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Today's Teamster News 11.06.15

TEAMSTERS
Hoffa Says Release of TPP Text Does Little to Allay Workers' Concerns About Deal  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa in response to the White House today releasing the text of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a deal which would lead to tens of thousands of U.S. jobs being shipped overseas and lower wages for many Americans: "While we are pleased that Congress and the public will now be able to see the entire text of this massive agreement, viewing it in person will not make it any better for U.S. workers"...
Hoffa: Safety Can't Be Compromised as Part of Transportation Funding Bill  Huffington Post  ...Congress is on the cusp of doing something it hasn't done in more than a decade - approve a long-term highway bill. A bipartisan collection of lawmakers in both the House and Senate should be lauded for the difficult work they have accomplished thus far in attempting to enact a six-year funding measure. This includes rejecting an amendment that would have allowed heavier trucks on the nation's thoroughfares...
House Moves Multi-Year Transportation Bill Forward, but Concerns for Drivers Remain  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa after the House today overwhelming approved a six-year, $340 billion transportation funding bill that would invest in much-needed infrastructure improvements while protecting motorists from heavier trucks on the road:
“A bipartisan collection of lawmakers came together today to back a long-term plan for transportation"...
Teamsters Local 700 Stands Up for Firefighters and Paramedics  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters Local 700 represents 31 hardworking firefighters and paramedics at the Summit Fire Department whose jobs are on the line as the Village of Summit threatens to outsource their services to nearby Bedford Park. Local 700 filed a complaint on Oct. 27 with the Illinois Labor Relations Board against the Village of Summit for violating the collective bargaining agreement...
Pennsylvanians Elect Teamster-Endorsed Judges Throughout Court System  PR Newswire  ...Pennsylvania's working families won a major victory at the polls on Nov. 3 when voters elected judges throughout the court system that were endorsed by labor unions across the state. The results sent a strong message to special interest groups that poured millions into the state to support anti-union and anti-worker candidates – Pennsylvania's courts are not for sale...
BMWED/Teamsters Holds Advanced Officer Education Program  Teamster.org  ...Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes (BMWED) members from several System Federations gathered once again in Hendersonville, Tenn. to participate in the BMWED two-week Advanced Officer Education Program this past July. The educational courses take place at Volunteer State Community College, with curriculum focused on union-specific subjects...
Teamsters Address Outstanding Contract Proposals With Coke, Company Cuts Meeting Short  Local 727  ...Even before contract negotiations resumed on Thursday, November 5, Coca-Cola representatives made it clear to Teamsters Local 727 they had to cut the day short. Management kicked off the morning by addressing just one lone provision among its dense and varied contract proposals. The company initially offered no movement or other specifics regarding the remaining proposals on the table...

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE
21 Workers Die in Pakistan Factory Collapse; Many Missing  Solidarity Center  ...Workers once again gave their lives for their jobs when a plastic bag factory collapsed in Lahore, Pakistan, yesterday, killing at least 21 and injuring dozens. Between 150 and 200 workers, including child laborers, were in the factory when the building collapsed. Rescuers, who mostly include members of the Pakistan Army, report hearing voices in the rubble, and family members say they have received calls from relatives trapped in the debris...
Obama tells Congress he will sign TPP  The Hill  ...President Obama notified Congress on Thursday that he intends to sign a broad trade agreement spanning from Asia to Latin America. The president’s notification was expected soon after the final text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was released around 3:30 a.m. Thursday. The message kicks off a period of at least 90 days before Obama can sign the agreement...
Obama Faces Tough Battle In House To Pass TPP  Forbes  ...President Obama now faces probably his toughest political challenge since passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2009 – persuading Congress to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Republicans, who have been reliable yes votes on free trade agreements since the beginning of time, aren’t so sure about this one...
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): ‘Worse Than We Thought’. A Total Corporate Power Grab Nightmare  Global Research  ...As expert analysis of the long-shrouded, newly publicized Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) final text continued to roll out on Thursday, consensus formed around one fundamental assessment of the 12-nation pact: It’s worse than we thought. In fact, Public Citizen charged, the TPP rolls back past public interest reforms to the U.S. trade model while expanding  problematic provisions demanded by the hundreds of official U.S. corporate trade advisers...
Civil Society Reacts to Finally-Released TPP Text  CTC  ...The United States formally entered into negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in February 2008. For years afterwards, the public had to rely on leaked documents to learn what U.S. negotiators were proposing in our names. On November 5, 2015, text for the TPP was officially released for the first time. Within hours, a broad range of civil society organizations representing the labor, environmental, family farm, consumer, LGBT and other social movements issued statements...
TPP nations agree to abstain from currency wars  Japan Times  ...The dozen countries that signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership have committed to refraining from competitive currency devaluations and to being transparent about their exchange-rate policies, the U.S. said. Negotiators for Pacific Rim nations including Japan, Australia and Vietnam agreed last month to the deal...
TPP Caves to the Tobacco Industry, Threatens Public Health  CPATH  ...The vacuous “tobacco control” provision in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) virtually capitulates to the demands of multinational tobacco corporations, jeopardizing nations’ health and economic welfare. Public health and medical advocates in the U.S. and abroad consistently urged negotiators to exclude tobacco control protections from trade challenges under the TPP...
As US Promotes TPP As A Way To Improve Labor Standards, Guatemala Shows Failed Promises Of Previous Trade Deals  IBTimes  ...When the country joined the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement in 2006, proponents of the deal said it would improve conditions for workers, raise wages and make it easier for laborers to organize. Seven years later, Guatemala was named the most dangerous country in the world for trade unionists. Supporters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are making many of the same promises...
Mass European Protest against TTIP corporate Takeover: EU Commission Sanctions “Revolution Against Law”  Global Research  ...The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has its objectors – mainly the citizens of the countries involved in what can only be seen as confirmation of a corporate takeover. Governments have confirmed that democracy is no longer a principle worth pursuing. Three million citizens have signed a petition voicing their opposition, of which 500,000 were from Britain alone...
Canada’s Montreal hit with massive student anti-austerity protest  RT  ...A few thousand students marched through the streets of Montreal protesting the Canadian government’s austerity measures and calling for “a massive reinvestment in public services.” Around 2,000 members of a local student organization ASSÉ (Association pour une Solidarité Syndicale Étudiante) took part in a large demonstration against what they call the “pillaging of public services” by Quebec’s provincial government...

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES
Pennsylvania Supreme Court sweep gives Democrats legislative redistricting control  Daily Kos  ...In what was by far the most important victory of the night, Democrats swept three seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, giving them a five to two majority; previously, Republicans had controlled the bench three to two, with two vacancies. This victory isn't simply about ensuring a more just court, though undoubtedly the cause of fairness will benefit greatly. It will also have an enormous impact on the next round of legislative redistricting...
Failed prevailing wage repeal petition drive prompts calls for investigation, prosecution  MLive  ...A group seeking to repeal Michigan's prevailing wage law turned in an estimated 161,781 invalid signatures, prompting rejection by the Board of State Canvassers and calls for investigation, prosecution and a review of circulator laws. The board officially killed the petition drive Thursday afternoon...
Reform Wins: Ohio Bans Gerrymandering While Maine and Seattle Bust Big Money  The Nation  ... In Ohio, 71 percent of voters backed Issue 1, a constitutional amendment to ban partisan gerrymandering and establish a bipartisan Ohio Redistricting Commission to draw legislative district lines that promote real competition.  In Maine, 55 percent of voters backed a proposal to dramatically strengthen the state’s 19-year-old old Clean Elections system...
Activists in Portland and beyond fight for $15 minimum wage  Oregon Live  ...The latest minimum-wage movement caught fire in New York City in 2012, when a couple of hundred fast-food workers walked off the job and demanded higher pay. Since then, their $15-an-hour rallying cry has reverberated across the country. In the Northwest, local leaders say Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant, a socialist elected in 2013 on a platform that included a $15-an-hour minimum, sparked action...
Elizabeth joins municipal paid sick leave movement  NJ Biz  ...Earlier this week, Elizabeth became New Jersey's 10th municipality to pass a paid sick leave initiative after voters approved a ballot-box question. The new ordinance will largely mirror those that have come before it in other New Jersey municipalities, allowing private-sector workers the ability to accrue up to an hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, with a 40-hour-per-year cap for workers at businesses with 10 or more employees...

U.S. LABOR
Sweet Relief: A Strong October Jobs Report  The Atlantic  ...After three consecutive months of disappointing jobs reports, October finally delivered the strong numbers economists had been hoping for. The report from the Labor Department shows that the unemployment rate fell to 5 percent, and the economy added 271,000 jobs in October—beating expectations of 180,000. That’s the strongest showing in 2015 thus far...
GM and UAW Come to Agreement  US News & World Report  ...United Auto Workers union members at General Motors appear poised to approve a new four-year contract with the company. Workers at two union locals at a huge factory in Lordstown, Ohio, east of Cleveland, and at an SUV assembly plant near Lansing, Michigan, voted overwhelmingly for the deal on Friday. Glenn Johnson, president of one of two locals at the sprawling Lordstown complex that makes the Chevrolet Cruze, said 72 percent of 3,000 workers at the assembly plant voted yes...
Kaiser mental health workers set to strike Nov. 16  SF Gate  ...Nearly 1,400 Kaiser mental health workers in Northern California will walk off their jobs Nov. 16 to protest what union officials say are too few mental health care employees to meet patient demand. The workers — psychologists, social workers and therapists — criticize Kaiser’s management, which they say understaffs mental health services...
ATI to terminate health insurance for 2,200 USW workers at end of November  Ellwood City Ledger  ...The United Steelworkers have claimed in a posting on their website that Allegheny Technologies will terminate healthcare coverage for all of the 2,200 locked out union workers at the end of November. USW representatives said ATI recently mailed a letter to the homes of all locked out union workers detailing its intent to cut insurance benefits on Nov. 30...
3 Depressing Findings From A Huge New Study Of The Gender Pay Gap  Think Progress  ...On the whole, the average woman with a year-round full-time job can expect to make just 79 percent of what a man doing the same makes in a year. There are many factors that go into the disparity. But new data released from PayScale on Thursday tells a different story. Even with all of the variables taken into consideration, women in the survey made 2.7 percent less than men...
Now White People Are Dying From Our Terrible Economic Policies, Too  The Nation   ... A demographic analysis of public health trends in recent years shows that middle-aged whites are living more miserable and sicker lives—and also appear to be dying at a higher rate. From 1999 to 2013, Princeton University researchers observed a disturbing jump in deaths among whites aged 45 to 54...

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS
Austerity’s Grim Legacy  New York Times  ...The Obama administration and its counterparts realized that in a slumping economy budget deficits were helpful, not harmful. And the money-printing and borrowing worked: A repeat of the Great Depression, which seemed all too possible at the time, was avoided. Then it all went wrong. And the consequences of the wrong turn we took look worse now than the harshest critics of conventional wisdom ever imagined....
With the "Robin Hood Tax," a Grassroots Movement Seeks to Bring Wall Street to Heel  Truthout  ...Across the country, movements are rising up to challenge politicians who balance public budgets on the backs of working people instead of taxing corporations. "Municipal frugality" and "shared sacrifice" are examples of the political doublespeak and hypocrisy that governments employ while the 1% hoards its record levels of wealth...
Obama to reject Keystone XL pipeline in victory for environmental activists  The Guardian  ...Barack Obama is expected on Friday to reject a proposal from TransCanada to build the Keystone XL pipeline through the American heartland, the Guardian has learned. The decision, to be announced with US secretary of state John Kerry from the White House, ends years of review and debate about the project...
Locked Up & Neglected After Fleeing Danger, Immigrant Women Detainees Launch Hunger Strike in Texas   Democracy Now  ...Last week, 27 immigrant women detained at the for-profit T. Don Hutto facility in Austin began refusing meals, demanding an end to mistreatment and their immediate release. Most are asylum seekers from Central America, which has seen a surge in migrants fleeing violence and abuse. The detainees said they’ve faced threats and unjustified surveillance as they languish in custody without hope of freedom...

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