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Today's Teamster News 12.16.14

Teamster News
What the Cromnibus Law Means for Multiemployer Pension Plans  International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans   ...The law states that plans in "critical and declining status" can temporarily or permanently suspend current and future benefits...
Congress Rolls Back Trucker Rest Requirements  CBS12   …Fatigue is often a major factor in many crashes. So why are federal lawmakers saying its okay for big rig haulers to drive more and sleep less?...
CRomnibus Heads to Oval Office  U.S. News and World Report   ...the bill now heads to the Oval Office for approval...
Maine Senator Is Again Friend to Trucking as Rule Eased  Bloomberg   ...Susan Collins...got a rider attached to the spending bill approved over the weekend so truckers will no longer have to get two nights sleep in a row before starting a work week. Suspending year-old federal regulations means truckers will be allowed to work as many as 82 hours over eight days -- upending what safety advocates said was a key component of a 15-year effort to reduce deaths caused by drowsy long-haul drivers...
Two N.Y. State Senators Oppose Horse-Carriage Ban, Warn Of 'Real Battle'  New York Daily News   ...Two Democratic state senators are the latest to come out in opposition to Mayor de Blasio’s push to ban horse carriages in the city. Sens. Diane Savino, chairwoman of the Senate Labor Committee, and Jose Peralta, the panel’s ranking minority party member, have drafted a letter to de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito vehemently opposing to the Council bill on the mayor’s plan...
Entergy,Teamsters Union Agree On Contract For Indian Point Security Workers  Daily Voice   ... Entergy and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 456 have agreed on a new contract for the union’s approximately 186 security workers at the Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan...
Keystone XL pipeline may no longer make economic sense, experts say  Los Angeles Times   ...plunging oil prices have analysts questioning whether the plan to link Canadian tar sands with Gulf Coast refineries still makes economic sense...
Trade
Hatch says trade an area where GOP, Obama can work together  The Hill   ...Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who is expected to take the helm of the Senate Finance Committee, said passing trade promotion authority (TPA) is not only an avenue to completing two massive trade deals — the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) — but is a place where Republicans can work with President Obama...
New Trade Agreements will Take Center Stage in 2015. So Will Bad Arguments Made on their Behalf.  Economic Policy Institute   ...while these trade-induced losses (which I estimated to be roughly $1,800 annually for a full-time worker without a college degree) do not explain all, or even the majority, of the rise in inequality over the past generation, they’re not trivial...
State Battles
Right-to-work would trim union clout, but broader economic impact unclear  Wisconsin State Journal   ...“We’re not purporting to prove that right-to-work produces superior economic performance,” Greer said. The more important argument, he said, is that workers should have the freedom to choose whether to pay union dues or not...
Florida senators relaunch bill to overhaul local pension plans  Tampa Bay Times   ...The measure would allow cities with faltering pension funds to use additional insurance premium tax revenues to shore up their accounts...
Public money for schools buys private property  Detroit Free Press   ...National Heritage Academies, Michigan's largest charter management company, has an unusual arrangement with its schools. The for-profit company — and not the schools — owns the contents of its school buildings, even though those desks, computers, books and supplies may have been purchased with taxpayer money...

Kansas Governor Proposes Using Pension Money to Cover Budget Gaps Created By His Tax Cuts  International Business Times   ...In 2012, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed a landmark bill that delivered big tax cuts to high income earners and businesses. Less than two years after that tax cut, the state's income tax revenues plummeted by a quarter-billion dollars -- and now Brownback is pushing to use money for public employees’ pensions to instead cover the state's ensuing budget shortfalls...
Inside The Koch-Backed History Lessons North Carolina Wants To Teach High School Students  ThinkProgress   ...Public high school students in North Carolina will be taught from a lesson plans and worksheets prepared by a organization closely tied to the billionaire Koch brothers, if the state’s Department of Public Instruction gets its way...
W.Va. Minimum Wage Rising In 2015 And 2016  WSAZ   ...Back in April, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed a bill raising minimum wage by 75 cents, which means it will soon rise to $8 an hour. The raise goes into effect January 1st. As part of the bill, minimum wage will go up another 75 cents in 2016...
Councilors Put Off Vote On Mayor’s Plan To Raise Portland’s Minimum Wage  Portland Press Herald   ...The Portland City Council’s Finance Committee listened to more than two hours of testimony Thursday on a measure that would raise the city’s minimum wage to a level above the state minimum, but postponed making a final recommendation until next year...
War on Workers
Pension Bill Seen as Model for Further Cuts  Wall Street Journal   ...A measure included in Congress’s mammoth spending bill permits benefit cuts for retirees in one type of pension plan, a big shift that lawmakers and others believe could set a precedent for other troubled retirement programs...
Kevin Yoder MIA After Tucking Wall Street Bailout Into Government Spending Bill  Huffington Post   ...For all the anger among progressives about a Wall Street bailout provision that made its way into the just-passed $1.1 trillion government spending bill, there's been little attention on the person who put it in there. Meet Congressman Kevin Yoder (R-Kansas). Yoder, a second-term congressman whose largest contributors are in the finance industry, introduced the provision last summer. It was literally written by Citigroup executives...
U.S. taxpayers help fund oil-train boom amid safety concerns  Reuters   ...States and the federal government have handed out tens of millions in public dollars to rail companies and government agencies to expand crude oil rail transportation across the country, a Reuters analysis has found...
Strikes across Belgium cause transport chaos  BBC News   ...The widespread industrial action is the latest in a series of strikes protesting against the new centre-right coalition's austerity policies. The government plans to save €11bn (£8.7bn) in the next five years. The 24-hour strike is the largest to have taken place in Belgium for many years. It has forced government offices and schools to close, and the country's ports have been blockaded...
Wealth inequality has widened along racial, ethnic lines since end of Great Recession  Pew Research Center   …The wealth of white households was 13 times the median wealth of black households in 2013, compared with eight times the wealth in 2010, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances. Likewise, the wealth of white households is now more than 10 times the wealth of Hispanic households, compared with nine times the wealth in 2010...
The Devalued American Worker  Washington Post   ...Green once held a middle-class job. Now, to make enough money to send his children to college, he works the equivalent of two full-time jobs: one maintaining highways for the state of North Carolina and one ushering fans and collecting trash for a variety of sports teams around Winston-Salem...
It's Going To Get A Little Easier For Workers To Unionize  Huffington Post   ...Federal officials unveiled new rules on Friday that will streamline and simplify the union election process, a reform long sought by labor unions and fiercely opposed by businesses...
Uber Backtracks After Jacking Up Prices During Sydney Hostage Crisis  Washington Post   ...After an armed gunman took patrons of a Sydney chocolate shop hostage during rush hour Monday morning, the transportation company Uber quadrupled its fares for panic-stricken customers fleeing the central business district...
MLGW worker dies after explosion  WREG.com   …A crew was trying to repair a gas line on the 4600 block of Winter Park Drive when there was a spark and an explosion…
Miscellaneous
The Supreme Court just made it easier for police to search your car  Vox   ...The Supreme Court ruled Monday that police officers can sometimes conduct a search and seizure of a car even if that search is the result of an unlawful stop...

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