Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 01.06.16

TEAMSTERS
Hoffa: Congress must act to avert pension crisis  The Detroit News  ...Opposition is growing in Michigan and across the Midwest against a devastating pension cut proposal put forward by the Central States Pension Fund that would slash benefits by as much as 65 percent. Thousands of Teamsters are letting the federal government know they must reject the plan if they want retirees to be able to subsist on their own...
Treasury Department Announces January Public Sessions for Feedback on CSPF Rescue Plan Teamster.org  ... The Treasury Department announced the details today for two public sessions in January for Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund retirees and participants to offer feedback on the proposed rescue plan. The sessions will be hosted by Treasury appointee Kenneth R. Feinberg who is overseeing the rescue plan review process as outlined by the Kline-Miller Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014...
American Red Cross Workers Vote to Join Teamsters in Maine  Teamster.org  ...Workers at the American Red Cross’ Portland donation center have voted to join Teamsters Local 340. The blood donation center’s 57 employees will now form a bargaining unit that includes collections technicians, collections specialists and mobile unit assistants of various classifications. These employees are responsible for setting up and administering blood drives across the southern half of the state...
Local 710 to Fight Wrongful Terminations at Classic Party Rental  Local 710  ...Teamsters Local 710 met Friday, December 18 with Classic Party Rental to discuss the wrongful termination of 35 employees. Local 710 has filed a grievance to have those members reinstated. Classic Party required members to verify their employment eligibility but did not allow adequate time for them to do so. This resulted in the termination of nearly 30 percent of their workforce of 120 employees...
GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE
We'll strike until we are paid - Railway workers  Ghana Web  ...Striking railway workers have reiterated that they will not call off their industrial action until all their demands are addressed by government. The Railway Workers Union announced the withdrawal of passenger services from Accra to Tema and Accra to Nsawam in December following government’s failure to pay their three-month salary arrears...
Can Brazil’s Workers’ Party Survive?  The Nation  ... President Dilma Rousseff is facing an impeachment drive, a tanking economy—and grassroots party activists furious at her austerity policies and pro-corporate development strategy.  Re-elected as president on a socially progressive program in October 2014, she has implemented austerity policies that have stopped the economy in its tracks and reversed many of the employment and wage gains made under previous PT governments...
Covered Bridge Potato Chips workers stage strike in Canada  CBC  ...Unionized employees at Covered Bridge Potato Chips near Hartland have walked out and are now on strike to back demands for a first contract with the company. The 32 members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1288P have been in a legal strike position since June. About 16 union members are picketing outside the company's factory in Hartland...
GOP in no hurry to move Obama's TPP  The Hill  ...Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is brushing off calls from business groups for quick action on President Obama’s sweeping Pacific Rim trade deal. The National Association of Manufacturers and the Business Roundtable announced their support for the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) this week as part of what looks like a choreographed effort to raise pressure on Congress...
Surprise! Corporate America Is Throwing Down for the TPP  Common Dreams  ...American big business has now officially endorsed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), giving many all the proof they need that the 12-nation deal—poised to be the largest ever—is bad news for people and the planet. An association of Chief Executive Officers known as the Business Roundtable (BRT) announced its formal backing on Tuesday, indicating that it plans to use its muscle to press Congress to approve the deal this year...
How to Tell TPP Is a Bad Deal  (opinion) Huffington Post  ...TPP defines bad rules for globalization. It sets up skewed power relationships for dealing with climate change, inequality and many other important public policies. We have trade deals with Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras and Peru, where labor standards are at the level of life-and-death. Guatemala is arguably the most dangerous country in the world for labor leaders. Violence against workers in Colombia is still common...
McAuliffe announces port agreement with Cuba  Daily Progress  ...The Virginia Port Authority has struck a deal with its Cuban counterpart to explore commercial opportunities with the island nation, Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Tuesday. McAuliffe, in the middle of a three-day trade mission to Cuba, said the Virginia delegation signed a memorandum of understanding with the Cuban Port Authority, which recently completed the $1 billion Port of Mariel project, according to the governor's office... 
Greece's economic crisis goes on, like an odyssey without end  The Guardian  ...Like an odyssey without end, Greece’s great economic crisis goes on and the predicament of people such as Staikos is igniting new fears of social unrest. Ushering in the new year, prime minister Alexis Tsipras predicted that 2016 marked the beginning of the end, “a final exit from economic crisis”. With a financial lifeline sealed via an €86bn (£63bn) aid package from the International Monetary Fund, EU and the European Central Bank, the country could look ahead to radical change...
Happy 2016! These CEOs Have Already Banked An Average Worker's Salary  Common Dreams  ...By lunchtime Monday, Canada's top chief executives had already banked an average worker's annual salary. To put that another way, in 2014, the country's top-paid CEOs took home 184 times as much as the average Canadian worker, according to an annual report on publicly-traded companies released Monday by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives...
STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES
California’s $15 Minimum Wage Initiative Is Likely Headed to Voters  RH Reality Check  ...A California initiative calling for a $15 minimum wage by 2021 is likely headed to state voters in November after gathering more than enough signatures to qualify. The voter measure would hike the statewide minimum wage by a dollar on January 1 of every year from 2017 to 2021. California’s statewide minimum wage stands at $10, making it one of the nation’s highest and second only the District of Columbia...
Minority Groups Knock Redistricting Ballot Measure  Colorado Public Radio  ...A proposed ballot measure that would change the way Colorado’s political maps are drawn is being criticized by some minority groups and lawmakers. Currently, the state Legislature determines Colorado's congressional districts after each census. The ballot measure would shift that responsibility to a 12-member independent commission...
Bevin's road fund cuts bemoaned in Louisville  Courier-Journal  ...Due to falling state gas tax revenues, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin issued an order Monday cutting the state Transportation Cabinet budget by $112.5 million. The order calls for more than half of the savings – $62 million – to be achieved by a reduction in state road aid to cities and counties...
Ethics, voter ID among measures to watch in Missouri session  KY3.com  ...Missouri lawmakers are set to discuss issues ranging from how to repair state roads and bridges to laws on abortion. The 2016 legislative session begins Wednesday. Legislative leaders have said tightening state laws on ethics will be a top priority. Proposals on the table include banning lobbyist gifts to lawmakers...  
Minimum Wage to Raise for All City Workers in 2018  NY1.com  ...Minimum wage for city workers is going up. Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to announce plans to raise the minimum wage for city workers to $15 an hour by 2018. Those who will see the increase include school crossing guards and teacher's aides. Not-for-profits with city contracts city will also have to pay their workers at least $15 an hour...
Group Seeking Comment From Workers, Employers On Paid Sick Leave  CBS  ...A group looking to study the impact of workplace regulations in Minneapolis is holding a series of community meetings this month to get ideas related to earned sick time and paid time off. The city of Minneapolis says its Workplace Partnership Group will hold six meetings in January, with each one focused on different groups...
U.S. LABOR
Phoenix Bus Drivers Will Strike, Union Leaders Say  New Times  ...About 650 bus drivers in Phoenix will go on strike tonight at midnight, according to local transportation union leaders. Bob Bean, president of the local Amalgamated Transit Union chapter says the strike, which will affect 75 percent of bus routes in Phoenix, comes after weeks of failed negotiations between ATU and Transdev...
Talks resume between ATI, union  Rep-Am  ...Allegheny Technologies Inc. and the United Steelworkers met this week, resuming talks for the first time since September over a labor dispute involving a four-month lockout of more than 2,200 union employees -- including 30 workers at a plant in Waterbury. The talks were held in the union's Pittsburgh headquarters with a federal mediator...
'Depressing' atmosphere envelops DuPont as layoffs begin  Delaware Online  ...A grim mood hung in the air Monday as DuPont Co. workers in Delaware learned whether their positions will be included in a massive round of layoffs that will eliminate 1,700 positions in the First State. Ron Ozer, an engineer at the DuPont Experimental Station near Alapocas, lost his job Monday after nearly 25 years with the company...
Utz workers sue Pa. snack company over pay  PennLive  ...The chips are down at Utz as the Hanover, Pa., company faces a federal lawsuit brought by three drivers who claim they are owed thousands in overtime pay, WITF is reporting. Right now, the suit is confined to three drivers from Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania who say they cart Utz snacks into stores and stock shelves for far longer than 40 hours a week -- but only receive their normal pay...
United Farm Worker pioneer Alfredo R. Vazquez’s life remembered  Fresno Bee  ...Civil rights activist and United Farm Workers Association pioneer Alfredo R. Vazquez, 98, died on Dec. 31, 2015. Vazquez often endured abuse and threats during farm labor strikes, marches, boycotts and fasts with civil activist, Cesar Chavez. Vazquez’s last words are reported to have been “I did what I came here to do,” according to his son, Miguel Vazquez...
Why Skills Are Not Enough to Land a Job  The Nation  ... in light of rising graduation rates in recent years, education experts—presumably those who previously worried about low high school completion rates—now worry this seemingly good news is actually meaningless because diplomas are losing their “value”...
Denying People A Job After They've Left Prison Is Unconstitutional, Court Rules  Huffington Post  ...A court in Pennsylvania on Wednesday struck down a state law that imposed a lifetime ban from employment on as many as 200,000 people with criminal records in the state. A unanimous seven-judge panel ruled that part of the state's Older Adult Protective Services Act was unconstitutional because it was too broad in delineating the types of past crimes that disqualified people from jobs that involve caring for the elderly and other kinds of long-term care...
The Labor Prospect: What to Watch in 2016  American Prospect  ...The year 2015 was widely regarded as a reinvigorating one for the labor movement, with federal administrative rulings and local minimum-wage ordinances breaking workers’ way. Last year, however, merely set the stage for a much more consequential 2016. This year could either go very badly or very well, depending on a whole host of labor prospects...

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS
Uber fail: Why the start-up giant stumbled in Europe — and how it could happen in the U.S.  Salon  ...It’s hard to imagine Uber permanently giving up on Europe’s biggest economy, of course. But according to a report in The New York Times, Uber’s problem goes well beyond Germany’s borders. Deutschland is just one of many places where Uber’s struggling — and it’s almost always for the same reason...
Obama Said He Would Focus on Deporting Criminals. He’s Targeting Families Instead.  Slate  ...A nation-wide deportation campaign targeting families fleeing violence from Central America began this past weekend, sending immigrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala—and their governments—scrambling to prepare for more. This isn’t the first or the biggest ICE, or Immigration and Customs Enforcement, raid: George W. Bush’s administration is infamous for its raids on residential areas and workplaces...
"Every Time I Think About Those Kids It Gets Me Mad": Obama Tears Up as He Orders New Gun Control  Democracy Now  ...President Obama has laid out his plans to take executive action in an attempt to cut gun violence. Part of his plan will result in mandatory background checks for individuals purchasing firearms online or at gun shows. The administration is also calling for the hiring of 200 new federal agents to enforce the nation’s gun laws...
The Oregon Standoff, Black Lives Matter, and Criminal-Justice Reform  The Atlantic  ...The standoff in Oregon between armed militias and federal law-enforcement provides a great moment for reflecting on some of the lessons of Black Lives Matter and the criminal-justice-reform movement that grew over the last year. The antigovernment protesters took over the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in support of two ranchers convicted of committing arson on public lands and have vowed “to stay as long as it takes”...
How to Understand Donald Trump’s Sexist New Low  The Nation  ...Donald Trump, the man of the bottomless bottom, is making headlines for slurring Hillary Clinton as an “enabler” of her husband’s sexual misbehavior. Chris Matthews of MSNBC’s Hardball, who doesn’t shock easily, seemed staggered by it Monday night, insisting he’d never heard such a claim about Clinton before. “It’s beyond indecent,” he said...
Sanders Blasts Trump On Weird Climate Change Claim  Think Progress  ...On Monday night, the Democratic candidate blasted Trump’s claim that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. “What an insight. The entire scientific community has concluded that climate change is real and causing major problems, and Trump believes that it’s a hoax created by the Chinese. Surprised it wasn’t the Mexicans”...

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