Teamsters

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Today's Teamster News 12.04.15

TEAMSTERS
Teamsters Statement on San Bernardino County Shootings  Teamster.org  ...The Teamsters Union is deeply saddened by the tragic event in San Bernardino County, Calif., which has taken the lives of 14 people, injured 21 and shaken the community at large. As the news continues to unfold, we are saddened to learn that some of the victims were members of Teamsters Local 1932. “Today is a sad day, as we join the San Bernardino community with a heavy heart in mourning this tragic loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and everyone impacted by this senseless tragedy,” said Jim Hoffa...
Teamsters end strike at Portland-area beer distributor, vote to return to work  Oregon Live  ...A 16-day strike at a Portland-area beer and wine distributor ended Wednesday with a union offer to go back to work, but the company's general manager said striking workers need to report to him Friday to keep their jobs. Representatives of labor and management issued news releases about the latest developments in the labor dispute at General Distributors Inc. in Oregon City. Teamsters Local 162, based in Portland, represents about 80 workers at General Distributors...
Coke workers strike in Alsip and Niles  Chicago Tribune  ...James Shears has worked at Coca-Cola bottling plants in the south suburbs for almost a half-century and said he has never seen contract negotiations break down as badly as they have over the last six months. Shears joined other members of the Teamsters Local 727 on the picket line early Thursday morning, as about 300 workers at the plants in Alsip and Niles began striking to protest what they claim are unfair labor practices...

GLOBAL LABOR & TRADE
1,200 Irish Life workers to take strike action  Breaking News  ...1,200 workers at Irish Life in Dublin and Dundalk are to hold two, one day, strikes. The action has been announced for December 17 and January 20. A dispute has been ongoing since the beginning of November, over a new pay model. Unite, which represents the staff, also has said the company is refusing to attend the Labour Court...
Protests erupt as Ecuador scraps presidential term limits  DW.com  ...Protesters armed with sticks and rocks battled riot police in the capital where lawmakers engaged in a marathon nine-hour debate before lifting term limits, stripping collective bargaining rights for public sector workers and placing the military in charge of domestic security. Rights groups have criticized Correa for using his monopoly across all branches of government to stifle dissent, and they fear the latter measure will even further restrict freedom of expression...
Ryan promotes trade, falls short of endorsing TPP  The Hill  ...Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) called for boosting U.S. exports but fell short of endorsing an expansive Pacific Rim trade deal that could go before Congress next year. Ryan, who as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee was one of the leaders who guided trade promotion authority through the House, will play a critical role in whether the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) earns enough support to clear Congress...
Reichert Says About 15 Republicans Will Oppose TPP Over Tobacco  MyInforms  ....Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA), the chairman of the House Ways & Means trade subcommittee, warned Thursday (Dec. 3) that securing congressional passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement will be more difficult than the winning approval of the fast-track bill in June, in part because at the moment roughly 15 House Republicans who voted for fast track would oppose TPP over its treatment of tobacco...
How the Toxic Trade Deal You've Never Heard Of Could Kill the Climate  Common Dreams  ...As world leaders attempt to hammer out a global climate deal in Paris this week, trade officials are meeting in Geneva to continue negotiations on the mammoth Trade in Services Agreement (TISA)—and according to secret documents published Thursday, "the objectives of each could not be more diametrically opposed." The latest publication by WikiLeaks exposes new threats from TISA, the least well-known of the so-called Big Three "strategic neoliberal trade deals being advanced by the Obama administration"...
New TTIP 'Transparency' Agenca Still Leaves Public in the Dark  (opinion) War on Want  ...This week’s concession to create more access to secretive EU-US trade deal documents falls woefully short of any meaningful transparency for the 500 million people of Europe. An agreement between the European Commission and European Parliament to make key Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) texts available to all 751 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) was announced yesterday...
Greek capital brought to a standstill as workers strike against austerity  Euro News  ...Protesters marched through the streets of Athens on Thursday as over two-and-a-half-million workers took part in a general strike that has brought public services to a standstill. The 24-hour walkout is in response to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ acceptance of a new package of austerity measures by the country’s lenders, that includes a total overhaul of the social security and pension system...
In Oaxaca, Teachers Won’t Give Up the Fight  NACLA  ...Instead of facing off with the PRI-led state government, this time the union is up against global financiers, national economic elites, its own national union, and all the major political parties in Mexico. Each of these groups support a constitutional reform that would privatize schools, punitively evaluate teachers, and standardize education. The measure threatens the guarantee of a free public education and basic job security...

STATE & LIVING WAGE BATTLES
What Scott Walker’s Elimination Of Wisconsin’s Living Wage Law Means For Workers  Think Progress  ...Last year, 100 low-wage workers in Wisconsin decided to sue their governor, Scott Walker (R), over their pay. The state had a century-old statute on the books saying that the minimum wage “shall be not less than a living wage,” enough “to permit an employee to maintain herself or himself in minimum comfort, decency, physical and moral well-being.” But this week they were handed a final defeat: A judge dismissed their lawsuit...
House Bill 337 Would Make Ohio a 'Right to Work' State  Gateway News  ...Dozens of union members and supporters packed two Statehouse hearing rooms and hallways Dec. 1 in a show of opposition to right-to-work legislation being considered by state lawmakers. At issue is HB 377, which would bar mandatory union membership or dues payments. Comparable law changes have been proposed in past general assemblies and a stalled constitutional amendment petition effort...
Legislative plan would set regional minimum wage rates  Portland Tribune  ...Spurred by two ballot initiatives to raise Oregon’s minimum wage, a Portland lawmaker plans to propose legislation in February that would set different regional minimum wage rates based on cost of living and median income. Sen. Michael Dembrow, who chairs the Senate workforce committee, said a legislative agreement could help avert an acrimonious and prolonged battle over minimum wage at the ballot box...
Alabama governor falsely claims state made deal with feds on voter ID  MSNBC  ...Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley responded Wednesday to a lawsuit challenging his state’s voter ID law by claiming that the state already came to an agreement with the federal government that addresses concerns about the law. But Bentley’s claim is flatly false: Alabama’s deal with the Feds had nothing to do with the ID law...
Bill would require all Harrisburg businesses to provide paid sick leave  ABC27  ...Thousands of people who work in the city of Harrisburg do not get paid sick leave, many make minimum wage.
“Life is hard enough as it is you do not need the pressure of an employer saying if you do not come in today, do not bother coming in tomorrow,” said Brad Koplinski, Harrisburg city councilman. Koplinski has introduced legislation that would require businesses in the city to provide five sick days for both full and part-time employees...

U.S. LABOR
UFCW Members at El Super Strike In Protest Against the Company’s Unfair Labor Practices  UFCW  ...On the day before Thanksgiving, El Super workers at seven unionized locations in Southern California decided to strike the company over unfair labor practices. Picket lines were established at 4 a.m. asking consumers to do their Thanksgiving shopping elsewhere. El Super union members have been working without a new and fair contract since September 2013...
UAW Election at Volkswagen's Tennessee Plant Ends Friday  ABC  ...Workers will finish casting their ballots Friday in the latest effort by the United Auto Workers union to organize at Volkswagen's lone U.S. plant in Tennessee. The two-day vote is scheduled to conclude at 8:30 p.m. EST, the end of the work day at the plant. The election involves 162 skilled trades workers, who are responsible for repairing and maintaining machines and robots at the Chattanooga factory...
Asarco's unions protest company's tactics  Arizona Daily Star  ...Union miners rallied Tuesday afternoon at Asarco’s Tucson headquarters to protest what they say are unfair contract negotiating tactics by the copper-mining company. The United Steelworkers, the lead among eight labor unions representing about 2,000 Asarco workers, said Asarco has announced its intent to unilaterally implement the company’s “last, best and final” contract proposal on Tuesday, calling the move “illegal”...
Mixed Verdict for Donald Blankenship, Ex-Chief of Massey Energy, After Coal Mine Blast  New York Times  ...Donald L. Blankenship, whose leadership of the Massey Energy Company was widely criticized after 29 workers were killed in the Upper Big Branch mine in 2010, was convicted Thursday of conspiring to violate federal safety standards, becoming the most prominent American coal executive ever convicted of a crime related to mining deaths...
The Entire Labor Movement Should Be Paying Attention to Wisconsin’s Kohler Strike  In These Times  ...Two thousand workers at the Kohler faucet plant in Northern Wisconsin have been walking the picket since November 16. Such a strike would have been commonplace decades ago. Nowadays it is a rarity. Major strikes of over 1,000 workers are few and far between. Even rarer are open-ended strikes at an industrial plant. The Kohler strike is an open-ended, large scale, non-publicity style strike in manufacturing, a traditionally organized industry...
Wage Growth Stagnated Even As November’s Job Growth Was Strong  Think Progress  ...The economy added 211,000 jobs in November while the unemployment rate stayed the same at 5 percent, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Analysts had expected 200,000 jobs to be added. November’s gains came in construction (46,000), professional and technical services (28,000), health care (24,000), food and drink places (32,000), and retail (31,000)...
The Incredible Shrinking Incomes of Young Americans  The Atlantic  ...American families are grappling with stagnant wage growth, as the costs of health care, education, and housing continue to climb. But for many of America's younger workers, "stagnant" wages shouldn't sound so bad. In fact, they might sound like a massive raise. Since the Great Recession struck in 2007, the median wage for people between the ages of 25 and 34, adjusted for inflation, has fallen in every major industry except for health care...

SOCIAL JUSTICE & OTHER NEWS
20 People Now Own As Much Wealth as Half of All Americans  The Nation  ...The 400 richest Americans now have more wealth than the bottom 61 percent of the population, a report released on Wednesday by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) reveals. According to “Billionaire Bonanza: The Forbes 400 and the Rest of Us,” just the twenty individuals at the top of the pile now control more wealth than the bottom half of the population...
6 Noxious Facts About America's Billionaires  Alternet  ...When Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced this week that he will give away 99 percent of his personal fortune—now estimated at $44 billion—during his lifetime, he was lauded in newspapers and TV broadcasts from coast to coast. But few people noted that giving away his billions will still leave Zuckerberg, his wife Priscilla Chan and newborn daughter Max, with at least $440 million to live on...
Here’s Why Hundreds of Immigrants in Detention Have Gone on Hunger Strike  Mother Jones  ...After spending months holed up in detention centers, more than 100 undocumented immigrants in California and Alabama launched a hunger strike on the evening before Thanksgiving. The following Monday, they were joined by dozens of other frustrated immigrants at three more detention centers in California, Colorado, and Texas. Their protest is the latest in a wave of hunger strikes at immigrant detention facilities across the country...
Anti-Muslim Rhetoric Has Gone From Fringe To Mainstream, Report Says  Think Progress  ...Anti-Muslim rhetoric, recently on display as lawmakers discuss the issue of resettling Syrian refugees, began on the fringes of the far-right and has infiltrated mainstream politics, according to a new report released by the National Security Network. “The current political climate is the culmination of a years-long and well-funded effort to bring Islamophobia and xenophobia from the far-right fringe to the political mainstream,” report authors J. Dana Stuster and Samuel Davidoff-Gore write...
Bombing Hasn’t Worked. Bombing Won’t Work. And Yet, We Will Bomb  The Nation  ...“If a man beats his head against the wall,” the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci once wrote, “it’s his head that breaks and not the wall.” In the wake of the horrific attacks in Paris, the British political class has been suffering terrible headaches. Once again, all its leaders can come up with is more bombing—this time, against ISIS in Syria. The logic is always the same: We must do something. Bombing is something. We must bomb...

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