Teamsters

North America's Strongest Union

Today's Teamster News 12.01.15

TEAMSTERS
Teamsters at Coca-Cola Refreshments Authorize Unfair Labor Practice Strike  Teamster.org  ...More than 225 Coca-Cola Refreshments workers represented by Teamsters Local 727 voted Sun., Nov. 29, to authorize an unfair labor practice strike against the beverage industry behemoth. The Teamsters voted by a 10-to-1 margin to authorize the strike after Local 727 filed numerous unfair labor practice charges against the company in a fight for a new contract...
Coca-Cola workers authorize strike at plants in Niles, Alsip  Chicago Tribune  ...Workers at two Chicago-area Coca-Cola plants have voted to authorize a strike against the beverage giant to protest unfair labor practices in the final days of negotiations for a new three-year contract. Members of Teamsters Local 727 could head to the picket line as early as Wednesday morning after their contract with Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Refreshments expires at midnight Tuesday...
Portland’s General Distributors Inc., at Odds with Teamsters Union  Brewbound  ...A federal mediator is slated to oversee negotiations this Wednesday between Portland, Oregon’s Teamsters Local 162 and General Distributors, Inc (GDI), a beer wholesaler responsible for getting brands like Corona, Coors, Sierra Nevada and a number of craft products to market. The strike left some local craft brewers without a route to market as replacement workers struggled to distribute beer in time for the Thanksgiving holiday...

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE
More Than 30 Trade Unionists Have Been Killed in Honduras Since 2009  The Nation  ...Honduras’s products and people are entangled in a social crisis driving international pressure for an independent investigation into our Central American “trade partner’s” Banana Republic–style anti-labor tactics. Several trade unionists have reportedly faced death threats in recent months amid rising labor and political tumult...
Truckers to picket container company, but inks contract with six others  Vancouver Sun  ...Container truck drivers put strike plans into gear Sunday to pressure a company they allege is shorting its drivers on retroactive pay. The truckers planned to picket Harbour Link’s main yard in Delta early Monday to spur it into honouring the terms of the deal that ended last year’s one-month port strike, said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor’s B.C. area director...
Furnace workers of imitation jewellery units on strike  Times of India  ...Around 500 furnace workers of the city's famed imitation jewellery business have gone on a strike to demand better wages. This is the first time that the imitation jewellery market of Rajkot, one of the biggest in India, has witnessed a strike...
Big Oil, TTIP and the Scramble for Europe  Counterpunch  ...If sanctioned, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) would be the biggest trade deal ever seen. Yet the public continue to be kept in the dark about it. Large corporations have been granted privileged access to officials and have been allowed to shape the talks agenda from the outset. Throughout the process, organisations representing the public and civil society have been sidelined...
Domestic Manufacturers Launch New Anti-TPP Currency Ad Blitz on Capitol Hill  American Economic Alert  ...The U.S. Business and Industry Council (USBIC) announced today the start of a media campaign to highlight the lack of enforceable currency provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  The group, which represents domestic manufacturers, many seriously hurt by currency cheating, has initiated a series of print ads appearing in major media serving Capitol Hill...
Wisconsin lawmakers split — not on party lines — on Trans-Pacific Partnership  Wisconsin State Journal  ...The Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal seven years in the making before it was unveiled this month, has quickly moved into the sights of some on Capitol Hill — including a vocal cadre of Wisconsin Democrats. The partnership is a proposed free-trade agreement between the U.S. and 11 other nations bordering the Pacific Ocean. After being negotiated in secret, the deal was finalized last month...
Portugal divided by austerity  FT.com  ...The real-life repercussions of the austerity debate that has gripped the west in the wake of the global financial crisis are experienced daily in Portuguese homes, hospitals, schools, job centres, companies and cafés, with almost every aspect of people’s lives having been affected by severe cuts and tough reforms. For the past four years the country has been held up by EU commissioners and international creditors as a model of how to behave in the face of a sovereign debt crisis...
2 arrested at anti-austerity march CBC News  ...Two people were arrested following a protest Monday night that turned violent and involved rocks being thrown at police cars and officers. The anti-austerity and anti-capitalist march, organized by students at Cégep du Vieux-Montréal, began at 8 p.m. at Philipps Square. No itinerary was given to police, and the march was declared illegal. Police say mischief was reported shortly after the march began...
Economist Has Convincing Theory on How Extreme Inequality Creates Extremist Violence  Common Dreams  ...Influential French economist Thomas Piketty is raising important questions this week after positing a theory that the rise of the Islamic State (or ISIS) can be attributed, at least in part, to extreme regional inequality in the Middle East fueled largely by oil wealth. Piketty argues in a column published Le Monde last week and translated by the Washington Post on Monday that the concentration of wealth in the hands of just a few petro-monarchies has made the region the "most unequal on the planet"...

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES
Ohio House panel to hear testimony on right-to-work bill  WOWK  ...A state legislative panel in Ohio plans to hear testimony on a proposal that would bar private employers from requiring workers to join or pay dues to a labor organization. Such right-to-work laws have been enacted in 25 states. Ohio's bill is slated to get its first hearing Tuesday afternoon before the House Commerce and Labor Committee. Right-to-work proposals have not gained traction in the Ohio Legislature...
A Wealthy Governor and His Friends Are Remaking Illinois  New York Times  ...The rich families remaking Illinois are among a small group around the country who have channeled their extraordinary wealth into political power, taking advantage of regulatory, legal and cultural shifts that have carved new paths for infusing money into campaigns. Economic winners in an age of rising inequality, operating largely out of public view, they are reshaping government with fortunes so large as to defy the ordinary financial scale of politics...
Tennessee seeks to dismiss voter ID lawsuit  The Tennessean  ...A lawsuit that contends age discrimination was written into Tennessee's voter identification law because it does not allow use of student IDs has stalled as a federal judge considers whether it is a valid case. Lawyers for a group of students and those for the state disagree on how to interpret the 44-year-old constitutional amendment...

Del. lawmaker calls for $15 / hour minimum wage  Delaware 105.9  ...Delaware's minimum wage would rise to $15.05 an hour by 2023, under an amendment to legislation filed in the General Assembly. State Senator Robert Marshall, D- Wilmington West, cites the increasing numbers of people with low-wage jobs as well as a rising rate of poverty as the reasons for his measure. The minimum wage increase would be phased in on June 1st of each year...
How One City Is Making Sure Bosses Comply With Wage Theft and Paid Sick Leave Laws  In These Times  ...Over the past five years, Seattle has implemented sweeping labor laws, instituting paid sick leave, discouraging discrimination against those with prison records, incrementally raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2017 and strengthening wage-theft protections. But these new laws can’t enforce themselves...
Bangor’s minimum wage debate could be decided in two weeks  Bangor  ...The City Council could finally bring closure to the months-long debate over whether the city should raise the local minimum wage during a meeting in two weeks. Councilors and city officials met Monday night for a workshop to hash through some of the concerns that have made this an issue of contention for months...

U.S. LABOR
American Passenger-Service Workers Approve 5-Year Contract  Bloomberg   ...American Airlines Group Inc. said a union representing 14,500 reservation agents and airport passenger-service workers approved a five-year contract that included “significant” pay raises. The agreement provides an average initial increase of 30 percent, 2 percent raises at the end of the first and second years and 2.5 percent in each of the following two years, according to a statement on the Communications Workers of America website...
Health care remains sticking point in USW contract talks  NWI.com  ...Negotiations with steelmakers broke off for the Thanksgiving holiday but resumed Monday. The United Steelworkers union is fighting efforts by ArcelorMittal and U.S. Steel to slash health care insurance benefits, which the union says could cost steelworkers and retirees as much as $6,300 more a year in out-of-pocket expenses. Steelworkers would suffer an effective pay cut as a result...
Kohler Strike Continues, Union Seeking Donations  WHBL  ...United Auto Workers Local 833 have now spent two full weeks on the picket line after they and the Kohler Company failed to reach an agreement on a new contract earlier this month. With the strike now entering its third week, the union is focusing some attention on helping its members get through the impact of being on strike...
NLRB strikes down two more companies' class action waivers  Reuters  ...The U.S. National Labor Relations Board last week continued to expand its rule prohibiting class and collective action waivers in employment agreements, upholding rulings by two administrative judges who struck down such provisions, including one that was voluntary. The board rejected a bid by California grocery store chain Bristol Farms to approve a proposed settlement with an NLRB regional director that would have allowed its workers to opt out of signing the waivers...
SEIU claims court victory on health insurance  Capitol Fax  ...The St. Clair County Circuit Court has ruled in favor of SEIU Healthcare Illinois, which was granted a temporary restraining order against Gov. Bruce Rauner and Comptroller Leslie Munger. The ruling issued late Wednesday protects health insurance for nearly 5,000 low-wage home healthcare workers in Illinois. The home healthcare workers serve adults with disabilities in Illinois’ Home Services Program...
Stronger Together: Envoy Agents Vote for CWA Representation  CWA-union.org  ...Nearly 5,000 Envoy Air agents (formerly American Eagle) joined together and overwhelmingly voted for representation by the Communications Workers of America in an election conducted by the National Mediation Board. The agents work at 102 stations nationwide and have a broad range of responsibilities for passenger service and fleet service work. Envoy is owned by American Airlines Group...
Collective Action Stops Retaliation Against Cal Cartage Warehouse Workers  Labor Press  ...Warehouse Workers at California Cartage in the Los Angeles port neighborhood of Wilmington faced retaliation from their employer after temporary workers joined direct hires in a pair of three-day strikes in September and October. The strikers were calling for 15$ an hour minimum wage, a safe work environment, a lunch area free of rats and cockroaches and an end to wage theft...
Robert Reich: Why the High-Tech 'Sharing Economy' Is All About Impoverishing Workers  Alternet  ...The so-called “share economy” includes independent contractors, temporary workers, the self-employed, part-timers, freelancers, and free agents. Most file 1099s rather than W2s, for tax purposes. It’s estimated that in five years over 40 percent of the American labor force will be in such uncertain work; in a decade, most of us. This trend shifts all economic risks onto workers.

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS
Behind Hillary Clinton’s $250 Billion Infrastructure Plan  Think Progress  ...Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced on Monday her plan to spend $250 billion over five years to improve the nation’s infrastructure. The plan — which includes proposals to improve roads and bridges, transit systems, energy systems, and electric grids — is the first phase of Clinton’s month-long focus on jobs. In March, Senate Republicans defeated a Democratic amendment to the proposed 2016 budget which was offered by Sen. Bernie Sanders and called for $478 billion in new spending. Sanders has proposed a $1 trillion infrastructure investment plan...
Hillary Clinton's Modest Infrastructure Proposal  The Atlantic  ...It’s hard to call a plan that spends $275 billion in taxpayer dollars over five years “modest” and keep a straight face. But that may be the best way to describe the proposal Hillary Clinton unveiled on Monday to upgrade the nation’s ailing infrastructure. The reaction from advocates of more robust infrastructure spending has been less than enthusiastic, a nod to the fact that the size of the Clinton plan falls well short of what studies have shown the country needs...
Why Do Former Goldman Sachs Bankers Keep Landing Top Slots at the Federal Reserve?  The Nation  ...During the last year, three vacancies have opened up to head regional Federal Reserve banks around the country. One by one, all three of the spots have gone to former insiders from Goldman Sachs. First, Goldman Sachs trustee Patrick Harker essentially picked himself to lead the Philadelphia Fed, stepping down as chair of the Philadelphia Fed Board of Directors to allow for his own selection...
White Collar Whistleblower Sentenced To Prison While The Criminals He Exposed Are Free  Think Progress  ...Over the holiday weekend, the man who’s done more to expose the financial crimes of the rich and powerful than almost anyone else in the 21st century was sentenced to five years in a Swiss prison. The harsh punishment to protect bank secrecy comes amid a comparatively lax pursuit of justice for in cases where the public has been wronged by banking industry actors...
Defying the 'Shock Doctrine' in Paris as Thousands March Despite Protest Ban  Common Dreams  ...It was people power versus "shock doctrine" on the streets of Paris on Sunday as thousands dared to defy the French government's ban on protests during the much-anticipated global climate summit. An estimated 10,000 demonstrators linked arms in a human chain along the 3 kilometer cancelled march route—joining the millions worldwide who took to the streets to demand that the assembled world leaders commit to bold action to confront the growing threat of climate change...
Two Expert Reports Slam Cleveland Cops for "Reckless" Killing of Tamir Rice  Mother Jones  ...On Saturday, attorneys for the family of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy who was shot to death by a Cleveland cop last November, released two new reports concluding that the actions of the two officers involved, Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback, were "reckless" and "objectively unreasonable" by legal and professional standards. The reports were authored by Roger Clark, a former Los Angeles County deputy sheriff, and by Jeffrey Noble, a former deputy police chief for Irvine, California...

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