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Today's Teamster News 6.29.15

Teamsters
Teamsters, Airgas employees on West Side, reject contract  Charleston Gazette  ...On Saturday, Teamster members working for Airgas Mid-America in Charleston unanimously rejected the company’s offer for a collective bargaining agreement. This would be the first contract negotiated by the union since the company’s employees on Charleston’s West Side voted to have the Teamsters represent them in July 2014. Local Airgas workers rejected the proposed contract in large part because the company refused to raise wages for their Charleston employees to a rate comparable to wages paid by its local competitor...

Global Labor & Trade
Pelosi on trade: 'The fight will continue'  The Hill  ...House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi vowed Thursday that liberals will carry their trade fight into the ongoing talks over a trans-Pacific deal at the top of President Obama's legislative wish list. The California Democrat said this week's passage of fast-track legislation, a key part of Obama's trade agenda, is just one setback in the much larger debate over the emerging Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)...
U.S. Democrats shrug off retribution threats for pro-trade votes  Reuters  ...Democrats in the U.S. Congress who backed legislation key to sealing a Pacific Rim trade pact this week shrugged off threats of retribution from labor unions and liberal activists who have vowed to hold them accountable at future elections. Forty-one Democrats this week defied pressure and supported legislation to let the White House seal trade deals and send them on a fast track through Congress...
The Trans-Pacific Partnership’s glaring double standard  Salon  ...Recently leaked drafts of the agreement show the pact includes the kind of “Investor-State Dispute Settlement” (ISDS) provisions written into most major trade deals passed since the North American Free Trade Agreement. Those provisions allow companies to use secretive international tribunals to sue sovereign governments. But also like past trade deals, the TPP is not expected to allow unions and public-interest groups to bring their own suits in the same tribunalss...
Why trade deals hurt Americans  PBS  ...The flood of imports has kept workers’ wages stagnant in the U.S. for decades and median household incomes declining—all at a time when importers like Wal-Mart and Apple are profiting tremendously from cheap overseas labor. While it costs only $2 to make bands for the Apple watch in Asia, those same bands retail at $49 in the U.S., making Apple a 96 percent profit. No wonder Apple has three times as much cash on hand as Uncle Sam. By shipping jobs overseas, companies make big profits, but deny Americans jobs. So yes, our trade policy is adding to inequality in the U.S...
King Obama, His Royal Court, and the TPP  (opinion) Common Dreams  ...The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) – a global corporate noose around U.S. local, state, and national sovereignty – narrowly passed a major procedural hurdle in the Congress by gaining “fast track” status. This term “fast track” is a euphemism for your members of Congress – senators and representatives – handcuffing themselves, so as to prevent any amendments or adequate debate before the final vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership – another euphemism that is used to avoid the word “treaty”...
Anti-austerity protesters rally at Greek parliament  Reuters  ...Several hundred anti-austerity protesters, chanting slogans against the European Union and IMF, rallied near parliament in Athens on Sunday as a deepening crisis forced Greece's leftist government to announce capital controls on the banking system. The protest was the latest in a string of rallies both for and against the government in recent weeks...
Cash Withdrawals and Hoarding as Default Looms Over Greece  New York Times  ...Five years of economic misery have taught many Greeks how to endure hardship. There was no panic on the streets, even as the breakdown of negotiations in Brussels between the leftist government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the country’s creditors could ultimately push Greece out of the eurozone...
Liberia Law Boosts Rights of Informal-Economy Workers  Solidarity Center  ...Liberian domestic workers and other informal-economy workers in Liberia are set to receive significant wage gains, collective bargaining rights and labor law protection under the Decent Work Bill signed today by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The bill takes effect when printed into handbills for distribution. Unskilled workers will earn a minimum of $3.50 per day, an amount that is more than five times the $15 per month salary...

State & Living Wage Battles
State Moves To Block Cities From Increasing Minimum Wage Or Requiring Paid Sick Leave  Think Progress  ...Michigan’s legislature passed a bill this week that blocks any cities in the state from passing their own minimum wage increases or paid sick leave requirements. The text of the bill states that “the regulation of the employment relationship between a nonpublic employer and its employees is a matter of state concern”...
Assembly plan would scale back prevailing wage as budget stalemate enters fifth week  Star Tribune  ...Nearly 60 percent of public projects in Wisconsin would not be subject to the prevailing wage law under a proposal introduced Monday by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos as the state budget stalemate enters its fifth week. Gov. Scott Walker, who had previously said he wouldn't announce a presidential bid until after he signs the budget, is now planning to state his intentions as soon as July 13...
Maine lawmakers team-up to take down Right to Work  PR News Channel  ...In a move that surprised many labor supporters, especially in Ohio, Maine’s latest Right to Work effort was taken down with help from an unlikely source: state Republicans. Backed by Republican Gov. Paul LePage, the latest Right to Work bill was defeated 21-14 in the Republican-controlled state Senate. The Senate’s vote follows a similar result in the Democrat-controlled House earlier this month...
Changes to NC voter ID rankle some, but could preserve law  Citizen-Times  ...Federal and state lawsuits filed nearly two years ago challenging what’s in North Carolina’s election overhaul law are finally heading to trial starting next month. But unexpected moves on the way to the courthouse could break down arguments of plaintiffs seeking to overturn the law’s most high-profile component: a photo identification requirement to vote in person starting next year...
Jackson County Board votes to oppose 'Right to Work'  The Southern  ...In one of its largest gatherings in some time, the members of the Jackson County Board voted to support a resolution opposing right to work initiative. Last month, Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposal to allow Right to Work zones received zero votes from members of the Illinois State House...

U.S. Labor
Communications Workers Of America Ratify Agreement For AT&T  Nasdaq  ...AT&T on Friday said that wireline employees represented by the Communications Workers of America have voted to ratify a three-year contract for AT&T Corp. (CWA Telecommunications and Technology Office). The AT&T Corp. contract covers about 4,500 employees located throughout the country.
Milwaukee County Transit union members to vote on new contract  Fox 6 Now  ...A new contract is on the table. But no agreement has been reached between Milwaukee County and its bus drivers. The two sides spent Friday, June 26th negotiating. While a new proposal is out there, a strike is not out of the question. Drivers will vote on the contract on Monday, June 29th. The county is offering more money in this newest contract. But the Amalgamated Transit Union says, that’s not what this is about...
NLRB intervenes in clash between Time Inc. and News Guild  Capital New York  ...The National Labor Relations Board has announced its intent to issue a complaint against Time Inc. by the end of this month if the magazine publisher and the News Guild of New York fail to reach an agreement amenable to the federal agency. The announcement comes several months after the union filed a charge against Time Inc. with the NLRB, pushing back against what it characterized as the company's unilateral implementation of its "last, best and final offer"...
AFSCME, MAPE come to tentative contract agreements with state of Minnesota  Star Tribune  ...The two largest state government unions reached tentative contract agreements with the administration of Gov. Mark Dayton, giving raises to more than 30,000 state workers of 2.5 percent in July 2015 and another 2.5 percent in 2016. “It’s a proper balance between managing the state budget and a good pay package for the employees” that will help recruit, develop and retain a solid workforce...
Could This Be the Biggest Blow Yet to Uber’s Business Model?  The Nation  ...The sharing economy has been having a rough ride lately: Enraged taxi drivers rose up against Uber with flaming street blockades in Paris and San Francisco cabbies rallied at Uber headquarters to protest the “ride-share” platform’s outsized grip on local taxi markets. But another potentially more disruptive development unfolded more quietly, in a San Francisco courtroom, with the simple words “alleged employee”...
“I think America is out of hand”: The shocking numbers that reveal just how burnt out American workers are  Salon  ...The American worker is overworked, underpaid, and suffering from severe burnout. This sentiment isn’t populist rhetoric, there are numbers to back it up. A new study from WorkPlaceTrends — an HR-focused research firm — and  Staples Advantage polled over 2,500 workers and reached troubling results. According to the data, 53 percent of American workers report feeling burned out at work...
Once Again, Bosses Are Trying To Eliminate New Protections for Guestworkers  In These Times  ...Once again, the beleaguered H-2B guestworker program is the subject of a legal battle. Once again, the battle is over basic worker protections. While employers are fighting in court and in Congress to have newly implemented protections removed, guestworker advocates are calling for the public to demand that the government keep them...
GOP battles to defund work of Obama labor board  The Hill  ...Congressional Republicans are using the power of the purse to do battle against a series of controversial labor regulations from the Obama administration. They say the National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) gave a gift to labor unions by issuing what they call an “ambush election” rule that speeds up the process for organizing in the workplace...

Miscellaneous
Sysco Pulling Out of US Foods Buyout After FTC Move  New York Times  ...Sysco is scrapping its proposed $3.5 billion buyout of US Foods after a Federal Trade Commission legal victory that temporarily blocked the deal to combine the two food-service companies. The FTC opposed the deal, saying it would reduce competition. The U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., granted the halt on Tuesday...
Consumers Score Huge Victory as Federal Judge Blocks Sysco and US Foods Merger  Alternet  ...In a stunning victory for people, independent restaurants and public cafeterias, a federal judge struck down the proposed merger of Sysco and US Foods, the only two national food distribution companies in the United States. Sysco and US Foods are the only companies that provide national distribution networks to foodservice customers such as schools, restaurants and hospitals...
College is a con: The savage truth about your bachelor’s degree  Salon  ...Higher education wears the cloak of liberalism, but in policy and practice, it can be a corrupt and cutthroat system of power and exploitation. Tthe reality is that while college administrators might affix “down with the man” stickers on their office doors, many prop up a system that is severely unfair to American students and professors, a shocking number of whom struggle to make ends meet...
With Marriage Equality Won, LGBTQ Activism Continues for Bias Protections & Overlooked Trans Issues  Democracy Now  ...After the Supreme Court’s historic ruling on marriage equality, many LGBTQ leaders are now redirecting their attention to obtaining federal, state and local legal protections in areas of employment, housing and commerce. Nationwide, anti-discrimination laws for gay people are inconsistent and unequal with only 22 states barring discrimination based on sexual orientation...
The Supreme Court Knocks Down Major Death Penalty Challenge  Mother Jones  ...On Monday, the Supreme Court rejected a challenge to a state lethal injection protocol, allowing Oklahoma and other states to continue using a controversial sedative that's been implicated in a number of botched executions. The 5-4 decision in Glossip v. Gross was a win for conservatives who support the death penalty...

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