Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 11.10.15

TEAMSTERS
School safety agents make more than 400 weapon, drug seizures over 4 months  Daily News  ...Safety agents recovered weapons, drugs and other contraband in and around city schools on 355 occasions from July 1 to Nov. 1, records show. Teamsters Local 237 President Gregory Floyd, whose union represents the school safety agents, said the alarming cases show how badly they are needed. “These stats prove there is danger every day for our agents and our children,” said Floyd, whose union includes 5,000 active agents...

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE
Brazil's Petrobras, union strike talks fail, risk of fuel shortage rises  Reuters  ...Brazil's Petrobras and unions failed to reach an agreement on Monday over worker demands that the state-run oil company reverse budget cuts and cancel assets sales aimed at trimming its massive debt, union and company officials said. The week-old strike, already the biggest in 20 years, now risks an impasse that could hurt domestic fuel supplies and further hobble a company already under financial pressure and the fallout from a corruption scandal...
Obama’s last battle with Congress looms over Pacific trade deal  Washington Post  ...What could be President Obama’s final grand battle with Congress kicked off this week with the release of a sprawling Pacific Rim trade agreement, setting up the latest skirmish in a two-decade string of trade showdowns on Capitol Hill. Initial lawmaker reaction to the Trans-Pacific Partnership has been sharp from its likely opponents, who declared it “worse than we thought”...
Warren steps up criticism of the Pacific Rim trade deal  Boston Globe  ...Senator Elizabeth Warren said Thursday that she is prepared to do everything within her power to stop the historic Pacific Rim trade pact negotiated last month if it hurts American workers. Warren, in an interview with the Globe, criticized the Obama administration for dragging its feet in posting details of the deal, which went up online early Thursday morning -- five weeks after a deal was announced...
Trade pact backers hit 2 big hurdles: Donald and Hillary  Politico  ...Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are railing against the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the Democratic primary. On the right, GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump is ripping the trade deal as a “disaster” negotiated by “incompetent people.” President Barack Obama’s herculean task of shepherding the landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership through Capitol Hill is about to run into one major hurdle: 2016 presidential politics...
TPP is too flawed for a simple ‘yes’ vote  (opinion) Boston Globe  ...Congress should vote “no’’ on the current TPP, while simultaneously endorsing its trade provisions as well as continuing the work with our counterparts on the other chapters. The current drafts on investor rights, the environment, labor, and intellectual property make extravagant concessions to powerful corporate interests...
TPP is about many things, but free trade? Not so much  (opinion) Globe and Mail  ...Because we’re debating the future framework of the global economy, it would be nice if the debate over the TPP went beyond the old free-traders-versus-protectionists charade. At the very least, we should look under the hood and be suspicious of anyone trying to sell us the TPP as a “free-trade agreement”...
Portugal braces for fall of govt amid austerity backlash  Washington Post  ...Portugal’s new government faced what were likely to be its final hours in power Tuesday as anti-austerity forces in Parliament prepared to force its resignation. The showdown came less than two weeks after the center-right government was sworn in...
Greece and Creditors at Loggerheads Again; Troika Wants More Foreclosures  Naked Capitalism  ...European creditors want to extract more blood from a stone, in this case Greece. Greece and its lenders are again at odds over the latest "bailout" funds, which is €2 billion that was scheduled to be approved for release. But a precondition for getting more dough was that Greece show enough "progress," as in either have implemented or have committed to a sufficiently large number of "reforms"...

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES
Fast-food workers strike, seeking $15 wage, political muscle  USA Today  ...Fast-food workers demanding a $15 an hour wage walked out in dozens cities at 6 a.m. Tuesday, kicking off a year-long campaign to muster the political power of 64 million low-wage workers in next year's presidential election. The protests, which will take place in 270 cities, mark the workers' largest show of force in the three years since they launched a series of rallies to call for higher pay and the right to unionize...
'Come Get My Vote': Low-Wage Workers Rise Up in Advance of 2016 Election  Common Dreams  ...One year out from the 2016 presidential election, fast-food and other low-wage workers are striking on Tuesday in hundreds of cities across the U.S., demanding a livable wage, the right to form a union, and attention to their cause from those seeking elected office. Under the banner 'Come Get My Vote,' workers will walk off the job in 270 cities from Detroit to Denver, while close to 500 cities will host rallies...
Missouri labor unions spending big to fend off ‘right to work’  Kansas City Star  ...Organized labor in Missouri is gearing up for another right-to-work fight in 2016. It’s been nearly two months since a handful of Republicans joined with Democrats to kill legislation that would would have made it illegal to force a worker to become a union member or to pay dues to a labor organization as a condition of employment...
Kentucky warily waits to see what Matt Bevin will do to 400,000 Medicaid enrollees  Daily Kos  ...Kentucky is feeling the first waves of panic now that tea party Republican Matt Bevin is about to become governor and implement his plans for undoing Kynect, the state's Obamacare program. While it's not entirely clear what those plans are now, since he's backtracked on his original full-on repeal position, he's still making it a top priority...
Who Stands with Workers?  (opinion) Huffington Post  ...Senate cafeteria workers serve food to the most august politicians, to their staffers, their Gucci-shoed lobbyists and to Senate visitors. Yet they don't earn close to a living wage. Those who work full time still live in poverty. Over the past months, these workers have walked out on the job, risking the work they need in order to demand decent wages and the right to organize...
Seattle's Experiment With Campaign Funding  The Atlantic   ...When people talk up the idea of the public financing of elections, they are usually referring to a system that goes something like this: Candidates must first raise money from individuals, and then the government will chip in matching funds or a pre-set amount that campaigns can spend on their race. In Seattle, however, voters just approved a system that flips that approach on its head...

U.S. LABOR
Capitol Workers to Strike Ahead of GOP Debate  Roll Call  ...Hours before a Republican primary debate, workers in the U.S. Capitol are going on strike and calling on the GOP senators running for president to help the workers who serve them. Senate food-service workers and some cleaning staff are set to walk off their jobs Tuesday morning to call for higher wages and a union. The event is set for Tuesday to highlight GOP presidential contenders who, in the opinion of the striking workers, have been silent on the Capitol workers’ low wages...
UAW listens to skilled-trades gripes; GM pact on hold  USA Today  ...The UAW is trying to untangle a knot holding up formal ratification of a new labor contract with General Motors as skilled-trades workers vented in meetings Monday over a variety of issues they say the contract doesn’t solve. Production workers, who account for a large majority of the UAW’s 52,700 members at GM (GM), approved the pact by a 58%-42% margin. But nearly 60% of skilled trades — the electricians, millwrights, pipefitters and diemakers — voted no...
Farm union begins awareness drive to alert workers to back pay they’re owed  Fresno Bee  ...Union workers will begin an awareness drive to get millions of dollars in back pay paid to farm workers that a new law says are owed wages that went unpaid for rest periods and “unproductive time,” United Farm Workers of America said. The drive begins Tuesday in Monterey, Sonoma, Madera, Fresno, Kern and Ventura counties, and is aimed at workers owed money under a law that officially goes into effect Jan. 1, 2016...
Bernie Sanders To Join Low-Wage Workers On Strike From U.S. Capitol Buildings  Think Progress  ...Workers who serve food at the United States Capitol went on strike Tuesday morning to protest their low wages and call attention to retaliatory actions they say their employer has taken against workers who want to unionize. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) plans to join the strikers outside a Senate office building for a press conference around mid-morning...

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS
Black Student Revolt Against Racism Ousts 2 Top Officials at University of Missouri  Democracy Now  ...A revolt by African-American students at the University of Missouri has forced two top officials to resign. On Monday, President Tim Wolfe and Columbia campus chancellor Bowen Loftin announced they will step down in the face of protests over their handling of racism on campus. African-American students have staged weeks of demonstrations against what they called a lax response to bigotry and vandalism...
Climate Crisis Poised to Push 100 Million into Extreme Poverty  Common Dreams  ...Adding urgency to the call for bold emissions cuts and a radical rethinking of the global economy, a new report from the World Bank warns that human-caused climate change could push more than 100 million people into extreme poverty within just 15 years. Entitled Shock Waves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty, the World Bank's study differs from previous efforts by looking at the poverty impacts of climate change...
Appeals court rules against Obama’s immigration plan  Washington Post  ...A federal appeals court on Monday ruled against President Obama’s plan to shield up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation, dealing another blow to the administration’s effort to remake immigration laws and likely setting up a final battle in the Supreme Court next year...
“A life sentence to poverty”: How our laws deny ex-offenders a true second chance  Salon  ...President Barack Obama has always supported criminal justice reform, broadly speaking. Recently, though, the president has moved criminal justice reform issues to the front-and-center of his public agenda. This summer, for example, he became the first sitting president to visit a federal prison. Soon after, he held a (remarkably worthwhile) discussion on reform at the White House, too...
Michigan City Tells Residents To Pay Up Or They’ll Shut Off Water — Again  Think Progress  ...Months after a county judge ordered Flint, Michigan to cease shutting off water pipes and revise customers’ bills, the city is once again sending out letters warning customers to pay or go dry.
The city sent out more than 1,800 shutoff notices since last week, representing about 60 percent of all customers billed in September...

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