  ...A broad coalition of community groups along with prominent leaders from the nation's top civil rights, environmental, and indigeneous people's movements on Friday sent a joint letter to the U.S. Department of Justice demanding a federal investigation into allegations that oil giant ExxonMobil knew about the role fossil fuels played in driving climate change since the 1970s but concealed that information—and later sought to discredit those issuing warnings—in order to protect its own financial interests...
Ted Cruz’s Tax Plan Hands The 1 Percent A Massive Break  Think Progress  ...On Thursday evening, Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) released a tax plan that calls for a flat tax of 10 percent that would end up with a benefit for the wealthiest 1 percent that dwarfs what everyone else would get. Corporations also get a big windfall. While they would lose all of the loopholes they use to lower their on-paper tax rate of 35 percent to about 19 percent, they would still see it drop further to a 16 percent “Business Flat Tax”...

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