Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 11.12.15

TEAMSTERS
Teamsters Across the United States Join Worker Campaigns for Justice  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters across the United States participated in actions today to support workers who are waging courageous battles for fair wages, decent benefits and improved working conditions. Nationally, workers from different industries and occupations walked off the job in 270 cities and rallied outside city halls in support of the “Fight for $15” movement. Teamsters at scores of locations handed out leaflets near FedEx Freight terminals...
Hoffa: TPP a punch to the gut of U.S. workers  The Detroit News  ...The much-awaited text of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was finally released for public consumption last week. But sunshine and scrutiny of the pact isn’t making the deal look any brighter for workers in Michigan or around the country. As the Teamsters and others long suspected, the TPP text contains many of the most controversial items included in past lousy trade agreements...
Teamsters Applaud Senate Motion to Keep Double 33-Foot Trailers Off the Road  Teamster.org  ...The Senate today scored a victory for highway safety by passing a motion by a 56-31 margin which instructs Senate negotiators of a long-term highway bill to oppose any federal mandate that would force states to allow an increase in length of tractor trailers at this time. “On behalf of our more than 700,000 members who turn a key for a living I would like to thank the 56 senators that took a stand today for highway safety,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa...
Allstate Power Vac Workers Join Teamsters  Teamster.org  ...On Monday, November 9, employees at Allstate Power Vac, Inc. in New York City voted by an overwhelming margin of nearly 98 percent to join Teamsters Local 813 in an election supervised by the National Labor Relations Board. The 61 environmental waste removal workers are looking forward to improving their working conditions, including gaining fairness and respect from their employer...
Teamsters claim victory in push to unionize city’s private carting industry  Capital New York  ...The Teamsters have notched their first official New York City win in an ongoing battle to unionize the city's private carting and waste management industry. Employees at Allstate Power Vac, a New Jersey-based company with a shop in Brooklyn, voted by a 98-percent margin to join Teamsters Local 813 after complaints of low wages, lack of benefits and poor treatment, union officials said...
Teamsters Shine Light On Veterans' Health Care, Protest High Costs To Workers  Morning Star  ...On Wed., Nov. 11, Teamsters will protest outside Florida VA hospitals in the afternoon on behalf of McKesson distribution workers in Lakeland, Fla., including Army veteran Claude Hickerson, who cannot afford health coverage for his family. McKesson has been the prime vendor for the VA since 2004, bringing in about $4 billion a year. "America's veterans should not have to struggle for health care," said Ken Wood, Teamsters International Vice President and President of Teamsters Local 79, and a veteran...
Voting Underway for EVSC Teamsters Contract Talks  TriState Homepage  ...Teamsters president Chuck Whobrey says four of five employee groups have voted on the contract. No word on how the votes are falling. There is still one more group to go -- that will take place Thursday. Nearly 680 EVSC employees -- represented by Teamsters-- have been without a contract since June 30th...
Kentucky EMS workers renew push for line of duty death benefits  WDRB  ...Emergency Medical Technician Arthur Cash, with members of Teamsters Local Union No. 783, are pushing to change that with a bill in Frankfort -- currently known as BR 91. “This will cover every EMT who works for a government or non-profit agency. Also, rescue squad members,” said Arthur Cash, Chief Steward for Teamsters Local Union No. 783...
Crow Wing County Board: Board withdraws from CMCC, approves probation integration  Brainerd Dispatch  ...A probation partnership spanning more than four decades will soon come to an end. The Crow Wing County Board Tuesday unanimously voted to withdraw from Central Minnesota Community Corrections. Erik Skoog, business agent with the Teamsters Local No. 320, interrupted and began addressing the board. The Local No. 320 represent CMCC probation officers along with all employees in community services except management...

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE
Striking Greeks take to tension-filled streets in austerity protest  Reuters  ...Striking Greeks took to the streets on Thursday to protest austerity measures, setting Alexis Tsipras' government its biggest domestic challenge since he was re-elected in September promising to cushion the impact of economic hardship. Flights were grounded, hospitals ran on skeleton staff, ships were docked at port and public offices stayed shut across the country...
Quebec's Strike Wave Rolls Toward a Showdown  Truthout  ...Workers in the Canadian province of Quebec are mobilizing the largest struggle against austerity in North America. Public-sector workers across Quebec have hit the picket lines for a wave of strikes to defend jobs, wages, working conditions and public services. In the first round of rotating regional strikes from October 26-29, more than 400,000 unionists organized in the Common Front shut down schools, hospitals and government offices...
Pacific trade deal could limit affordable drugs  Malaysian Insider  ...A massive trade pact between 12 Pacific rim countries could limit the availability of affordable medicines, the head of the World Health Organisation said Thursday, joining a heated debate on the impact of the deal. Margaret Chan told a conference there were "some very serious concerns" about the Trans-Pacific Partnership...
Why Obama says TPP is historic for workers — and why US labor unions hate it  Vox  ...The Obama administration is crowing about the labor protections in the Trans-Pacific Partnership — the full text of which were finally released last week. But skeptics aren't convinced. First, they say, the labor protections are similar to those in previous trade agreements, rather than truly game changing. And second, they argue that though the commitments sound nice on paper, they may not make much of a difference in the real world...
Currency manipulation plan gets key endorsement  The Hill  ...A currency manipulation plan connected to a far-reaching Pacific Rim trade pact received a key endorsement from the architects of a widely cited proposal to crack down on the practice. Critics of the currency provisions argue that while the side agreement requires more data from countries such as Malaysia, the deal won't force violating nations to change policies they have already agreed to follow...
US farm lobby group campaigning against the Trans Pacific Partnership  ABC  ...One of the largest farm groups in the United States is stepping up its campaign against the Trans Pacific Partnership. The 12-country deal seeks to make it cheaper, and easier, to trade throughout the Pacific rim. But the National Farmers' Union fears currency manipulation threatens to wipe out all the gains the deal might make...
How the secret TTIP trade deal could enable companies to sue countries  The Conversation  ...One of the most controversial elements of TPP is the “investor-state dispute settlement” clause (or ISDS) – and the inclusion of intellectual property under its remit. Should a similar clause be included in the TTIP, companies could use it within the EU to usurp the will of both national and EU courts. And this could be very costly indeed...
Portugal Rejoices as Anti-Austerity Left Coalition Forms to Oust Right Wing  Common Dreams  ...In a surprising development for Europe's anti-austerity movement, Portugal's three reigning leftist parties on Tuesday formed an unexpected coalition to oust the country's center-right government from power and end years of punishing cuts and economic hardship. The moderate Socialist Party forged what is being called "an unprecedented alliance"...

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES
Cuomo to Raise Minimum Wage to $15 for All New York State Employees  New York Times  ...Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Tuesday that he would unilaterally establish a $15 minimum wage for all state workers, making New York the first state to set such a high wage for its public employees. The increase will place the pay of New York’s state employees far ahead of the current minimum wage in other states, and positions Mr. Cuomo at the vanguard of a national movement to address stagnant pay...
Almost Half of All American Workers Make Less Than $15 an Hour  The Nation  ...We’ve come a long way since that crisp November day three years ago when a small group of New York City fast-food workers launched a strike with the slogan “Fast Food Forward.” Today, the movement continues its forward march with the viral hashtag #FightFor15. On November 10, workers in hundreds of cities again went on strike and rallied, this time with an especially militant overtone...
Virginia Is The First State In The Country To End Veteran Homelessness  Think Progress  ...On Veterans Day, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and President Obama announced that the state is the first in the country to end veteran homelessness. That means that every veteran who wants housing has been offered a place after the state says it has helped more than 1,400 veterans get into permanent housing in the last year...
ALEC's Fingerprints on Harsh New North Carolina Immigration Law  Truthout  ...At the end of October, North Carolina joined the ranks of states with harsh immigration policies when Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed into law HB 318. North Carolina's law was passed amidst a conservative backlash against community trust initiatives nationwide sparked by this summer's murder of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco. But language in North Carolina's sanctuary city ban predates Steinle's death: It comes from a model bill, titled "No Sanctuary Cities for Illegal Immigrants," crafted in 2009 by the American Legislative Exchange Council...
City of Pittsburgh workers' minimum wage going up to $15  WTAE  ...Mayor Bill Peduto issued an executive order Tuesday raising all city employees' minimum wage to $15 an hour by the year 2021, a move that comes as a handful of large U.S. cities have enacted or moved toward a $15 minimum wage. Peduto's order doesn't raise the minimum wage of non-city employees who work in Pittsburgh, though it does call for City Council to draft legislation next year...
Donald Trump thinks you make too much money  Fusion  ...Donald Trump kicked off the fourth GOP debate by boldly proclaiming that “wages [are] too high.” The comment went relatively unnoted by moderators as several other candidates proceeded to critique federal minimum wage policy. Yet, Trump’s position is far outside even Republican mainstream thinking on the topic...
Ben Carson Is As Wrong About Wage Hikes As He Was About the Pyramids  The Nation  ... Of course Dr. Ben Carson was wrong when he claimed in the fourth Republican presidential debate that “Every time we raise the minimum wage, the number of jobless people increases.”  Minimum-wage hikes are not always associated with immediate spikes in employment; especially in recessionary moments. But PolitiFact notes that “[of the] five minimum wage hikes that occurred when a recovery was under way, joblessness declined four of those times”...

U.S. LABOR
Voting begins Thursday on UAW-Ford contract  MLive  ..The some 52,000 rank-and-file UAW workers at Ford Motor Co.'s U.S. facilities begin voting Thursday on a new, four-year contract agreement. Voting is expected to last through next week. Struck last Friday, the proposed agreement includes $9 billion in U.S. product commitments and 8,500 jobs created or retained...
Unions Push to Establish Bloc of Low-Wage Voters  Wall Street Journal  ...The Fight for $15 movement is seeking not just to influence Americans’ paychecks, but also the country’s upcoming elections. Fast-food workers and other supporters are protesting in many cities on Tuesday, demanding a $15 an hour minimum wage and the right to form a union without retaliation. The rallies are organized by the Service Employees International Union and other labor organizations...
Fast Food Strikes Hit Cities Throughout The Country  Huffington Post  ...Nearly three years after launching its first worker strike, the Fight for 15 was reaping the fruits of its labor on Tuesday. The union-backed campaign aimed at boosting the minimum wage held what organizers described as its largest mass demonstration yet, with fast-food and other service-sector workers taking part in strikes and protests in scores of cities around the country...
Fight For $15: Nationwide Protests Aim To Inject Minimum Wage Hikes Into Presidential Campaign  IBTimes  ...Protesters hit the streets Tuesday -- a full year before Election Day 2016 -- in a move designed to pressure presidential candidates to embrace the movement’s twin demands of $15 and union representation. The early-morning march in Brooklyn kicked off the latest round of nationwide demonstrations held by the so-called Fight for 15...
Bernie Sanders picks up his biggest union endorsement yet: U.S. postal workers are feeling the Bern  Salon  ...“Politics as usual has not worked. It’s time for a political revolution,” the president of the American Postal Workers’ Union declared when he announced the 200,000-member strong organization’s endorsement of Bernie Sanders. Sanders’ largest union endorsement yet is welcome news as a New York Times/CBS News released on Thursday shows rival Hillary Clinton maintaining her substantial national lead...
After Video of Calif. Police Breaking Up Teachers Union Meeting Goes Viral, School Apologizes  In These Times  ...In a video widely circulated on social media, Alameda County sheriff’s deputies can be seen interrupting a lunchtime union meeting held at San Lorenzo High on October 20 for local teachers in the midst of a contract bargaining dispute with their employer, the San Lorenzo Unified School District (SLUSD)...
County reaches tentative pact with AFSCME  NC New Online  ...A Lawrence County courthouse union has reached a tentative agreement with the county for a three-year contract. County administrator James Gagliano told the commissioners yesterday that the prospective contract is in the hands of the representative for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2902. The bargaining unit includes 63 employees...

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS
Wall Street is finally getting its comeuppance: Why new global regulations are a vital step in the right direction  Salon  ...Public outrage has gradually driven a more robust post-crisis response as we get further and further away from the event, an unusual and encouraging scenario. The latest action, from the global banking regulator known as the Financial Stability Board (FSB), would force the world’s 30 biggest banks to raise over $1 trillion in additional funds that can be used to absorb losses in a downturn...
Beyond Mizzou: Fight for Racial Justice Spreads to Campuses Nationwide  Common Dreams  ...Empowered by successful campus organizing at the University of Missouri, where protests over racial tensions culminated Monday in the resignation of University president Tim Wolfe, students and faculty at schools across the country are seizing their moment to amplify the call for racial justice...
Immigration advocates aren’t letting a court ruling on deportations get in their way  Washington Post  ...President Obama’s plan to shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation may be in legal limbo, but that’s not stopping advocates for the undocumented, who are planning a new wave of events celebrating the initiative’s one-year anniversary. Even as a federal appeals court ruled this week against Obama’s program, advocates were stepping up their preparations and finalizing plans to hold vigils, news conferences and “naturalization workshops”...

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