Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News 11.13.15

TEAMSTERS
Linde Gas Workers in Texas Join Teamsters Local 745  Teamster.org  ...On November 4, 2015, workers at Linde Gas in Farmers Branch, Texas voted to join Teamsters Local 745 in Dallas. The drivers and warehouse workers voted 11 to 6 to become Teamsters. There are 17 workers in the bargaining unit. Linde manufactures and supplies industrial, specialty and medical gases and related equipment...
Protecting truckers’ rest breaks makes highways safer: James P. Hoffa  LA Daily News  ...Driving a truck can be an arduous job. The hours are long and road congestion and bad weather can make travel grueling. Thankfully, the state of California recognized this long ago and enacted meal and rest break rules that help keep truckers alert behind the wheel. The provisions are not burdensome. In fact, they apply to most of the state’s workforce...
Chicago TV Series Keep Teamsters Working Year-Round  Local 727  ...Teamsters Local 727 members are having their busiest television season ever with four network shows filming concurrently in Chicago. More than 100 Teamsters are hard at work on Fox’s ratings juggernaut “Empire” and the NBC franchise of “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago PD” and “Chicago Med” — both on set at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios and on location throughout the city...
EVSC/Teamsters Contracts Ratified  TriState Homepage  ...Contracts between the EVSC an a local union that have been in the works since June are one step closer to approval. Teamsters Local 215 President Chuck Whobrey says all five employee contracts have been ratified. EVSC School Board President Mike Duckworth tells Eyewitness News the board will choose to accept or decline the approved proposals at their next meeting...

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE
Greece paralyzed by austerity strikes  DW.com  ...A massive general strike brought Greece to a standstill on Thursday, as tens of thousands of people protested spending cuts pushed through by the country's leftist government in exchange for European bailout money. Feeling betrayed by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who was elected on an anti-austerity ticket, Greek unions launched a 24-hour strike...
Obama Faces a Tough Road with TPP Trade Deal  Fortune  ...In an election year, the knives are out for Obama’s signature trade pact. The mammoth Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal is by far the biggest thing left on President Barack Obama’s legislative agenda. But Obama has Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, labor unions, and even the tobacco industry standing in his way...
White House to work with Congress on TPP vote timing  Reuters  ...The Obama administration will work with Congress on the best time to bring a 12-nation Pacific trade pact before lawmakers for a vote, the top U.S. trade official said on Thursday. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said the administration, which gave 90 days notice last week of its intent to sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), was doing everything within its power to move the deal along...
Obama Enlists Former Diplomats Albright, Baker in TPP Push  Bloomberg  ...President Barack Obama, hoping to kick off a new phase of selling the Trans-Pacific Partnership at home while enhancing its prospects overseas, has enlisted some of the nation’s top current and former diplomatic and national security officials to give testimonials. Obama is meeting Friday at the White House with a group that includes Madeleine Albright...
WHO chief raises ‘serious concerns’ over TPP impact on vital drug prices  RT  ...The head of the World Health Organization has voiced concern over the impact the newly formed 12-nation Trans Pacific Partnership will have on vital drug prices, as it could limit the availability of cheaper generic medicines in favour of patent holders...
"A Very Big Mistake": Joseph Stiglitz Slams Obama for Pushing the TPP  Democracy Now  ...As Congress debates the Trans-Pacific Partnership, we speak to Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz about the trade deal. "The irony is that the president came out and said, 'This is about who makes the trade rules—China or the United States?'" Stiglitz said. "But I think the big issue is, this is about who makes the rules of trade—the American people, our democratic process, or the corporations?"...
Germany Protests to United States Over Secrecy in Huge TTIP Trade Deal  Sputnik News  ...The German Government has filed an official note of protest to the US over the lack of access that its country's lawmakers have to documents associated with the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations. The controversial TTIP agreement, under negotiation between the European Union (EU) and the United States could lead to the world's largest free-trade area...
United Steel Workers in Liberia to Support Firestone Workers Ahead of New CBA  Bush Chicken  ...A two-man delegation from the United Steel Workers, a North American workers union, is in the country to visit the Firestone Agricultural Workers Union of Liberia, FAWUL. USW International Vice President Fred Raymond and Director for Strategic Campaigns Mark Zalinski told The Bush Chicken that they were here to strengthen the partnership with FAWUL and assist in negotiating a collective bargaining agreement with Firestone...

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES
New California Law Gives Farmworkers Right To Back Pay  KCPR  ...The law says workers who weren’t paid accurately from July 2012 to December 2015 have the right to back pay for rest periods and unproductive time. This includes time for training, traveling, and moving from and to fields. The United Farm Workers union is currently reaching out to farm laborers to let them know about the law before it goes into effect January 1st...
Scott Walker's Legacy of Double-Dealing for Friends and Donors Revealed in New John Doe Emails   PR Watch  ...In 2011, prosecutors in the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office suspected that Scott Walker committed felony misconduct while serving as Milwaukee County Executive due to his direct involvement in a multi-million dollar lease renewal for county offices at a privately held building called the Reuss Federal Plaza. Newly-released emails, made public as part of a federal lawsuit, reveal crucial details about these bid-rigging allegations...
Walmart Workers Escalate Thanksgiving Wage Protests With Weeks Of Fasting  Think Progress  ...Tired of being left to rely on the charity of others to feed their families, Walmart workers around the country are launching two weeks of fasting in the run-up to Thanksgiving to demand livable wages and full-time schedules. “I’ve had to forgo meals so my boys would have enough to eat,” Walmart associate Jasmine Dixon said Thursday...
L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl backs statewide minimum wage measure  LA Times  ...The elected official who led Los Angeles County's adoption of a $15 minimum wage has endorsed one of two proposed 2016 ballot initiatives that would extend the same base pay rate statewide. L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl on Thursday threw her support behind the so-called Fair Wage Act...
In classic battle, minimum wage movement pits labor against business  Open Secrets  ..Fast food and other low-wage workers took to the streets of cities across the country this week to demand a minimum wage of $15, earning the support of liberal mayors, governors and even presidential candidates. In New York, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo stood with the “Fight for $15” crusade, announcing he would take executive action to establish a $15-per-hour floor for state employees...
Donald Trump wants the U.S. to 'compete with other countries' on minimum wage. But which countries?  Daily Kos  ...Donald Trump is not backing down from his assertion that "our wages are too high" during the most recent Republican presidential debate. Exactly which other countries does Trump think we need to compete with by keeping the minimum wage low? Because if you’re looking at other advanced countries, the United States lags behind Australia, Luxembourg, France, Belgium, Ireland, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Austria...

U.S. LABOR
Kaiser mental health workers to go on strike Monday  Press Democrat  ...The union representing Kaiser Permanente mental health care workers in Sonoma County said its members will go on strike Monday, walking off the job for the second time in 10 months. Unlike a January strike that lasted five days, next week’s National Union of Health Care Workers strike has no ending date...
UAW members voting on Ford contract that would bring $1.1B to Chicago area  Chicago Tribune  ...Union workers at Ford's Chicago Heights body panel plant began voting Thursday on a national labor deal that would see $1.1 billion invested in Ford's two Chicago-area plants. The deal — tentatively agreed to by national negotiators last week — would see $900 million invested and about 200 more workers hired at the Torrence Avenue assembly plant, where 4,100 United Auto Workers members are currently employed...
Access-a-Ride-workers threaten strike over labor conditions  AM New York  ...The transit union that represents many MTA workers threatened a strike Thursday at the Access-a-Ride call center. The company Global Contact Services has about 500 workers at the call center who set up Access-a-Ride trips, a service used by passengers who need wheelchair-accessible cars. Workers have made complaints to the MTA's board and Inspector General about their labor conditions...
How Apple And eBay Have Been Benefiting From Wage Theft  Think Progress  ...The Department of Labor (DOL) banned two Silicon Valley contracting firms used by Apple, eBay, and Cisco from hiring immigrant workers with high-skilled visas for underpaying employees nearly $1,000 a month. Sunnyvale, California-based contractors Orian Engineers and Scopus Consulting Group improperly classified immigrant employees with H-1B visas as entry level despite them having significant work experience or graduate-level degrees...
Postal Workers Endorse Austerity-Foe Bernie Sanders  The Nation  ... The APWU endorsement recalls the historic “reward our friends” calculus, as Sanders has for years been an ardent congressional advocate for postal workers and the United States Postal Service. Long before he considered presidential politics, the senator from Vermont was arguing against the austerity economics that seeks to balance the books by cutting public services...
US weekly jobless claims total 276,000 vs 270,000 estimate  CNBC  ...New U.S. applications for unemployment benefits last week held steady at levels consistent with sustained labor market strength that could encourage the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates next month. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits were unchanged at a seasonally adjusted 276,000 for the week ended Nov. 7, the Labor Department said on Thursday...

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS
Report: Neglected Railways Increase Risk of Exploding Oil "Bomb Trains"  Truthout  ...According to a new report out this week from Waterkeeper Alliance, ForestEthics and Riverkeeper, since 2008, oil train traffic has increased more than 5,000 percent along routes "leading from oil fields in central Canada, the Great Plains and the Rockies to refineries and crude oil hubs along our nation's coasts." The report describes the significant threat posed by explosive crude oil "bomb trains" traveling across aging and neglected US rail infrastructure...
Leading Powers to Double Renewable Energy Supply by 2030  Common Dreams  ...Eight of the world’s leading economies will double their renewable energy supply by 2030 if they live up to their pledges to contribute to curbing global warming, which will be included in the new climate treaty. A study published this month by the World Resources Institute (WRI) analysed the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) of the 10 largest greenhouse gas emitters...
Students across U.S. march over debt, free public college  Reuters  ...Students held demonstrations on university campuses across the United States on Thursday to protest ballooning student loan debt for higher education and rally for tuition-free public colleges. The demonstrations, dubbed the Million Student March, were planned just two days after thousands of fast-food workers took to the streets in a nationwide day of action pushing for a $15-an-hour minimum wage and union rights for the industry...
In Nationwide Student Revolt over Campus Racism, NY's Ithaca College is Latest School to Erupt  Democracy Now  ...In a week that began with a victorious revolt by African-American students at the University of Missouri and brought solidarity rallies to campuses around the country, a similar protest has erupted at Ithaca College in upstate New York. On Wednesday, thousands of faculty, students and staff staged a walkout to call for the resignation of President Tom Rochon...
Yet Another Report Excuses Police in Tamir Rice's Death  The Atlantic  ...A report commissioned by the Cuyahoga County prosecutor has found that officers acted reasonably in the shooting of Tamir Rice, an unarmed 12-year-old boy whose death was captured on surveillance camera. The report is the third independent report Prosecutor Timothy McGinty has released. Activists and Rice’s relatives have charged that the reports are being released in an attempt to justify a decision not to charge Loehmann for Rice’s death...