Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 01.11.16

TEAMSTERS
Local 727 Members Overwhelmingtly Ratify Coca-Cola Refreshments Contract  Teamster.org  ...Teamsters Local 727 members voted by a 17-to-1 margin on Sunday, Jan. 10, to overwhelmingly ratify a new three-year contract with Coca-Cola Refreshments in Niles and Alsip, Ill. The agreement provides annual wage increases, retroactivity and improved health and welfare benefits for 319 Coca-Cola production and warehouse workers and transport drivers...
Coca-Cola workers overwhelmingly approve 'strong' contract  Chicago Tribune  ...Coca-Cola workers who went on strike for nearly a month at two Chicago-area production plants approved a new three-year contract Sunday that includes annual wage hikes and better health benefits, bringing an end to contentious negotiations. Members of Teamsters Local 727 voted 170-10 to approve the contract offer from Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Refreshments, the union announced...
BLET members ratify new contract with DM&E  BLE-T.org  ...Members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) ratified a new hourly-rate collective bargaining agreement with the Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railway (DM&E) on November 30, 2015. The agreement governs rates of pay and work rules for approximately 300 locomotive engineers, assistant engineers, conductors and brakemen. It runs through December 31, 2019...

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE
Brazil unions, Kirchnerite leaders blast ‘austerity measures, repression’  Buenos Aires Herald  ...As anger continued to rise yesterday over the sacking of between 12,000 and 15,000 state workers by President Mauricio Macri’s administration, Kirchnerite lawmakers and union representatives accused the government of deliberate repression and of trying to implement harsh austerity measures.
“The model of austerity and economic concentration can only be implemented with repression and shielding by the media,” Andrés “Cuervo” Larroque...
Portugal's socialist government restores holidays cut during austerity drive  The Guardian  ...The Portuguese government has restored four public holidays cut in the previous administration’s attempt to boost productivity. The new socialist government won parliament’s approval to discard one of the most unpopular legacies of a recent austerity drive and bring back the holidays cut two years ago...
Canada potato chip boss to workers: “Screw you and your f**king union”  People's World  ...On Tuesday morning, half of the employees at the Covered Bridge Potato Chip Company walked off the job and hit the picket lines. The workers, who are members of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1288P, have had their union certified for more than two years but have yet to conclude a first contract with their employer...
TPP fight kicks off  Politico  ...After the prologue of business endorsements last week, what could be the last big battle over the finalized Trans-Pacific Partnership kicks off this week. On Tuesday, President Barack Obama will make his pitch for the Asia-Pacific pact in his final State of the Union address to the nation, which will be followed by three days of testimony at the U.S. International Trade Commission...
Trans-Pacific Partnership will barely benefit Australia, says World Bank report  Sydney Morning Herald  ...Australia stands to gain almost nothing from the mega trade deal sealed with 11 other nations including United States, Japan, and Singapore, the first comprehensive economic analysis finds. Prepared by staff from the World Bank, the study says the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership would boost Australia's economy by just 0.7 per cent by the year 2030. The annual boost to growth would be less than one half of one 10th of 1 per cent...
How Obama is using the world’s biggest tech show as a political opportunity  Washington Post  ...President Obama dispatched his top trade negotiator to Las Vegas on Thursday to talk up the benefits of a major multilateral deal on international business before a number of tech companies, in hopes that the companies will pressure their representatives in Washington to vote for the trade agreement when the time comes. The trade deal, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, has support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups...
U.S., EU Look to Conclude TTIP Talks in 2016  BNA  ...The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations are expected to kick into high gear in 2016, with both sides doubling down on trying to finish talks during the last year of the Obama administration and rejecting the concept of a “TTIP light,” which officials said would be hard to sell to Congress and the European Parliament...
TransCanada the underdog in NAFTA gambit over Keystone XL rejection  Globe and Mail  ...Legal observers say that while TransCanada Corp. appears to have a strong case under the North American free-trade agreement to challenge Washington’s rejection of its Keystone XL pipeline, the Calgary-based company has just embarked on a long-haul process in which it remains an underdog...
In 2016, let's hope for better trade agreements - and the death of TPP  The Guardian  ...The US concluded secret negotiations on what may turn out to be the worst trade agreement in decades, the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and now faces an uphill battle for ratification, as all the leading Democratic presidential candidates and many of the Republicans have weighed in against it. The problem is not so much with the agreement’s trade provisions, but with the “investment” chapter...

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES
On right-to-work, other bills, W.Va. GOP may overturn vetoes  Times Union  ...Republican lawmakers are pushing to make West Virginia a right-to-work state and repeal its prevailing wage for public construction projects this legislative session. And though those policies don't sit well with Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, it may not matter. It only takes more 'yes' than 'no' votes in the Legislature to cement a policy into law after the governor vetoes a bill...
Voter ID case will go to trial in January  Winston-Salem Journal  ...North Carolina’s photo ID requirement will go on trial late this month in U.S. District Court in Winston-Salem, a federal judge said in court papers filed Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Thomas Schroeder signed an order modifying the deadlines for discovery in the case so a trial on the photo ID requirement can begin Jan. 25. The N.C. NAACP, the U.S. Department of Justice and others sued North Carolina in 2013...
Texas Governor Unveils Plan To Repeal The 20th Century  Think Progress  ...Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) proposed a series of constitutional amendments on Friday that would so fundamentally alter our founding document that it would be akin to throwing out the system of government established by the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Abbott would place restrictions on the federal government that are so severe, both national child labor laws and anti-lynching laws would be unconstitutional under his proposals...
Branstad willing to consider Iowa minimum wage increase  WCF Courier  ... Gov. Terry Branstad said Thursday that he would be willing to consider an increase in the state minimum wage if a bill landed on his desk during the 2016 legislative session. In an interview, Branstad noted that a number of states have increased their minimum wages and that he signed the bill in 1989 that created Iowa’s minimum wage...
Giving Workers Paid Family Leave ‘Should Be Up To Employers,’ Kasich Says  Think Progress  ...Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Gov. John Kasich doesn’t think employers should be required to let their workers take paid time off for a new baby or serious illness. At a town hall on Friday in Hampton, New Hampshire, he was asked what he thinks about paid family leave. Rather than a government mandate ensuring that all Americans can take paid leave, Kasich said instead it should be “up to employers"...
Minimum wage rate likely to dominate NY 2016 session  NCPR  ...The New York State Senate held a hearing on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Governor Cuomo and Assembly Democrats support the phase-in to a higher wage, but many Senators remain uncommitted. Senate Labor Committee Chair Jack Martins said he wants to broaden the discussion...
What Poor South Carolinians Think About The GOP’s Poverty Summit In South Carolina  Think Progress  ...Jeb Bush has called for the end of food stamps. Chris Christie has vetoed an increase in the minimum wage in his state and Ben Carson believes Obama is purposefully depressing the economy to keep people on welfare. These three presidential candidates, along with Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Carly Fiorina, and Mike Huckabee, will speak in Columbia, South Carolina on Saturday at a summit on poverty...

U.S. LABOR
At the Supreme Court, a Big Threat to Unions  New York Times  ...A case the Supreme Court will hear on Monday morning threatens to undermine a four-decade-old ruling that upheld a key source of funding for public-sector unions, the last major bastion of unionized workers in America. In the 1977 decision Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, the justices ruled that public unions may charge all employees — members and nonmembers alike — for the costs of collective bargaining related to their employment...
Conservative group nears big payoff in Supreme Court case  Politico  ...The conservative Bradley Foundation has spent millions over three decades to smash labor unions. Now an investment that could barely buy a house in Washington may bring it closer to that goal than ever before.
The vehicle is a Supreme Court case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, to bar public employee unions from compelling payments from nonmembers...
USW workers to start voting on U.S. Steel contract  NWI Times  ...The United Steelworkers union is now mailing out ballots to U.S. Steel employees, including those at Gary Works, East Chicago Tin and the Midwest Plant in Portage. Steelworkers will get a week or two to cast their votes to ratify or reject a new contract with the Pittsburgh-based steelmaker, after getting summaries of all the changes from the 2012 contract in the mail...
Judge grants Gerawan Farming access to labor board documents  Fresno Bee  ...A Sacramento Superior Court judge on Thursday partially granted Gerawan Farming Company’s request for documents related to an unfair labor practice complaint filed against it by the Agricultural Labor Relations Board. The ALRB said the employee was fired for his support of the United Farm Workers union...
International Food Workers Show Solidarity with Chicago Nabisco Workers  AFL-CIO  ...The International Union of Food Workers (IUF) and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) have affirmed their solidarity with employees of Mondelēz International, the maker of Nabisco products, around the world. The state of Illinois has given Nabisco/Mondelēz millions of dollars in public assistance and tax breaks. BCTGM represents some 4,000 Mondelēz workers...
Multiple Jobholders Surge To Highest Since August 2008  Zero Hedge  ...The most troubling aspect of today's jobs report, and perhaps the clearest explanation why there was no wage growth in December, is that the number of multiple job holders soared by 324,000 bringing the total to 7.738 million. This was the highest since August 2008, which as a reminder is the month before the great financial crisis started...
The verdict on the “sharing” economy, from the 20% of Americans who’ve worked in it  QZ.com  ...Just how big has the new digital economy—variously called “gig,” “on-demand,” “sharing,” and more—gotten? Big enough that one in five Americans say they’ve worked in it, and two in five say they’ve used services through it, according to a new survey from Burson-Marsteller...

If Most Of Your Income Comes From On-Demand Work, You’re Probably A Racial Minority  BuzzFeed  ...Of survey respondents who earn more than 40% of their income from on-demand work, a whopping 67% identify as racial minorities. (For context, in 2010 the U.S. Census found that only 36.3% of the U.S. population identifies as a racial minority, which means racial minorities are overrepresented among this sector of gig workers by nearly double.)...
Chris Christie goes back to what made him famous: Attacking teachers  Daily Kos  ...Chris Christie went back to his wheelhouse on Saturday. That means attacking teachers, the move that helped gain Christie his early YouTube fame as the kind of bully Republicans can love. “The single most destructive force for public education in this country is the teachers union,” Christie said at a Jack Kemp Foundation panel discussion...

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS
Resistance & Outrage as Obama Administration Rounds Up Central American Refugees  Democracy Now  ...The new year began inauspiciously for many immigrant families. Federal agents have detained at least 121 people, including children, in raids as part of an operation to deport families fleeing violence in Central America. The raids took place mainly in Georgia, North Carolina and Texas...
Postal Banking Worked—Let’s Bring It Back  (opinion) The Nation  ... Postal banking was the most successful experiment in financial inclusion in the United States—a problem in front of us once again. Postal banking brought millions of new immigrants and rural dwellers into the United States banking system. We are again facing the realization that our banking industry is unstable, but also, more crucially, that it is unfair...
Important Reminder in the Flint Crisis: People Still Have No Safe Water  Common Dreams  ...Republican Governor Rick Snyder on Thursday offered a second apology for the crisis, saying it's an "unfortunate situation." That problem, which began as the city was under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager, has left 200 children below the age of six with confirmed elevated blood lead levels...
"The National Shame Continues": On Its 14th Anniversary, Will Guantánamo Ever Be Closed?  Democracy Now  ...Today marks the 14th anniversary of the opening of the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo, where 107 prisoners are still being held. Hina Shamsi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project, represented Mohamedou Ould Slahi, one of the men still being held. Last year a book collecting Slahi’s diary writings became a surprise best-seller. "This is a shame that threatens more than ever to mar President Obama’s legacy"...
Small debt is destroying black lives: Institutional racism and the wealth gap America still refuses to acknowledge  Salon  ...It is not unreasonable to attribute these perils to discrimination. But there’s no question that the main reason small financial problems can have such a disproportionate effect on black families is that, for largely historical reasons rooted in racism, they have far smaller financial reserves to fall back on than white families...

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